Ok, time for me to put down the formulaic YA for a moment. let's go something deep and stimulating next. it isn't this poor book's fault that you're lOk, time for me to put down the formulaic YA for a moment. let's go something deep and stimulating next. it isn't this poor book's fault that you're like 20 years older than the target audience and not really in the mood. Ooh, what's that? another YA book. sure why not read that?...more
Well. I was dismayed that I seemed to be a loner among my friends in my estimation of this book. Then I noticed my dad had the same two stars assignedWell. I was dismayed that I seemed to be a loner among my friends in my estimation of this book. Then I noticed my dad had the same two stars assigned. I guess I was destined to it.
Sure Marquez can craft a lovely turn of phrase, but the story disappointed in just about every way. With its casual, racism, misogyny, and sexual violence I could never relax down into it. I didn't find the pronouncements universal to the condition of love, it would be a bleak and dreary world indeed if the heights of passion could be reduced to such possessiveness and mundanity.
So this is a thing, huh? The much older, bigger, violent man who is condescending, domineering, and dangerous? Women like that in a romantic partner?So this is a thing, huh? The much older, bigger, violent man who is condescending, domineering, and dangerous? Women like that in a romantic partner? Or I suppose like reading about it in their paranormal romances, at least. I don't read non-paranormal romances. maybe it's there, too. So. that's problematic. The main character's unrelenting Mary Sue-ness certainly doesn't help in the eye rolling department.
Once we get past that, though... And we mostly get past it by passing that part of the plot.- Though Harkness attempts to string it along by adding a ridiculous non-consummation of the marriage subplot that really only illuminates the troubling power dynamic. I mean, you're apparently built like a Greek god and she has to put up with your controlling ass and she can't even get any because conditions aren't perfect for YOU?- I'm kind of intrigued by what will happen next with the actual plot. Warring vampire, witches, and daemons is exciting stuff....more
there is some humor. well, let me expound on that. smith clearly aims for lots of humor, but only some it lands for me. I think its a function of audithere is some humor. well, let me expound on that. smith clearly aims for lots of humor, but only some it lands for me. I think its a function of audience, though. If you're the audience, you'll find it tremendously humorous, I think. there is also a lot of angst. it isn't my own personal angst, having never been a fairly privileged rural red state dwelling white teenage bisexual boy. to our author and narrator's credit, he does poke a stick at his own unique position in the world once. I tend to finish books unless I absolutely hate them, so I read this whole thing. But it never really grabbed me and made me go, I have to find out what happens next. but i think there are those who would really be into this. just not me. ...more
This book, it is a devilment. It took me 9 weeks to finish. I knew I wanted to read it, but as I was reading, I couldn't make up my mind as to whetherThis book, it is a devilment. It took me 9 weeks to finish. I knew I wanted to read it, but as I was reading, I couldn't make up my mind as to whether I liked it. The plot was something that held great interest. All the pieces seemed so very fascinating, examining the intersections of all these different isms at such a pivotal time in American history. There was humor. But I felt very detached. Like I could read the satire and say, "hey that's amusing," but not laugh. Its not that the satire was off, it was very well done and recognizable. Had it been bad satire I would have put the book down in anger, thought unfunny and unwise. But although I could intellectually see all the merits of the book, I was not emotionally feeling them. And I read and read and read. And swiped and swiped and swiped away on my kindle. And that little percentage complete just crept up.
Until I hit the last section. The section everyone is interested in, no doubt. And all that came before was worth it. I did not want to put it down. And I was sad when it was over. The heart was in this last chapter.
You know, reading Long Walk to Freedom was transformative to me. (hang on, I'll bring you back to that segue in a minute)... (and actually you're going to have to wait a little bit longer because I have to leave work now... this my friends, is the twitterfication of America. You must know my minute by minute doings. Will be back).
So, back to Long Walk to Freedom. I read it 15 years ago, while in undergrad, deciding what to do with my life. Previous to that, I knew about injustice in the world. things are unfair. We must live our lives trying not to be unfair. But reading that book gave me the conviction that the world can be changed by one person. There are historical figures we read about, and some of them are probably more myth than fact. But there are some people who really, truly are human people living their lives the way I live my life. In their head the way I'm in my head, and you're in yours. But they are changing the world. Nelson Mandela was one of these people. I don't think I will be one of these people, but I know I owe the world my very best shot. I hope to raise my child the same way, her name being the same as the name of one of Mandela's children, whose Xhosa translation is "what have you brought to this world?"
So, I have a special place for these people. That do not shrink from their convictions, that do not take the easy road, that do not lack the courage to put everything of themselves aside, for the sake of bringing some justice to the world. Of impacting others beside themselves, simply because it is right.
I gave this book 5 stars, because that is the portrait painted of John Brown. And it may be myth, and there may be liberties, but the story still speaks to the soul and reminds me that yes, it does matter that we put ourselves forward to do what is right for others. Even when unpopular, even when at personal inconvenience, even when you're called a fool, a lunatic, or worse. And when such a beautiful thing feeds the soul, even if the beginning stretched me thin, I have no problem awarding it 5 stars....more