I'd like to mention that a creative writing professor at my university referred this to me, and mentioned how he aimed to write a mystery/lit novel ofI'd like to mention that a creative writing professor at my university referred this to me, and mentioned how he aimed to write a mystery/lit novel of his own.
"I don't know what the fuck to call it," he said, without reserve and zoned out a bit imagining how his creation might all frame out. Our entire discussion on literature had been sparked by my mentioning of 2666, of which he matched in genre with The Sisters Brothers.
"It's a captivating tale yet...rich in meaning, just deeply touching. It's a fantastic read."
I imagine his love for a good story and a good moral motivates his love of the book as well as his own endeavors. His words (there were more, I promise) inspired me to think of how a book like The Sisters Brothers is a unique, fun, rewarding blend of genres. For one, by essence of the brothers' professions as assassins the entire plot is a driving chase for a single man. I couldn't stop reading in anticipation of new struggles the two would face on the way. Combined with deWitt's dark humor, it was extremely readable.
Yet tucked along, for the pensive who might delve further, yet not bothersome otherwise, were trickles of reflection voiced by the narrator which would make me ponder further into the tale. How he questioned his profession seemed to be a 19th century mirror of those who challenge cubicle life today. How he liked the simple joys of tooth powder and brushing his teeth spoke of daily routines and where we find our pleasure. I'm not saying this was Foster-esque in philosophy, but rather a book that just topples over the label of popular fiction. And such a dash of literary merit was added with great writing.
I felt deWitt captured with this book what authors like Franzen attempt in contemporary tales that are readable, yet rewarding. I also feel Franzen seemed to miss an element deWitt capitalized on - some crime and mystery, like no one can resist. ...more
Seems like the focus was on private/public lives, which might have just been the taste of Alice Hoffman although I think some deliberate effort was puSeems like the focus was on private/public lives, which might have just been the taste of Alice Hoffman although I think some deliberate effort was put in to align them all that way. I liked it, though, and my favorite story within was probably "Hold the Dark" by William Giraldi. A bit more expansive than the other stories which seemed to be personal accounts of bougie lives (not that those are bad sometimes, just that they got boring within this issue). Especially "Safety" by Ann Leary which, to me, seemed as if it could have been a line by line copy of several days in the life of Ann herself. Written well, yes, but not very imaginative or creative.
Overall great issue. Loved "Gospel of Blackbird," the contest winner at the end....more
Yes, I laughed. I nodded my head. I took all the instances he described of a midwest with fat people and egalitarian values and weird hipster boys andYes, I laughed. I nodded my head. I took all the instances he described of a midwest with fat people and egalitarian values and weird hipster boys and all the colloquial "does anyone else do this?" circumstances presented in the book and I agreed! But this was the entire book, and time after time of reading about a useless character presented just as another "does anyone else know somebody like this?" shortcut of connection (the one character Denise refuses to date because he was a hipster, apparently) for Franzen, I realized at no significant point in the book would I really, with full conviction and empathy, connect with any character or really the message.
He nails a lot of social problems on the head with many, many minor characters, but the breadth does not translate to quality. I would have rather he focused in on one problem and dealt with it in a way to convey the feeling, the sense many hysterical-realists miss. You can fill me with knowledge the same way you the point the finger at media for doing via minor characters galore and all of these minor points of connection, but you cannot really get me to experience the book and take it in to my soul, coming out as an affected person with message embedded.
The good. Alfred was such a well-developed character in my opinion that he made the three stars of this review himself. For the rest of the book, though, dealing with all of these conditions of how everyone nowadays really does do this in an elevator or consider bisexuality like (wow, so many true things!) "some things must be endured." Especially with 567 pages. ...more
Death of a Salesman, in my mind, echoed of the illusion of The Great Gatsby. And perhaps that's because they're both similar books in similar settingsDeath of a Salesman, in my mind, echoed of the illusion of The Great Gatsby. And perhaps that's because they're both similar books in similar settings-- it could be hypothesized that Death is also set in the 20s decade.
Yet, this theme is important and I truly enjoyed how it was implemented in Death of a Salesman. One thing that really impressed me was how Miller structured his play to have three different time dimensions. As a play, it seems to be a difficult thing to illustrate on stage even today. It is a definitely a testament to the genius of Miller in creating such pieces....more
As Machiavelli detailed the perfect prince, it also became clear how to become a good leader. Albeit some focus on military aspects that were harder tAs Machiavelli detailed the perfect prince, it also became clear how to become a good leader. Albeit some focus on military aspects that were harder to see in a modern light, much of the book helped me think about situations in which I could be a better leader, and overall strong person. If the book might not be the greatest piece of work on government and civilization, it is still an amazing piece to the individual and to the psyche.
In the end, I felt as if there were many areas in my life where I could see the applications of Machiavellian thoughts, and whether for the better or worse of me, it was a pleasure reading it.
Some parts that were meaningful to me:
How Much Fortune Can Do in Human Affairs and How It May Be Opposed perhaps a controversial thought at the time; how one must not depend entirely on destiny, fate, or God in this matter, and depend upon his own free will to adapt to ever-changing conditions
"that he who abandons what is done for what ought to be done, will rather learn to bring about his own ruin thatn his preservation."
and, discussed throughout the book, the importance of laying down good foundations. That although one may acquire a state through fortune, fortune alone is not sufficient in establishing a good foundation through which the state can be retained....more
When I first picked up Life of Pi many people commented on my book choice. One such commenter was my history teacher, who, supposedly having read it When I first picked up Life of Pi many people commented on my book choice. One such commenter was my history teacher, who, supposedly having read it a long time ago, said if I "got all the symbolism, like the tiger being all religions or something." It was a shallow statement, and yet it stuck with me while reading the entire book. Alongside Richard Parker, I attempted to bring some type of symbolism to all characters.
In the end I gave up somewhere between the hyena being the brutality of man and how it has stained religions and the zebra being an idol or god. I could make no connections between the actions of these supposed symbols and logic. The impression of the book is no less, however. It was a fantastic tale. Its regards to religion and life are mesmerizing. I read the book with the same enchantment Harry Potter brought me in its plot, and yet felt the ideas of a greater book. The story will compel you to reconsider imagination, and the messages will compel you to reconsider religion. ...more