A monologue spoken by a painter while he is painting the portrait of his former friend, an art critic. From the start you know something terrible is g...moreA monologue spoken by a painter while he is painting the portrait of his former friend, an art critic. From the start you know something terrible is going to happen, so you keep on reading. So good!(less)
I heard a lot about this book and for some weird reasons (including the title, probably), I thought this was going to be a book about sickness and dan...moreI heard a lot about this book and for some weird reasons (including the title, probably), I thought this was going to be a book about sickness and danger and the miserable life of two brothers working in a stone-quarry in Ethiopia... Well, luckily I was completely wrong. Yes it is about two brothers, and it is in Ethiopia (for the greatest part), but there are no stone-quarries and definitely no misery as I had pictured it. If you haven't read it, do so now.(less)
First sentence: "I had my feet up on my desk and my hands clasped behind my neck, trying once again to puzzle out why science progressed so much faste...moreFirst sentence: "I had my feet up on my desk and my hands clasped behind my neck, trying once again to puzzle out why science progressed so much faster than everything else, when she walked into my office unannounced."
P. 99: "He thought his way out, his ticket to tranquillity, lay in denying his self."
Last sentence: "Is that you, or do I have to keep looking?"
From Smashwords: Eric is a philosophical practitioner, a new profession that emphasizes reason without slighting emotions. He has little money, a cat, confused clients, and an old girlfriend, now rich and famous, who wants to get back together with him. Meanwhile, a woman he's never seen before is trying to kill him.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I enjoyed this book so much… It is kind of a combination of a thriller (what about the woman who wants to kill Eric) and a romance, intertwined with philosophical conversations and questions. But don't let these put you off; the philosophy is of the 'daily' and practical kind and centres round questions we all have during our lifetime: Why am I here, What is the meaning of life, Is this all there is, Who am I, …?
The book reads like a train and will be loved by anyone who likes a good story with some philosophical (and sometimes psychological) issues.
First sentence: "The open arms of the darkness embraced the being, the one that had been called Th'bir."
Last sentence: "His footprints soon erased fro...moreFirst sentence: "The open arms of the darkness embraced the being, the one that had been called Th'bir."
Last sentence: "His footprints soon erased from existence, as if he had never walked upon the shore."
From Amazon: The Frozen Man. The Translucent Man. The Burning Man. The Wicker Man. The guide known only as the Crossroads, together these are the signposts and totems of the world that the being called the Lonely inhabits. Seeking out the meaning of his journey, the Lonely is a being consumed by philosophical inquiry and adventure. Filled with exotic places and age-old questions, the Journey is a book that seeks to merge the fantastical and real. Join the Lonely as he seeks out answers to his own existence and perhaps the meaning for us all.
When I read the summary of this book, I knew I wanted to read it, so when I won a book by Dan O'Brien in a giveaway and could choose this title, I didn't hesitate. And I am happy I chose it.
This novella is really about the choices we make in life, not in the least about the way we want to live it, and the consequences they have. It is about the search for purpose and meaning of human existence, and about the fact that we all have to make something of our own life, and to think about it, instead of following the masses blindly.
Although I never write in books, with an e-book that is different. I have never highlighted and annotated this much in one book before. They were not perhaps the deepest wisdoms, but they were basic (philosophical) facts, and they were described in a unique way.
I can recommend The Journey to any-one that is interested in philosophy, or in life. And shouldn't we all be?
Equality 7-2521, writing in a tunnel under...moreFirst sentence: "It is a sin to write this."
Last sentence: "The sacred word: EGO."
Plot Summary (Wikipedia):
Equality 7-2521, writing in a tunnel under the earth, later revealed to be an ancient subway tunnel, explains his background, the society around him, and his emigration. His exclusive use of plural pronouns ("we", "our", "they") to refer to himself and others tells a tale of complete socialization and governmental control. The idea of the World Council was to eliminate all individualist ideas. It was so stressed, that people were burned at the stake for saying an Unspeakable Word ("I", "Me", "Myself", and "Ego"). He recounts his early life. He was raised, like all children in the world of Anthem, away from his parents in the Home of the Infants, then transferred to the Home of the Students, where he began his schooling. Later, he realized that he was born with a "curse": He is eager to think and question, and unwilling to give up himself for others, which violates the principles upon which Anthem's society is founded. He excelled in math and science, and dreamed of becoming a Scholar. However, a Council of Vocations assigned all people to their jobs, and he was assigned to the Home of the Street Sweepers.
