If all books were written so beautifully, I'd be a very happy reader indeed.
The Poisonwood Bible sat on my shelf 8 long years; I'd always felt so inti...moreIf all books were written so beautifully, I'd be a very happy reader indeed.
The Poisonwood Bible sat on my shelf 8 long years; I'd always felt so intimidated by its setting: Congo, 1960's and its charcters: missionaries. I am thankful that I did not attempt to read this in high school, as its themes are a bit mature (even the brightest high school student lacks the life experience that renders itself to a greater understanding) but entirely readable. The politics, dictated through the voice of the children-narrators, are true, gripping, and come in bite-size chunks as to not leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Kingsolver's greatest strength is her diction and setting. Everytime I opened this book I felt as though I was diving head-first into Africa, which is as much a character as the Price family. Borrowing heavily from the themes of all the great colonialist literature that came before this, The Poisonwood Bible finds a deserved place in the literary canon of Africa's tragic history.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is absolutely beautiful, brilliantly written, and entirely relevant.(less)
This book has a lot of action, not a lot of insight, which will probably lend itself to being a better movie than it is a book. To generalize, the cha...moreThis book has a lot of action, not a lot of insight, which will probably lend itself to being a better movie than it is a book. To generalize, the characters were flat (the main character didn't even CHOOSE to join the circus it was just an accident) and the plot contained a lot of Titanic ripoffs (diamond necklace/abusive husband/impending disaster.) I am left wondering if even Robert Pattinson can save this story, because Robert Pattinson is no Leonardo Dicaprio. Plus points for the interesting time period and setting...(less)
Susan Orlean is the writer I wish I could be. This engrossing, passionate nonfiction novel is the novel I wish I could have written.
The Orchid Thief c...moreSusan Orlean is the writer I wish I could be. This engrossing, passionate nonfiction novel is the novel I wish I could have written.
The Orchid Thief combines every sort of story - history, science, crime, character - and all of these create a complete picture of the subculture of plant lovers, collectors, and dealers in Florida (but also around the world). Through the concerns of these flower-obsessed people, we are really reading about passion, adventure, and the human desire to pursue what we love. Orlean's sublime talent lies in creating setting and character. She writes about a mythical Florida, one far removed from the pre-existing stereotypes I had engrained in my mind (old people, Disney). Her subject, a man called John Laroche, a man singularly obsessed with cultivating the elusive ghost orchid, occupies a mythical Florida - one wild and swamy distant land brooding land.
What I love most, however, is that Orlean inserts herself into this story. She is not merely a reporter but a participant, and only wish that this book was included in my collegiate curriculum alongside the works of Truman Capote and Janet Malcolm. The role of the nonfiction writer in his or her work is a subject with which I am deeply fascinated, because it tests the morals and limits of modern literature. Alas, I'm delving into a subject better discussed than written - book club anyone?(less)