My epub file was missing the whole section where he goes to visit Death. And yet I still found the novel quite enjoyable (after I filled in the plot h...moreMy epub file was missing the whole section where he goes to visit Death. And yet I still found the novel quite enjoyable (after I filled in the plot holes via the interwebs)(less)
So unfortunately I did that thing I always do where I don't write the review right after I read a book. And now it's 3 weeks later and I'm straining m...moreSo unfortunately I did that thing I always do where I don't write the review right after I read a book. And now it's 3 weeks later and I'm straining my brain to remember what I wanted to say about the book. Sorry I'm dumb.
This was the second book I read by Yoshimoto (my first was Kitchen which I loveeeed) and I really enjoyed it. That's saying a lot for me too because I don't usually enjoy short stories.
I'm not sure what exactly I can say that will properly imprint how the book left me feeling. Her writing is beautiful and exact. Short and to the point, and yet still capable of making me remind myself to breathe after a passage makes lose my breath. The stories in Lizard aren't exactly related to each other- rather they all are focused around the idea of hope. She gives us snap shots of someone despairing- either because a drab day or because of life in general - and then ends the story with a glimmer of hope that makes you smile. This whole book makes the attempt to show you that things will be okay.
For example the first story shows us a man on the train who is disappointed with his life. He doesn't want to go home to his wife. He's considering just riding the train until the end of the line. Getting off there and starting all over. A random person sits down next to him and starts asking him about his wife and reminding him of the reasons he fell in love with her in the first place. This whole book is like that. There is nothing extraordinary happening. No big revelations. Just snap shots of people going on and making the most of what they have.
Since I'm not sure if I am doing a good job explaining this book, I'll leave you with my favorite quote. When I read it, I flipped the page back and read it again. And then I called my best friend and read it to him. I probably would have read it to anyone walking past my porch at the time too.
“Your love is different from mine. What I mean is, when you close your eyes, for that moment, the center of the universe comes to reside within you. And you become a small figure within that vastness, which spreads without limit behind you, and continues to expand at tremendous speed, to engulf all of my past, even before I was born, and every word I've ever written, and each view I've seen, and all the constellations, and the darkness of outer space that surrounds the small blue ball that is earth. Then, when you open your eyes, all that disappears. I anticipate the next time you are troubled and must close your eyes again. The way we think may be completely different, but you and I are an ancient, archetypal couple, the original man and woman. We are the model for Adam and Eve. For all couples in love, there comes a moment when a man gazes at a woman with the very same kind of realization. It is an infinite helix, the dance of two souls resonating, like the twist of DNA, like the vast universe. Oddly, at that moment, she looked over at me and smiled. As if in response to what I'd been thinking, she said, "That was beautiful. I'll never forget it.”
All in all it was a quick and satisfying read. Pick it up if you get a chance. 3.5 stars
I tried to enjoy it. Yes some of the lines were pretty. and yes some other parts were thought provoking...But most of the time...moreProbably closer to 2.5
I tried to enjoy it. Yes some of the lines were pretty. and yes some other parts were thought provoking...But most of the time I was just rolling my eyes at Margo and John Green's constant use of the MPDG archetype.
Imagine you are going about your business one day and as you take your next step you find yourself in a field you've never seen before. When you step...moreImagine you are going about your business one day and as you take your next step you find yourself in a field you've never seen before. When you step back, you find yourself back home. The Long Earth explores the possibility of parallel earths that are just a step away from our own. Once this phenomenon of "stepping" has been discovered- people all around Earth 1 "The Datum Earth" start wondering what is out there on the Long Earth and how it will change civilization as we know it. The main characters, Joshua - a natural stepper, and Lobsang - a super intelligent computer, in particular have a desire to explore the entirety of the Long Earth in an attempt to figure out why it's there.
My thoughts: There were a lot of really cool concepts in this book as well as a lot of things that didn't feel quite developed enough. The idea of The Long Earth and the consequences of its discovery is really awesome. Some immediate consequences were that people were stepping away from their lives to run away from their problems- one day they just stepped away from everything and just kept walking into the unknown. Other people and communities saw it as an attempt to restart civilization on a random Earth and see if they can do any better than what is on the Datum. The idea of an infinite number of Earths was really neat as well- because on each one, things were slightly different than the one before because evolution took a slightly different path.
But some things didn't feel like they were wrapped up completely... (and I cannot find evidence if there will be a second book or not). In fact, I really hope there is a second book because if this is a stand alone then I am pretty disappointed in the ending. If it is the beginning of a series/trilogy/something then I can see how this was just the setup for things to come.
Why I gave it a 3: As I mentioned above, the ending didn't feel resolved. Also, sometimes while I was reading I kept wondering "okay so where is the plot?" I get that Joshua and Lobsang were trying to travel to Earth Million (and beyond) to try and figure out why The Long Earth existed... but really that's all it was- they were traveling with small glimpses of the strangeness of what was below them. I don't know if maybe I was missing some greater point of "No really, what is the point of all of this" or if it really was lacking a bit plot wise. That being said it wasn't a bad book- the characters were enjoyable and so were some of the oddities they stumbled upon. I hope there is a continuation that really explores what has happened to the Datum earth now that the majority of people have fled to restart their lives. All in all, I think it's an interesting beginning to something- I just hope it's actually getting continued. (less)