Kingdom of Fear, a somewhat biography of Hunter S. Thompson by none other then himself. A political and personal opinion charged collection of some ofKingdom of Fear, a somewhat biography of Hunter S. Thompson by none other then himself. A political and personal opinion charged collection of some of Thompson's best, worst and favorite moments. The book is composed of letters, pictures and monologues, all mostly by Thompson, with a few guest appearances who's names aren't terribly important. What's important is the content of everything in the book. Prejudice, un-holy, perverted, amazing, and fucking hilarious. I say somewhat biography for I am unsure how many of the events that take place throughout the book actually happened the way they were depicted in the book. I know there lies truth in most of what he writes, if not all, but Thompson is known for stretching the truth. All I am getting at here is that don't take everything for exact face value. Or do. BUT, besides that, very interesting, smart, funny, and creative. You get a colorful history lesson on America while getting a hilarious compilation of a few moments of Thompson's life.
I walked away from the book knowing much more about Thompson than I expected, and I am grateful for it. His writing style is extraordinarily crazy and he has a way of describing persons, places and things that makes you laugh and wonder why you never used those profane words to describe the exact same things. His profanity is something I indulge in and look forward too. This book made me want to read more biographies about him by him to find out the scope of some of the situations he was involved with in greater detail. His nickname "Gonzo" seems to make a little more sense to me now. This book displays Thompson as nothing shy of the American-dream gone AWOL, and it's lovely.
The hilarity of Thompson's life that the book captures in tantamount. Almost everything he does or that happens to him or that he speaks to others is funny. He is constantly referencing words such as "bubba" and "goddamn". His descriptions of things are exuberant and ridiculous; and I would expect nothing less from him. The cover of the book even goes as far as to showcase the hilarity that ensues, with Thompson clearly smoking in a non-smoking spot while throwing up the middle finger in protest.
I suggest this book for Gonzo fans everywhere. I would say this book is probably one of the best overall portrayals of epic events in Thompson's life and in America's history that changed him and America forever. I promise it's not as cheesy as that sounds. The book gets four stars from me based simply on the fact that for a memoir, it was pretty hilarious....more
1984; society in a state of extreme dystopia, which is actually brainwashed into the people to be a state of extreme utopia.
Winston Smith, a 30 someth1984; society in a state of extreme dystopia, which is actually brainwashed into the people to be a state of extreme utopia.
Winston Smith, a 30 something low-ranking party member, lives the same life day in and day out; boring, repetitive, and cumbersome. Many if not all people that are a part of the middle class live this kind of life, due to the lack of culture found inside and both outside work. The party is the ruling political one in London, that runs everything from the military, to what people eat and think. It is ran by a guy named Big Brother, a rather unsettling figure-head with a huge black moustache, his face plastered on every poster advertising the party. No one has seen this Big Brother before, but he is idolized as the saviour of the way of life that exists for the people of London. The entire city is government monitored and regulated. There are microphones and 'telescreens' on almost every inch of public property, and even inside every middle class person's home. Telescreens are video screens watched by the government in real time, that can see and hear everything a person does and says in their home. They also exist at work, and watch every move a person makes. People are indoctrinated and brainwashed into believing everything the party says to be correct, even if it changed on a whim. The party even goes as far as to change history, as in who is winning what war and who is ally. Anyone who thinks, even self consciously otherwise, will be dragged off by the Thought Police to one of the various Ministries to be tortured and executed. Individualism is completely oppressed. Most people truly believe, thanks to the party, that it is the for the survival of their way of life. Those who don't, try to join the Brotherhood, an underground agency against Big Brother and keen on spreading the truth about the party.
The class structure is similar to today's, with an upper, middle, and lower. The upper is elite, wealthy, high up in the party, and rare. The middle is larger then the upper, and relatively dependant on the upper due to circumstances such as jobs and beliefs. The lower is the largest of all, larger than the upper and middle put together. Telescreens don't generally exist in the areas where the lower classes reside due to their uneducated, and because of this considered unbothersome nature. The lower are not a large part of the workings of society at all, though they make up more then half the population.
