Like many other reviewers I saw the movie adaptation before I read the book. At first I felt like I had heard this story before and thought it was whi...moreLike many other reviewers I saw the movie adaptation before I read the book. At first I felt like I had heard this story before and thought it was whiney. The people leave their homeland, have trouble adapting to new situations, feel alienated, and then eventually blend their two cultures. I thought the book did a great job of making you really care about the characters, more so than the movie. I won’t give anything away but I was very satisfied with the ending because it was less predictable than the rest of the book. All the food references are so colorful they practically make your mouth water. Overall the book was a little boring, but well written and a worth while read. (less)
The book is overflowing with symbolism, and was very interesting to analyze. Power and control are a big motif, and the symbolism of the river is used...moreThe book is overflowing with symbolism, and was very interesting to analyze. Power and control are a big motif, and the symbolism of the river is used throughout the book. The plot really picks up about three fourths of the way through, and I couldn’t put it down. The lives of the small town characters are filled with scandal, affairs, murders, and mysteries. There are a lot of characters to keep track of which can get a little confusing. I found it a little boring for the first half at least, but if you can tough out the boring beginning the end is really good. Also, never see the movie, its awful and like ten hours long.
I liked Bel Canto a lot. Gen, the patient adorable translator, was the most perfect man in the world and I fell in love with him. Roxanne Coss, the st...moreI liked Bel Canto a lot. Gen, the patient adorable translator, was the most perfect man in the world and I fell in love with him. Roxanne Coss, the stuck up self important Opera singer, actually grew on me by the end. Many of the characters, or actually all, experience the psychological response to their hostage situation called Stockholm syndrome. There is a distinct line drawn between the outside world, and the pleasant worry free world inside the hostage house. Time seems to stop, language barriers are broken, and music unites everyone, captors and hostages alike. The middle section drags on a bit describing every day life for several months inside the house, but the end is shocking and worth the wait. What is especially interesting is the real life hostage situation that parallels Bel Canto, I think everyone who reads bel canto should read a little bit into the real life event. (less)
I was not a huge fan of Tortilla Curtain, it was supposed to be realistic but I didn’t think the plot was very plausible. I think it would be good for...moreI was not a huge fan of Tortilla Curtain, it was supposed to be realistic but I didn’t think the plot was very plausible. I think it would be good for someone who didn’t think of immigration as a human topic. I understand that some people look at the bigger picture and don’t think of the individuals affected by immigration. You see the conflicts that arise for both sides of the argument. On one hand you have the pregnant Mexican woman who tries so hard to find work, scrounges for food, and is raped multiple times. On the other hand you have the upper-class suburban family who build a wall to keep the “coyotes” out. There are many obvious metaphors that are sometimes annoyingly blatant. First of all the Mexican woman’s name is “America.” Really? You’re not even going to attempt to be subtle? The book does a good job of showing both sides of the issue, but does not make a stand on which side is right which I found frustrating. I kept trying to find something to agree with, or disagree with, or feel any kind of emotion towards. I guess the issue just didn’t pull me in. (less)
I didn’t like atonement very much due to the writing style and the character development. Especially in part 1, the writing is very flowery and excess...moreI didn’t like atonement very much due to the writing style and the character development. Especially in part 1, the writing is very flowery and excessively descriptive. Mcewan was writing beautifully solely for the purpose of beautiful writing. It was boring and uneventful, reading it was tedious and unrewarding. Briony is a bratty drama queen who drove me crazy from the pages and made me feel like I was babysitting annoying children. Once the boring beginning is over the story shifts to Robbie at war; pages upon pages of military jargon and continuing eventless plot. The end made me so mad and I was actually angry at Briony as if she were a real person. The love between Cecilia and Robbie is cute but seemed unrealistic and weird. I liked the movie a lot better than the book but I didn’t love either. (less)
Jeannette Walls Memoir the Glass Castle is an amazing and horrifying collection of tales from her childhood written without the self righteous tone th...moreJeannette Walls Memoir the Glass Castle is an amazing and horrifying collection of tales from her childhood written without the self righteous tone that many memoirs take on. As you read about her life, you feel the same way she feels in the book. Her Father Rex Walls makes a great character but an awful parent. Because this is a true story, the author captures the struggles of dealing with an alcoholic family member perfectly. It is hard to hate him because he has many sweet moments and is very loving, but makes so many mistakes and empty promises he is constantly disappointing you. There are many themes of unconditional love, hope, and forgiveness. In my opinion Jeannette tends to be too forgiving and had me wishing she would stand up for herself and stop letting her dad ruin her life. I was never frustrated with the way the book was written, just the way the characters acted, who weren’t even characters but rather, real people making mistakes. (less)