Equality accepts his profession willingly in order to repent for his transgression (his desire to learn). He works with International 4-8818 and Union 5-3992. International is exceptionally tall, a great artist (which is his transgression, as only people chosen to be artists may draw), and Equality's only friend (having a friend also being a crime because, in Anthem's society, one is not supposed to prefer one of one's brothers over the rest). Union, "they of the half-brain," suffers from some sort of neurological seizures.
However, Equality remains curious. One day, he finds the entrance to a subway tunnel in his assigned work area and explores it, despite International 4-8818's protests that an action unauthorized by a Council is forbidden. Equality realizes that the tunnel is left over from the Unmentionable Times, before the creation of Anthem's society, and is curious about it. During the daily three hour-long play, he leaves the rest of the community at the theater and enters the tunnel and undertakes scientific experiments.
Working outside the City one day, by a field, Equality meets and falls in love with a woman, Liberty 5-3000, whom he names "The Golden One." Liberty 5-3000 names Equality "The Unconquered".
Continuing his scientific work, Equality rediscovers electricity (which he, until the book nears its conclusion, calls the "power of the sky") and the light bulb. He makes a decision to take his inventions to the World Council of Scholars when they arrive in his town in a few days' time, so that they will recognize his talent and allow him to work with them, as well as to make what he sees as a valuable contribution to his fellow men.
I read De Eeuwige Bron (The Fountainhead) by Ayn Rand a long time ago, and loved it. Therefore, when I had the chance to read another one of her novels, I didn't hesitate. Although I do not always agree with Rand's philosophy, I think she writes great novels, with subjects and themes that set you thinking. I will definitely have to read Atlas Shrugged too.
In Anthem, she tackles the, for me, immensely interesting subject of identity and the possible loss of it. She believes, and I agree, that there will always be individuals that will try to break free from totalitarian and/or repressive, dictatorial doctrines because there will always be people who wonder and think...
P. 99: "'The breath of the wind was like a tiger panting', said Rhoda."
Last sentence: "How many telephone...moreFirst sentence: "The sun had not yet risen."
P. 99: "'The breath of the wind was like a tiger panting', said Rhoda."
Last sentence: "How many telephone calls, how many postcards, are now needed to cut this hole th"
Plot Summary (Wikipedia):
The Waves is Woolf's most experimental novel. It consists of soliloquies spoken by the book's six characters: Bernard, Susan, Rhoda, Neville, Jinny, and Louis. Also important is Percival, the seventh character, though readers never hear him speak through his own voice. The monologues that span the characters' lives are broken up by nine brief third-person interludes detailing a coastal scene at varying stages in a day from sunrise to sunset.
As the six characters or "voices" alternately speak, Woolf explores concepts of individuality, self, and community. Each character is distinct, yet together they compose a gestalt about a silent central consciousness. Bernard is a story-teller, always seeking some elusive and apt phrase (some critics see Woolf's friend E. M. Forster as an inspiration); Louis is an outsider, who seeks acceptance and success (some critics see aspects of T. S. Eliot, whom Woolf knew well, in Louis); Neville (who may be partially based on another of Woolf's friends, Lytton Strachey) desires love, seeking out a series of men, each of whom become the present object of his transcendent love; Jinny is a socialite, whose Weltanschauung corresponds to her physical, corporeal beauty; Susan flees the city, in preference for the countryside, where she grapples with the thrills and doubts of motherhood; and Rhoda is riddled with self-doubt and anxiety, always rejecting and indicting human compromise, always seeking out solitude . Percival (partially based on Woolf's brother, Thoby Stephen) is the god-like but morally flawed hero of the other six, who dies midway through the novel on an imperialist quest in British-dominated colonial India. Although Percival never speaks through a monologue of his own in The Waves, readers learn about him in detail as the other six characters repeatedly describe and reflect on him throughout the book.
