The writing was on the brilliant side, and the struggle the narrator feels all thorough the book (not only on regards to his sexuality, but sex, love,The writing was on the brilliant side, and the struggle the narrator feels all thorough the book (not only on regards to his sexuality, but sex, love, gender and life in general) was real and palpable, well said but also showed--which is why despite the despicable acts he, David, commits, you understand why he acts how he acts (he's scared, mostly).
What I didn't appreciate so much was 1) women! They were round and complex characters, but the way they talked and were talked about was so-incredibly-sexist; 2) I can't pinpoint exactly what bothers me so much about it, but I'm unconvinced about the turn Giovanni makes towards the end and how things get "resolved".
HOWEVER, I think that just for that last fight between them (Giovanni says some highly quotable shit) I should give that book 5 stars. I will rethink it and come back later....more
I'd been planing to read something of hers for a while (The Sea, the Sea, Under the Net are on my TBR list), but I bought this one very very cheap (anI'd been planing to read something of hers for a while (The Sea, the Sea, Under the Net are on my TBR list), but I bought this one very very cheap (and old, it decomposed as I read it) in Hye-on-Wye (aprox. 9 months ago) and I haven't read it until now.
I thought it would be difficult and weird but it turns out it's difficult and weird and also incredibly engaging. I'm quite aware some of the philosophy escaped me, but I still devoured it and enjoyed it, and I guess that what I made of it is what matters.
It was brilliant and quotable and I will definitely keep reading her books.
(I apologise for this no-review, I mostly write notes to my future self to know what I thought of what I think)...more
a bit disappointing.. quite meh. longer review to come!
I'll try to explain it.
Set in New York in 1911 (an eventful year), this novel focuses on twoa bit disappointing.. quite meh. longer review to come!
I'll try to explain it.
Set in New York in 1911 (an eventful year), this novel focuses on two characters, two outcasts, that are fated to meet and fall in love. Always grounded in reality, never entirely magical, the novel's surrounded of magic, of the fantastic, of unique creatures and dream-like locations (so when I say FATE I mean FATE.)
Coralie is the daughter of the Museum of Extraordinary Things' director. A horrible and immoral professor who preys on other people's (fantastic people: the wolfman, the butterfly girl, etc.) insecurities and is also very corrupt and domineering (of course.) She daydreams about escaping the museum and living in the outside world--although her motivation is mainly that she wants to fall in love and be loved by a man (it's romantic but it's also sad, isn't it).
Eddie is a cynical photographer/detective who doesn't believe in anything (and certainly not his own father, of whom he's quite ashamed) until he observes the Triangle Factory Fire in which dozens of girls die (that sadly happened) and is moved to tears for the first time. And also photography.
That's just some of the things that happened, it's so hot I can't deal with doing a proper review. Damn you heat wave.
Anyway. The setting is wonderful: you see the darkness New York, you see the wilderness of the Hudson river, you see the incipient decadence of Coney Island. It's also wonderful how everything feels magic and fantastic but can actually be traced to reality (everything is odd and unique, but never impossible).
So what I didn't like? Nothing further from my intentions than diminishing Alice Hoffman's writing, but. It was highly expositive, to the point that was boring and unnatural. I yearned to know more about that time and about New York at that time, but the way it was explained it was not organic. It was palpably written for a 21st century audience, the way everything was laid out so coherently, so in order, even the littlest detail, but in the middle of the action.
And I also don't think that its historic (and thus, realistic) quality set right with its characters, which were completely fable-like. They fell in love at first sight, the villain is 100% evil, hardened prisoners and mad hermits are moved by young love, and a man's favourite book is Jane Eyre because he identifies with the madwoman in the attic (C'MON, IT WAS 1911). My favourite novels are psychological, so I'm not a fan of uncomplicated feelings and flat characters--I do forgive them, and might even enjoy them, in fantasy novels, but here they felt silly. Sorry, but. They WERE silly. Here, I said it....more
It was beautiful, but somehow difficult (sometimes boring) to read (the first half took me two weeks to get through, the second half I read in three dIt was beautiful, but somehow difficult (sometimes boring) to read (the first half took me two weeks to get through, the second half I read in three days). I generally liked it, though, and I am glad I read it, there were some WONDERFUL things in it....more