This is about the Sarin Attack in Tokyo's Subway back in 1995. Murakami here interviews the survivors of the attack in order to get a closer image ofThis is about the Sarin Attack in Tokyo's Subway back in 1995. Murakami here interviews the survivors of the attack in order to get a closer image of the Japanese society. After he's spent eight years abroad, he here -just like with the Kobe Earthquake- tries to understand Japanese as a form of consciousness. In this book we look at the attack each time with a different person, and although they were all on the same train at the same time, their stories are all told from a different angle providing us with different versions. Some of the survivors were strongly injured and have lost their memories\vision for a couple of days, some went into a coma, others died. What I liked the most about these interviews is that Murakami doesn't only offer us with heroic people, some of the people interviewed were quite safe and sound after the attack, it's not only those whose lives turned up-side down after the attack that we only read about. Murakami made sure to show all people's reactions, this is not a melodramatic documentary, this is about real ordinary people who were close to death.
The people interviews are fascinating. Seeing how such an incident can change humans in tremendous ways gave me goosebumps. A husband tells his wife that he wants a divorce straight away after being attacked, for example. And so many individuals start to question their lives. As if they were comfortably numb before the attack, and somehow the fear of death got them closer to realize that the life they're having is quite worth it. I wondered if I had gone through similar circumstances and survived, what would I change about my life?
The saddest story I have read was the one about Shizuko Akashi. As sad as it was it still have given me some sort of.. hope. I think.
Murakami doesn't only interview these people, he also writes in Where Are We Japanese Going and The Place That was Promised about terrorism and who created the monster\terrorists -he even interviews the Aum- which may as well be the most important article ever; Murakami doesn't not blame religion he rather writes that terrorists are story tellers. He also says we should find an alternative for what the media has created "us" VS. "them".
It's my forth Murakami's book and I can never recall reading him in such a personal way. I have never thought I'd find any book for him where he talks about his life, feelings, and his awkwardness toward other people. Murakami speaks in here in his own voice.
Now, if you think that this book is about an incident that happened long time ago and reading it is a tedious irrelevant thing, look around; ISIS, Charlie Hebdo Attack, you still think we will ever not have terrorist? Very eye-opening read. ...more
I cannot remember at any point in my life wanting to read a contemporary play. My experience with plays revolves around Shakespeare, Wilde, and some GI cannot remember at any point in my life wanting to read a contemporary play. My experience with plays revolves around Shakespeare, Wilde, and some Greek ones. So, I thought I wouldn't take this one seriously, I was wrong. I enjoyed every scene and every dialogue.
Doubt is a story of a nun who suspects her priest of abusing one of the altar boys. Simply put. but carefully reading it, it's more about purity, power, and conviction. The words flow like poetry, every line is quotable. Really well-written.
From the very first scene, the play opens with a sermon about the importance of doubt;
"Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty"
We, ourselves, never get to the point of being sure whether the priest is guilty or not. Actually, the nuns never say of what they are accusing the priest with. The power of the unspoken word, the power of solving the script is all used in here. The scenes are well-put and I loved the sermons given by the priest the most, especially how he compares gossip to feathers. Once they speared, you cannot by any way gather them back.
It's a very interesting play with such memorable characters, and shows a lot of how our predications and judgments can sometimes destroy people's lives. We are left in doubt in the play, but we certainly have seen how doubt can play a major rule. Recommended to anyone.
P.S: just for the record, I don't think he did it.
"Patience and Love agreed to meet at a set time and place; beneath the twenty-third tree in the olive orchard. PatBelow why I rated the book one star:
"Patience and Love agreed to meet at a set time and place; beneath the twenty-third tree in the olive orchard. Patience arrived promptly and waited. She checked her watch every so often but still, there was no sign of Love. Was it the twenty-third tree or the fifty-sixth? She wondered and decided to check, just in case. As she made her way over to the fifty-sixth tree, Love arrived at twenty-three, where Patience was noticeably absent. Love waited and waited before deciding he must have the wrong tree and perhaps it was another where they were supposed to meet. Meanwhile, Patience had arrived at the fifty-sixth tree, where Love was still nowhere to be seen. Both begin to drift aimlessly around the olive orchard, almost meeting but never do. Finally, Patience, who was feeling lost and resigned, found herself beneath the same tree where she began. She stood there for barely a minute when there was a tap on her shoulder. It was Love. .................................. “Where are you?” She asked. “I have been searching all my life.” “Stop looking for me,” Love replied, “and I will find you."
