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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
Hayek in the most civil and calm manner lays out what seemed to me unadulterated common-sense and bonafide reality, it was like he was droning on and...moreHayek in the most civil and calm manner lays out what seemed to me unadulterated common-sense and bonafide reality, it was like he was droning on and on about how 2+2 equals 4. Countless historical examples and logic seem to support him in every step of the way. Or... so it seemed to me. Maybe I am the one who is stupid, misinformed or delusional... from reading all of the 1 star reviews the book has garnered, you'd think so. But my Atlanta, from my perspective, perusing these negative reviews was akin to tuning into the ravings of those claiming Hayek is an uneducated kook because 2+2 obviously equals 17! My word, their ability to put faith in centralized planning, despite the astronomically huge amount of evidence and reason against it, is to me, simply flabbergasting. But praise be to liberty, for the only reason they're free to be so ridiculous and to seek to saw the limb off upon which they sit, is because of residue of capitalism and political freedom still remaining in the west.
My favorite analogy that sums up one aspect of "The Road to Serfdom" is that of the human body/subconscious (representing free-market capitalism) and the conscious part of the brain (representing governmental power). Our body is incomprehensibly complex and the unconscious part of the brain can near miraculously manage 10s of 1000s of things in any given instance--each part of the body silently does its own thing and yet it all benefits the whole. Though it does get sick and has it's weaknesses, over all it's incredibly resilient. Now the conscious part of our brain can only focus on one thing at a time, and yes it's incredible important and good at doing what it is good at. But now imagine if the conscious mind, quite full of itself, decides that it is wise-enough because of science and his high ideals, to take control over every function of his body. Now because he knows better, he'll regulate the heart, instructing it in how much blood to pump and at what pressure and where it should go in light on changing circumstances like stress, exercise, etc... And at the same time regulate the lungs, liver, nerves, glands, and the digestive system- deciding what food is excreted and what is kept, etc... etc... etc... It should be obvious enough that no conscious mind knows enough to manage all of this! The economy is just such a complex system and the absurdity of thinking centralized planning can regulate it all is like to the madness of thinking the conscious mind could and should regulate every function of the body. The hubris of intellectuals and politicians who believe such madness is frightful, and sadly the masses, due to education, the media and entertainment, have swallowed it all up hook, line and sinker, and seem intent upon giving more power to the government so it can make them it's slaves and strip away all of their liberties. (less)