Great works resemble diamonds (one of the main characters is a jeweler) - when opened, they sparkle with intact brilliance...moreWow, highly recommend this.
Great works resemble diamonds (one of the main characters is a jeweler) - when opened, they sparkle with intact brilliance multiplied.
This book is like that. As I progressed through it, I developed a perception of each character presented as a sympathetic, very human character. Not-so-great thinks and insecurities and inadequacies about each one were revealed, but my feelings for each of them were simply deepened. At the end, no character was on a pedestal, no character was a monster. All had done/were both good and bad. All had been accessible, opened through great writing for the reader's understanding.
The author, Dalia, had experienced much of what the girl in this story did (and, by the way, her character was probably the most shocking to me, with her internal goings-on - at her age - completely undoing me.) Her father has also been imprisoned, her family had also left Iran after. But it is also fiction, the best kind of fiction: fiction rooted in the writer's reality.
This book's effects on me include: a warm feeling for the country of Iran; interest in reading Iranian writers; somewhat of an (understanding) of those who gained power during that period, and others in similar positions; a need to process a bunch of new class-struggle ideas; a new resolve to always be gentle to those who are here from elsewhere, given what all they may have gone through; and an intense interest in everything this woman has written!
Now, in June 2009, extremely timely. And from this book and others, I imagine it will remain timely, one way or another.(less)
A fascinating thing about this which I hadn't been aware of from my previous exposure to it is that is was one of Steinbecks's format/genre experiment...moreA fascinating thing about this which I hadn't been aware of from my previous exposure to it is that is was one of Steinbecks's format/genre experiments. In this work, Steinbeck created a new genre: the play/novelette. '"The work I am doing now," he wrote to his agents in April 1936, "is neither a novel nor a play but it is a kind of playable novel. Written in novel form but so scened and set that it can be played as it stands. It wouldn't be like other plays since it does not follow the formal acts but uses the chapters for curtains. Descriptions can be used for stage directions... Plays are hard to read so this will make both a novel and play as it stands." Anticipating postmodernists, Steinbeck was to declare wtih greater and greater frequency in the late 1930s and '40s that the novel was dead, whereas theater was "waking up," was fresh and challenging.' And in fact, he sent it to his publishers in late summer of 1936; it was published on February 25, 1937 (for $2 per copy); was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection in March; was performed as written by Theater Union of San Francisco with an opening on May 21, 1937; then performed as a modified version at Music Box Theater in New York opening November 23, 1937; and released as a film in 1939. It was very controversial, banned in Australia in 1940; one of the most frequently banned books by school board over the years. '"The first few pages so nauseated me," wrote the reviewer for 'The Catholic World,' "That I couldn't bear to keep it in my room over night."' "Morbid and degenerate" content was why another showing of it was condemned. And the reason for all the hoo-ha? The truth of it. The hopelessness and loneliness of the group of people Steinbeck gives life to - the landless white male agricultural workers of the 1930's. Also, he used actual dialect which was still new back then. Included in the dialect is racist language in use back then, as his characters would not have been honest without it. Probably some bannings were due simply to the use of the 'n' word, although most programs that use it now include context for that which is a response to it that contains the intended respect while also containing discussion that can be so useful to unlearning racism. Another interesting content item about race is a momentary scene in which a white woman brings to the attention of a black man her ability to get him lynched. It's brutal, and then it's over and the action continues and it fades into unimportance - all of which serves as a reminder of our shared history festering with racism; and how far we as a country have come. (i'm adding that scene to quotes for this book). It's a very quick read for all that, and very enjoyable actually just for the intensity of description. This felt to me like one of those quick-action films, only the super-short scenes are ones you create in your own mind, as written by Steinbeck. Somehow he packs in vivid visual content and well-drawn characters in an almost poetically pithy writing style. Highly recommend.(less)
Very harsh point of view, but understandable. I had recommended this to a German relative of mine, then I re-read it, and then retracted my recommenda...moreVery harsh point of view, but understandable. I had recommended this to a German relative of mine, then I re-read it, and then retracted my recommendation to him because I felt like the German-bashing parts were something that - for him - would offset the utility of it. I mean, we all know now, and those parts feel excessive potentially. At the time it was written though, the mainstream US population had not yet known (is one story, anyway.) Is crucial in-and-of itself, and for Vonnegut's trajectory as a great writer (IMHO).(less)
Sounds really interesting as far as that subject, and racism, and voting patterns today yet even. Not sure I'll make it to actually reading it unless...moreSounds really interesting as far as that subject, and racism, and voting patterns today yet even. Not sure I'll make it to actually reading it unless the optimal conditions present themselves, but sure sounds like I'd like to have.(less)
