The is the second Murakami book I've read (the first being 1Q84) and I think I'm getting a feel for his writing style. Murakami weaves twisted little...moreThe is the second Murakami book I've read (the first being 1Q84) and I think I'm getting a feel for his writing style. Murakami weaves twisted little tales steeped in fantasy. Dark yet magical. I love this aspect, but I'm still left wanting. A better explanation, perhaps. What I could have done with less of is all those little descriptions that have nothing to do with anything. And maybe less quoting and pontificating on artists and musicians past. Overall, this was an alright read. Nothing exceptional, just OK.(less)
Ugh. This book tries so hard to be profoundly beautiful, but it just comes across as pretentious. While a few passages are genuinely fantastic, they g...moreUgh. This book tries so hard to be profoundly beautiful, but it just comes across as pretentious. While a few passages are genuinely fantastic, they get lost in swirling piles of crap. The story, as much as it can be called that, drags its self down with its desire to be deep and poignant. I had such high hopes for this book, and was thoroughly let down.(less)
Japanese Art in Detail, by John Reeve, is a small but beautiful collection of Japanese artwork spanning the centuries. It covers everything from woodb...moreJapanese Art in Detail, by John Reeve, is a small but beautiful collection of Japanese artwork spanning the centuries. It covers everything from woodblock prints to ceramics, sculpture to theatrical Nō masks.
It starts with the question “There are many books on Japanese art, so why another one?” and goes on to explain that this book is an introduction of sorts, and no prior knowledge of Japanese art is necessary. I agree wholeheartedly with this answer. Anyone going in without previously studying Japanese art will have no trouble understanding and appreciating it. The book is divided into themes and in the beginning of each, we are given an explanation of the theme and how it relates to Japanese art. The reader is then given brief histories and descriptions all throughout the book. These passages, though short, are very informative and help in the comprehension of the work being shown.
As for the actual art...the selection is wonderful! The book is in full color and the images are very sharp and lively. The title of the book is very apt—the level of detail shown is just astounding. We get to see each work both in its entirety and as a close-up of a section. These close-ups truly add to the appreciation of each piece, as we can see the amount of work and expertise that went into it.
This book is great for anyone interested in Japanese art and culture, or just art in general. The collection is beautiful, informative, and covers a wide range of themes and periods. I definitely recommend it!(less)
I'm not sure how this book escaped my notice as a child. I saw it at a thrift store, though, and had get it to make up for missing out earlier in life...moreI'm not sure how this book escaped my notice as a child. I saw it at a thrift store, though, and had get it to make up for missing out earlier in life. It's a great book about dealing with family and schoolmates, escaping into imagination, and, of course, coping with loss. I definitely recommend it for children and adults alike. (less)
[Posted on futuresfading. This review is of an advance reader copy won from Goodreads.]
Strindberg's Star by Jan Wallentin features two mythical object...more[Posted on futuresfading. This review is of an advance reader copy won from Goodreads.]
Strindberg's Star by Jan Wallentin features two mythical objects and tells of the lengths a secret society will go to in order to seize ownership of them.
Amateur diver Erik Hall finds one of the artifacts in a abandoned mine shaft. Lost for a century, the ankh has resurfaced and immediately draws the attention of the shady organization that has been looking for it. Erik quickly falls victim to those who seek the ankh. Thrown into the mix is Don Titelman, an unlikely hero who spends most of his days in a drug-induced haze. Together with his would-be lawyer, he flees Sweden to get to the bottom of the mystery of these objects that now plague him.
The novel moves between characters quite a bit. In part one, we visit Erik, Don, an intern, a photographer, and a few others. It is all written well enough for the reader to be able to hold them separately and not get confused, though. This character shuffling tones down a bit in parts two and three and the novel is the better for it. Don is perhaps the most well drawn character. His confusion and curiosity come through nicely. Everyone else seems to play a bit part, even Eva. She features in a greater part of the story, and yet it’s hard to feel very close to her.
This book also incorporates a lot of historical events into the story, showing the muddled past through a focused lense. It adds a new layer of meaning to the atrocities of the past, from the trenches of World War One to the concentration camps of World War Two. The novel is very well researched. All the events mesh seamlessly and real as the actual events.
Overall, this book was quite a ride. Well paced, it grabbed my interest from the start and held on. Much like Don, I needed to see the mystery through to the end. And the end of this novel is indeed very satisfying.(less)