Bizarre, unbelievable, fascinating, always suspenseful and at times insanely funny. Keyes' handling of this one man's many lives is not, at all what IBizarre, unbelievable, fascinating, always suspenseful and at times insanely funny. Keyes' handling of this one man's many lives is not, at all what I was expecting....more
Currently, I’m on page 200, and Wang has just learned some more valuable information from the “hard-boiled” police officer, Da Shi – think every Mel GCurrently, I’m on page 200, and Wang has just learned some more valuable information from the “hard-boiled” police officer, Da Shi – think every Mel Gibson burnout without the crazy – and a Motherly Love relationship between Ye Wenjie and Wang that is very fascinating.
I’m loving this tilt towards Nature and references to Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”; environmental yawp which reverberates through several other characters and the, to be sure, the plot itself.
In the 1960s, the women seemed to be the most violent and the most intelligent. I'm loving how many females factor into every aspect of these Frame Narratives. ...more
Potatoific! In all truth, I listened to this book, and I feel I have done it right, help me to "refilling [my] creative cup". Jenny's self analysis andPotatoific! In all truth, I listened to this book, and I feel I have done it right, help me to "refilling [my] creative cup". Jenny's self analysis and attempts to make a little sense of her chaotic life, is probably summed up in some of her own made-up words:
All the things she can or can NOT actually fit in her "woman garden".
However, she's not anyone who need to "pretend she's good at it" she's a natural. It's hard to pick a favorite chapter, though top of the list are: No Arms [not the real title] George Washington's Dildo And Then I Got Three Dead Cats in the Mail And especially that one near the end of Over scheduling Kids, "My Baby Was Delicious!"
I used to love Dickens' long-winded and repetitive descriptions, this one may have been the last for me. Still, themes of sacrifice, loss, time, withI used to love Dickens' long-winded and repetitive descriptions, this one may have been the last for me. Still, themes of sacrifice, loss, time, with this great symbolic allusion to the great massacres by the French aristocracy which led to the reverberating retaliating viciousness: Chapter V - page 31-32
A large cask of wine had been dropped and broken, in the street…and it lay on the stones just outside the door of the wine-shop, shattered like a walnut shell.
All the people within reach had suspended their business, or their idleness, to run to the spot and drink the wine….dammed into little pools; these were surrounded, each by its own jostling group or crowd, according to its size. Some men kneeled down, made scoops of their two hands joined, and sipped, or tried to help women, who bent over their shoulders, to sip, before the wine had all run out between their fingers. Others, men and women, dipped in the puddles with little mugs of mutilated earthenware, or even with handkerchiefs from women’s heads, which were squeezed dry into infants’ mouths; others made small mud embankments, to stem the wine as it ran; others directed by lookers-on up at high windows, darted here and there, to cut off little streams of wine that started away in new directions; others devoted themselves to the sodden and lee-dyed pieces of the cask, licking and even champing the moister wine-rotted fragments with eager relish. There was no drainage to carry off the wine, and not only did it get taken up, but si much mud got taken up along with it, that there might have been a scavenger in the street, if anybody acquainted with it could have believed in such a miraculous presence. ...more
I have no idea what's taken me so long to get around to this book of short stories?! Imagine if you will, meeting a fellow traveler, out on the hard rI have no idea what's taken me so long to get around to this book of short stories?! Imagine if you will, meeting a fellow traveler, out on the hard road of life. He claims to be dangerous and deadly, yet you don't heed his warnings, since he seems harmless. He warns one last time before revealing a labyrinth of tattoos snaking around, forever changing into stories which seem to unfold and consume those who dare to "read" them. Full of mysterious foreboding of the inevitable....or death by technology, death by creative. Bradbury's imagery and beautiful juxtapositions warn us of how far we've come and how far we're likely to go.
Dancing, So As Not To Be Dead
My favorites: "The Veldt", "Marionettes, Inc.", "The Exiles", "The Long Rain", has a Kafka-esque feel to it, and "The Rocket" series. That longing for someone far away: "And the night would be half over when, in our separate cool beds, Mother and I would be listening, listening....And we were both smiling in the cool darkness, Mom and I, when we heard the front door open in recognition, speak a quiet word of welcome, and shut, downstairs."  I was recently on Maui, visiting family and friends for the holidays, and as I would lay in bed [COLD for me being used to Saigon Swelter], listening to the crashing waves, the droning fan, two rooms away and the sound of that familiar car returning. Arrivals and departures. There are sounds of fear and apprehension, joy and excitement. That desire to leave. That longing to return. That ever pulling into directions.
"It's the best thing in a lifetime of best things." 
"We looked at him in his uniform. It was glossy black with silver buttons and silver rims to the heels of the black boots, and it looked as if someone had cut the arms and legs and body from a dark nebula, with little faint stars glowing through it. It fit as close as a glove fits to a slender long hand, and it smelled like cool air and metal and space. It smelled of fire and time." 
He also has metaphors and images of "jewelry" and other sparkling moments of value beyond imaging, mixed with the cold dangerous darkness that is often deadly. These juxtapositions, much like the diamond mines that occasionally explode or collapse, the dams or cliffs which break and crush, burying those elusive gems deeper under or within. Ohh, but then there's that bucketful of roughs, which escaped the blast only to reveal a profitable haul, as the tinker, chips away the hued stone or sifts out the heavier sediments to reveal a piece of gold, silver, platinum, a diamond.
