ARGH THIS BOOK IS SO FREAKIN' AMAZING VOLUME VOLUME LOUD NOISES!
For serious. You will love it with your brain-face. You will want to carry it around w...moreARGH THIS BOOK IS SO FREAKIN' AMAZING VOLUME VOLUME LOUD NOISES!
For serious. You will love it with your brain-face. You will want to carry it around with you in a baby carrier because it is your Precious. You will want to feed it your favorite ice cream and sing it songs and maybe put some Miracle-Gro on it so it will sprout another one and you can have two. You will ignore your relatives and maybe lose your job because you told the customers to F*CK OFF I'M READING.
One Hundred Years of Solitude is like every crazy, cracked out story your great-grandmother ever told you combined with the most screwy of soap opera plots combined with fairy tales combined with the saddest of tragic family sagas combined with an author's genius ability to make it all about the repetition of history and the greatest heights and depths of joy and sorrow and loneliness. With a cherry on top. And that cherry is THE CHERRY OF BRILLIANCE.
Yes, every character basically has the same name. There are six (seven?) generations in the book, and all their names are a variation of Aureliano, Arcadio, Remedios, or Ursula, with a Jose thrown around for good measure. But it's purposeful and I can't tell you why because that would be spoilerific but TAKE HEART! For there is a family tree in the front of the book to which you will refer with a swiftness. There is also the magical realism which is almost unnoticeable because GGM slips it in there like it ain't no thang, hence the crazy grandma-story feel. It's not as distracting as the magical realism in, say, The House of the Spirits, where you're all "WTF is with the mermaid lady?" In One Hundred Years, you're all "of course she got carried away into heaven with the laundry- why wouldn't she?"
Anyway, when you're done you will feel like you know everything and have felt everything involved in the human experience and your heart will be both broken and whole and it will be the best.
Five stars out of your mom I MEAN A MILLIONTY AND SEVEN STARS.(less)
This is what Eat, Pray, Love wanted to be. Ok, so, if the woman from Eat, Pray, Love had real, actual problems (divorce not just caused by boredom, dr...moreThis is what Eat, Pray, Love wanted to be. Ok, so, if the woman from Eat, Pray, Love had real, actual problems (divorce not just caused by boredom, drug addiction, death in the family, etc) and then went on a trip that involved ACTUAL physical and emotional effort, that would be this book.
As you can see from the book's description, Cheryl's life falls apart after her mother dies. She impulsively (and with no hiking experience) ends up in the Mojave desert, from which she hikes the 1,000+ miles along the Pacific Crest Trail into Oregon. It's a brutally honest memoir, refreshingly lacking in "my upper middle class existence left me with existential dread, so I went to Europe and drank coffee and cried." It's insightful, universal, and lovely. Highly recommend it.(less)
YES! MOAR THIS! When this comes out in March, I command you to procure it!
Hokay so. A bunch of people get in a car and leave wedding reception drunk...moreYES! MOAR THIS! When this comes out in March, I command you to procure it!
Hokay so. A bunch of people get in a car and leave wedding reception drunk and stoned and stupid and young and they hit and kill a little girl (this is not spoilerific, this is on the back of the book, so.). The rest of the book is about their lives and how each individual deals with the guilt and how they move on (or don't). It spans about 20 years and is THE SHIZ when it comes to showing how people carry their histories.
ALSO the writing is beautiful and insightful, which are my two favorite things for writing to be. If you liked A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD, you would probably like this.
Combination heartbreaking account of the Bosnian war (told mostly through gut-punching flashbacks), and excellently-paced, incredibly tense, DID NOT S...moreCombination heartbreaking account of the Bosnian war (told mostly through gut-punching flashbacks), and excellently-paced, incredibly tense, DID NOT SEE THAT COMING murder mystery. Definitely the most affecting book I've read all year, probably the best book I've read all year overall.(less)
Review taken from my blog, deadwhiteguyslit.blogspot.com
I find myself stuck in an odd little category: those who love Salinger, would've considered sn...moreReview taken from my blog, deadwhiteguyslit.blogspot.com
I find myself stuck in an odd little category: those who love Salinger, would've considered sneaking into his house and stealing lint from his dryer and framing it in adoration (ok maybe not), but who really, really, DON'T like Catcher in the Rye. Although I have considered getting the line "ask her if she still keeps all her kings in the back row" tattooed on my body several times. Just really like it. Totally irrational. However, I find the rest of the book completely irritating.
I think I've figured out why, and it's totally superficial and silly. It's the dialogue, for Chrisake. It's the way all the characters talk in these goddamn italics. I mean they talk in italics. And every other sentence starts with I mean. Everyone sounds the same. I mean, exactly the same for Chrisake.
I just can't take it for 200 plus pages. BUT it's much easier to stomach in Nine Stories because...well..they're short stories. You have breaks. And I know you can put down a full length book at any time and take a break, but the great thing about a short story is the narrative takes a break with you and your brain can cleanse. Or maybe I'm just nuts, and this is just me.
At any rate, I HEART Nine Stories. Salinger's strength really was short fiction, in my opinion. Every single story in the book is funny, heart-breaking, and punch-in-the-gut intense without being melodramatic. They are razor sharp and exactly what they should be. If you're a Holden-hater and haven't picked up a Salinger since high school because you're still scared, I encourage you to give the shorts a go. I'm not going to go into plot summaries because there are nine of them and I'm lazy, but most of them are about quirky people doing quirky things. While drinking highballs. And smoking. And maybe eating a chicken sandwich.
And honestly, who doesn't like a good fictional highball every now and then?
A lovely, lovely book that achieves that almost-impossible goal of being hopeful and a bit heart-warming without being schmaltzy. The narrative plays...moreA lovely, lovely book that achieves that almost-impossible goal of being hopeful and a bit heart-warming without being schmaltzy. The narrative plays with structure and timeline, jumping back and forth from the '60s to the present day, using various story-telling techniques like plays, movie pitches, straight-forward narrative, memoirs-and-novels-within-novels. It's an exploration of All Things Story. Loved it.(less)