There was a severe battle in mind as to whether to rate this two or three stars. Three stars eventually triumphed but not without a lot of debate.
TheThere was a severe battle in mind as to whether to rate this two or three stars. Three stars eventually triumphed but not without a lot of debate.
The premise of this book is good in "theory"; a novel that is more like a textbook but that is more like a novel. But in practice,... meh.... There were parts that were surprisingly entertaining and parts that were so dry that I would have rather read some textbooks. It is a Philosophy 101 course and somehow induced the same feelings in me as when I attended such a course. There were the individuals who were arrogant, there were the individuals that were confused, and there were the individuals that were there just for filler. Sophie and Hilde were snots. Their responses got to the point of annoying. In the middle of the story, around page 300 or so, I was so confused by the "novel" part of the book, it got to the point that I didn't care anymore. The resolution was a bit better but trudging through to get there was definitely a struggle. The book could have been about 150 pages shorter and still served it's purpose. Just like a Philosophy 101 course.
This book does a pretty good job of spanning many aspects of philosophy and may be a good starter for someone who is looking for a very general understanding of world religions.
A line that I appreciated was "You may say that the very best that can happen is to have energetic opponents. The more extreme they become, the more powerful the reaction they will have to face." I appreciate this in "theory" but in relation to this book, it didn't cause me to care enough to be that energetic opponent or proponent....more
This book may be better suited for someone more advanced in their studies of art/art history. I am a self-proclaimed beginner, just starting to explorThis book may be better suited for someone more advanced in their studies of art/art history. I am a self-proclaimed beginner, just starting to explore this genre. I was immediately overloaded on names of artists. I did not think that I was able to get a grasp on one artist before the author was on to the next one. I did definitely appreciate the history of the art that was given and the critiques. I like that in the version that I read, the author had made corrections/amendments citing new beliefs and new things learned since the original publishing. I think that I may have been able to get more out of this book if I would have looked up the translations of all the foreign (French?) phrases. Also, I believe some of the pictures cited were missing from the book and not all the citation numbers matched up to the pictures. I could have googled all of this, I suppose, but I just got frustrated instead. What did people do before google? I was looking for a more comprehensive, slower paced introduction to landscape art and didn't really find it here. There was some supposition that the reader was already familiar with some of the artists and some of the works, hence them not being included in the book. The book was written well other than the few problems I've noted and it was written in a language easy to read. I also really appreciated the "Epilogue" which was the most informative of the whole read.
This book also exposed me to a new way of thinking about art. It did examine it more as a science as one "discovery" led to new ideas and progression in the field. I had not viewed art like this previously and thought that it was much more random and based on individual expression but the examples cited in this book and the progression of landscape painting does fit well with this method....more
I'm not sure when I first heard about Shangri-La but when I began reading this book, I already knew about it. It was somewhere in the back of my mind.I'm not sure when I first heard about Shangri-La but when I began reading this book, I already knew about it. It was somewhere in the back of my mind. I knew the premise about not growing old and never leaving (not spoilers because this was my general knowledge). An afterword in my edition, claims that Shangri-La became familiar in general culture because of the popularity of this book. I have no reason to dispute this. What a far reaching affect this novel had, if this truly is the case.
I enjoyed this book immensely. There were not really any surprises. I knew the story and what was going to happen, yet I wanted to keep reading to find out how Hilton would choose to share the next plot point. His choice in wording kept with the feeling of Shangri-La, a dream-like, hazy, moderation, enjoyable, happy state. I know this doesn't really make sense but neither does Shangri-La.
The characters were well defined. There was enough ties to events throughout the book referring back and looking forward to make it flow.
Overall, very glad I read this one. It kept me engaged and was well written....more
I feel like this was one of those books that I should have loved but for some reason that I can't put my finger on, I just didn't.
It has all the elemeI feel like this was one of those books that I should have loved but for some reason that I can't put my finger on, I just didn't.
It has all the elements that I generally enjoy in a story, coming of age, overcoming abuse, emotional bonds between siblings/family members etc but it seemed as if the characters were a bit hollow.
I also hated the ending but unfortunately, I don't know if the ending of my particular book was actually the ending. I received this book second hand. It cut off at page 285 or so and it seemed like it was an ending of sorts, a horrible ending but an ending but now I'm questioning if there was actually more and there would have been some sort of resolution and I possibly could have enjoyed it more.
A worthwhile read but just didn't grab me and I didn't love it as much as I anticipated I probably would....more