I must admit I am also one of those people who only got to read this at first because it is one of the must-read-because-it-is-a-classic books.
However...moreI must admit I am also one of those people who only got to read this at first because it is one of the must-read-because-it-is-a-classic books.
However, after finishing, I was convinced it deserved its status.
If you are thinking of reading it (and I am sure most avid readers are, and I am also sure most sketchily know what the story is about) don't fall into the trap thinking Dorian Gray is the main character. Yes, his name is in the title and the portrait is of him, most obviously. Still, Lord Henry is the linchpin of it all, influencing everyone around him.
Skimming through other reviews, some stated Lord Henry's ever-present smartness and wittiness was annoying. I beg to differ. If it wasn't for Lord Henry's smart and ironic observations and even advices, the novel would have never gained such popularity, as Dorian Gray himself - to put it bluntly - is a crashing bore.
Personally, I found it interesting that the reader gets to 'see' the picture's changes rather late as it keeps you on a par with Dorian's anxiety about it.
Read it then, as it is a deserved classic indeed.(less)
I've been meaning to read this book for so long. When I finally got around to borrow it from the library and enthusiastically started reading, I almos...moreI've been meaning to read this book for so long. When I finally got around to borrow it from the library and enthusiastically started reading, I almost immediately got distracted by other things.
This is, most obviously, due to Woolf's extraordinary stlye of writing. 'Mrs Dalloway' is a fairly good character study of many people but this famous stream of concsiousness style bored me a bit, if I may be so honest.
I thought it is a rather depressing story as well, people indulging in their past and thinking gloomy, almost suicidal thoughts, reflecting on how life would or could have been if they had allowed themselves to live another life, love another person and so on and so forth.
However, I am set to re-read it again some time as a friend of mine pointed out that "life isn't always divided into simple chapters or paragraphs. Sometimes it is like that, all happening in one go, very quickly without a pause." Very wise indeed.(less)
First off, to be perfectly honest, I only picked up this book in an HMV in London because it was only £ 3.00 and I've previously heard about the movie...moreFirst off, to be perfectly honest, I only picked up this book in an HMV in London because it was only £ 3.00 and I've previously heard about the movie.
Even though I still haven't seen the film the literary source didn't disappoint me.
The shortish story is divided in four main parts. It creates an atmosphere and mood on its own which has to be matched. And which had gripped me by the time I reached part two.
Pippa Lee's story starts off in the present, when she is past 50, her husband Herb going on 80 and they are moving to a retirement community. There, Pippa is one of the youngest residents. This is one of the reasons she starts to reflect on her life: Her two children are independent and successful in their life and the thought that life still holds something else for her but waiting for her aging husband's (and also her own) death, absorbs her mind.
Part two unravels Pippa Sarkassian's past; how and why she came to be who and where she is, what people influenced her. Pippa's childhood was unusual but loving, yet her life took turns nobody could have foreseen. Her teenage years were far from ordinary, still she spent years roaming the streets, searching for something, searching for a purpose, searching for peace of mind she thought she had finally found in her love for her husband Herb.
To not spoil the twists and developments of part three and the shortest fourth part, I best end my review quoting my favourite passage of the book:
"Still wakeful on the night of the whips and chains, I mulled over my life so far. I was a botch. I could see no future. I had no plans. I saw no example I wished to follow. I didn't want to be a nurse, or a stewardess, or a secretary; I didn't want to work in the meatpacking district or be a housewife. I just wanted to prowl around. I walked the streets endlessly. Watching people. I had a ravening mind; I wanted I wanted I wanted. I wanted into people's lives. I followed couples as they scurried down the street, carrying groceries and bunches of flowers, children tugging on their arms. I followed businessmen on their way from work. I followed elegantely dressed women who marched resolutely down the street and raised their hands for taxis. They were all bustling, all running, all rushing. Everyone in New York City seemed to have a purpose, except for me. I was driven by a need with no end, no goal. I was looking for love, I think, though that's not what it felt like at the time. At the time I felt hard and cold as a knife in the snow." (page 109, part two)
If you are looking for an intelligent, insightful, thought-provoking piece of women's literature, you have found it.(less)
Kluge Lektüre über den pseudo-wissenschaftlichen Nonsens der unsere Gesellschaft überflutet. Obwohl von dem Arzt und Psychiater Ben Goldacre (bekannt...moreKluge Lektüre über den pseudo-wissenschaftlichen Nonsens der unsere Gesellschaft überflutet. Obwohl von dem Arzt und Psychiater Ben Goldacre (bekannt für seine Kolumne "Bad Science" - so auch der englische Originaltitel des Buches - in der britischen Zeitung "The Guardian") für Laien geschrieben, sind grundlegende naturwissenschaftliche Kenntnisse nicht von Nachteil, um alle Kapitel völlig zu durchblicken.
Das Buch befasst sich zwar vornehmlich mit der Situation im Vereinigten Königreich, das tut dem Lesevergnügen jedoch keinen Abbruch. Pointiert und mit ironischem Witz liefert Goldacre Informationen zu diversen Formen der alternativen Medizin, wie der Homöopathie, und den Einfluss der Medien auf die "öffentliche Meinung" zur Schulmedizin. Und geht dabei ziemlich hart ins Gericht. Was mir persönlich sehr gut gefallen hat; viel zu oft wird bei wichtigen Themen ein Blatt vor den Mund genommen.
Nichts für Anhänger der Homöopathie und ähnlichem.
Obwohl...vielleicht gerade für jene zu empfehlen.
Das Buch sollte jedem, der etwas bei Verstand ist, die Augen öffnen. Skeptiker werden damit sowieso ihre helle Freude haben. Empfehlenswert!(less)