Okay, so I should disclose that Catch 22 is my favorite book of all time. So on the one hand, I'm totally a softie when it comes to Joseph Heller. HowOkay, so I should disclose that Catch 22 is my favorite book of all time. So on the one hand, I'm totally a softie when it comes to Joseph Heller. However, on the other hand I have to admit I came in with super high expectations. So plain and simple, Good as Gold is no Catch 22. I felt it was unnecessarily long and I agree with another reviewer who said that it is harder to get into the book if you were born after the 1970s. But, the book had some of Heller's signature one liners, and that is a priceless comodity that you can't find anywhere else. So it was worth the work it took for me to finish it and is a great secondary Heller book to read. Don't read this book before Catch 22 though....more
I was extremely leary about reading this book because I could not imagine a book that is this long that is not riddled with unecessary details. I wasI was extremely leary about reading this book because I could not imagine a book that is this long that is not riddled with unecessary details. I was wrong. Wrong, wrong wrong! I love this book from begining to end. It does an astounding job of drawing the reader in and manipulating his/her emotions. In the entire 878 pages, I'd say there is the equivalent of 3 pages of detail that are not salient to the book. Try and wrap your mind around that! 875 pages of important stuff; I thought it was impossible but it was true. I am not an avid reader, especially things with complicated language, but I was so enthralled by the book that I was able to enjoy it. The plots, the planning, the unfolding are genius! Anyway, I am thouroughly impressed with the book and I am very greatful to my friend who insisted that I read it (without her recommendation I would never have done so). Anyway, there are too many things to say to go into detail, so I will leave my review as brief as it is vague. I loved it!...more
This was a very difficult read for me, but every time I contemplated putting it down, I would find some treasure that made me want to continue. It litThis was a very difficult read for me, but every time I contemplated putting it down, I would find some treasure that made me want to continue. It literally took me about two months to finish this book! But I kept going and I am glad for it. I think this is a good book for people who do not know much about Iran and are interested in hearing one women's memoires about living there during this tumultuous period. The book not only presented a unique persepctive (at least compared to that of the mainstream media) of Iran, it also made me questions things within my own life. So anyway, I haven't read a book that has changed my persepctive on life in a really long time (as that is a really difficult thing to do), so I was really impressed by this book....more
I liked this book way better than the first one! I love the development of Jacob's character and it made the conflict between warewolves and vampiresI liked this book way better than the first one! I love the development of Jacob's character and it made the conflict between warewolves and vampires will added in interesting element to the story!...more
**spoiler alert** I'm thinking this one is also a 3.5. Kudos becauase it's probably one of, if not thee, longest book I've ever read in my life becaus**spoiler alert** I'm thinking this one is also a 3.5. Kudos becauase it's probably one of, if not thee, longest book I've ever read in my life because I hate reading long books because they have a lot of detail. So I was very happy to see that it was a very easy read and the details were at least somewhat interesting as opposed to other books that are just as long.
Having said this, there were some points I had some issues with. For one, in the beginning I had a hard time identifying with the main character. This could be because even on my best days I've NEVER had guys fall at my feet the way they did with Bella, and since she's supposedly not anything special to look at, this got on my nerves. Also, Bella was kind of moody all the time in the beginning and people were much nicer to her than she really deserved. She was kind of a snob in a lot of ways. This seemed to subside toward the middle and the end of the book, but it seemed like this was only the case because she no longer had much of an opportunity to be a snob around the vampires because they were above her as super-humans, and she ended up pretty much blowing off her human friends.
Second, there's the fact that the attraction between Bella and Edward was more superficial and was not well-developed. This could be the case because this is a teenage romance and that's usually how these things usually go at this age. In any case, he wants her because she smells good...and not in a "your perfume drives me mad!" type of way, but in a "I haven't eaten in days and I smell steak!" That doesn't say love, it's just primal attraction. The same basically goes for Bella. She is attracted to him because all of his physical characteristics are specifically designed to lure in prey. Other than going into detail about these things, there was no real talk about why the two of them were soul mates. How did they connect on an emotional/intellectual level? What did they have in common? What were the characteristics that each of them posessed that interested one another. Other than the fact that Bella is a clutz and Edward is always there to pick up the pieces (which is the typical "damsel in distress" thing), there really wasn't much about the dynamics of the relationship. I'm wondering if they are going to go into that in another book.
Another element that drew the two of them together was the fact that they both found one another had a certain level of unattainability. Edward couldn't read Bella's mind and Bella wasn't supposed to like him because he wants to drain her blood. Again, this is not representation of true love, but for teenage love I suppose it works.
