I love disgusting stories. Not "disgusting" as in they're hard to digest, but I mean some gruesome killings that I don't expect.
I bought this book on...moreI love disgusting stories. Not "disgusting" as in they're hard to digest, but I mean some gruesome killings that I don't expect.
I bought this book on sale (hardcover, FTW) and I thought I might get in touch with suspense stories as I'm not really much of a fan of them. It was also my first short story collection that I bought. "Suspenseful" was hardly the word to describe it. It was brutal, gruesome, and a bloodbath at times. They were normal, average people who get killed, which is the likely icing on top of any cake by Oates.
I've always loved her style, and this collection made me hate suspense stories even more (in a good way). My favorite out of it was "The Twins: A Mystery" (I hope I got the title right), because it was like watching a "Saw" movie. I didn't like it in a way that it was too intense I got a tingling spine, literally.
Anyway, it was a great collection, but I think that "The Museum of Dr. Moses"--the story which the title of the collection was derived from--was too predictable. I could guess the ending while reading it halfway. Overall, four stars.(less)
**spoiler alert** I read it before the movie was even made, so when I saw the trailer, I thought to myself, "I do not want to watch that." I don't wan...more**spoiler alert** I read it before the movie was even made, so when I saw the trailer, I thought to myself, "I do not want to watch that." I don't want the movie to ruin what I have absorbed from the book, and what I have absorbed was beautiful and that was enough for me.
It was not the kind of book that was in my list, or have planned to read. I saw it sitting in a bookstore, read the back flap, asked myself a couple of times if I really want this book, and went straight to the cashier. First chapter already caught me like a fish trapped on a hook. The story was fast-paced and the next thing you know the teen-aged boy and his thirty-something lover is already making love. I actually loved the loose narration that other readers were complaining over, and I didn't find it hard to read as it was moderately light for me (narration-, vocabulary-, and story-wise). I did have a hard time trying to follow as to why Hanna was imprisoned, the whole event of that is just blurry to me. But even so, I picked the whole thing up easily as the story went on, since it wasn't mainly all just about Hanna's crime. It was devastating, Hanna's death, but it was the kind of death that opens up to better events. The story was greatly handled, and though this isn't my "Best Book Ever," it's not the most mediocre. It still deserves the five stars, though.(less)
There are just some books that you're way too old for to enjoy. I felt like I would've liked this book better if I had read it when I was sixteen, or...moreThere are just some books that you're way too old for to enjoy. I felt like I would've liked this book better if I had read it when I was sixteen, or during that phase when I was so lost in the teenage angst that I fell too deeply in love with boys who didn't deserve it, that I questioned which was the cool thing to do despite of it being right or wrong, that everything my parents said came to me with a sole purpose of sucking the fun out of my life. I would have loved this book at sixteen; not now. Not when I've matured too much to listen to a pathetic voice rambling on and on about her stupid decisions, knowing how stupid they are but still continuing to stick with them. I'm too old for her even more pathetic perseverance in a destructive and unhealthy relationship (it's like Twilight in all of its traumatic psychological glory but with all the vampires replaced with heroin).
The girl—Christ, I forgot her name—was so irritatingly dumb. I can't feel any pity for her at all. She constantly tells you and herself that "this is wrong," "I shouldn't do this," "I should just leave" but no, despite all that, for the sake of self-loathing and all her other bullshit, she'd go through with it. And when things fuck up she'd blame either of these two: heroin, or that equally stupid boy who treated her like shit.
I understand where it all gets controversial. I have a fascination for China, and this was how the youth of China evolved—hence the three stars. Sometimes I could hang onto words she said, sometimes I appreciated the poetic feel of her narration, but oftentimes I'm just lost and my head feels like it's swimming in a heavy marsh. It's all very superfluous.
It gets tiring, but I could see the book's potential, really. I cringed at corny words like "soulful" and "lover," but I would have my future teenage daughter to read this, if only because in the book I see that you could learn what happens when you give everything to a boy who doesn't give a fuck about you. It teaches you about the hard life, poverty, drugs, and music. I think it's got enough to offer a sixteen-year-old girl.
