The latest edition to Auel's Earth's Children series disappoints. She repeats herself so much that I wonder about her editor's qualification and Auel'...moreThe latest edition to Auel's Earth's Children series disappoints. She repeats herself so much that I wonder about her editor's qualification and Auel's own writing and editing process. What is the point of such a repetitive style? In her earlier work Auel slowed down the story with long descriptions, but those asides held their own interest by the level of detail. There's a difference between reminding one's readers about a past side-story and repeating the same idea over and over and over again chapter after chapter, or paragraph after paragraph. Likely most of the novel's readers will be familiar with the previous stories, but a new reader will also understand from one--or even two examples--that Ayla's accent causes people to observe her differently, and that it's formal for the Zelandoni people to introduce one another with recitations of multiple connections and ties, without being told fifty different ways... and so on and so forth regarding Wolf's "rakish" ear and the many uses of cattails. I really would like to stop being bored but am a few hundred pages in and this is frustratingly dull-- I wish I were rereading the Mammoth Hunters, or Valley of the Horses or one of the other earlier books, instead.
The Land of Painted Caves earns three stars because the greater series is so imaginative, and it's clear she's done an amazing amount of research, but the plot should move more quickly with fewer of the same sentences rewritten for different scenes.(less)
I'm two thirds of the way through and enjoying this book and series overall, but have two major complaints, aside from the fact that the writing can b...moreI'm two thirds of the way through and enjoying this book and series overall, but have two major complaints, aside from the fact that the writing can be tiresome and isn't as engaging as many other authors. First, a series set in medieval period does not require blatant sexism on every page. If I have to read one more example of women being punished or used by tens or hundreds of men, I may skip the last book. It's disgusting, disrespectful and repetitive enough that it's gotten boring. There is no need for the sheer number of these sexually dysfunctional asides. It's blasé to the point that I now assume that the author shares similar sick feelings about women. My other complaint is the chapter structure. While useful, the method of organizing sections by character is inevitably disappointing. If I run into an Arya or Tyrion chapter, I'm pleased. Bran, Jon and Sansa are relatively interesting, and I appreciate Davos's perspective, but turning a page to confront a Catelyn or Daenerys chapter makes me sigh from anticipated tedium. I also hated the Theon chapters and fear he will taint the Bran chapters, but that is mainly because Martin does such a nice job of characterizing Theon as an asshole. Perhaps too good of a job. The HBO series helped with that. Actually, the HBO series is doing a nice job of illuminating all of these characters. If the sexism becomes too much I may just leave the conclusion to the show.(less)
Fforde's word play is endlessly amusing and extremely clever. a few details are hard to follow, but they're negligible. i read the book in snippets bu...moreFforde's word play is endlessly amusing and extremely clever. a few details are hard to follow, but they're negligible. i read the book in snippets but it moved quickly and was very enjoyable. (less)
I puzzled whether to rate this book higher than the second. Each of them I sped through in a day. Ultimately, Katniss's whiny attitude, the length of...moreI puzzled whether to rate this book higher than the second. Each of them I sped through in a day. Ultimately, Katniss's whiny attitude, the length of stale time spent underground/indoors without forward momentum, three choice character deaths beyond the level of excessive and senseless killing in a YA novel rated this as my least favorite of the series. It managed to be both simultaneously climactic and anticlimactic. I enjoyed the entire series quite a bit, however, and appreciated the plots, characters and ethical/moral dilemmas as well as the discussion of growth and change over time and events. Buttercup's evolving role was a nice, simple touch. I may never experience the scent of a rose the same way again, though. (less)
What a breezy and refreshing read! Gender/femininity, class, relationships, love, war, storytelling, motivations, expectations and perceptions are expl...moreWhat a breezy and refreshing read! Gender/femininity, class, relationships, love, war, storytelling, motivations, expectations and perceptions are explored via the interweaving of these three women's crossings, against the background of a maiden voyage of an Atlantic ocean liner in 1921.
By the by, I hope the engineman referred to on page 297 is Nikolai. Imagining that event is rather satisfying.(less)
Well-written, sincere, and relatable, Knox's memoir speaks to justice and humanity. Her writing style is easy to read and engaging. She describes even...moreWell-written, sincere, and relatable, Knox's memoir speaks to justice and humanity. Her writing style is easy to read and engaging. She describes events logically and explains herself thoughtfully and convincingly.
I'm a few years older than she, but spent two semesters abroad in college and can imagine the confusion that would lead her to act the way she did during the aftermath of Kercher's brutal murder; she was in shock and in a foreign culture.
Knox's descriptions of the incessant manipulation and lies of the prosecuting side are infuriating. Even more so, the loss endured by Kercher's family is compounded by the extended, sensationalized witch hunt of two innocents ... it seems doubly unjust that their anger and sadness are directed toward the wrong people by the prosecution and media. Hopefully they will be able to finally grieve in peace for their lost child, whether or not they change their minds about Knox and Sollecito.
All the best to the defendants and best of luck in your final trial. (less)
i should have known it would be a variable read, what with the vocabulary annoyances within the first two pages. For the most part i was disappointed...morei should have known it would be a variable read, what with the vocabulary annoyances within the first two pages. For the most part i was disappointed in the many liberties the author took with characters, particularly in regards to Jane and Bingley, as well as over emphasizing certain character flaws -- Mr Collins was possibly even more idiotic, Mr Wickham outright evil... many of the characters became more one-sided based upon specific areas of their persona which ms austen originally outlined and this author saw fit to further work upon into the point of complete stereotype. However, as one critic mentioned, if you read it as a mere "bodice-ripper" whilst imagining Colin Firth in the role as Darcy, then it's a fun romp, and much less irritating. don't look at it as a serious sequel, but rather as a loose possibility. With that in mind, one can imagine much of the spirit to be in the right vein.(less)
I've heard only praise about Bill Bryson and he certainly is an entertaining fellow, but this book was not as enjoyably engaging as "A Walk in the Woo...moreI've heard only praise about Bill Bryson and he certainly is an entertaining fellow, but this book was not as enjoyably engaging as "A Walk in the Woods." Though i can relate to traveling solo, it was somewhat disappointing that Katz only appeared in flashbacks. Also, was I the only one mildly surprised by the amount of alcohol Bryson drank? Every night he mentioned throwing back "several" or "5 or 6" beers. The sheer volume of alcohol he drank became distracting, though it did explain his generally negative demeanor. He would exclaim heaps of praise on a city but his own personal tone seemed frequently sad. A good read, but not great.(less)
This was required reading in an Ethics & Legal issues in Arts Policy course, but I always enjoyed reading it and read assigned chapters from this...moreThis was required reading in an Ethics & Legal issues in Arts Policy course, but I always enjoyed reading it and read assigned chapters from this book before reading our other sources. Sandel writes clearly and persuasively, with a genuine and thoughtful voice.(less)