George Orwell should get a posthumous award. The man's satirical and parallel writing is genius! All of his writing just sticks with me, deep in the bGeorge Orwell should get a posthumous award. The man's satirical and parallel writing is genius! All of his writing just sticks with me, deep in the back of my mind, for awhile. Also, I just feel smarter after I read his work :) 4/5....more
One word: WOW. I devour anything and everything historical fiction related, but had somehow not managed to delve into anything Asian related (maybe exOne word: WOW. I devour anything and everything historical fiction related, but had somehow not managed to delve into anything Asian related (maybe excepting The Joy Luck Club). Not wanting to break my personal rule of ALWAYS reading the book before watching the movie, I gave this one a try.
Memoirs of a Geisha brings to life the exotic lives of geisha living in 1930s/40s Japan. Our geisha in particular was born as Chiyo, a poor girl in a small fishing village. She, along with her sister, is taken to the city of Kyoto at the age of nine, where she trains to become a glamorous geisha. Her new life of hard work, backstabbing and betrayal is a shock to her at first, yet she grows up to become very clever and successful.
What amazed me most about this book is the fact that Arthur Golden was able to write an American novel about Japanese culture from a female perspective so well and believable. I was doubtful at first whether or not he could voice a female effectively, but boy, did he ever. His imagery is unbelievably vivid.
However to me, the most fascinating part of this book was the culture. I learned so much about the customs, clothes, fashions, and practices of geisha (and also the fact that geishas is not a word, neither is kimonos. Who knew?). The time period it is set in was also interesting; early 1940s Japan was not a pleasant place to be. Another strong point is the wide range of characters. I found myself seething at Hatsumomo, sympathizing with Pumpkin, and rolling my eyes at Mother.
Towards the end, things got pretty so-so for me. I was much more interested in Chiyo's (later named Sayuri) struggles to become a geisha, not necessarily what happened after she became so successful. I will say that I'm glad a typical Hollywood perfect ending wasn't included. If everything had wrapped up just perfect, it wouldn't have had the same feel to it.
I love this book oh so much. It's in my Top 5 Favourite Books of All Time list. My mom gave it to me about six years ago and I never picked it up untiI love this book oh so much. It's in my Top 5 Favourite Books of All Time list. My mom gave it to me about six years ago and I never picked it up until last December and I was hooked. A cute story about a lovable hobbit named Bilbo and his adventures with 12 dwarves and a dragon. It's the predecesor to the Lord of the Rings, yet it is much lighter and an easier read. Everyone needs to read this! Tolkien is a genius. ...more
**spoiler alert** I think that most of us can agree that, yes, Pride & Prejudice is a great novel. The characters and overall plot are memorable a**spoiler alert** I think that most of us can agree that, yes, Pride & Prejudice is a great novel. The characters and overall plot are memorable and inspiring, yet I feel it greatly overshadows some of Jane Austen's other wonderful books, such as this one.
In Sense & Sensibility, the two main characters are sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. They live a comfortable, well to do life with their parents. When their father dies, all his property reverts to his son from a previous marriage. The Dashwood women are essentially left homeless and must start a new life living in much more modest means. The story follows the girls in their new home as they meet new friends, encounter dramatic situations, and of course, meet men and fall in love.
The sisters both deal with love and heartbreak simultaneously, although in completely different ways. Elinor is more mature and gentle with her feelings, while Marianne weeps loudly and stomps around for weeks. As a person who identified with Elinor emotionally, I become slightly irritated with Marianne's dramatic ways, but her general youthfulness and fun spirit definitely made up for it in the end (she's barely 17 after all).
*SPOILERS* The way their respective 'love stories' turned out in the end took me greatly by surprise. Did anyone else feel completely shocked that Marianne married Col. Brandon? I later realized that, duh, this is what the whole story is wrapped around and leads up to, but still. I'd been picturing him as a very old man in my head the whole time, that's probably why it was so odd. Yet the more I think about it, the more I like this couple. Brandon made Marianne finally grow up. *END SPOILERS*
I felt that this book was much lighter than any of Jane Austen's other works. Many of her common themes show up (death, sickness, betrayal), but not in as much abundance and it is taken in a much less serious mood. The characters have their flaws, but they ultimately end up being endearing. 4 stars for a fun and lighthearted classic read.
If you enjoy movie adaptations of books, I highly recommend the 1995 movie Sense & Sensibility starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. It is extremely well done and true to the book, as well as being delightfully entertaining. Also, if you are a fan of the Harry Potter movies, you will find a slew of those actors in this movie as well. Professor Snape, Madame Pomfrey, Professor Slughorn, Professor Trelawney and Umbridge all show up!...more