I don't think I could rate a Shakespearean play with anything less than five stars. I took a Shakespeare course last year and was exposed to many of tI don't think I could rate a Shakespearean play with anything less than five stars. I took a Shakespeare course last year and was exposed to many of the plays I had not yet had a chance to read or experience. I had never heard of Titus Andronicus, but after reading it and having the chance to see portions of film versions, I had to wonder why I never had before. It has a classic mix of humor and irony mixed with gruesome horror that can be found across Shakespeare's plays. I thoroughly enjoyed it without having any prior conception of the work. ...more
Westerns are so far out of my comfort zone of genres that I didn't have many expectations at all for this book, but if I had it would have exceeded thWesterns are so far out of my comfort zone of genres that I didn't have many expectations at all for this book, but if I had it would have exceeded them all. There is always something different about seeing a story--that, quite possibly, has been told a hundred times over--through the eyes of a child. The charged sexual tension between the adult characters and the undercurrents of social relations between the different groups in the town are masked by the naive view of the narrator. It is a story that proves that even when children do not fully understand what they are seeing they are still the most observant creatures and can draw deep meaning from their experiences and the world around them. It was an easy, enjoyable read. ...more
I love all things Virginia Woolf. That's just a personal matter of fact. I had to delve deeper into this novel, as I had to present on symbolism for oI love all things Virginia Woolf. That's just a personal matter of fact. I had to delve deeper into this novel, as I had to present on symbolism for one of my college courses. I have a deeper understanding of the seeming purpose and techniques employed by Woolf to further the story. Stream of consciousness can be a struggle for a casual reader, so I suggest if you've never been exposed to that kind of style or have little to no understanding of how Woolf experiments with the difference between psychological time and physical time, as well as matters of space and narrative point of view, that you take the first reading slow. Don't be afraid to stop and go back for a second read. You want to be able to form some degree of clarity, or you'll end up 3/4 of the way into the book without any idea what has happened. Woolf style is something I enjoy because I like the ability to see a story unobstructed by seeing if from every angle (i.e. from the eyes of every character present). Each point of view might be clouded or influenced by something, but getting each characters internal thoughts at least once gives you the full picture by the end. ...more
Along the same lines of the experimentation of Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys plays with time and space to give a fuller picture of the main character. WhiAlong the same lines of the experimentation of Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys plays with time and space to give a fuller picture of the main character. While the narration does not switch points of view like Woolf, the time play is similar. The physical time line of the novel consists of less than a week, but the psychological time spans years. By doing this, the reader is able to see all the pieces of the character's life that brought her to this point. It was an enjoyable read. It's not often that I enjoy all of the books my college courses assign, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. ...more
This book is definitely not something I would have picked up to read if I saw it on a shelf in a book store. That being said, I still rather loved itThis book is definitely not something I would have picked up to read if I saw it on a shelf in a book store. That being said, I still rather loved it by the time I finished reading it. It helped that I was able to meet the author when he came to discuss the work with my creative writing class that I assigned the book to read. I was able to hear his thoughts on writing the novel and his inspiration (as well as do a psuedo-workshop on the first chapters of the sequel). It rounded out my experience with the novel nicely. I have never been fishing, I know nothing about fishing, I have never done drugs, I know nothing about drug smuggling, I have never been to Mexico, and I know nothing about Cabo or Baja or any of the other locations in the novel (save San Diego, I've been there). Yet, after reading this novel, I feel like I know everything there is to know about all of these things. That doesn't mean I'm likely to go deep sea tuna fishing or try to steal from a drug lord named after an song about an insect, but I feel like I could. The book satires a great deal of things from drug smugglers to attorneys. It's humorous and it's an enjoyably quick read. ...more
I had to read the play Angels in America for my ENGL 380 class. I had put off buying the book til the last minute and it got to be that the only placeI had to read the play Angels in America for my ENGL 380 class. I had put off buying the book til the last minute and it got to be that the only place I could get it was at Barnes and Noble. I had no idea what it was about, I had heard there was an HBO film even version because it was up for awards awhile back, but I really didn’t know much about it. Now that I have read it I can say it is 100% worth the $18 I had to pay for the book.
For one, it’s refreshing to read a play that is from this century. I can actually understand exactly what is going on, even when what is going on is strange and unusual. The language is modern and that makes it a quicker read than say, Shakespeare. Haha. ANd by quick read, I mean quick. I bought it Sunday morning at like 11am, twelve hours later of splotchy reading, I had blown through 160 pages. And if I wasn’t exhausted and if I didn’t have to get up to go to class the next morning, it was so captivating that I could have stayed up all night to read it to the end (something I haven’t done since Deathly Hallows came out).
Angels in America is set in the mid 80s when the nation was in the midst of the AIDS crisis. The two plays that make up Angels in America, center around characters from three groups of people: gays, Mormons, and Jews. While you may be hard pressed to find a similarity between the three, once you’ve followed the characters through their struggles, you can see that there are things which tie these three groups of people together. While they appear so vastly different, they can find similarities in each other to which they can relate to each other through.
My 380 instructor says she would classify this play as a comedy, and while Angels in America deals with serious subject matter and is politically driven, I am inclined to agree with her. If you look at the typical conventions and structures of a dramatic comedy, Angels in America follows quite a few of them. But the classification of the play was far from my mind while actually reading it. I was too deeply immersed in the story to even think of anything but finding out what happened next.
And, what reading it really accomplished was me wanting to see it performed live as it was meant to be seen. I can read the words, and I can vividly visualize it in my head, but I kept thinking, “God, how amazing would it be to actually see it.” And I don’t mean the HBO minit series (though I would love to see that as well), but actually live and embodied on a theater stage. I can’t imagine what that experience would be like. While I loved the experience of reading the play, I bet it would pale in comparison to seeing it live (in the way listening to a CD is satisfying, but it isn’t the same as the energy and rush of going to a concert).
Can you tell I loved it? One of the few assigned readings that I could possibly have picked up on my own and read for fun. That doesn’t happen very often. Not often at all....more