The Voluspa is the first poem of the Edda. It tells of the birth of the world, the giants and the gods, a few things in their lives, and then RagnarokThe Voluspa is the first poem of the Edda. It tells of the birth of the world, the giants and the gods, a few things in their lives, and then Ragnarok. It is one of the most beautiful, poignant, and sad things I've ever read. The world is out to get you and everyone dies, that's what Norse mythology teaches us.
Note on the translation: I mostly read Carolyn Larrington's UNrevised translation. I had the great fortune of getting a copy of Ursula Dronke's Voluspa and it is superior in every way as far as I can tell, knowing little about it besides what my emotions tell me....more
I skipped the last 100 or so pages as it got into a lot of stuff about poetry that I had little interest in. Probably really interesting from a historI skipped the last 100 or so pages as it got into a lot of stuff about poetry that I had little interest in. Probably really interesting from a historical stand point but just not much of a page turner.
I'm reading this for a class called Northern European Mythology. The professor had us start here because the prose is a little easier to penetrate than poetry, and she is spending a lot of time explaining what the hell all the gods are up to. The names and such can get really confusing.
But let me tell you, this has NOTHING on the poetic Edda. The poetic Edda is like, WOW, and this is, well ok. It would have been nearly impossible to jump straight into the poetic Edda though, so this is a really great starting point if you are interested in learning more about Norse mythology. Just don't ignore the poetic Edda....more
Not as engaging as I remember it being when I was a kid. But then again, little girls love everything about horses.
Black Beauty doesn't spare much timNot as engaging as I remember it being when I was a kid. But then again, little girls love everything about horses.
Black Beauty doesn't spare much time for introspection, which I found to be a bit disturbing, but also very animal-like. He went through life without sparing much thought for the past, and always lived in the moment, and tried to make the best of it. Very Dr Pangloss of him.
It is mostly humans ill treating horses and how horses put up with it. Got a little preachy at times....more
I read The Moonstone a number of years ago, and I remember loving it. Maybe I was much nicer to classics in my youth than I am now, when I want actionI read The Moonstone a number of years ago, and I remember loving it. Maybe I was much nicer to classics in my youth than I am now, when I want action and fantasy and dragons or GET OUT.
There's not really a "mystery" except in how they managed it get away with a crime. You know the perpetrators practically from the beginning. What follows is an exhaustive day-to-day account of trying to find enough evidence. The main "problem," if you can call it such, is one of mistaken identity which I generally dislike, because seriously, to really truly look EXACTLY like your cousin that people who have known you for YEARS are fooled...well, only in the movies, as they say.
The narrators were quite good, so that's a plus. I especially liked the female narrator....more
Ok so I know I'm an adult reading a children's book, but I can't look at this objectively. It was HORRIBLE. I hope you have access to a mountain, goatOk so I know I'm an adult reading a children's book, but I can't look at this objectively. It was HORRIBLE. I hope you have access to a mountain, goats, and a little girl who is unabashedly optimistic, because otherwise you are in for a cold and lonely existence.
Also prayer. That's what I learned from this book....more
This was my first Lovecraft. I don't know, I don't really get the love. It was so explainy. I mean the narrator talked for like half an hour (quite liThis was my first Lovecraft. I don't know, I don't really get the love. It was so explainy. I mean the narrator talked for like half an hour (quite literally, as this was an audio book) about a mural that showed the complete history of the ancient city, and its residents, that they were walking through. Talk about boring exposition.
It wasn't creepy at all. The creepiest part was it reminding me of The Thing, which brought up all sorts of images I've tried to bury.
I can now at least see why Guillermo del Toro abandoned his movie adaptation after saying it was too similar to Prometheus. Which is too bad, I would have liked to see his vision. Especially since Prometheus was so terrible.
Does anyone recommend a different story that I should read before calling it quits?...more
I liked the part where they have no pack animal but magically pulNarrated by Tim Curry?
They are so dead. DEAD DEAD DEAD.
I liked the part where they have no pack animal but magically pulled out 50 pounds of gunpowder from, I dunno, their magic lamp I guess. Also they had 6 months of food that they carried, somehow. Must've been next to the 6 gallons of gin....more
Got this from Audible, and I didn't like the narrator at all. It was only $.99 so I listened anyway, but it was teeth grinding at times. I guess I shoGot this from Audible, and I didn't like the narrator at all. It was only $.99 so I listened anyway, but it was teeth grinding at times. I guess I should have just read it, I probably would have enjoyed it more....more
Really enjoyed it, despite of the time it was written in. Very Imperialist and "the white men will save us, the poor indigenous tribe." It took a turnReally enjoyed it, despite of the time it was written in. Very Imperialist and "the white men will save us, the poor indigenous tribe." It took a turn about halfway through for straight up war and flanking maneuvers, which really caught me off guard. ...more
Honestly, the movie took all the best parts of this book and made them even better. I can see why the book has kind of fallen to the wayside as a chilHonestly, the movie took all the best parts of this book and made them even better. I can see why the book has kind of fallen to the wayside as a children's classic, in preference of things like C.S. Lewis.
