In my opinion this book is even better than "The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy".
I think I've spent most of the time while reading this novel with myIn my opinion this book is even better than "The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy".
I think I've spent most of the time while reading this novel with my mouth opened. It's unbelievable what Adams was able to create around the constellations. The Restaurant at the end of the Universe which titles the book and the flying party building are marvellous creations. ...more
I don't like essays and usually I keep me away from them. But Kurt Vonnegut is first of all a man I've admired and envied so much. That's why I was reaI don't like essays and usually I keep me away from them. But Kurt Vonnegut is first of all a man I've admired and envied so much. That's why I was really curious to read his latest opinions on this post Semptember 11 world.
He hasn't disappointed my expectations. I guess Vonnegut would be able to interest me even writing about trigonometry, but what comes out from this short essay is once again his peculiarity as a man full of personal and original thoughts.
The title itself of the essay has made me think to the concept of Granfalloon which is expressed in "Cat's cradle". What does it mean? It's pretty easy if you know Bokononism: a Granfalloon is a false Karass. If you're not familiar whith The Book of Bokonon you just have to know that a Karass is an association of people in the world who have something in common, who independently from each other work for a same goal, sharing a similar fate. Countries, like the US, are Granfalloon because they pretend to create a common identity among people putting them under the same flag, the same language, the same laws and so on.
Kurt Vonnegut has no country, he's proud to consider himself a stateless person. What Vonnegut writes here is sharpened, objective and wise a hundred times more than every movie Michael Moore will ever do.
Unfortunately I'm not able to read French. All that I can take and follow is just something more of the general sense of an article or a short novel.Unfortunately I'm not able to read French. All that I can take and follow is just something more of the general sense of an article or a short novel. What a pity!
Excercises in Style is one of the funniest and maybe greatest experiment in modern literature. Five words are enough to make the plot: a man takes a tram. Queneau builds and writes 99 versions most of them no longer than a single page starting from the plain and objective description of this everyday's action.
Narrative styles, calembours, dialecticisms, parodies of lower and upper class ways of speaking, postmodern and pompous language, hermetisms and verbosities. All that you can think of about writing techniques has been thought and fixed on paper by this staggering genius called Raymond Queneau.
So what's the matter with rating? Why have I given just three stars to this undeniable masterpiece? Well, the answer has a famous name and surname: Umberto Eco. Indeed he has translated the Italian version of this book. Well, actually "translated" is not the right expression to use: Eco has written his own excercises in style instead of trying to translate properly Queneau's ones.
Surely I can understand how several excercises were difficult if not impossible to transform into Italian due for their own peculiarity like poetries. However I think that the Italian edition of this book should have been titled Umberto Eco -and not Raymond Queneau- "Excercises of style" and this heavy and inordinate role of the translator is something to avoid in literature.
Queneau deserves to be known for what he has really written and not for the furher variations he has influenced in Umberto Eco's beautiful mind. ...more
One of the most original things I've ever read, though Hummelhonung (Honey) is disturbing and difficult in its own way. There's a dangerous lack of huOne of the most original things I've ever read, though Hummelhonung (Honey) is disturbing and difficult in its own way. There's a dangerous lack of human beings in the counterposition of two twin brothers in a remote corner of Sweden.
Like salt and sugar the two old brothers are impossibile to mix together and the only thing that keeps them alive is their reciprocal hate. Each of them has a lethargic, selfish and out of time life just aiming to survive to the long wished death of his twin.
Torgny Lindgren gradually unveils the reasons of this incomprehensible competition thanks to the presence of a third character, a woman preacher accidentally blocked by a snowstorm in the house of one of the twins.
Divided between salt and sugar the woman doesn't pick a part. She tries to understand two opposite solitudes being forced to live a third and sour one.
This novel is completely different from all the others Kafka's works. I mean, it's not kafkaesque, it's picaresque. Amerika has something of Dickens aThis novel is completely different from all the others Kafka's works. I mean, it's not kafkaesque, it's picaresque. Amerika has something of Dickens and it doesn't seem written by an european novelist. Kafka has written about the myth of a new world seen like a land of false possibilities where a new Candide, the young Karl, is pushed and pulled away by circumstances.
It's a real pity that this novel is unfinished. I've loved the final and totally independent chapter about The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma. Who knows where Kafka wanted to take his Karl after that....more
When Jonathan Coe was a young novelist still undecided between biographies and novels he has written this strange book.
At that time Coe was clearly faWhen Jonathan Coe was a young novelist still undecided between biographies and novels he has written this strange book.
At that time Coe was clearly fascinated by The Smiths records, in fact all the chapters of The Dwarves of Death take their name from a Morrissey & co. song. Not to mention the italian translation of this book "Questa notte mi ha aperto gli occhi" which means "This night has opened my eyes"...
Uhmmmm. What about the novel? It speaks about copycat killings in London. It shows a parallel world of squattered buildings and poor musicians who try to survive in a London where the gap between the upper and the middle class is increasing.
But there are few signs here of the great capacity of Jonathan Coe to join the personal events of his sympathetic characters with the national political situation. This belongs to his coming future, which has more interesting novels to offer. Anyway The Dwarves of Death has its decent moments....more
The Closed Circle is the follow-up of The Rotters Club characters' story twenty five years later on paper. In the real world three years are passed byThe Closed Circle is the follow-up of The Rotters Club characters' story twenty five years later on paper. In the real world three years are passed by between the release of the two books.
Well, the question is: what's happened to Jonathan Coe in the meanwhile? Apparently he has lost his touch in just a few dozens months.
Where The Rotters Club was funny and ironic, The Closed Circle is merely ambitious. Where The Rotters Club was sensible and melancholic, The Closed Circle is unemotional. The same idea to begin the novel with a long and frankly quite boring letter from an idyllic Italy is poor. For those who had liked The Rotter Club from its very first pages finding an immediate empathy toward the three main characters, this second book will probably be a delusion.
The old characters are now in their fourties and it seems they don't have anything more to say. Perhaps all has been said about them. The only exception to this unwanted rule is Paul Trotter who has became a young and paranoid MP. It's a pity that the half metamorphosis of Trotter jr is quite unrealistic. Ok, there's a social critic to the New Labour Party political issues, but how it could be possible that Tories like Paul have become Tonies? This is not explained at all. And at this point the twenty five years blackhole chosen by Coe reveals its biggest Achille's heel. What about the new characters? I've to admit that they haven't left a single trace in me.
Briefly, I've been really disappointed by this novel. I've got the English edition of the book and this is the only reason why I still put my eyes on it. But my opinion remains the same: what a pity....more