The Left Hand of Darkness was brilliant. It took a while to get started, but once I got past the set up and into the story, I couldn't put it down. I'...moreThe Left Hand of Darkness was brilliant. It took a while to get started, but once I got past the set up and into the story, I couldn't put it down. I'm not one for politics, so a lot of the explanations of the political factions in Karhide and Orgota was a bit boring, but the novel's portrayal was totally worth it. Le Guin masterfully balanced the foreignness and the familiarity of the Genthens. The developing relationship between Estraven and Genly was well constructed, and the price of achieving Genly's mission was a shock. All in all, I thought this was a brilliant example of a thought provoking science fiction novel!(less)
**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed this book. I mean, I've heard great things about it from the first time I heard it mentioned, so I was excited to r...more**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed this book. I mean, I've heard great things about it from the first time I heard it mentioned, so I was excited to read it, and pleased that it lived up to the hype. Orson Scott Card is brilliant. For a novel published in 1985, he totally called blogging and its influence on our culture today. And I think his exploration into manipulation of people, specifically children, is fascinating. He has a really Romantic ideal in which children are innocent and good and adults are experienced and therefore bad. I think Ender is an interesting character whom it is easy to sympathize with. Even as he realizes he is being used by everyone around him, he still struggles to make the right choice.
I will say, though, I was rather disappointed in the ending. It seemed too easy. I liked the twist that he was fighting all along, but at the same time, he just blew up a planet. The adults suddenly went from calculating to "Oh, Ender, we love you!" which, of course they cared for him all along, but the way they acted post-buggers seemed totally out of character and too happily-ever-after. And the last chapter was too hokey. Suddenly the buggers are able to communicate from the grave to Ender? Really? If they were in his head, why couldn't they have told him all that BEFORE he killed them?
Even with the ending's faults, though, I think Ender's Game is a brilliant, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes space ships and smart kids.(less)
Graphic novels aren't quite my style; I had to read this for class. That said, I did enjoy, and I had a hard time putting it down. I think Moore bring...moreGraphic novels aren't quite my style; I had to read this for class. That said, I did enjoy, and I had a hard time putting it down. I think Moore brings up some great points about the relation between freedom, justice, and anarchy, and I think the story is very interesting.(less)
I really want to like Charles Dickens. I'm an English major; I feel like I HAVE to like Charles Dickens. And there's a lot about him that I do like. H...moreI really want to like Charles Dickens. I'm an English major; I feel like I HAVE to like Charles Dickens. And there's a lot about him that I do like. He writes really funny characters, and he skillfully brings all his characters together. I was amazed that, with the sheer number of characters, Dickens develops almost all of them and weaves them together into complicated relationships. So it's not that I don't recognize what he's doing, and it's not that I don't recognize his brilliance. I just don't like him.
First, there's Esther. She's his pipe-dream kind of lady: Angel in the house, the perfect Victorian woman. And I realize that I'm unfairly allowing my 21st century feminist views to perhaps cloud my opinion, but really? REALLY? I wanted to strangle her through most of the book. Even ignoring the fact that she does nothing for herself and is perhaps a worse role model and Bella Swann (yes, I just compared Charles Dickens to Stephanie Meyer, I'll go iron my hands later), all her wishy-washy talk about herself gets old fast. And it seems pointless. She praises herself and talks about herself, yet keeps saying she doesn't want to praise herself and that it's not her that's good, it's just everyone else. I wanted something to eat her. Really, I did.
But at least Esther's narration was interesting. With Esther's voice, I did at least get into the story (when I wasn't fighting the urge to set Esther on fire). The other narrator, however, was painful. I understand that the weather was a theme and that Dickens was making a point by going on and on, but he really needed a proper editor. You can make your point without going on for 5 pages about the fog. We get it. It's foggy.
All in all, though, I didn't hate it. And I don't hate Dickens. I want to like him, like I said, and I respect his skill. Bleak House was a good story with colorful and funny characters. You just have to get past all the pages where nothing happens and ignore the fact that Esther is quite possibly the most annoying and insulting female character ever.(less)