Without doubt, this has to be one of the best pieces of fiction ever written. I love it, everything about it. If you go on Amazon and read reviews the...moreWithout doubt, this has to be one of the best pieces of fiction ever written. I love it, everything about it. If you go on Amazon and read reviews they will express all this in a much more eloquent way then I can. But yeah, its a shame that most Lewis fans I've talked to have never heard of it. It deserves being read and re-read(less)
As with Dickens "Tale of Two Cities", this book really seemed to drag at first, but the last half really draw me in and the book left me full of emoti...moreAs with Dickens "Tale of Two Cities", this book really seemed to drag at first, but the last half really draw me in and the book left me full of emotion, with tears forming in my eyes. (less)
These were read to me as a boy, but that had faded long out of memory, the movies were a little more fresh, though I have not seen them since they cam...moreThese were read to me as a boy, but that had faded long out of memory, the movies were a little more fresh, though I have not seen them since they came out in theater. The motion picture's dragged out the war scenes which the book spends little time on and then skips or changes other parts of the story. Since the battles are of less interesting to me as their other adventures, I enjoyed the books way more. I remember not caring for the ending of the movie Return of the King. But I loved the ending in the book. I was amazed how much was still left of the book after the ring fell into mount Doom, it made me glad. I want to return to these books in the future, there is so much depth to them if one begins to ponder it.(less)
Well, it took me six months to finish reading the first one. But only a couple of days to finish the two towers, because I was able to get the unabrid...moreWell, it took me six months to finish reading the first one. But only a couple of days to finish the two towers, because I was able to get the unabridged audiobook at the library. I was blessed with lots of houses to clean, places to drive to and yards to mow, giving me lots of time to listen to a wonderful story, read by a great narrator. I love these books! And now I am anxious to finish The Return of the King(less)
I am rather observant of the happenings within me and often try to capture them through the means of art. I like how Stevenson knowing so well the dua...moreI am rather observant of the happenings within me and often try to capture them through the means of art. I like how Stevenson knowing so well the dual-natures at war within, used the story as his medium. I liked how he crafted it and the excellent moral in this story and warning to its readers. (less)
Wow, what an excellent piece of literature, beautifully written. Wilde masterfully portrays a philosophy of life and shows its consequences. I can go...moreWow, what an excellent piece of literature, beautifully written. Wilde masterfully portrays a philosophy of life and shows its consequences. I can go on and on about this book, but in doing so I'd give to much away for those who have not read it. So yeah, i'll just quickly mention how Dorian Gray reminded me in certain ways of the main character in Albert Camus' "the stranger". Both characters were void of conscience, felt no remorse or shame, both rejected cultural norms and morality. For both characters, being true to oneself was all that mattered. But to me the "Picture of Dorian Gray" shows how unsatisfying this way of living is, while "the Stranger" leaves on scratching his head, feeling icky inside. I wonder if in Camus' mind Dorian Gray was the wise one in the story. I think Camus really thought being true to ones subjective whims, following instinct, obeying every lust and paying no mind cultural boundaries and morality, was a perfectly reasonable way to go through life (I could be mis-characterizing him). Whereas The picture of Dorian Gray shows no matter how placid, young and well to do these existentialist hedonist are, the hidden soul grows ever more grotesqueness and twisted as they reject all that is beautiful, true and good.
LATER... Well, after writing the above review, I started researching Oscar Wilde and yikes... it left me feeling weird. i learned he so masterfully expressed this philosophy of life and its consequences, because it WAS his own philosophy of life. Unreal, how can one hold such views when one understands the consequences? I suppose i am just too much the pragmatist. Yet I think I'm the pragmatist because if the philosophy of life it works (is in tune with our nature and in harmony with our created design) then there is a good chance it is true. On the other hand if it does not work, then dang it, there is good chance its wrong and should be rejected. I suppose I should expound, by pragmatic, I mean if it works holistically, our way of life should ended up serving the highest good for God, ourselves and others, not only now, but in the long haul. In this book, Dorian Gray does what seems the highest and best for himself in the present, but he ends up being a destructive influence on others and his living a hedonistic life ends up having a terrible effect on the soul.(less)
I LOVE LOVE LOVED IT! Its hard for me to know what to write after finishing a novel, words escape me. But yeah, some of what I loved about her sisters...moreI LOVE LOVE LOVED IT! Its hard for me to know what to write after finishing a novel, words escape me. But yeah, some of what I loved about her sisters book Jane Eyre, was in this book as well. It had a wonderful story, a few twist here and there, misunderstandings within relationships (Like Pride and Prejudice), learning from mistakes, strength of character through very dark times and some wonderful messages through out. Oh I wish I knew how to write what I want to write! ~Sigh~ But yeah, maybe you just need to experience this book yourself. Talking about this book is like talking about an excellent gourmet dinner, words don't do justice. you need to read or listen to this book! Its worth your time :)
NOTE: After reading other peoples reviews on this book, I've noticed so much disgust for the religious elements in this book. Which is interesting to me, for it did not seem like there was all that much. But it shows a huge lack of tolerance and lack of understanding from those who are not Christians. I read some negative reviews on "Son of Hamas" who lost it because the author briefly shared his religious perspectives at the end of the book, and those couple of pages caused them to hate the book. "Christian propaganda" they cry! Gee... Interesting what a strong emotional response they have, its like they think Christians are on par with the Nazi' or something. I get the impression that people think we are bad bacteria that needs to be scrubbed from all literature. (less)
I think about dr. Frankenstein, how he freely acted in a certain way, (quite innocently at first) but it eventually became an obsession leading him on...moreI think about dr. Frankenstein, how he freely acted in a certain way, (quite innocently at first) but it eventually became an obsession leading him onto morally questionable grounds. He made choices, and this free-agent created something that stole away his freedom and ruined his life. It makes me think how we, with our choices, create monsters that enslave us. We have a choice at the ought set, but eventually the reality our actions made, becomes our master. Often things seem innocent enough at the start, but we feel a compulsion to continue going into the gray areas and eventually, we cross that line, and there is no returning to our former innocence and freedom.
