**spoiler alert** When I was in the middle of this book I couldn't understand why it had such mediocre ratings. I thought it was really nicely written...more**spoiler alert** When I was in the middle of this book I couldn't understand why it had such mediocre ratings. I thought it was really nicely written. I liked Doctor Iannis's writing his history of cephalonia that never remains unbiased from his own feelings. I loved Carlo and his heroism and tragedy. I loved Corelli and his morning opera. And I finally understood the only scene from the movie that I actually remember - Weber and the firing squad. But then from that point on I discovered the reason for the ratings. Almost from that scene on it was an awful book. Truly Horrible ending. We have to endure 50 years of pelagias life whilst she believes Corelli is dead, and never moves on. And then he comes back, after they've both wasted half their lives apart, and admits that he came back and spied on her every year, had thought she was married, but never actually bothered to ask.
It was so disappointing. Yes it was miserable, but it wasn't even a miserable you could appreciate, like a good angst. It was just truly a waste. A terrible waste of such a good story, such a good buildup. Very disappointing.
The book should have ended with the german occupation, and then maybe a short epilogue with a happily ever after where they don't waste 50 years of their lives.
I enjoyed the first 2/3rds very much. But I would not recommend it to anyone ever. Ever.(less)
So, Stephen.. She's born sometime in the late 18-somethings to well off parents, they call her Stephen because her parents have wanted and somewhat ex...moreSo, Stephen.. She's born sometime in the late 18-somethings to well off parents, they call her Stephen because her parents have wanted and somewhat expected a boy child for about 10 years, and her father wants to stick with the name they chose. As it turns out, they did pretty much get a boy. As a child stephen likes to pretend she's Nelson, fancies herself in love with the housemaid, throws her dolls away, wears trousers and rides astride her horse like a boy. Her father is very supportive, and while he's alive she's somewhat protected by him from other peoples opinions and morals. On the other hand, her mother thinks she's very strange and is afraid to be close to her. Anyway, Stephen grows up, falls in love, suffers tragedies, etce etce. I'll stay away from anything close to a spoiler.
I'm not sure exactly what I expected from this book, but it didn't quite play out like I thought it would.
Firstly, I wasn't even sure after a while that it really was about a lesbian, I mean, Stephen is almost a transexual, when she's young she's thinks she's a boy, and wants to be a boy, and when she's older she's constantly comparing herself with men, in regards to her behaviour, her desires and her social standing. Maybe this is about feminism and women's rights, but I'm not so sure. The book does seem to give a strange view of lesbianism, of Stephen, and others like her, what I'd call the butch ones, as sort of the only real kind of lesbians. And then the girls that fall in love with them, who seem to be feminine, and swing both ways, they're attracted to men, and to people like stephen. It's a bit of a cliche, and I never really thought of lesbianism that way myself, is this the book that started the cliche of lesbians being all manly? It's kind of odd.
I don't know why Stephen has the view that she can't give a woman a proper relationship, it's probably partly because I can't put myself into the mindset of that era's values and morals, etc. But for some reason she's such a self imposed martyr, she thinks she's wrong, thats the problem, she thinks she's unatural. She begs for the right to live as she is, but she is still ashamed of what she is.
Somehow, I think I was expecting a happily ever after, you know, one woman's triumph against society to live as a lesbian and be happy. But then again, if it was like that, it probably wouldn't have had the impact it did, as a depressive wail against society and 'normal' values.
On the whole, a good book, none the less important for my failing to agree with the character's ideas and values.(less)
Oranges is a semi-autobiographical novel, about a girl, Jeanette, adopted by a fervently evangelist christian in northern england. Her mother teaches...moreOranges is a semi-autobiographical novel, about a girl, Jeanette, adopted by a fervently evangelist christian in northern england. Her mother teaches her to read using the bible, on only sends her to school reluctantly when the authorities interfere. Jeanette also carries her mothers faith, and is alternately set on becoming a preacher, or a missionary as her mother wishes. Until, that is, Jeanette tries to explain to her mother that she's in love with another girl.
Jeanette's 'unnatural passions' fail to respond to exorcism, jeanette vows to give it up and bury herself in her church work, but eventually she falls in love again. In the end it results in alienation from her church and her family.
Jeanettes first person narrative is a very cool rollercoaster read of ups and downs, and at times dipping into the wierdly surreal, as Jeanette is plagued with visions of an orange demon. Jeanettes internal voice often runs off at a tangent to the plot line, but stick with it, it's always got something meaningful to ponder.
I think any gay or lesbian can find something to relate to in this book, whether you grew up in a religious family or not, the opinions of other people always surround us and try to tell us what is right or wrong. When ultimately it's your own beliefs, (and your own personal relationship with G-d - if you're that way inclined) that matters more in determining who you are.
The best thing about this book, for me, was that Jeanette never lost her belief in G-d, she lost a little of her fervour over time, but she never felt that her religion and her sexuality couldn't be reconciled. She never questioned that this was the way G-d had made her, it was the interference from others of her religion that complicated things.
I loved this book. It was technically my first cyberpunk. And most of all it helped me through the depression of my teenage years when I was strugglin...moreI loved this book. It was technically my first cyberpunk. And most of all it helped me through the depression of my teenage years when I was struggling with gender dysphoria. But it really deserves a re-read for a proper review.
Unfortunately I lent my copy to my gf about 8 or 9 years ago. Not sure what the etiquette is for approaching an ex-gf that you rarely speak to about som ething you lent them 8 years ago... :S(less)
Not quite 5 stars because of 'you know what' near the end. Still, it was pretty epic. You can certainly see how JKR improved her writing so much since...moreNot quite 5 stars because of 'you know what' near the end. Still, it was pretty epic. You can certainly see how JKR improved her writing so much since the very begininng.(less)