I think I've come to a point where I've read so much Murakami that I don't know if I can say new things about him. Save for two to five books, I've re...moreI think I've come to a point where I've read so much Murakami that I don't know if I can say new things about him. Save for two to five books, I've read almost every Murakami I could come across with.
So, "Pinball, 1973" is the second book in "The Rat Trilogy". The funny thing is I read the trilogy (or tetralogy, if you include Dance Dance Dance) out of order. I started with "Dance Dance Dance", then "A Wild Sheep Chase", then "Hear the Wind Sing" and finally, "Pinball, 1973". I remember when I first read "A Wild Sheep Chase" , I was trying to figure out who on earth was this Rat character. I learned sometime afterward, that Sheep had two prequels. Much to my dismay, I found out that they're not available outside Japan. You should've seen my face when I finally found the first two books of the trilogy in PDF format somewhere online.
Anyway, here are some things I learned while reading "Pinball, 1973":
(1) Even if this is his second novel, you could see that it's a Murakami work. I'm not sure how to describe but there's always this nostalgic feeling every time I read his books. If not a nostalgic feeling, then a distant feeling. (2) You could already see some of the "usuals" present in Murakami's works in here: the distant and apathetic narrator, music references (fictional or not) and a cat, among others. Heck, I can see a "Kafka on the Shore" already, with the character POV switching back and forth every few chapters or so. (3) I don't know if it's just me but every single time I read a Murakami novel, I pretty much describe in words or phrases that, at first glance, wouldn't really make much sense until you read the novel itself. In this case: a brief but passionate bond over pinball, unnamed female twins, Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason", sandbox, golf courses, The Beatles' "Rubber Soul", cemeteries, switch-panels and sweaters. (4) This is not his best work but I think it's good for an early novel.
This was a really quick, fun read. It's like a lovechild of "The Princess and the Pea" and "The Princess and the Frog" with more sexual jokes. I love...moreThis was a really quick, fun read. It's like a lovechild of "The Princess and the Pea" and "The Princess and the Frog" with more sexual jokes. I love that the author made the topic of sex sound light-hearted when it's usually an awkward thing to talk about.
Moral lesson: this is a fairytale that should not be read to kids. (less)
So, I am one of those people who have seen the Kubrick film first. I only learned recently that the book was written simultaneously with the screenpla...moreSo, I am one of those people who have seen the Kubrick film first. I only learned recently that the book was written simultaneously with the screenplay of the movie. I have no idea if there are books written the same way as 2001. I do think it's interesting, though. I remember watching the film a few years ago and, while I thought it was brilliantly done, I just didn't get most of it. (Don't get me wrong, the movie is great but the book makes everything better. Also, the movie and book do complement each other.) But at that time, I was not aware that there was a book version. I only found a copy recently, finally read it and somehow tried to make sense of 2001.
Well, after reading the book, almost everything makes sense to me now especially that hallucinatory trip (or as I call it, "the acid trip in space") that Bowman had. But, Chapter 37 seems so out of place and it feels more fantasy-like than sci-fi. Scratch that. I think 2001 is, at the heart of it, a science fiction but Clarke combines fantasy, philosophy and mysticism with the science and that's what I like the most about 2001. And also the fact that after reading it, you feel and see things differently, somehow. (less)
I think I've lost count on how many people told me that I should read this. And, what do you know? I finally did.
So, yes, I agree that The Hunger Gam...moreI think I've lost count on how many people told me that I should read this. And, what do you know? I finally did.
So, yes, I agree that The Hunger Games was a fantastic read but I don't think it's very original. The "kids-are-chosen-and-forced-to-fight-to-death-and-are-shown-in-tv-as-a-twisted-form-of-entertainment" premise is obviously similar to the one Battle Royale has.
Despite the not-so-original premise, I recommend it because you will definitely get addicted and turn page after page. Then, before you know it, you're already at the end of the book.
The reason I'm giving this a 3.5 rating (despite what the above rating says) and not 4, like most people, is that (a)Katniss is frustratingly dense for such a smart girl and (b)I watched Battle Royale a few years ago and yes, it affects how I view the novel.
(P.S. Off topic. I find it hard to write coherent reviews these days.)(less)
1. I actually don't mind love triangles...but only if the main female character is not a wimp. 2. Maybe...more10 Things I Learned While Reading Catching Fire:
1. I actually don't mind love triangles...but only if the main female character is not a wimp. 2. Maybe I've been a bit dismissive with the idea of the Hunger Games (being very much like Battle Royale) but it does not seem to matter now. 3. People seem to dislike Katniss because she is quite dense for such a smart girl. But you know what? I don't care. To me, Katniss is the representation of those who tend to be highly self-critical. 4. I can never take President Snow seriously whenever I read his name. (You could blame A Song of Ice and Fire for that.) 5. Once I got over how 'Katniss' sounds like 'catnip', I realize that Katniss is a pretty damn cool name. 6. I really, really like Haymitch. 7. On that note, I also like Cinna a lot and I would love to have a friend like him. 8. There is so much more suspense here despite taking longer to get to that point. 9. Suzanne Collins sure knows how to tell a story. 10. This is not a cliffhanger, ladies and gentlemen. It's an emotional torture that aims to make you throw your book out of frustration. No, really. You just don't leave readers hanging like that. It's inhumane.(less)
**spoiler alert** For a conclusion of a trilogy, this is not really as satisfying as I would've wanted it to be. I can now hear fangirls saying, "OMG....more**spoiler alert** For a conclusion of a trilogy, this is not really as satisfying as I would've wanted it to be. I can now hear fangirls saying, "OMG. YOU LOSER HOW COULD NOT LIKE THIS!!!111" and all that shenanigans. But, hear me out first, people.
You know what? I felt a bit cheated by the ending. I mean, I don't mind that Katniss chose Peeta. But, there are are some things that did not seem to have been resolved properly. *coughGalecough*
I also felt cheated with the fact that there have been so many intense moments and they suddenly end. It feels totally anti-climactic. And for a book that involves a revolution somewhere? Not really appreciated.
Also, the events post-Coin assassination? Too rushed, in my opinion.
Although, there are still things I liked about Mockingjay:
- It's bleak, bleak, bleak. I appreciate the fact that Collins did not sugarcoat anything on her portrayal of war. War will always have consequences and no one ever wins. - Character development. The 'hijacking' of Peeta, the (slowly but surely) drift of Gale and Katniss from each other. It's absolutely great, especially since it is in Mockingjay that I first saw that Peeta is not a flawless golden boy. You know, he's actually human.