I recently took this book back down off my bookshelf to give to a friend. I loved it the first time I read it and was excited to share it with her. I...moreI recently took this book back down off my bookshelf to give to a friend. I loved it the first time I read it and was excited to share it with her. I read her the first paragraph to somehow convince her of it's merit and it's barbs sunk into me again. I just finished it for the second time and it contained every bit of the beauty and wonder that it did the first time around. While I agree with some who say the alternating narration can get confusing, I feel it makes you pay closer attention. This is not a book to read while your attention is divided. As for the pace, my personal feeling is it really kicks into high gear at about the halfway mark and continues to build steam all the way to the last page. I have a feeling that this will not be the last time I step in to Charles O'Briens world and become enthralled in his story.(less)
There is something incredibly identifiable to me in the character of Lincoln O'Neill. The man who is still pretending to be a boy, afraid of growing u...moreThere is something incredibly identifiable to me in the character of Lincoln O'Neill. The man who is still pretending to be a boy, afraid of growing up but trying all the same to fit into the mold. The man who falls in love from afar, knowing she's taken, thinking he's not up to par for her, but wanting her anyway. His character is so well fleshed out that you root for him as if you were reading the story of your own life before you've lived it. The book as a whole is wonderfully written. It sucks you in and puts you in Lincoln's shoes before you are even aware of it. Everything that happened to him, happened to me in my head as I read along. All the longing, all the guilt, all the held out hope, all of it. Extremely well done and highly recommended.(less)
Wow. While I have my doubts as to the veracity of the story, it is indeed super sad. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It hit me in all the ways I want...moreWow. While I have my doubts as to the veracity of the story, it is indeed super sad. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It hit me in all the ways I want a book to hit me. It got me with humor, it got my heart racing at points and my blood boiling at others. It is a rare quality for a book to have me simultaneously dreading and yearning to turn each page. This one had me there in the final chapters. Besides the titular sad love story, this book also stands as a great commentary on the technological dependency of people, as well as the economic dependency of our government. Those themes are constantly running as side stage action to Lenny's main stage romantic trials and tribulations. As soon as I finished this I rushed to the bookstore to get Absurdistan. I look forward to plunging headlong into another of Shteyngart's well fleshed out fictional, yet plausible, worlds.(less)
This book is a special one to me. This is a harrowing tale of survival, heartbreak and hardship. Yet the core of the story is not what you would think...moreThis book is a special one to me. This is a harrowing tale of survival, heartbreak and hardship. Yet the core of the story is not what you would think from a real life account of war. At the heart of this story is an incredible human element of sacrifice for one another by people who, on paper, should be enemies. If you really want a little bit better understanding of the complications of the war we are embroiled in in Afghanistan, read this book. The author Marcus Lutrell was a Navy SEAL operating with his team of 4 high in the remote mountains of Afghanistan. When his team come across a group of sheep herders, a heated debate takes place. The argument of whether they should let them go, or kill them and throw them off the mountain is the pivot point of the entire adventure. The correct, tactical move is to make sure they can't give away the position of a group for which secrecy is life. On the other side, the worry is what the American public would do to them if they found out. Restrained by this thought they let them go and are predictably sold out to the enemy. Thus begins a frantic, headlong rush down a steep, unforgiving mountain. All the while, this small group of SEALs are being pursued and fired apon by an army of 200. The bravery and heartbreak that follow is enough to move the toughest heart. The kindness displayed by Afghani tribesmen and the respect that the author gains for their sacrifices is touching to say the least. I won't give away any more of this fantastic account of a horrible event but I cannot recommend it highly enough.
It took me quite a while to read this book. When this happened I was deployed in Afghanistan. I was involved in the operation to bring these guys home and the outcome was something that hit me very hard. I wasn't sure I even wanted to read this but I am very glad I did. If you would like to get a glimpse inside the world of war, the real world of war, read this book. This is the stuff you won't see on the news.(less)
As Stephen King adeptly says "Lovecraft is the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale." Open this collection to the firs...moreAs Stephen King adeptly says "Lovecraft is the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale." Open this collection to the first paragraph of the first story and you'll begin to understand why.
"Unhappy is he to whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness. Wretched is he who looks back upon lone hours in vast and dismal chambers with brown hangings and maddening rows of antique books, or upon awed watches in twilight groves of grotesque, gigantic, and vine encumbered trees that silently wave twisted branches far aloft. Such a lot the gods gave to me-to me, the dazed, the disappointed, the barren, the broken. And yet I am strangely content, and cling desperately to those sere memories, when my mind momentarily threatens to reach beyond to "the other".-The Outsider
H.P.'s stories all seem to start off with the feeling of a train slowly gathering up steam. They march along, slowly at first, but always with a sense of impending doom as if they are gathering speed for the sole purpose of smashing headlong into a brick wall. Almost imperceptibly they go from a slow chug to a hurtling speed toward an uncertain and morbid conclusion. This is how you write horror. (less)
I'll start off by saying that Neil Gaiman is by far my favorite author. His stories are enthralling, hypnotizing and all consuming. Since the first ti...moreI'll start off by saying that Neil Gaiman is by far my favorite author. His stories are enthralling, hypnotizing and all consuming. Since the first time I read American Gods I have voraciously devoured all of his offerings. That said I think this is the most nuanced and beautiful of his works. As Mr. Gaiman said, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was meant to be a short story but got too long and turned into a short book. It starts off like a semi whose brakes have failed on an incline, slowly rolling picking up momentum until it is whizzing by at breakneck speed only to hit the flats and roll to a graceful stop. I loved this book. It was easy to read, engaging and engrossing. I highly recommend it.(less)
This book really blew me away. I had heard great things, yet I was hesitant to go for it since it's a bit out of my normal scope. Very glad I read it...moreThis book really blew me away. I had heard great things, yet I was hesitant to go for it since it's a bit out of my normal scope. Very glad I read it and highly recommend it.(less)