"Rabbit is Rich" is feeling like the best in the series so far. I think it may be because I relate to this age more and just remember being this way,...more"Rabbit is Rich" is feeling like the best in the series so far. I think it may be because I relate to this age more and just remember being this way, so it feels incredibly in touch. Updike is an ethereal writer. His words are so flowing and beautiful to read, while at the same time full of the raunchy reality that creates our modern humanity. I was blown away by the plot and honestly couldn't predict it, though I guess I didn't try terribly hard. He surprised me. I like to be surprised by plots. This is a hard story to summarize since nothing really happens. He has great descriptions of the time periods. The whole book feels like these are authentic discussions about himself, his relationships, and the politics of the world. These are conversations you can see yourself having or over hearing. For those of us that enjoy reading so that we can simply understand someone else more completely, this is your kind of story. "Life, the fear that it will end some day, and the fear that tomorrow will be the same as today."(less)
If I speak off the cuff I would say this book is like watching a mini-series on TV. There are certain stories that read like TV shows more than books...moreIf I speak off the cuff I would say this book is like watching a mini-series on TV. There are certain stories that read like TV shows more than books to me. I enjoyed the dimensions of the characters. His people are very fleshed out. Even when you think a character is an archetype for evil they show the other side. I enjoyed this, but there isn't all that much to say. It is a story of the american west and how families interact. It reminds of Michener and it was just not enough for me.(less)
I had been postponing reading Vonnegut for a long time. I had read 2BR02B a few years back and thought it was incredible. I figured if I read one of h...moreI had been postponing reading Vonnegut for a long time. I had read 2BR02B a few years back and thought it was incredible. I figured if I read one of his novels I would end up reading nothing but Vonnegut. That won't quite be the case. I enjoyed this story and he has a satirist humor that I love. I need more in depth character development than what I got from this book in order to feel it is a 5-star kind of book. I am going to start using the word Karass in common vernacular. I have always wanted a word that could describe the circle of people that come within my sphere of influence by fate or purpose. His reflections on religion, power, war, and everything were spot on. The story of the three siblings reminded me of the Royal Tenenbaums. The descriptions of how research science differs from engineering science was very well done. The idea of Ice Nine is incredible, but the seed comment reinforced Vonnegut's own comments about how he was the stupidest person in all of his science classes. I enjoyed this and I am looking forward to the next Vonnegut I read. "Bugs won't keep fighting unless you shake the jar" The other phrase that I need to repeat to all my little High School Students in math class. I need to buy some string for the explicit function. "See the Cat. See the Cradle." (less)
I will start off by saying that I love stories that take place among the working class. As long as it is a realistic description of the human conditio...moreI will start off by saying that I love stories that take place among the working class. As long as it is a realistic description of the human condition, I will find something to love about it. If you consider the infinite possibilities, it is fairly difficult to seem unrealistic. On top of that I enjoy the mundane descriptions of a life in the past. It seems hard to separate Updike from Rabbit. The sex scenes and descriptions of the female body are adoring and I could feel his love for what women can do for him and to him. I guess I feel that Rabbit is a psychopath without violent tendencies. It is hard for him to put other humans needs above his own, he doesn't see the logic in it, though he does do it occasionally in order to fit into the society. A friend once said to me that he doesn't hug as much as I do because he feels them more deeply, and that is how I see Rabbit. At the end of the story you get a glimpse that if he truly feels emotions they overwhelm him. His life is filled with distractions that let him function; sex, running, day dreaming. This is a wonderful tale of a man struggling to fit into the world he was born into. If he had been born into an age with birth control pills I feel his life would have gone a different route. "He doesn't like people who manage things. He likes things to happen of themselves" (less)
This was a good historically realistic novel. If you are curious about the world of city life at the turn of the century, this is a great one. His way...moreThis was a good historically realistic novel. If you are curious about the world of city life at the turn of the century, this is a great one. His way of creating characters is so distant that it is hard to feel they are real. I'm not saying they aren't accurate, because they are. He never speaks of their emotional inner life at any depth. He doesn't give any judgment or empathy. It left me feeling odd, I'm still wrestling with it. “How true it is that words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean.” (less)
The best part of this book for me is the fact that it reminds you to look at the paths of your own life. I loved it when she says that everyone choose...moreThe best part of this book for me is the fact that it reminds you to look at the paths of your own life. I loved it when she says that everyone chooses there own path and decides their own life. There are so many times that we are eager to blame ourselves for what others do, or think that what we do is controlled by others. There are situations that are not choices we make, but as adults they are more rare. I like to think of us all in a forest. There are paths all around us in different directions. We all start off in different places and then choose every day to change paths, make new ones, or stay on the one we chose yesterday. Our choices aren't unlimited, in most realities they aren't close to boundless, but there is always more than one. A friend of mine once said that we all get what we want, whether we know we chose it or not. There is a lot to be said for that idea and I still struggle with what exactly I believe about it. Harold Fry had a great and unique experience. Those are always great stories to be told. (less)
The story is an interesting one. Perkins style of writing leaves something missing. I feel that the flowery prose and descriptions he gives put me off...moreThe story is an interesting one. Perkins style of writing leaves something missing. I feel that the flowery prose and descriptions he gives put me off to the story of his life. I went into this thinking that it would be non-fiction, but it was a memoir. I am a separatist when it comes to fiction and non-fiction and prefer them not to blur. (less)
This book speaks of very specific methods to create a very specific kind of young adult. A person that can follow direction, go where intended, and be...moreThis book speaks of very specific methods to create a very specific kind of young adult. A person that can follow direction, go where intended, and become a great cog in a machine that I am not sure I believe is the best use of human energy. The techniques can maintain control in the same way that Derren Brown can maintain control. Human psychology walking that fine line with manipulation.(less)
First : The Background and Real Life Relevance 1. Chris bought this for me for Christmas last year. I had no idea what it was and had never heard of i...moreFirst : The Background and Real Life Relevance 1. Chris bought this for me for Christmas last year. I had no idea what it was and had never heard of it. 2. I began to look through the pages and realized this was the pinnacle of what my life had been guiding me to do 3. The natural next step was to read it slowly and methodically and have everyone come over to discuss it on my birthday, which was the 6th. 4. The glory of discussing S in a group of well read people was the second pinnacle of what my life had been leading up to.
