Like many of the other reviewers, I was surprised at how much I liked this book. For its genre, the writing is excellent. It is fast-paced, evocative,Like many of the other reviewers, I was surprised at how much I liked this book. For its genre, the writing is excellent. It is fast-paced, evocative,and dramatic. I was drawn in immediately.
I'm actually reading this book to my partner at bedtime each night. Not every book reads well out loud, but this one does.
Clearly, the book was written in another era that was unconscious about issues like white supremacy and colonization. While understanding the historical context, it still leaves me uneasy with the realization that this book would be offensive to Black people, who are depicted as "savages", in contrast to Tarzan, who is at the same time the ape-man and also the noble Lord Greystoke.
The book is a classic, not because it's high literature, but because it's a rolicking good adventure. It also has had a major cultural impact, particularly, as an earlier reviewer pointed out, on Hollywood.
This book is inspiring me to return to some of the other classic adventure stories that I haven't read for decades. ...more
This was a fine, light read. I'm in the final months of writing a PhD, so I love to have entertaining, nontaxing, fun books to read.
It actually was soThis was a fine, light read. I'm in the final months of writing a PhD, so I love to have entertaining, nontaxing, fun books to read.
It actually was somewhat inspirational to me, too, hokey as it was. Doing a PhD is a super-intense project and it's easy to forget why you're doing it. It just becomes torture after a while. This book helped me to lift my head up a bit higher and reignited the "dream" motivation behind my PhD.
I agree with other reviewers that the writing isn't the best. But it wasn't bad enough to make me put the book aside. ...more
I read this book before I even knew there was a TV series. I loved the novel premise and how exquisitely Lindsay handles the character of Dexter. HisI read this book before I even knew there was a TV series. I loved the novel premise and how exquisitely Lindsay handles the character of Dexter. His writing is so deft and light, despite the darkness of the material.
I find Dexter a better developed and, in a wierd way, more believable character than Kathy Mallory of Carol O'Connell's books (although I also like that series very much).
After having seen a few episodes of the TV show, I still like the books better. The visuals of horrifying scenes on TV linger much longer than the same scenes do in the book. ...more
I was really disappointed in this book. I loved Coelho's "Veronica Decides to Die" and wanted to read something else by him. But I found The AlchemistI was really disappointed in this book. I loved Coelho's "Veronica Decides to Die" and wanted to read something else by him. But I found The Alchemist to lack any real depth. I'm also not a fan of this type of symbolic story that doesn't have any character development....more
This book really spoke deeply to me through the character of Ann. The first question it raised was: How can someone from an affluent background be a sThis book really spoke deeply to me through the character of Ann. The first question it raised was: How can someone from an affluent background be a social justice activist? The book revealed all the contradictions inherent in this question. Ann was so offensive at times, especially at the beginning (e.g., wanting a room mate as different from her as possible and being disappointed that George wasn't Black). Also, she wished she had lived George's life, not realizing that if she actually had, she would really wish her life were different.
At the same time, Ann's authenticity unfolds during the book and she won me over, but in a very uneasy kind of way. She was so extreme, especially later in the story, that I almost thought she had a mental illness at times. But then I realized that many people who change the world are very extreme and obsessed -- often not healthy, balanced human beings. So there was a real tension in her extremism and it made me extremely uncomfortable, but I also couldn't quite dismiss the necessity of it for Ann.
George was a great character, too. Her closeness and then great distance from Ann helped me to understand Ann better. I saw how Ann was alienated from both her own class and the people she was wanting to support. But George made me realize that throughout everything, Ann was being utterly authentic. Does that excuse all her behaviour? I don't know.
Maybe the bottom line is that I'm left "not knowing" whether to admire Ann or not, whether to think she's a hero or not... and that made it a great book for me. The uneasiness I'm left with is still bubbling inside me, seeking a resolution that may never be really possible....more
David was the most complex character in this book and his conflicts were what made the book especially interesting to me.
He makes one decision -- inDavid was the most complex character in this book and his conflicts were what made the book especially interesting to me.
He makes one decision -- in a moment of crisis, a moment when he is already not thinking clearly and is under tremendous pressure -- and it affects the course his life and marriage from that point on. His decision is also a major influence on the lives of several other people. We keep waiting for him to divulge his secret, but he dies before he can do so. We see him almost telling his wife ... but he never does. This is really sad, because his secret, and his inability to disclose it, robs his marriage of love and intimacy. I think this happens to a lot of people and the novel really depicted it well. It shows the sadness of a life lived without intimacy and the immense burden of a family secret.
It also shows the danger of trying to "protect" our loved ones by not telling them things we think would hurt them or damage our relationship with them. In the end, David lost his family anyway.
This book showed that our actions -- even if well-intentioned -- have consequences that can't always be undone. What do we do about that? And what set of consequences do we choose?