**spoiler alert** This book was a little of a painful read. But in ways enjoyable, clearly otherwise I would of stopped reading the book at some point...more**spoiler alert** This book was a little of a painful read. But in ways enjoyable, clearly otherwise I would of stopped reading the book at some point. I picked up the book since I was stranded, needed to keep myself busy for a few hours while at a bookstore. I saw the movie and thought to give the book a try.
The story is of Chiba Atsuko, a female psychologist who interprets people's dreams in order to heal the mental insane. She and her colleague Tokita are nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. The story starts by focusing on the politics within their office, jealously from other colleagues, and Chiba's side job as Paprika, an illegal dream detective. The set up for the who and why was so long, that for awhile I lost interest in the story.
Roughly about halfway through the story picks up as Inui and Osanai steal experimental new models of the dream device. The author then blends together reality with fantasy, which was really enjoyable. But the overall all plot is driven by sexist and homophobic views.
The main character Chiba Atsuko seems to be a sex magnet. All male characters seem to be attracted to her, patients, her colleagues, and even her bisexual enemies. A moral of this story seems to be that men and women can't be friends, they will inevitably be sexually attracted to her.
Ignoring that aspect, the author has odd views of relationships. Many characters who are in "love" or are married seem to still be physically attracted to someone else. The weirdest is Chiba and Tokita. Chiba comes to admit she is in love with her overweight partner, but still is having sexual fantasies about many different men. Even when all the men around her help her "fight" the bad guys in the new dream-mixed-reality world (since Women can't do anything without the help of men) she is having sex with her "soul mate" Tokita, and her enemy Osanai. This in no way makes sense, Osanai is attactive, but seems to have a personality that main character despises. She also was attacked and was attempted to be raped by him. It seems the author has a view that sex and soul mates are in totally different things.
The homophobia in the book was a little more disturbing. The author Tsutsui uses homosexuality as a way to "demonize" the bad characters. It is apparent from the ways that characters to react to the homosexual relationship with Inui and Osanai. They call out their relationship as repulsive and dismiss it as fling. The author also "explains" their relationship by putting Inui in a cult that is a homosexually driven cult, and making Osanai a sexually promiscuous man.
Although I don't remember much about the movie, I can easily say it was a much better execution of the story. I remember the Paprika/Chiba character being much more independent, and the visual were much more vivid. The "dreams" were interesting, but could of been more creative. They are dreams? So I feel like the descriptions could of been more vivid, or fantastical.
I think I would of had more positive things to say if the ending was such a flop. It was abrupt and didn't seem to be satisfactory. It was more of a "enemy lost it's steam" than "good defeats evil." I am not fully sure if the author even conveyed a good message by the end of it all. Regardless, it does try and do something different, and resulted in a great movie.(less)
I have to say this was the most interesting book to read so far out of Bond books. Oddly it isn't because of the content. All movie Bond fans know tha...moreI have to say this was the most interesting book to read so far out of Bond books. Oddly it isn't because of the content. All movie Bond fans know that Moonraker is the cheesiest, and campiest of all Bond films. And the story was the furthest from the story from what I read so far. I was reading the hoping to see beautiful people try and create a super race, and secretly hoping Jaws would make an appearance. Well they don't happen. In a way it is sad.
But taking the book completely out of context of the horrible remake, it is an excellent story. In a way, not much happens in the story. But that is what makes Bond stories interesting, it is in all the smaller details. But I could of hoped that there wasn't any gambling in this one, since I find reading about a game incredibly dry.
First half of the story focuses on Drax, a new public figure to England. He was a fallen soldier from World War II who has his own rags to riches story, and currently building a missile for England's self defense. M heard that Drax might be cheating at cards, and suspect something fishy is going on. The second half goes from cards to investigation at the Moonraker base.(less)
I have never read an John Updike book before this one. The topic isn't normally one I would care much for to begin with, witches, the supernatural and...moreI have never read an John Updike book before this one. The topic isn't normally one I would care much for to begin with, witches, the supernatural and the like. I picked up this book because I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and tv adaptation of the book. I picked up the book, figuring that there would be big differences between the books and film adaptations.
