This was the first book I picked up and read all the way through in one sitting. Technically, it's not a difficult read but conceptually it's rich and...moreThis was the first book I picked up and read all the way through in one sitting. Technically, it's not a difficult read but conceptually it's rich and engaging.
"They have a word for people our age. They call us children and they treat us like mice."
If you can't understand that statement, you probably won't like this book. It's about intelligent children. Not miniature adults- their motivations, understanding, and some-times naivete clearly mark them as children. But at the same time their intelligence and inner strength define them clearly as people. Their personalities are fully developed, even if their bodies are not.
The book is about war. About leadership. And about the qualities that make some one a powerful or admirable individual (not always the same thing). In this book children are both kind and cruel to each other as only children know how to be. It is not an easy book for anyone who understands childhood to be a happy time of innocence. Even still, the characters retain a certain amount of innocence.
The questions posed by the war, by the handling of the war, are relevant today, as they were when the book was written, and as they have been since the dawning of the atomic age. Foremost is the question of what makes someone or something a monster. It is an easy read, but not always a comfortable one.
I'd recommend this book for intelligent children. The sort that resent being talked down to and treated like kids. Here is a book that does not talk down to them, but understands and empathizes with them. Also I recommend it for adults who used to be that kind of child, even if science fiction is not your usual interest. More pure science fiction fans will find it interesting, as will those who enjoy exploring the philosophies of human nature and war.
Jaime Saenz is one of my favorite poets. His work is creepy, surrealist, and dream-like. At his best, it reminds me of the lesser known works of Salva...moreJaime Saenz is one of my favorite poets. His work is creepy, surrealist, and dream-like. At his best, it reminds me of the lesser known works of Salvador Dali. He tends to the macabre, seeing in every living person a dead one waiting to get out. But his poetry is not hopeless. There is often love and affection expressed for these inner-selves, with an awareness to the typical denial of their existence.
Saenz is not a comfortable poet, and I doubt he will achieve the popularity of Edgar Alan Poe. His work reaches inside the mind to make one uncomfortable, and does so with awareness of itself. These are poems for people who don't mind looking at things sideways once in a while. And for those who can really appreciate the mastery of the Spanish language he demonstrates.(less)
This is the English translation of El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote De La Mancha that I kept on hand while I was reading the original in Spanish. I ra...moreThis is the English translation of El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote De La Mancha that I kept on hand while I was reading the original in Spanish. I rather like it. The language can seem a bit archaic and slightly formulaic, but generally it gives you a good feel for the original Spanish and it's certainly an entertaining read.
I recommend it for English speakers who want to read Don Quixote, but don't have the Spanish to read the original.(less)