This would have been three stars, if not for the last half of the last chapter, which I loved. It gets pretty philosophical about beauty and fate andThis would have been three stars, if not for the last half of the last chapter, which I loved. It gets pretty philosophical about beauty and fate and love, which I liked.
I also appreciated the Dickensian parallels and while you wouldn't think I would feel any connection to a drug addicted criminal, Boris was actually one of my favorite characters.
I listened to much of this on audiobook (switching back and forth to the Kindle version) and the narrator was excellent.
Eh. Not really my thing. Too much Spanglish and G-talk. Better reviewers than I have summed up my feelings perfectly well. I totally agree with Kim abEh. Not really my thing. Too much Spanglish and G-talk. Better reviewers than I have summed up my feelings perfectly well. I totally agree with Kim about the Spanish and the footnotes, and I totally agree with DFJ about the swearing. I didn't really care about Oscar, and I didn't find his life wondrous at all. Sorry, Alfonso. Is this really you? Because the thing that made me lose interest in Oscar was how freaking obtuse he insisted upon being. You don't strike me as that stubbornly and willfully ignorant....more
**spoiler alert** This story always makes me cry. It only loses a star because it seems so unrealistic in the end, almost like a sort of fairy tale. A**spoiler alert** This story always makes me cry. It only loses a star because it seems so unrealistic in the end, almost like a sort of fairy tale. All the bad guys learn their lesson, Nettie and the children come home, and they all live happily ever after. I don't necessarily know that I'd want it to end differently, but it still just seems too easy.
Also, I read the book after I'd seen the movie, and I was moved more by the film. Whoopi and Oprah's performances were spectacular, and I think it helped me to feel more of the emotion when I saw it on their faces....more
Fortuna evidently was smiling upon my being when I endeavored to undertake the consumption of this philosophical masterpiece. How amusingDear Reader,
Fortuna evidently was smiling upon my being when I endeavored to undertake the consumption of this philosophical masterpiece. How amusing to stumble upon a comic homage to Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, an homage that not only mirrors its source of inspiration in both content and structure, but moreover employs said source as a plot device of the most humorous kind. Certainly it was no mere accident; indeed it must have been a result of afflatus imparted by the goddess herself in collaboration with the muses Thalia and Calliope. Oh, what genius has the world lost with the tragic demise of John Kennedy Toole?
Through his quixotic anti-hero, Ignatius J. Reilly, Toole is disposed to explore the ideas of predestination and game theory. Is Rielly a misunderstood genius, surrounded by intellectual inferiors and thus a victim of their nescience? Or is it his own distorted reality, paranoid delusions, and ineptitude that is the impetus of his misfortune? It is for you, dear reader, to decide.
I found the descriptions of New Orleans particularly diverting. Such a cast of eccentric and delightful characters could only be found within the borders of the Crescent City (or Stars Hollow). Like Proust's madeleine, the wonderful references to NOLA summoned to my mind memories of a happier, pre-Katrina time in one of my favorite municipalities.
I must say that the numerous references to various and sundry bodily emissions offended my delicate feminine sensibilities somewhat. Perhaps this was the plan of some devious alpha-male, to thus corrupt the otherwise sheltered and virginal innocence of my mentality. As Ignatius said, "This subject deserves the attention of a profound thinker who has a certain perspective on the world's cultural development."
(If any perceptive film producers are interested in buying the movie rights to this Review, I might here make a note about the filming of this critique. A song performed by The Preservation Hall Jazz Band would provide excellent background accompaniment. Perhaps the actress playing your humble reviewer could be seated at a table at the Cafe du Monde, enjoying a cafe au lait and plate of beignets.)...more
Reading a copy of a book that was previously read by someone else always adds another layer to the experience. This book has been sitting on my bookshReading a copy of a book that was previously read by someone else always adds another layer to the experience. This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for more than twenty years. Its pages are yellowed with age, and although it was never a library book, it has that library book smell. It was my brother's, as is evidenced by the huge "KALSEY" printed on the top of the book, and "ADAM KALSEY" on the title page. He must have read it in high school, or, possibly, Jr. High. All throughout the book, there are passages highlighted and very helpful notes in the margin, such as "Description of town" next to a description of the town and "Atticus a lawyer" next to the introduction of Atticus. As I read the book, I liked to imagine a teenage Adam, all spiky hair and braces, with his pink (!) highlighter and pen, making notes in the margin because some teacher told him to. None of the notes have any kind of insight into how my brother felt about the book, but I think it's super cool that when I posted on Facebook that I was reading it, my brother's youngest son commented that he loved that book. It feels, almost, like a full circle somehow. Had I known the boys would be reading this book already, I would have given them their father's copy. Perhaps I still should.
My high school was not the best: We didn't have many arts programs, we didn't win at sports, there weren't a lot of school-sponsored extracurricular activities. And we never read To Kill a Mockingbird. Year after year, I'd see this copy sitting on the book shelf in the house where I grew up, but I never read it because I felt like the ship had sailed somehow. Like, if I hadn't read it in high school, I'd already missed out. I know that's silly, but I just can't explain it. And yet I still packed it up and took it with me among my own books when I moved out. It has followed me from apartment to apartment, from house to house, always quietly sitting on the shelf, biding its time, knowing I'd get to it when I was ready.
I'm not sure why my brother left it behind when he got married and moved out. Maybe he forgot it. Maybe he didn't want it. Or maybe it hid itself from his view, saving itself for me, knowing that someday there would be a day when I would rediscover it and finally understand why everyone loves it so....more