As is probably true for many, my first encounter with this book (and with Hemingway in general) was the dreaded high school summer reading one had toAs is probably true for many, my first encounter with this book (and with Hemingway in general) was the dreaded high school summer reading one had to accomplish before the old musty halls rang again with our stupendous volume of noise in September.
I picked this as one of my reading choices and regretted it. What a stupid book, I said. There is no point to this. Who cares about this guy and his fish?
I could say now that I wasn't being very smart at the time. However, one of the failings of higher education, in my opinion, is that teachers have a tendency to just tell you, Read this because it is important, without assisting you in finding the deeper meaning, the why, for yourself.
As time went on, I developed a grudging respect for Hemingway via his short stories. I read more about the Lost Generation. I read some biographies. And for all of his misogyny and grizzled old man swagger, I've grown to rather like him. The Sun Also Rises is my favorite book of his so far, but I haven't read all of them yet.
And I hadn't picked this up again since high school. My book club chose it as our next selection, so I set aside two hours of my day and read about Santiago and his struggle.
My high school self was right - if you read this just as, some dude caught a big fish, whoop de do, you will probably walk away thinking it's stupid. Now that I know better, of course, there is much more lying fathoms beneath the surface.
Santiago could be seen as pig-headed, for refusing to let go, but how many of us have been in his situation? He has become the butt of many jokes for being a failure. This makes him more determined and pushes him further out to sea.
There are also religious elements to this story, if you read closely. Is Santiago a Christ-like figure? He could be.
Still not my favorite book, but definitely worthwhile to peruse again....more
I miss the old covers. I seem to only be able to find the reprints, which have awful covers. The book was edited slightly to include a mention of cellI miss the old covers. I seem to only be able to find the reprints, which have awful covers. The book was edited slightly to include a mention of cellular phones, because that sure as hell would not have been in the original edition.
Anyway, I always thought Mary Anne was whiny. She still kind of is. However, as an adult reading this again, the book's plot struck a chord with me, with regards to the infighting at the BSC. They blow up and get steaming mad, and then they can't remember why. The lunchroom scenes hurt. I've been there. It sucks....more
(I have the full-length "Deathbed" edition, I suppose it is, that runs to 500-plus pages; however, in the interest of time - and interest, heh - our b(I have the full-length "Deathbed" edition, I suppose it is, that runs to 500-plus pages; however, in the interest of time - and interest, heh - our book club chose this one, as it only has twelve poems).
Walt and I go way back to middle school, wherein I first discovered "O Captain! My Captain!" I had no idea of the full import of this poem, but I liked it. Flash-forward years later, when I realized, after discovering a few more of his poems, that the above elegy was not the rule, rather the exception.
If Whitman were alive today, I think he would be the man who hangs around on the streetcorner with a foot-long beard a la a ZZTop bandmember, chanting vociferously such things as, "Within there runs blood! The same old blood! The same red-running blood!"
Prophet, or madman? the people would speculate. Whitman was an interesting fellow, and some of his work was quite explicit: "Limitless limpid jets of love hot and enormous, quivering jelly of love, white-blow and delirious juice" Even for now, that is fairly blunt, but one can definitely understand why in 1855, people balked at his poetry.
There is such exuberance in certain passages; they leap off the pages and dance. It makes you want to examine a leaf of grass, because perhaps you never have before, and this is what living is, appreciating the small, the mundane, even. So, you grab a blade of grass and perhaps you get bitten by ants, and you curse Walt Whitman, because who has time to look at that stuff, anyway? Perhaps some of that joy was feigned, a sly wink at his audience?
Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself.
Everyone should read some Whitman, though, because he is an important part of American literary history. ...more
I'm fairly certain I'd heard of Alcala before, but didn't know much about him. Calling him "the dating game killer" is kind of a misnomer, in my opiniI'm fairly certain I'd heard of Alcala before, but didn't know much about him. Calling him "the dating game killer" is kind of a misnomer, in my opinion, because his rap sheet had nothing to do with his appearance on said show. But to say it isn't creepy. . .
This book got a bit repetitive and the short chapters were rather obnoxious, but other than that, it read quickly and was written in a fairly engaging style....more
John Adams was a family doctor in England in the 1940s-50s. After having a Mrs. Morrell die under his care in the early part of the 50s, he was put onJohn Adams was a family doctor in England in the 1940s-50s. After having a Mrs. Morrell die under his care in the early part of the 50s, he was put on trial for her murder in 1956. In his past were several others who had died under drug-induced circumstances, as well, which led the police to train their sights on him. Especially since many of his patients bequeathed money and objects to him. In the case of Mrs. Morrell, a woman in her eighties who had suffered a severe stroke and was being given heroin and morphine, she was leaving him a silver chest, and at one point it was rumored her old Rolls Royce. She seems rather contentious based on her adding and then cutting the good doctor out of her will, and then adding him once again. It was at this point that the patient was given some rather large doses of injectable drugs, the same heroin and morphine, under which amount she lapsed into a coma and died. Was Dr. Adams guilty of murdering her? Was intent criminal?
The book itself was written years later by the trial judge who presided over the case. It is at times a bit dry, but it is an intriguing look into British trial law at that time. The judge also gives his own opinion on the case, looking back upon it years later.
On a personal note, I was rather giddy to find that the University of Virginia's Law Library was willing to loan this out to my local library for me to read! ...more