Humbert Humber is one twisted character. He is a master at teasing, manipulating, hiding and maneuvering to get his way. His obsession with young girlHumbert Humber is one twisted character. He is a master at teasing, manipulating, hiding and maneuvering to get his way. His obsession with young girls is both erotically maniacal and perverse. Nymphets, he calls them.
**spoiler alert** For such a short novel, 'Wuthering Heights' carries a lot of themes to think about: love, the human spirit, betrayal, jealousy, reve**spoiler alert** For such a short novel, 'Wuthering Heights' carries a lot of themes to think about: love, the human spirit, betrayal, jealousy, revenge, racism, and maybe even romance, if you can call it that- tragic obsessions of passion is probably more appropriate. The novel begins in mystery, continues in speculation, moves towards some clarity, but finalizes in a state of inquiry about what has just transpired in the novel alongside a sense of tragic sadness. For more click here...more
This has been a book long overdue to read. I have been meaning to read it for years, and finally the time is here, and IA Gone Bookserk Perspective
This has been a book long overdue to read. I have been meaning to read it for years, and finally the time is here, and I have read it. Actually, it's been quite a while since I have read a book lately. It's been some tough times lately, but reading hasn't failed me and so here I am again! 'Contact' has been an amazing journey.
This is a very dense and complex book, to say the least. It is DENSE. It's hard-writing as well. It sort of gave me the feeling that I sometimes get after reading 3-4 research scientific articles - a pounding headache from the overload of information at the top of my right temple. Nevertheless, nothing worth knowing or having comes easy, and so is the case with this book. It really covers a whole spectrum of topics - childhood, coming of age through wonderment and questioning, being a female in a male dominated science field, having a passion for the universe, battle between science and religion and whether we are alone or not in the Universe, and if we are not alone who else is out there with us, and topics of religions all over the world and the parallel stories they share between one another (this subject in particular flew over my head most of the time). Then there are the topics of physics and mathematics. Not only are there quite a large number of topics being covered, but all are of multidimentional aspect. They involve cultural notions, individual voices, the human soul, ancestry and the future, the planet and our universe...etc. And on top of everything this is not a short read, it is 448pages!
So what if it's dense, complex, and long? For me, this was one of the most enlightening but most challenging books - intellectually, spiritually, and scientifically. There's not doubt, I will have to revisit this book if I can take away even 25% of the whole message or even a small portion of the debates between science and religion. As a science fiction, it is an acquired taste, and more so because of the topics of universe and religious arguments and history, you have to be a little familiar with the two to get a good chunk of what's going on. Even against the fact that I am quite ignorant of many things, including religious beliefs around the world and even astronomy, this book was very fulfilling because it still maintained a consistent human element throughout the book. And that, THAT, is the key to any great book - a consistent human presence in the voice of the writing. Carl Sagan didn't get the Pulitzer Prize for the Cosmo out of thin air.
This book has changed me a little bit, and a book that can do that is a powerful book. I look up at the sky multiple times every day, and for the first time in my life I really look up at the sky and, one, remember very profoundly that I live on a very special planet, and two, realize that it's very likely that we are not alone. I believe we are not alone, but we have no proof of it, and as a scientist I have to hold a level of skepticism until the proof is confirmed, but as a spiritual person I believe we are not alone! This book has also opened up my eyes to our past and our future, our religious beliefs-where they come from-and where we are and where we are going in terms of religion, and most importantly ask 'WHY' just like the main character in the book did. For a while now, I have felt the urge to look at the interconnectedness of the world, and this book pushed me further to delve into different aspects of our existences and maybe link different things together form religion, to science, to the Universe, and most important to learn as much as I can about our own planet because there is enough on this planet, right in front of our eyes, to teach us all we need to now about ourselves, our ancestors, our future, and possibly our place in the Universe.
It's about that time in the world when 'Contact' is probably more relevant than ever before! Maybe this comment will make more sense in the near future, just mark my words. We are not alone! I say this not just from reading 'Contact,' but from other reputable sources, but since the topic here is about 'Contact' I'll stick to stating that the book did in fact have a part in it too. 'Contact' opens an avenue for discourse at least, and I have always believed that a platform for discussion is the first step toward getting closer to the truth.
