Parts I and II weren't doing much for me, which was worrying - am I broken inside? I know it's good, why am I not feeling it? Have I really become thaParts I and II weren't doing much for me, which was worrying - am I broken inside? I know it's good, why am I not feeling it? Have I really become that distrustful of Catholicism that I can't view it objectively anymore? Because that was so not the point of coming out as an atheist. But Part III was when the magic happened. It got me engaged and it got me thinking. Most of all it got me conflicted - I was sympathizing with the monks even though I didn't agree with them at all, which should have been weird because I knew that wasn't the author's view of the conflict. But the story was so beautifully developed I never felt like I was supposed to see it like that myself. It's a lovely piece of seamless, understated and very elegant storytelling. A very different kind of post-apocalyptic novel, but a great job nonetheless....more
Have you ever read a book and thought "This reads a lot like someone's fantasy"? I have. In fact, it happens a lot with bad genre books - the more genHave you ever read a book and thought "This reads a lot like someone's fantasy"? I have. In fact, it happens a lot with bad genre books - the more genre specific they are, the more they tend to read like what someone would randomly think about while on the toilet.
Usually this is a bad thing, but with Jules Verne, it is not. In fact, it's the one great thing about him: most of his novels have the contagious energy of a 12-year-old's bathroom ramblings. You can almost listen to him thinking in the background: "I bet I could build a submersible ship. It would totally work. You could get in and out using a floodgate mechanism, and you could make it sink deeper by letting more water into the water deposits. And you could get most of what you needed from sea animals and plants. I could live there for months at a time and no one would ever see me again! That would show'em. But there's still the illumination issue - oh wait, I could install a really big lamp on the bow!!" (dear old Jules was informed enough to sound like a prophet to us modern readers, but of course he couldn't have come up with the sonar. It's sort of endearing actually - picture a long black steel cigar with a big lamp at the front. Awwww.).
Then there are all the other parts. Like when he goes on and on about dozens of fish species and their descriptions, sometimes for pages at a time (there's actually a character whose main function is to blurt out the entire taxonomic classification of each. and. every. one. of. them.). Those aren't that much fun.
Don't get me wrong, Verne still holds a dear place in my bookish heart. But this was really, really painful to get through....more
I haven't read any YA in ages. I had forgotten how nice it can be every once in a while. Forget about the sparkly vampires - it's comforting to take aI haven't read any YA in ages. I had forgotten how nice it can be every once in a while. Forget about the sparkly vampires - it's comforting to take a trip to a magical land where falling in love is something that "happens" to people (I swear they make it sound like a viral infection or something), a long kiss is the most erotic thing a person can experience, and where drama is an important attribute and not something that makes the story look cheaper.
This said, what's the big deal? I like Katniss and I'll be reading the rest of the trilogy. I just don't get what the phenomenon is about.
Maybe it's just my personal mistrust of reality shows. By the way, the little parachutes that fall from the sky with stuff for the contenders? I don't care if they have a place in the narrative - it's still a deus ex machina. Those aren't supposed to be so visible, you know? Throw a coat of paint on that or something, before you send it to the publisher.