I know that this book was written as a satire of communism, and I'm sure that's been drilled into everyone's head a thousand times over. I won't talkI know that this book was written as a satire of communism, and I'm sure that's been drilled into everyone's head a thousand times over. I won't talk about that; instead, I'll talk about what the books means to me. I skirted around reading this book for a while because the subject seemed like something I wouldn't be particularly interested in, but I was wrong.
Animal Farm was started on an idea that was planted in the mind of the other animals by an old and respected farm figure -- Old Major. He had a dream that animals would take their place as the true heirs of the land. After Old Major dies, a revolution takes place on the farm, and the animals overthrow the owner, Mr. Jones, and claim the farm as their own.
At first, things went as planned. All animals were equal, and many things were done with the good of the animals in mind. Then, the pigs (who were smarter than other animals, naturally) began to slowly warp this dream into something more cruel and deceitful until the animals can hardly distinguish between the pigs and Man.
I think this story can apply to any form of government. The pigs kept the other animals in line by telling them what they wanted to hear or by using excessive force -- much like many governments in the world today. They twisted and warped the thoughts of the masses, making themselves look more heroic and "for the masses". They even had the scapegoat in the form of a banished pig named Snowball on which all their problems were blame. "Blame Snowball" seemed to be an underlying motto in the book.
The pigs benefited from the prosperity of the farm while it's other inhibitants suffered. Most of the animals were fiercely loyal, and the pigs misused this trust. A great example is Boxer who worked harder than anyone on the farm, and when he was no longer useful to the farm, he was suddenly an expendable asset (and you can imagine what happens from there). And you can see hints of that in any society. I never expected to enjoy this book as much as I did, and it will definitely be a part of my library for years to come....more
I listened to the audiobook up to chapter 3 last night and ended up reading the rest of it via eBook today. I liked the person who was reading it perfI listened to the audiobook up to chapter 3 last night and ended up reading the rest of it via eBook today. I liked the person who was reading it perfectly fine, but I didn't care much for the story. Maybe I'll revisit this in a few years like I do other books and feel differently. Right now, I'm just not impressed....more
In the winter of 1973, Susie Salmon, age 14, is raped and killed by her strange neighbor, Mr. Harvey, but Susie's story doesn't end there. The novel iIn the winter of 1973, Susie Salmon, age 14, is raped and killed by her strange neighbor, Mr. Harvey, but Susie's story doesn't end there. The novel is told by Susie from Heaven as she continues to watch over everyone she loves--and those she doesn't love. Susie describes Heaven as being a place that caters to your whims -- your own personal heaven. Susie finds she can have anything she wants in Heaven except her life on Earth back.
This turned out to be completely different from what I was expecting. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this definitely wasn't it. I was pleasantly surprised with the story. Even though, Susie is dead, she still seems to be going through typical adolescent behavior from Heaven. She dreams about first kisses and speaks on sex, but she no longer has the chance to experience those parts of life. So, she lives her life through her friends and family.
Of course, Susie's family--her mother, her father, her brother, and her sister--are effected deeply by her death to the point that their family starts to crumble because of her death, but we're also shown the impact that her death had on her school crush, Ray, and a girl she barely knew, Ruth. It was interesting to see how her family dealt with it and how those outside her family dealt as well.
But for all it's good points, there are some things that irked me. Some of the scene involving Ray and Ruth seemed to overshadow the main point. Susie's mother was very underdeveloped. While you could feel empathy for her father and siblings, you really couldn't do anything but dislike Susie's mother because you only saw one side of her. It was like she was a supporting character rather than one of the main characters. Also, The ending dragged a little longer than it should, and honestly, it left me feeling a little dissatisfied in regards to Mr. Harvey.
Overall, good read, though.
Note: Old review that I'm importing from an old book blog....more
I think the beginning lines of this story sums up what it's about nicely, so that's what I will use:
"I was born twice: first as a baby girl on a remarI think the beginning lines of this story sums up what it's about nicely, so that's what I will use:
"I was born twice: first as a baby girl on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974." -- Calliope/Cal Stephanides
This was such a great book. The first chapter was sort of off-putting for me. In the begining the prose shifted between straight-forward and flowery, epic descriptions. Even the narrator, Cal, said his writing was Homeric and that it was genetic. But as Cal explain his history starting with his grandparents trials in the old country and their eventual move to America in the 20's, you become more and more involved with his story.
We follow his grandparents (who were related) and his parents (who were also related) through their lives, watching what led up to what and who Cal was. We watch what shaped his relatives -- values from the old country, values from the new, war, racial tension, etc. So, the reader gets so much more than just a story about a hermaphrodite. You get to feel like you're a friend of the family. We're also treated to breaks where Cal talks about his budding relationship with a woman named Julie. By his own admission, Cal "loves 'em and leaves 'em".
I don't even know what to say about this book really. It's fascinating. As one of my friends says about the book, "I don't know if I like this, but it is enthralling. I couldn't stop reading it."...more
This is the story of Chinese mothers and their daughters. All the mothers originally immigrated from China, and all have faced hardships and challengeThis is the story of Chinese mothers and their daughters. All the mothers originally immigrated from China, and all have faced hardships and challenges, which have made them stronger and wish for something better for their American daughters while instilling in them Chinese values, but their daughters aren't living it up. They're facing their own problems as well, divorce, failure, shortcomings.
This was a beautiful story about the complications between mother and daughters. While there are strong Chinese themes, any woman can look beyond this and maybe see their own relationship with their mother. There's so much unspoken between the mothers and daughters in this book. There are so many things they wish to tell each other, to make the other understand. There's a hazy gray area between them that they're trying to overcome.
I really enjoyed this book. As I mentioned, it was beautiful. It showed the triumphs and failures of mother and daughter. It touched on the complexity of mother-daughter relationships, how what a mother wants for a daughter may not be the same thing the daughter wants for herself. In fact, there are many complex mother-daughter issues. And the story ends on a note that lets you decide if things got better or worse for the mothers and daughters....more