I had an interesting experience reading this book. In the beginning I had doubts, as it seemed to be set up as a modern romance, and I wasn't sure ifI had an interesting experience reading this book. In the beginning I had doubts, as it seemed to be set up as a modern romance, and I wasn't sure if there would be anything else to the story. But that was just part one. Even in the beginning, the way Chang uses words caught me off guard at times. Words are strung together in charming ways, and I found myself re-reading sentences and smiling. This is a story of people whose lives revolve around poetry, told in delicate prose.
As the story progresses, it becomes a tale of heartbreak. These characters have big dreams, sometimes undefined, mostly unfulfilled. Their work seems fantastical and dreamy, but they are always pulled into reality. Friendships die, and people struggle against themselves to resurrect them. The book reminds us of the tenuous balance between relationships with people and careers. More specifically, careers in poetry or literature, working to compose something beautiful and immortal while letting other people and priorities fade into the background.
There's much more to this book, though I don't want to spoil it for anyone, and am trying to think of a way to describe it so that someone else can have the same experience I did reading it. As a first taste of Lan Samantha Chang, this story left a deep impression, and I'll definitely be reading more of her work....more
The first half read like a novel, the prose that showed itself here and there made me forget that I was reading something purely historical. Morbid deThe first half read like a novel, the prose that showed itself here and there made me forget that I was reading something purely historical. Morbid descriptions of the type of punishments Genghis Khan avoided, those including mutilations of the body, were plentiful and fascinating. Ancient dictators had an amazing imagination when it came to using mutilation, and thus fear, to control the masses. Reading this book to come across these and the descriptions of the Great Khan's innovative war tactics alone is enough....more
Dirt Music was, in the simplest terms, a very fun book to read. Below the surface of the entertainment is some very well thought out characters. ThereDirt Music was, in the simplest terms, a very fun book to read. Below the surface of the entertainment is some very well thought out characters. There is Georgie, the driving force of the plot who tends to have the feeling that something is missing in her life, though she is unsure what. There is Jim, a man with twisted and yet sensible logic who takes matters of pride as gravely serious matters. And finally, there is Lu, a man suffering from the loss of family and haunted by dirt music and memories. All three are lost people trying to find each other in their own ways, making the book not only fun to read but something the reader can easily relate to....more
I read and loved this book when I was younger, I think reading it at an early age influenced my imagination to this day. Something about the idea of hI read and loved this book when I was younger, I think reading it at an early age influenced my imagination to this day. Something about the idea of having a shape-shifting little animal that follows me around every where one goes is captivating for most all younger readers, and is still appealing now, to be honest. It's for ideas like this that I like reading adventure stories for younger readers, as most adventure books aimed at older audiences tend to get too serious.
This book improves with the age of the reader, though I wonder if I would like it as much if I hadn't read it when I was younger. The details are consistent, something I always look for in fantasy stories. Action scenes are described well, paced decently and engaging. Characters are, indeed, consistent, convincing, varied, and, most important, lovable.
I would recommend this book to any young reader or any adult reader in want of something fun and less complicated.
Now I remember why I named my childhood pet guinea pigs Lyra and Pan....more