Very enjoyable writing style, funny and to the point. Refreshing to have a main character who is so sensible and simple yet relatable. Interesting andVery enjoyable writing style, funny and to the point. Refreshing to have a main character who is so sensible and simple yet relatable. Interesting and well accomplished mix of the contigent and the extraordinary. Excellent collection of chracters and impressive ability to create very precise images for each charcter with very few words....more
My favourite thing about this book is the way ZS constructs the characters of the two female leads. Neither is a fixed or static entity and both feltMy favourite thing about this book is the way ZS constructs the characters of the two female leads. Neither is a fixed or static entity and both felt completely real in their struggle with their identities and choices. It's probably more obvious with Natalie/Keisha but both characters regularly question themselves and whether their personality or their circumstances shape their choices or the other way round - and what do these concepts even mean, I guess. There is something quite passive about both characters but not in a traditional passive-female where the character submits to males and/or social norms. They are actually quite active and they find drive in different goals so the feeling of passivity stems rather from a lack of purpose. ZS certainly has a talent for describing a person through their thoughts which is thoroughly convincing - she is able to give us full insight into each character and its idiosyncrasies - we are given access both to their exterior and interior lives, to how people perceive them and how they perceive themselves. Leah is probably one of my favourite characters in a while exactly because her exterior and interior selves are often worlds apart and the link between them was often the absence of something rather than disguise. I was also very pleased that her non-feminine traits almost totally escaped stereotypes of the unfeminine women and show a an alternative to the more anti-girly variety of unfeminine. Finally, I was very big fan of the anti-climatic ending where despite an awakening-like episode, nothing is really changed.
Cheating but I would never be able to put it this well: "Smith deals in character, not stereotypes; she couldn't give a fig for box-ticking, for the neatness that publishers, and some readers, seem to crave. This, for those who devour a lot of new novels, will come as a relief. And besides, her wisdom, her wry engagement with all the things (pound shops, vibrators, headbands made of old tights) and all the people (slipper-wearing bums, readers of Grazia, calcified commie postmen) that most contemporary novelists avoid like the plague, is everywhere to see." Rachel Cole in The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012......more
Awesome writing, crazy inventive language. Debate between conditioned goodness and free will. Conclusion: need to mature
// The Winter's Tale 'I would theAwesome writing, crazy inventive language. Debate between conditioned goodness and free will. Conclusion: need to mature
// The Winter's Tale 'I would there were no age between ten and three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest; for there is nothing in between but getting wenches with child, wroning the ancientry, stealing, fighting.'
Film: excludes Chapter 21, as did US edition until 1988. Burgess disagreed. (Chapter 21: Alex rejects violence voluntarily)...more
I forgot this book was teenage fiction before I started reading it. The whole highschool thing with the band geeks and the super hot chicks and stupidI forgot this book was teenage fiction before I started reading it. The whole highschool thing with the band geeks and the super hot chicks and stupid pretty boys is somthing I really cannot relate to, and so I made an effort to ignore it and focus on the rest. Which was a mighty good idea because there is a lot to enjoy in this book when you put that aside (although you shouldnt completely, they obviously strongly interlink).
What I enjoyed most about Paper Towns was the fact that I could definitely relate to Quentin's ... maturing?, for lack of a better word. I think we always imagine ourselves as constantly evolving across time but the fact is that what we do learn about ourselves and about what he world means to us, what we perceive other people to be and to 'consist of', that happens in these like specific moments and we go 'Ahah!' and it makes this really wierd and perfect sense, like when Quentin is in the car playing that game of guessing other people's lives and he realises that there are millions and millions of them, all these full and solid individuals.
Also, the theme that runs across the book about not being able to trully know or fully understand or see or be another person is pretty cool and pretty true.
(need to put up these quotes because I borrowed the book, so no underlining)
«... 'You know your proble Quentin? You keep expecting people not be themselves. I meanm, I could hate you for being massively unpuntucal and never being interested in anything other than Margo Roth Spieglman, and for like, never asking me about me about how it's going with my girlfriend - but I don't give a shit, man, because you're you.' ...
'Yeah', I say, 'but I think you can come back now. I really do' 'No, you don't', she answers, and she's right. She can see it in my face - I understand now that I can't be her and she can't be me. Maybe Whitman had a gift I don't have. But as for me: I must ask the wounded man where he is hurt, because I cannot become the wounded man. The only wounded man I can be is me. ... 'But there are a thousand ways to look at it: maybe the strings broke, or maybe the ships sink, or maybe we're grass - our roots so independent that no is dead as long as some is still alive. We don't suffer a shortage of metaphors, is what I mean. But you have to be careful which metaphor you use, because it matters.' ... 'I like the strings, I always have. Because that's how it feels. But the strings make the pain seem more fatal than it is, I think. We're not as frail as strings would make us believe. And I like grass, too. The grass got me to you, helped me to imagine you as an actual person. You can't be me. You can imagine another well - but never quite perfectly, you know?'»
I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed that it was beautifully written, even if sometimes 'too' beautiful - the kind of writing that makes you stop reaI really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed that it was beautifully written, even if sometimes 'too' beautiful - the kind of writing that makes you stop reading and think about it. Anyway, I'm always pleased at words that sound good togther, that look nice together, and I think the author's consistently good at it.
Plot wise, I had seen the film before I read it, and although I didnt really remember much details, I think that helped me not getting confused about the characters, names, relationships, etc. It's not a hard plot to follow - it all happens during the same day and between and handful of characters - but because I knew roughly what happened I was able to pay attention to other stuff.
I was gonna say this book is about women, because its narrated from the perspective of three different women, one of them being Virgina Woolf, who we know was pretty interested in women issues in general. However, it really isn't. Or it isnt just about that. The way I read it, this book is about finding meaning. In the practicalities of life, in relationships, in becoming or being yourself. The three main characters waver from moments they feel they've grasped it, to moments they think no one is ever able to grasp it - and what is there to grasp anyway? There is this powerful tension between full commitment and complete abandonment, between wanting to end life and being continuously marvelled at life. Desperately wanting not to matter but also wanting to live intensely, meaningfully. Yeah, that's what I felt.
'How, Laura wonders, could someone who was able to write a sentence like that - who was able to feel everything contained in a sentence like that - come to kill herself? What is wrong with people?'
Need to read the origial version in Spanish. I think there's a 'niña mala' in everyone's life, even if not always a person, someone or something you aNeed to read the origial version in Spanish. I think there's a 'niña mala' in everyone's life, even if not always a person, someone or something you always return to with infinite pleasure and infinite guilt....more