Brokeback Mountain is such a short read that you can read it in one sitting. Despite its length though and how quickly you can get through it, there w...moreBrokeback Mountain is such a short read that you can read it in one sitting. Despite its length though and how quickly you can get through it, there were many flaws about this short story that hindered me from really enjoying it.
I couldn't stand the writing style. Far too many run-on sentences that I found so distracting and annoying. Scenes seem to begin and end so quickly that it is as if it didn't happen at all. Though the characters are somewhat interesting, there is no depth...the dialogue is way too forced and corny...it's hard for me to care about characters that are hardly given any life and personality. The love affair between Jack and Ennis i think was better portrayed in the movie...in the short story, I didn't find it believable, touching, or endearing at all.
The story overall has a hasty feel and tone to it. I could maybe blame it on the length, because it is under 60 pages, but honestly, I don't think the author is that great of a writer. The plot is original but the way it's executed is lackluster and boring to say the least.
This is one of those cases where the movie is far better than the book. At least it was a very quick read...so it's not as if you'd be wasting that much time reading it. Still, nonetheless, I'd rather stick with the movie instead. (less)
These collections of short stories from James Baldwin were for the most part a really intense, deep, and raw portrayal of the trials and tribulations...moreThese collections of short stories from James Baldwin were for the most part a really intense, deep, and raw portrayal of the trials and tribulations of black people dealing with racism, bigotry, infidelity, and unimaginable pain and horrors that are very reflective of the African American experience.
They're all very well-written, however, the majority of these stories either are very boring or just don't really grab the reader's attention long enough to read it in its entirety.
* Sonny's Blues- it was very reminiscent of his novel Just Above My Head in terms of the theme/plot of a brother learning of his little brother's demise into drug addiction and how, with him being a musician, has made him a stronger person. It's with music that his drug-addicted brother fights against his own demons.
* The Man-Child- I dunno way, but I thought this story was interesting and well-done.
* Going To Meet the Man- it's perhaps the most chilling and frightening story in this collection about a man who recalls a memory of how when he was a young boy his parents took him out to witness a black man being tortured and burned to death. It's also startling at just how deeply Baldwin went into the mind of a racist and of a sexually repressed racist at that, a racist that hates black people but also enjoys having brutal sex with black women. It was also creepy at how after he recalls the memory of that brutal killing, he immediately gets hard and makes love to his wife. It's a story that's scary, frightening, and might make the reader feel uncomfortable, but that's the point, and it does that job very well.
The rest were either too forgettable or just a little bit boring or too dragged out, where though a point was made it was sort of overkill.
Overall, not a bad collection and certainly not a bad representation of Baldwin's work and style, but not his best either. It's a hit-or-miss collection that is definitely worth reading at least for the story highlights that I mentioned above. (less)
I remember as a little girl I really enjoyed Little Women. I liked the characters, enjoyed their life adventures, and really learned a lot about good...moreI remember as a little girl I really enjoyed Little Women. I liked the characters, enjoyed their life adventures, and really learned a lot about good morals and values that every young girl should know. Now, reading it as an adult, and reading the adult version, it's funny to see how not only boring Little Women is but how very preachy, pretentious, and dry it is. To me it feels like one of those classics that as time goes by will just feel more dated, long-winded, and tedious by age. Young girls should still read the children version of the story, though. However, as an adult, it's just not as magical, believable, and fun as my childhood has led it to believe. (less)
Personally, I didn't find King Lear to be the best of his plays or the best of his tragedies, but I found it to be one of the most moving in its portr...morePersonally, I didn't find King Lear to be the best of his plays or the best of his tragedies, but I found it to be one of the most moving in its portrayal of familial discord, politics, government, and most of all, of daughters, sisters, and sons and how their greedy actions can lead one man, the father, into madness. King Lear is one of those Shakespeare plays that one must read at least once in their life, otherwise, they'd be missing out on one of the best pieces of literature ever.(less)
Frederick Ahl’s translation of Virgil’s Aeneid is impeccable, very poetic, very accessible, and completely engaging. I will admit, the Aeneid didn’t i...moreFrederick Ahl’s translation of Virgil’s Aeneid is impeccable, very poetic, very accessible, and completely engaging. I will admit, the Aeneid didn’t immediately grow on me. At times the story was hard for me to follow, and I couldn’t help but feel distracted at how remarkably similar the plot was to The Illiad and the Odyssey. Admittedly, there were times where I was just going with the motions as I was reading, some parts were very long winded and tedious, and other parts were just too boring to keep my interest. However, there were many incredible scenes that made the Aeneid worth reading such as the love interest between Dido and Aeneas, and Aeneas journey into the underworld. The bickering between the gods was pretty amusing. Virgil’s take on the founding of Rome is also pretty fascinating from a historical standpoint. It is because of this context and these famous scenes that I may re-read the Aeneid again in the future. It is not my favorite epic, nor is it really the best thing I’ve read all year, but I can’t help but feel that the Aeneid should be revisited at least twice to truly appreciate its importance and influence in classical literature. (less)
With A Study in Scarlet being the first Sherlock Holmes novel, it was definitely worth reading so to at least know how this sleuth detective phenomeno...moreWith A Study in Scarlet being the first Sherlock Holmes novel, it was definitely worth reading so to at least know how this sleuth detective phenomenon got its start.
