Another great one by Hermann Hesse that I read in my early twenties, and I'm fifty eight now. I realize that this isn't much of a review, but sufficeAnother great one by Hermann Hesse that I read in my early twenties, and I'm fifty eight now. I realize that this isn't much of a review, but suffice it to say that Hermann Hesse was ons one of the great all-time writers of spiritual fiction, in my opinion....more
N. Scott Momaday is one of my favorite authors, but I've always had trouble connecting with these types of Native American legends. Although I do, likN. Scott Momaday is one of my favorite authors, but I've always had trouble connecting with these types of Native American legends. Although I do, like so many others, have a bit of Indian wannabe in me, I also have a lot of Indian can'tabe. For what it's worth, I still liked the stories herein very much and I would read anything by this wonderful, almost mystical writer....more
Phenomenal insight, considering Poul (pronounced Pole) Anderson wrote this in 1953/54. I love the way he characterizes the animals right in with the hPhenomenal insight, considering Poul (pronounced Pole) Anderson wrote this in 1953/54. I love the way he characterizes the animals right in with the humans--quite an honest and rare assessment, even by today's standards. Worth checking out Wikipedia on this wonderful and very literate sci-fi author who just left his body in 2001. However, this particular printing has some nice bio info as well....more
There's so much i want to say, about not only this book but Howard Fast in general, but time is not permitting at the moment. I'll just say for now thThere's so much i want to say, about not only this book but Howard Fast in general, but time is not permitting at the moment. I'll just say for now that I feel that he was and is simultaneously one of the most prolific and successful as well as one of the most slandered and mistreated of American writers. Most of his work was effectively buried under the landfill of political hypocrisy that covered the nation during the McCarthy era. As evidence to this statement, The American, which is the wonderful book that led me to Howard Fast's work is not even available here on Goodreads, nor on Amazon, nor on Barnes and Noble searches. If I've mis-searched in that regard, perhaps someone will set me right. I do plan to come back and do an actual review of this little gem, Freedom Road....more
I loved this Confession of Joe Cullen book, although, if it hadn't been Howard Fast (it's no secret--I'm a huge fan), I may well have not read beyondI loved this Confession of Joe Cullen book, although, if it hadn't been Howard Fast (it's no secret--I'm a huge fan), I may well have not read beyond the first chapter/confession--Guy walks into a bar, says, "Hey bartender, who's the good lookin' dame in the corner..." Well, i'm being facetious, but it really came off as second rate New York gumshoe material. But it is Howard Fast so I didn't quit there, and it turned out to be, not only great historical fiction and social commentary, so typical of this fine American author, but also a really wonderful example of spiritual fiction.
There isn't a lot you can tell about this novel, without giving out spoilers. Suffice it to say that it really is a gumshoe story, with all the trappings of that form, including extreme simplicity and a certain corniness. As I was thinking of comparisons just now, Road to Perdition came to mind. People tend to be, after all, simple and a bit corny from one perspective, and yet from another, they are vital, sincere, tormented, and trajic. Having spent most of my life as an artist trapped in a blue collar body, these characters (the good guys, not the bad guys) are my friends. Yes, they are often melodramatic, but that does not negate the very real and powerful drama of their lives and their deaths. Herein, these men and women deal with important questions, such as truth, integrity, love, loneliness, despair, betrayal, loyalty, and forgiveness.
Set in 1987, The Confession is rather pre-technology as we think of it today. But it is a time, not so very far removed and I cannot see it as anything less than still relevant, even socially, to today's world. Spiritually... well spirituality is transcendant of time, is it not? If not, I'm not sure what value it would have....more
A Brilliant Portrayal of a Man in Reflection~Of a Man with a Purpose.
I found this book in the little corner library (I could scarcely use the term morA Brilliant Portrayal of a Man in Reflection~Of a Man with a Purpose.
I found this book in the little corner library (I could scarcely use the term more loosely) of an assisted living facility. I liked the cover. I read it and I now I have to return it but I don't want to--that means I'll have buy my own copy. About the only part of me that didn't like it was my ego. I'm also a writer and I am jealous of the author's accomplishment... There, I said it.
Rules for Old Men Waiting is Peter Pouncey's debut novel. However he took a long time writing it; says he had no sense of urgency in the process. I'm not going to give anything away, but there is a character in his book who is writing with much more urgency. Well, it's easy to imagine what old men may be waiting for, anyway. But, one can hardly read this story without sensing the autobiographical quality of it. So, one way or the other, writer of the book, writer within the book, it's all to the reader's benefit.
