Masterpiece of a graphical tale, interspersed in an alternative timeless Islamic universe. It's so beautifully drawn, with wonderful calligraphy. So m...moreMasterpiece of a graphical tale, interspersed in an alternative timeless Islamic universe. It's so beautifully drawn, with wonderful calligraphy. So many varied Abrahamic/Islamic references weaving a rich background to the story, sympathetically done without shying away of the terrible cultural practices that can pervade muslim nations.
It's such a tragic and touching story of love that is hopeful ultimately. I cannot recommend it enough. (less)
Athol has a wonderful writing style. It’s a man-to-man down-to-earth conversation, with a playful acknowledgment that the ladies may be listening in....moreAthol has a wonderful writing style. It’s a man-to-man down-to-earth conversation, with a playful acknowledgment that the ladies may be listening in. He goes through complicated topics with a simple, easy to understand fashion. He somehow parsed a lot of knowledge into a digestible format that can be read in practically one night. He’s also pretty entertaining, with certain turns of phrase actually making me laugh out loud.
Whilst the ultimate goal of the book is attaining a better sex life, it may be misleading to think it just talks about sex. This is not a sex manual, or well, solely that. Athol touches on every aspect of a modern marriage and what that means (division of labour, legalities, etc), because the happiness, communication and relationship dynamic between a couple is what ultimately leads to happiness within the sack.
The flow and structure in this book is pretty great for a self-published work. Any errors are pretty minor, unnoticeable and infrequent (by some sleigh-of-hand!). I feel that too great alteration to Athol’s style would actually take away from the charm of it. I might rethink the title slightly, though the advantage is it makes clear links to the blog of the same name. Whilst most of Athol’s book was very strong, I felt his thoughts on dating outside courting the wife/long-term partner were weaker, though the concepts elucidated there were important to courtship within marriage. I wonder what a 2012 revision would hold, and if there really is anything else to add to this book. I look forward to seeing what he comes up with, with reservations. Extra information might make the book much too long, or dilute its main points!
Some of the material is actually drawn from the blog and available for free, but the book is the thing to give it a narrative, holistic and coherent structure. You can come away from the book with a clear action plan (the Marriage Action Plan!) and immediately start making simple improvements.
Athol’s a pretty convincing man. One reason for that is his ensuring that he thoroughly but concisely explains the basis for his approach to marriage, repeating key concepts in a non-redundant but relevant way. He comes across as a moderate pragmatist and an everyday, approachable man who’s easy to relate to. Another reason however is his obvious love and affection for Jennifer, his wife.
I mean the moment I finished reading this book, I just wanted to give it to every man I know thinking of embarking on a serious relationship. And perhaps their women. Or even not thinking of it, but could think of it. Heck, I want to put it on the national school curriculum. Married Man Sex Life instead of utterly ridiculous Romeo & Juliet! Seriously. I’m usually highly critical of any kind of self-help book, and any claims it makes. However, this book is definitely one of those life changers and the most important book for anyone’s long-term relationship life. For $9.99 as a pdf, that’s a bargain! (less)
Fourth and last in the series. A satisfying conclusion.
Bujold had a way of making you care for all her characters whilst drawing you into the simple...moreFourth and last in the series. A satisfying conclusion.
Bujold had a way of making you care for all her characters whilst drawing you into the simple and beautiful rurality of Dag and Fawn's world(s); you unexpectedly become unable to put the book down. The unique feel of the series lay in the continuing exquisite tenderness between the couple: their love showed how you could change the world. (less)
**spoiler alert** I very much enjoyed Heather's story and couldn't put the book down, which hasn't happened to me in a long time. I love it when the p...more**spoiler alert** I very much enjoyed Heather's story and couldn't put the book down, which hasn't happened to me in a long time. I love it when the protagonists go from animosity to discovery to adoration, as a plotline.
However, I felt that the beginning was contrived. Both hero and heroine acted in crazy ways at the beginning of the book, and some things became so different by the end that I questioned whether they were the same people and couldn't suspend my disbelief; I felt they were inconsistent beyond simple character development. This was Woodiwiss' first book as I understand it, and you can see how the writing matured as the narrative progressed and new levels of complexity were added.
There are some tropes that were annoying, the endless unnecessary misunderstandings and our heroine's unrealistic beauty.
But you can see why this book is still talked about. It's an action packed, emotionally charged story. It's also deeply provocative, particularly in the way it deals with rape.(less)
Before you can enter any relationship on a permanent basis, you need to decide who you are. Nobody can do that for you. Change is something we all are...moreBefore you can enter any relationship on a permanent basis, you need to decide who you are. Nobody can do that for you. Change is something we all are scared of but refusing to grow does not simply harm ourselves but those around us: you need to build a person and life you are satisfied with. You need to find a way to acknowledge what you want rather than allow yourself to be trapped in limbo, leaving your relationships in that state as well.
The first step our heroine takes is in allowing our hero to take control, in very delicious ways.
Well, I didn't put that very well. Dahl describes it better, using contrasts between our heroine and our hero and where they are in life. The love of our hero for what he does is very well transmitted and the reader cannot help but share the wonder of it.(less)
I always enjoy my Victoria Dahl. She writes beautifully, the eroticism of her work lies in her ability to tap into real emotion with an understanding...moreI always enjoy my Victoria Dahl. She writes beautifully, the eroticism of her work lies in her ability to tap into real emotion with an understanding of many a woman's nature and complex relationship dynamics. Particularly interesting here is the exploration of a man's jealousy and mate guarding, its consequences and the insecurities beneath it.(less)