A very compelling read. My only complaint is that there is no sequel to satiate my curiosity about what happens after the openended conclusion. I'll bA very compelling read. My only complaint is that there is no sequel to satiate my curiosity about what happens after the openended conclusion. I'll be anxiously awaiting its successor. ...more
I really enjoyed reading this book, not only because it aided my recovery from the trauma induced by 'The Sweet Far Thing.' Kristin Cashore has conjurI really enjoyed reading this book, not only because it aided my recovery from the trauma induced by 'The Sweet Far Thing.' Kristin Cashore has conjured a concept that is novel but not alien - such a fine line for authors to walk.
I especially enjoyed Katsa, the heroine who kicks ass and makes no apologies for it. It's refreshing to witness, since I feel women who incessantly play the damsel in distress card grate on my nerves a bit. Even more than that, however, I loved Katsa's romantic interest. Po's chief endearing trait is that he is genuinely comfortable with the fact that Katsa can fight and do a,b,c and d better than he can. Ah, now I know why it's a fantasy.
Some might be offended by the book's anti-marriage stance, though it didn't particularly bother me. I just couldn't decide if the character's motivation was selfishness or a defiance of any form of patriarchal oppression. Hmm...I'll have to think on that. ...more
Wow. I have wanted to read this one for a while, but there always seemed to be some other text with a more pressing need to be read. Winning the NewbeWow. I have wanted to read this one for a while, but there always seemed to be some other text with a more pressing need to be read. Winning the Newbery and hearing several requests for the novel at work made it hard for me to ignore. I was thoroughly enjoying immersing myself in the world of Bod and his graveyard companions, but the beautiful conclusion confirmed my opnion that it is entirely deserving of its prestigious accolade.
I found myself arriving at work a bit early today and concluded that curling up in one of the armchairs and finishing off Neil Gaiman's tale would be a perfect way to pass the time. The characters, beautiful language, brilliant metaphors and a final narrative revelation (that, in hindsight, I am ashamed to admit I didn't note sooner) all completely swept me away. It required a great deal of effort to refrain from crying. Ideally I would liked to give way to the tears and emotion, but somehow beginning work with a mascara streaked face didn't seem like the best idea. Plus, crying in the middle of a bookstore is just plain embarassing - even for me.
It is quite dark for a children's book, and some particulars, I am certain, will go straight over their heads. I really connected with its depth and aestheticism, and I am sure my appreciation of Gaiman's art would grow with further analysis. So if anybody else reads it, I would love to discuss.
P.S. I can't imagine anybody reading this and not loving the character Silas. He rocks!...more
After wading my way through a few duds, I was thrilled to read a true gem. I tried reading this once before. However, I was expecting a linear narratiAfter wading my way through a few duds, I was thrilled to read a true gem. I tried reading this once before. However, I was expecting a linear narrative and was therefore unprepared for this anecdotal novel. After watching the BBC miniseries (which, by the way, was excellent), I had a better idea of what to expect.
Prior to 'Cranford' my only experience with Elizabeth Gaskell was 'North and South.' Although 'North and South' is undoubtedly one of my favorite books, as a novel littered by death it can be a bit heavy. Consequently, I was blown away by how well Gaskell wrote a humorous tale. At certain points, I was unable to stop my laughter. There are several characters who make you smile while simultaneously warming your heart.
While 'Cranford' may, at first glance, seem to be about nothing, Gaskell has done something quite groundbreaking with this novel. As a town where its chief members are middle-class, single women who have little regard for the goings-on outside their insulated community, Cranford is almost matriarchal. And when compared with the world outside, Gaskell clearly suggests it is not Cranford that is to be found wanting. In fact, the way in which she highlights the lives of single women in the Victorian period is quite brilliant. Women who seem to be old-fashioned snobs prove to be strong, compassionate, caring, and self-sufficient. Witnessing the way in which these women cared for each other made me quite emotional.
Overall, 'Cranford' is a delightful place to visit, and I was sad when forced to leave. Having been enchanted by both 'Cranford' and 'North and South', I am eager to further acquaint myself with this amazing author. (First reading: September 2009)
I am thrilled to find Gaskell's novel just as charming the second time around. I will always treasure the time I have spent in Cranford -- and look forward to future visits. I feel confident they will be many. (Second reading: 20 February 2012)...more