In the middle of the book I felt like it kind of dragged because it just kept describing how much Bella likes Edward, and Edward likes Bella, which was already sufficiently described pages earlier.
The last thing, which I'm guessing happens in most chick-lit as I'm not really an avid reader, is that the portrayal of Edward is an unrealistic representation for the type of guy that women should aspire toward. For example, he is the unattainable, angry, sweet, smart, cold, perfect, superhero guy from the early 20th century. Isn't that a little unrealistic? All it really seems to be doing is making girls regret not going for that mysterious guy who in all reality was just an asshole trying to get into their panties (or in this case drink her blood)...at least that's my opinion.
Overall I liked the book, and I think it was more enjoyable than interview with a vampire, but it was in a brain-candy-escapist kind of way. I don't think I learned much from it, but I don't think I was supposed to. I think the purpose of the book was to enjoy reading it, which I did, so it served its purpose. ...more
**spoiler alert** This one is probably more like 3.5 stars. I had been trying to read the book since I was a kid, but did not yet have the discipline.**spoiler alert** This one is probably more like 3.5 stars. I had been trying to read the book since I was a kid, but did not yet have the discipline. Now that I am older and finally got passed page 32, I think there were parts I liked about it and parts that weren't really my thing. Overall the story had the typical tragedy appeal. I felt it was a little wordy at times, but I'd usually just skipped down to the part where the author got to the point. However, beyond that there were some parts, both good and bad, that sort of jumped out at me. First, there was the fact that although draining blood was supposed to be better than sex, that was really all the imagery that described "feeding." In my opinion, the comparison of vampires to God was a little underdeveloped for me because although they were immortal in the sense that it was much more difficult for them to die, the average vampire was pretty much depicted as a mortal who didn't like to think a lot. Neither God or the devil walk around earth living forever in human form. I suppose one could argue Jesus did, but he was certainly not immortal in the sense that the vampires were as it was very easy to kill his human body. Anyway, so that whole part of the book was underdeveloped for my tates.
Now for the good stuff. The author did a fantastic job of pointing out aspects of vampire life that I really hadn't thought about until I read the book. That part was extremely well developed and I was pleasantly surprised. The other things that I picked up from the story were more metaphorical than literal. One part I really liked in particular was how everyone hated Lestat because they thought he was selfish and trying to keep everyone down, but then it turns out that Lestat was just doing the best he could because he seriously did not know anything. I think this is a great parallel to the way that most people feel about their parents when they grow up. A lot of times people are angry that their parents taught them bad habits, when really the parents didn't know any better themselves (especially since they lived in a different time).
I also saw Claudia's inability to age as a metaphor for how our parents will always see us as children, but one day we grow up and resent them for treating us as such. I don't know if that was the intent, but I really saw that Lestat was parallel to a father, Louis a mother figure, and Claudia a child and the dynamic between them was that of a divorced family.
Then there is the relationship between Louis and Armand. Once they meet, Armand is attracted to Louis' passion and love and wonder because vampires (which in this case I will draw a parallel to adulthood) are dulled to these human emotions. Because these emotions live within Louis, it drives Armand to do selfish things to be with him (like kill Claudia), but unbeknownst to Armand, that was one of the things keeping Louis' human emotions alive. Then there is resentment from Armand to Louis as Louis killed all of Armand's friends to avenge Claudia's death. But doing this, plus Armand pushing Louis to make Madeline a vampire, ended up killing Louis' human soul to the point of no return.
