At times, I was frustrated with the weight given to NYC and for a while it almost seems like too much background material. Yet, after finishing this bAt times, I was frustrated with the weight given to NYC and for a while it almost seems like too much background material. Yet, after finishing this book, I understand more and know more than simply Harriet Tubman. Rich in information....more
Everyone knows that no one event is remembered the same way by everyone involved. Memory becomes even harder to pin dow Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
Everyone knows that no one event is remembered the same way by everyone involved. Memory becomes even harder to pin down when those involved in the event have reason not to remember or lose that memory though illness or death.
In many ways, this hard to search for truth is what Borzeix is trying to straighten out in this book. He wants to discover the truth behind the death of four people, perhaps connected to the Resistance, as well as more about the fifth man that not everyone talks about. The fifth man was a Jewish man whose family survived the Holocaust. It is a discussion and a letter about a memorial and tombstone that, in part, sets Borzeix upon his quest. He also seems possessed by a desire to discover and come to terms with Occupied France’s treatment of its Jewish population.
The investigation aspect of the book is engrossing, if a little disorganized. At times, the direction of the book is a little choppy to follow. That said, the most important parts of the book conceal the sections about memory, in particular national memory and a struggle to come to terms with a nation’s past. Considering that is something many nations are dealing with, it brings the work a step above most. ...more
For many people, the title of Rankin’s “Bibliomystery” will make them think of Hans Christen Andersen’s fairy tale of thDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley
For many people, the title of Rankin’s “Bibliomystery” will make them think of Hans Christen Andersen’s fairy tale of the same title.
Well, Rankin does draw a bit from Andersen’s story of a spirit of a dead man, but not in the obvious way.
Rankin’s novella draws upon the work of Robert Louis Stevenson and despite being set in Paris, seems to be channeling Edinburgh. A young student in Paris before finishing his studies about Stevenson is sent by his employer to look at some old books. What follows is part dark fairy tale (along the lines of Andersen’s “The Shadow”), part Stevenson at his best story, and part literary mystery.
In other words, it is a book lover’s dream. ...more
In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that of the movies and books that Oliver discusses in this book, I haDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that of the movies and books that Oliver discusses in this book, I have not read the Twilight series, Insurgent Series, The Hunger Games, or seen the movie Hanna in its entirety. I have read 50 Shades of Grey (I wish I hadn’t) and part of the Hunger Games.
To say this is an interesting book would be wrong. It is a rather unique look at a raising cultural trend. You may end up disagreeing with Oliver but at the very least, she will make you think.
Oliver’s focus is on the prevalence of young girls in movies who at first glance seem to kick ass. While much of the movies she deals with were books first, Oliver’s discussion is primary focused on the film versions of the various series. This, on one level, is understandable because the film undoubtedly reaches a wider audience, but also because it is the creative output of more than one person. Oliver contends that while the more active “princess” character is good, there is something off about the vast numbers of girls who get beaten and almost raped, usually beaten at one point by the boy she loves. Oliver’s analysis of this beating the girl up is most powerful when she discusses the Kick-Ass series. In these sections, Oliver also considers the camera angles and views.
The connection between the hunting girls and campus date rape is not as quite strong as it could be. The strongest point is the link is between 50 Shades and campus date rape, a connection that Oliver makes. She always draws connections to the old Sleeping Beauty stories (where the prince rapes Sleeping Beauty) as well. The connection to Bella, Katniss, and Tris is less clear, though not due to Oliver’s writing. The hunter as hunted is good, but she seems to be on surer ground when she deals with the boy being controlled and forced to attack the heroine. The connections she makes between such scenes and campus/date rape is rather powerful as is the use of social media in the various movies and how it connects to interactions with social media in the real world.
Also of interest is when Oliver compares the hunting girls of today to the animal loving girls of the movies. It is a valid point, this switch to hunting animals and no longer protector of animals. These passages in particular raise several questions – is it identifying the girls more closely with the male world, is it a symbol of strength or something else? This leads into a discussion about Artemis, the first girl with a bow, and what she symbolized.
I do wish that Oliver had considered more of the role of other women in the stories. Isn’t it just as damaging and dangerous to have only the heroine be the only capable female in the story. This trend, sadly, is seen in more than young adult kick ass heroines. At the very least, however, she does get the reader to think about the portrayal of girls as action heroes, and whether so much blood must be shed by them. ...more
The good - Craughwell's chapters detailing the society of the time, in particular the immigration issues are wonderful. You really understand the timeThe good - Craughwell's chapters detailing the society of the time, in particular the immigration issues are wonderful. You really understand the time period.