Lahiri writes about what she knows best. I'd like to see some content that falls outside of the Indian (specifically Bengali)immigrant experience, butLahiri writes about what she knows best. I'd like to see some content that falls outside of the Indian (specifically Bengali)immigrant experience, but these sad and memorable short stories are as strong as her first two books. I do think it's going to be a bit of a challenge to go on to write her fourth and fifth books...in that, she's a bit pigeon holed with her idea thus far. Jhumpa oughta (say that out loud) hike up her skirt and show us what else she's got. In terms of creative literary talent that is. What were you thinking?...more
Wendy Lesser just did a review of medical memoirs in Bookforum and in it she writes that readers get swept up in regarding the pain of others.
"In mosWendy Lesser just did a review of medical memoirs in Bookforum and in it she writes that readers get swept up in regarding the pain of others.
"In most cases, the allure is somewhere between a car accident's and a mud fight's."
Sandeep Jauhar writes "Intern" with the renewed strength of someone who has been through something pretty hellish, bitched and moaned, alienated his friends and family, been plagued with gobs of self doubt and now has the backing of the NYT and his editors at Farrar, Straus and Giroux to tell his harrowing tale.
What I'm saying is, all that stuff in between "something pretty hellish" and "harrowing tale" is exactly what we'd expect a doctor's initiation to look like.
I think Jauhar had plenty of challenges ahead of him when he entered med school and residency, as I think most interns do. In the end though, it's the individual patient experiences that will stay with me.
I felt myself being more curious about these minor characters than in the author's struggle, and while I did want to know how Jauhar recovered and made a successful path for himself out of this expedition, it was the combination of blood and guts, death and tears, and nursing to recovery that carries the other content of the story. ...more
I'd read this first and then read God Grew Tired of Us. If this doesn't rip your heart out...
As much as I enjoyed it for what it what was in these bouI'd read this first and then read God Grew Tired of Us. If this doesn't rip your heart out...
As much as I enjoyed it for what it what was in these bound pages, others take a different view, as they're expected to. One (I) can't help but wonder where she has missed the point when she reads things like this in the wikipedia article for the book:
"Where is the dignity in that? How strange for one man to think that he could write the story of another man, a real living man who is perfectly capable of telling his story himself -- and then call it an autobiography. It is just one more instance of the accelerating mash-up of truth and falsehood in the culture, which mirrors and -- who knows? -- maybe even enables the manipulation of truth in politics. And Eggers's book is also another unsettling thing. I never thought I would reach for this vocabulary, but What Is the What's innocent expropriation of another man's identity is a post-colonial arrogance -- the most socially acceptable instance of Orientalism you are likely to encounter." - Lee Siegel, critic.
Hold the phone buddy, I have two eyes and a heart. What do you want from me?...more
also, his descriptions of the character, "India," remind me of his first inkling of despit it out already rushdie!
some of this is just so long winded.
also, his descriptions of the character, "India," remind me of his first inkling of desire for his ex-wife,pseudo-human and nit-wit, padma lakshmi. sick.
and finally, if you're going to name one of your main characters after a sort of popular german film director, make sure your audience understands why. if anyone else has read this, what do max ophuls the director, max ophuls the main character, and kashmira from the story all have to do with one another? ...more
"Here was a boundless sensual freedom, theirs for the taking, even blessed by the vicar- with my body I thee worship- a dirty, joyous, bare-limbed fre"Here was a boundless sensual freedom, theirs for the taking, even blessed by the vicar- with my body I thee worship- a dirty, joyous, bare-limbed freedom, which rose in his imagination like a vast airy cathedral, ruined perhaps, roofless, fan-vaulted to the skies, where they would weightlessly drift upward in a powerful embrace and have each other, drown each other in waves of breathless, mindless ecstasy." -p.119
This is a polite book about two polite people (Florence and Edward) who've never experienced one another in any fun or educational way.
I hate to ruin this, but they don't do it.
Florence, feeling both guilty and resentful then thinks this on her wedding night-
"She was not in love, or out of love- she felt nothing. She just wanted to be here alone in the dusk against the bulk of her giant tree." -p.174
If you enjoy this book then I encourage you to immediately turn your attention to the Guide to Getting it On.