The novel follows its six narrators from childhood through adulthood. Woolf's novel is concerned with the individual consciousness and the ways in which multiple consciousnesses can weave together.
When I saw that this was Woolf's most experimental novel, I wanted to read it right away, because I love experimental novels... that is, until I start reading them. I do appreciate them, but I am afraid I do not have the patience to read them slowly and to pause in order to think about what I just read. The best thing for me would be reading this together with someone else who could explain what I was reading exactly andwho would draw my attention to the uniqueness of phrases and literary techniques and so on. Because, this really interests me... but as I said, unfortunately I don't have the patience to think about it myself.
This is really an intriguing book, I thought. One that I definitely have to re-read. I can't say I liked Tony Webster very much, but I found he could...moreThis is really an intriguing book, I thought. One that I definitely have to re-read. I can't say I liked Tony Webster very much, but I found he could really "tell" a story. It was as if he was sitting next to me on the couch telling me his thoughts. I loved that. And "his thoughts" really give you so much to think about. Are we really what and how we think we are? Is our past as we remember it, the same as our past as it was?
First sentence: "I am tired, so very tired of thinking about Lacey Yeager, yet worry that unless I write her story down, and see it bound and tidy on...moreFirst sentence: "I am tired, so very tired of thinking about Lacey Yeager, yet worry that unless I write her story down, and see it bound and tidy on my bookshelf, I will be unable to ever write about anything else."
P. 99: "There were paintings that were intentionally bad, which was an easier goal to reach than those trying to be intentionally good."
Last sentence: "I sent Tanya the manuscript, but I have not yet heard from her."
What a great book... Of course, being an art historian and a philosopher, I tend to like books about art and philosophy, and this book really has it all. I liked the story of Lacey, a young woman trying to make her carrier in the art-world of New York, but I really loved Martin's critical and sometimes cynical view on art and the art world (When an object of beauty becomes an object of value). I'm only sorry I didn't take notes while reading; so many times I thought: "Oh, this is so good, I 'll have to remember this", and of course I forgot.
Definitely worth reading this book, even if you have only the slightest interest in art and all the forces working around it.(less)
P. 99: "That we thought of ourselves as members of a vast organization was doubtless also due to the all to...moreFirst sentence: "I am in my mother's room."
P. 99: "That we thought of ourselves as members of a vast organization was doubtless also due to the all too human feeling that trouble shared, or is it sorrow, is trouble something, I forget the word."
Last sentence: "... I'm waiting for me there, no, there you don't wait, you don't listen, I don't know, perhaps it's a dream, all a dream, that would suprise me, I'll wake, in the silence, and never sleep again, it will be I, or dream, dream again dream of a silence, a dream silence, full of murmurs, I don't know, that's all words, never wake, all words, there's nothing else, you must go on, that's all I know, they're going to stop, I know that well, I can feel it, they're going to abandon me, it will be the silence, for a moment, a good few moments, or it will be mine, the lasting one, that didn't last, that still lasts, it will be I, you must go on, I can't go on, you must go on, I'll go on, you must say words, as long as there are any, until they find me, until they say me, strange pain, strange sin, you must go on, perhaps it's done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my own story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don't know, I'll never know, in the silence you don't know, you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on."
Pfft, this was a very heavy read... I hadn't read these books before and I didn't even buy them; they were my grandfather's and they had been on my shelves for more than 10 years. So when my eye fell on them a few weeks ago, I decided to read it. The first two books, Molloy and Malone dies, I started to like after reading about 20 pages. Major theme are death and dying but Beckett plays a lot with time and identity (e.g. he changes the name of the protagonist in the middle of a story, or he switches from 'I' to 'he'), and most of the time I like books on these subjects. The only problem I had with them was the absence of paragraphs. I find it always hard to read sentence after sentence without being able to pause a little at the end of a paragraph. : But the last story, The Unnamable, was too much for me, I just couldn't get in to it. I kept reading because it seemed so silly to stop at that moment, but I kept counting the pages. The sentences were so long (see the last sentence, where I only typed about a fifth of the sentence), and I didn't get what it was all about.
I am glad I have read this trilogy, because I don't like to have books on my shelves I haven't read, but I don't think I will reread them any time soon.