There's no use posting updates for this reader, as I won't be reading the entire thing (nowhere close to it, I'm afraid). It's full of excerpts of 121There's no use posting updates for this reader, as I won't be reading the entire thing (nowhere close to it, I'm afraid). It's full of excerpts of 121 of the more important texts related to post-colonial studies. As judged by the page numbers, each text only gets a few pages to itself. As such, the book is very good for orientation, but mostly leaves out a good part of the original argumentation.
Then again, you simply can't put everything into one single reader. It is what it is, a very good organised reader: you can find excerpts per topic, which is extremely handy and gives you most relevant texts within seconds. Definitely can be put to good use when you're studying about post-colonial theory....more
I had special reasons for wanting to read this book: last year I was taking a Strategy & Organisation course, and the course had the lovely additiI had special reasons for wanting to read this book: last year I was taking a Strategy & Organisation course, and the course had the lovely addition of having well-chosen, relevant guest speakers. Kilian Wawoe was one of them, and by far the favourite of all students (for two years in a row). The guy is an energetic speaker, and knows how to address an audience. In short, his presentation was fun, and it mostly dealt with the topics discussed in this book. In all honesty, the book just went a bit deeper, but the basics I had heard from Professor Wawoe himself last year.
The book discusses the bonus-system in the banking sector, and the dangers it causes. The basic idea is this: at the beginning of the year, people high up in the company decide on targets for the next year. Employees are promised a bonus when they reach this target, regardless of how good of a worker they are, and what methods you use: all that matters is reaching this goal. If you need to sell 50 travel-insurances, selling them to people who don't travel at all is still fulfilling the target. This employee would still get the bonus, even if he doesn't help move things along for the company. Working well therefore doesn't earn you bonuses, which is, at the very least, a bit strange.
Professor Wawoe argues this system caused the crisis, as employees started taking more risks to reach their targets, claiming that "if you win, you get a bonus; if you lose, nothing happens". In case of the banking sector, it's generally the tax payer who has to pay for the mistakes made in the sector. The mistakes that have been made, and the risks that have been taken are not the fault of a single employee, but more a fault of the system, a system the banks themselves and also politicians are reluctant to change. Most of the book talks about Wawoe's research about this topic, and his frustrations on being ignored. It's a topic no one really wishes to talk about or is even interested in.
Besides this, Wawoe addresses other issues, such as Professor Schenk's theory on fusions (they're not good for a company, generally, and they're rarely successful; it's mostly a matter of prestige), but also the ego of people in high functions, and why they play such risky games.
There's a wealth of information in this book, but what bothered me personally was the writing style. It was very informal, and written in the I-perspective. Wawoe tells about the banking crisis from his perspective (+ added personal anecdotes, which in my opinion weren't always necessary), so it was understandable why he chose an I-perspective, but it just bugged me a bit. An informal style generally helps to make more people read your book, as it seems less daunting. And true, the book reads like Wawoe is telling you a story. I can just speak from experience when I say that the speech makes much much impact than the book itself does. I personally think an informal structure doesn't work as well for a non-fiction book, but for some people this might be a plus, as it helps create that personal touch.
All the same, it's a very interesting book....more
This little novel of Gaiman's lives up to the expectations. It is, in every sense, a true Neil Gaiman book: the world-building is definitely from hisThis little novel of Gaiman's lives up to the expectations. It is, in every sense, a true Neil Gaiman book: the world-building is definitely from his hand, his dry wit is obvious, and the combination of an amusing story with captivating quotes and life lessons are definitely Gaiman's trademark.
But my thoughts on the novel on the whole aren't as straightforward. It's because I somehow didn't connect with it as much as some of Gaiman's other works (most notably The Graveyard Book). I truly enjoyed it, but except for a few quotes, I don't think this effort of Gaiman's left a particularly lasting impression on me. And that's okay - it was still a fun read, and moving at times. There are true little gems in this book, most notably when it comes to describing the difference between childhood and adulthood, but also the ponderings on what it means to be human. Without a doubt, I've found what must be my favourite Gaiman-quote in this book:
"Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world."