This classic story, shows what can happen to a noble goodhearted man, if he allows himself to be carried by his strongest inclinations. The tale shows quite well the evil tendency to treat the stranger and the different, with cruelty and harshness. And how even those we consider monsters of iniquity, had the human longing for love and tenderness at some point, and contained a great potential for so much goodness.
At the close of this book, I cried, every part of me longed for some redemption, I wished that someone would have shown Frankenstein's creature some compassion and love. It was such a powerful story showing where rage and the pursuit of revenge leads. A good reminder to take to heart Jesus' command to forgive seventy times seven.
I really enjoyed this book, though there were definitely parts I didn't follow, like; what was he talking about with the whole metaphysical third opti...moreI really enjoyed this book, though there were definitely parts I didn't follow, like; what was he talking about with the whole metaphysical third option thing? And what did ZEN have to do with anything? And what did the Sophist have to do with Quality? But yeah, I just liked that it was a book of deep reflections connected to an interesting story on one hand, and then immediate musings related to the mundane and ordinary life on the other. Every now and then there was an observation much like one of my own and it was delightful hearing them expressed.
Steinbeck is such a good author, this short and tragic story is beautifully written. The Pearl is a sad parable, that captures some of the darker fact...moreSteinbeck is such a good author, this short and tragic story is beautifully written. The Pearl is a sad parable, that captures some of the darker facts concerning human nature; greed, envy, covetousness, and deception. As I listened, it continued to have the ring of truth. Unfortunately, I've seen parts of Steinbeck's parable played out in the lives of others, a little to close to home. The sway of the emotions and the intoxicating power of greed or envy, can like rapids, grab hold and carry regular unsuspecting folks off to an irrational, selfish and cruel mode of existence.(less)
Though I respect John Steinbeck as an excellent writer, I didn't care much for the stories or characters, in his novels Grapes of Wrath or Of mice and...moreThough I respect John Steinbeck as an excellent writer, I didn't care much for the stories or characters, in his novels Grapes of Wrath or Of mice and men. So that is why this non-fictional travel book of his interested me, I hoped within its pages I would enjoy his skill of description and his excellent use of language and possibly get to know the author a bit more and I was not disappointed.(less)
I am a huge fan of Hermann Hesse, though I can't say I liked the Glass Bead Game as much as some of his other works, still it was good.
This novel is w...moreI am a huge fan of Hermann Hesse, though I can't say I liked the Glass Bead Game as much as some of his other works, still it was good.
This novel is written as if its a non-fiction biography of a great man. Hesse is so good at chronicling the journey of the soul.
I listen to part of this audiobook while delivering pizzas, and yeah, often while driving I'd be overcome with angst and impatience; due to painful slow drivers, long stop-lights, terrible pot holes, dead-ends, one ways, buses, trash trucks, no street signs, road construction and no tips from a certain people group. But this book; hearing about the calm serenity of Joseph and his gentle and wise spirit, inspired me to try to notch down my rage, take some deep breaths and become more meditative.
After all, I can't stand to be around myself when I am so upset. I see how my anger doesn't help anything; my reactions are so irrational and serves no other purpose then enhancing my misery. Yet still its like I feel justified; likes its my duty to be mad,; like it would be wrong not to scream curses and wish all manner of ill upon the city for their road and their drivers. But alas, may I let go of my right to have high blood pressure... Thank you Hesse for inspiring me to change. (less)
This book definitely left me a bit dazed and contemplative, the ending wasn't as tragic as I had begun to suspect, as I was nearing the final pages, b...moreThis book definitely left me a bit dazed and contemplative, the ending wasn't as tragic as I had begun to suspect, as I was nearing the final pages, but indeed it still was a sad conclusion to a sad story. I can't help but like happy endings, or ones with a gleam of hope or a realization of truth. As far as the other novels I've read by Dostoyevsky, I loved how Crime and Punishment ended, but didn't really care for the lack of resolution in the Brothers Karamazov. Brothers Karamazov seemed to abruptly end and left me hanging. But yeah, if I want happy endings, why am I reading Dostoyevsky!? I love Dostoyevsky because of the rich dialog and the character development in his novels, 'The Idiot' was so good in this regard, It was thought provoking and had a interesting story.
I really liked the hero and could relate to him in ways. I myself, am not as trusting, naive, compassionate and sensitive as the Prince was in this story, but still I am someone that has erred on the side of trusting others, I naturally believe the best about people, and if I think I've upset someone, there is emotional anguish within me. I am also extremely honest and open, even with strangers. I'll listen and take to heart criticism and rebukes and it is easy for me to enter into self doubt. Looking back on my life I can see how some have taken advantage of me. So yeah, all and all, this book just reminded me how blessed I am, that for the most part, I've had good friends and have been surrounded by people with good character. If not for this, if I was place in the regular world, where pride, jealousy, ambition and cruelty abound, then surely, like the Prince, I too would be like raw meet in a pool of sharks.(less)