Bill Burroughs' (Old Bull Lee in Kerouac's 'On the Road') factual, hard boiled account of the life of a junk addict.
"I went into the bathroom to take...moreBill Burroughs' (Old Bull Lee in Kerouac's 'On the Road') factual, hard boiled account of the life of a junk addict.
"I went into the bathroom to take a shot. I was a long time hitting the vein. The needle clogged twice. Blood ran down my arm. The junk spread through my body, an injection of death. The dream was gone."
"(...). Sometimes I don't know, sometimes I just don't know," she said, shaking her head.(less)
Cleverly written frame story where all kinds of typical Murakami characters show up and tell there strange...moreIf you like Murakami, you'll like this book.
Cleverly written frame story where all kinds of typical Murakami characters show up and tell there strange stories which turn out to be interlinked (or not?).
It's got some philosophical thought about life, personality, loss and such, which I like. But somehow this is not my favourite Murakami novel. Sometimes I got the feeling that a storyline or character seemed too much wrought to gently fit in the story. I'd recommend Kafka on the Shore or Norwegian Wood which I found much more focussed, concise and to the point.(less)
It got me some 50 pages or so to get into the writing style and being able to distinguish the characters. After that, it's one big celebration of life...moreIt got me some 50 pages or so to get into the writing style and being able to distinguish the characters. After that, it's one big celebration of life.
This book confirmed my belief that "life is full of ups and downs; the downs come with many and for free, the ups you gotta force by yourself".(less)
The pattern is as follows: I plan to buy a book at Amazon or Bookdepository or whereever. The way the sites are set up, ok, the way the Internet works...moreThe pattern is as follows: I plan to buy a book at Amazon or Bookdepository or whereever. The way the sites are set up, ok, the way the Internet works, I see a lot of interesting other interesting books which are too cheap not to buy. So I buy them as well. All that results in a pleasant stream of literature arriving in my mailbox over the next 1 - 5 weeks. At every new arrival, I start the ritual of unwrapping, browsing the pages, checking the index, the TOC, some reviews, read the preface, introduction, the first page of the first chapter, ok, the whole first chapter because it's so short. Begin at the second chapter, and so on and so fort. Usually, the 'books I didn't really need but were so cheap I couldn't leave them' arrive first (they are so cheap because there's piles and piles of them driving up warehouse bills). Usually, those books reach their pinnacle after 20 pages. That is, after reading the introduction, you already know what it's all about. I've written some reviews before about these kinds of books; why doesn't the other write a good essay or article about his idea? A book is most of the times too much.
Same here. Or so I thought. I started reading the TOC, introduction, first chapter, second chapter, third chapter, fourth chapter, I feel asleep, woke up, read the other chapters and finished the book. Well done authors! Didn't expect that at all. This is actually really interesting case studies about economics, that is, the incentives why people do, or don't do, stuff. I liked the chapter about drug dealers and sumo wrestling the most.
Recommended as an airplane book or when you visit your parents in law and want to bring up an interesting discussion about real estate agents. Finally you can say 'well, you know, that's not my opinion, that's a fact'. Done.
Decent book by Mike Cohn about user stories. Since we are applying SCRUM for the development process in our tiny company and I had no prior knowledge...moreDecent book by Mike Cohn about user stories. Since we are applying SCRUM for the development process in our tiny company and I had no prior knowledge to SCRUM nor user stories, this book seemed like a good primer introducing me in those concepts.
I was right. Don't expect any ground breaking or world moving theories here. Just a very clear and thorough explanation of what user stories are, what user stories are not, how they relate to alternative requirement gathering strategies and how to use them in practice.
What I like is that the book can be read at different levels and from different user roles or perspectives. You can read it as a beginner (first part of the book) but also for the expert there is more than enough useful information justifying a purchase.
If you are into agile (software) development, you need a book about user stories (or a list of bookmarked blogs if you are not in the whole paper thing). I suggest this book as candidate number 1.(less)
Dave Eggers, I love you. If you were a man, I would marry you.
I once argued that there is no such thing as 'a life changing book' or even 'life changi...moreDave Eggers, I love you. If you were a man, I would marry you.
I once argued that there is no such thing as 'a life changing book' or even 'life changing experience'. This book is also not life changing. But it comes close.
Eggers is a passionate guy and I love people who are fueled by passion. I can't say that I could relate to the protagonist of this book directly. For example, he experienced the death of his mother in a different way than I did with my mother's death and his sense of humor is not always mine. But still there is some human quality, which I think most people are lacking, that Eggers captures perfectly and expresses through this book and his writing.
Two random, remarkable moments of me and the book: - remarkable moment number 1: Eggers describes a trick his mom used to do where she pretends to severe a finger from her hand. I read the book while I was on holiday in Ethiopia having just done the exact same trick. - remarkable moment number 2: There is a scene where Dave visits some friends in Chicago who are living in a hideous building. One of his friends explains his view of the benefit of living inside an ugly building is that you don't have to look at it. I said the exact same thing while living in an ugly building for 10 years myself (before moving into a house viewing a hideous building)
The dark side of the book is that it made me reconfirm my believes and attitude to life. That is not a bad thing per se. But I found that I, unconsciously, am expecting the same attitude from other people as well, only to be disappointed by reality again and again. I care, while most people don't. That sucks. Well, fuck it.
Moreover, even if this book would have sucked, I would have given it 5 stars because Eggers is involved in McSweeneys Quarterly.(less)
Much better than the second half of Grunberg's debut 'Blue Mondays'. In other words: this book manages to be funny and entertaining from page 1 to pag...moreMuch better than the second half of Grunberg's debut 'Blue Mondays'. In other words: this book manages to be funny and entertaining from page 1 to page the last one. Grunberg is not my favourite author but I will probably compulsively buy all his books and read them.(less)
Nice enough read if you are into Selby. But gets a bit boring after 100 pages or so when you get the message.
The theme is very nice: a guy wants to co...moreNice enough read if you are into Selby. But gets a bit boring after 100 pages or so when you get the message.
The theme is very nice: a guy wants to commit suicide because he is fed up wit the sick world surrounding. But because of a computer failure, he has to wait for his gun to be delivered so he cannot immediately shoot himself. During that waiting period he figures out that by killing himself he doesn't actually change the sickness of the world. So he decides to not kill himself but the people he finds responsible for the downfall of society.
If you are into Selby and like the theme, add another start. If you are just starting with Selby, better read 'Last exit to Brooklyn' or 'Requiem for a dream'.(less)