I just finished reading this book for the second time. I loved it the first time, and I loved it the second time. I organize a Co-Ed book club in Will...moreI just finished reading this book for the second time. I loved it the first time, and I loved it the second time. I organize a Co-Ed book club in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and it was recommended to read. We just had our meeting to discuss it, and everyone seemed to enjoy it on some level or another, and no one had anything negative to say about it. I was very surprised to read some of the reviews on this site dissing this book, especially the review where someone mentioned it was for "Literary Snobs." I couldn't disagree with that more. I think it's possible that it was recommended to that reviewer by a "literary snob" and therefore, she got that impression from that, but I could also be completely wrong.
I believe the purpose of this book wasn't even to make a huge literary statement, but to broaden the general public's understanding of what it might be like to have autism. The author worked for many years very closely with individuals with autistim, and he writes the book through the eyes of a 15 year old boy with autism. He describes the world from his vantage point, and uses images to clarify what his thought process is like, which to me give the reader an idea that his line of thinking is much different than the average persons.
The story is very simple, but why I think it is written well, is because there always seems to be some level of anticipation as to what is going to happen next. It is at the simplest level a detective story. So, it keeps you wondering why certain things happened to this boy. Like he tells you things, and you yourself think, "huh, that's kind of odd." So, you'll feel a little puzzled at times, but the character keeps investigating and eventually helps himself and the reader understand the whole picture.
So anyways, I think it's a great book. My favorite, in fact. (less)
Where do I even begin with this book. It's really not worth me spending too much time on, however, I wan...moreThis book is so tiresome. It drones on and on.
Where do I even begin with this book. It's really not worth me spending too much time on, however, I want revenge on this book. It's not fair that I wasted so much time on it. Life is too short. It's really long (about 540 pages) and the first 337 pages are so terrible. I wanted to put it down after page 60, but I was reading this with a book club, so I decided to attempt to stick with it. It only got worse and worse and more boring and more pointless and my hatred for it just kept growing and growing and growing and growing....until about page 337 or so.
Then all of a sudden, there is a drastic twist in the story. It was not until that plot twist that I cared even slightly to continue reading. However, I will admit that this did make me a tad interested to see what would turn up. Then it bored me for another 40 pages or so - oh to pick back up! Once it FINALLY picked up (around the last 150 pgs or so) I couldn't put it down, because, I did want to find out what would happen.
But those last pages do not override the effort it took me to read the first 400 pages. This book lacks consistency. Sure 40 pages are good, then 100 pages are TERRIBLE. Unfortunately, I just do not like books where you know NOTHING about ANYTHING that goes on until FINALLY a character just tells you all that has happened. It's stupid and anti-climactic. I found it predictable as well. It's VERY graphic and I don't really need to read a 7 page long sex scene. Cut that crap out. 2 pages are sufficient.
If B.E.E. would've taken 2 names out of every name dropping sequence, he could've shortened the book by about 50 pages. It's too much. It's cumbersome. It's terrible. Don't waste your time.
Also, if you have a fear of flying - I don't recommend reading this book. (less)
I liked this book a lot. It is an interesting read. I had nightmares that I was the character in the book going through this terrible summer camp. It'...moreI liked this book a lot. It is an interesting read. I had nightmares that I was the character in the book going through this terrible summer camp. It's based on a true story, which is what makes it so interesting. I think it's worth a read. The ending surprised you and makes you sad, but that's how life goes, and so does this book.(less)
This book has great advice and I do appreciate the advice I can take with me from it. Unfortunately, only about a third of it applies to me right now....moreThis book has great advice and I do appreciate the advice I can take with me from it. Unfortunately, only about a third of it applies to me right now. That is the only reason I gave it 3 stars - well and also because reading about finances can be a bit of a drag. However, Susie right in a very easy to read - and to skim manner, which I did appreciate.
It's possible, that in the future I will have more experiences with much of what Suze gives advice on and then I will appreciate this book even more.(less)
This book is so lame. I have nothing good to say about it. I got about 30 pages from the end (by forcing myself to continue) finally to give up. Never...moreThis book is so lame. I have nothing good to say about it. I got about 30 pages from the end (by forcing myself to continue) finally to give up. Never finished those last 30 pages and don't care!(less)
I think this is a great book. However, if you are not in the proper mindset for it, I could see how you may not like it. First off, it is depressing....moreI think this is a great book. However, if you are not in the proper mindset for it, I could see how you may not like it. First off, it is depressing. Secondly, it is written in simple straight-forward prose. I read it with a co-ed book club and a few members found the characters to be shallow and incapable of introspection, however, I felt that they were thoroughly introspective. On surface level, this seems like a mere coming of age story, about male-female relations, and the tragedy of first young loves. In many ways, it is a story about these topics, but I felt that more so this is a story about collective human experience. As humans, we are capable of contemplating what our life is about and what it means to us and to our world, and all the while, we know that we are going to die one day. We all know it. We all have to face it at some point. Some of us will consider this more often than others. Some of us, will never think about it until that day. The reality is, knowing we are going to die, we have to decide what we would like to do with our life and how much living is worth.
This book has to be read in the context of the characters current frame of mind. The reality is that the main male character (and also Naoko - the chic in the sanatorium)is suffering in a state of grief. I majored in psychology and one thing we learned about grief is that 6 months is considered to be a typical bereavement period for those who in some way shape or form had an idea that the person who died could potentially die soon, but when the person who died, dies in a tragic accident or from suicide, a year is a more typical bereavement period. Now, that's an academic study noticing general patterns and trends in grievers, but there is also something diagnosed called "Complicated Bereavement." Complicated bereavement is when the person grieves for a year or more. It is not that rare that someone experiences complicated bereavement. Furthermore, who is to say who long a person should grieve? Bereavement is a phase in life that we will all experience probably more than once in our lifetimes and each bereavement phase could feel different than the others or may last longer. The reality is, people move on when they are ready to move on.
If you don't read this book understanding that the main characters are still in their bereavement period, I don't think you will get as much out of it. The characters may appear shallow, without understanding that they are in many ways experiencing a numbness to life due to their bereavement.
Also, one more important point of context to consider is that of the Japanese culture and their social norms of suppressing emotions.
So, keep those points in mind, and I think you will find much more depth to this book. (less)
I hated this book. I was forced to read it in college by a male shovenist professor. It's just gross (one of the characters is a pedafile), and I got...moreI hated this book. I was forced to read it in college by a male shovenist professor. It's just gross (one of the characters is a pedafile), and I got the impression that it was a "dude" book - not for everyone in my opinion.(less)
What a sweet character, little Francie Nolan. She is so endearing, and easy to relate to. This book is beautifully written. I loved reading it, althou...moreWhat a sweet character, little Francie Nolan. She is so endearing, and easy to relate to. This book is beautifully written. I loved reading it, although, I should say, it's kind of a slow read, but don't let that discourage you. The reason it moves slow, is because it's following the rhythm of life. Don't expect swift plot changes, that would defeat the purpose of this story. The best way to describe this book is a classic.
I currently live in East Williamsburg, and very much enjoyed reading about a past Williamsburg environment, although it surprised me that quite frankly, it wasn't that far removed from what I live in today.
If you're on the hunt for a well written book, that is easy to read, and tells a beautiful story, pick up this book and give it a try. Don't pressure yourself to read it quickly, just read it as you feel in the mood. It's a great rainy day book. to cuddle up with.(less)