This is one of those books that I felt unprepared for. There is so much here. I became overwhelmed wit...moreI liked Cat's Eye, but it made me feel terrible.
This is one of those books that I felt unprepared for. There is so much here. I became overwhelmed with the themes and commentaries and issues. So I focused on the story.
I loved reading about Elaine's childhood. I loved the description of the time, the scene, the day to day life of another generation. The children were fascinating in their meanness, a meanness I remember. Was I that mean? The idea that I may have been is heartbreaking. Once the main character reached college I lost a lot of my interest in the story and started thinking more about the social commentary. The character's motivations were less understandable and in one of the last few chapters I lost respect for her entirely.
Like The Handmaid's Tale, I was impressed by the timelessness of this novel. I've been reading a lot of feminist blogs lately and I have been amazed at that parallels between this book written in 1988 and the issues women are discussing today. In the book the main character attends of feminist group meetings in the 1960. She says that she feels like she doesn't fit in because she hasn't suffered enough. She's never been beaten, raped or abused (of course she was abused in the story, although not in stereotypical way and mostly by girls) and so she feels like her contribution to the women's discussion is not valid or important. Honestly that is exactly the way I feel sometimes reading feminist blogs.(less)
Lady Oracle was Atwood's third book and its clear how much of it turned out to be practice at things she'd do better in other novels.
Non-linear time l...moreLady Oracle was Atwood's third book and its clear how much of it turned out to be practice at things she'd do better in other novels.
Non-linear time lines. Check. Multiple identities. Check. Novels within the novel. Check. Childhood bullies. Check. Spiritualism. Check. Impending sense of doom. Check.
Between Cat's Eye, Alias Grace and Blind Assassin, 1/2 of this book is covered. And that list only includes things from the other Atwood books I've read! There are so many more I haven't read. Parts of chapter 6 could have fit directly into Cat's Eye with only name changes!
In all my rating is a solid ★★★ Entertaining and engaging, but not the spectacular that I keep hoping for based on my love of A Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace. Like Cat's Eye, I'm left feeling pretty ambivalent. I think I'll take an Atwood break for a while, but I will of course come back to her.(less)
I thoroughly enjoyed V for Vendetta. Alan Moore continues to impress me with the layers of story and his ability to tie up dozens of loose ends while...moreI thoroughly enjoyed V for Vendetta. Alan Moore continues to impress me with the layers of story and his ability to tie up dozens of loose ends while maintaining an enjoyable story. I was struck by how relevant some of the themes are, even today 20 years after publication.
I did have trouble with the art work. I haven't read many graphic novels or comic books, so maybe I just don't know how to study each picture without disrupting the flow of reading. I had a hard time telling who was who. Aside from V and Evey, they were all "some government man" or "some wife of a government man". I suppose there are probably a lot of details and layers and character development that I missed because I was often not sure who was talking.
Also, I'd read Watchmen just a few months before and was constantly comparing V for Vendetta to Watchmen. I think that set up some overly high expectations. Everything that V did well (layers of the story, timeless political/social relevance, puns, visual puns and interesting transitions...) Watchmen did so much better. (less)
I am more interested in the falafel that I plan to cook for the book club meeting than I am in discussing this book.
For one, I didn't enjoy reading Sn...moreI am more interested in the falafel that I plan to cook for the book club meeting than I am in discussing this book.
For one, I didn't enjoy reading Snow. And didn't like any of the characters to even try to get into the literary stuff in the book. For two, I'm pretty sure I'll be the only one in the group who bothered to finish. (The women in my group are all smarter than me a know that reading tedious books isn't worth their time.) Snow only started to get worth discussing at the end, so the few things I'd like to discuss won't be anything anyone else has read.
Also: That was probably the most depressing sex scene I've ever read.(less)
I remained interested enough to finish reading in just 2 sittings, even neglecting chores. But I wasn't terribly enthused.
This is the first Discworld...moreI remained interested enough to finish reading in just 2 sittings, even neglecting chores. But I wasn't terribly enthused.
This is the first Discworld book I've read. I felt like it was all character introductions and pretty short on plot or suspense or story. Perhaps that was because I knew that this was book #2 of a jillion book series. If this was supposed to be satire, it went strait over my head.
I can understand why some folks love these books. Pratchett is funny, but in a style that got tiring to me. And the discworld is it's own little universe and I imagine it becomes a familiar landscape to regular readers. I wonder if the descriptions of people and places get repetitive as you read the series. (Anyone else remember skipping the first chapter of Babysitter's Club books because it was always the same?)(less)
When I think about Germany during World War II, I never think about German civilians, or even the soldiers. I only think of atrocities and evil leader...moreWhen I think about Germany during World War II, I never think about German civilians, or even the soldiers. I only think of atrocities and evil leaders and evil officers and most of all, the victims. Sympathy for Germans doesn't cross my mind. At least it didn't until The Book Thief. This is a story about a lot of things. Most of all, for me, it's a reminder that the casualties or war not not all soldiers. Not the good guys or the bad guys. But regular people, trying to live and grow up in a war zone. This is a timeless truth.
Now, the compulsory question: Gimmicky or not? I say gimmicky.
At the beginning, the little notes seemed new and experimental. But no. Just gimmicky. And the voice of death could be edgy or even humorous if done in that tone. And seriously, this is Germany in 1943 - Death has a staring roll. But I don't think it was necessary. Just another hook.
I kind of even wonder, if the book didn't have these devices, would it have been marketed as a YA book? Or do publishers think they need to appear edgy to get teens reading? And do teens fall for it? Not that one needs to be tricked into reading The Book Thief. It's really quite a read. You don't need to gimmick people into reading, why gimmick at all?(less)
Perfect airplane reading. Page-turning enough that I could forget I'd been sitting in the same cramped seat for hours, but light and breezy enough so...morePerfect airplane reading. Page-turning enough that I could forget I'd been sitting in the same cramped seat for hours, but light and breezy enough so no real thought or emotional investment required.
Mysteries are not my favorite so maybe I can't be objective, but I do not understand why Sweetness is getting so many awards and attention. (less)
If this were a movie, I never would have made it through. It was just so so horribly descriptive, nearly boarding...moreWow. So incredibly violent and sad.
If this were a movie, I never would have made it through. It was just so so horribly descriptive, nearly boarding on rape-porn or something. I was cringing and crying and feeling like some kind of creeper listening to the audio book in traffic. Maybe that comes through differently in print, listening to a woman with a lovely voice and lovely accent calmly and graphically describing rape in beautiful prose was just gross.
I get that it is supposed to be gross. And supposed to make the reader angry (and it did), but it also had another vibe that I just couldn't shake. I felt so exploitative to use this story as entertainment. If someone can read this and take it as a call to action to help these kids, then yes. Some good can come out of this book. But just reading about horrors for the shock and emotion just isn't siting well with me.(less)
Here's the thing. This is not a novel. It's more like a party game.
After going through two scenarios I was disappointed. The whole thing is ridiculou...moreHere's the thing. This is not a novel. It's more like a party game.
After going through two scenarios I was disappointed. The whole thing is ridiculous to the point of silly. And things we tend to expect from novels, like you know... characters, are missing. But really, this isn't a novel. It's fluffy light funny reading.
After going through a few scenarios with friends, seeing how we all end up, I realized the fun in that. Then on some airplane rides I tried to systematically go through the whole thing. I didn't make it through every possibility, but enough.