It is a crime they even made a version of '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' without images. First of all, this novel is about the journey of under water It is a crime they even made a version of '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' without images. First of all, this novel is about the journey of under water life. Secondly, it is heavy and saturated with aquatic species. Lastly, the plot and story-line is very little focused on in terms of meaning and purpose in delivering the book. Put all these three together and you come down with a very dry book with moments in the book of run-on pages of underwater species that you more or less have no idea what they are. Click here for more......more
This novel is one for every possible generation, and each generation should be dedicated to reading it. Orwell wasn't justA Gone Bookserk Perspective
This novel is one for every possible generation, and each generation should be dedicated to reading it. Orwell wasn't just a writer; he is a genius of his own category whether due to his psychological, philosophical or anthropological genius. "No one can deny the novel's hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions-a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time." I was often thinking, as I was reading this novel, how much it sounds like the world we live in today and then I wondered a little bit about whether that's always been the case. Has it always reflected the 'present,' regardless of which present we're talking about?
I was advised by someone really close to me to read this book BUT to read it in a certain setting because the book carries a tone to it, carries a spirit that has to be fully grabbed, and that can only be done with the right setting, or so I was told. Of course, that didn't really happen. I have my own method and process when it comes to reading. Nevertheless, what I was told is certainly true. There is a 'mood' to the novel. I didn't really quite put my finger on it until I began the forward at the end of the book, and it speaks of exactly what I was thinking about in terms of what the 'mood' is. "George Orwell's 1984 is the expression of a mood, and it is a warning. The mood it expresses is that of near despair about the future of man, and the warning is that unless the course of history changes, men all over the world will lose their most human qualities, will become soulless automatons, and will not even be aware of it."
1984 is levels upon levels of thinking. There is an immense collection of topics you can draw from it and talk about, but for me the most profound aspect of the novel is the "Obliteration of the Self." First of all, the setting of the novel is one in which everyone has a cautionary existence with no privacy or a sense of their own lives. They are constantly watched, spied on, and scrutinized in their every step, every word, and every action. If that doesn't make you angry just a little bit, maybe the thought of people being frightened by their own children might make the hairs on your back rise a little. How about if your memory doesn't have any significance at all? What if all your memories aren't real but manufactured? What about if people just 'vaporize' out of existence? There is no sense of tragedy. "Tragedy belonged to the ancient time, to a time when there were still privacy, love, and friendship, and when the members of a family stood by one another without needing to know the reason." There is no individualism or eccentricity. "It was assumed that when he was not working, eating, or sleeping he would be taking part in some kind of communal recreations; to do anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even to go for a walk by yourself, was always slightly dangerous. There was a word for it in Newspeak: ownlife, it was called, meaning individualism and eccentricity." And something else, something that at first seems to carry no significance, is the simple lack of appreciation for antiquities. "What appealed to him about it was not so much its beauty as the air it seemed to posses of belonging to an age quite different from the present one. The soft, rainwatery glass was not like any glass that he had ever seen." As well, the present, then, no longer has a standard or a reference to compare itself to, only the present mode exists and that's all there is to it.
People are so utterly confused and busy they no longer understand, question, or care. The feel no need to ask intelligent question, and as a matter of fact they even fear it. Why? Because intelligent men are 'vaporized.' Syme is one of those characters in the novel, who just disappears, he is 'vaporized,' with no signs of him ever having existed. No one cares and no one wonders what's happened to him. This is what the main character, Winston, says about him days before he disappears. It's an eerie feeling. "There was something subtly wrong with Syme. There was something that he lacked: discretion, aloofness, a sort of saving stupidity. You could not say that he was unorthodox. He believed in the principles of Ingsoc, he venerated Big Brother, he rejoiced over victories, he hated heretics, not merely with sincerity but with a sort of restless zeal, and up-to-dateness of information, which the ordinary Party member did not approach. Yet a faint air of disreputability always clung to him. He said things that would have been better unsaid, he had read too many books, he frequented the Chestnut Tree Cafe, haunt of painters and musicians." It is an eerie feeling to think that you could just disappear without a trace and without any one to care.
Why is the Obliteration of the Self so crucial? It's a means to an end, and the end is pure Power. The past is controlled, the records and information are controlled, your memories are controlled, your life is controlled, what you think and do is controlled. It all leads to a feeling of anger and helplessness to know that you have no hand in your own life. You fail to be humble and to self-discipline yourself? There are consequences, you will suffer greatly until you feel utter deadly helplessness that can only be relieved by giving in and giving 'them' what 'they' want. 'The act of submission is sanity." "When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us; so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him. It is intolerable to us that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, however secret and powerless it may be."
"Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves." It's all step-wise, first by learning, second by understanding, and lastly by acceptance. You have no choice, you're manipulated to believe you have a choice, the choice is to avoid suffering. Does God exist? You wonder as a last resort, because there must be a God - he will help you even when your will won't. And event that, 'they' will manipulate so that it is 'an unsolved riddle in your mind.' Ultimately, there is no hope, there is no help, there is nothing in you. You are hopeless, helpless, and empty. You are suffering. You are in pain and at their mercy. "We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?"