This is the style of Lang Leav. I read some of her poems and they were cute and personal, but most of them, like the above, were childish and cliche. Nobody cares if you have a lover and you just feel like writing several horrible words to him. Spare me the utterly-pretentious valentine day cards, write real poetry for me, write me about pain and life, shock me. ...more
This is a very sad comic autobiography told in the funniest, most interesting way. This is the life of Marjane, an Iranian rebellious woman who's liveThis is a very sad comic autobiography told in the funniest, most interesting way. This is the life of Marjane, an Iranian rebellious woman who's lived in Iran and went through the Islamic Iranian Revolution against the Shah, she's seen war and how it affected people, she's lived in a country where everything is controlled (same as I am), and she's also lived in Europe and experienced freedom at its best. So, Marjane has seen a lot, and she absolutely has a lot to say about it.
Persepolis starts from the beginning of the revolution, how, why, when it started and how the "Islamic Regime" changes the way of so many Iranians lives; her childhood friends were suddenly men and now are sent for Jihad during The Iraqi\Iranian war, the school she once studied Languages and Arts in, is now a project for brainwashing that is set to tell you how you must think. Although, Marjane was raised in an open minded family, she still has struggled with the meaning of Hijab and the absurdity of war in her childhood and even more when she's an adult. She struggles to search for a life meaning in a dead country, a country that, according to Marjane's mom, was set back fifty years after the revolution.
Persepolis is very entertaining, funny and full of culture and dark humor, it shows how religion can be used for political reasons and visa versa and, most importantly, Marjane is a Feminist which is enough to make me love her, let alone her amazing drawings.
P.S: I feel like writing a longer review in my blog about how Persepolis resembles my daily struggles as a woman living in Saudi Arabia; and the meaning of Hijjab as well. I want to write a little bit about religious fundamentalism. Soon inshall'a! ...more
Let's consider the possibility that, maybe, even Chuck's genius style of writing and the sarcastic views of him, can sound reparative after all. OnceLet's consider the possibility that, maybe, even Chuck's genius style of writing and the sarcastic views of him, can sound reparative after all. Once you get to know how he uses it; the consists remarks of a fake society, the self destructed protagonists, the crude language and the repeating sentences, and you, on the other hand, just want Chuck to bring something new on the table.
The reason why I couldn't care much for the story is probably because of Misty's character, I mean she's just full of low-self-esteem issues. And though, I didn't like the book much, but I do think that if this was my first time reading Chuck, I would've liked the book a greater deal. But after reading Fight Club and Invisible Monsters my expectation were high. ...more
Monet is my favorite painter. I cried out loud when I saw this at first. I know I sound like a big drama queen WELL maybe cause I am, but whatever, IMonet is my favorite painter. I cried out loud when I saw this at first. I know I sound like a big drama queen WELL maybe cause I am, but whatever, I got this, didn't I?
The book is filled with great pictures and some information, although I hated how repetitive it is, but it's worth checking out....more
One of last trip to Paris hunts. I bought it from The Versailles little stores there. I was told it was the best guide book, and indeed it was. Not onOne of last trip to Paris hunts. I bought it from The Versailles little stores there. I was told it was the best guide book, and indeed it was. Not only filled with great pictures, but also historically entraining and well written! The book starts with how and when and who build the great Versailles, and takes you to a detailed information presentation. Great memories, Paris....more
**spoiler alert** Apparently, people who read this short novella are divided into two group; there are those who hated it, thought it is sexist, creep**spoiler alert** Apparently, people who read this short novella are divided into two group; there are those who hated it, thought it is sexist, creepy and pointless. The other ones, are Marquez fans and of course they are the ones who have seen beyond our Non-Marquezed Average Thinking Mind and were able to understand the philosophy of the story, the hidden meanings and the lyricism in its writing. I am in the middle. I agree with both and I have felt both feelings, although I think I tend to agree more with the second group, but again I understand the first ones.