So whether you have urgency in your life or you are one who just sits back, contented with a good book, this is a beautifully written story that will likely reach you and move you in it's portrayal of a very masculine, and very sensitive, human experience....more
I'd never even heard of this story, but my circles don't run that wide. I stumbled across it: a love story,A Great, and I Think, Little Known Classic
I'd never even heard of this story, but my circles don't run that wide. I stumbled across it: a love story, extraordinare--a love story in more ways than one. Where Asia meets Russia meets Europe. An Islamic boy and a Georgian girl. A Russian revolution and a World War. All of this lovingly and elegantly captured in classic novel format by an unknown author with the ghost name, Kurban Said.
Just click on the edition here (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46...) and read the great synopsis by Alix Wilbur. If you'd rather just read it cold without the synopsis, then just read it. It may be even more relevant today than in the time of its inception. It is such a lovingly rendered view of fundamental Islamic culture that the non-Islamist reader is irresistably drawn in. Simultaneously sincere and lighthearted.
It's hard to explain. There's a quote at the end of this book: "Thus ended the great American Civil War, which must upon the whole be-Glamorous Lords-
It's hard to explain. There's a quote at the end of this book: "Thus ended the great American Civil War, which must upon the whole be considered the noblest and least avoidable of all the great mass conflicts of which till then there was record." --Winston Churchil, A History of the English Speaking Peoples. I couldn't agree with that.
Everything in my being says that it wasn't handled right. The north just had a different way of handling it's slaves. It called them employees. Not only that, but during the "noblest and least avoidable conflict" the US Army was also busy exterminating the Native Americans to further the white man's God given dominion over the whole country. I guess we screwed up, losing part of Mexico and all. Will the real hypocrites please stand up!!
But the book is a page turner alright. Brilliant in capturing the simplicity of it all. A special note: I was surprised to see Lee portrayed as much less than perfect--deeply and vastly loved by his army, as well as the entire South, but much less than perfect.
Highly recommend this book. Draw or re-draw your own conclusions.
p.s. I've included this review on my blog http://jesseshanson.wordpress.com/201... along with an original song of mine, Glamorous Lords, that was inspired by just such "noblest and least avoidable conflict"s. Oh well, Winston, no matter how great a man, in many ways, was a "Glamorous Lord", himself, no doubt.
I'm a horseman by birth (my older brother is an accomplished long distance rider) so this ghostly equestrian title kept popping out at me whenever I' I'm a horseman by birth (my older brother is an accomplished long distance rider) so this ghostly equestrian title kept popping out at me whenever I'd be browzing the quiet and narrow sacred halls of No Particular Library. In fact, the book has not much to do with horses, although it has some to do with them. Katherine Anne Porter is a brilliant writer--I'd compare her easily to Steinbeck, with a distinctly feminine and completely unique style. She comes at each story from such an angle, through such a perspective, that the reader is thinking the story is going one way, when it is inevitably going another. My complaint--because I do have one--is that the result is inevitably bleak. Now, I haven't read any of her other work, but bleak is the very tone of Pale Horse, Pale Rider. I've said the same thing about Steinbeck, if you happen to have read my previous reviews. It's just my personal opinion that we already know the world, that people in the world, and the things we do, are... well, the novels of the world hold all the adjectives about it, so for me to say bad, or ugly, or cruel... kind of redundant. Am I wrong in my perception that almost all (maybe not 100%) of the widely accepted, great works of literature, are utter tragedies? We revel in the gutter. Well, back to the book at hand. It's three short novels in one book. The first, Old Mortality, starts out all girl stuff; the writing was excellent but stuffy (they were actually going through the old stored stuff of memories in an attic. I didn't like the title, Noon Wine, of the second story, so I went to the title story, Pale Horse... I loved it. Saw a completly different take on the civilian side of World War I than I had ever been told. That took me back to Old Mortality, which I then finished and really appreciated. By then, I was hooked and I read Noon Wine. I don't know if it was just the rural setting (I'm from North Dakota) or what, but this story was absolutely riveting for me. So I probably seem out of integrity with only four stars. Well, I hate the stars--I've made no secret of it. But I see the purpose of life as a search for truth. Grandiose? Maybe. I don't care. So when tale after tale ends in dead end hopelessness, I don't see the art serving a useful enough function. Sorry Katherine, you're a better writer than me. Reader, in my opinion you won't find many better written, in a unique, yet classic style, than Pale Horse, Pale rider....more
I now feel that I was somehow lacking in my education, my all-aroundness, so to speak, having never read Kurt Vonnegut before. I expect I'll make up fI now feel that I was somehow lacking in my education, my all-aroundness, so to speak, having never read Kurt Vonnegut before. I expect I'll make up for it in the future. A joy and a wince of discouragement at the same time. They say that's what he was like. ...more