Comes in handy if you're on your own working on a project. It's the staple of the technical theatre world. I'm thinking, though, that some if it shoul...moreComes in handy if you're on your own working on a project. It's the staple of the technical theatre world. I'm thinking, though, that some if it should be labeled "Don't try this at home."(less)
It's ok. It's pretty impractical though. I'm not sure I learned anything from this book that I actually put into practice. Ok, for college kids or com...moreIt's ok. It's pretty impractical though. I'm not sure I learned anything from this book that I actually put into practice. Ok, for college kids or community theatres. (less)
There are certain people in the world who have a realness, deeply rooted in the earth, bare to sun and moon. And then there are other people in the wo...moreThere are certain people in the world who have a realness, deeply rooted in the earth, bare to sun and moon. And then there are other people in the world who look at the real ones and mimic their stance, planting roots and glancing out of the corners of their eyes every once in a while to make sure they're still doing it right. But they are a forgery and it doesn't take long to tip these fakers over, upending their shallow roots. This is how I feel about Laurell K. Hamilton.
The thing about fantasy writing is that you can't fake your way through it and make it seem REAL. The essence of fantasy has been around since the dawn of human intelligence--it is our religion, our myth, our history; it speaks to our connection to god, the sky, the earth, each other... and it gives voice to what the rest of us REAL creatures can feel but can't explain. So I get really annoyed when folks like LKH write twenty zillion pretentious vampire novels. I can't help but roll my eyes when the sword-that-drinks-blood begs its bearer for a sip off her own arm seven times in two pages.* It sickens me as a woman to see a cleavage-baring, curly-headed, petite twenty-something having to fuck a nest of vampires in order to save the lives of her werewolf (ex)boyfriend and his pack** after engaging in 50 pages of melodramatic dialogue and references to the heroine's scarred past.
This kind of story doesn't pay homage to the REAL we saw in the writers gone before us (even if the heroes do fight a white winter witch or pass down a sword from generations of noble warriors). And it doesn't inspire us to think, feel loved, or make tangible our bond to the earth and each other. This kind of writing simply keeps a band-aid covering the wounds of lonely women who never recovered from the injuries they received in junior high. It's desperate and pathetic. I find myself creating my own fantasy that LKH takes her bajillion dollars she earns off these crappy novels and puts them into a foundation so that her readers might eventually be able to afford the therapy they really need. I can dream, can't I?
*Ever so slightly exaggerated. It was maybe only five times... **This particular plot-line did not appear in this particular Hamilton collection. But you get the point.(less)
Am I autistic? Am I Christopher Boone? What is it about my OCD (self-diagnosed, boo yah!) that separates me from this fifteen-year-old kid? Fate is ki...moreAm I autistic? Am I Christopher Boone? What is it about my OCD (self-diagnosed, boo yah!) that separates me from this fifteen-year-old kid? Fate is kind, but there is nothing more disturbing than learning that you possess so many of those qualities that categorize people as "special needs." I mean, shit. Choosing Item A over Item B because you like the color? Yep. Counting incessantly? Yep. Getting lost in London Underground? Yep. Quirky eating habits? Yep. Getting ridiculously sidetracked during storytelling? Yep. Yep, yep, yep. I've got it all. And it wasn't so bothersome at first, but as I read on, I grew to empathize with this kid so much so, that I felt like a fucking crazy person. I'm glad I'm done reading it.
Some items of note: 1. Christopher likes maths. I remember when I used to like maths. Maths are fun! 2. Christopher has a pet rat. I remember when I used to have a pet rat. Pet rats are fun! 3. I wish Siobhan was my girlfriend. Well, sorta. I mean, I don't think I'd be satisfied sexually, but still. She seems like a great gal. 4. I have decided that it is impossible for non-crazy people to ever reach peace and comforting solitude. That's why snatching it bit by bit is necessary. 5. I don't want to give birth.
