Cracking-good take on mob mentality. (Methinks Mr. King was inspired by Frederick II here, given the latter's sentiment: "Religion is the idol of theCracking-good take on mob mentality. (Methinks Mr. King was inspired by Frederick II here, given the latter's sentiment: "Religion is the idol of the mob; it adores everything it does not understand." FEAR the herd instinct my friends, particularly when wrapped in religious ideology a la the fanatics in Under the Dome.
(Found an ex-library copy of this massive doorstopper of a novel in the free box outside CAF today. At 1,072 pages, that's like ZERO cents per page - what a deal!)...more
Been on my list forever, but got bumped up the queue so that when I watch the PBS treatment of it next month, there's no spoilers. Which is dumb, sincBeen on my list forever, but got bumped up the queue so that when I watch the PBS treatment of it next month, there's no spoilers. Which is dumb, since it's not like I don't know the ending or anything, but, well, you know.
Loved reading about Tudor history from the perspective of what I've always taken as the villain of the story (if decapitating a bunch of your wives doesn't make you the villain, anyway); Cromwell came off much more dimensional and human in Mantel's world, I thought.
I noticed a lot of other GR reviewers complaining about their difficulties following the dialogue, and I wanted to comment on that. I initially struggled with that too, but as soon as I realized that "he said" = "Cromwell said", I stopped having the problem, easy-peasy. Try it, you'll like it!
Not really sure why Mantel chose the title that she did, as the story is headed there after the close of this installment. I already picked up Bring Up the Bodies from the library, so I was prepared for the cliffhanger though....more
This series is begin to wear thin. Too many characters, too many story lines, too byzantine and convoluted; I'm losing track of the threads. One moreThis series is begin to wear thin. Too many characters, too many story lines, too byzantine and convoluted; I'm losing track of the threads. One more to go, or more?...more
Holy crap, if I had known how funny Dickens is, I wouldn't have put off reading him for so long. Now, I'm not sure why I did.
While I read that NicholaHoly crap, if I had known how funny Dickens is, I wouldn't have put off reading him for so long. Now, I'm not sure why I did.
While I read that Nicholas Nickleby isn't Dickens' best or most-respected work, I enjoyed the dickens out of it (sorry). Farcical melodrama at it's most amusing, I say. Sure, the characters are pretty cliche, aptonymical caricatures of various personality traits writ large, but who is better at rendering human motivations and clothing them in astonishingly recognizable portraits than Dickens? His mastery of dialects is particularly impressive; I could all but hear the voices in my head as I read them.
My Penguin edition also included a most informative introduction (which I of course read after finishing the story: spoilers!). In it, Michael Slater offered a context for the work, both in a historical sense--describing the real-life conditions and characters that inspired it--as well as by way of placing Nicholas in the larger body of Dickens' oeuvre. Maybe the absurd yet familiar characters, the embodiment of aspects of the human condition still recognizable to modern readers, are the reason Nicholas Nickleby is still read, despite disinterest from academics and critics.
I was curious just why Dickens is still taught, and read 200 years after his birthday, so I did a little Google-fu and found one high school literature teacher who proffers this explanation, provided by one of his students: "We need to read Dickens's novels," she wrote, "because they tell us, in the grandest way possible, why we are what we are."
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I can't describe the wherefores & the whys any better than GR member J Keirn-Swanson did, however; read his reviewI thoroughly enjoyed this book! I can't describe the wherefores & the whys any better than GR member J Keirn-Swanson did, however; read his review!
If you like a) epistolary-driven fiction, b) historical vampire lit, and/or c) eastern European settings: get your hands on a copy of this book....more
On a whim, I picked up an ARC of The Passage from my wonderful indie bookshop lastReview forthcoming.
On a whim, I picked up an ARC of The Passage from my wonderful indie bookshop last year, and was immensely surprised to discover it was a favorite read of 2012. Imagine my chagrin when they weren't sent an advance of The Twelve: I would have to either spring for the hardcover, or wait an interminable year or more for it to come out in paperback. So I was ECSTATIC today when, upon stopping by said book purveyor, I found a gratis copy waiting with my name on it! They received a damaged copy (tiny tear in the jacket), remembered I was dying to read it, and gave it to me. THIS is why I will always give THEM my money, not Amazon....more
Time travel! Jack the Ripper! Automatons! What's not to love?!? Well, as it turns out, almost everything.
I know everyone else here is raving about it,Time travel! Jack the Ripper! Automatons! What's not to love?!? Well, as it turns out, almost everything.
I know everyone else here is raving about it, but I could barely stomach The Map of Time; it took every ounce of stick-to-it-iveness I could muster to get through this convoluted, interminable literary maze. WHERE, I ask you, was the EDITOR in this hot mess? There is the kernal of a potentially good story here, had about 2/3 of the fat been excised. The only way it could have been more byzantine is if Nancy Grace had shown up to interrogate Inspector Lusk about the Ripper murders.
It's not like the guy can't write. He's a decent, if grandiose, storyteller and he mimics to perfection the florid style of the period he set this novel in. And the theme Palma writes about -- choice and the Butterfly Effect of exercising it -- is one that is both powerful and personal. Plus, he knows how to turn a phrase: "...loneliness that sticks to him like a birthmark."
But come on, Félix, enough with the meandering, the inconsistencies, the convenient last-minute reprieves for waylaid story-lines. And the unnecessary reminders from the narrator about his omniscience have to go.
I was all set to love this book, what with it being about the re-writing of the history of the earliest science fiction and all, but it wasn't to be. The one good thing that came out of it? It inspired me to read the original H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, and it was love at first sight.
This ARC was provided to me by the publisher via my local Indie bookstore, and no money was exchanged....more