Which, you know, is a good thing to remember sometimes.
So why, why did this story not leave an impression on me? I can only come up with the conclusion that the story felt too short, somehow. I never really bonded with it. I read it all within two to three hours, and that was just too short a time to spend with this book. There was too little tension in there, some things seemed to be solved too easily, too quickly.
But in the end, the story was amusing, there are some amazing quotes in this book, and it's without a doubt a solid new addition to Gaiman's bibliography. Definitely worth reading (it won't take that long anyway). It just won't be my favourite of the bunch....more
This book was so typically Murakami. That's the first thought I had upon finishing reading this novel. But what does that mean, how is it typically MuThis book was so typically Murakami. That's the first thought I had upon finishing reading this novel. But what does that mean, how is it typically Murakami? It's in the similarities of the characters, it's in the type of plot. Somehow Murakami recycles a lot, the constant emphasis on music, the disappearing wives or girlfriends. In many ways, his books are far too similar. And yet, and yet, none of his books become boring to read. At least, not to me.
This book was a sequel to A Wild Sheep Chase, which means that we once again become reacquianted with those gorgeous ears of his previous girlfriend's, and the Sheep Man makes another appearance again as well. But overall, this book definitely stands on his own, and is by far the most fun of Murakami's book that I've read. Any book that makes me laugh out loud on a bus is a good, fun book.
It was also full of interesting characters. Gotanda especially is one of Murakami's richer characters, I think, a highly talented guy who is trapped in the web of life. I thought Murakami caught him brilliantly. Yuki, a younger, remarkable girl was also fascinating to read about. Interesting female characters, Murakami has a certain rule book for them. And yet they're still interesting to read about.
Overall, the book was just a lot of fun. Despite all the oddness of everything that happens, there are some wise lessons you can take home from the book:
1) You need to keep dancing through life. 2) Everyone has a talent. The main character of this book was particularly good at making coffee, for instance. Basically: everyone has a talent. You just need to find yours. 3) Feeling guilt about things you should've done while someone was still alive is useless and insincere. 4) Clint Eastwood really, really should smile more in his movies.
Such a cute story, even though nothing really happened and the romance went nowhere. I just loved the feeling I got while reading this, and will definSuch a cute story, even though nothing really happened and the romance went nowhere. I just loved the feeling I got while reading this, and will definitely be picking up one of the other Kawakami books at the library sometime soon....more
Niet een boek dat ik me lang zal herinneren, maar het was vluchtig te lezen, ook al was het verhaal af en toe een beetje bizar. Het echte verrassendeNiet een boek dat ik me lang zal herinneren, maar het was vluchtig te lezen, ook al was het verhaal af en toe een beetje bizar. Het echte verrassende aan het boek is echter het jij-perspectief dat Mulisch gebruikt. Ik had nooit gedacht dat een jij-perspectief echt zou kunnen werken, maar Mulisch bewijst dat het kan, en nog grappig kan zijn ook.
Ik heb altijd een hekel gehad aan Mulisch (jeugdtrauma's met dank aan de basisschool, wie behandelt er dan ook in godsnaam De Aanslag in groep 7/8?), maar ik zou nu misschien toch overwegen iets meer van zijn werk te lezen....more
What a mess. Interesting story idea, but poorly executed. There was no emotional depth to the story at all - throwing in tons of facts about the charaWhat a mess. Interesting story idea, but poorly executed. There was no emotional depth to the story at all - throwing in tons of facts about the characters does not equal round characters either -, without knowledge of Russian fairytales most of this book will go over your head... and just the main plot development was lacking. A classic example of a story needing more showing rather than telling.
Shame, I really did like the premise, but that was about all there was to like....more