Something -- actually, so much -- about this book struck a chord so deeply inside me that I have a hard time finding the words to convey my feelings aSomething -- actually, so much -- about this book struck a chord so deeply inside me that I have a hard time finding the words to convey my feelings about it... I highly recommend it to any and all my expat friends in France who love the French language as much as I do. I could relate to much of what Mizubayashi shares in his recounting of his "relationship" with the French language, even if at times it was almost a touch too literary, with references that unfortunately were beyond my reach, given the fact that I haven't studied French literature itself in years. But again, Mizubayashi makes me want to go back to school, attack the French language and turn it inside-out, upside-down as he so aptly and beautifully does in his analysis. I wanted to underline so much in the book, but I restrained myself. And I of course was bowled over even more when he made his reference to Nancy Huston in the final pages of the epilogue....more
I enjoyed this book overall, although as many have already expressed here on Goodreads before me, the book managed to lose my interest about halfway tI enjoyed this book overall, although as many have already expressed here on Goodreads before me, the book managed to lose my interest about halfway through. And yet -- and yet, it kept my attention until the end, because I had to know what would happen to the characters. I was prepared for the voice change (from 3rd person to 1st person) moving into the second part because I had seen it mentioned here as well, so maybe it didn't bother me as much as it bothered others because I was prepared for it. And I can see why the author might have wanted to try to give us John's point of view directly, but I'm not sure it was as convincing as it could have been. I was intrigued by the interaction between the characters, but somehow the advertising angle ended up feeling a bit more contrived at the end. All in all, though, a fairly good read, especially for someone interested in art history, the complexity of relationships and even the advertising world....more
I am thoroughly enjoying this book! I didn't expect to be so immersed in it, and I hate having to put it down to get things done around the house... BI am thoroughly enjoying this book! I didn't expect to be so immersed in it, and I hate having to put it down to get things done around the house... Beautifully written.
As I finish this today (9/19/2011), I only have two words in mind: simply spectacular. This book has allowed me to discover so much more about an artist I knew little about, to really experience her writing, her inspirations, her rich background and evolution. I'm now scouring iTunes to listen to her music so I can glean a bit more of her personality, her poetry. And of course the book gave me a glimpse into Robert Mapplethorpe's work as well, in addition to a portrait of their friendship and unique relationship. I highly recommend this book, even if at times the references to so many artists, musicians and literary influences could be a bit overwhelming....more
Finally, finally, FINALLY a book that I can get excited about again! It's been such a long time, but that's probably my own fault -- my own distractioFinally, finally, FINALLY a book that I can get excited about again! It's been such a long time, but that's probably my own fault -- my own distractions, juggling two girls, thinking about other priorities. Just not much reading time left! But, especially because I'm short on time, it feels good to read a book that I know will stay with me and leave an imprint on me, that really makes me think, and that hits home in so many ways. If only I could write like this... I had been a bit disappointed with The Sorrows of An American, but Hustvedt's new novel is wonderful -- so far. I'm reading it slowly so I can savor it! I love the layers in the novel, and her writing style really appeals to me. This book reminds me more of What I Loved, in its descriptions of characters and little works of art, and also in the relationships. I'm going to try to make it last as long as possible!...more