Initially: I liked the way the protaganist was with women for the most part, a lot.
The ideas discussed in this novel are fascina...moreWill mull my review..
Initially: I liked the way the protaganist was with women for the most part, a lot.
The ideas discussed in this novel are fascinating and extremely timely. The merging of that discussion into the format of a spy novel caused me a bit of a stumble. Parts of it felt forced to me, or formulaic, or almost tv-movie-ish. There was something tv-movie-ish in general, I think the simple characterizations mainly. It so happens that a lot of what I've read lately is written from multiple characters' point-of-view, and/or has rich characterization and a lot of the internal workings of them all during the story. Coming from those experiences, I missed that in this one.
There were discontinuities that I couldn't bridge. Like the initial relationship between Jack and Toby; vs. the relationship between them during the 1953 events; vs. the way it apparently went between them after that (the book ends with Toby suggesting to Jack that they put aside their differences and work together, and apparently that's what happened?).
Also info about what Jack had done prior to the book starting, vs. what he was doing when it opened (tending bar); I don't know what was served by having that be so secret. Given that he had this great record, why was he not still involved in some way? Him being in the bar gives the impression that he had a problem with his past military involvement to a degree, but then that doesn't seem to be true. etc..
When toward the end Yari says that he was the realist and Jack the idealist, that threw me for a loop.
But most important, it's hard to grasp what the conclusion was intended to be regarding the US and the CIA: it is presented that such coups prevent war and provide stability and therefore are good; if that's not the intended message, I'm not seeing where it was countered in the book. There's some content around the role of the Muslim leaders, but it's pretty vague. And given that it was written today, with all that's gone on, more content about that would have been of interest.
So, as I said, I'll mull on an actual review..(less)
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)
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)
Ok, I didn't *read* this, but plays are meant to be seen, not read. And I saw it - well, not the play, but the uber-excellent film made my Mike Nichol...moreOk, I didn't *read* this, but plays are meant to be seen, not read. And I saw it - well, not the play, but the uber-excellent film made my Mike Nichols with Meryl Streep and everyone. Very luscious. I saw it again last week, while home sick. I'd been wanting to see it, as Tony Kushner is here opening a new work and having stagings of multiple prior works. It's all Kushner, all the time. It's wonderful. So, in case I get to fit in any of the performances, I wanted to see this of his again. And this time, I knew what to expect more. It didn't overwhelm me nearly as much. In fact, I was prepared to be overwhelmed, and I wasn't. It was almost like a micro-experience. Scenes I'd remembered as going on forever seemed very short. Speaks to the effect of surprise on one's viewing experience, I guess. But back to the words of it and all - in a review of one of his plays here, a reviewer used the word 'Proclamatory' to describe it. I was so relieved. That's how I'd felt about it, but hadn't known how to describe it. But that's exactly it. Not that there isn't a plot, and characters, and forward motion (on so many levels), but much of the action and dialogue and monologues do, in fact, proclaim. And, more in keeping with my prior reaction, much of it felt beyond my grasp. I mean, I just couldn't gain traction with parts of it. Much about America, and Freedom, and Love, and whatnot. Tony said things, and I couldn't disagree or agree, or even nod my head. There were collections of words I just couldn't add up the meanings to. One small example: A death, a request to forgive, a refusal to forgive, a suggestion that: perhaps forgiveness is where justice and love meet. Ok, I know what all those words mean, but, the sum of them in that organization, I can't get there. 'Where love and justice meet' - they meet? They're normally separate? Like parallel lines? Only, in forgiveness, these parallel lines cross? Or, the personal (love) separate from the public (justice).....?? Or love between people, justice for those who've done wrong...love prevents justice (lack of forgiveness) or love and justice as two different effects, meeting in the choice of forgiveness perhaps. A big part of my experience was that I wasn't all there, recovering from a sleepless night due to episodic illness. So, thinking powers were reduced. Clearly, causing me to miss whole impacts of this rich, essential work. Much of it still delighted me and was very wonderful. The part about how God does change - perfect. Lou's reaction to Joe's professional work, Mother Pitt about disappointment, Ethel Rosenberg's reaction with her eyes to one thing Roy Cohn says, the Rabbi's initial speech. That initial speech at the funeral alone is priceless, about immigrants and what they brought with them to the US. I tear up just thinking about it. Harper's piece towards the end about how nothing is lost, nothing is in vain; that too. How Belize gets the first few bottles of AZT from Roy fascinates. Mother Pitt is so awesome. Joe's perfect... what.. insanity? And such a great look at conservatism, and race in the US, and how the gay community dealt with the AIDS crisis as it hit, and the price paid by women married to closeted gay men almost most of it; except so much of the rest is also very fully related. But all of Lou's ramblings go past me - and I think some of them are supposed to, but that I'm also missing some. Next time I see it, with my faculties all in place, hopefully will gain entire additional meanings. My advice to you: see it when you're at your best, to gain the most from it.(less)
Living in Connecticut during my High School years, I was aware of the ambiance around places like Sag Harbor.. I wonder if this book will confirm/deny...moreLiving in Connecticut during my High School years, I was aware of the ambiance around places like Sag Harbor.. I wonder if this book will confirm/deny one of my growing beliefs that blacks growing up in affluence receive the very clear message that they will be well rewarded for choosing the socially-conservative community as home. I included the shelf 'cities' because, for a lot of elite in the bigger cities, a place like Sag Harbor is a big part of their lives.(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)
Signed copy or no, this doesn't work for me at all. I died again, and I just hadn't signed on for a book written in 2nd person where I either die or k...moreSigned copy or no, this doesn't work for me at all. I died again, and I just hadn't signed on for a book written in 2nd person where I either die or kill someone every few minutes. So my total experience with it was 4 or 5 lives. I'm curious about what else is in there, but not enough. Plus her tendency for over-the-top sensationalism, but without the adjoining content to anchor it into meaningfulness or applicability or .. anything. If I'd read this first, I wouldn't likely have ever read "Jennifer Johnson." (less)
Always good to have a current resource. I think I gave my last one to my coworker at my last job. Intending it as a loan, but whatever. This one seems...moreAlways good to have a current resource. I think I gave my last one to my coworker at my last job. Intending it as a loan, but whatever. This one seems to be written much better than most, much much less obfuscation. Or perhaps I'm so old now, my obfuscy-immunities have reached critical mass. I don't know, but this book fits for me now. Have various aspects of this new job which are new to me, and also the organization has a different scope and different set of goings-on.. such as this book is a great orientation tool, if as good as it seems to be.
Actually this turned out to be a bit of a weird duck. Written more in layperson's language, because the authors are more laypeople themselves. And the point of it all: liquidity!! Maintain liquidity! Functional allocations - completely glossed over. Two sentences. Thanks anyway. The rest of it all - interesting run through, but... not as much 'there' there as I'd hoped. Never hurts to have around, but no longer a priority to read every word right now.(less)
He has a piece up at TPM that is very good, in response to recent comments expressing false optimism about the US economy. He lists about 12 darts eac...moreHe has a piece up at TPM that is very good, in response to recent comments expressing false optimism about the US economy. He lists about 12 darts each of which is sharp-tipped enough to completely deflate such foolish perceptions. Brutal. And he mentions that an updated version of this book is out or coming out soon. Will be looking forward to reading that! (less)
Minneapolis writer! Looks fascinating, might have to send a copy to our relatives in Germany after reading also! 'Boutique' printing - only 5000 copies...moreMinneapolis writer! Looks fascinating, might have to send a copy to our relatives in Germany after reading also! 'Boutique' printing - only 5000 copies! Yikes! Ok, that's way too many exclamation points..(less)