I had already written a review for this novel yesterday, but after watching the film today I thought better of the opinions I shared, and have decidedI had already written a review for this novel yesterday, but after watching the film today I thought better of the opinions I shared, and have decided to start afresh. I suppose I was a bit stubborn in my dislike of the tale originally because I was so profoundly insulted by John Boyne’s one dimensional characters and their contrived circumstances. However, if it weren’t for his creativity in writing this fable, however flawed and in need of amending, we would not have the deeply moving motion picture that Mark Herman has presented us with.
Boyne’s fable left me shocked at the naivety of the commandants family members, as it is my understanding that children of the Reich were raised in the thick of propaganda, where manipulation started early by learning hate through the "Jungvolk” movement, followed by the Hitler Youth at 14, this all in order to properly groom them to eventually fight for the fatherland. The writing style he used of repeating phraseology was also a drain, and I’m not quite sure what the point was. Grammatically speaking, his inability to stick to either the American (pajamas) spellings, or the British (pyjamas) ones, I found to be annoying, but I may just be nitpicking there.
Ultimately, this is a story about the sincere kindness found in innocence, how we aren’t born with hatred, we are taught it, and unfortunately, how the sins of the father fall upon the son. In my opinion, and I doubt that you’ll read these words from me in regards to any other story, skip the book and just rent the film. Just don’t forget the Kleenex… ...more
Tobacco Road is set in the southern US after the Great Depression, and as such we are met with some very deplorable characters living in utter destituTobacco Road is set in the southern US after the Great Depression, and as such we are met with some very deplorable characters living in utter destitution, that can barely seem to scrape by. There is no doubt that Caldwell was intending to be satirical when shaping these wretched misfits, as the humour and ridiculous exaggeration is not subtle, and if you can wrap your mind around this fact you may find yourself laughing out loud throughout. Every single character will no doubt make your skin crawl, and you may be tempted to bang your head against a brick wall with their unbelievable actions and asinine commentary. In order to elicit such disgust and revolt from an audience, there is no disputing that Caldwell was adept at his craft. This book is probably not for everyone, but if you are going to give it a shot, don't take it too seriously. I was able to find some clips on YouTube from the black and white movie of the same name, directed by John Ford, and had a real laugh....more
This is a nice story about a not so nice time in our history. Through a series of letters written between people that start off as strangers and end uThis is a nice story about a not so nice time in our history. Through a series of letters written between people that start off as strangers and end up as lifelong friends, we learn of some of the devastation the Channel Islands, and other parts of Europe, were subject to during the German occupation of the Second World War.
I did find the book to be a little stale at times, regardless of the author’s wit, and ultimately struggled to get through it. This should be no solid reflection on the author or the story, though, since I tend to read and enjoy novels with a little less benevolence and a lot more grit. I was approached by so many people whilst reading this book in public places, as they felt the need to tell me how wonderful and heartwarming they found the book to be, even stating that they thought it ended too soon. Chacun son goût!
Chamdi’s name means “a boy of thick skin,” as appropriately given to him by Mrs. Sadiq, his caretaker at the orphanage where he has spent his short liChamdi’s name means “a boy of thick skin,” as appropriately given to him by Mrs. Sadiq, his caretaker at the orphanage where he has spent his short life sheltered from the evils that lurk behind the towering and concrete walls, in the streets of Bombay. His upbringing has been humble, with the same meals of rice and vegetables provided three times a day, a cot with a white sheet to sleep on, and a basic education affording him the knowledge to read and write. You can’t help but feel sad for Chamdi and his situation, until the closing of the orphanage sends him to the streets of Bombay where we quickly learn things can be much worse than he had ever experienced.
Chamdi’s road becomes increasingly harder, as he struggles to stay alive with no food in his tummy, money in his hand or a roof over his head. His saving grace and the true inspiration of this story is Chamdi’s ability to dream in colours. No matter how dark, dismal and desolate his circumstances appear to be, Chamdi need only close his eyes and dream of Kahunsha, his make believe recreation of Bombay, where there is no sadness, criminals, or starvation. This is a truly inspirational story that will not only make you thankful for all that you have, but hopeful for all that you have the power to imagine.
Comprised of folklore, tragedy, racism, willful determination and eventually, Alzheimer’s disease, Soucouyant is the haunting tale of one man’s journeComprised of folklore, tragedy, racism, willful determination and eventually, Alzheimer’s disease, Soucouyant is the haunting tale of one man’s journey back to his ailing mother, and what he learns about himself and his roots along the way. Set in the Scarborough Bluffs, a beautiful suburb of Toronto, as contrasted by the ramshackle slums of Trinidad during WWII, the descriptions are breathtaking and shocking. More than just a novel, Soucouyant reads like poetry, and is magical in its style....more
Highly disturbing yet realistic account of a young girls struggle for survival throughout her loss of innocence, abandonment and the resulting confusiHighly disturbing yet realistic account of a young girls struggle for survival throughout her loss of innocence, abandonment and the resulting confusion and discord these events provided. Racism, war and paedophilia are but a few of the hard hitting topics that emanate from Erian's bold tale written through the eyes of thirteen year old Jazeera. Hard to read, but important none the less....more