This book was interesting enough to keep me turning the pages, but I wouldn't put it within walking distance of the top 40 horror novels of all time....moreThis book was interesting enough to keep me turning the pages, but I wouldn't put it within walking distance of the top 40 horror novels of all time. The most horrifying aspect of the novel was the thought of growing up the son of a hard-drinking, wife-punching, empty-headed, Eastern European immigrant ignoramus (which, interestingly, combines the early childhood experiences of my parents, except for the wife punching part, thank goodness). The novel's "surprise" is no real surprise, and at no time in reading the book was I scared in the least. So much for that Halloween read.(less)
A pale imitation of its predecessor. The collage, painting, and script are all still interesting; honestly, the visuals are what saves this from being...moreA pale imitation of its predecessor. The collage, painting, and script are all still interesting; honestly, the visuals are what saves this from being a one-star book. The story, though, lacks the originality of Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence. Here the character of Griffin strikes me (and himself!) as petulant, self-indulgent, melodramatic, and just plain uninteresting. And the story doesn't end with him growing up. Or with resolution. It ends with another formulaic "mystery" that doesn't really make any sense, but that leaves the door open to a third installment. (less)
This is exactly the review I would have written, if it hadn't already been written. The intriguing visuals are really all that kept me from writing a...moreThis is exactly the review I would have written, if it hadn't already been written. The intriguing visuals are really all that kept me from writing a review like this.(less)
I remember when these books first hit the shelves twenty years ago. They were so popular. As with so many other popular books (I'm looking at you, Har...moreI remember when these books first hit the shelves twenty years ago. They were so popular. As with so many other popular books (I'm looking at you, Harry Potter) I had to come to them in my own sweet time. Luckily my daughter recently asked me to check out Simms Taback's Postcards from Camp from the library, and when I did so, I also checked out the three books in the original Griffin and Sabine trilogy. So what did I think? Awesome! Lovely artwork, a poetic sensibility, the mystery of the connection between the titular characters, and the illicit fun of opening envelopes and reading another person's mail. I cannot wait to continue with the series, and heck, this might be the catalyst I needed to explore The Egyptian Jukebox I got for Christmas back in 1993.(less)
After all, it is the Bible, which carries a LOT of baggage. As the sacred scripture of over 1 billion people,...moreThe Bible is a difficult book to review.
After all, it is the Bible, which carries a LOT of baggage. As the sacred scripture of over 1 billion people, its impact on the lives and minds of those who view it as The Book is difficult for a secular reader to appreciate fully. Moreover its influence on two thousand years of human history and culture cannot be overstated. That said, it is not really a book for general reading, nor was it ever intended to be. It is hard to consider it a book at all; it is instead a particular edition of a library of texts, first transmitted orally and then written, spanning a time frame of a millennium and a half, dealing with the evolution of one religion and the formation of another. So instead of providing a flowing story-line with an overarching plot and character development, the Bible presents a tangle of poems, myths, hymns, aphoristic wisdom literature, cultural and historical narratives, prophetic exhortations for social justice, and theological fragments. Part of the challenge of reading the Bible as a whole is figuring out just what all these different parts can possibly mean: one their own, in relationship to one another, in their original contexts, and within my own 21st century USAmerican experience. Some of texts speak directly to "the Human Condition" and are as radical to the contemporary reader as they were to the powers and principalities of the times in which they were composed. Other texts seem relevant only to archaeologists and students of ancient history, and still other texts seem downright perverse and un-sacred; I honestly have some problems with my nine-year old reading the Bible because of the questions it raises (almost none of which have to do with God or theology).
I didn't really like the One Year format. Breaking the various texts into sections and then alternating the daily excerpts (in the order of Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm, Proverbs) made it difficult to maintain continuity in the readings. From what I have gathered online, there are resources to assist the reader in dividing the Bible into daily portions, and so I recommend trying that out with the Bible you already have or can obtain at any motel, second-hand store, or Campus Crusade give-away. I am also not so keen on the New Living Translation. While I am not a Bible scholar or an expert in translation, I have certain preferences and look to the NRSV as my "favorite" translation of the Bible, having used that while at university. The biases of the translating committee of the New Living Translation were pretty obvious in points (e.g., repeatedly translating "disciples" as "believers," and translating "the saints" as "other believers," etc.), and at other times the language lacked any sense of gravitas, sort of like the King James version in reverse.
I finally settled on two stars for the rating. The Bible deserves a couple of stars simply for being one of the main wellsprings of Western civilization, religion, and literature. I find many verses in the Bible to be amazing (5 stars) because of their beauty or insight or provocative quality, but others (too many) are difficult to understand or downright meaningless (2 stars, tops). Unfortunately way too much of the Bible was devoted to war, warriors, and war-making for my taste (not surprising, seeing that God is regularly referred to as the "LORD of Hosts" or "LORD of Heaven's Armies"), and many of God's proclamations reminded me too much of an abusive spouse, raging and forgiving, raging and forgiving. As with many other challenging books, this is another that I want to re-read and re-engage with, but I am going to read the Jewish Study Bible next time, maybe for 2012 or 2013.(less)