There's a scene in this book, where the tramps go to hear a long and droning sermon just because the church gave away free tea. In retrospect, this exThere's a scene in this book, where the tramps go to hear a long and droning sermon just because the church gave away free tea. In retrospect, this exact scene kind of summarized the book in a few ways: it was a very good story, but in between that was an essay-like sermon sandwiched inside it, after every couple of chapters or so. Such as, you needed to hear what Orwell had to say. You felt inclined to hear his opinion about so-and-so (mostly political-y views on how to improve things in real life) because you're enjoying the story. I felt cheated.
I'm no fan of politics. I don't like talking about it and I couldn't care less. When I read Animal Farm a few years ago, I thought it would be the last of Orwell I'd read, because even though his writing style and prose are phenomenal, his approach (politically) that's also included in his novels don't appeal to me. Sure, Animal Farm does a great job in making his point across, and I accepted that. After all, it was for a Political Science homework that I had to read the book.
However, I couldn't accept this approach with Down And Out. I picked it up after swearing him off, because I thought that a story of a penniless tramp on Paris and London would be a great story. It is! I like the rawness and honesty of every word in it. It felt so genuine, exactly what drives Orwell fans closer and closer to his work. However, I did wonder why he didn't just leave the fiction alone. Like I said, in the middle of eventful and heartbreaking chapters was a chapter or two of an essay regarding why tramps are this and that and what the government should do about it. What I hated about it more than its actual presence was that the voice from the essay sounded like Orwell, and not the tramp guy. He sounded like a know-it-all professor or a spokesperson in a debate. It was a heartbreaking installment.
Without these "essays" I could've already gone and say, "Tramps aren't as bad as we universally think they are" without Orwell slapping across your face a long sermon saying that tramps aren't that bad! I do. His fantastic writing and genuine tone won't make you think otherwise. It tells you how tramps become tramps, their life on the road, the evils and perks of being one. There's no need for essays to tell you this. It was like Orwell was trying to get his point across, big-time, and uses a personal-sounding essay to make sure, TOO SURE, that you get him.
Oh, the failure of that little detail. True, his views and opinions are highly valued by this reader, but he needn't do that. If he wanted it to be fiction, it should remain so, and not inject it with his locked-up thoughts on tramping. Sigh. Four stars to Orwell. This might actually be my last of his work....more
I loved this book. The childish grammar turned my brain to mush during the first chapter, but as soon as the story got going (I promise you there's aI loved this book. The childish grammar turned my brain to mush during the first chapter, but as soon as the story got going (I promise you there's a lot more to this book than the boring first part), I thoroughly enjoyed it. The suspense, my emotional attachment, the being inside a kid's head—it all felt very realistic, which is key to this kind of story.
I was battling between four and five stars, but I've decided to just give it all because it was really well-written. The author captured the innocence of the mind of a locked-up, psychologically-retarded though academically-able five-year-old thrust outside his comfort zone; his fear of the alien world; and his obsessive dependence to routine and his mother—all that without sounding like an idiot. I don't think the book could've been written any better. I almost felt sorry that I've delayed reading it and let it gather dust on my to-read shelf, but I'm glad I came around....more
I've been hooked! Amazing, original novel (though some Battle Royale fans might disagree on the "original" part) with wit and edge. Can't wait to starI've been hooked! Amazing, original novel (though some Battle Royale fans might disagree on the "original" part) with wit and edge. Can't wait to start the next installment!
It was nice touching up on some Dominican Republic history and culture (reminds me entirely of my own home country, actually), but the title is misleaIt was nice touching up on some Dominican Republic history and culture (reminds me entirely of my own home country, actually), but the title is misleading. This is less about Oscar than it is of Dominican Republic OR "fuku." The middle parts are a jumble of Oscar's family's generations of misfortune (or, in this book's terms, "fuku") and how this holy bad luck is being passed down the family line, which is why, in the end, Oscar dies. It talks about dreams where the fuku is a faceless man, et cera, et cetera.
All in all, this is a book where I say, "I can't figure out why in the world I picked this up. But I have to finish."...more
2010 Review: After neglecting to read the series (and also after trying to avoid fantasy novels for good), here I am, finally seeing what the hype is a2010 Review: After neglecting to read the series (and also after trying to avoid fantasy novels for good), here I am, finally seeing what the hype is all about. While Harry Potter is a light, well-written, and highly entertaining read, I didn't find it enough for me to jump on the diehard fan bandwagon. True, I will in the near future splurge on better copies of HP just for the sake of loving and adoring the story so far. It really isn't my type to go with mainstream of any kind, but I won't lie about wanting to finish the series. It is gripping and unexpectedly funny.
