I'm not really sure how you rate and review a classic book. I liked re-reading it for the first time as an adult. It was enjoyable.
I probably read th...moreI'm not really sure how you rate and review a classic book. I liked re-reading it for the first time as an adult. It was enjoyable.
I probably read this sometime in Junior High, maybe, and I have no memory of ever connecting the story to Stalinist Russia.
I'm not sure what Orwell thinks caused the Utopia to become so distorted and terrible. Was it one man (pig?), Napoleon, who was just so evil, or was it the stupidity of the other animals? Does the book suggest if Napoleon hadn't been there, the Utopian experiment may have succeeded, or do we think it would have become inevitably distorted, no matter what, because there will always be animals who are smarter than other animals, and they will naturally eventually come to lead and control? I am not sure what I think.(less)
Amazing book. I re-read this before tackling book 2, which I will be starting immediately. The writing is more than impressive, and the cartooning is...moreAmazing book. I re-read this before tackling book 2, which I will be starting immediately. The writing is more than impressive, and the cartooning is masterful. My only gripe, and the reason I didn't give it 5-stars, is that the drawing style is such that it's sometimes tricky to differentiate the characters from one another, especially some of the more minor ones. (less)
This is the first book I've read by Philip K. Dick. I loved how details about the future were slowly revealed, or sometimes only hinted at. You gather...moreThis is the first book I've read by Philip K. Dick. I loved how details about the future were slowly revealed, or sometimes only hinted at. You gather that in the future, Earth is so overpopulated, people have begun emigrating to Mars. It is implied that advances in medicine are partially to blame for the overpopulation - or at least, that's what I took from Manfred Steiner's recurring vision of himself as a 200 year-old man, half-machine, kept alive by tubes and wires, because of regulations.
All of the characters were well-written, and pleasurable to read. I especially enjoyed Arnie Kott, a character who could have been more of an evil caricature, who ended up being sometimes likeable, and complex.(less)
**spoiler alert** I'm taking the title of the book, and the explanation of it from within the story, to refer to the sense of importance and connectio...more**spoiler alert** I'm taking the title of the book, and the explanation of it from within the story, to refer to the sense of importance and connection that the protagonist feels for various distant members of her family over the course of her lifetime. The Rain Before It Falls is something that doesn't exist, but is something that can still give someone comfort or reassurance. The narrator follows a pattern of believing herself to play an important role in the lives of her cousin, her cousin's daughter, and then her granddaughter.
I found that as I read the book I also believed that the narrator's role in those other lives was significant, but this is undercut in a later scene where the daughter of the cousin reveals that the cousin never speaks of the narrator. Though she sees herself as a mysterious shadowy benefactor to the family, their lives continue unaffected by her, through patterns of abuse and neglect that get carried from one generation to the next. The only time that these circles and patterns are really broken, are when the youngest child, Imogen, is removed from the family altogether and given a new lease on life, where she really does find happiness.
This story made me think about the ways we probably often think of ourselves as having a role in the lives of others, but can never really know what real significance we have. At the end, the person listening to the story attempts to create some meaning from what she now knows, something to make it all seem connected, like there's something bigger than all of us, making sense of it all, but she can't articulate the thought before mundane real-life interrupts once again.(less)
I thought the art in this book was great. If the artist *only* had an inventive way of drawing (he draws with water, and then drips ink over it), then...moreI thought the art in this book was great. If the artist *only* had an inventive way of drawing (he draws with water, and then drips ink over it), then it would be an interesting gimmick, but wouldn't sustain a 300+ page book. However, he's got a lot more going for him than just his technique - the expressions and body language on the characters are really natural looking, and everything has a great sense of weight.
The writing wasn't so immediately impressive, and it took me a while to get swept up in the story. However, it eventually won me over, leaving me completely invested in Alan's story, and wishing there was more to read. There's not much "war" in the book, and instead the focus shifts to the guy's life after getting out of Europe, and where he goes from there, which was something I liked.(less)