**spoiler alert** First Lines: "My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."
When I re...more**spoiler alert** First Lines: "My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."
When I read this book the first time I loved it, but that was really all I could say about it. I don't know why, but I forgot most of everything after just a few weeks. Reading it for the second time, more scenes/characters stuck with me:
Susie's heaven: I love this. It's such a great idea to be able to create your own world and conjure whatever you want. The only thing that's sad is that the friends you make won't always be there when you want them because they can go off into another world of their own that doesn't correspond with your own heaven.
The murder scene: Of course, this is unforgettable. It's not quite what I'd call graphic, but you could definitely create some graphic images from what you're told of the state of Susie's dead body (for instance,the beginning scene in heaven when Susie is reconnecting her arm-that part kind of made me shudder).
I loved Ray (I found him pretty crush-worthy) and I liked how he and Ruth became friends (loved Ruth too and all her quirkiness-I read Fear of Flying because of her). I thought it was a little weird, though, that when Susie was able to enter Ruth's body the only thing she wanted to do was sleep with Ray (especially since she was technically still 14, even though she should have been 17 at the time). An odd scene and I'm still trying to mull over why such a thing was more important for her than anything else.
I really wish the movie had been able to include more of the stories about her family and friends. I really loved Susie's sister's budding relationship with that smart, goth guy-sorry, I can't remember his name-which was one of the best parts of the book but barely touched on in the film. Oh well, can't include everything I guess. (less)
Epic is the perfect word to describe this book. Cal is an all-knowing narrator, going into great detail of his grandparents' and parents' liv...more4.5 Stars
Epic is the perfect word to describe this book. Cal is an all-knowing narrator, going into great detail of his grandparents' and parents' lives, which he could not possibly know (having not been present), but you never doubt what he is telling you. You go on the journey with him, from the first appearance of the genetic mutation that cropped up due to his grandparents' incestuous relationship to its culmination in Cal's own body, causing him to be born a hermaphrodite.
Eugenides gives each generation of the Stephanides family their due. The reader gets to know the very interesting stories of Lefty and Desdemona's immigration from their burning village in Greece to America's Motor City. The author gives a grand history of Detroit, the beginnings of car factories and division of labor, and the riots of 1967. I can see why Middlesex is considered a good candidate for the title of Great Amerian Novel. I had never read anything that went into such descriptions of Detroit and its pink nights. Usually, when Detroit crops up as a setting in a book, the author pulls a Forrest Gump, merely naming the city and then leaving the reader with "and that's all I have to say about that." I enjoyed getting to know a bit more about Michigan's largest city.
The book continues slowly through the Stephanides' marriage and the birth of Cal's parents, his father being the son of Lefty and Desdemona while his mother is the daughter of Lefty and Desdemona's cousin, which means (you guessed it) Cal's parents are second cousins. This was the second pairing that defined Cal's fate. Of course, no one knew about Cal's intersexuality until he reached puberty, so for quite some time Cal was raised as Calliope.
Once Cal reached age thirteen or so, I started to get impatient for Cal to finally make the big discovery that the book was leading to, and this is the reason for the half-star deduction. The story really started to drag for me around page 350 or so. Cal began to count down to the day when he would be going to the doctor's appointment to check things out and I would start getting excited, thinking We're finally going to get there in this next section, only to be roadblocked with Cal describing each day of that last week in detail, taking up precious pages. But once everything was revealed, I was again hooked to the story and I couldn't read fast enough. I found Cal's psychological growth going from female to male fascinating, and I ended the book very satisfied. (less)
I just started rereading this series for the first time. I remember this book blowing me away the first time I read it. The whole concept of not only...moreI just started rereading this series for the first time. I remember this book blowing me away the first time I read it. The whole concept of not only suddenly finding out you're a wizard but also the most famous wizard of all time is just mind blowing. "Harry, you're The Boy Who Lived". Whoa. My favorite chapter is Olivander's, when Harry is buying his first wand. I just loved learning about all the different types of wands and how each one is unique and specially meant for a particular witch/wizard that it chooses.
