i don't have a lot of peter carey experience. the only other book i have read by him is Parrot and Olivier in America. i think it was also a 3-star re...morei don't have a lot of peter carey experience. the only other book i have read by him is Parrot and Olivier in America. i think it was also a 3-star read for me. which isn't a bad thing...but i always feel that 3-star reads are books that, while fine, could have been better. so i get bummed out when i land on a 3-star rating. (aside: both of the carey novels i have read contain a privileged character named 'olivier' -- ummm...what's up with that, dude?)
anyway...theft was interesting but i felt certain moments in the story to be flimsy - i was not wholly invested in the plots or the motivations. so that was a bit of a sticking point for me. i very much liked the fictional look at the art world, but i have no idea if it is authentic? (do/would people in the art world find this story believable??) so the novel has actually served to make me want to read some nonfiction on art theft or forgeries. so that's not a bad thing at all.(less)
this was such an enjoyable read - and a perfect book to read during the summer. i really liked being an armchair traveler with bly and bisland on thei...morethis was such an enjoyable read - and a perfect book to read during the summer. i really liked being an armchair traveler with bly and bisland on their travels around the world. goodman did a great job presenting the race, and i appreciated that he also included historical context and sidebars on what was going on in the world in 1889 and 1890. as well, goodman provided brief looks at the women's lives post-race. i really did not know a lot about these women, or the race. even though i was aware of the outcome, goodman also did a great job building the suspense - who was going to win??? overall, this was a really well done examination of two interesting women who wanted to be treated as equal to men, not only in their professional careers as journalists, but in the broader sense of their lives in the world.
serious question: has a man ever been described as having 'pluck'?? this is the general consensus on bly (and bisland) - they were plucky. they had pluck! it kept reminding me of mary tyler moore - lou grant, in particular: "you've got spunk...i hate spunk!"
interesting to note that bisland worked for the cosmopolitan. during her tenure, it was quite a serious magazine that, apart for society pages, did thoughtful essays and investigative pieces. quite a stretch from the cosmo we are at today.
as well, women being portrayed in the media at this time (1889-1890) were also shown in regards to their appearance - their looks, clothing, demeanour, what was acceptable or unacceptable for them. and both bly and bisland endured some harsh and unfavourable criticisms sometimes because of how they looked (though both were popularly accepted as attractive women), and other times for how they conducted themselves. (unfair criticisms, to be sure. and bly received harsher judgements than bisland.) so we have been doing a disservice to women for a long, long time.(less)
sigh. this was a really frustrating read for me, which is such a shame, it was all kind of bland and one-dimensional - save for mme. forestier-du roy....moresigh. this was a really frustrating read for me, which is such a shame, it was all kind of bland and one-dimensional - save for mme. forestier-du roy. she should have been the lead.
while reading, i continually found myself wondering WHY people were doing things to help georges duroy? he was not described in any way that offered he was a man of particular intelligence, charm, or handsomeness.i mean, his nickname is 'bel-ami' -- but there really was not any evidence he was a good friend - he was, in fact, a terrible friend. even as a satire -- it wasn't strong enough for me. he has no depth (which may very well be the whole point, but lack of depth in a 'scoundrel' makes for a not very enjoyable read). there was nothing special about him that would, to me, make someone want to do anything for him. and yet...he advances his lot in life through a repeated cycle of using women. there were some weird threads left dangling - mostly to do with motivations. and (view spoiler)[ the ham-handed jesus moment nearly blew up my brain. sigh! (hide spoiler)]
i love allie brosh. this is a great book and i am glad she created it! i read this while sitting out on the front porch. at moments i was laughing out...morei love allie brosh. this is a great book and i am glad she created it! i read this while sitting out on the front porch. at moments i was laughing out loud, and at one particular point in the book (pg. 311) i had one of those ridiculous moments where something makes you laugh so much you can't stop laughing. and then when you try to stop laughing, you just laugh more. and the tears start running down your face from laughing so hard. yeah. that. neighbour walks by and says 'good book?' as i am in the throes of this laughing so hard while trying to keep my shit together on the front porch. i managed to nod, and say that 'yes!', it was a good book...but they were moving on...didn't really care, making small talk to the laughing woman, i guess. which is fine. jerks. how do you even explain this book if someone isn't familiar with brosh and her comic? (which i am assuming they weren't because the book cover is pretty distinct and if you know of hyperbole and a half, you wold recognize the cover.) so....yes! this book is funny. but it's also serious and emotional. brosh is open about dealing with depression and how it made her feel. and she reveals aspects of her personality in a very honest way - stuff most of us wouldn't put out there in the world. brosh questions whether she's brave...i kind of think she is. thanks for this book!!(less)