Oh Margaret, Margaret? Why for you leave me cold with this one?
Truth? "The Heart Goes Last" is fine. For me, it hovered on the edge of predictabilityOh Margaret, Margaret? Why for you leave me cold with this one?
Truth? "The Heart Goes Last" is fine. For me, it hovered on the edge of predictability as if it had been based on some short story I had been assigned to read in high school. Not completely predictable. "Is this the story I read? Is it something else? No, I don't remember that. Must be a new book." That kind of feeling.
Yet, it wasn't really new. Parts of me wanted the throw the book aside at times and rage, "Soylent Green is PEOPLE!!!" (Wait, should I spoiler alert that????) And no, people aren't eating people in The Heart Goes Last, but there was just enough similarity in feel to make me think of it.
I only discovered Atwood in the spring of 2012 with Handmaid's Tale. Which I loved. And I loved Alias Grace, The Robber Bride, and Cat's Eye. There was always just something unexpected, not clearly telegraphed, or just surprising to me.
But alas. Not so with The Heart Goes Last. Plotlines were not really unexpected. Which is annoying. When I think I devoted so many hours to a book that I end up thinking is okay, I regret not just watching Chuck Heston and Edward G. Robinson in Soylent Green. At the cinematography was an added bonus.
But let's face it. I have to be honest. I'm kind of marginal on dystopian society books. Not my favorite genre. So the book has to be really good to be a hit with me. This wasn't....more
This is the most uncomfortably creepy book I've ever read. It's skeevy. It's emotional fingernails on a chalkboard. It's often stomach churOh my heck.
This is the most uncomfortably creepy book I've ever read. It's skeevy. It's emotional fingernails on a chalkboard. It's often stomach churning. Reading it causes me actual physical pain.
And I love it.
Main character. Joe. A stalker. A clearly unbalanced individual just walking about New York waiting to be escorted to his personal rubber room. Since the book is told from his perspective, we see straight into his obsessions and the screwy way his brain works. This is where the discomfort arises. He's so matter of fact about the way his see things. And you know that while Joe is walking around in a world he shares with us, he is in a completely different world. He rejects our reality and substitutes his own.
Many moments, I wasn't sure I could finish the book. At the same time, I knew I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended. ...more
Hmmmm. When I was little, a trip to the library was like going to church. Every other week we made the pilgrimage and returned bearing the the spoilsHmmmm. When I was little, a trip to the library was like going to church. Every other week we made the pilgrimage and returned bearing the the spoils of war--er--well, you get it. I remember my mother finishing a mystery once when I was in junior high. She was frustrated because she realized she had already read this book. But she didn't figure THAT out until the second to last chapter. Since I was in junior high I figured this was just further proof of my mother's ineptitude. How could she read so much of a book without figuring that out?? I mean really!!!! Of course, *I* would never do something so stupid.
And frankly, recording what I have read the last few years here on Goodreads has prevented accidental re-reads.
And yes, I'm like 70-75% thru the book when I realized it was starting to sound pretty familiar. But frankly, maybe it was just from an episode of The Closer of something. Then I, who is clearly nearing omniscience, start predicting what will happen! Boy! I'm good! .......wait a minute...........Crap. I've read this. Must have been before Goodreads because it wasn't listed in My Books.
Why didn't Gutenberg do the whole printing press thing and then turn around and immediately invent The Interwebs and Goodreads? He would have saved my family alone a LOT of stress! And yes, it was a while before I figured out my mother was actually the smartest person the in the world. But at least she wouldn't have had this unspoken shame hanging over her head. Yes, I owe her a big apology. And where did I leave my ginkgo baloba?
Anyhoo. This book is so good I read it twice. And the suspense is apparently so great that my mind comes up with completely new theories the second time around. Connelly excels again with another Harry Bosch story. ...more
I've been reading the Barbara Holloway series for a few years now. I don't remember which I read first. I started in the middle somewhere. I probablyI've been reading the Barbara Holloway series for a few years now. I don't remember which I read first. I started in the middle somewhere. I probably started with one that audible had on sale. I really liked it. While I didn't have the big introduction to the characters, it was enough to go on and I really liked the series.
"Death Qualified" is the first of the series. I finally put myself on the list at Overdrive to read it. As I read it, I asked myself if I would have kept up with the series if I had started with number one. Maybe. But it's not guarantee.
This summer I read the novella by Wilhelm "The Fullness of Time." It was not what I had expected from her. I've read a bunch of Barbara Holloway books as well as a few stand alone novels and really like her style. But Fullness of Time dealt with time travel--something I usually eat up hook, line and sinker. But this was odd. Weird science odd.
That's what I felt from this book. There's a lot of talk about chaos theory, madelbrots, and such. And people exposed to this "program" of learning to see the world in a new way, the next step on the evolutionary chain, having psychotic breaks. And insert and normal, non-science related, traditional shot with a shotgun type murder trial. Then at the end throw in closeted homosexuals and fear of AIDS. It was like I was reading a couple different books. Later volumes don't have this influence. But if I had started with this one, I would have finished it. But I would have only read the other books from the library if I didn't have any other options. Instead, I started in the middle and actively seek out Wilhelm books.
Overdrive also delivered a later installment in the Barbara Holloway series. I think I need to get back on the horse, cleanse my palette, do any other trite sayings that would imply reading a "normal" Holloway book and forgetting about this one. ...more
When I was young, every weeknight at 6:30 (I'm pretty sure) The Gong Show aired. Too young to get the reference? Chuck Barris (between CIA assignmentsWhen I was young, every weeknight at 6:30 (I'm pretty sure) The Gong Show aired. Too young to get the reference? Chuck Barris (between CIA assignments apparently) hosted a game show where "real people" showed off a particular talent, song, dance, "comedy," whatever. If the three judges didn't bang the gong within the time limit and the person completed their act, they were scored by the three judges and high score won that night. I don't even remember the prize. The show gave us great acts like The Unknown Comic, and Gene Gene the Dancing Machine. I was probably 9 or 10 and didn't understand that some of the acts weren't competing. They were ringers. Ringers to win? To lose? Who knows. ANYWAY.
I had a love/hate relationship with the show. Being the sensitive sort, I would get so sad, to the point of tears actually, when an elderly person was gonged. They looked so devastated and it was so completely unfair! I mean couldn't we, the audience just gotten to watch the whole act and then been nice to the performers? Was that too much to ask? They are now old and have been waiting so long for this chance and let's just give them the dignity to finish their act!
Yeah, I was naive.
Why do I bring up the Gong Show? Because Maude, our narrator in this book, is at the beginning of a slide into Alzheimer's. Sometimes, the other characters in the book because so angry or frustrated with her. And hey, Maude didn't choose to lose her memory or to get lost in time. She knew people were angry or patronizing or even hurt, and had no clue how it happened.
And even though I'm no longer 9 or 10 (ahem) I still felt those same emotions. So early in the book, I thought I might not be up to finishing it.
But I did need to find out what has happened to Elizabeth. And as Maude also shares the memories of when her sister went missing shortly after the end of the war, we are always slightly off balance. Is this memory about Elizabeth or her sister? I have to confess, I am a sucker for a good unreliable narrator story.
I really liked the book in the end. However, if you are a caregiver for an elderly person with dementia or cried during the Gong Show, you've been warned. ...more