This book was so much shorter than many of the others in the series and much of it was able to be shown in the movie. I didn't really get any surprises from rereading it ten years later because I had seen the movie so many times and the two are exactly the same. I can't wait until I get to Book 4 which is the first monstrous-sized book in the series-it's also my favorite of all 7.(less)
I was able to read this book in just a couple of days despite its length. The dialogue in it is exactly the same as in the movie, so as I was reading,...moreI was able to read this book in just a couple of days despite its length. The dialogue in it is exactly the same as in the movie, so as I was reading, the scenes of the movie played out in my head. It was exactly like watching Gone with the Wind with closed captioning. An interesting experience that I have never had before or since.(less)
I first read this book in high school (probably the 9th or 10th grade) and I know I liked it but I couldn't remember much else about it (other than th...moreI first read this book in high school (probably the 9th or 10th grade) and I know I liked it but I couldn't remember much else about it (other than the test-tube babies). Upon rereading it, I realized that most of what I thought I remembered about the characters was wrong, and I completely forgot about John. Though, I can understand why I would have erased John from my mind. I hated him during my second reading, so I'm sure I hated him during my first reading too.
So anyway, the book takes place in 632 A.F. (After Ford) which is around 2452 A.D. on our calendar, give or take a few years. Everyone is a test-tube baby. In fact, giving birth is thought to be a disgusting and despicable thing and the words mother and father are considered taboo. There are five castes: the Alphas and the Betas are the smart "individuals" and they all come from an egg of their own (the two main characters Bernard Marx and Lenina Crowne are Alphas), and then there are the Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons who are all clones essentially with around 80 fetuses being split from one egg. They aren't as smart and physically big as the Alphas and Betas, but they're all happy with their lot because they have all been conditioned to believe that their caste is the best.
Since childhood, everyone was made to listen to hypnotic tapes in their sleep, which conditioned them to think and act exactly as the World Controllers wanted them to. So basically, no one had any thoughts of their own. All of their activities and interests were based around the thousands of adages that were being heard repeatedly from under their pillows each night for years.
I sped through this book, and it was all the more fun for me because I was reading a used copy that had marginal notes written all over it, and the person had written "They're crazy" (talking about the controllers) on almost every other page, after each new philosophy of the society was revealed, and I couldn't help but agree with him/her every time.
An absolutley amazing book, which gives you a lot to think about, particulary this: Is happiness and stability worth sacrificing everything for? I think not.(less)
This was my first Ray Bradbury book, and it certainly won't be my last. It was a very quick read (something you could finish in one sitting), and I fo...moreThis was my first Ray Bradbury book, and it certainly won't be my last. It was a very quick read (something you could finish in one sitting), and I found many of the characters very interesting (or more like amusing). I especially loved Clarisse McClellan, who will always remain one of my favorite literary characters, despite her small part in the book. I saw that many people were criticizing Fahrenheit 451 because they disliked the ending, but I thought the ending was very suitable to the story and it was not entirely depressing. We were left with hope. (less)
"Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them. This city I am bringing you to is vast and intricate, and you have not been here befor...more"Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them. This city I am bringing you to is vast and intricate, and you have not been here before. You may imagine, from other stories you've read, that you know it well, but those stories flattered you, welcoming you as a friend, treating you as if you belonged. The truth is that you are an alien from another time and place altogether."
I love this book. It's one of my all-time favorites. I would even say it's THE favorite. Once I read the first page, I literally could not put the book down until I finished it. And even though the book was close to 900 pages long, I thought it ended too soon (which, by the way, is not a criticism of the open ending but, rather, a reluctantcy to leave the characters). No other author has ever been able to bring a story to life the way Faber did for me. I fell in love with Michel Faber after reading this book.
**I love this book so much that I even wrote a short story for a creative writing class about my first time reading it. It's kind of lame, but I had fun with it. :)(less)