Naked Lunch was kind of interesting for me to read, being that I work in alcohol and drug abuse counseling. However, it was not a very enjoyable book...moreNaked Lunch was kind of interesting for me to read, being that I work in alcohol and drug abuse counseling. However, it was not a very enjoyable book to read. I am not a fan of books with non-linear, or even non-narrative, plots - Naked Lunch really has no plot what so ever. It is more so a collection of strange visions from the mind of a junkie. If I didn't have to read it for a book club, I may not have ever finished it! Can't say I would recommend it to anyone.(less)
I can't say I would recommend anyone read Moby Dick. I'm glad I read it, feels like an accomplishment. As a reference on whaling in the 1800s, it was...moreI can't say I would recommend anyone read Moby Dick. I'm glad I read it, feels like an accomplishment. As a reference on whaling in the 1800s, it was quite interesting. This is a large portion of the book and can be a bit droll at times, only seeming to add more and more length to the it. However, this did have the effect of making me feel like I was on this long voyage with Ishmael as well. Speaking of Ishmael, I do wish the characters were more fully developed - Queequeg seemed to me the most fleshed out and he kind of falls off the narrative in the second half. I would have liked to get more of an understanding of the other mates' motives, especially Starbuck who is most against Captain Ahab's destructive campaign against The White Whale. Ahab, as the tyrannical captain, understandably is shrouded in mystery. You don't find out much about his life before his mad pursuit of Moby Dick until nearly the end. And in the end, since I wasn't as connected to the characters, excluding maybe Ishmael, the ending felt anti-climactic. It also didn't help that it ended fairly quickly, or at least the last three chapters felt like they went by quickly. To make matters worse, the hunt of the whale is difficult to follow when you aren't as well versed in whaling (though you think after reading the first 2/3 of this book you would be!) that I caught myself getting lost in the words. By the end of it all, I had to re-read it to figure out what the heck actually happened. All in all, I wasn't as initially impressed with Moby Dick as I thought I would be (expectations too high?) but perhaps I need to give it some time to soak in.(less)
“Women made such swell friends. Awfully swell. In the first place, you had to be in love with a woman to have a basis of friendship. I had been having...more“Women made such swell friends. Awfully swell. In the first place, you had to be in love with a woman to have a basis of friendship. I had been having Brett for a friend. I had not been thinking about her side of it. I had been getting something for nothing. That only delayed the presentation of the bill. The bill always came. That was one of the swell things you could count on.
“I thought I had paid for everything. Not like the woman pays and pays and pays. No idea of retribution or punishment. Just exchange of values. You gave up something and got something else. Or you worked for something. You paid some way for everything that was any good. I paid my way into enough things that I liked, so that I had a good time. You paid by learning about them, or by experience, or by taking chances, or by money. Enjoying living was learning to get your money’s worth and knowing when you had it. You could get your money’s worth. The world was a good place to buy in. It seemed like a fine philosophy. In five years, I thought, it will seem just as silly as all the other fine philosophies I’ve had.
“Perhaps that wasn’t true, though. Perhaps as you went along you did learn something. I did not care what it was all about. All I wanted to know was how to live in it. Maybe if you found out how to live in it you learned from that what it was all about.”(less)