I haven't read this book since I was probably 11 years old, almost 20 years ago, but I remember the story made a great impact on me and how I've conti...moreI haven't read this book since I was probably 11 years old, almost 20 years ago, but I remember the story made a great impact on me and how I've continually valued friendships over the years. Now that I'm working in a school library, grade 3-5, I decided I should re-read it as an adult, in addition to the fact that I forgot to adjust my Netflix queue and got the movie in the mail a week ago. I kept wishing I misremembered the tragedy that's weighed on my mind as the single memory from the book, but it still happened and my feelings didn't waver. The book subtly addresses religion and what happens (or doesn't) in the afterlife based on one's beliefs. Judging by the time of my life that I first read this, I understand now another one of the reasons why I felt so strongly about this story. (less)
"Our survival depends not on being superior but on being sufficiently interesting." That is the one quote I bookmarked on my audiobook within the firs...more"Our survival depends not on being superior but on being sufficiently interesting." That is the one quote I bookmarked on my audiobook within the first hour of listening, and it stuck with me through the entire story about Seraphina, a "mixed breed," who is both dragon and human thanks to her parents' forbidden love. Although I really enjoyed the narrator's calming voice and impressive range of characters, as well as her ability to sing the short ballads throughout the story, part of me wishes I had read this book instead of listening to it. I've learned that when authors create a fantastical world with names for people and objects that are purely imaginative, I have a hard time remembering who is who and what is what, and I think that is because I'm so much more a visual learner than an audio learner; I need to see these new words and names on a page for my brain to remember what they represent. With that said, I have a feeling I probably would have rated this 5 stars had I read instead of listened to this extended fairytale, featuring a strong, admirable female lead character. (less)
I'm not sure if this was the best kind of book for me to listen to on audio. The narrator sounded so much like the Holocaust survivor I befriended a d...moreI'm not sure if this was the best kind of book for me to listen to on audio. The narrator sounded so much like the Holocaust survivor I befriended a decade ago that when he read Viktor E. Frankl's words about surviving the concentration camps, my mind would drift to thinking about him and his survival story avoiding the camps, and then missed probably vital information.
With that said, I still learned a good amount about Logotherapy: founded upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one's life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans (Source: Wikipedia).
I think if I had read this and had the chance to highlight and go back to read certain passages, I probably would have rated this 5 stars. Here are some quotes I was able to bookmark during the audio presentation:
"To live is to suffer; to survive is to find meaning in the suffering." - central theme of existentialism
"I saw the truth, as it is set into song by so many poets. The truth that love is the ultimate of the highest goal to which man can aspire."
People contemplating suicide say they have nothing more to expect from life, but we can convince them that life may still be expecting something from them (e.g. an irreplaceable father or a scientist whose work is not yet finished) "This uniqueness and singleness which distinguishes each individual and gives a meaning to his existence has a bearing on creative work as much as it does on human love. When the impossibility of replacing a person is realized, it allows a responsibility which a man has for his existence and its continuance to appear in all its magnitude. A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears towards a human being who affectionately waits for him or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life; he knows the why for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any "how."
"We might say the pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day. On the other hand, the person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back. He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest."
"Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast."
"Everything is meaningless" ... "Learned Meaninglessness" "You must realize that the world is a joke. There is no justice; everything is random. Only when you realize this will you understand how silly it is to take yourself so seriously. There is no grand purpose in the universe; it just is."
"For the world is in a bad state. But everything will become still worse, unless each of us does his best. So let us be alert, alert in a two-fold sense. Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of, and since Hiroshima, we know what is at stake." (less)
Seemed to be the perfect audio accompaniment for a solo road trip. Phenomenal storytelling-- Religion vs. personal philosophies, vegetarianism vs. can...moreSeemed to be the perfect audio accompaniment for a solo road trip. Phenomenal storytelling-- Religion vs. personal philosophies, vegetarianism vs. cannibalism, survival vs. escape, animals vs. people--this book was way more than I ever thought it would be. I actually would love to get a physical copy of this book to re-read sections (downfall of audiobooks- no underlining) or at the very least talk to people who've read it to get a more comprehensive grasp on the ending and what it all means. Even though it probably means something different to everybody. Looking forward to watching the movie after I get back home.(less)