Winston believes it is the year 1984, but is unsure along with everyone else, due to the party's tendency to erase history on a whim. There is a war going on with the bordering continent of Eastasia, and they are currently allied with Eurasia, even those these facts are sure to switch at any time due to whatever best suits the party's interests. Winston has become increasingly fed up and irritated with his life and the party, but suppresses it due to fear of being caught for his thought and arrested by the Thought Police. Winston goes to work and tries to spot people that might maybe, possibly, think just a little like him. He starts to think about his co-worker O'Brien, and how there is definitely something hiding under his calm, intelligent demure. There is another co-worker, Julia, a 26 year old a part of the Anti-Sex League, that Winston frequently thinks about killing. This is due to his suppressed feelings of sexual desire. Sex and love are discouraged by the party, and indoctrinated into people's minds to be replaced by feelings of hate for the Brotherhood and love for war in the form of patriotism instead. Winston commits his first crime by purchasing a little black book and writing in it, in almost non-discreet presence of his telescreen, hidden in a cubby that just covers what he is doing. Writing in a book is not illegal, but Winston is also certain it would become illegal if they ever found out what he was doing. This one act sparks the rest of Winston's actions and thoughts, leading up to the turn in the book that involves him, O'Brien, Julia, and the Brotherhood. Avoiding telescreens, microphones, and thinking too free of thoughts, Winston embarks on a dangerous assignment that not many middle class citizens even have the capacity to think about.
The book was extremely disturbing. But, an amazing and necessary depiction on government control and the affect it can have on society and people. It keeps you thinking for hours. Winston's character was obviously not the most bright, but still thought he had it in him to rebel against the party. Throwing Julia and Winston together in a way was an extremely intriguing twist. Book is an obvious classic, one that should be read by EVERYONE. Characters are well thought out, and static throughout the entire book, which gives it an intense dynamic. You know what's coming but you don't want to believe it, not for a second. MUST READ....more
Pirate Latitudes is an obviously unfinished novel depicting the short yet extravagant adventure of a young, rather attractive but talented pirate namePirate Latitudes is an obviously unfinished novel depicting the short yet extravagant adventure of a young, rather attractive but talented pirate named Hunter, in of course, finding treasure. However, the treasure isn't buried under sand on some exotic island. Instead, the treasure Hunter seeks is the huge Spanish War Galley located in the port of the heavily armed fort of Mantanceros. This fort just so happens to be manned by Hunter's long lost enemy, Cazalla, a Spaniard who murdered Hunter's brother and is known for his cruel and rather torturesome treatment of both prisoners, slaves, and crew. Hunter gathers a, what he believes, loyal and talented crew for the plunder. Hunter embarks on an extremely dangerous and tasking journey, one that ends up nowhere close to where he expected.
This book is an apparently well-researched and actually documented event of history, one that Crichton tried to bring to life through story. The whole idea of a pirate themed story is intriguing, but the execution is too simple. The book progresses way to quickly, with little to no character development throughout the story. All the characters are introduced at the very start and they are described right then and there. From this point you can basically predict what is going to happen in the entire book. It's understandable that it's a real historical event and that you can only twist events so much, but it could have been dragged out a little better. Another reason why I believe this book was still on his hard-drive when he died. The love and sex in the book is good, but not great. Like stated previously; a little more dragging out would've been more interesting.
Overall though, the book is not terrible. He's a major league writer, and it shows through even in this piece of work. The plot twists near the end are pure Crichton gold. You almost sort-of expect it but then when it happens you are like 'ah no! really?'. Some of the battles in the book are not badly depicted either. The epilogue was really enticing as well, although it leaves you rather sad on what happens to some of the characters..
If you like Crichton and are familiar with his work, read this book, if not just out of pure curiosity. Get your own opinion on it. I have read other Crichton work before and I just feel it is very unfinished. But does not what-so-ever lack potential. Hunter becomes the best and favorite character, just because he has the most insight throughout the entire book. Easy read. ...more
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is an interesting "tale" to say the least. The books depicts a humble but ambitious shepard who embarks on a quest for hThe Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is an interesting "tale" to say the least. The books depicts a humble but ambitious shepard who embarks on a quest for his own Personal Legend (always capitalized). Read further for explanation.
