Wow. A very complex work. I'd say more, but I don't think I can say any more than what has already been said about this work (especially check out the...moreWow. A very complex work. I'd say more, but I don't think I can say any more than what has already been said about this work (especially check out the GR review by 'Keely' which I liked, which pretty much helped me understand this book and explains everything I liked about it) -PLUS there is just so MUCH detail and extras I skimmed that I'm fairly certain I still haven't picked up most of it.
I guess the only thing I want to add is a warning: some parts of this book was really painful to read, at least for me- the cruelty, psychopathy, abuse, so on. Part of it (I think) is personal: I've been spent some of this year studying forensic psychology and group discrimination/relations, and some things that happens in this book is just so real right now and really hammered at my coping mechanisms for these topics. The other part of the reason depends on perspective: yes, it's a very powerful book tackling very complex themes and hard topics -and I really do believe in freedom of speech and THOUGHT and all that... but there were also parts of this book where I felt it was only awful and dysfunctional, in a only-developmentally-secure-people-should-be-reading-this-warped-hell-way.(less)
As soon as I started reading I felt that something wasn't right. I felt uncomfortable by Bryson's appr...moreDidn't read past chapters 1-2 and don't plan to.
As soon as I started reading I felt that something wasn't right. I felt uncomfortable by Bryson's approach, which seemed... ethnocentric? But that can't be right, not from a big name author like Bill Bryson. So I logged onto Goodreads and found all the reviews from bilingual speakers or even people who were learners and had just done one or two semesters on another language- who had problems with this book. I did this after reading 19 pages. After that, I felt even worse about the book and in the end just couldn't finish it.
What scares me are the people who read this book and rated it highly. These people might all be Anglo, monolingual speakers or they are bilinguals who somehow really believe in Bryson's approach in this book. One reviewer here had it right, this book is not only not good, it might even cause harm.
It only has 2 stars instead of 1 because I didn't read the rest of the book and am giving it the benefit of the doubt that it might be an informative book on the ENGLISH language overall, even if it was most definitely not on all the other languages. I don't know, I couldn't finish it.
Not worth reading, not when there are actual books or textbooks out there that can explain the development of English and not at the expense of other cultures.(less)
Very cool read! Not your normal murder story... The Name of the Star brings the story of Jack The Ripper into modern London, with supernatural element...moreVery cool read! Not your normal murder story... The Name of the Star brings the story of Jack The Ripper into modern London, with supernatural elements. Even though it dealt with a serious/dark story of the Jack The Ripper murders and history, I quite enjoyed the teenage/YA voice which sometimes made me laugh quite a lot.
I'll say one downside that made me knock it down a star was that I felt the characters could have been developed a bit more, or maybe there was too many of them. As the plot developed it sometimes felt like Jazza and Jerome sort of got pushed aside (by Rory, which was reflected in the writing). Likewise Boo's gang sort of jumped into the story but fron Rory's (limited but entertaining) POV we don't get to see how they (and Jo, Alistair) have developed or changed. That said, it was quite minor overall, and plot and story really more than made up for it so overall, a great read!(less)
This series, BSC, was like the bread and butter of my childhood. I liked this just as much as I liked the rest of the series, but it wasn't anything h...moreThis series, BSC, was like the bread and butter of my childhood. I liked this just as much as I liked the rest of the series, but it wasn't anything hugely memorable, I guess.
Then I picked it up in my early 20s... and realized time, and life experience, has only made me LOVE this book even more (and also get a lot more emotional reading it). It's kind of weird to see how much you grow up and read the same things differently. This one, in particular, is about a girl, Stacey, whose parents kept trying to take her to different doctors to 'fix' her diabetes. It just resonated with me so much now then it did back then. I guess we readers really put ourselves into a book like that!(less)