Pretty good, quick intro (yet with a level of substance at many useful points) to the new 990, approved in the last few days of 2008, applicable to 20...morePretty good, quick intro (yet with a level of substance at many useful points) to the new 990, approved in the last few days of 2008, applicable to 2008 (brutal).. will be very helpful as I create our chart of accounts to provide data for the 990 as easily as possible. Extensive info on the other schedules as well. Index.. One area of concern - almost nothing on in-kind. Very disconcerting. Usually 'exploring/skimming' means I'm reading less than all. In this case, I've skimmed all of it already, and now will be re-reading, making copies of certain pages for reference, etc.. for a while yet. Will need other sources too, but this is definitely a good one, as I prepare the 2009 with our consultants, and then as of 2010 on my own theoretically, despite my longstanding loathing of all things tax. --- Am using it now regarding the support test, and it does have a pretty useful level of detail and related ideas. And mentions other sources for further info. A good resource!(less)
I liked this book, found a lot of what it said interesting. At some points, the author's world views deviated from mine to the extent that the content...moreI liked this book, found a lot of what it said interesting. At some points, the author's world views deviated from mine to the extent that the content was less compelling, but definitely a great read and an author I want to read more of!(less)
This is really more a set of annotated lists, a resource guide. It also has some very intense personal content, that is part a bit of see-how-cool-I-a...moreThis is really more a set of annotated lists, a resource guide. It also has some very intense personal content, that is part a bit of see-how-cool-I-am, but mostly purports to be a how-to guide to move from paralyzing grief at the state of our Earth into action. And in that, it has some interesting content, if you can mold yourself into the whole being-a-fire-dog posture.
The resource lists, around energy alternatives, global-healing strategies, and global activist groups, are alone worth getting a copy.(less)
This one is a bit off-putting, everything is described so very vividly and usually negatively. Or, let's say, flippantly. And superficially. Sometimes...moreThis one is a bit off-putting, everything is described so very vividly and usually negatively. Or, let's say, flippantly. And superficially. Sometimes talking superficially about something can yield insight, like sifting through sand on a beach can yield bits of organic matter.. But that sifting process wasn't worth the jarring unpleasantness of writing style. Which was to my preferred writing style as a childish flipbook is to a well produced gorgeous coffee-table book rich with fascinating content and evocative photographs.
My edition is different - it has the cover based on shots from the film, and is titled 'slumdog millionaire', but it's not the shooting script, it sho...moreMy edition is different - it has the cover based on shots from the film, and is titled 'slumdog millionaire', but it's not the shooting script, it shows also 'originally published as q&a'.
Anyway, am fascinated by this whole thing, the book, the film, the reality portrayed. What the point of the book was (by one interview, was about English acquisition in India, and the potential effect of that on a person's life), how that relates to the film (Ram knows English by the time of the quiz show - but how? As the way in which he learned it in the book was not in the film. But also, by then the film is in English, so it kind of confuses that part...), how either/both relate to reality in India.
I know I'll probably already have been exposed to most of what's in this book from other sources, but if it's complete and well-written, will be good...moreI know I'll probably already have been exposed to most of what's in this book from other sources, but if it's complete and well-written, will be good reference for future etc.. Another GR review just mentioned it, so.. probably haven't already been exposed to *all* of it.(less)
Has been among those things which formed the basis of my political self all along. The idea that direct action is often too risky and often ineffectiv...moreHas been among those things which formed the basis of my political self all along. The idea that direct action is often too risky and often ineffective; and that more simply 'breathing with' one's kindred spirits can be as/more effective - while being by definition less risky - has enormous appeal to me. Actually only read the first chapter all the way through, and then skimmed the others; but the amazing content is laid out pretty completely in that one chapter. I also use to read her brain journal back then, also very good and absorbing.(less)
This book appealed to me from my parent's bookshelves from a young age - younger than 10 for sure. I tried multiple times to read it, but didn't actua...moreThis book appealed to me from my parent's bookshelves from a young age - younger than 10 for sure. I tried multiple times to read it, but didn't actually make it through it all until I was in the 16-18 age range. Was very pleased then - the text is so dense! But a lot of it is totally fascinating to me: the psyche content of course; and then the whole content about classical vs. romantic ways of thinking and living. Formed a basis for what I now understand to be a post-modern way of living - making choices consciously about how to think, and the various manners of life. And certainly the voice is difficult/annoying a lot of the time, but such is life. The good comes with a struggle... oh, wait: 'nothing good comes easy', that's the phrase. So be it.(less)