This is a difficult book to categorize, rate, and even talk about. It is unlike just about any other book you'll ever read--at least that was my exper...moreThis is a difficult book to categorize, rate, and even talk about. It is unlike just about any other book you'll ever read--at least that was my experience. The book is fantastical and fanciful. It is also slow and it is difficult to perceive what it is all supposed to mean--at least until the very end of the book.
The book is a history of a mystical town--a sort of Eden, or Atlantis. The principal characters are the Buendia family. Nearly all of the characters carry the same set of names from generation to generation which leads to some difficulty in keeping them all straight.
So, right off the bat, this book is not going to appeal to casual readers, so the reviewers who comment that it is boring, or slow, are basically right. You've got to enjoy Marquez' wry, and often debauched sense of humor if you're going to make it through this. It is a humorous book, and it is gripping in a strange way.
But, as I said at the beginning, you'll wonder "what's the point?" all through the book until you get to the last few pages and it will all click. Unfortunately, without saying too much, his existentialism is something I find quite detestable, and wrong. But, at least there is a point, as it at least settles the question for you.
Still--an interesting read that will get some chuckles and make you think some new thoughts. But only someone infected with the spirit of the age could truly love this book. (less)
I picked this up after reading a glowing review from a friend. The story starts a bit slow, and it is puzzling to try to piece it all together at the...moreI picked this up after reading a glowing review from a friend. The story starts a bit slow, and it is puzzling to try to piece it all together at the start. In fact, I didn't really "like" the book until about three-quarters of the way through it, and didn't love it until the end.
From the start, it is plain to see, that Weller is a great wordsmith. He crafts beautiful sentences that keep you reading, even if the story isn't really there yet. Even his characters, while interesting, are difficult to sympathize with at first--they grow on you with familiarity.
So far, it might be difficult to understand why this is an absolutely astounding book. It is all right there-even from the start. But Weller is so skilled that you can't really see it all until it is all but over.
The story, is similar to the style Dickens uses in driving everything in the story into one moment when it all becomes clear. But where Dickens doesn't conceal it well, Weller only gives you enough at a time for you to keep going, keep guessing, and then he wow's you at the end. The finish of this novel is truly wonderful. It certainly isn't wine and roses, but my goodness-it nearly had me in tears, and that's saying something.
The way that Weller has prepared each character, each actor, and each event for the finish is unlike any other finish I read--it has a biblical feel to it, as it is so profound, so meticulous that I simply stand amazed.
Again, I must emphasize, you've got to make it to the end to truly admire Weller, because this is a difficult read--especially for the squeamish. As my friend did in his review, I must compare Weller to Cormac McCarthy. Wilderness is what McCarthy should be. Where McCarthy only gives us existential despair, Weller gives us providential hope. McCarthy brings you to the void and nudges you in, but Weller takes you to the void, but then turns you to the holy.
For this reason, I can't recommend the book unreservedly. You've got to get through a lot of heart-break, wickedness, pain, and death before you see what makes it all worth it.
Reviewing Foxe's Book of Martyr's today is rather unfair, as it has been appended several times over the years and most of the additions detract from...moreReviewing Foxe's Book of Martyr's today is rather unfair, as it has been appended several times over the years and most of the additions detract from the original.
The original edition by Foxe is a truly great work of history. It is detailed in its accounts and lists of martyrs. But the additions are plodding, tedious, and simply not up to the standard set by Foxe.
One interesting thing I learned in this, is that the Roman Catholic Church was corrupt and destructive to true Christianity far earlier than I'd previously conceived. Even in the early days of the middle ages it was compromised and persecuting the faithful. Sad.
Another interesting bit, is how much the tyrannical regimes of the 20th century--specifically the Bolsheviks learned from the Inquisition. The tactics and lusts of the leadership were virtually identical. (less)
This is a good collection of short letters written for young men, or parents shepherding young men. The letters deal primarily with sexual purity and...moreThis is a good collection of short letters written for young men, or parents shepherding young men. The letters deal primarily with sexual purity and maturity.
This is a great book for parents to read as their sons enter puberty, and also very good for young men to read in high school.(less)
This book has received quite a bit of acclaim even two years after it was released. It has, in fact, seemingly increased in popularity in the last yea...moreThis book has received quite a bit of acclaim even two years after it was released. It has, in fact, seemingly increased in popularity in the last year when it has been promoted widely in the Reformed blogosphere.
I decided to read it for myself after hearing so many good things about it from acquaintances. I'm glad I did. The book is not only the story of the author's conversion, but her story of growing into maturity as a Christian.
The book covers many years and she changes from a postmodern, lesbian, women's studies professor, to a homeschooling mother and pastor's wife. This transition is naturally quite a story and is very interesting.
Her testimony is a wonderful one, not just because of the way that God brought her out of sin into new life, but the way that so many people ministered to her. It is a joy to hear of the body of Christ in action loving the lost, taking risks to serve the lost, and to see the work of the Holy Spirit.
I really enjoyed this book. This book is much more than the story of her conversion and the chapter on adoption is really good and worth reading. There are times when she seems to wander onto rabbit trails and advances her denomination's beliefs in a way that takes away from the thrust of the book. But it is a great story and very edifying. I recommend it.(less)