I loved this absurdly funny little book and I had to go ahead and take the one star off of my rating because some of the things Clarke writes and thatI loved this absurdly funny little book and I had to go ahead and take the one star off of my rating because some of the things Clarke writes and that our main character Sam conveys, are true enough to make you want to crawl away and hide. And you know, I just gave five stars to the last book I reviewed and I'm not trying to earn a reputation here. Besides, it's not like anyone's reading this. Except you.
A few favorites-
"After all, wasn't this what college was all about? Emptying your mind of the things you didn't want to remember and filling your mind up with new things before the old, unwanted things could find their way back in?" -p.10
"In my experience, you can't expect love to be unaffected by pity, nor would you want it to be." -p.15
"You think we'd die from the constant pain of our mental inferiority, except that most of the time we're too stupid to feel it." -p.45
"I hadn't read the book, of course, but as far as I could tell, neither had anyone else, and besides, that wasn't what it was there for: the book was there to give the women (mostly) a reason to confess to feelings they'd already had before reading the book, which as far as I could tell they hadn't actually read." -p.85...more
I was surprised to read a negative review (here on goodreads) that characterized Bauby as self-involved and in anguish over the superficial things heI was surprised to read a negative review (here on goodreads) that characterized Bauby as self-involved and in anguish over the superficial things he missed in life such as his BMW.
Bauby has given us a focused story here in these few, magical pages. We can't be so far removed from human experience as to think that a man with locked in syndrome wasn't living life with a unique degree of optimism and a longing to create something in the midst of his awful situation if he could produce this powerful novel by using only his left eye.
It's OK to like a book because it's a true story and the pain the author experienced is palpable. Criticizing Bauby's ability as a writer is a bit like making fun of someone in a wheel chair that didn't finish first in a marathon. ...more
Fear is so unique an emotion that it has the ability to create a religious zealot, an impassioned soldier, and a dutiful citizen all at once. Quite naFear is so unique an emotion that it has the ability to create a religious zealot, an impassioned soldier, and a dutiful citizen all at once. Quite naturally, we can say that the universal outcome of fear appears to be a sharpened sense of nationalism. From this, we extract feelings of pride, of devotion, and motivation to defend our countries with any means necessary.
Mohsin Hamid gives us a simple and elegant lesson of how fear evolves, in the ever-popular and persistent struggle between east and west, as both sides attempt to educate the other in precisely the right way to live.
This short, tense novel is also on occasion, blackly humorous. In this passage we see our Pakistani narrator as he “handles” a beggar in his homeland while in conversation with a nameless American man.
“But why do you recoil?” Ah yes, this beggar is a particularly unfortunate fellow. One can only wonder what series of accidents could have left him so thoroughly disfigured. He draws close to you because you are a foreigner. Will you give him something? No? Very wise; one ought not to encourage beggars, and yes, you are right, it is far better to donate to charities that address the causes of poverty rather than to him, a creature who is merely its symptom. What am I doing? I am handing him a few rupees-misguidedly of course, and out of habit. There, he offers us his prayers for our well-being; now he is on his way.” –p.40
I don’t pretend to completely understand Hamid’s protagonist, Changez, because of the Indian-ness of my name or the birthplace of my parents. I do however, understand the frustration felt at watching, at what Hamid describes is the, “sports-event-like coverage given to the mismatch between the American bombers with their twenty-first century weaponry and the ill-equipped and ill-fed opposition, and also knowing that India is among the countries in the East being manipulated as the world slowly considers the consequences of our respective nationalistic desires.
