In giving a one star to Twain's classic, I feel I owe the literary world an explanation. Reasons for disliking this book have been noted among other oIn giving a one star to Twain's classic, I feel I owe the literary world an explanation. Reasons for disliking this book have been noted among other one star reviews: unrealistic/illogical character motivations, hard-to-read language and slang, portrayal of race and race relations, boring, too much adventure, and many many more. I can see all of those things, but they are not the reasons I have for giving this work a one star. I have to give it a one star because the book in its narrative is lacking so much in basic reality that it is flat-out sloppy.
The "unreliable narrator" style, typical in books written from the perspective of children, mentally challenged individuals, substance abusers and others of this sort is what I'm referring to. I know I can appreciate this style of narrative as I've enjoyed many books and even movies done in this style. In Huck Finn's case, my issue is that the truth is so far removed from the fantasy (Huck Finn's ridiculous dialogue) that it becomes tedious and frustrating to figure out what is true and what isn't. And it's my belief and understanding that it is in the way the message is conveyed in this book which earns its honor in American History as a classic. I do not find the message conveyed clearly, uniquely or any way other than sloppily. This book is a train wreck of run-on sentences, rambling, and untidy tangents.
I don't know about others, but as a reader, I feel bullied and overwhelmed by the narrative style. It's like being in a room with a very uncomfortable person listening to them ramble about some sort of obsession in a stream of consciousness with code only decipherable to fellow mad men. I sincerely don't understand why anyone would enjoy the experience of reading this book. It's tiresome and frustrating and entirely too much to sift through in order to reach any sort of foundation if one exists to begin with.
On the other hand, if this is an example of a book which captures the spirit of the innocent, which depicts the fantastical imaginings of a child, then developmental psychologists across the world need to re-examine current models of mental development in children of Huck Finn's approximate age (10-14?) range to investigate the pervasive detachment from reality in which the majority of American readers seem to place our youth. In other words, I find the narrative of Huck Finn insulting to kids his age and anyone's understanding of typical coping skills in unfortunate circumstances.
The message of the story is a good one - it's one that has been told in many other ways and in some cases better ways - but the bottom line for me is that the ends does not, in my experience, justify the means when it comes to this book. ...more
Featuring the whimsical prose of the introspective young main character, this book sets a mood for heavy poetic descriptions and laments into her thouFeaturing the whimsical prose of the introspective young main character, this book sets a mood for heavy poetic descriptions and laments into her thoughts. The reader will travel with the character and learn of the epic story of Rebecca, revealed piece by piece. The subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) pieces are enough to aid the reader in figuring out Rebecca's startling story on his or her own, but some of the twists of the book are beyond the imagination of even the most clever reader.
The strengths of this book are its remarkable organization, its prose which often times caused me to stop to ponder a quote or a particular idea, the brilliantly vivid descriptions, some literary risks that the author took that worked, and most of all, its stabbing ending. While it has often been described as a page turner, I can say that I was able to put it down during the first half relatively easily, but the last fourth of the book I could not put down.
The weaknesses of the story is more a matter of personal preference. I personally don't like traditional British writing for its wordiness/over descriptions. However, the descriptions were bearable as they were poetic and charming. I also had a hard time identifying with the characters and was a bit frustrated with the main character at times, but this all ended up serving a greater purpose in the end.
In all this book went beyond expectations in its story line, and fell short of some (it didn't turn out to be my oh my goodness favorite book ever). No doubt that fans of British writing style should love this story which has definitely earned its place among the classics....more
The classic true crime book written by the famed Truman Capote earned its place in history as the first book of its nature - an attempt to combine jouThe classic true crime book written by the famed Truman Capote earned its place in history as the first book of its nature - an attempt to combine journalism with storytelling for the purpose of creating a compelling tale. In this sense, the book doesn't disappoint at all. It was well chronicled and sometimes even overly inclusive of the facts, testimonies, and articles published from various accounts surrounding the murder that this book covered.
I was greatly interested in the pyschological picture painted of the two men who were guilty of the murder and I was also equally interested in the way the book was organized. From the beginning, the reader not only knows exactly who was to be killed, but also who was to do it.
On the other hand, the way the story was told was through what seemed to this reader to be long winded paragraphs portraying things such as the architecture, weather, or setting which didn't seem to add to the story in any way for me (though, in his favor, I must say that it also didn't take away from the story either).
Also, while I am someone who is 100 percent against the death penalty, it was somewhat off-putting that the last half of the 4th part seemed to be nothing but propaganda against the death penalty. I did feel that this took away from the author's intent which I understand to be to tell the story, as objectively as possible, presented as factual while still making it compelling. Besides the death penalty propaganda, this was achieved.
Since his writing of this book, more true crime stories have followed, some in which this reader even prefers. However, one must take into account while reading this book the risk Capote took while undertaking such a risk in writing and appreciate and respect him as an author for making that risk work....more
This is a masterpiece, well written, extremely well organized contemporary style book. It is often compared to The Catcher in the Rye, while I think tThis is a masterpiece, well written, extremely well organized contemporary style book. It is often compared to The Catcher in the Rye, while I think that the angst in this book isn't so apparent.
For anyone who has suffered through a mental disorder or knows someone else who has, this is a must read as it is very articulate in how it describes the process of slipping into depression....more