Thank you, Mr. Haddon, for the quick read. Life is quite complicated, even outside London, huh?(less)
Oh. My. God. This play deserves every hint of praise and recognition it's ever been given. A perfect blend of realistic household bullshit and and spe...moreOh. My. God. This play deserves every hint of praise and recognition it's ever been given. A perfect blend of realistic household bullshit and and spectacularly weird fuckeduppery, the Weston family grabbed my heart and ripped it out through my tearducts.
How can you know when enough is enough? Or when it's not enough? How do you swim through oceanic waves of family crisis, when the breakers are nothing but violent reflections of your own personal doom? Goddamnit. This play is both human and animal at the same time. And regardless of the fact that some of the shit that goes down is pretty twisty, I'm astounded by Letts' perfect psychological portrayal of humanity kicking itself in the crotch. Repeatedly.
A very touching play and true story. It will make you cry but it will make you love, too. I'm tearing up a bit just reading the summary on this websit...moreA very touching play and true story. It will make you cry but it will make you love, too. I'm tearing up a bit just reading the summary on this website!
I wish GoodReads had the cover art available. :( (Edit--a half hour later--ask and you shall receive! There's the cover art!!! Yippie!)
I have done this play twice--once in college, where I was a member of the Stage Management team, and once when I was teaching high school. I directed the play (mostly Sophomore actors) and all the roles were done by female students. One of the most memorable productions I have been involved in and I think the students enjoyed it immensely (sp?). Only seven actors, I think, so you can't do it if you have a large class and want to give everyone equal sized roles. Great educational piece; good for all ages.(less)
9/17--I saw some tiny ants today, all swarming around a piece of leftover food on the sidewalk. For a split second, I seriously considered bending dow...more9/17--I saw some tiny ants today, all swarming around a piece of leftover food on the sidewalk. For a split second, I seriously considered bending down to put my tongue amidst the pile of ants. I imagined they'd feel like PopRocks or like the tiny little orange fish eggs they put on top of your sushi.
And then the moment passed, and I kept walking.
9/19--Yesterday, I thought to myself, "That's some fine line." A fine line between being daring enough to do something outrageous and being chickenshit enough to reach out your hand and barely touch the outrageous with soft and nervous fingertips. How many times have I ALMOST done that one thing? Infinity times? Already? But today I thought to myself, "I'm a sucker! I fell for her quirkiness, but she's fucking sick." Sick and alone. Almost done reading Honda, and I'm scared that Melanie M. will never find her way. What does the world do with these folks? (Don't answer that.)
9/21--At the end of the title story: Jessica Treat, you're torturing me. TORTURING ME!!! I want a happy ending. Just one. Or at least resolve something for me, would ya? SPOILER: I've rewritten the ending of Not a Chance for you. Wanna hear it? The friend walks into the bakery at Plaza Neza, and sitting at a table in the darkest corner is the woman she's been looking for, tattered clothes falling off her body. The friend rushes to her side!!! They are reunited and live happily ever after. (Ok, so maybe I'm living in denial. Reality doesn't allow for happy endings.)
As a whole (thus far): A collection of betrayal by someone we know, treasure, trust. Can anything be more painful? Even death?
9/23--I am finished! An entire package of fantastic writing! Dead End struck me as quick and quirky--great! Zubeyde was sweet and real and perfect! Jessica Treat, there were times when I felt myself sitting beside you, resting on your shoulder as I read this collection. And other times I felt like I was reading over your shoulder, careful and quiet so you wouldn't notice me... Such a dismal cloud surrounding the sane and the insane--are we all a bit of both? I think there's no way we CAN'T be. Allow me to quote my favorite line, one that let me explore the depths of my own temporary insanity: "Grief has to go somewhere, be transformed into something, in order for it to disappear." p. 84. TRUTH!
