Oh Jeffrey Eugenidies... have you become over educated? This book is one long academia narcissism masturbatory idea snooze. I made it half way throughOh Jeffrey Eugenidies... have you become over educated? This book is one long academia narcissism masturbatory idea snooze. I made it half way through the book before giving up and just reading the end. I'm glad I did and can just walk away from it. This is an idea that would have made a decent short story, but wallowing in it for an entire novel was just mean. If I was stranded on a deserted island and this was my only reading material I'd burn it for warmth and sing sea chantys instead.
Oh well, one can't be brilliant all the time. Perhaps the pressure of Pulitzerness was too much. Now that you've failed maybe you can go back to just writing stories.
Love always, Charissa (who hasn't finished writing her own novel so is in no position to judge)...more
This book would be interesting if it would stop trying so hard to be academic. If I have to read another paragraph which dissects the hip hop music ofThis book would be interesting if it would stop trying so hard to be academic. If I have to read another paragraph which dissects the hip hop music of the streets into neat little post-modern segments and ideas I'm going to have to spork someone. Good god, shut up and dance already....more
I just received this book from Amazon, I indulged my shelves and ordered a hardcover with dust jacket, for archival treasuring. But already I'm predisI just received this book from Amazon, I indulged my shelves and ordered a hardcover with dust jacket, for archival treasuring. But already I'm predisposed to give this book a bad review and I'll tell you why (I'm sure you're all at the edge of your seats).
Three years ago I answered an ad on Craig's List for a research assistant through the University of California at Berkeley. It was posted by Stephen Yafa, who was in the early stages of researching a book about cotton. I met with him and he invited me to work as an intern with him, giving me the task of gathering information about the early roots of cotton in India. I worked gathering information for him for about 3 months, and reading some early drafts of his work, giving him some editing notes (which he found amusing as I'm sure he regarded me as some kind of newbie peon).
After my initial work for him was completed I informed him that I would be unable to continue to work without pay of any kind as I was struggling financially at the time, having just lost a business into which I had sunk all my free capital. He was unable to offer me enough compensation to make it plausible, and I was forced to bow out of any further collaboration with him.
I was delighted several months ago when I saw him interviewed on The History Channel as an expert on cotton, seeing that his book had in fact been published. I wrote to him through his web site with some excitement, offering him congratulations and my regrets for not having been able to offer him more assistance. While I anticipated a response I ordered a copy of the book, eager to see my name in the acknowledgments, as that is why we do such kinds of work... for glory if not for cold hard cash.
To my shock, today when I opened the book and read through the acknowledgments, my name was nowhere to be found. In addition, he has never replied to my email.
At the time I was working for him I had an inkling he was a bit of a self-centered prick, but now it is confirmed. Although my contribution was small in the scope of his overall effort, I have read through the portions of the book covered by my research and I can see the footprints of the work I did. If he had written with an apology to have forgotten to include recognition I could forgive the oversight, but he has not.
Sorry, regardless of the merits of this work (which may be considerable, I don't know)... he will get a shite review from me. Mister Yafa, if you are listening, go fuck yourself, you overblown prick of a man....more
Seriously though... why does so much Western philosophy remind me of arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a piI just Kant stand him.
Seriously though... why does so much Western philosophy remind me of arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? I swear, these gentlemen had their panties wrapped so tightly I don't know how they ever took a proper dump.
The problem with Kant (aside from how much he enjoyed listening to the sound of his own voice droning on and on) is that he was irretrievably mired in a Christian world-view, separated from nature, and cursed with the precision of having been brought up German. Poor fellow... he badly needed to run naked through the woods and eat a freshly killed goat around a fire, followed by a proper shag by a woman with enormous tracts of land....more
Not only did I disagree with Hobbes' conclusions, I find his assumptions (his arguments based entirely in Christian perspective) essentially worthlessNot only did I disagree with Hobbes' conclusions, I find his assumptions (his arguments based entirely in Christian perspective) essentially worthless. The only value this tract served to me is to "know thy enemy". This is a classic example of mental circus tricks being used to justify the march of Christian dominance across the globe. I can't think of any written text that I despise more, except perhaps Mein Kempf.
Hobbes is my least favorite philosopher. He embodies everything I despise in Western thought. If I met Hobbes in the street I would flash him my tits and then slap him in the face and call him a pervert....more
After all the hype about how amazing this book is, imagine how disappointed I was to discover how incredibly bad the writing is. Even the heretical naAfter all the hype about how amazing this book is, imagine how disappointed I was to discover how incredibly bad the writing is. Even the heretical nature of the text wasn't enough to inspire me to finish the entire book. The flat and uninventive writing was like a sharp, hot knife to my frontal lobe, causing me to writhe in agony and bludgeon myself over the head repeatedly with blunt objects.
Ultimately the story itself I found to be saccharine and over-wrought. Predictable. Hoaky. I found the original story (Holy Blood, Holy Grail) to be a more interesting presentation of the idea that Christ and Mary Magdalene had children. At least at the time I read it the idea itself was fresh. The whole Knights Templar thing has been trotted out so much at the point that Da Vinci Code came out, I felt like I was seeing shoulder pads return again.
Personally, I find it discouraging that such a piece of ersatz pulp caught fire in the mainstream imagination... but then again, I felt the same way about Harry Potter... although ultimately at least HP was compelling story-telling beyond it's lacklustre writing. Once again, I am reminded that I ain't from around here....more
There is hardly anything more depressing than this story. I just couldn't face it in the end. Call me wacky, but I just didn't need to wade into a talThere is hardly anything more depressing than this story. I just couldn't face it in the end. Call me wacky, but I just didn't need to wade into a tale about three unhappy people, two of whom are having an affair, another of whom accidentally allows the other's child to drown in her creek and then goes to prison for it. Bleak? Just slightly. I understand that Sigourney Weaver played the prison woman in the film of the book. Appropriate. Her pinched, gaunt appearance was perfect for the way this book feels. Why is it that depressing tomes like this always get the acclaim? I suppose it deals with moral ambiguity. But don't people get enough of horrendous events in their real lives? Do they really need to soak in fictional misery as well? I dunno... Perhaps I've just had my fill of pointless, horrifying events that happen to regular folk. If you're going to paint me a desolate portrait, give it two heads and a donkey offspring or something. kthnxbye....more
This book completely ravaged me. I didn't expect to fall in love with Gus, but dammit if I did anyway. McMurtry dragged me through every mud hole, snaThis book completely ravaged me. I didn't expect to fall in love with Gus, but dammit if I did anyway. McMurtry dragged me through every mud hole, snake pit, camp fire and stampede his characters endured. I felt every cactus prickle and tasted the beans and bad coffee. Who knew I could love the West so damn much?
Next to The Three Musketeers, this is the best man-love story around. Gus and Call are totally OTP 4evah.
I won't spoiler the story for anyone here... but there's a place in the book where I got so upset that I literally threw the book across the room I was so upset. I simply refused to read any further. I hate Larry McMurtry for that. But dammit if it wasn't some of the best writing of all time to make me feel that way.
This novel goes down as one of the finest examples of Western literature of all time as far as I'm concerned. Wallace Stegner ain't got nothin on the McLarryMan....more