At first I was disappointed by the differences, sex was more graphic, the women were home-wreckers, but I trudged through thinking "that's alright, I just need to accept that this is different." The first 150-200 pages were hard to read through. It didn't seem like much would happen, at least anything interesting. Once Jenny enters the story, I found it much faster to read and at times I didn't want to put the book down to find out what would happen.
When I finished the book, there was a void that we not filled. So many questions, and dis-likable things about the story. Darryl Van Horne isn't blatantly seen as the "the Devil" as the film versions. Which means the whole showdown as the climax is completely fabricated in the filmed versions. I guess I wouldn't feel so cheated, if the ending didn't result in him running away, and have some sort of confrontation with the women.
When reading I at first felt betrayed by the female characters, all being gossiping morons. But with many being very stereo-typed, it eventually seemed more like a satire. But even with that, the ending gives clouded views and mixed signals about what Updike is trying to say about the relationships about Women and Men.
Atwood's review for the New York Times suggests that Updike is comparing the evil deeds that Alexandra, Sukie, and Jane perform to the male's Vietnam war. Men us force, and women are little more cunning. But I guess this is something I figured out when I was much younger, and seems a little pointless to be pointed out now that I am older.
But what kept me to continue reading this book was Updike's writing. His descriptions alone were likable, and vivid. I enjoyed the very distinctive, but maybe not attractive characters, maybe not their actions.
I think mostly, the book is a little dated for the newest generations. Clearly there are still separation of the sexes, but it has become more clouded. Most mothers are now actually expected to work, instead of staying at home. Feminism has drastically changed. Therefore, some of things Updike points out, seems pointless. Sure it might resonate more in very small-time-USA where football players and cheerleaders rule a high school, but not in the densely populated, liberal North-East coast of the United States.(less)
I enjoyed this book even more than Casino Royale. Well, that is if you ignore the racist slurs and negative view on the black population. But I think...moreI enjoyed this book even more than Casino Royale. Well, that is if you ignore the racist slurs and negative view on the black population. But I think it is more-so a case of old-fashioned views, and the world changing. I would say that all the terms being used that are not politically correct, probably would appear in any movie that was made in the same year.
If you can get past the racism, this story is much more action packed than Casino Royale. The reader now has a sense of who James Bond is, and therefore we see him doing more in this book. There were more moments where I did not want to put down this book over Casino Royale.
Most people have said that Bond is "snobbish" is this novel, and I would disagree. His high standards in cars and food I find embellishes his personality, and anyone who does probably is American.(less)
Michael Patrick Hearn maybe a well educated man who knows his Victorian children stories, but sometimes his writing can be exhausting. When I first pi...moreMichael Patrick Hearn maybe a well educated man who knows his Victorian children stories, but sometimes his writing can be exhausting. When I first picked up this book, I probably spent a good month try to finish up the biography of L. Frank Baum.
Hearn's need to over explain things doesn't let up in the annotations. In fact at some points I would only get through one page a night because there were so much "to be said." Sometimes things were interesting, sometimes they were not, and a lot of the times, seemed to be irrelevant to the actual novel. Many of the notes were about the expanded universe of the Wizard of Oz, such as musicals and future stories in the series. Sometimes the notes were interesting, but most of the time, I didn't care.
Some of the annotations were about Baum's background and how it might of affected the story. For example the first few annotations revolved around the characters make up. Probably two pages worth of text were about Dorothy and how the name might of possibly came to be. To me this was a waste of space since it didn't really have to do with the context of the story.
Putting these aside, I thought Hearn's comment on the context of the story were great. And it was nice to hear comments about textual influences on Baum's writing. I was sad to see there was nothing about the tin man representing the industrial revolution, and the such since it seemed to be a common allegory for the book.
At the end of the book, there was a short book that uses the Wizard of Oz characters. It was a nice addition to put the story into context of the time. It makes the reader aware that Children stories were more commonly written in a stylized manner, and that "The Wizard of Oz" is fairly gender neutral, keeping it very modern. And it really makes you aware of how often the characters were used outside of Baum's serials.
