Easily one of the best novels I've read in years, but that's not much of a surprise. Chimamanda Adichie is a brilliant observer and critic of those trEasily one of the best novels I've read in years, but that's not much of a surprise. Chimamanda Adichie is a brilliant observer and critic of those traits we Americans hold so dear: hypocrisy, awkwardness, and an almost mythological sense of exceptionalism! Adichie explores these and other topics with a lovely mix of wit and pathos.
Some favorite quotes:
"Academics were not intellectuals; they were not curious, they built their stolid tents of specialized knowledge and stayed securely in them."
"...I'm worried I will leave grad school and no longer be able to speak English. I know this woman in grad school, a friend of a friend, and just listening to her talk is scary. The semiotic dialetics of intertextual modernity. Which makes no sense at all. Sometimes I feel that they live in a parallel universe of academia speaking acadamese instead of English and they don't really know what's happening in the real world."
"In America, racism exists but racists are all gone. Racists belong to the past. Racists are the thin-lipped mean white people in the movies about the civil rights era. Here’s the thing: the manifestation of racism has changed but the language has not. So if you haven’t lynched somebody then you can’t be called a racist. If you’re not a bloodsucking monster, then you can’t be called a racist. Somebody has to be able to say that racists are not monsters."
I don't usually have issues with novels that combine and subvert genre conventions, but this one was maybe a bit too loose and undercooked for me. WitI don't usually have issues with novels that combine and subvert genre conventions, but this one was maybe a bit too loose and undercooked for me. With a sci-fi premise (teen's cryogenically frozen head is thawed out five years later and given a new and cancer-free body) I was hoping for more of a sci-fi plot. But after the initial foundation is laid, Noggin is a fairly run-of-the-mill YA romance/coming-of-age novel, complete with broadly painted characters and clunky dialogue.
Questions & thoughts I'm left with [SPOILERS]: - After a 16-year-old who 'died' of cancer is revived five years later to find the love of his life is now engaged to another man, his parents have divorced, and his best friend is denying his homosexuality... Why wouldn't you send this kid to a counselor? Don't you think he could use a sympathetic ear and some guidance? "Na, let's just send him back to his old high school, where everyone thinks he's a freak of nature, and let him deal with the emotions on his own." - There could be some interesting sequels or fanfic written with this book's conceit: books in which thawed heads are connected to bodies of different races, ages, genders, sexualities. I'd read those....more
SIX EARLIER DAYS reads like a nicely crafted piece of EVERY DAY fan fiction, with the wrinkle being that it was written by the author himself. There'sSIX EARLIER DAYS reads like a nicely crafted piece of EVERY DAY fan fiction, with the wrinkle being that it was written by the author himself. There's little artistic reason for this companion book to exist (though perhaps some economic ones), as EVERY DAY stands just fine on its own. I suppose it was nice to spend a little more time with A (40 pages), but I didn't get much additional insight into the character.
If this book accomplished anything, it was convincing me that EVERY DAY lends itself to remarkable creative writing opportunities. I can imagine classroom-based writing prompts coinciding with the reading of the novel, in which students each write a day from A's life. Or, as a large, collaborative, online project, a group of fanfic writers could feasibly tell the entirety of A's life, hopping from one body to another up until the events of EVERY DAY, and then continuing after the book concludes. What potential! I wonder how David Levithan would feel about such a comprehensive project......more
Good lord was this a fun read. Fabulous retro art, clever writing, and just a whole lot of joy and whimsy (unlike what one typically encounters in modGood lord was this a fun read. Fabulous retro art, clever writing, and just a whole lot of joy and whimsy (unlike what one typically encounters in modern comics). The cast of characters -- dueling art thieves, a taciturn police inspector, an evil organization, and a group of street urchins -- is finely developed here in the 1st volume. I even enjoyed reading the artist's notes on how she went about the illustration process, which are included at the back of the book. Quite excited for the next volume.
My one complaint about the book is that -- due to its old fashioned sense of high adventure -- I think it'd be great for grade school kids. But there are a few pages that are just a tad too risqué for me to feel comfortable handing the book to other people's children. Perhaps my friends with kids would disagree?
Favorite quotes: "Did you think I would injure myself tripping over your anticlimax?" "If there is not folly in the world then the world itself is folly." "The air is already thick with bullets. Do not overcrowd it with drama as well."...more
The story: Marvel Comics takes a rarely used b-list character from its stable, one dating from the 1970s (when they were trying to cash in on the kungThe story: Marvel Comics takes a rarely used b-list character from its stable, one dating from the 1970s (when they were trying to cash in on the kung fu craze), and hires two fabulous writers and a bevy of great artists to breathe some life back into its property. And these writers and artists do one hell of a job, creating a vast mythology bridging fantasy, ancient Nepalese mysticism, global corporate intrigue, superhero tropes, WWI and the Opium Wars, and the high adventure of H. Rider Haggard. Not too shabby....more