Do you want to read like a Professor? Want to second guess every meal, sex scene, or harmless deformity? Want to perspire heavily while over-analyzing...moreDo you want to read like a Professor? Want to second guess every meal, sex scene, or harmless deformity? Want to perspire heavily while over-analyzing a book you would've otherwise enjoyed? Then this book is for you!
All jokes aside this is a pretty interesting read. It sheds some light on commonly used symbols and stories. The idea of intertextuality being an ever present factor in literature seems logical and accurate when Foster brings up examples like The Bible or The Odyssey.
In summation: short and informative, a boon read.(less)
I have been delaying this review for a while now. I wanted to do the Strugatsky's justice but I just haven't been able to come up with anything intell...moreI have been delaying this review for a while now. I wanted to do the Strugatsky's justice but I just haven't been able to come up with anything intelligent or witty to relate to you in honor of their work. All I can say is read the book, you won't regret it.
It starts off very symbolically with some kids playing on a one way street; this mirrors evolution and history. All these things flow in one direction and travel along with their own unalterable velocities. Now lets suppose that evolution follows a linear course. Every planet capable of housing life develops similar lifeforms as our Earth with the primates ultimately adapting into primitive versions of the human race. We superior humans, who have attained the pinnacle of perfection, ship some of our own off to these developing planets to observe and indirectly help speed along the progress of the various indigenous peoples.
And so the story begins. Anton is covertly trying to further the medieval age humans with his fellow comrades. They quickly discover that evolution does not come as easily to a people who aren't ready for it. If fact the social evolution of these alien civilizations worked in the opposite direction than they had initially thought. The ignorance and prejudices of the day work against them while the effects of culture shock begin mounting. After several years spent in vain Anton begins seeing the people as little more than savages fit for being abandoned or destroyed. His mental condition gently starts to deteriorate as he spends time in a vastly different environment than he is accustomed to. He yearns for his home planet but must fulfill his responsibility to the people. It truly is hard to be a god, he realizes.
One word. Seamless. The Strugatsky combo of Boris and Arkady is so dynamic and well-meshed that I had no idea when I made the transition from one writers work to then next. I have read many works written by dual authors and it has always been relatively simple to spot the parts where one author passed the pen to the other. Not so with Boris and Arkady! (Maybe it's solely a brother/sister thing) Another thing that I always find pleasing is the structure of the sentences in stories originally written in Russian. There was something distinct added to the story when long flowing sentences were used to depict the thoughts of the author. I find this to generally be the sign of talented Russians writers.
Final Summation: I promise you'll like this book. If you don't it's short so you won't hate me too much.
After having finished this book mere minutes ago I am left feeling enlightened. Herman Hesse's literary prowess and philosophical points resonate with...moreAfter having finished this book mere minutes ago I am left feeling enlightened. Herman Hesse's literary prowess and philosophical points resonate within me. This book exudes worldly knowledge that, being of a younger age, I couldn't fully appreciate yet. Nonetheless, like all of us, I have been frustrated with life. I have suffered, felt hate, sought peace, and I too fear the end of this life. Hesse's work has served to quiet my soul and at the moment all I feel is quiet contentment, much like Siddhartha. This book just became one of my all time favorites.(less)
It certainly takes a powerful kind of magic to propel me through a tome like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell at the pace that I went. It had the cap...more It certainly takes a powerful kind of magic to propel me through a tome like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell at the pace that I went. It had the captivating air of a refreshing new world full of fun insights that kept me interested as I read it. I slowly burned away my free time after school and work with my nose buried in this book. Generally I appreciate the quick and dirty reads that start fast and end fast with lots of nonsensical fluff to keep my brain preoccupied, but Susanna Clarke proved an entirely different breed of writer than the ones I'm accustomed to. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell had a slow beginning but immediately upon opening the book I was amazed at the language Clarke employed to tell her story. She is a master of the English language. I genuinely believe my IQ went up after reading this book!
In all seriousness I had very little time on my hands to tackle a book of this caliber; yet I found myself staying up into ungodly hours slowly savoring Susanna's mastery over words, losing myself in her storytelling, and discovering myself laying asleep in several of my favorite reading haunts; all the while cradling this book to my chest. Though the book's story doesn't completely fit into my favorite genre of literature I enjoyed it immensely nonetheless and finished it in record time. Now every time I walk by my bookcase after a long days toil I gaze upon it fondly, flipping through the pages to relive the story that I so cherished. (less)