Another book in the series suffering from Middle Book Syndrome, nearly every bit serves as setup time. All the tropes Martin has used in the past areAnother book in the series suffering from Middle Book Syndrome, nearly every bit serves as setup time. All the tropes Martin has used in the past are now becoming overused and predictable now - such as the last paragraph of a chapter shouting at danger that's never really there or is promptly dealt with in a swift manner and never discussed again. Characters have their catch phrases that are repeated time and time and time again. I don't need half a dozen "You know nothing, Jon Snow"s per chapter or "where do whores go?"s. It's like every character is Indigo Montoya and you, the reader, just have to clench your six-fingered hand in a fist and shout "Stop saying that!"
That being said, those are relatively minor quarrels. It's still a solid read on its own.
Just please no more of this "suddenly introduce a seemingly important character out of nowhere!" nonsense....more
Even though this is all available online for free, I picked up a physical copy because I want to make it more difficult for myself whenever I move. BeEven though this is all available online for free, I picked up a physical copy because I want to make it more difficult for myself whenever I move. Because it reads like a website, it's best not to plop down with your Cliff Bar and scan through the entire thing in one beanbag-sitting. The humor is formulaic, but with very good results - imagine a slightly more sadistic Joey Comeau.
Some of the pieces here are legendary. We're talking dragon-slaying, kingdom-saving, Beowulf-punching comedy here, where the dragons are your sadness, the kingdom is your emotional state, and Beowulf is Beowulf. Metaphors are much easier when things represent themselves.
Some pieces are not legendary. Fantasy metaphors need a plebian caste to handle the harvest and bootblacks to blacken the boots. Those pieces are like the peasantry, not great to look at, but you can appreciate them in a larger context. Plus they'll also die pretty early.
If you average all this out, you get a mean of "Upper Middle Class" and a standard deviation of 2.7. Using a normal distribution, I find that this book is recommended to everyone who has a bitter side. Everyone who, every so often, finds themselves whispering their anger and futility of the crushing world around them. Everyone who ever, as the author writes, "stares at the wall wondering what happy people are doing." By all this, I mean everyone in the world....more
And the Pursuit of Happiness reads like a children's book written for adults. That probably sounds far less complmentary than I mean it. When an authoAnd the Pursuit of Happiness reads like a children's book written for adults. That probably sounds far less complmentary than I mean it. When an author (heck, you can take this to other media as well) takes a style intended for one audience and successfully transfers it over to another, that is a monumental (too buried to be a pun) task.
Kalman writes like you're having a conversation with her and given some of the subjects present, you're probably talking over lunch at a place you never knew existed. Like a hole-in-the-wall Turkish cafe that has more refills than charm and it has a lot of charm. She speaks in small essays on various famous figures in American history, portraying not only some of their contributions but also on the recognition they receive now and how the two do not always match.
AtPoH is whimsical. It's like the first week that you date a girl raised in the Village by Beatnik parents - even the simplest things can appear as magnificent as a dream.
That is my best description - it reads like a dream. But not one of those boring ones that your sort-of-but-not-really friend approaches you with. Like that time in college someone starting hitting my friend because, in her dream, he wouldn't tell her how to jump in some video game she made up. Not like that. It's the daydream you lose yourself in....more
This was tough. This was one of the most difficult reads I've ever encountered. I finished, yet could not take relief, knowing I would have to go backThis was tough. This was one of the most difficult reads I've ever encountered. I finished, yet could not take relief, knowing I would have to go back. Of course I would, just like Navy, I always go back. Given my mental state at the end, I do not look forward to this.
There's an academic fascination/comedy with the prefix meta-. Metahumor, metafiction, Meta Knight, it's all silly and intriguing. This is all of that. It's meta-everything. It's a satire about academia. It's a critique of horror. It's a frightening comedy full of drama. It is everything. It is nothing. It even bloody mentions that those in the book that read on the subject exhibit signs of mental duress.
House of Leaves, the book, changes its shape and style to reflect the subject it discusses. The chapter discussing the concept of "labyrinth" is the most difficult thing to get through ever since I started pretending James Joyce never existed. But it's supposed to be that way. Did you think a labyrinth was easy to navigate? Navy-gate. I might be on to something here.
I have no idea what I just read. I have every idea what I just read.
"...this great blue world of ours is a house of leaves moments before the wind" ...more