It's good. It's really not what I was expecting based on the title. Scoundrel isn't quite the word for what happens to Christ. Neither is "good man" q...moreIt's good. It's really not what I was expecting based on the title. Scoundrel isn't quite the word for what happens to Christ. Neither is "good man" quite accurate for Jesus. I mean, he's fine and all. But I guess I was expecting the split to explain Jesus' gentle nature vs. thrashing every money changer in a temple, as one example. And, I mean, it IS. Just not in the way I was expecting.
Probably more subtle than whatever split personality plot I was working up in my head or just Jesus being really cold and calculating. It's not a bad assumption to make about a book from the author of His Dark Materials, I mean c'mon. This was surprisingly gentle actually but Pullman's beef is with the Church, not Jesus.
**spoiler alert** I'm writing "I had a hard time getting into it but after the first hundred pages it picks right up" a lot on my reviews so I'm start...more**spoiler alert** I'm writing "I had a hard time getting into it but after the first hundred pages it picks right up" a lot on my reviews so I'm starting to understand that I'm the problem here. I did put this down after volume one since I couldn't handle the sudden shift in narrative. You mean you've finally got me caring about these characters after a hundred pages and now you want me to start all over again? Blech.
It was a fun read though. Definitely as nasty as advertised.
What's with the spoilers Penguin? You put "incest" right on the back cover and then add lots of "helpful" footnotes all "tee hee Lewis never forgets who his characters really are tee hee!" OF COURSE HE DOESN'T. He's the AUTHOR. He's making the whole thing up! If he forgot, he'd be a crappy author. But thanks for giving the ending away, that was super. (less)
I was up literally all night to finish this (let it be noted, it's 6 am and I haven't slept at all) so I'll try to be coherent and ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ...more I was up literally all night to finish this (let it be noted, it's 6 am and I haven't slept at all) so I'll try to be coherent and ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
Sorry, what was that? Actually, I wasn't sleepy at all, I just had to finish, had to get to the end, had to find out now now now. Which probably makes me like the antagonists. That an my excessive paranoia that means I have to remind myself constantly "this isn't real, this is all made up, this isn't real."
It is probably easiest to describe it as "DaVinci code for smart people." Or "DaVinci code for multilinguists" or "DaVinci code for people who don't mind just skipping the bits when other languages show up." I am of the last.
This book and Blood Meridian didn't believe in translating text. And they both mentioned "et in Arcadia ego." Clearly there is a connection here that is all part of a Plan. And that Plan is capitalized so clearly it is real and important.
This should really be shelved in the New Age section, just to fuck with people.
ETA: I wrote this as a comment and not a review, clearly I was out of my mind. (less)
So I picked this up because I was home for Thanksgiving and finished the book I had brought and this was the one thing on Dad's bookshelf that looked...moreSo I picked this up because I was home for Thanksgiving and finished the book I had brought and this was the one thing on Dad's bookshelf that looked tolerable. (Mom's bookshelf is full of John Grisham and Nicholas Sparks, aka, totally intolerable.) I don't know why I'm in the middle of an Iberian peninsula, Inquisition kick because if you'd asked me if that was something I'd want to read oh, six months ago I probably would have told you no. But after finishing this and The Monk and starting Manuscript Found in Saragossa I guess the answer will have to change to "eh" *shrug.*
The style was the most noticeable part, the rambling sentences and the lack of standard punctuation. It took getting used to and a lot of focus not to just wander off into the dreamy words and look back at the page and realize I'd absorbed absolutely nothing. "What just happened?" "Uhhh... dunno." I probably could have read it twice as fast if I'd been paying a little more attention.
Loved Baltasar and Blimunda together and they anchor the book but they are not the sole focus and when they weren't I found myself drifting. Noooo, I want to read more about THEM, fuck the Queen and her praying bullshit. Which may be the point but I'm not smart enough to tell. (less)
This one's kinda hard to avoid. I saw it all the time at Union Square and never touched it (except to put it back in its place because everyone who sh...moreThis one's kinda hard to avoid. I saw it all the time at Union Square and never touched it (except to put it back in its place because everyone who shops at bookstores apparently fails at the match game). But when I saw it on the bookshelf at home (for Christmas, irony!) I decided, what the hey, I'll read a page and see if I like it. Which I did. It's my dad's copy and I asked if I could borrow it. "Sure!"
Other irony: I got my dad Richard Dawkins' "A" (for athiest) pin for Christmas. Ha!
I certainly didn't need any persuading, more like affirmation and good arguments should I ever encounter some of the dreaded believers Dawkins talks about. I think it's a testament to his writing and style that I didn't get angry. Tales of intense stupidity tend to make my cheeks red and I could feel myself swelling up and about to Hulk out when reading about Robertson, Fallwell, Coulter, and all those assholes but then Richard would come back, make a joke, and make it all better.
He did almost lose me in the beginning when he said something like "are Aphrodite and Venus the same or not?" YES. And any half-educated Roman would have said so. I didn't know that was news and expected him to know that. But maybe that's just me being a geek.
I was wondering if I would catch any shit for reading this while I was on the subway, anyone who wanted to smack it out of my hands and light me on fire, but it didn't happen. I guess that means New York really is Sodom. Or Gomorrah. OR BOTH! (DUN DUN DUN)(less)
Loved the parts with Margarita, the master, and Pontius Pilate, the Satan ball was awesome, had a hard time keeping everyone else straight though (it'...moreLoved the parts with Margarita, the master, and Pontius Pilate, the Satan ball was awesome, had a hard time keeping everyone else straight though (it's hard when I can't even pronounce their names). And I'm sure it's a biting commentary on Stalinist Russian but I'm ignorant and don't get it yet. Patty, Nikita, help me!
Endnotes are the worst. Especially when they talk about stuff that hasn't happened yet. (less)
A lot of details, a lot of characters I couldn't keep straight as I tore through this to meet my year-end goal (WOO!). It seems like a lot of details...moreA lot of details, a lot of characters I couldn't keep straight as I tore through this to meet my year-end goal (WOO!). It seems like a lot of details that are finally leading up to the last 30 pages. I most enjoyed the logical backflips that go through the mind of a true bigot:
-It's hard to dispose of the body of someone you've killed, that must be why God made it a sin. -This Jew is a decent fellow, must not really be Jewish.