The book starts out with the shepard boy, age unknown but my best guess would be around 17, who has just settled down for the night in a run down church. His flock are settled for the night around the church and the boy is left to his own thoughts. He starts to ponder his recurring dreams where he is led by a child to the pyramids, where he discovers a buried treasure. He leads a lonely but not unwanted life. It is found out that the boy's Father had other plans for him, but the boy insisted he become a shepard and travel the lands of Andalusia, Spain (where he's from). From the beginning you can tell that the boy is generally happy with where his life is.. until he meets the old wise king.
The boy happens upon this king, dressed in rags, in a marketplace while waiting to do some business with a merchant. He at first tries to ignore the annoying old man, but gives up when the old man is insistent on conversation. The boy becomes finally intrigued with what the old man is saying when he recites the boy's recurring dream and his father's and mother's names.
He tells the boy that the dream is his own Personal Legend, something that everyone has but not everyone chooses to seek out and fulfill. The old man gives the boy instructions on fulfilling his own Personal Legend and opens his rags to reveal a breast plate of solid gold encrusted with jewels. The old man says that he is actually an old wise king and that he exists in order to help people fulfill their own Personal Legend and help them understand the universal language of the universe. The universal language of the universe is basically depicted in the book as a language that involves omens, signs and other miracle like happenings that can be deciphered by any human, animal or object in the world.
With his new found knowledge on omens and fulfilling one's own destiny, the boy sets out to Egypt to find the treasure that his is own Personal Legend. He meets many different people along the way, some good and some bad, and ultimately grows to know his own heart better then anyone could, something that is essential in fulfilling one's own Personal Legend.
As you can see, the book is deeply routed in myth, if that is even the right word. Sayings such as "Personal Legend" and "Soul of the World" are frequent and thrown together in a jumble of different varieties and ways that rarely make sense. The book has adventure to be sure, but it's filled with symbolic and ritual, almost religious meaning, something that is definitely not my style. The boy grows a significant amount on his quest and it is somewhat entertaining to read about. My biggest complaint about him is he supposed to be 17 or so, but when I was reading my better guess for him was 12, the way he thinks and talks makes him seem way younger then he is supposed to be. I give this book only two stars mainly because A) The adventure and plot are good and B) I like the ending. In the long run, the book is extremely, no, to easy to read and I often caught myself not even paying attention to the words and having to re-read.
If you like deeply symbolic and almost religious meaning turned into a mythical like story about fulfilling destiny with omens, read this book. It's filled with them. If the "Personal Legend" sounds strange to you, don't. It only gets worse....more
This book isn't really my style, but it was one of the books that I watched the movie for and vowed to read. I read the first couple pages and was insThis book isn't really my style, but it was one of the books that I watched the movie for and vowed to read. I read the first couple pages and was instantly intrigued and continued to read it.
The Lisbon household, a place of strict rules paved over by unrelinquishing parents. The book starts out with the portrait of 13-year-old Cecilia, the youngest girl of the household's attempted suicide. She slit her writs while taking a warm bath, clutching onto her prized laminated photo of the Virgin Mary. She was, to her dismay, saved before she could cross over to the other side. This single event sparks the cascade of a series of events that eventually leads to the downfall of life as they know it in the Lisbon family.
The Lisbon girls, the very images of innocence and fragility. Cecilia being the youngest, there is also 14-year-old Lux, 15-year-old Mary, 16-year-old Bonnie and 17-year-old Therese. The girls are kept under tight lock and key by their socially deficient and religious parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lisbon. Mr. Lisbon's being a math teacher at their school leaves them even less freedom in their young lives. The book is set in the 70's, a time well known for it's tumults against adolescence. Besides all these downfalls considering their home and social lives, the girls all have strikingly unique and bright personalities, personalities that never get the chance to reach their full potentials. A group of boys loved and worshipped the Lisbon girls from afar for their entire adolescent lives, only to have them ripped from their grasp before they could save them from themselves. This book begs the question, what happened to the Lisbon girls, and why?
