Absalom, Absalom! is an historical fiction that synchronizes the events of one man's life with the downfall of the south after the Civil War. I didn'tAbsalom, Absalom! is an historical fiction that synchronizes the events of one man's life with the downfall of the south after the Civil War. I didn't mind all the hundred word sentences and 3 page paragraphs, but it was difficult to follow at times. The scenes would often change abruptly in mid-paragraph and so would the setting. Then it was sometimes difficult to decipher who was actually in the setting or what was happening, as Faulkner never explicitly tells you what's going on, but rather keeps you guessing about what's happened. While this book can be extremely frustrating to follow, a few visits to sparknotes.com can clear up any confusion.
Faulkner is a great writer and this is probably his best. I would have to say that Rosa's letter in chapter V is the highlight of this tragic novel, a novel in which it seems that every single person goes through something completely horrible. It's as difficult to read emotionally as it is intellectually, but it's so admirable and symbolic that it could represent a milestone in classic fiction and the pinnacle of "modernist" literature....more
Midnight's Children narrates an endless series of tragedies that befall a boy who was born with magical powers at the stroke of midnight on the day ofMidnight's Children narrates an endless series of tragedies that befall a boy who was born with magical powers at the stroke of midnight on the day of India's independence. It was an incredible read, but there were a few things I didn't like about it. It was sad, pessimistic, and very crammed, but the concept was exceptional and so was the witty humor. Even though it seems like all the side stories are trivial, they are just there to add to the cumulative tumult of his life. These short little stories were interesting enough to keep me reading, but several parts really stand out, cementing this novel as one of the best of its time (apparently it won the "Best of the Booker" award, and I can see why). The chapter titled "Tick Tock" is incredibly welll executed, counting down his special birth. That passage should be famous! (maybe it already it is in India). Prior to reading that I was considering abandoning the book, but good thing I didn't because there was another unforgettable chapter called "In The Sandarbans". It's a downright disturbing, yet breathtaking adventure on the fringe of reality. Also his dream of the Widow is just plain mental- because of that I find myself thinking in greens and blacks now and then, haha.
Salman is now one of my favorite authors. Midnight's Children was great, but I've also read The Satanic Verses and The Enchantress Of Florence, and I thought they were both better than this. His books can really make you shake your head at humanity.
I will start by saying that The Enchantress Of Florence isn't for everyone. It's meant to be an allegorical work to the Arabian Nights, thus there isI will start by saying that The Enchantress Of Florence isn't for everyone. It's meant to be an allegorical work to the Arabian Nights, thus there is a predominance of jaded personalities while character development and dialogue is extremely limited. Also expect a fast pace story line and stories within stories. And if that's not enough, It's also rich in the type of history only well educated people might know about, and yet it's an adult fable, so if neither of those suit your taste you probably won't like it either. This is a book for the most advanced of minds, with a complex plot and a multitude of characters, information, and subplots. Another thing alot of people aren't liking is that in the first half there's a lot of sex and foul language, but to me it's written in a way that's so intoxicating I just didn't care. The second half is better anyway, and the ending is a total mindf*ck. So if you're up for the challenge, go for it!
All that aside, this novel was as magical in prose, enriching in intellect, intriguing in relationships, and downright disturbing as any I've ever read. I have a solid background in the 16th century and high renaissance Florence, so I once I read the teaser I knew there'd be a strong change that I'd love it. Macchiavelli, Akbar the Great, Queen Elizabeth, Amerigo Vespucci, Vlad the Impaler, Lorenzo Medici, Genghis Kahn, Magellan, and who am I forgetting?; all are linked together in this work of sheer brilliance (some are even main characters). Themes of lust, separation, and loyalty abound as settings range from all ends of the Earth; from India to the Middle East, the Middle East to Italy, and Italy to the Ancient Americas. It's probably one of the top two or three historical fictions I've ever read....more
In my unprofessional opinion, The Grapes Of Wrath should not be assigned to high school students. I can’t imagine trying to relate to homeless farmersIn my unprofessional opinion, The Grapes Of Wrath should not be assigned to high school students. I can’t imagine trying to relate to homeless farmers in the 1930’s as a high school student without any experience as a working man. The essence of this book is economic corruption and the strength needed to survive during times of misfortune, something that anyone without ever having a job and paying bills would not likely find important. Even if they did, it’s written so well that a teenager wouldn’t get the real message behind it. If you are a teenager and you happen to enjoy this for everything it stands for, then kudos to you, young genius!
The Joads are a highly symbolic American family, forced off their land and inspired to start new lives in the promising haven of California. After the Dust Bowl, many midwestern families like the Joads were evicted because they could no longer farm and the land was owned by banks. The Joads head west on Routte 66, finding typical familial hardships more prominent due to the fact they have very little money. The American banner of a better tomorrow gives them hope, but Steinbeck does an excellent job of showing how that banner can be just as much an illusion as it can be a blessing.
I liked Tom a lot. He reminds me of myself in some ways- angsty when treated unfairly, looking out for his friends and family, not afraid to get down and dirty, rebellious against the establishment, newfound spiritualism catalyzed by the ex-priest. When I think back on it I can still see good ole’ Tom Joad roaming the empty flatlands of America, boundless and free yet trapped and hungry, an emblem for all the generations of laborers and unionizers that have stood up to all the exploitative bankers, pinhead politicians, and brutal police forces throughout American (and world) history. Tom doesn’t know exactly how things got to be the way they are, but he doesn’t like it, and he’ll do anything to get even. His spirit lives on in the heart of each and every one of us, even those in the upper echelons of society. For if they were walking in his shoes, you know they’d do the same....more
Read this one for a more realistic, intimate version of the movie 300. The Battle of Thermoplyae is one of history's most famous upsets- a few hundredRead this one for a more realistic, intimate version of the movie 300. The Battle of Thermoplyae is one of history's most famous upsets- a few hundred Spartans defeated the entire Persian army. Pressfield did a great job of engaging his readers with characters that we should care about, and building the type of suspense needed to set the table for one dynamite of a battle. I still feel drawn to the story of Xeo and his sister to this day, and that's something that every powerful book needs to do....more