I guess I can't hate this book. After reading The Fountainhead, I found myself crushing on Objectivism and Rand's brand of rugged self-reliance. Intri...moreI guess I can't hate this book. After reading The Fountainhead, I found myself crushing on Objectivism and Rand's brand of rugged self-reliance. Intrigued, I picked up Atlas. 1000 pages later I closed the book, opened my window and threw it into the street. This book cured me forever of this flat, willingly shortsighted b*llshit religion.
I've had my run-ins with the devout and the dogmatic fans of Rand and the big O and their reluctance to even nod towards the notion that saying A is A and that Objective Reality is Real is so much wasted air surprises me. How can a person interrogate the real to such a degree, be engaged in the real so deeply so as to love it and come to rely on it the way an Objectivist *must* and not see how any deep dive into the Universe always, *must* produce nothing but doubt? Mystifying, really. It's turtles the whole way down, that's what I always say.
The characters are awful, beyond cartoonish and they do nothing but mouth Rand's words. All the people that care about their fellow humans are evil. Any motive but self-interest is evil. All situations point to the inevitable and quick demise of any collectivist pursuit or charity. John Galt finally delivers a 50 page long radio speech to the entire country at the end and changes everyone's mind with his words about selfishness and we are led to believe that things begin to really look up after this.
But seriously. What a crock. This book was written when Roosevelt's actions during the Depression were recent memories and the ultra-wealthy (well, at least by the standards of the time) were all hot to further centralize wealth. Well, guess what? They got what they wanted and everything sucks. Yay.(less)
already astonishing. the essay titled "The Helpers" completely blew my mind. So fresh, so oriented towards the hidden and sacred. Things that I would...morealready astonishing. the essay titled "The Helpers" completely blew my mind. So fresh, so oriented towards the hidden and sacred. Things that I would write if I could write anything. I'll update when I complete it.(less)
So my read of this book in 94 was the occasion of my first seeing genre sci-fi's big problem: endings. Who knows why, but people that write about the...moreSo my read of this book in 94 was the occasion of my first seeing genre sci-fi's big problem: endings. Who knows why, but people that write about the future generally can't end a book to save their lives.
This book had a brilliant set up, a great chase, fantastic writing about amazing virtual reality future drugs, wonderous speculation about the future and what it said about today, and the the worst, most hurried, unedited, junk ending you could imagine.
So. I think this was reading number four. I know, I know, what's with these books that I read over and over again. I don't think that I can tell you p...moreSo. I think this was reading number four. I know, I know, what's with these books that I read over and over again. I don't think that I can tell you past the fact that recently I was walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and I knew that I had to read The Wind-up Bird Chronicle again.
A lot of people get down on Murikami. Always writing these books that start with men alone in the kitchen, listening to jazz on the radio while the cook, when someone or something interrupts them. It is true. 80% of all his fiction does start this way. And his men are passive and mellow. And the women are all mysterious and put out. It is true. All of these things. But. But. He really does work something on some deep level that is perfect and fantastic.
So I have a thing that I do hate. I hate the weird, very very weird Japanese film melodrama. I'm sorry that I do, but there is a weird narrative seriousness that just gets urn my skin. And that's what makes my deep-seated love for this book inexplicable... Because on the surface it looks like it shares most everything with that straight faces romanticism that I hate in the films, but it doesn't. Not really. Not at all. These people are flat and really weird and so so so very serious, but there is a humanity that is hard to place under the whole thing but that is rich and wide and beautiful.
So this book. It is good. It is Infinite Jest good but different in every way. And lovely. And easy and compelling to read. And it leaves you in a such a delicate, sweet and magic place when you finish. Read it. Read it and hate it if you must, but read it. (less)
Unbelievably bad book from one of my favorite writers. I liked parts of it well enough to like them but no where near well enough to enjoy the book in...moreUnbelievably bad book from one of my favorite writers. I liked parts of it well enough to like them but no where near well enough to enjoy the book in any way.
Also, (possible spoiler here) the last 20% of the book was just totally and depressingly bad.(less)