I hate to end a book review with a question mark like that but that's the only way I can think to say what needs to be said. The mystery of the Lisbon girls, who are they, and why they chose to live the way they did with little rebellion is a mystery in itself. The book is extremely poetic, with very beautiful metaphor that isn't hard to understand but does take some thought and contemplation. It doesn't try to tell you why, but more how and what so you can make your own conclusion. The icing on the cake is the boys who have loved the girls from afar, and tried their best to grow up with them despite their physical detachment. The more interesting character of the book is Lux, with her rebellious and libertine attitude. I gobbled up the parts about her and think I could read a whole book just about her. The fact the Kirsten Dunst plays her in the move sure helps with mental picture as well. The book only gets three stars from me, because I think there should be more. But looking at it in a different way, it is extremely realistic. If you like books set in the 70's, depicting pre-teen and teenage life through a distortion of different events and their interpretations, with a poetic twist, read this book....more
Oryx and Crake is an amazing treasure of a novel. I've had the book on my shelf for quite some time and never gave it a second glance (it was given toOryx and Crake is an amazing treasure of a novel. I've had the book on my shelf for quite some time and never gave it a second glance (it was given to me by my friend who is not entirely good at reading.) Anyway, some friends at work were having a book club meeting and I decided to read the book. One of the best choices I've ever made..
Oryx and Crake is a post apocalyptic novel based on Earth, around the ever changing life of Jimmy/Snowman. That sounds so very boring, but it's get so much more sciencey fictioney, even though Atwood said it was more of an "adventure romance" (I would prefer not to call it that). We are introduced first off to Snowman, living on a warm, quite tropical, food depleted beach. Snowman has a scraggly beard and smells horrible, so I assume he's been living on this beach for a little while already. There appears to be some natives which he calls the Crakers, and they come in every possible human skin color and come and pester him on occasion.
Flashback occur frequently in this novel and they describe Snowman's past life. This is our introduction to Jimmy, which was what he was named before everyone on the Earth died. Our first introduction to Jimmy is him 7 years old or so, living in a compound with his brilliant scientist father and Sharon his over-bearing, vengeful, cigarette smoking mother.As Jimmy grows older, the situation between his parents gets steadily worse. Mention of Jimmy's father spending to much time at work and around a certain young, boobful lab tech named Rhonda. The company Jimmy's father (and mother used to) work for is called OrganInc and they are currently developing ways to grow human organs inside of pigs. They live in the compound, a place built by the company and ones like, where an entire life can be lived. School, malls, clubs, shopping markets, everything exists in this compound so someone doesn't have to leave it and go to the Pleeblands for everything. The Pleeblands contain the normal people, people who aren't so lucky to have animal-engineering-scientist parents who live inside the compounds their entire lives. You can of course leave the compound once you get clearance, but the Pleeblands are being depleting of resource fast and disease is almost a given. So basically, the rich people are okay while the poor to middle class people become more and more uncivilized, while the earth is pushed to it's limits for supporting the population.
There is one more important character that is worth mentioning without giving to much away. His name is Crake (surprise surprise he's in the title) and Jimmy and him meet each other in their 9th year of highschool. His real name is Glen, but he gets the name Crake from one of the video games him and Jimmy frequently play throughout their highschool lives to pass the time. Crake is a genious, and though him and Jimmy have a pretty tight relationship, Jimmy always assumes Crake is hiding something from him.
Overall, the book is pretty much amazing. You root for Jimmy to become something more then he is, and I pretty much fell in love with Crake's cold cool demeanor. The characters are very unique, unlike any characters I've ever read in another book. I easily rate this book 10/10. I think EVERYONE should read it. It has something for everybody. The writing is intelligent, the names of all the scientific companies coming up with different forms of fake food are so creative I never even realized most of them were saying something else until the end. Can't WAIT to read the next one....more
This is book is based on the romance (sort-of), of the relationship between a somewhat young girl and somewhat older man. Anastasia Steele, an EnglishThis is book is based on the romance (sort-of), of the relationship between a somewhat young girl and somewhat older man. Anastasia Steele, an English major who has recently graduated with a degree meets an intoxicating rich and gorgeous CEO by the name of Christian Grey. They both have their secrets. Some turn out to be worse then others.
It all starts out when Kate, Ana`s beautiful and cunning roommate makes Ana take her meeting with Christian instead of her because she is sick. Ana doesn`t want to go, but Kate convinces her that she is just too sick and Ana loves Kate and her charm to much to turn her down. The meeting is with as we know rich, powerful and basically famous Christian Grey. What Kate failed to tell Ana was, how beautiful he was. Ana stumbles through her meeting with Christian. He seemed to be hitting on her a little bit through it and she can`t seem to wrap her mind around why. If only she knew. She thinks about Christian, the dangerously sexy creature that she will probably get over soon. She was very wrong.