"The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin"
The story begins with the unnamed character turning ninety and for the first time in his life he wanted to experience going to bed with a virgin. Never loved, never married and with almost nothing worth mentioning in his previous life, he calls Rosa, whorehouse owner, asking her to find him the gift he wanted, a virgin.
This shameless person, the narrator, often goes back in memory and recalls the women he has slept with during his life, not one of these relationships was out of love or even slight likeness. The narrator often describes the women he has been with in few words; they are not important, he has felt nothing with them, and they changed nothing in him. Here at first, I was disgusted and humiliated while reading; the narrator sounded selfish and creepy; he was old yet he only kept recalling his ugly nights with whores as if they were some sort of heroic acts. He even prides himself for never having sex with a woman he didn't pay for. Take this for example, he talks about the nights he had with his housekeeper and since she didn't want his money in return, he raises her salary as a way of paying her. WHAT THE HELL, I KNOW. Reading these memories of him got me so disgusted I wanted to throw up. Literally. And here I agree with the first group, I felt that Marquez could never see beyond sex, the female characters had nothing to do and barley spoke or had any sort of impact in the story. They were in the story only as sex objects and guess what? they said nothing even about that; they just ravenously expect anything. I thought it was misogynist and racist and I nearly wanted to stop. But wait, The unnamed man gets the call he-we-has been waiting for. Rosa found the virgin.
Although, this hideous man dream was reluctantly agreed by Rosa, she somehow managed to bring him the gift. a fourteen years old virgin who sews buttons to support her family and her father wanted to sell her. A poor little girl. Pedophilia, I was disgusted even more. But wait...
The narrator refuses to know the girl's name, instead he chooses to name her. The girl, unnamed and unknown, faceless and voiceless, asleep in bed where he first finds her waiting for him. There goes a the turning point of the narrator where he meets the virgin asleep and decides not to disturb her, so he chooses to silently sleep beside her allowing himself to look at her only.
"Rosa Cabarcas had advised me to treat her with caution, since she still felt her terror of the first time. What is more, I believe the solemnity of the ritual heightened her fear and the dose of valerian had to be increased, for she slept with so much placidity that it would have been a shame to wake her without a lullaby. And so I began to dry her with a towel while I sang in a whisper the song about Delgadina, the king’s youngest daughter, wooed by her father. As I dried her she was showing me her sweaty flanks to the rhythm of my song: Delgadina, Delgadina, you will be my darling love. It was a limitless pleasure, for she began to perspire again on one side as I finished drying the other, which meant the song might never end. Arise, arise, Delgadina, and put on your skirt of silk, I sang into her ear. At the end, when the king’s servants find her dead of thirst in her bed, it seemed to me that my girl had been about to wake when she heard the name. Then that’s who she was: Delgadina."
He creates his own Pygmalion version of her and that what I liked the most because I thought Marquez would create a rebellious female who is able to shatter the character's soul, but instead he created a numb one. We don't hear the girl's voice or see her side of the story; and he let our man falls for her, immediately.
For the first time in the narrator life, he chooses not to touch a woman, at least not in a sexual way. He starts for the first time to experience love and the purity of it. He starts to act completely crazy and spends his nights staring at her, he feels the ecstasy of touching her body and singing to her. Through HER, he, for the first time, was able to feel jealousy, responsibility, and the fear of losing someone. At least for once he was able to feel all the privileges and the restrictions of love. Why the hell would he need sex after experiencing all of this? He didn't need it, and he was damn careful not to pollute this little girl; and to keep her as some sort of a statue of pureness, since she is probably the closer thing he had to innocence.
This narrator starts looking differently on life after meeting the girl and suddenly his happiness and sadness were not only his own, anymore. His wrinkled body skin didn't matter, and his old age was a mere number. In less than 200 pages Marquez was able to drive this man to all sort of love experiences; first sight, the ever longing, the wasted hours, jealousy, and loss, and our unnamed character freaking enjoyed it.
"I would not have traded the delights of my suffering for anything in the world."
Whores were his consolation when he didn't have love, suffering was his consolation when he had loved... and that's why I am more into this novella. Simple and short as it is, but God Marquez ability to make me read a hallucinated misogynist old man babbling around and actually make me like it? That's tough, man....more