Excellent book, unexpected developments and poetic overtures of emotion! "I could feel the tears beginning to collect in my throat again, but I pushed...moreExcellent book, unexpected developments and poetic overtures of emotion! "I could feel the tears beginning to collect in my throat again, but I pushed them apart, away from each other. Tears are only a threat in groups." And "...relying on him was like closing a hand around air" And " I felt my usual pool of politeness draining away" Beautiful tangible feelings, delicious on the tongue mark every page!(less)
I heard Chuck Palahniuk is a fan of Hempel's work, so I thought I would check it out. The short stories put the tiny in stories. They are interesting...moreI heard Chuck Palahniuk is a fan of Hempel's work, so I thought I would check it out. The short stories put the tiny in stories. They are interesting and very clever, but each time I start one I feel as though a sneeze is coming that never arrives. I find myself finishing her stories in my head. Still, some of these tiny stories carry profound wisdom. In one story she writes, "How far do you take a thing like this? I think you take it all the way to hear. We give what we can--that's as far as the heart can go." "..a dinner they had shared, the point of which seemed to me to be that things get worse before they get really terrible."
I devoured this book. It was an incredibly intense read! I immediately bought the next 3 in the series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enj...moreI devoured this book. It was an incredibly intense read! I immediately bought the next 3 in the series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys vampires and sizzle!(less)
I picked this book up in Chicago today and read it through completely. What would have been a dull afternoon at O'Hare was spent completely engrossed...moreI picked this book up in Chicago today and read it through completely. What would have been a dull afternoon at O'Hare was spent completely engrossed in this book. First, the title is perfect. The notion of prime number is so romantic, divisible only by 1 and by themselves is an incredible metaphor. The story follows a boy and a girl from the moment their lives splintered into fractured selves: a cutter and an anorexic. As the children grow from adolescents into adults, their lives change and remain the same in equal parts. Twin primes, close to each other but prevented from truly touching each other by an even number. I sighed when I reached the end. "Why, not?" I couldn't help but ask. These are the sort of characters so richly described, so intriguing that I found myself wondering what happened next for each of them.
There were many brilliant descriptions of the characters and the depth of feeling between them or their individual idiosyncrasies. One such description was of Alice. Mattia describes,"something in the violence with which his friend satisfied her childish whims, that he found unbearable." Alice is often thinking in terms of the "weight of consequences" and not even the the anorexia can offset that weight. On Mattia, "he has the posture of someone who doesn't know how to occupy the space of his own body." Mattie laments that "Choices are made in brief seconds and paid for in the time that remains."
I was also struck by this description of Fabio "He knew how to build a shelter for himself even before he needed one." "The love of those we don't love in return settles on the surface and from there quickly evaporates."
I was reminded of myself when I read this "We never know how to say good-bye to one another, you and me" "..feeling special is the worst kind of cage that a person can build for himself."
I highly recommend this book. I was rapt from the moment I picked it up(less)
This book follows the lives of several characters whose lives are connected by the fact that they share a living space. From the concierge, to the chi...moreThis book follows the lives of several characters whose lives are connected by the fact that they share a living space. From the concierge, to the child of privilege, to the mysterious penthouse tenant.
I could feel this book stretching my intellectual capacity. I loved the journal of profound thoughts that the youngest character keeps. One of the profound thoughts was What do you drink What do you read At breakfast And I know who You Are She uses this profound thought to sort out all the different kinds of people in the world. This leaves her Papa revealed as "having to construct himself " each morning from scratch. She notes that you pay a terrible price when you lead a false life. No truer words have been spoken!
The youngest character asks life questions that transcend her age, "...which is more traumatizing? A sister who dies because she;s been abandoned, or the lasting effects of the event-the fear that you will die if you don't stay where you belong."
Even though a few references to French politics went over my head, I enjoyed this book.(less)
Elizabeth Gilbert is a brilliant writer, so I started this book with much enthusiasm. My enthusiasm waned with each page. I kept reading because I was...moreElizabeth Gilbert is a brilliant writer, so I started this book with much enthusiasm. My enthusiasm waned with each page. I kept reading because I was sure that on the next page I would find some of the wit or spiritual wisdom that I loved in Eat, Pray, Love. In the end, I finished the book just to be sure she actually married Felipe. Sorry for the spoiler. The book is a literature review on marriage, a dry depressing review of marriage. The delivery of the details and history of marriage reach such a pitch at times that it feels more like an indictment of the state of matrimony. To be honest, I wanted the good news. So, I didn't love this book.
The book was not without passages that spoke to me:
"While human hearts make many promises, human minds can change."
"..the singular fantasy of human intimacy,: that one plus one will somehow, someday, equal one."
"Wanting to get married, for me, is all about a desire to feel chosen...that I am precious enough to have been selected by somebody forever."
"the moral joy of love" Tolstoy
"Marriage is those two thousand indistinguishable conversations, chatted over two thousand indistinguishable breakfasts, where intimacy turns like a slow wheel. How do you measure the worth of becoming familiar to somebody--so utterly well known and so thoroughly ever-present that you beco me an almost invisible necessity, like air?" Jack Gilbert
"This is intimacy: the trading of stories in the dark"
This book is not for romantics, but if you have a more clinical view of marriage you may find this to be an enjoyable read!(less)
I spontaneously picked this book up in the DC airport. I really loved it! I finished it in 1 flight a couple settings. The story is about a family and...moreI spontaneously picked this book up in the DC airport. I really loved it! I finished it in 1 flight a couple settings. The story is about a family and the struggles they face over several months. What makes the book interesting is that the family is Native American, so there is an underlying cultural story interwoven with the present day challenge. The other interesting point about this book is the premise-a wife writes in 2 journals. The first is the diary that her husband is reading. When she discovers this violation, she begins a second diary which is kept in a safety deposit box at the local bank. The wife begins to use the first diary to manipulate her husband in an effort to secure the freedom of her and her family. The characters are all messy, psychologically marred and almost entirely without boundaries. The writing is emotionally convincing, offering a real peek inside the psyche of all the characters.
Great lines from the book include:
On the marriage the husband writes, "He was pretty sure she had married him for his art and then slowly found that his art was no fun to live with." On the marriage the wife writes, "I cannot simply backspace emotionally and fall back in love." On Love, "Infatuation, sudden attraction, is partly a fever of surfaces, an absence of knowledge. Falling in love is also falling into knowledge. Enduring love comes when we love most of what we learn about the other person and can tolerate the faults they cannot change."
"How you loved us, marred by anger, how you hated yourself, marred by vanity, and how you loved us. Like crazy. In a mean way. But love is love."
"He regarded his body with a tender regret. It was a thing his spirit had to haul."
The ending of the book was disappointing to me. It took me a day to realize it was the only way it could end, because it is not what I was expecting.
I highly recommend this book. If you enjoy seeing the inner emotional terrain (peeping tom style) of people in relationships, you will enjoy this book.(less)
I heard this book reviewed on NPR and put it on hold at the library in February. It just came in yesterday and I read it through. It had a lot more se...moreI heard this book reviewed on NPR and put it on hold at the library in February. It just came in yesterday and I read it through. It had a lot more sexual content than I expected. The main character, Arno, is quite the perv! Still, I loved the premise that he could snap the world to a stop and do his best/worst with women. His masturbatory interludes were not as offensive as his proud journey through "rot". He fancies himself an erotica author, but his erotica was the most offensive part of the entire book, not at all tantalizing.
This book is not for the faint of heart. The inner perv dialogue is reminiscent of Chuck Palaniuk but he doesn't fully explore the inner complexities of his character or society as well as Palaniuk. (less)