Eventually, Christian and Ana end up together. But not in the normal relationship way. Ana soon finds out that Christian is a fan of the dark bedroom arts of Dominant and Submissive. This is basically a classier and more erotic take on bondage, if that`s possible. It involves a contract, an NDA and lots of whips, spanking and sex. He wants Ana to be his new sub. He is completely taken with her smart mouth and innocence and wants her soon. Ana is extremely hesitant, but also so taken by him, she has never felt this way in her life about a male. She doesn`t sign anything but they explore each other for the next couple weeks. In many instances, Ana is taken by just how dark Christian likes things. He explains the way he is the best he can without giving to much away. He tells her very little about his childhood, just enough to keep her satiated a day at a time. She learns many disconcerting things about the man, one involving the whole reason he might even be into the whole Dom and Sub scene. Ana soon discovers that loving this man is a complete and utter emotional rollercoaster and she`s unsure she can give him everything he needs. Christian has never been in a real relationship. He`s only ever experienced the Dom and Sub and is unsure if he can give Ana the more that she keeps asking for. They both feel they deserve what they are asking for, can they meet in the middle and figure things out?
The end of the book is quite sad, even though some parts of the book are questionable. They break up over some very grey areas, which relates directly the title. The entire book is filled with the grey areas they have between them and I think the title is a direct play on that. Also that and Christian's many sides, he has many and I'm sure Ana is going to see even more in the sequel. The book is extremely, I wouldn't say girly because of the hardcore x rated sex but maybe womanly is the word I'm looking for. My only complaint would be some of the sex and how ridiculous it is for her to enjoy it that much being so inexperienced. Besides that though, the sex scenes are extremely hot and better then porn anyday. But other then that, the author does a good job describing Ana's feelings. I love the inner-goddess subconscious personification she does. It's a nice touch. Definitely not a book for men unless you really like girly books. Can't wait for the next one for some reason, maybe I'm in love with Christian too. He does sound delicious. A must read if you are a woman....more
This book is to put it quite simply, mind blowing. I can't believe it took me so long to get into this book and I wish I would've when it was really iThis book is to put it quite simply, mind blowing. I can't believe it took me so long to get into this book and I wish I would've when it was really in the spotlight with it's movie and all that. Anyway, let's review this.
Robert Langdon, an older but nonetheless very intelligent university professor is thrown into a life-threatening controversy that almost gets him, and a few others, killed. It all starts when Langdon receives a chilling phone call in his Paris hotel room in the middle of the night. Langdon is soon taken to the crime scene of the now murdered Jacques Sauniere at Paris's Louvre Museum, a well known and esteemed researcher on pagan religion. Robert was supposed to meet with Jacques earlier that night but was stood up. It only gets weirder, Jacques has positioned himself in what Robert thinks is strangely familiar to Da Vinci's drawing of "The Vitruvian Man" and has also included a sequence of numbers and another message which reads "Find Robert Langdon" written in blood beside him. Robert has no idea why he would write this, and the police are of course suspicious. Jacques's cryptologist granddaughter Sophie Neveu is soon called onto the scene to crack the sequence of numbers. All of this is done without the French Police having knowledge that Jacques is even her grandfather. It all takes a turn for the worse when Sophie alerts Langdon that the head of police is trying to frame Langdon for the murder. Robert and Sophie are taken on a wild goose chase to find The Holy Grail, a secret protected for thousand of years by Knights Templars and their descendants, before it falls into the hands of Sophie's grandfather's killers and is lost forever.
All in all, the book is huge account of the conspiracy behind the real origins of christianity and everything the church has done to keep the sacred feminine an oppressed secret. According to the book, religion was never supposed to be in favour of men, but instead in favour of women, because of the children that can be born from women and the real power that women hold in their wombs. There is also a lot of mention of sex and how it is not supposed to be something that is shamed and disgusting like the church likes to depict, but something that even Jesus took part in. The book includes the lore about the secret bloodline of Mary Magdalene, who actually married Jesus and bore his child. In the book, this bloodline is still alive and the key to finding it and keeping it safe is in the Holy Grail. That is why the Church wants to find it and destroy it, so that the secrets about the sacred feminine are lost forever. Let's not forget the title either here, throughout the book lots of Da Vinci's reasons for painting some paintings the way he did are revealed and used to get a closer and better understanding of the sacred feminine and just how much Da Vinci really knew.
