I listened to this one on audio and the narrator, Simon Preble was excellent. I am glad I read this book, but it was a stretch for me. I am rating thi...moreI listened to this one on audio and the narrator, Simon Preble was excellent. I am glad I read this book, but it was a stretch for me. I am rating this one based on my enjoyment, as 3-3.5 stars. I probably would have rated it higher except for the chapter on the Brotherhood's manual. Although I can see why it was included, it disrupted the flow of the book and I lost interest. Reading other commentaries about the book, I understand that the inclusion of the Brotherhood manual was Orwell's way to shock the reader by the events leading to the ending. That said, the ending surprised me and will stick with me for a long time.
***A couple thoughts I did have while reading the book - contains spoilers:
Concerning the two minute hate that was conducted daily - I wish our current day "hate" only lasted 2 minutes. It seems you can't look at Facebook or news/TV without someone's vitriol views being forced upon everyone. We are a society of opposites these days and there is too much "hate" if you don't look/act like your neighbor.
I must be the biggest/lamest optimist of all time. I so totally believed that O'Brien was against the Party. I actually thought that he was testing Winston to make sure Winston would continue to denounce the Party to make a good member of the brotherhood. I expected O'Brien to say "Congratulations Winston, you have passed the Brotherhood test". Never happened.
Although at times I could make a case for our current society paralleling that of Orwell's 1984, I am glad we are not there. As the ever optimist, I don't think our darkest days will ever mirror those of 1984.
I expected more technological advancements in the book for some reason. Telesreens and speakwrites (Dictaphones) were the only techie items I remember. Interesting I pictured the telescreens as flat screen tvs. I wonder if I had read the book in high school if I would have pictured them as the old standard tvs?
The Unknowns by Gabriel Roth is described as a computer nerd looking for a girlfriend, but this book is waaayyy more than that. The synopsis actually...moreThe Unknowns by Gabriel Roth is described as a computer nerd looking for a girlfriend, but this book is waaayyy more than that. The synopsis actually reads:
This brilliant debut ushers Eric Muller-flawed, funny, irresistibly endearing-into the pantheon of unlikely heroes. With an unblinking eye for the absurdities and horrors of contemporary life, Gabriel Roth gives us a hilarious and heartbreaking meditation on self consciousness, memory, and love.
I will admit there are a couple laugh out loud moments and some pretty dead on hits to my 80's nostalgia, but this book deals with some pretty serious issues. Grappling with recovered memory syndrome and serious patriarchal issues, this book will be staying with me for a while.
What a wack yet poignant book. I can not really even attempt to explain Kiese Laymon's very complicated Long Division. I will say it had one of the be...moreWhat a wack yet poignant book. I can not really even attempt to explain Kiese Laymon's very complicated Long Division. I will say it had one of the best endings a book can have, yet, the difficultly in following the story and some of the vernacular made the book difficult to understand.
3 1/2 stars Eleanor & Park is a young adult novel about first love. I listened to the audio. Although a little sappy in places, Rainbow Rowell did...more3 1/2 stars Eleanor & Park is a young adult novel about first love. I listened to the audio. Although a little sappy in places, Rainbow Rowell did a great job writing the angst of being 16 and falling in love when at that age you don't really know yourself. The book took place in the 80s and if I had time or cared enough to look it up, there may have been a few time period inconsistencies. However my memories or the inconsistencies really would not matter to the flow of the story.
The audio was narrated by Rebecca Lowman, Sunil Malhotra and the story was told in alternating perspective. Rebecca Lowman was much better at her male voices compared to Sunil Malhotra's female voices. Overall the production was easy to listen to.
For a "young adult" novel, the language was very adult. I know that the "f" word is known and used by many teenagers, but it was dropped regularly.
Compared to last years young adult novel, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, I think E&P is more realistic and handled the angst much better. Yet Fault dealt with its own subject matter in a very adult manner.
Unconventional, yet wonderful book. I can see why many wanted to see it on the Booker long list and why it is in the field of 17 for the Tournament of...moreUnconventional, yet wonderful book. I can see why many wanted to see it on the Booker long list and why it is in the field of 17 for the Tournament of books.
Unconventional as the book is written in 2nd person, which although it is very odd, pretty much worked for me. It reminded me of the Booker winner The White Tiger in tone with Filthy Rich in Rising Asia being a shorter more light hearted book. I laughed out loud on many occasions.
The second person narrative may not work for everyone, but it was quirky enough for my enjoyment.