I understand that it's got an overall GR rating of 3.7, but this is also the type of book to be assiARC for review - reissue.
This book is everything.
I understand that it's got an overall GR rating of 3.7, but this is also the type of book to be assigned in literature classes and it won't be for everyone (hey, even To Kill a Mockingbird has some one star ratings and I think that we, as a public, can agree that those people are crazy, right?). And I can understand why it might not appeal to some readers - it's long, it's old (published in 1962, but takes place in 1931), there are about a million characters and all the action (or inaction) takes place over a thirty day ship voyage from Mexico to Germany and is based on a similar voyage taken by Porter.
And I loved everything about it. Well, it took a few days before I could get the Robert Palmer song out of my head, and that was annoying, but that's hardly the fault of Katherine Anne Porter. Probably.
And even if it was her fault, I could forgive her, because she has created a masterpiece here - her dialogue, her description and her creation of an entire world on the second-rate Vera - I was often reminded of Paul Bowles.
The cast of characters may appear daunting (there are probably around forty named characters in the book, plus others who appear only briefly) but Porter manages to give life and color to each one - even the wonderful Bebe the bulldog has a distinct personality (an amazing achievement when so many authors struggle with one or two). Some are fairly bad, few are truly good and Porter strips everything away so that the reader sees the real person beyond the sex, race, nationality or class.
So, the plot. What happens? A ship's voyage, like so many others, shaded by what 1930s Mexico and Cuba were and what Germany was on the way to becoming. That's it. No murder to solve, no big event occurs, just many lives of people who normally might not have such close (or any) contact, but that ship life forces together. At the same time it's about everything in the world - life, death, family, love, hate, sex (both for love and money), honor, race, religion, class, youth, sacrifice, age, guilt and sin - a microcosm of our world.
I found myself highlighting way too many portions to list them all here, but I can't recommend this highly enough - I just wish I hadn't waited so many years to read it, and I'm glad it's being reissued so that it, hopefully, finds a new generation of appreciative readers. ...more
I felt the publishing gods had heard my prayers when I learned that both Donna Tartt and Allie Brosh were coming out with books this year, but is DonnI felt the publishing gods had heard my prayers when I learned that both Donna Tartt and Allie Brosh were coming out with books this year, but is Donna Tartt likely to include a chapter titled "Why Helper Dog is an Asshole?" And that is why my brain wants Tartt but my heart and soul will go with Allie every time.
Millions fell in love with Brosh through her blog and I was one of them (I hope my Simple Dog mugs that I gave as Christmas gifts last year become collectors items when Allie wins some big award!). She's talented, hysterically funny and incredibly honest. I wouldn't have cared if the book were simply her blogs collected in book form (I would have been happy to give her the money. Frankly, I could have had a hundred pages of pictures of Simple Dog cocking her head, but I might be a bit obsessed), but there is a mixture of new material with some of her best blogs.
If you've been a child, you'll adore this. If you have dogs, you'll go nuts for this. If you've suffered from depression, you need this (in fact, if you are in a bad place, go to her blog and read her recent entries on depression right now). Allie Brosh makes my heart happy.
****Edited to add: I have a hard copy. This book MIGHT translate to an iPad, but don't read it on a black and white e-reader or your phone. I would think this would be obvious, but I've already had one person ask. So there you go. I recommend the dead tree version. Trees have died for about 40 quadrillion copies of Dianetics, so we can spare a few for this. ...more
I'm not, and will likely never be, a gamer. However that did not keep me from loving this book (read it in about a day, starting late afternoon on a fI'm not, and will likely never be, a gamer. However that did not keep me from loving this book (read it in about a day, starting late afternoon on a flight to Dallas and finished up at the hotel-I just couldn't stay away from it!). I'm guessing most children of the 80s will find something great here. It's part science-fiction, part puzzle mystery (a genre I adore and don't see nearly enough of), part love story, part pop-culture treatise and all absolutely fun and wonderful. Kudos to the author for turning his love of books, music, movies, TV shows, comics and computer games into this creative, thoroughly enjoyable gift.
It is very, very rare that anything in a book will make me laugh out loud. I might smile, or appreciate the author's wit or turn of phrase, but seldomIt is very, very rare that anything in a book will make me laugh out loud. I might smile, or appreciate the author's wit or turn of phrase, but seldom is there actual laughter.
I'll bet I laughed aloud about ten times while reading this hysterical, irreverant book about a group of people who meet weekly to watch some great and not-so-great movies. This book is a must-read for any popular film buff (you won't see "Citizen Kane" or anything by Kurosawa in here). Incredibly enjoyable, and even holds up on the re-read. ...more
I listened to this book on tape and absolutely adored it....the story is interesting (a vague sort of plague has afflicted the U.S., and two sisters sI listened to this book on tape and absolutely adored it....the story is interesting (a vague sort of plague has afflicted the U.S., and two sisters struggle to survive) and the writing is just gorgeous. I had forgotten all about this book, and now I'm off to Powells.com to see if the author has written anything else...more
I'm not a science fiction fan and I read this book only after Entertainment Weekly included it in their "Top Ten Books of the Year". EW did not steerI'm not a science fiction fan and I read this book only after Entertainment Weekly included it in their "Top Ten Books of the Year". EW did not steer me wrong. This book has SF elements, but I don't know that I would consider it a SF book at all. It's more a meditation on a priests relationship with God and a metaphoric look at the way we as humans treat those who are different. Highly recommended to everyone (but the sequel CHILDREN OF GOD was disappointing)....more
This wasn't next on my "to-read" list, but I just saw that the movie version is coming out sometime this summer, so I guess I'll go ahead with it. I'vThis wasn't next on my "to-read" list, but I just saw that the movie version is coming out sometime this summer, so I guess I'll go ahead with it. I've heard mixed reviews on this one, so I approach it with some trepidation.
Sometimes it's hard to write one of these reviews, because I'm not eloquent enough to find the words for how I feel about a book, and this is definitely one of those times. I thought this book was fantastic, a dark, but ultimately hopeful view on the nature of humankind and the idea of society as well as a beautifully constructed story. There were many lines that I immediately reread because they were just so lovely or sad, and always true.
I will caution that this book is not for the faint of heart - if you hated Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD or Margaret Atwood's THE HANDMAID'S TALE, you might not like this, and it's far more graphic. But, if like so many, you enjoyed those books, you must read BLINDNESS....more
Probably my favorite read this year. A dark, engrossing look at a school shooting and the family involved. I literally could not tear myself away fromProbably my favorite read this year. A dark, engrossing look at a school shooting and the family involved. I literally could not tear myself away from this read and its devastating ending....my only quarrel is that I found the epilogue a bit unbelievable given all that came before. This one is not for the faint of heart!...more
"'You know what? You know what? You know what?' I was waving my finger under her nose. 'You scratched the Son of God. That's your ass, that's what.'"
O"'You know what? You know what? You know what?' I was waving my finger under her nose. 'You scratched the Son of God. That's your ass, that's what.'"
OK, THIS is the one we should have read! This book was hysterical, truly laugh out loud funny. It was everything that I was hoping FLUKE would be. The humor in LAMB reminds me a lot of my beloved Douglas Adams, with more sex and cursing...which, surprisingly, aren't even the least bit jarring in this book about Joshua/Yeshua, and, of course, Biff and Maggie.