My review regarding this first book is based on starting and reading HP in general. Ideally, the first installation should be great so the readers would ask for more. I guess this my saying that I want to read (or currently reading) the next one would suggest how well-loved the series is. This is a highly understated review, but given the fact that I am not yet under its full spell, this would have to do. I am starting to adore Harry Potter, but I don't see myself lining up for the premier night of HPDH Part II. I'm happy loving it in a low-profile kind of way.
So this is it. My adventure with Harry just started. See you at the end.
2012 Review: Fuck you, 2010 Self. Fuck you. You were witless and skeptical and I am ashamed of ever being connected with you. Harry Potter is the best thing that will ever happen in your miserable life and you better be thankful for it.
Also, you DID line up for the midnight premiere of HPDH Part II. Douche....more
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 hEvery 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....more
**spoiler alert** This book, it depressed me. It felt like I was being dragged through a very slow and painful death--Will Kelley's death. This novel**spoiler alert** This book, it depressed me. It felt like I was being dragged through a very slow and painful death--Will Kelley's death. This novel is like a rubber band that's stretched too far and would most likely snap. Which would make it deserve at least 3 stars, but I gave it a 4 because I liked how I didn't expect the ending. I'm GLAD he got up, move on, and never returned to that Agnes girl who's probably going to end up with an idiot. Will is a lovable character, and my pity and sympathy were turned to him during the time I was reading his enlongated stories as his days of depression pass by.
I also love Mike Gayle's narration, and how there's a twist in every corner. There will be times that the story is boring--be warned. It made me think, "When will all this whining over a girl who doesn't deserve his 'great love' ever end?" But I don't want to go into the advice of "Move the fuck on and stop being a pussy" because we've all been through this not-over-it-yet phase. And Gayle sure has been through a LOT of real-life heartbreak stories (he's a relationship adviser of some sort), so he surely knows what he's talking about.
So, anyway, 4 stars, because I like Gayle for his realistic writing, and I love his website for advices for first-time writers....more
"Bound" was written in clear narrative style. That's the first thing that came to mind. Lately it has been all about authors trying to pass off their"Bound" was written in clear narrative style. That's the first thing that came to mind. Lately it has been all about authors trying to pass off their unique writing styles to make themselves and their books distinguishable. However, Antonya Nelson tried to steer away from that and stuck with the classic narration. I loved how the events, at first, didn't coincide with each other. But as the plot moved on, things started to fall into place. The story ran the entire course of a year (thus the changing of seasons that opened each part of the book), but the plot itself was short and compressed, and utterly simple. It was only Nelson's writing style that added garlands that the plot needed, helping the reader dive deeper into the characters' hearts.
The fact that I both liked and hated the most was the vocabulary. It's heavy and deep, and it sounded unrealistic if people sharing an average conversation in real life would really get into vocabulary as such. At first I highly doubted Nelson's actual knowledge of these deep words, like she just right-clicked in Microsoft Word on every simple word and looked up for some in-depth synonym of it to make it sound like she's all-knowing. But in the end, it got entertaining--her use of words, I mean--and I also got to touch up my vocabulary.
I liked the book and how it indirectly revolved around dogs. The first chapter alone had gripped me--it was the very heart of the novel, its taking place producing a ripple effect....more
It was like "The Office" in book form, without the idiotic shenanigans of Michael Scott.
The author made it sound like office life is a drag without soIt was like "The Office" in book form, without the idiotic shenanigans of Michael Scott.
The author made it sound like office life is a drag without sounding like a whiner, but it also singularly highlighted its little quirks, everyday small things that made you smile in retrospect, without even meaning to do so. I felt like in one with the office community; I rooted for people, disagreed and agreed with some, conformed and indulged in Benny's stories. I can't say properly just how much I liked this book. I felt exactly as though I'm in there, working with them, trying to figure out our stern boss who may or may not have breast cancer, knowing subconsciously who's screwing who, and other things that spice up the otherwise dull and mind-numbing office life.