In the end everyone's miserable, their "childhoold" fantasies of love are washed away, and Louis is just another vampire who is numb to everything. This last part reminds me of people who have just had too much crap happen to them in their lives and even though they try to rise up, there sometimes comes a point when you just become numb. So for me this book was kind of depressing as I see these types of things happen to the people that I love, but it was an accurate portrayal of how things seem to go sometimes....more
Coming from a high school that gave you no choice but to read American Literature and English Literature, reading the stories in this book was like aComing from a high school that gave you no choice but to read American Literature and English Literature, reading the stories in this book was like a sigh of relief. I'd begun to think that I hated reading, but I think I got tired of the eurocentricity. Anyway, this has a variety of excellent work from both males and females in world literature. I highly recommend it for someone who wants an introduction to world literature....more
I was torn between two and three stars for this one. I kinda felt like the women were portrayed as caricatures. Although there was some depth to eachI was torn between two and three stars for this one. I kinda felt like the women were portrayed as caricatures. Although there was some depth to each character, it seemed as though she polarized the characters to point out that they are very different from one another. Because each character was far from center I felt it was hard to identify with them and it made the characters unrealistic. It was probably the first and last chick lit I've read to date, so there was part of me that wanted to read it simply as a guilty pleasure. It wasn't the worst thing out there, but I expected more as I have particular expectations or hopes when it comes to books about women. In the end it was an easy read that was like "cotton candy for the brain."...more
This was probably my very first introduction to Asian reading and I loved it! It was so interesting to read about a different culture and that kept meThis was probably my very first introduction to Asian reading and I loved it! It was so interesting to read about a different culture and that kept me turning pages. ...more
**spoiler alert** I just finished the book today and I liked it, but some parts got on my nerves. For one, I must have ADHD or something because I rea**spoiler alert** I just finished the book today and I liked it, but some parts got on my nerves. For one, I must have ADHD or something because I read the first paragraph of the prologue, got bored, and moved on to Chapter One. I will say that I was totally drawn in by the first few pages of chapter one though.
For me, the dialogue between the elderly people at the home we unrealistic. It seemed as though they were talking to thier grandchildren more than they were talking to their peers.
I though the author did a great job of showing the progression of Jacob. Keeping Jacob locked up in a nursing home was like keeping the animals in cages. Of course he's mad; no one let him know he was going to get old. I work with the elderly and I understand that life sucks when you're old because everyone you know is dead and your body is kind of a prison that doesn't let you do the things you want to, so the quality of life is REALLY not great.
However, I still think that Jacob was just being a brat. Someone had to pick up his food off the floor when he threw his little tantrum and he should be old enough to know that. Also, I know that if you're old and you can walk, you want to do it, but look at it from the nurse's perspective. She probably has a lot of other patients to look after and she can't spend her entire shift walking him 20 feet to get back to his room! She has other paitents to attend to and although he wants to belive that he's strong and able-bodied, falling down is exactly what got him in there in the first place! It's really not unreasonable for her to be concerned. If he falls down, not only is it extremely dangerous for his health, she's going to be the one in trouble for not preventing it.
I was really disappointed that Camel and Walter died. It especially annoyed me because they were the only two that died from the six that got redlighted. Seemed unrealistically sad (or maybe I'm just too optimistic).
I know it's messed up that Simon didn't come for his dad, but I loved that the author did that because she painted a very realistic portrait of how life changes when your older. People tend to believe that life is static, but the truth is it is always changing little by little. At that age the nurses are sometimes more involved with your life than your own family. It's really sad, but for me the fact that he runs away with the circus seems fitting and hopeful in the sense that he empowered himself to resign from living life in a cage and instead broke free (quite literally) to chose his own reality, even at an age when he is supposed to be "helpless." These are some very perceptive points that the book brought up that I really appreciated....more
This book is so good and yet so sad. The way the author unfolded everything was superb. I think the author's unconventional method was the perfect tooThis book is so good and yet so sad. The way the author unfolded everything was superb. I think the author's unconventional method was the perfect tool to paint the picture. I was a little put off by the way the author seems to imply that intelligence leads to meaness. However, I should also mention that my fiance argues that the tourment is a result the character's emotional maturity being unable to catch up with the character's rapidly increasing intelligence. Either way I felt this part could have been better developed. That is not to say it was not well-developed, but that the bar was raised really high for me by the excellent content and method of writing the book....more
I really liked this book and could not put it down. Again, I really like how the story unfolds. From this book I learned a very important lesson thatI really liked this book and could not put it down. Again, I really like how the story unfolds. From this book I learned a very important lesson that not a lot of people learn until it's happening to them; if you constantly try to make a better life for your kids, then you can't expect for them to grow up to be just like you. Although they may understand things that you never knew, they will not learn the lessons you did because they grew up with a different experience....more
Okay, so this is not some life-changing book with a deep message, but I found it so interesting that I found myself staying up late (which is not an eOkay, so this is not some life-changing book with a deep message, but I found it so interesting that I found myself staying up late (which is not an easy thing to get me to do these days) just so I can read what was next. It's not a suspense thing, but it's a story that really interested me....more
This is my FAVORITE book of all time! I love the author's voice, the comedic aspect of the book, and all of the messages behind it (well, the ending wThis is my FAVORITE book of all time! I love the author's voice, the comedic aspect of the book, and all of the messages behind it (well, the ending was a little off for me, but not to the point where it ruins the book for me)....more