All in all, I would say this is a nice annotation of the story. Even though some of the comments seemed uninteresting, I wouldn't say there were too many far-fetched connections. But I do highly suggest reading the book ahead of time, since there is more written about the book, than the story itself.(less)
I don't think I have much to say that hasn't already been said. But I would like to give fair warning to anyone reading the book. My friend lent me a...moreI don't think I have much to say that hasn't already been said. But I would like to give fair warning to anyone reading the book. My friend lent me a copy of I Am Legend, and it was a copy that was promoting the movie staring Will Smith. I felt a little embarrassed about it because I thought the movie looked dumb, but the book was being lent to me, and I didn't spend a dime, so I figured "why not?"
The entire time reading it, people kept bothering me "Did you see the movie?" "How's the book? I didn't like the movie" I couldn't believe how many people actually spent their money to go see the movie. Especially when I finished the I Am Legend story and was reading the short stories. If you plan on reading the book, I would recommend picking up a copy without Will Smith on the cover, to avoid being bothered. Probably the most annoying thing about it was that I never saw the movie, didn't care to, and assumed it was awful. So I didn't need other people telling me. I even had people who did read or see the movie ask me if I saw the movie.
But with that aside, I enjoyed the book. The beginning was a little hard to get into, but once you get past that, it is a quick read. I would have to say that the short stories at the end, vary. Some are much better than others, and most, like I Am Legend start out slow or uninteresting, and take awhile to build up to a point of interest.(less)
This was my first Osamu Tezuka comic that I've read. I have seen a few movies that he has helped directed. So reading this comic seemed a lot more sop...moreThis was my first Osamu Tezuka comic that I've read. I have seen a few movies that he has helped directed. So reading this comic seemed a lot more sophisticated than what I have seen of his child-targeted movies. In fact there is nothing "childish" about this comic.
The story is about a Catholic Priest, who was in an accident on a small island. A gas called MW leaked on the island, killing everyone on it except for him and a small boy. The small boy's moral had been "damaged" by the gas, leaving cold and heartless.
Now that the boy has grown up, he still keeps in contact with the priest that saved him from the island. But he doesn't have any religious beliefs. Instead he is constantly killing, kidnapping, and embezzling money. Till one day he decides to set his bar higher, and try to steal the MW that ruined his life.
The book is well written, and despite what everyone else has written, I feel that the plot picks up towards the end, instead of lags. What I think is the "problem" with the story is that the end doesn't seem like it would be a possible outcome from the opening. Possibly, a kidnapping could be cut out from the beginning to move things along.
The story also comments on homo-sexuality, the United States, Christianity, and politics, which makes the story much more than just "pulp fiction." My only complaint is that sometimes I felt that Tezuka should of projected stronger opinions about the topics, and that occasionally, his drawings were too cartoonish. Tezuka has set a higher standard with his drawings in this book, but from time to time there is one character that looks too "kid friendly" and makes the book seem extra dirty. Perhaps that was what Tezuka was trying to do.
I would highly recommend this to anyone who like vintage Japanese comics, or a good "pulp" thriller. The story is strong, along with the comic. And a lot of sex and controversy sprinkled into the storyline.(less)
I picked up the comic after watching the movie. I love the style drawings and the comic is very funny and interesting. I would recommend this to anyon...moreI picked up the comic after watching the movie. I love the style drawings and the comic is very funny and interesting. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good story.(less)
I started to read the part at the end of my Freshman year of college and simply lost time to read over the summer. I would like to sit down and read i...moreI started to read the part at the end of my Freshman year of college and simply lost time to read over the summer. I would like to sit down and read it again.(less)
This is one of my favorite movies, so I had to read the book. The book and movie are interesting combo. The movie referenced the book several times, b...moreThis is one of my favorite movies, so I had to read the book. The book and movie are interesting combo. The movie referenced the book several times, but cuts out many parts of the plot for time purposes. I thought this was an interesting approach to adapting a book since so many fans of the book get angry with how much a movie will cut out. But cutting out parts of the story, but put references, it leaves the viewer satisfied with the translation.(less)
Very interesting book. I loved where the character went and loved the ending. If you liked the movie, reading the novel isn't too hard. And it gives a...moreVery interesting book. I loved where the character went and loved the ending. If you liked the movie, reading the novel isn't too hard. And it gives a better feel than the movie of mid-west suburbia.(less)
This is one of those books, where I feel that it already has so much input about it, but I would still like to give my two cents about it. After watch...moreThis is one of those books, where I feel that it already has so much input about it, but I would still like to give my two cents about it. After watching a few early James Bond movies with Sean Connery, I wasn't yet prepared to watch any Bond movie afterward. So I picked up the books.
