Reading this book is like entering a sad little world of ones own, and though you may set it down to go do something else, your mind still remains fas...moreReading this book is like entering a sad little world of ones own, and though you may set it down to go do something else, your mind still remains fastened about it, unable to get rid of that growing sense of isolation...Alright, that may sound a tad over dramatic, but you'll understand once you've read it (or if you already have.)
Of Mice and Men is a story centered around the themes and concepts of friendship and companionship in life, shown through the two characters of George and Lennie, as unlike as two men could possibly be, yet both dependent on one another. While Lennie is dependent on George for survival, George needs Lennie as a companion in the world of lonely men they're surrounded with.
While it seems like a simple story-line, the sort you would find heart-warming yet easily forgettable, Steinbeck approaches it in a different light, showing the main problems of their time, with the war causing a lack of feeling for ones-self and an isolation from society...We don't just see this through the characters of George and Lennie, yet rather every person in the book, though surrounded with others, is left to their own. We're also given light on the concept of 'living off the fat of the land' and having a bittersweet, impossible dream for working for yourself to make your own living. Each of the characters is tormented by the dream of what more than can have in life, for the dream is all they are able to hang onto.
While I always respect peoples opinion on books (well, certain books, and certain opinions...I can only handle so much stupidity) I read a few absolutely absurd reviews on this saying fiction is meant to be light, happy, and nicely ended because it's an 'escapism' from the torments of life. Whoever thinks that, allow me to personally call you an official-idiot. Fiction is often called an escapism because it takes you away from your life, yes, and into another, where the character may, and most likely WILL have their own trials to face, that while maybe exaggerated to our own, can allow us to focus on something else. That is escapism, and you can't find entirely light, fluffy, and perfectly happy fiction-books anywhere, even with those formula-focused little paperback romances.
Hate this book because you find something in the writing that unsettles you; hate it because of the main story, anything at all, and I don't mind, but hate it just because it's sad? Then good luck liking any novels at all, because you'll find many of the most amazing books, are often the saddest. (less)
Oh, Herman Melville...How you do it, I'll never understand. This gentleman has a vocabulary like none other that made me feel small and juvenile to sa...moreOh, Herman Melville...How you do it, I'll never understand. This gentleman has a vocabulary like none other that made me feel small and juvenile to say the very least, but his readability? It may need a bit of working on. This is yet another novel all about men, with dry, ranting sentences that are enough to make Dickens seem a minimalist in return...In fact, now that I think of it, not only that made me dislike this book enough for it to make its way into the 'books-i-hate' shelf. There are many things, honestly.
I understand the religious illusions, enough writers have used them to the point where it's impossible not to realize Billy Bud signifies an Adam of sorts, more than he does God; an innocent, perfect, and beloved young man, etc. etc. etc. Yet the pure flawlessness of his character was so strained that it was almost worse than Mrs. De Winters youthfulness being mentioned every other word in Rebecca.
On a more important subject, however, is his writing style, which as I mentioned above, is awful. I've had many length discussions with my mother (an English teacher and avid fan of Dickens) as well as my brother (a minimalistic writer of sorts) on this very topic. In my opinion, elongating a sentence to the point where it stretches on for ages, the meaning lost, is just silly. Someone ought to have told classic writers that. I do like detail, I adore beautifully flowing works, but I can only read things like Billy Budd for so long until I just want to crawl up and die...a reaction which I doubt the author was looking for. Words should mean something, especially in novels, and in books like these, I felt that all the meaning was stripped from them...Though I applaud him for his vocabulary; fantastic. (Claps quickly.)
Agatha Christie may always be my favorite mystery-writer. I don't know how anyone couldn't enjoy her writing, from stuffy old teachers to teenagers wh...moreAgatha Christie may always be my favorite mystery-writer. I don't know how anyone couldn't enjoy her writing, from stuffy old teachers to teenagers who just want to enjoy something intriguing and easily page-turning. She's the sort of writer who, every other page, I emit a sudden gasp and clutch the book closer to me; she's the sort of writer who once I start reading, it's hardly possible for me to set the book down anytime soon; and she's the sort of writer who, no matter what the book is or what it's about, I know that I'll enjoy it. I've read quite a few of her novel's, and none of them would I ever not recommend since, as I said earlier, she has something for everyone to enjoy in her writing.