But to me, it's just all rambling bullshit with no spine.(less)
**spoiler alert** It is actually more like: A Heartbreaking Rant of A Narcissistic Genius
However, I don't think I'd want to relate Dave Eggers anywher...more**spoiler alert** It is actually more like: A Heartbreaking Rant of A Narcissistic Genius
However, I don't think I'd want to relate Dave Eggers anywhere near being a "genius." I think he's suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (or split personalities or whatever the devil it's called in a layman's world), and I would've cared for him if he just ADMIT that he does, straight out! And here are some proofs that show why I think the book would be better off with the title I have provided above:
1.) Times he's ranting: - All the motherfucking time. You want an excerpt? Read the whole book.
2.) Examples of when he's self-obsessed/narcissistic (or, say, tooting his own horn): - PAGE 430: "Toph didn't used to have the range he does now, and the tricks, he can do tricks—and I've always had the tricks I can do, like the one where I run up to the frisbee and it's coming at about chest level, and when I'm almost there I jump at it, do kind of a 180 in the air—it's probably a 360, actually, when you think of it, because I— Yeah, so I spin around in midair, coming at the frisbee as it's coming toward me and when I'm perfectly— When I have my back to the frisbee in midspin, that's when I catch it, so it's like a behind-the-back catch, in midair, but ideally, with the spinning and all, I land—get this—facing Toph. A 360. That's a pretty cool trick when you can get it to work, with is only so often, for me, even though I'm really fucking good—"
- PAGE 400-401: [While spreading his mother's ashes to Lake Michigan, here is a part of his thoughts:] "I'll be exhausted by then anyway. I'm exhausted now, I am so tired. I'll jump in the lake. Not to kill myself but just to do it— The drama! I won't survive. If I took off my clothes I'd make it. With the clothes on I'd sink. My heart would seize up and I'd sink. I could do something else, something dramatic. I'll drive the car into the lake with me in it. Maybe with me not in it. [...] I know I will slip and fall into the lake and die. Oh the irony!"
3.) Example of when he's suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder: - Page 400: [In throwing his mother's ashes to Lake Michigan and planning to empty the rest by flying to Cape Cod] "Do cremains show up in that radar machine they run your bags through? Maybe they'd ask me to open the box, demonstrate it like they do with laptops. Does it look like gunpowder? Maybe it does. I could check the cremains at the ticket counter. No, that would be bad. That would be worse. I grab again and throw. This is good. Good enough. No, this is great, this is best. This is where she spent her last years, by the water. [...] She is aghast. I am pathetic. This is what I've come to—winging her remains into the lake. No, she's not watching me. She's gone. [...] I'll drive the car into the lake with me in it. Maybe not with me in it. [...] I should keep some [of the remains]. I could keep just a few bits, as souvenirs. Souvenirs! What kind of asshole— What a fucking sick dickhead, souvenirs, thinking of souvenirs."
Just for the heck of it, I'd like to go back further and find more examples, but this book is not really worth the trip and time. Eggers is mentally unhealthy, to tell the truth. He is paranoid (all that crap regarding child services taking his brother away from him; they should) and his grieving process is kind of off. I think it's been more than six years, and we're already nearing the ending of the book, and he's still relieving the days when his mother (bedridden with stomach cancer) was still alive, suffering from this and that, bad days and good days. I mean, what the actual fuck, man? And I know what. I know this because one of the dialogues said so. Eggers is thirsty for misfortune. Rephrased, said by a suicidal friend of his named John in the book: "Those who are not ill-fated enough don't make it to the book." He enjoys drowning in misery as though it's a fetish. Yes, this is a memoir, but if it was told from a third-person point of view, it might've been mildly entertaining, at the very least (this is also the fault of Twilight, I should mention). It's a narrative chaos. Eggers has no sense of order in his thoughts.
He also started a magazine, auditioned for MTV's "Real World" even though he said it's lame (hypocritical bastard; he's selling out because he wants fame, fame, fame! in the pretense of changing the world by being on television, thinking he's going to be a role model or something for change. Right.), and went on great lengths just to be recognized. Speaking of that MTV bit, there's this whole chapter there stating his audition/interview with MTV (for those who has this book on to-read, beware of this chapter; I skipped half of it). You want to know why he has embedded this interview in the book? Why? Because it's all about him. Simply. All about his miseries. "I can be the Tragic Guy," he says. Oh, Eggers, you'd like that, wouldn't you?
