Best things about this one is the ambiance of a swamp setting and the colorful capture of the villain which has a fun dramatic flair. Low marks for soBest things about this one is the ambiance of a swamp setting and the colorful capture of the villain which has a fun dramatic flair. Low marks for some racism. News bulletin: referring to black servants as "Mammy", "Pappy", and other black people as "Uncle" is a throwback to names from slavery times. This book was republished in 1980s.....these offensive terms should have removed. ...more
I wanted to like this book, but I didn't. The main character (a teenage boy) reads as a 40 year old white woman with continual references outside of I wanted to like this book, but I didn't. The main character (a teenage boy) reads as a 40 year old white woman with continual references outside of the boy's age and culture. Yes.... while I do get the mother connection, I felt that very important gender and age aspects of Theo's character were completely annihilated. Sometimes, efforts to explain this anomaly seemed linked to forced, annoying reminders of his status as "mentally gifted". As someone who has worked with teenagers and "mentally gifted" students....this character was completely unbelievable to me. Aspects of this book seemed completely self-indulgent to me. Cultural references often seemed forced with an arrogant sense of pride...."look what I notice here". The characters seemed extraordinarily flat. The general "culture" of Theo's life seemed appropriated to me. Read to me like a "dark" novel of descent written by an Ivy League graduate of privilege who likes art history. A fatal error for me was that this book was written in the first person... if a book is written in the first person I need to feel that person. I felt the author, not Theo. I think it would have been much, much better in the third. There were some truly great concepts in this book, concepts I will remember, that's part of what frustrated me so much in reading it. The book felt ruined for me. What had excellent potential (I enjoyed the beginning!)soon deteriorated. In many school classrooms this poster hangs on the wall: "Great writing doesn't tell, it shows". Too much of this book told and didn't show. My favorite part of the book was the last several pages... here we are told important ideas about what the painting and book are about.... I wish that those ideas were shown in the book instead of told to me. As far as this book winning the Pulitzer Prize?...makes sense to me. As I stated earlier the book read as an Ivy Leaguer of privilege...same demographics(conceptually if not literally)as Prize judges. In a nutshell.....this book came off as very contrived to me. Finally, for me this book would translate much much better as a movie. I may have even liked it as a film. It wouldn't have seemed so horribly contrived and actors could have given life to the characters. The imagery while coming off as contrived in the book, I think would appear much more favorably in film. The film could simply show....more
I did like this book, but felt in general that it is over-rated. I liked learning more about Charles Manson's childhood and some of the people around I did like this book, but felt in general that it is over-rated. I liked learning more about Charles Manson's childhood and some of the people around him from those times. It fills in some specifics about his mother and her family life that were interesting. I also liked that there was information about his Hollywood connections and LA lifestyle. However, I did have some serious reservations about this book. It seemed to me that the author's perspective on some of his material was questionable and skewed. I experienced a general attitude of laissez-faire and tolerance for some white males, particularly Brian Wilson And Greg Jacobson. These men were a part of the problem and full repeated participants in taking advantage of Manson's pimping activities with women who were very clearly very bad off, some of them clearly underage...some with bruises on their faces. These men were messed up and disturbing people. While Manson is written about as a psychopath...I felt that the psychopathology of these men was seriously glossed over. Too many times of hearing about the quote "genius" of Brian Wilson. Greg Jacobson is also written about through rose colored glasses. I also felt that the author glossed over Manson's mother's pathology. He makes a lot of excuses for her negative behaviors and repeatedly writes about how much his mother "loved" Manson. She is painted a struggling woman who just doesn't seem to know how to handle her problematic son. I think she may have been a horse a different color. The actions of his mother were not the actions of a mother that truly loved her child, and it seemed to me that she might have been a sociopath her own self. The author insinuates that Manson was lying when he said his mother was a prostitute. I think that given what was known about her and the time period that she lived in, that it is entirely possible that she was. After I read this book, I was left with a lingering sense of unease. Charles Manson did not exist in a vacuum. I don't believe that he was a single sociopath that caused all the horrible dreadful murders. There were people around him who helped make him what he was, including whatever the *&^5 happened within the families of his followers. Whatever really happened in his childhood we don't know, I just don't think he was an anomaly from a mother who loved him. ...more
I liked these. It was recommended to me to read them in the order they were written, and didn't do that and regretted it. After reading them I would hI liked these. It was recommended to me to read them in the order they were written, and didn't do that and regretted it. After reading them I would have preferred to have read them as she wrote them: Pattern-master, Mind of my Mind, Wild Seed, Clay's Ark. Wild Seed definitely superior to the others stories. There is an eerie creepiness to the stories that I like. I found the series disturbing and brutal. Themes of identity and transformation propel the stories from run of the mill science fiction into great literature. There is something about human experience here that haunts me, these books were the type of literature that my mind will continue to ponder for years. PS: I prefer the older book covers who clearly show black characters on the cover. The faded out softness of this cover really irritated me.
I enjoyed this book, but do think that overall it is over rated. The characters were not as fully developed as I would have like, and I found the relaI enjoyed this book, but do think that overall it is over rated. The characters were not as fully developed as I would have like, and I found the relationships among the characters rather two dimensional and uninteresting. I missed the creepy sense of time and setting that was in The Shining. ...more
Great book. A difficult read at times. The story has a lot of press as inspirational and uplifting, and indeed it is both of those things in an absoluGreat book. A difficult read at times. The story has a lot of press as inspirational and uplifting, and indeed it is both of those things in an absolutely amazing way. The book has a dark, disturbing side that is devastatingly sad..there is no way of getting around it. It is devastating. The shine of a bright future that eventually arrives cannot take away from the pure sadness, not only for Antwone Fisher but for the other children in his household. It is very important to learn about what can happen to children placed in foster care. and it is very important to hear the story through the eyes of a child who has been through it. ...more