Having finished it, what's the first thing I nonchalantly stumble upon on the internet? Intense Oz creepiness from before the 1939 movie. Check it out
I had the boxed set of Anne of Green Gables sitting on a shelf next to the boxed sets of The Little House on the Prairie anAs seen on Stumptown Books.
I had the boxed set of Anne of Green Gables sitting on a shelf next to the boxed sets of The Little House on the Prairie and The Chronicles of Narnia all through my childhood (I finished my reread of Little House last year, and I’m in the middle of Narnia right now). They were the last books I broached because the covers looked so much more adult, but I still read them at just about the right age. I think I was probably about 11 or 12, although I don’t rightly remember. I know I read the entire series, but after I started my reread last year, I quickly discovered that I remembered very little about it. I won’t be writing reviews of these books but will just record my overall feelings on the subject:
So glad that’s over.
I highly recommend books 1-3, but the series is best left alone after that. Anne becomes a caricature of herself by book 4, and then is banished to the background of the stories in books 5-8 as her children take over. Books 4 and 6 were written about 20 years after the rest of them and it really shows. There is a major drop in quality in those two installations. However, I did genuinely enjoy the first three books, and I was glad I decided to reread them.
Also please note that most of these books are out of copyright and can be obtained for free through Project Gutenberg....more
Loved the first third, but it slowed down a ton and was pretty light on having an actual conclusion. Maybe you justI...wait what? That's how it ends?
Loved the first third, but it slowed down a ton and was pretty light on having an actual conclusion. Maybe you just have to be the right person to love it. I guess I was after a "what does it really mean to be human" sort of story, but instead it spends pages and pages describing all the weird formations of Solaris. ...more
This one was better than the last few have been. I miss Anne and Gilbert, they're just parental figures in the background now. And of course every chiThis one was better than the last few have been. I miss Anne and Gilbert, they're just parental figures in the background now. And of course every child for miles loves Anne, big surprise....more
Nothing new to be said about this novel, obviously, but I just finished it and I have a lot tThis review can also be seen on my blog, Stumptown Books.
Nothing new to be said about this novel, obviously, but I just finished it and I have a lot to say. I was in the mood for some classic science fiction and alighted upon this one, having read it when I was a kid, and curious to see how much I would remember. Turns out, not much! But as one of the pedestals of modern science fiction, this novel has done a lot without doing much at all.
Even if it is an "outdated underwater guide," as one Goodreads reviewer puts it, I was filled with a sense of wonder, even all these decades later. It is such an alien environment, even to this day, and I couldn't help but look at it like he was describing a completely alien world. That is where I really got the science fiction vibes from it. The Nautilus might as well have been cruising through star systems, the creatures and landscapes were so alien and beautiful. I'm ashamed at how little I know about the ocean, but I learned quite a bit by looking things up as he described them. I honestly never knew that is how the Gulf Stream worked, that there were such creatures as dugongs and Stellar's Sea Cows, or how atmospheric pressure really works.
Many readers complain of how he inexhaustibly catalogs fish as he comes upon them. I found these entries intriguing at first although I also soon grew tired of them. What really bugged me was the absolute wonder Professor Aronnax and Captain Nemo held for the sea, but then they nonchalantly slaughter hundreds of creatures, including a Stellar's Sea Cow and an entire pod of sperm whales. Captain Nemo gives the go ahead for both of these, and after a character raised their eyebrows at this, he responded with "We need red meat" to the former, and "Sperm whales at the jerks of the sea" to the latter (my wording!). Even after Conseil says about the Stellar's Sea Cow: "On the off chance that this creature might be the last of its line, wouldn't it be advisable to spare its life, in the interests of science?" they shrug and continue with the harpooning. Not to mention the fishing net they had rigged up to trail behind the ship and catch whatever it might (often hundreds of creatures in a go). Aronnax speaks of the bounty to be had from this net, but I fail to see how a ship of twenty people (estimated) could possibly hope to eat that much. How can you be so enraptured with an element and yet disregard it so completely? He even talks about how man is ruining the ocean and he gives it a century before we start seeing major problems. It's incomprehensible! All I can justify it with is that is was a different time. Although this was the part of the novel I had the most issues with, it also served to make it that much more a piece of modern science fiction for me. I can totally imagine mankind going to a new star system and completely destroying it because it's so beautiful, not in spite of it.
Of course "Nemo" nowadays calls up images of Finding Nemo, and I appreciate Pixar's genius all the more because of it. Perhaps I'm overly deconstructing it, but that movie calls up a lot of the same emotions that Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea did for me. The beauty and the wonder, along with a what-hath-man-wrought anger. It's also the only movie I've ever seen with a character named Nemo! I really need to catch up on my League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, obviously.
It is a ponderous read by today's standards, but it's a classic for a reason. If you can get past the classification, the characterization is really quite good. Captain Nemo has made it onto my list of best antiheroes, although that's hardly new. Aronnax is sophisticated, intelligent, and a bit arrogant, but he's able to admit when he is wrong. Ned Land made much more of an impression on me this time through the novel, and I feel he is the character the reader can probably identify with the most, as he is the one more interested in escaping, and uninterested in classification. Conseil was practically a non entity at first but he becomes a bit more human as the novel goes on.
I enjoyed it quite a bit, all things considered, and I got a lot more out of it reading it as an adult....more