Not surprisingly, the novel does start off so well: we're first introduced to Watson, and then it goes to Watson and Holmes's first meeting, and then about Watson's observations of Holmes's eccentric but brilliant character. The way it's written purveys so much life and personality in these now legendary characters that it's no wonder that the Sherlock Holmes stories became as popular as they were (and still are to this day). Watson is so loveable and Holmes is just plain weird, cocky, over the top, conceited, brilliant-and-he-knows-it, and sometimes cartoonish but it all works. Then the story dives into a mystery of a murdered man in an abandoned house, and things then get interesting as we see Holmes's extraordinary skills in solving mysteries.
The first part of this novel alone is a 5 star affair...but once it gets to the second half...well...let's just say, I wouldn't even give it a 1 star. The second half feels like a completely different novel written by a whole different author. No longer is Watson narrating the story; at part 2 it's told by what I assume is Doyle giving us a history lesson. I understood that it was a flashback and aside about Mormons which relates to the murderer's backstory...but it felt so out of place and the writing was so dull and lifeless that it makes you almost forget how brilliant the first part of the book was. Not that this type of narrative structure is unusual for the Victorian era, many authors during that time have done that, but something about the way Doyle does it here is just...bizarre, clunky, and awkward and completely ruins the entire flow of the novel.
Once it continued onto the present with Watson being the narrator again, I felt so drained and lost all interest. Which is a shame, because the first part of the book was so good!
I will definitely be reading the rest of the Sherlock Holmes novels and stories. I just wish the first book was more consistent in its narrative structure and had delved more into Holmes and Watson's characters and their relationship, which was really the most entertaining, readable, and memorable aspect of this story.
If anything, A Study in Scarlet is one of those books that's more important than it is good. It's important in that it introduces us to one of the most memorable characters in literature. Is it a good novel? No, not really. But is it worth reading? Yes, yes indeed! (less)
No matter what one may think of Monsieur de Sade and of his infamous novel 120 Days of Sodom,I think much credit should be given to how quite revoluti...moreNo matter what one may think of Monsieur de Sade and of his infamous novel 120 Days of Sodom,I think much credit should be given to how quite revolutionary, shocking, and unusual this novel was and still is. Even to this day and by today's standards, it's still pretty outlandish and shocking, and that's pretty extraordinary, considering how these days in the 21st century not much shocks us anymore.
I'm not gonna bother summarizing the story since anyone can simply read it for themselves. I admire the way this story is formatted; it's pretty simple and straightforward, but its execution is quite interesting, complex, and creative. Each kinky tale told within the story goes from basic kink that most of us these days would find ordinary (bondage, flogging, piss play/shit play, etc.)and escalates into very bizarre territory where you often think, how could anyone really be turned on by this? Such as a man being turned on by eating unborn fetuses after a woman miscarried, a man being turned on by having his asshole sewn shut, a man turned on by having his anus burned and practically being burned alive, and just when you thought it couldn't get any more bizarre, it does. And then it gets downright scary at how a sadist can go too far.
Yes, since this is erotica, there may be areas in this novel that will turn you on. But i would say only 10% of the novel is arousing, the rest is not, but it sure does still keep you wanting to continue reading to see just how insane de Sade's world can get. Is the novel repetitive at times? Oh yes, especially with the shit play. But is it boring? Hardly. It's not for everyone though, and it's definitely not for the faint of heart. It's a book you will either love or hate, there is really no in between. Just the history of where de Sade wrote this tale and how he nearly lost it is pretty intriguing in and of itself. Technically, this novel isn't complete, since part 2 is a rough draft and comes off more like notes than the compelling, well-written narrative it was in part 1. Still, nonetheless, even the draft is quite fascinating to read, and makes you wish that de Sade could have completed this novel entirely.
It may not be a novel that you'd want to recommend to family or friends, it may not be a novel that you'd even really like or enjoy. I for one loved it, and admire it greatly for what it was then and what it is now. Definitely a must read. (less)
This has to be by far the most overwritten, pretentious book I've ever read. The prose was just so wordy, obnoxiously flowery and ridiculously descrip...moreThis has to be by far the most overwritten, pretentious book I've ever read. The prose was just so wordy, obnoxiously flowery and ridiculously descriptive that it really distracted me from really following the story or caring about the characters. There's nothing that irritates me more than an author that tries way too hard to show off how well they write and how advanced their vocabulary is. In moderation it is fine but in excess, it just comes off as if the author is being a show off. It's beyond me why this is considered a classic. (less)