Interesting, but I felt ended a little weakly, at the chapters on China and the USA, where tourism-to and tourism-from were mixed together haphazardlyInteresting, but I felt ended a little weakly, at the chapters on China and the USA, where tourism-to and tourism-from were mixed together haphazardly. Becker seems to have arrived at a conclusion about the list of pros and cons of global travel by then and everything was just being balanced against that list. Particularly there, it felt far too journalistic, boiling down to a few interviews, sometimes a little too fawning, with a few boutique hotel owners and tour guides and missing the questions and nuances of the way 1 billion border crossings per year are shaping the world, that the book seemed initially to set out to answer.
Then, choosing to have the side of the tourist, so to speak, represented almost entirely by her own (and her husband's) experiences also made it feel a bit underbaked. There's a lot more to be said about the motivations, experiences and types of travel from the side of the traveller. Her slightly cliched, captivated travel writing counters oddly with the somewhat more hard-headed, critical assessment of the impacts of tourism from the side of the destination and leave the whole thing awkward. As always - less descriptions of elephants, please. More economics. ...more
I wasn't crazy about the dip into romance and the trick with the structure of the mystery felt a little cheap. The secondary villains, witnesses and fI wasn't crazy about the dip into romance and the trick with the structure of the mystery felt a little cheap. The secondary villains, witnesses and friends and family also felt a little less developed and sharply drawn then I'm used to - and always enjoy - in Rowling's book, and the parade of horrific men and battered women grew a bit nauseating and indistinguishable by the end. All that said, still thoroughly enjoyable. When's the next one? ...more
The problem is, I'm just not a Beatles fan. I like the songs, they've been playing along in the background all of my life. I find the history interestThe problem is, I'm just not a Beatles fan. I like the songs, they've been playing along in the background all of my life. I find the history interesting, as a phenomenon...but i'm not a fan. I don't care about the provenance of each song or the controversial historiography of minor events. Now, as history, this is enjoyable. A nice view into a time, place and industry, particularly the Liverpool of the 40s and 50s and Hamburg of the early 60s. But Lewisohn is a fan, a fanatic, an admirer. He cares about their minutiae, their personalities, their narrative. He's impressed by the Beatles, forgiving, fond. There's just something too incongruous for me when Lewisohns fairly dry, meticulous, adult view slides into unflinching admiration for these rowdy teenagers, almost unsettling. One doesn't know whether to question his judgement or just join in. After all, they're the Beatles, right?...more
Fine and readable, but really very basic. Not at all an academic book. The anecdotes from the collapse of the 90s are funny/painful, when I realize myFine and readable, but really very basic. Not at all an academic book. The anecdotes from the collapse of the 90s are funny/painful, when I realize my grandparents must have gone through all that. The optimism going forward is...also funny painful, given that a cynical, worst-case guess at Ukraine's future - an impoverished chaos torn between Russia and Europe - only barely scratches at how bad the situation really is, as the one thing Reid seems confident about is that country certainly wouldn't break up. Yeah.
The thing is, every time i'm in the Ukraine, i'm struck by how rich it is in many ways. So much space, so much water, so much green. Educated population, extant (if crumbling) modern infrastructure, medical system, education system. This isn't some patch of desert or somewhere that has never gotten out of subsistence agriculture - it just tumbled back there. I always get vaguely angry there, almost. Like, what's your excuse, huh, you ridiculously vast expanse of stuff? I guess I need a more in depth book for that. ...more
I think I like this a little better than it might deserve. Maybe because it's the first Hemingway i've read. That writing style - it wears itself outI think I like this a little better than it might deserve. Maybe because it's the first Hemingway i've read. That writing style - it wears itself out by the end, but for a while, I found it genuinely pleasurable just to read. Kind of fleshy and very nearly, well, erotic in a certain way. Not even the contents in particular - just the style itself. (Does that make any sense?)
It so jumps out as so very and particularly masculine, that there was something very physical in reading it, inhabiting that not-my-own skin. But, also in being aware of men, of ideas of manliness - and in how fragile and constructed they sometimes are - and appreciating wading around those ideas and anti-ideas for a while, in the sense that, well, I like men, you know?
Of course, I have no idea if that idea of men, (writing for men? Writing as men?) is something Hemmingway really tapped into, or just troped up, but it was still fun before it got kind of boring.
Well, that was one of the weirder reviews I've ever written, but there it is. The story, as such, is not much to write home about, but in dialect with the style, there was something there for me. ...more