I guess all this distaste and loathing is mainly because I expected a great deal from this book—one of my favorite online readers who I follow is utterly in love with Dave Eggers. Narrative-wise, he sucks. No order at all. It makes one think, "When is all this ranting going to end!" I thought it'd be all about raising his younger brother Toph and at least getting the fuck over his mother's death (whom he didn't establish the connection with well) but he's just going on about how many parties he's missed or how he only get to go out once every two weeks. I mean, someone call the child services!
To sum it all up, Eggers is not that interesting a person to have a memoir. He wrote one because of two reasons: 1) He's narcissistic; and 2) Because since the magazine and MTV didn't work it out for his fame, he figured writing a book would finally nail it.
I'm not hating on this book because it's "cool" to do so. No. Trash is trash. Suffice it to say I didn't finish the last couple of pages (my willpower ran out, too bad), but I did look at the ending sentence. Oddly, it summarized the feeling I had when I reached the last page: "Finally, finally, finally."(less)
It took me a year or two (or maybe even more?) before I finally got to finish this book. It was long and I've always put it on hold. I inherited two o...moreIt took me a year or two (or maybe even more?) before I finally got to finish this book. It was long and I've always put it on hold. I inherited two of my past grandfather's Reader's Digest book compilation, and one of the books had this one. It was a charming story on the war, love, and childhood. It practically stalked the heroine's childhood up to when she was an adult. The book is filled with beautifully described places and excellent narration, and the story ended gracefully. Had it been sold as an individual book, I would have never picked it up from a bookstore.(less)
Every girl must read this at least once in their life, but it wasn't the type you'd want to read through like a magazine. You can pick up some great h...moreEvery girl must read this at least once in their life, but it wasn't the type you'd want to read through like a magazine. You can pick up some great how-tos in there, but it's no bible. Other parts are just plain boring; maybe I'm not ready for those yet.(less)
I just really didn't see what was so goddamn funny about this book. I have a solid sense of humor but this didn't do anything for me. Then again, I li...moreI just really didn't see what was so goddamn funny about this book. I have a solid sense of humor but this didn't do anything for me. Then again, I like how at every corner, there were twists and turns. It was never boring. That I can say much.(less)
I told my sister that I was nearly done with this book, and she asked, "Is it good?" like how she asked every time I finish one. My response was truth...moreI told my sister that I was nearly done with this book, and she asked, "Is it good?" like how she asked every time I finish one. My response was truthful but irrelevant: "It was short." Just like if someone asks you if a girl is beautiful, and you'd say, "She's kind." As if it's the only adjective that suited.
The book was told through the eyes of Nick, a boy who somewhere in the middle turned thirty. Every time I heard about "The Great Gatsby," I had no idea what it was about. In the long way it became a classic (or so I think it did because it crowded in shelves of bookstores), and this year I was touching up on reading classic fiction before anything else. The ones that gave impact on the history of literature.
I didn't know Gatsby was a person until I started reading. Nick Carraway was Gatsby's neighbor. His house, compared to Gatsby's mansion, was the embarrassing type in the old New York (?)--or a place close to NYC that he named as West Egg. The story was, obviously, less about Nick and more about Gatsby. Nick was cousin to Daisy Buchanan, Gatsby's old flame, the "one who got away." She's married to Tom and has a daughter now. Apparently, Gatsby went to West Egg and bought the humongous house to be near Daisy, who lives in East Egg, just across the bay.
Sometimes the narration cheated. It was told in first-person, through Nick, but there were scenes in the book where it was being told but Nick wasn't even present in that particular scene. However, these scenes where he wasn't in have kind of sewn the story together. As expected, Gatsby and Daisy tried seeing each other behind Tom's back, who was also seeing somebody else.
Nick got his share of love as well, but it wasn't the whole point and wasn't stressed enough. He focused his entire summer on Gatsby and Daisy's love affair (which in my point is HARDLY a love affair but merely a reminiscing of their past). The ending twist came, and by the end of the book, I was barely moved.
Perhaps it was about the length. The story didn't sound hurried, but it DID sound like a story that a person you're having lunch with had told to you about. In rich details, but abrupt in many ways. In the end, I knew what happened to the great Gatsby but I didn't know what happened to Nick Carraway. Although he was the narrator, he was seemingly so subdued into Gatsby's life that he forgot the reader of telling his own. He was nobody in the story. He was merely a plot-teller and an icon of connection between Gatsby and Daisy. I just thought someone should know that before actually reading this book.(less)