If you like the James Bond movies, I can see why a person wouldn't like the book. The first two chapters are little hard to read since so much information is being given to you. And some things have changed over the years due to changing cultures. But most of the story stands the test of time.
Many people seem to complain about Bond's character in the book as being sexist. But he is still somewhat likable and his attitudes about women seem to make him even more complex. Which, makes him more interesting. Sadly, the story is a little predictable. Maybe it is because of the whole Bond series, and at the time the story was a major twist.(less)
I wanted to read The Shining because I loved the movie, and I wanted more. I was never a Stephen King fan, nor did I ever had the desire to read his b...moreI wanted to read The Shining because I loved the movie, and I wanted more. I was never a Stephen King fan, nor did I ever had the desire to read his books because I didn't care much for the genre. So when I first picked up The Shining, I set my standards low. I knew it WASN'T going to be the movie.
But overall what became most clear about this book is that good storytelling isn't the same and good writing. The concept is very original for a horror- there isn't any existing monsters or demons, heck there isn't even real ghosts. The Hotel is a completely different entity that is never really fully explained. And the idea of Mr. Torrence's inner demons coming forth while being in the hotel hits a chord. In fact if the the overall story wasn't so well thought out, then the movie wouldn't ever be so memorable.
But the two biggest flaws are in the writing style and the length. I had to force myself to read the book for a major chunk of the book. It wasn't until the last 150 or so pages did I feel like it was hard to put it down. Too bad there was at least 500 pages before I got there. Stephen King does over kill with the character backgrounds. Yeah we get it- Jack was a drunk, he was bad at his job, he had writers block, we don't need to know every little detail. I would even say that omitting specifics would add to his inner demons. Even make it seem that Jack is so ashamed his past, that he himself, can't fully admit the whole truth himself.
And I know that many people argue that the book shines a better light on Jack Torrence than in the movie. But I wouldn't say so. In the movie, although it seems half-assed, Jack quits drinking for his family. The book he doesn't. He doesn't stop drinking after he hurts Danny. No it is when his friend almost hits a biker when he stops drinking. Basically, he stops drinking to prevent himself from killing an innocent person, not because he knows it is best for his family.
Above all, I can't stand the writing style in this novel. Some of the methods King uses, I wouldn't mind so much, or I get why he did it, but didn't work. For example, to convey the thoughts of people (often for the "shining" ability) King italicize the thoughts within parentheses. Which is fine if he took away the parentheses. It would stand too much from the other text, and disrupt my flow of reading. And occasionally he would use too many punctuation, which was the worst. For example once he wrote (? WHY ?) as one of the thoughts. It is just simply over kill. To top it off, he purposely misspells words. Sometimes this can be a successful method of having a child's voice, but since the point of view somewhat changes, it comes off as being sloppy. And he uses so many unconventional uses of punctuation and purposeful misspellings that it comes off as a high school student who is writing a short story.
I don't like to always compare the book to the movie, but I feel like it has to with The Shining. This is because both are so iconic for their own reasons. Stephen King fans love this book, and Stanley Kubrick, horror, and movie fans love the movie. But I feel like 50 or 100 years from now, the movie will appear in more history books. The answer is simple, Kubrick had simply executed the story much more successfully. He tells the story well from the beginning all the way to the end. It isn't that Stephen King isn't a good writer, I wouldn't really be able to say since this is the only book I read of his. But from what I can understand is that his writing has gotten better over the years, and I am sure in the future he will eventually be known more for his later novels than his older ones.(less)