They cut links "between child and parent, between man and man, between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth.... The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card...abolish the orgasm... no loyalty, except loyalty toward the Party....no love, except love of Big Brother....no laughter, except the laugh of triumph ver a defeated enemy...no art, no literature, no science....will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness...will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed.... If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face-forever." 1984 leaves a feeling of despair in your heart and spirit. Why? Maybe because it sounds so much like our world today, but we might still have time to do something about it. Maybe we've had so much more time and we have succumbed to the method and oppression that we've already begun the path to relinquish power to 'them.' Maybe so. The despair is real. The opportunity is real. The path? That's somewhat unclear.
1984 by George Orwell is one of those pieces of literature which will never cease to teach us about the human spirit, about the dictatorship, and those whose sole purpose in life is to gain pure Power. The eyes of every generation must be opened, or at least awakened by 1984.
Someone told me lately 'read more than you write.' It has just occurred to me at the moment that I may be doing just thatA Gone Bookserk Perspective.
Someone told me lately 'read more than you write.' It has just occurred to me at the moment that I may be doing just that without realizing it. I read this book in mid-April, and I am just now getting around to posting it. That will be the case with a few more books. Anyway, this book is one of my all-time favorite books, along with 'Jane Eyre' and 'Frankenstein'. I read this book day in and day out for about three to four days until I finished it. It is one of the most capturing books I have read so far. I read part of it in high school, but I have a whole new level of appreciation for this book now.
I remember I was mesmerized by the flow of the book. There is not one dull moment through the entire novel, and every event and moment is fully seized in its capacity to offer insight and depth. The novel builds toward the end of the story in a profound manner that leaves you slightly breathless at the end. I also loved the detailed and representative descriptions of all the events and people throughout the book. I really enjoyed the waves of mystery alternated with unexpected moments of humor. Additionally, the characters carried with them an element of fear, and as the reader I was fully captured by the element of curiosity to know the cause of that fear.
This novel is one of the richest and most universally profound novels I have read so far. It made an impression on me in so many facets. This novel is a piece of writing for everyone, whether it's for the youth in elementary schools, or the high school-ers, or adults years after they have first encountered it. It will touch you, and it will enlighten you in ways you wouldn't expect to. It really made me an impact on me, it left me feeling in ways almost as if it offered me a sense of love, if that makes sense. It's one of those books that touches the human soul.
As a product of a generation who has progressed from an age when nature and the outdoors were a child's main avenue of enjoyment to a modern world where technology and gadgets rule our youth's minds and attention, the relationship Jem and Scout have with one another and their relationship to nature and their surroundings definitely made an impression on me. These are children who think about their environment, their circumstances, and the people around them. They wonder if they're being cheated somehow by going to school. They think about their neighbors and who they are and what they do. They feel passionate about reading and writing. They inquire about the Egyptians, on how society associates meaningless and mundane characteristics to really rich and intricate cultures, about how we masquerade their great existence to distract from the real truth of their contributions to the world. They are aware of the sounds surrounding them, the weather, the sky, and wonder about the knowledge of trees. They are children who think beyond themselves.
Conceptually, there are some really powerful and moving universal truths in this novel. Among the many, there are just a few I remember: understanding depends just as much on the listener as it depends on the person explaining; different but not deficient; boys will be boys and sometimes girls will be girls in a boyish manner; the concept of being cynical stems from how you say what you are saying not so much what you are saying; 'making a step-it's a baby-step, but it's a step;' the wonder and curiosity of coping with things we don't necessarily understand, the concept of integrity and truth, of compassion and acceptance even if you may not agree, also concepts of religion and spirituality also play out, and even conceptual emphasis on the collective mind introduced by Jem. I believe what makes a book timeless is exactly this, universal truths about humanity, the human spirit and soul. And then when you take this into account with the notion that it touches each generation from the youngest to the oldest, this book is twice as timeless.
Above all, though, this book is on a grand scale a book of compassion. There isn't a bigger theme than this, for me, in the book. The mystery of Boo Radley kept me glued to the book until the end at which point it touched me to my very core. He's the character who is described as the 'malevolent phantom.' Without giving too much away from the book, because I really think this is the heart of the novel, I would have to say that he turns out to be the most compassionate hero of the town. He's a character who stands on his own in the novel, and within the text of literature, I believe. He's almost completely silent. What we know of Boo Radley comes either from misconceptions and misunderstandings of him from other people, or from his own courageous and compassionate actions. And actions do peak louder than words. Truly one of my favorite silent characters in literature so far.
One of the greatest! Winner of the Pulitzer Prize! And this year is its 50th Anniversary!