The ending gave me heavy boots, and my heart tightened to see it end, to see them off go to their different lives post-layoffs. I felt so strongly about this book, and while other reviews may dismiss it as very shallow and inaccurate or anything in that region, I'm just going to say that I've enjoyed the ride, as though I'm merely listening to someone gossip about what's interesting going on between the cubes with coffee mugs in our hands, hanging Bambi-eyed to every detail....more
I won't be lying to you: the reviews that have flocked before mine were somewhat true. This wasn't the trashiest book in the world. No. But its authorI won't be lying to you: the reviews that have flocked before mine were somewhat true. This wasn't the trashiest book in the world. No. But its author, in fact, is probably the most self-centered one I've yet to meet after Dave Eggers. However, Gilbert is at the very least witty, informative (sometimes too much), and has a very smooth prose.
BUT that doesn't really cover up the fact that this book should've been called Eat, Pray, Love, and Why Why Why Won't The World Revolve Around Me in light of its self-centered-ness. What Gilbert basically does is—I mean, aside from the lovely, juicy traveling stories that I thoroughly enjoyed—talk nonstop about David, her divorce, all this God stuff, and how depressed she is. That's okay, though, in small doses. But what she did was she littered (yes, littered, as in trashed) what could've been a great traveling book on search of self and independence and turned it into a long, elaborate narration on how shitty her life is, even when it's starting to look up. You can just count on Gilbert's depressing thoughts to ruin an otherwise "Ah, she's getting better" moment.
I also skimmed through various chunks of "country history" that she seems to stuff the book with. In the Italy part, it was a good-to-know sort of travel information that consisted of Roman history and of other Italian cities. But it got really boring. I mean, what was the point of her babbling on and on about things one could decide to know about if they wanted to in a separate book in the library? Did she think of this history-noting as important?
It was also way awkward to read that she considers herself more important than those around her because she's blond and has a white ass. Sometimes she says this between the lines, but often outright. I mean, the girl thinks of herself as a flamingo in a morning fog, for chrissakes. She makes it a point for the reader to know that she was treated way better because she's Caucasian.
Another major thing is all this talk about God. India was the most boring part, though it was supposed to be exhaustive because Gilbert was exhausted all the time while in India due to the physically, mentally, and spiritually demanding meditation she did every day. (Does this count as spoiler? No. What would anyone think Gilbert would be doing in India other than meditate?) She described her leveling up to self-actualization (she actually used this word, by the end of the book). What is that?? The only people I know of reaching self-actualization in reference to Maslow's Hierarchy is the likes of Mother Theresa. But no. Pretty, fair-skinned, most-important Gilbert reached this state possibly every fucking day in India.
I gave this three stars instead of the initial two because I really enjoyed the Italy part. Everything about it was delicious. Also, the brief part about masturbation was completely funny and inappropriate for a memoir but I love how she decided to stick to her guns anyway. I'd credit her for that. Plus, Richard from Texas and Felipe were mesmerizing characters. I love them....more
**spoiler alert** I thought the story was short, but well composed. It was another one of my Reader's Digest compilation, and I caught the reading bug**spoiler alert** I thought the story was short, but well composed. It was another one of my Reader's Digest compilation, and I caught the reading bug without new books, so I decided to try this one. It was about mysterious amputations of thorough-bred horses, and the hero, Sid, was trying to solve it. Later on all evidences and spy-stuff leads to his best friend, and Sid runs into more trouble. It's a detective-suspense story, with gripping scenes and twists....more
Well, it was better than his other books. It was the first one I've ever read from Bob Ong, and I'd like to admit that the title sparked my interest.Well, it was better than his other books. It was the first one I've ever read from Bob Ong, and I'd like to admit that the title sparked my interest. I think I was only in elementary school when I put my hands on this. I already forgot what it was all about, so this is no helpful review....more
I liked this book for its honesty. I discovered its "episodes" from a local magazine printed monthly, and I just liked it since then. I loved it evenI liked this book for its honesty. I discovered its "episodes" from a local magazine printed monthly, and I just liked it since then. I loved it even more when they compiled the whole thing into a book, because then I'd be able to start where Vince's life really began. With Andrea.
I adored its honesty, how it feels like climbing inside a man's head (a man madly in love, that is). It's a short cliff-hanger, and I have yet to read the second and third installment maybe because I'm already happy with how it ended. Plus, sequels always ruin the original in my opinion....more