Truth is elegant, simple, and easily understood. As is Frederic Bastiat's explanation of the basic tenets of morality when it comes to the laws that wTruth is elegant, simple, and easily understood. As is Frederic Bastiat's explanation of the basic tenets of morality when it comes to the laws that we allow to govern us. It doesn't get any more beautiful than this. Please take a few hours and give this a read. ...more
Set in a fictional, present-day universe where Jewish refugees resettled in the Federal District of Sitka, Alaska, following the shocking 1948 collapsSet in a fictional, present-day universe where Jewish refugees resettled in the Federal District of Sitka, Alaska, following the shocking 1948 collapse of the state of Israel, Michael Chabon's sixth novel, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, finds its Jewish population in a bit of a quandary when the District is set to revert to Alaskan control. On top of that is the murder of a man in the very apartment that down-and-out homicide detective Meyer Landsman, a Jew, of the District Police calls home. On top of that, Meyer's new boss at the station is none other than his ex-wife, Bina, a woman Meyer of course would rather not see at this moment, nor the next.
Oh, and that murdered man in Meyer's apartment was supposedly the next Messiah, at least according to claims made to him during his initial investigation.
Though seemingly bizarre and ridiculously wild, Chabon's plot at the start is both entertaining and believable, perhaps saved by the author's polished prose and phenomenal use of the metaphor. He is arguably a genius at putting words together, carrying the tiniest details to the forefront because of his simple desire to effectively bring them there.
Take this: "Bina opens her mouth, then closes it. Not astonished so much as engaged, sinking her terrier teeth into the information, gnawing on the bloody joint of it." Or this: "At the sight of (the pile of pale blue file folders), Landman's heart sinks, just as it does when by ill chance he happens to meet his own regard in a mirror." And this: (Upon Berko's inspection of a cow by running his hand across its body -- don't ask), "he holds up his right hand as if in solemn parody of the salute of a cigar-store Indian."
Chabon's novel had the makings of a great, fictional small-town murder case, reminiscent of films by the Coen brothers, most notably 1996's Fargo and last year's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, which earned the boys a slew of Oscars at the most recent ceremony. The Coen brothers, in fact, recently announced they next want to adapt this very novel as their next film project.
But comparisons end there between both the Coen brothers' brilliancy and Chabon's ability to write a great small-town murder novel. About three-quarters of the way through, Chabon's simple, highly detailed plot balloons into a conspiracy with global implications, a disastrous change in story flow that quite frankly I tried my best to buy, but couldn't. I no longer paced myself to pick up on the author's masterful detail, but instead read rather frantically to just finish the thing.
Chabon's ability as a writer shows through in his writing, but the novel's final payoff is a bit off the mark. I suggest beginning with Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier & Clay, which earned the author the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2001, before moving on to a later work like The Yiddish Policemen's Union....more
"So much, for now, for the wampeter of my karass."
Vonnegut goes as far as making up his own vernacular and religion in this story that begins innocuo"So much, for now, for the wampeter of my karass."
Vonnegut goes as far as making up his own vernacular and religion in this story that begins innocuous enough. The writer wishes to document the day the atom bombs fell on Japan, and finds his way into the lives of the bomb's late inventor and his family. What follows is a tale of twisted beliefs, self-destructive tendencies, and of seemingly mundane events that will one day transform the world.
Multiple people with related histories collide (through more than luck if you believe in the book's religion of Bokononism) in a darkly comedic way on the mythical island of San Lorenzo, and the fate of all mankind is in the balance.
It is no wonder that Vonnegut has been a staple on the bookshelves of student everywhere, as he is a masterful writer that engages, entertains, and challenges notions of normality. Cat's Cradle is a book that everyone should read at some point, as a great example of an author that defined a genre....more
A very good read! This book should be read by of our congressmen and senators before they take office! Like Dr Ron Paul says conservatives, liberals,A very good read! This book should be read by of our congressmen and senators before they take office! Like Dr Ron Paul says conservatives, liberals, democrats, republicans, libertarians, socialists,........There is one thing we can agree on. The unchecked, unregulated, unsupervised, secretive operations by the FED needs more transparency. We have to demand H.R. 1207:Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 sees a vote to ensure A full audit on the FED. This book was not a "Conspiracy Theory book" like so many about the fed. It does show how uneducated our elected officials are about monetary policy and economic theory as well as the amount of power the fed has to Print money and basically tell congress that it is none of their business what it is used for. The lack of oversight as well as the secrecy of day to day operations that aren't even made known to congress is astonishing! This book is a clear cut case for shutting down the fed and returning to an responsible, sound, commodity based currency....more
In many of my reviews, I state I cannot imagine a graphic novel ever getting 5 stars as that would put it on the level of Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, etc.In many of my reviews, I state I cannot imagine a graphic novel ever getting 5 stars as that would put it on the level of Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, etc. I was wrong. This book ranks right up there with the best literature in history. The complexity of the characters and this storyline is amazing.
The story may lose something to younger readers as it may be hard to put the events and the "alternate" reality, into context as they never lived through any part of the Cold War. Even for those that did, it may be hard to place yourself back 25 years ago when this was being written and Vietnam and the Kennedy Assassination were not so far in the past.
I cannot imagine how anyone cannot consider this the greatest graphic novel of all time. I think it ranks up there as one of the best English-language novels of all time.
I warn potential buyers that this is full of content. You will have to read this book 4-5 times before you can truly get everything out of it. It is by no means a quick read either. You need full attention to detail when reading. ...more