But that's not all. His sensory imagery, local color and syntax gets me every time. There's so many nuances, some I can't quite put my finger on, which have me reeling as I read these short stories. It's as though I'm tossed out in space, bouncing off these brilliantly sparkling glimpses of his world. Our world. However, like those drifting towards their inevitable deaths in "Kaleidoscope", I feel especially euphoric, even though many of these "slices of life" are quite bleak. How is that? When I learn to write something like this, I can die a happy man.
"We talked of such things instead of the things I wanted to talk about. And he listened to me. That was the thing he did, as if he was trying to fill himself up with all the sound he could hear. He listened to the wind and the falling ocean and my voice, always with a rapt attention, a concentration that almost excluded physical bodies themselves and kept only the sounds."
People always tell me how we seem to re-connect, "picking up right where we last left off", as if I'd never left. This part seems to be how I feel sometimes, talking with others - when I'm truly listening. However, I've found, as I've gotten older, I'm listening LESS. I don't like that. I used to absorb more, which allowed me to understand others better. To feel more. Now, it seems I fall into the "lecture" mode more often, failing to concentrate on "the wind and the falling ocean and [their] voice[s]".
So many powerful observations, by Julian Barnes, in this short, concise novella of teenage angst evolved into post-teen “memories” which are brilliantSo many powerful observations, by Julian Barnes, in this short, concise novella of teenage angst evolved into post-teen “memories” which are brilliant insights into relationships, perspectives and knowing nothing at all. Again, like the movie "Memento", a great look at our perceptions of what and HOW we remember things. This one hit me a couple of times with great little twists and turns that make me double-think my own memories...or how I choose to recall them?...more
This was such an inspirational non-fiction book. Unfortunately I ONLY read this after I'd left Katmandu and missed visiting this orphanage which was rThis was such an inspirational non-fiction book. Unfortunately I ONLY read this after I'd left Katmandu and missed visiting this orphanage which was right behind my friends' houses near the Monkey Temple. ...more
“All know that the drop merges into the ocean, but few know that the ocean merges into the drop.” ― Kabir
I like how they analyze Thomas Freidman’s sli“All know that the drop merges into the ocean, but few know that the ocean merges into the drop.” ― Kabir
I like how they analyze Thomas Freidman’s slight mis-reading of the Flattening of the world, and understand how India certainly has—and will—take advantage of their strengths which puts them ahead of many other Developing Nations with Internet and technological advances. I think I’m missing a few points, or simply disagree with their take, however, it will fascinating to watch how some of their predictions are coming to fruition, and how India and the region will develop in the very near future. Exciting, beautiful, scary, wonderful, colorful, tasty times. Oh, the potential! ...more
OK, I will not lie, I struggled through this one. I would NOT recommend skipping the first 500 pages, these characters, some vaguely mentioned in prevOK, I will not lie, I struggled through this one. I would NOT recommend skipping the first 500 pages, these characters, some vaguely mentioned in previous novels and others completely—seemingly, out of the mists—will be pivotal later on. Those last 450 or so pages well worth the slog through the other kingdoms. I just loaned this out to Emily, since she still can’t find her Kindle, and I hope she has less troubles than I did…. Oh, Spoiler Alert: Everyone Dies. ...more
Satisfied. Wanting more. What is that? Unsatisfied? Content? Martin, get off your butt and finish this already! Impatient? I never thought I could getSatisfied. Wanting more. What is that? Unsatisfied? Content? Martin, get off your butt and finish this already! Impatient? I never thought I could get so caught up in a series. It’s never happened before…Sorry, no, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and on the little screen, “Breaking Bad”. ‘Nuff said....more
There are only a few passages that didn't resonate, though this book came along at just the right time. This has been a challenging year and I first pThere are only a few passages that didn't resonate, though this book came along at just the right time. This has been a challenging year and I first picked this book up back in October, when I was starting on a downward track emotionally, physically and socially. Still, I was reading more of Paulo Coelho's, "The Manual of the Warrior of Light", which when randomly opened, you can find short gems on maintaining that Warrior of Light status.
Many of those I care about are not in the brightest lights right now, this portion goes out to them: page 52 - 53
"What of Pain? Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Thus trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen, And the cup he brings, though it burns your lips, has been fashion from the clay by which the Potter has moistened with his own sacred tears." ...more
"They were not heroes, they were simply men of virtue doing what had to be done. Those six who placed that replacement flag atop Mount Suribachi, Iwo"They were not heroes, they were simply men of virtue doing what had to be done. Those six who placed that replacement flag atop Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, never thought of themselves as anything special. Most of them were haunted by the true heroes, "Those who never left that island."
This book does a great justice rectifying many of the misconceptions, lies, myths and misunderstandings about this iconic photo of six young boys following orders.
I wish Bradley [author] dealt more clearly and completely with the August 6, and August 9 bombings on Mainland, Japan. He glossed over Hiroshima and truly missed a great opportunity to inform and enlighten further, especially since many reading this may not have much prior knowledge about these events. Surely, plenty more has been written about those terrible events, but it would have been a great contrast to the struggle to mention the reasons behind the SECOND bombing [Nagasaki] three days after, where an estimated 80,000 more were killed. Was this second bomb necessary? Was the first?