The Path of No Resistance purports to hold the key to achieving a more successful, productive, and satisfying life. To Garrett Kramer the one thing The Path of No Resistance purports to hold the key to achieving a more successful, productive, and satisfying life. To Garrett Kramer the one thing that you must do in order to be successful is to stop thinking. If you can quiet your mind, you'll be more in tune with your emotions, and if you're more in tune with your emotions than your mind will automatically reset any negative feelings you have. That's the essence of the book.
While I think that he has a good point when it comes to clearing away negative thoughts, I don't think this advice is the best for people suffering from mood disorders or dealing with toxic relationships. For minor issues, however, the advice is good. You can generally communicate more clearly and from a better spot if you're calm, and the bulk of bad performance in sport seems to come from thinking too much.
The low rating then, is not entirely due to the message. The low rating mainly comes from the fact that I didn't enjoy the way the book was written. It was scattered with anecdotes that were either redundant or not terrifically helpful. The book felt repetitive more than much else, and several grammatical errors really grated on me: most strongly, the use of the phrase "I could care less." It isn't that difficult to correct to "couldn't."
I did enjoy the formatting, however. The use of summaries and bullet points halfway through the chapter and again at the end helped to drive home the points made. I just wish there had been more points, overall.
Finally, I thought the inclusion of a rather large selection of quotes in the Appendix was questionable at best and self-congratulatory at worst....more
This is the work of Siobhan Dowd, whom Patrick Ness received the illustrations from to write this novel.For a moment pause and take a look at this.
This is the work of Siobhan Dowd, whom Patrick Ness received the illustrations from to write this novel. Dowd didn't live long enough to see the finished product, but I like to believe she would have been in awe of how beautifully the illustrations line up with the story Ness created. It's a testimony to Ness's ability that the story lines up so well with what took Dowd from this world.
The art is stunning, and the writing suits it well.
Within the first few pages we are introduced to a monster. It isn't the monster, though it is quite monstrous. Sometimes the Green Man himself calls walking, when the cause is great enough to warrant it. Conor's cause is great enough, and before the book is done Conor will have to tell his story to the monster and himself.
This book made me cry. It made me think. It stuck in me like a thorn. This is a book I hope I'll never have to recommend to someone who truly needs it, but dear god am I glad it exists for so many reasons....more
Sometimes, when I'm out walking I make up stories about the people I see. I try to read their body langDo you ever think about the people around you?
Sometimes, when I'm out walking I make up stories about the people I see. I try to read their body language, to interpret what the little looks and pauses in their speech might mean. It's a more overt reading between the lines. I think everyone does it to some degree, especially on commutes where you're going to be seeing the same people every day. Most of us don't start to believe our fantasies, however. Most of us don't end up injecting ourselves into the other people's lives.
Rachel Watson, on the other hand, does just that.
Rachel's daily commute takes her past a certain house where she often sees the inhabitants out in the garden. She watches them, and the affection they show for one another. She makes up stories about what a wonderful life they must lead. All of her own wants and dreams are soon pinned on this ideal couple, until one day she sees the woman out with another man.
What on earth happened?
When the next day the woman goes missing, and Rachel can't remember just what she did the night before, the stage is set.
The Girl on the Train has been touted as an answer to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. It's easy to see why the comparison exists. Both books play with time and perspective to further the mystery. Both books play, to some extent, with unreliable narration although I believe that Paula Hawkins did a much better job of it. Both books deal with missing people, and deeply flawed individuals. I believe that where The Girl on the Train succeeds is often where Gone Girl failed. The Girl on the Train was, ultimately, more believable if only because it dealt with less manipulation and more flawed 'normal' characters attempting to do what they believe to be the right thing.
The action starts from page one, as does the intrigue. If you can put the book down after hitting page 40 I'd be deeply surprised. The writing style reminded me a great deal of Patricia Highsmith, and I don't say that lightly. The book kept me guessing, turning back through the pages to double-check dates, rushing forward to get to the conclusion. Right up until the final page the action didn't stop. It was an electric, riveting, train crash of a book.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to scratch that mystery itch. This is one of the good ones.
It starts as any good folktale does. We have our protagonist, a strange character that is better remembered for his attributes than his name and history. In this case, we have a dwarf with several strange abilities that emerge as the book goes on. We have the guide, an abnormally tall wolfish man with a secret. We have a quest: to get to the cave in the black mountain and take some of its cursed gold. And the guide has been there before, and he's not all that happy to go back.
The setting is at once familiar, as Neil Gaiman based it on the rolling hills of Skye, but utterly foreign. The mists reveal more than they obscure, as does the fortune teller they meet along the way. As the book goes on it becomes apparent that the ending was already foretold the moment the book began. It's inevitable. But like all characters of myth and legend, they still go on to their end in spite of what they might feel.
The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains is profusely illustrated. It's half told through text, half through pictures, through comic, creating a strange mixed medium that only enhances the story itself. To hear it read while looking at these images - that must have been a truly magical experience.
For all of my occasional trouble with Neil Gaiman when he is good, he is truly exceptional. This is one of those times....more