This book was AMAZING. Seriously. If you are at all a fan of sci fi stuff, even like, a little bit, you will like this book. It's super complex, fasci...moreThis book was AMAZING. Seriously. If you are at all a fan of sci fi stuff, even like, a little bit, you will like this book. It's super complex, fascinating plot and characters, really intriguing and creative.
One of my favorite aspects was how everything seemed to work despite all of humanity dying. It was really, really interesting. Most world-ending, human race-dying books tend to have everything going to shit and people having to learn how to grown corn and what not. Though that was an element and theme here, i.e. survival, etc., it wasn't overriding and allowed for other themes to take it's place.
I also loved Em and Ish's relationship. I thought it was beautiful, not too corny and also illustrated themes about race, and society and what it all means, or in fact, doesn't really mean. Em was probably one of my favorite characters.
All in all, it was a really great book. Thought provoking, fun, dramatic and critical. I definitely want to read it again, when I have more time to think about all the things Stewart is clearly trying to tell us. I think I have my own interpretation, but it's clearly a lot more complex than that. (less)
I really loved this book. I only gave it 4 stars because at some points I felt it dragging or lacking in something, though I'm not sure what. But, it...moreI really loved this book. I only gave it 4 stars because at some points I felt it dragging or lacking in something, though I'm not sure what. But, it was an amazing read. It described war in a way I've never read about before, and I think it's themes and ideas were applicable to any war and to any one on any side. I think that was the most astonishing thing about All Quiet on the Western Front , it is that universal. It made it so, me as a young woman in modern America who has never seen anything like war can begin to imagine the horrors in holds in a unique way and understand the plight of soldiers everywhere and throughout time.
The imagery of motifs of the novel were another plus, I can definitely see why so many students are made to read it, I wish that I had read and analyzed in class, as well, though sometimes that can take away from a book.
The only negatives were the often random switch from narration to Paul's thoughts, and back, though I loved hearing Paul's thoughts. Also, at times, it did get a bit confusing, but I think that comes with the denseness of the writing and in a bit, perhaps the theme as well. All in all a great read recommended to all. (less)
I loved the first half of this book. The second half...not so much. The first half was an amazing literary analysis of the perils and themes of contem...moreI loved the first half of this book. The second half...not so much. The first half was an amazing literary analysis of the perils and themes of contemporary American life. I thought from this, that I loved postmodern literature and found a great genre from which to analyze and ruminate over the problems within modern Western society. Which, I think there was, especially in Part I. Part II was interesting for its simple humor and storyline, and definitely the implicit metaphors and motifs of the "toxic event."
Part III was my least favorite part, and why this book didn't get 5 stars. The destructive and bizarre relationship between Babette and Jack was uninteresting and I couldn't have cared in least for what each of them was doing to each other. By the end of the novel, it had just gotten so weird and far fetched that I was decided in my not enjoying post modern literature. In addition, I knew DeLillo was trying to do something deep and meaningful with all the talk about death, and I believe I understood it, but it was too drawn out. The constant and obsessive yet somehow redundant thoughts about death for the last 100 pages was just a little too much for me. Perhaps I missed something of the complexity but the themes to me seemed similar. Maybe that was point in which DeLillo was then, successful, but I didn't enjoy it. Overall, it was worth a read and I'm glad I did, but I think I will be careful in what I think about a book before I'm done with it. (less)
I really wanted to enjoy this book, after all, it's a "classic." But after about 100 pages I found myself wanting to know when it got better. I found...moreI really wanted to enjoy this book, after all, it's a "classic." But after about 100 pages I found myself wanting to know when it got better. I found out, it doesn't.
I didn't like the characters, none of them were redeeming, they were all terrible and rather one dimensional people, in my opinion. Lady Brett Ashley was the one character who could have the potential to be something a bit more complex, but Hemingway didn't explore that part of her. The other characters seemed to have no problem doing just what they wanted and didn't even think about the consequences, yes I realize this was the point of the novel, but still, it just seemed like too base and simplistic of a point. I wanted to learn a better lesson, and feel something more intense when I was reading this book.
I think had I read this in high school I actually might have enjoyed it more, when I was myself a more simplistic, uncomplicated teenager. Plus, I might have sympathized with the characters more. However, I am not in high school anymore, and I didn't enjoy this book as much as I wanted. (less)
This was a complicated read. For the first part of it I wasn't really enjoying it. I think I wanted it to be one of those, "this will change my life"...moreThis was a complicated read. For the first part of it I wasn't really enjoying it. I think I wanted it to be one of those, "this will change my life" books and it wasn't doing it for me. I'm sure had I really read into the obvious metaphors and symbolism I could have, but I still think those would have tied into the characters more than anything. Don't get me wrong, there were some amazing characters, Okonkwo is probably one of the most complicated characters I have read. But, still I felt it was lacking in something.
The ending was definitely amazing, and kept me from disliking the book. The feelings that one gets regarding the onset of colonialism are all over the place. I found myself hating the "white men" and wishing the town would defend itself, and then seeing it from their point of view of peace making, after all there are many cultural things the Ibo did that are just illegal in the USA and other westernized nations. I think this book makes you see cultures and people for who they really are, that no one is right or wrong, and perhaps the lesson is just to let cultures live as they are, which of course as we know isn't what happened. The horror at the end of the book was truly striking. I couldn't have thought of a more poignant ending, however sad, and I think it really hit home the idea of Okonkwo as a manifestation of his people. Even though this book wasn't 100% there, I think it is one of those must-reads for every human. (less)
I did not enjoy this book at all. Maybe it was the translation, but something tells me I wouldn't have liked it anyways. From about page 50, I was won...moreI did not enjoy this book at all. Maybe it was the translation, but something tells me I wouldn't have liked it anyways. From about page 50, I was wondering when it would end. I don't think I liked any of the characters, each had something annoying, vapid or cruel about them. I sympathized with none of their situations, and most importantly despised the protagonist. Julien, who no doubt we are supposed to somewhat like, I simply hated. He was a singularly empty individual whose emotions were all over the table throughout the entire book. I could've cared less what happened to him at the end.
I feel somewhat duped for reading all 500-odd pages of this nonsense, and have little to no idea why it is considered a classic. Perhaps I did not read enough into the characters, but to be honest, it truly felt like there was not much to read into. Definitely glad it's finally finished!(less)
This was an amazing book. It was a frightening look at what the future could hold, and one could clearly see how Orwell was inspired to write 1984. I...moreThis was an amazing book. It was a frightening look at what the future could hold, and one could clearly see how Orwell was inspired to write 1984. I like how Huxley didn't take too much time to describe what the world was now like, rather he just showed us the character's lives and left the reader to figure out what things meant and how the world operated.
Huxley's characters were dynamic, complex and interesting. Each had something to bring to the story, and everything seemed to have a purpose. I highly recommend this book, as it really allows the reader to think about happiness, freedom of choice, etc. I think everyone should read it! (less)