I usually don't read mysteries, but with all the controversial church and christianity talk in this book, how could I not. The book is extremely well done. When Langdon is trying to explain to Sophie his reasons why her grandfather would even want to talk to him, I could not stop reading. The way Dan Brown puts the book together is SO intricately put together that all of the crazy stuff he claims in the book actually makes almost complete perfect sense. I've always been an atheist, but this book definitely supports my claim. And I like that. I love how awesome and controversial this book is, and cannot wait to read the rest of the Robert Langdon novels that Dan Brown has written. I thank him so much for this book! If you like murder mysteries with suspense and a little bit of a religious twist, read this book. If you are religious...... probably shouldn't. It might make you mad. ...more
The Godfather by Mario Puzo is a fictional story with fictional characters into what I assume was (or still is) an actual phenomenon: the Mafia. We'veThe Godfather by Mario Puzo is a fictional story with fictional characters into what I assume was (or still is) an actual phenomenon: the Mafia. We've all heard of them, watched the movies, and this novel brings them that much further into the light. I'm not sure how much Puzo really knew or was involved in the Mafia, my best guess is as good as any, but the situations depicted in the Godfather are not very far from the truth. Many of characters actually incorporated and were loosely based on real-life mobsters and events.
The Godfather is basically a detailed story about one of 5 leading Mafia families, the Corleone's, struggle to either keep the peace or stay one move ahead of their opponents. Inside the family, we experience the struggle between father and son (the Don and Michael) trying to come to a common understanding about what the family business. In this story the inner-workings of family, relationships and close ties to political and judicial power are put to the test under the close scrutiny of what is moral and what is just.
The book opens up with the marriage of the Don's youngest child, his daughter Constanzia 'Connie' Corleone to Carlo Rizzi. We learn in this first part of the book all about the Don's family and the various positions in the family business. Vito Andolini otherwise known as the Don has 3 more all male children. Santino Corleone, otherwise known as Sonny, is known for his brute strength, raging temper and huge sexual organ. He is known to often fly off the handle and shows little learning capability when instructed by the Don on matters involving the family business. A couple years younger then Sonny is Frederico 'Fredo' Corleone, known for his devotion to his father but rather soft-hearted nature. He sticks close to his father and doesn't have too much to say. The second youngest in the family but youngest of the boys is Michael Corleone. Always believed to one day take on the family business, Michael ends up running in the opposite direction of organized crime and goes across seas to fight in WW2 and returns a decorated war hero. We are also introduced to the Don's figuratively adopted son, Tom Hagen, an orphan boy brought home by Sonny one day when they were both boys to be rescued by the Don's good graces. Being incredibly intelligent and dedicated to the Don for his taking in of him in his childhood, Tom went to school to become a lawyer and now works as the Don's consigliori.The consigliori being a very sought after and important role to the organized crime syndicate, for the closeness they have to their Don's and the know they have in all of their family's essential business. A couple other main characters worth mentioning are caporegimes Tessio and Clemenza. Not being specifically blood tied to the family, they are still an essential part of the family for the districts of the family's business network that they run. The Don met both characters in his early manhood and ended up keeping them as a part of his family once he got big. These main workings of the Corleone family and other small details are all included in the first part of the book and are crucial as backbone to the story.
The rest of the book is split into various parts, the first one being on the family as I mentioned above. The other parts are based on subject such as how Vito became a Don, Michael's time in Sicily, Michael's return, etc. The parts of the book are broken down very well into their categories and you can tell they were written to be broken down in such a way. The parts that involve talking about familial ties in detail get a little dry, but because of Puzo's wonderful writing ability, the rest of the book is very interesting. I DO NOT like crime drama/story novels, but this book is very, very, very good. I congratulate Puzo on this, for taking a subject many find boring and redundant and transforming it into something readable and user-friendly. He finds a way to make characters develop into things you never imagined they could. He even makes you love particular characters (Sonny!!) and then they too transform into something you never though was possible, but nonetheless inevitable. He even finds a way to make you believe in the power of the Don. Very well done. The book is a must read and a classic, for anyone. ...more