That said, The Hollow isn't my favorite Agatha Christie. That award goes to The ABC Murders, yet as I also put before, certain writers you can read all of their works with the confidence that you'll get something out of each of them, and enjoy them all, even if some you may like more than others. Why was it not my favorite? No particular reason, perhaps I just found the actual mystery and the set of possible suspects not as exciting as others, yet there's nothing dull about this. And I can promise you, you will never be able to guess who the murderer/criminal is in any of her books, and if you can, you are indeed one wise creature, as Doctor Who himself once said.(less)
The more I think about the book, the greater I dislike it. I read it just recently for school, and since then it has perplexed me more than I would li...moreThe more I think about the book, the greater I dislike it. I read it just recently for school, and since then it has perplexed me more than I would like to admit. People say hate is closer to love than indifference, though, so maybe Golding got what he wanted in writing this.
The reason for the two stars? Well, does it really deserve just one? The writing is average, the story mildly interesting, the characters realistic and believable enough, and yet maybe that's why I didn't like it. I was expecting something amazing, something classic and important, a book that had everything in it, which was how it had been described to me, and yet instead, I found myself reading through it dully, not quite enjoying it, not quite caring how anything ended up. The words people described it as: gripping, violent, jarring, the most important novel of the generation, beautiful, mesmerizingly told, a tale for all ages, etc... Was it any of these things? No. Not really.
As most teachers do, ours quite literally spoon-fed the book to us, explaining each simple line as though it held the key to all humanity. This is the sort of book where, yes, you do have those moments when, one by one, everyone in the class gasps and cries out pridefully, "Oh, I get it!" And yes, there are many, many symbols in this that should be taught, but there are also many other books trying to convey the same thing, and that are much better written than this was. It's a simple read, though, and if you're looking for something short and easy, then it's perfectly fine...just don't be looking forward to some complex web of literary genuis. I was, and I left the book dissapointed and empty.
Two stars seems a just statement to that, I believe. (less)
I took a little while reading this book, which is surprising, I know, because this is supposed to be a fast read. Normally, I would completely devour...moreI took a little while reading this book, which is surprising, I know, because this is supposed to be a fast read. Normally, I would completely devour longer and more complex works by Anais Nin in a mere day or so, but somehow, someway, with Ladders To Fire, I found my attention slipping, and after just a page or so, I had already grown bored of reading it. This both surprised and upset me as she's been one of my favorite writers for a while now. At first I thought it was just a slower novel than the rest, and would take some time to get into it, but as it went on, I feared the worst: For once, I have thoroughly disliked something by Anais Nin.
In everything else (which is quite a lot) that I've read by her, she manages to word everything so elequently, so deliciusly, reading her sliding through like a beautiful dance. She has ideas I could never imagine anyone having, and manages to explain the simplest of emotions in the most complex and abstract of ways, much like D.H. Lawrence (favorite writer of all time.) I loved her for this, for her spirit and energy, for the passion she puts into a single sentence, and the genuis of her creativity, and yet in Ladders To Fire, I found none of this. Instead it came off rather bleakly, not truely caring for any of the characters in it, or even for the storyline (if you could call it one.)
It pains me to say all of this about a writer I so dearly love, and yet I'm not going to be like some and go about claiming every single thing from that person is a work of art. Some of D.H. Lawrence's works I don't like either, yet does it make them any the less brilliant? Never. There were some ideas, some chapters in this that struck me as quite beautiful, and that I did ponder over for a little while, yet on the whole I finished it with having taken nothing from it, none of the usual pain and enjoyment, awe and love that I got from the others. I merely felt empty.
