I thought I was going to fall in love with this book as soon as a read the first chapter. It had such a beautiful, interesting style that told the heaI thought I was going to fall in love with this book as soon as a read the first chapter. It had such a beautiful, interesting style that told the heartbreaking story of Japanese picture brides coming to the United States, having children, living in white society and eventually being sent to internment camps. I thought the use of the first person plural "We" to start most sentences in the first chapter made the amount of people seem so expansive and poignant. I thought it was brilliantly researched and I loved the descriptive style.
And yet, as the book progressed, I grew quite bored. It was short (only 130 pages) but the style that I found so interesting was quite repetitive after the first two chapters. I think I would have liked it more if they had hooked us with that first chapter in that interesting style and then entered into a more traditional narrative. ...more
So I've never been one for hard Sci-Fi (Dune, et al) so I never thought I liked it as a book genre in general. I read Leviathan's Wake because I rememSo I've never been one for hard Sci-Fi (Dune, et al) so I never thought I liked it as a book genre in general. I read Leviathan's Wake because I remembered them discussing it in Sword and Laser podcast/goodreads book club. This is how I discovered space opera, and simultaneously discovered there was a genre of sci fi I could read and thoroughly enjoy.
Space opera, I have recently discovered, is a play on "soap opera". It is a genre than emphasizes the romantic or melodramatic a la Firefly or Cowboy Bebop. It is full of tropes and predictable characters, but it is still thoroughly enjoyable. It is as insubstantial as Game of Thrones (which is not a bad thing) but far less repetitive (which is a great thing!)
It's by no means groundbreaking but it is very enjoyable. I would recommend this even for those who are not a fan of the sci-fi genre because it has Western elements alongside romance and action as well....more
There are some reviewers who strongly disliked Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's" because they were exposed to the movie first. I read the storyThere are some reviewers who strongly disliked Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's" because they were exposed to the movie first. I read the story in full and watched the movie (for the first time) that same afternoon, so I didn't have that same bias.
I liked both as their own entity, but I liked the book version so much more. Audrey Hepburn's navie/innocently coquettish Holly Golightly made the ending of the movie make sense. It was a wonderful adorable love story where they actually went to Tiffany's instead of just talking about it. Yet Capote's hyper-sexual/kind of racist Holly fit the ending and overall feel of the novel perfectly as well.
They both work, but the novel had some great things going for it. I appreciated the ambiguous ending (because I always feel cheated when a book has a happy ending) and I was so happy that Mr. Yunioshi was a real character that had purpose in the plot of the book as opposed to Mickey Rooney in yellowface.
The other three stories ranged from so so to wonderful. I found House of Flowers to be just ok but I thought Diamond Guitar was absolutely stunning. Great collection overall. Highly recommended. ...more
I always loved Murakami but sometimes the magical realism elements were a bit much for me. This book was so different because the character is older aI always loved Murakami but sometimes the magical realism elements were a bit much for me. This book was so different because the character is older and it's very real. It is not so much a coming of age story as so many of his books are, but an acceptance of middle age. It feels more grown up yet still entirely real and fully within the world of Murakami.
It's not what I expected, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nevertheless....more
This is one of my favorite books I've read this year. It's more than just a dysfunctional gay romance. It's such a powerful, emotional, thought provokThis is one of my favorite books I've read this year. It's more than just a dysfunctional gay romance. It's such a powerful, emotional, thought provoking book about conflicting identities. The characters of Giovanni, David and even Hella are so wonderful and fleshed out for such a short 180 page book. Nothing about the setting, plot, characters or prose style ever falls flat. The relationships feel so real and fatalistic, but I can't explain much more than that....more
I went into Bone Clocks having heard many other reviews saying this book was like a bad remake of Cloud Atlas. Step one of enjoying thSpoilers Abound.
I went into Bone Clocks having heard many other reviews saying this book was like a bad remake of Cloud Atlas. Step one of enjoying this book is to kind of forget about Cloud Atlas.
As always, I found Mitchell's prose beautiful once you got into a particular section; however, the switches between sections were jarring without taking on a different tone to differentiate them. (I know I'm not supposed to compare to Cloud Atlas and I did, sorry). I kept missing the more fantastical sub-plot (that was really the main plot) and wondering when it would come back into focus for a brief few pages.
I loved the character of Holly, and I really loved all of the auxilary characters but found myself disappointed in their respective endings (Hugo Lamb, Crispin Hershey, Marinus, etc). I also found myself disappointed in Mitchell's treatment of reincarnation in this novel since it takes something delicate and turns it into a good ol' boys club. It's over-rationalized with too much mysticism but it did make section 5 the most entertaining section of the book.
Section 6 left me hopeful (sort of) in the same way the middle section of Cloud Atlas also left me hopeful in a beautifully written post-apocalyptic world. It resolved most of my questions except for the one of Hugo Lamb. Overall, I was pleased with the book.
In summary, I have one piece of harsh criticism: Mitchell takes all the best aspects of his other book and combines them into one, but instead of doing them miraculously, he only does a good job. It's like he took the structure/themes of Cloud Atlas, the characterization of de Zoet and the plot pacing of Number9Dream but didn't do them quite as well as in any of those books. Still accomplished beautifully, just not as beautifully......more
So I like Dave Eggers in general. He's a good guy who started 826 Valencia and helps under-privileged kids and started an independent publishing houseSo I like Dave Eggers in general. He's a good guy who started 826 Valencia and helps under-privileged kids and started an independent publishing house called McSweeney's.
That's the problem with good guy Dave Eggers. There's no one to say, "Hey Dave, you know everyone loves your books for the prose style. We really think it would be a terrible idea for you to totally change it and write a book in just dialogue that just serves as a mouthpiece for your political beliefs."
It's seriously just dialogue. There's not even the perfunctory "he said she said" about it. The dialogue isn't bad, even if it is entirely unbelievable and utterly overwritten. Even the most unreliable narrator is not nearly as unreliable as this narrator. It was interesting, but it's really a poor idea that was poorly executed. It had all the anger from "You Shall Know Your Velocity" without any of the beautiful in-between moments. Eggers tried to recreate all the anger from his 20s, but he's done too well for himself to really come off as genuine. It was just abrasive and annoying.
So why do I still give it 2 stars? Because I loved Eggers so much once upon a time, and 2 stars is a reminder that I still have a glimmer of hope for the next book....more