This book really made me think about education in modern America, its importance and where we place our values. These ideas are all beautiful and inte...moreThis book really made me think about education in modern America, its importance and where we place our values. These ideas are all beautiful and interesting, but a bit heavy. I would have so much to think about that I would have to take a break for a few days before I could start up with the next chapter. I give it only three stars because it was so difficult to get through. I enjoyed it, but it is an experience I would only do once. (less)
I wasn't as impressed with this book as many of my friends. Perhaps that is because of my high expectations for the book or perhaps because of my pref...moreI wasn't as impressed with this book as many of my friends. Perhaps that is because of my high expectations for the book or perhaps because of my preferences in writing style. So those who love this book can use one of those two reasons to blow off my review. However, the fact remains that I was not very interested from page to page, and if not for a commitment to a book group, I am afraid I would not have had any desire to finish it.
In style the book seems to be written for a particular age group ranging from 8-11, depending on the vocabulary and maturity of the reader. And, for the preteen sense of humor, the wordplay was appropriate and would be quite funny to the intended audience. However, the wordplay was really the only interesting aspect to the book, and I'm tempted to say as much for the joke books my niece reads to me.
The plot was simple and was secondary to both the wordplay and the multiple morals of the story. In fact, a new moral was introduced with every chapter (some chapters containing more than one moral), and each chapter was only a few short pages long. This was the main drawback to the book. Not to say that morals aren't important in a work, but too many morals are detracting. Introducing, then immediately leaving a moral behind decreases the likeliness that it will be remembered once the book is finished.
My other main problem with the book was the lack of description to help the reader enjoy the fantastical and quite creative world Juster introduces. Here one moment, and there the next, the reader is left wondering...How did Milo find his car again (he was lost only a moment ago)? Where are they? What do they see? This book, whose main moral is to teach a child to notice the world around them, simply forgot to take a look around. (The spectacular scene with Chroma and his orchestra being the exception.)
Overall, an interesting book, leaps and bounds above the other children's literature of Juster's contemporaries, but not my favorite.(less)
Achebe has a gift for complication and non-linear story telling. His book communicates the good and the bad of both pre-colonial Africa society and th...moreAchebe has a gift for complication and non-linear story telling. His book communicates the good and the bad of both pre-colonial Africa society and the European society that was introduced. As a non-linear story, though, it is sometimes difficult to get through, especially as a Western linear-minded reader. And though it is important to understand the complicated nature of both societies, it is difficult to read about the harsh, immoral and violent aspects of those societies.(less)
This book is the epitome of good non-fiction writing. The characters are interesting and developed (but not overly so); the amazing adventure is such...moreThis book is the epitome of good non-fiction writing. The characters are interesting and developed (but not overly so); the amazing adventure is such as it is almost impossible to believe; and, the story is rife with self-conscious silly wit. Some of the credit, of course, has to go to the chap who did the wonderful translation. (less)
Girl falls in love with vampire...who desires to eat her. This isn't too far off of most vampire books. The difference here is that Meyer's heroine, B...moreGirl falls in love with vampire...who desires to eat her. This isn't too far off of most vampire books. The difference here is that Meyer's heroine, Bella, knows that her lover is a vampire...and she doesn't care. This is my main disagreement with the plot: a girl who willingly throws herself into the arms of a man who is controlling and obsessive, purposely exposing herself to potential death simply for the satisfaction of her own physical desires deserves to be eaten. If she had been eaten by the hero at the end, it would have served her right...and served the plot more than the real ending. Sorry to be so openly antagonistic, I am only nursing my disappointment.(less)