Ahhh, Chairy. I can't thank you enough for allowing me to read these stories. I'm VERY MUCH looking forward to your up and coming.(less)
**spoiler alert** 6/09: So far, so slow. Don't get me wrong, I'm really liking it. But I thought it would be a quick read and that I wouldn't have to...more**spoiler alert** 6/09: So far, so slow. Don't get me wrong, I'm really liking it. But I thought it would be a quick read and that I wouldn't have to concentrate at all, but that's not the case. It's stylized, which makes it take longer. And all the colors and images are begging me to drink them slowly, savoring each drop. Not a good book to read on a deadline, or if your brain is fuzzy like mine is these days. I'll keep ya posted...
6/25: Ok, I'm still about 200 pages out from finishing this book. I was a little hesitant at first--too damn long (550 pages) and I don't like violence, particularly Nazi violence (and civil war violence). But there really isn't any violence, or if there is, I'm too American Television scar-tissued up to notice... Anyway, now I LOVE this book and am well on my way to five-starring it!
Don't let anyone tell you this book is about a little girl growing up in Nazi Germany. This book is about Death, the man. You know, cloak and sythe guy? (Don't tell him I said that.) The book is about Death walking through life, experiencing a horror like no other. And he takes moments to watch this little girl, to let his heart be warmed by her youth and growth.
I hope nothing bad happens.
6/27: Bad stuff does happen. Everyone she knows is obliterated. Jesus (Mary and Joseph). The death chapter at the end (just before the epilogue) takes way too long. Seems like Mr. Zusak got a bit full of himself. Which is a shame because it kinda colors the whole book now. Damn him.
Great book. Loved it! Hated the ending.
6/29: I wish I had reviewed this book before I got to the end. Because the end stole some of the beauty of the writing. For two reasons: 1, because I hate the fact that everyone in the town ended up dead. It's an issue with the storyline, that's all. 2, because Marcus Zusak went on and on and on and on about this death scene. Enough already. Stop with the flowery talk, dude. Methinks you're masturbating a bit.
Because, here's the thing. The rest of the book is flowery talk, too, but it's FANTASTIC! Smells have colors, emotions have scents, visions have texture, and life is three dimensional. That's why I like the book so much. It is alive with human nature. I'm very interested in reading other Zusak--Messenger next, I think.
6/30: Ah-Ha!!!! Epiphany! The reason I don't like the death scene at the end--I kinda thought Death and Liesel would have more interaction. Not that she would physically recognize him or anything, but more similar to the scene where the pilot died and Death said he knew Leisel could "see" him. I wish she could have emerged from the rubble seconds after the bombing and so could have been more present for this HUGE loss! Every other time some event happened, Liesel was there to witness it. The death of her brother; seeing Rudy chase her book down the river; retrieving the book from the fire and noticing the mayor's wife watching. Everything else was NOW. But this one event, was BEFORE. I long for that 'life breath' that I feel throughout the rest of the book.
Also, slightly off-topic side note: I'm glad we got warned about Rudy's death long before it happened. It made me want to savor every single moment he was on the page. I love Rudy.(less)
The book ended happily, perfectly, with romance and adventure and sorrow and solace. It is the ending that will stay with me forever; the rest, easily...moreThe book ended happily, perfectly, with romance and adventure and sorrow and solace. It is the ending that will stay with me forever; the rest, easily forgotten.(less)
Women put up with a lot of stupid shit from men. And these poor women didn't have a choice in the matter--it's set, after all, sometime BCE. They coul...moreWomen put up with a lot of stupid shit from men. And these poor women didn't have a choice in the matter--it's set, after all, sometime BCE. They could only suffer or sing inside the lives they were given.
I'm not sure Michael knew how to suffer or to sing. She said in the end that she would choose love over wisdom. Can one be accessible without the other? Is it at all possible to love without being wise? It took Michal 50 years, but she chose love. Wisely.(less)
Ok, in all fairness, I didn't read the whole thing, but I did love the parts I read... :) Used parts of it as I was researching Brecht for my Fear and...moreOk, in all fairness, I didn't read the whole thing, but I did love the parts I read... :) Used parts of it as I was researching Brecht for my Fear and Misery project in college.(less)