It took me awhile but I made it through Pickwick. Dickens truly is a master of collecting stories and weaving them together to show how complicated anIt took me awhile but I made it through Pickwick. Dickens truly is a master of collecting stories and weaving them together to show how complicated and ridiculous life is. You meet all sorts of people in your life adventure and they can impact you in a variety of ways. You laugh, you cry, get arrested, get married, avert death, get drunk, and all along you pray that you have close friends and family members to help you move between the moments that make life worth living.
While Dickens didn't write it in his book and the movie "Just married" is not the first to make this point, I think it applies here: "You never see the hard days in a photo album... but those are the ones that get you from one happy snapshot to the next." I had the same feeling at the end of Pickwick. ...more
I learned many fascinating things about Mr. T and Chuck Norris, but my favorite was "When Mr. T was circumcised his foreskin was not disposed of. InstI learned many fascinating things about Mr. T and Chuck Norris, but my favorite was "When Mr. T was circumcised his foreskin was not disposed of. Instead it was raised as a normal child, and it grew to love the game of basketball. Today we know Mr. T's foreskin as Shaquille O'Neal." If you enjoy the depth of creativity it takes to think of a statement like that and how over the top Chuck Norris and Mr. T already are, then this is the book for you. Plus the illustrations are boss....more
Monica Ali is one of the most talented writers of prose that I have read in a long time. She can even made dust sound interesting. "And the dust - itMonica Ali is one of the most talented writers of prose that I have read in a long time. She can even made dust sound interesting. "And the dust - it came from nowhere, like a plague, and it could not be cured." There are numerous other images that will stick with me for a long time.
The book is about the journey of enlightenment told by Nazneen as she goes through the stages of her life. She was born in a small village in East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and sent to England in an arranged marriage to a much older Bangladeshi man. Her sister remains in Bangladesh and stays involved with the story through the letters that she writes to Nazneen. Like the rest of us, Nazneen lives in the real world, but for her the harshness is softened by her ignorance of it. Her husband is not much better as he suffers from the same illusion of grandeur that many of us suffer from. Needless to say, all of the characters are very identifiable to a wide range of people.
While Nazneen may let the world outside of her fly by, there is an incredible amount of thought and emotion that is bursting in her head that finally finds a way out in the last 100 pages. It is very satisfying to see her grow from a meek village girl in a strange land to completely embracing her community.
A word on the controversy surrounding the book and movie. Nazneen was raised as a Muslim and there are many overtones and messages through out the book that the author may or may not agree with. They are included because of the political and religious climate that we live in and some of the content of the book is incendiary. The author dismisses most of the controversy since she claims that most of the protesters in 2007 did not read the book nor did they understand the point.
Overall, I highly recommend that you take the time to read the book. I admit that I put it down three times before I could finish it because sometimes the book solely relies on her prose with no action or moving the plot forward....more
By far one of the most bizarre short stories I have ever read. According to the introduction, Dostoevsky purposefully leaves the boundary between fantBy far one of the most bizarre short stories I have ever read. According to the introduction, Dostoevsky purposefully leaves the boundary between fantasy and reality undetermined. The point of view is always from the main character's mind and like our own minds, his is jumbled, non-linear, and full of thoughts. This makes the story hard to follow and allows for a lot a fun guessing whether the main character is having a mental breakdown or that the world has thrown him quite a curve ball when a man arrives that looks just like him and has the same name. For a long time it feels like "Fight Club" and yet there is never that moment of clarity when you realize that Ed Norton has been imagining Brad Pitt the whole time.
Dostoevsky succeeds like he did in his later book, "Crime and Punishment," in taking the reader straight into the main character's thoughts, emotions and interactions. I was caught up in the story early on and felt everything that the character felt. Chapter VII where the double shares his life story with the main character and the final chapter are two of the best sections of the book and truly highlight the amazing ability of Dostoevsky to weave a story that is engaging and endearing. Only a masterful author could take the story on a fantastical journey that starts from the heart-wrenching bonds of brotherhood to the foul depths of a broken mind.
The style chosen by Dostoevsky may allow access into the intimate thoughts of one main, but it makes reading tough. There were a few sections where I had to go back and read it again to be clear on what was happening and who was involved with the conversation. Dostoevsky repeats full character names multiple times in one sentence, which becomes a bit annoying near the end of the book. The main character is also a babbling idiot (in fact he states so multiple times) and converses as though he is speaking straight from his brain with no pauses to gather his thoughts. This choice by Dostoevsky works in many places in the book, but also starts to grate near the end.
Overall, a great read and as the introductions states, "The striking originality of "The Double" passed the critics by." I feel that without this critical failure, Dostoevsky would not have been exiled to Siberia and may never have written "Crime and Punishment," which would have been a true tragedy....more
Best Book in the Series. After the 200-300 pages of mostly internal monologue and narration, Koontz breaks out into the best run of dialogue in any ofBest Book in the Series. After the 200-300 pages of mostly internal monologue and narration, Koontz breaks out into the best run of dialogue in any of the four books. I cannot wait for the fifth book or an Odd Thomas movie....more
Best book of the series thus far. Rowling starts off very slow and in a prose that is more reflective of a movie script than the familiar charm of theBest book of the series thus far. Rowling starts off very slow and in a prose that is more reflective of a movie script than the familiar charm of the previous books. Finally she breaks out of that and builds momentum when Harry arrives at Hogwarts. This book features the presence of many adult themes as Harry and his friends are sixteen and growing up fast. I can't stop thinking about how she will finish the series and I have to pick it up soon....more