Second : The Book and how to Read it 1. I have 16 pages of notes on this book. 2. I chose to read it by reading the story for 2 pages, then reading the notes from Jen & Eric on those 2 pages, and then the ephemera. 3. This is literally the best book I have ever read. I wouldn't even call it a book. It is an art piece the tells 3 incredible stories.
Third : The Review 1. Ship of Theseus Everyone will have a preference of whether they enjoyed the story of "Ship of Theseus" or "Jen & Eric" best. I personally loved the "Ship of Theseus" the most. Most stories in modern times are written in as fast a pace as how we live our daily life. It is hard to comprehend how it affects everything we do, even how we read and write. I love old classics and I am starting to understand that it may be because of the different pace. SOT is a slow story, the kind rich with meaningful description and insight into the minds of the characters. If you read it out loud it even sounds methodical and slow, no quickness to the words. The story it self is for me about the struggle between our life passions and our more intimate personal loves. In the end they make a decision of which is most vital and the answer was surprising. The life passion of humanity over profit is dear to me and so I enjoyed the entire premise. The magical realism was fitting and not over the top. The characters were real and better than me, which is what I like to see in stories. The questioning of whether a ship is the same if all of it's boards are replaced tying into whether a cause is still the same once all the people have been replaced, was thought provoking. My favorite quote is from Edvar VI, he showed an insight into his own in humanity that was refreshing. "We will thrive for as long as you choose extraction over creation, as long as you mistake commerce for art and destruction for progress, as long as you remain drunk on that juice that issues from the crush of a thing or place or person. ... As long as you conflate power with influence, primacy with honor, goal with purpose, duty with responsibility." 2. Straka The story of Straka is a great piece of historical fiction. It could have been used as a dime book to hand out at Wobbies meetings. I love stories of struggling to overcome industries effect on our lives. The secret society and espionage aspect was a fun read. The truth about murder and suffering in life was sad and reflective 3. Jen & Eric The conversations throughout the margins are realistic and believable. I guess for this to work that was the most important aspect to get right. You had to get wrapped up in the process of how relationships between people form. It goes from formal, to awkward, to showing their unacceptable side, to acceptance, then to real intimacy and understanding. You could truly see that in the words. I always doubt intimacy can be formed without physically meeting someone, but there is a level of intimacy you can feel with the image of them you create in your mind. Sometimes, the image you create turns out to be pretty accurate.
This is the book that never ends. I love conversational writings as much as the next person, but it needs to be kept to an essay or a novella. If I wa...moreThis is the book that never ends. I love conversational writings as much as the next person, but it needs to be kept to an essay or a novella. If I want a one way conversation that lasts for 20 hours, I can find it in other forms than a book. He has great, common, and needed ideas. Nothing he says is new or unknown, which is why I find it so odd that he speaks as if he is the most regal of all humans to grace the planet. Random is random and can't be predicted in time frames that are small when compared to the commonality of an occurrence. I agree with that and I did love his lectures on how comfort makes us weak. Ultimately, that is the moral of the story here. Harden yourself up, suffering breeds strength. I guess the thing that really annoyed me was his obsession with money and being wealthy. The be all of life is free time and he does express that wealth is only another word for freedom. I wish he delved into the idea that wealth can only be occurring in a small percentage and therefore breeds fragile societies as a whole. I'm listening to the Puddles Pity Party version of Royals and it so goes with Taleb's personality. He is so fond of commenting on people in terms of how much they act as a party favor for his own entertainment. Mr. Taleb would not be one of my choices as a conversation companion, too high in the clouds basking in his own superiority of every kind.
"What is being marketed, is necessarily inferior or else it wouldn't be advertised."
In regards to that quote from him I respond with. "TRUE DAT"(less)
I enjoyed this book because of the personal story of disease and family interaction. His dismissal of the idea that time can seem very long within a f...moreI enjoyed this book because of the personal story of disease and family interaction. His dismissal of the idea that time can seem very long within a few minutes was odd. It was like he had never had the common experience of waking from a dream that seemed to take weeks, but had in reality taken a few moments. I'm always a sucker for stories concerning an individuals life over many years.(less)