Nearing the end, our author reminds us, “ it seems an obvious thing to say, but you should not imagine that we Pakistanis are all potential terrorists, just as we should not imagine that you Americans are all under-cover assassins.” –p. 183 ...more
ugh. i can't finish this right now. they need an "on hold" shelf on this thing. after hearing hazel rowley speak i was pretty interested, but after 15ugh. i can't finish this right now. they need an "on hold" shelf on this thing. after hearing hazel rowley speak i was pretty interested, but after 150 pages i feel like i understand the relationship pretty well and i just don't feel like pushing on through the rest. this book could've been shorter. ...more
I can't forgive the author for taking on too much in this novel. In discussing heavier themes of apartheid, the TRC, and the lives of journalists chasI can't forgive the author for taking on too much in this novel. In discussing heavier themes of apartheid, the TRC, and the lives of journalists chasing conflict, Ward also manages to throw in a bit on motherhood, homosexuality, and the quick transition out of our childhood. In just over 200 pages, it seems that an excess of ideas prevents readers from being able to extract any more than we already know about any of these individual themes. ...more
i'm enjoying this book, but so far only the introduction by rothko's son, chris, has proven to have any real structure where the writing's concerned.i'm enjoying this book, but so far only the introduction by rothko's son, chris, has proven to have any real structure where the writing's concerned. (mark)rothko's writing from 1940-1941 represents a time when his thoughts on art were changing so rapidly, that the idea of forming a cohesive theme among them was just too difficult to do on canvas. This book serves as his artistic contribution for that time period, kept in a file marked miscellaneous documents and inviting us to consider the meaning of the artist's reality.
essentially, rothko's point and defense of his work can be found in a simple idea. he wants us to understand that it's the negative stuff we experience in life that unites us, not the positive. his tri-colored pieces(often criticized for being too simplistic), desire to evoke that same feeling one would get from a shared, important experience. he believes that universal emotionalism in relationship to the individual is found only in tragic emotionality. by looking at how his colors work together, we're meant to be moved in that same way as we would when having a religious experience.
sounds like something hippy dippy, huh? i'm still reading......more
i've had an easier time reading and understanding my own palm than i have while reading this book. every now and again, after i've re-read a passage ai've had an easier time reading and understanding my own palm than i have while reading this book. every now and again, after i've re-read a passage at least 5 times, i'll see a glimpse of what the reviewers have seen, but mostly, this has been- and continues to be, a chore....more
what is it about these apparently ordinary people that would make anyone persist in believing them to be extraordinary? and they are. that's really thwhat is it about these apparently ordinary people that would make anyone persist in believing them to be extraordinary? and they are. that's really the meat and bones of the story. i urge you to read it if you have the time, interest, and patience.
some favorite passages/quotes:
"The middle, she said, was the real America, the America that mattered, the America that was worth fighting wars to defend. There was just the one problem with being in the fluid middle. You could move up, as we had done, but you could also move down.
I still remember how much this upset me. It was our family I wanted to succeed, not me. There wasn't supposed to be any limit to the benefits of hard work and honesty, and her saying there were limits implied that she didn't believe in America, or worse, in us." - Lou C. Lynch, p. 55
"odd how we misremember the events of childhood, not just the sequence, but also the cause and effect.” –p. 73
“odd, how our view of human destiny changes over the course of a lifetime. In youth we believe what the young believe, that life is all choice.” –p. 129
“Art, he’d come to believe, was little more than the principle of one thing leading to another, whereas love, insofar as he understood it, depended on a thing remaining forever what it was, which in Noonan’s experience it militantly refused to do. What people called love was the perfect recipe for disappointment and recrimination at the benign end of the emotional spectrum, homicide at the malignant end.” – Bobby Noonan, p. 141
“Why did they feel it necessary to repeat themselves, to stake out the same positions time after time? Would I become like that when I got older, retracing my steps over and over, unaware that I was doing so, or worse, not caring?” – p.171
“all human events lead to other human events. There are a great many sins in the world, none of them original.” –p.175
“after all, how does one invalidate a powerful feeling? Not with logic, surely.” –p.257
“I’m not trying to own my life, just acknowledge it, as well as the narrative of our family, it’s small significant journey. Is this not an American tale? Are we not the most typical of postwar Americans? That’s how my father would see it, so of course it makes sense that my mother would adopt the opposite view” –p. 263
“this time we’ll go. We will leave this small, good world behind us with the comfort of knowing it’ll be here when we return. But. We will go.” –p.527 ...more