This book took me (what?) three months to finish? Maybe more? It all muddled together in one mess of hot emotions...moreHoly. Crap. For lack of better words.
This book took me (what?) three months to finish? Maybe more? It all muddled together in one mess of hot emotions...and after having finished it just a moment ago, the only time between being me turning on the computer in a flustered rush and logging in. And I'm shocked I finished it even that quickly. I felt possessed in reading this, dominated and entirely taken over in Anaïs Nin and her life...a life which is certainly unlike others, to say the least.
Throughout this diary Anaïs Nin had three lovers and one husband (four lovers if you'd like to include June.) Yes, all at the same time. And while it mainly focuses on her violent and all-consuming relationship with Henry Miller, it also revolves around her fleeting love with her own husband, her experimental one with her psychologist, angry and often passionless escape of Eduardo, and her deep, connecting feelings to Henry's very own June. It reaches levels of intensity in her honesty of feelings and her own quickly shaping moods that I felt almost sickened while reading it...sick, hungry, desirous, and very much turning into a little Nin myself.
I had first become interested in this diary after becoming an ardent D.H. Lawrence fan and reading a bit of Henry Miller as well, admiring and marveling at his crude genius. When I learned of Anaïs Nin, I was at once excited at the thought of it. D.H. Lawrence greatly affected her as well as Henry Miller, and I could picture in my head the three of them, sitting in a close circle, enveloped in intimacy, speaking in hushed whispers of things us mortal minds could never fathom, but they so easily and brilliantly took on. They are sexual creatures like none other, each so different, and yet so similar that I feel one can only truly respect this diary if you have read, experienced, and loved all three of their writings.
Throughout reading this, I would often fling it away, pressing my hands to my temples, and cry out to whoever was near me to hear it: "I can't take this anymore...I'm quitting, I'm putting the book down. Yes, forever this time. She's crazy, she's mad. They all are--I can't do it..."
And moments later, I would be seen away, painfully reading through this, as though I wanted nothing more than to be at peace, relieved and finished. Though once I did finish, I wanted nothing more than to be in her world once more...to let her poetry sink into me like a nightmare and sweet dream all at once. She is not for everyone--I find that very, very few could appreciate her. And I'll say the same for Henry Miller and D.H. Lawrence, but I personally feel a certain liberation, an excitement and oozing feeling bordering on insanity upon reading from them. And that's what you're supposed to get from them--you're supposed to melt, drown with their own feeling, and thus creating your own. It's not enjoyable, it's not easy, and if you're willing to let yourself run wild into their world, then by all means...I beg of you, for from now and forever, I shall answer the question of "Whose your favorite writer?" with the certain answer of, "Lawrence, Nin, and Miller." (less)
One restless and unproductive afternoon I sat thinking of writers, of books and of something new to read. I didn't just want something on my 'to-read'...moreOne restless and unproductive afternoon I sat thinking of writers, of books and of something new to read. I didn't just want something on my 'to-read' list that I finally pull out. No, I wanted something utterly fresh, different, something I would remember whether for good or for bad. This book became Little Birds...
I would never have picked a book like this and thought it to be something good, if I hadn't have learned about her as a person, so in that way, I picked up the book for the writer, and not for the work. How couldn't I, when I found out she had greatly defended my favorite writer, D.H. Lawrence, as well as was lover to Henry Miller, whose Tropic of Cancer I'm still plodding through.
I was expecting something intense; some poetic, flowing writing, some dazzling sense and mood of sensuality; a gush of literary wisdom, though scandalous and provocative, alive and strong nevertheless...What I didn't expect was simple-erotica, and this was all I got. I got no feeling, no excitement, and emotion reading this, I merely felt empty and restless, knowing each short story I read she could have knocked down in ten minutes. Does this mean I hated it, or I hate Anaïs Nin? I don't, and I'm still intrigued and may pick up another book of hers, but sorely disappointing? Yes, it was. (less)