It was probably a mistake to read this immediately after the exhaustingly long and detailed book by Noël Riley Fitch, because Fitch had obviously hadIt was probably a mistake to read this immediately after the exhaustingly long and detailed book by Noël Riley Fitch, because Fitch had obviously had a lot of information and inspiration from this, so I had to read a lot of the same stuff all over again. Maybe I should have read the memoirs first? Then again, some of the things didn't quite happen in the same way as Beach remembers them, so perhaps it was more useful to find out the truth first to get the events into the right perspective.
Beach describes simply her heavy but rewarding journey with her book shop, but because her principle was to protect the privacy of her friends and to stay clear of her own personal feelings, the memoir just doesn't go that deep into the era or Beach's life. There are some nice anecdotes, like the one about the cat who chews gloves. The light approach was quite nice in a way. Although I was surprised how gently Joyce is treated, but then again I wouldn't have appreciated a bashing either. In the end a nice little book, but nothing special I'm afraid. Recommended reading only if you're interested in the book shop, and want to hear its story in Beach's own words....more
Thank you goes to Josef Kohout for sharing us his experiences. This kind of perspective is completely new for most, but it really shouldn't be. WhenevThank you goes to Josef Kohout for sharing us his experiences. This kind of perspective is completely new for most, but it really shouldn't be. Whenever fear surfaces as differentiating people by some quality they have, alarm bells should be ringing in the heads of each of us. A family member once asked (someone who seems to be doing that differentiating thing quite a lot) why I always keep reading about horrific stuff like this. Well, you don't have to surround yourself with this kind of material, but you can't grow up in a barrel full of cotton either. That's just plain ignorance. Besides, when you know what happens when fear takes control, you know that there's actually just the one side you can choose if you have enough sense of justice and respect towards another human being. An example: either you think homosexuals deserve equal rights, or you don't. If you think they don't, you can just take your head from your ass for a moment, and reflect with this book in hand.
By the way, double standard's a bitch.
Homosexual behavior between two 'normal' men is considered an emergency outlet, while the same thing between two gay men, who both feel deeply for one another, is something 'filthy' and repulsive....more
Not as good as it has been marketed to be. There were two passages I actually wrote down, but the rest of it wasn't anything remarkable. The writing wNot as good as it has been marketed to be. There were two passages I actually wrote down, but the rest of it wasn't anything remarkable. The writing was fairly beautiful, and considering the whole memoir was dictated only with the left eye, it makes this quite an astonishing achievement. There's also a bit of sense of humour left despite what has happened. Still, Bauby's condition doesn't make me judge the writing or the content any differently. His situation was unfortunate (for me it would be absolutely unbearable), but I'm sure he would have wanted honesty instead of pity regarding his book....more
I bought this because it was about Paris (I've been slightly obsessed with it lately) and because for some time I've wanted to try Hemingway. PerhapsI bought this because it was about Paris (I've been slightly obsessed with it lately) and because for some time I've wanted to try Hemingway. Perhaps I need to try something else for this didn't impress me at all. There are certainly writers who write really well with almost no descriptions and with a very few words but Hemingway (in this case) just wasn't one of those. His writing style is incredibly boring. There was so much potential to write an amazing piece of memoir considering who he hanged out with but now it fell short....more