This book started off strong for me. I literally lol'd a fair amount. I was into it. But then...OK, a while back I had arranged for my BF to pick me uThis book started off strong for me. I literally lol'd a fair amount. I was into it. But then...OK, a while back I had arranged for my BF to pick me up from work. Around 6pm he texted "I see your building". 10 minutes later I got in the passenger seat and was quickly chided for "taking so damn long". I was advised that "I can see your building" means the same thing as "I'm here." I argued. As we got on the highway I pointed out the Green Building (downtown Dallas) and noted that we were at least a 20 minute drive from there. The fact that we could both clearly see the Green Building (apparently they can make it other colors now, like purple) doesn't mean we are there. You could see the Green Building and potentially be more than 30 minutes from there. So, now, circling back to my review. About three quarters of the way through this book I could "see" the "Green Building" and expected a good half hour drive before I arrived there. Suddenly, though, we took a weird route and ended up there in like five minutes. I was like "Oh...OK." It was, how do you say in English? Anti-Climactic. ...more
In the beginning there are Wall Street Bankers alone in dark rooms full of money. Then there are Icelanders unimpressed with Bjork blowing up Range RoIn the beginning there are Wall Street Bankers alone in dark rooms full of money. Then there are Icelanders unimpressed with Bjork blowing up Range Rovers, Irish Donald Trump Wannabes, Corrupt and Conniving Greek Monks and an Overstaffed, Overpaid and Underperforming Greek Public Sector, Duped and Poop-Obsessed Germans, and then finally California. The Governator, Wine Country, Silicon Valley, Police, Firefighters, Fatties, Me, You, and a Dark Room Full of Money. ...more
This isn't the first time where I read a book and while reading would be like "Wait. Who is this character again? How are they related to such and sucThis isn't the first time where I read a book and while reading would be like "Wait. Who is this character again? How are they related to such and such?" And then I'd go back and re-read; maybe even keep a list of names running w/ a brief description of who they are or why they are significant. I didn't do any of that this time, though, b/c I simply didn't care about any of these people.
I finished this last night and thought to myself what did I just read? What was this book about? I still can't remember/don't know.
There are fucked up timelines to where it seemed as though these characters went to high school in the late 90s (ok, so they're about a decade younger than me), and then were in their 40s in the 2030s. I'm probably wrong, I mean, I'm sure I am--but like I said I had zero desire to reread any of this shit so I'll just leave it at "was unnecessarily confusing."
In one of the later chapters we learn that one of the characters ends up marrying a college boyfriend and they have two kids together, one who has autism. An entire chapter is devoted to the writing's of the girl which are all done in charts and graphs. The boy likes to point out and time pauses in songs. Which one is autistic? I have no idea.
To sum up: this book, to me, was so dumb. Really, really dumb. For real.
A friend of mine loaned me this book via Nook's "Lend Me" option which is both gay and retarded. I didn't realize at the time (neither of us did) thatA friend of mine loaned me this book via Nook's "Lend Me" option which is both gay and retarded. I didn't realize at the time (neither of us did) that the book is only on loan for 14 days and can only be loaned once. So what happened was, I didn't finish. I had about 150 pages left when I got a very rude alert telling me, essentially, to have a good day.
Anyway, the ending that I did not read and have no idea about may have compelled me to give this one three stars, but as I have no desire to finish it and couldn't manage even to finish in two weeks (of no work), I figured I'd settle on two.
Here is what I know from the 350 odd pages that I did manage to read (CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS!):
This book is about a yuppie couple who have a couple of kids
Turns out their marriage sucks
Wife always wanted to have sex w/ hubby's best friend [image error]
Hubby's best friend, like most of the characters in this book, is unlikable
Uber-liberal couple end up raising a Republican son that hates their guts (for reasons that aren't clearly identified)
Uber-liberal couple's daughter isn't mentioned much
Wife cheats on hubby w/ asshole rocker best friend; hubby cheats on wife with young indian homewrecker
Characters are one-dimensional and stereotypical. Author praised as someone with insight into "American Experience." Don't get it. Not trying to be a Franzen hater, never even heard of the guy until my friend e-lended me her copy. Read some reviews on here today and realized people are hot or cold over the guy. Put me in the cold camp, please. ...more
$%&!#@ I don't know what the fuck I hit, but I just deleted what was the first half of my outstanding review. I'll start over, but we all know it'$%&!#@ I don't know what the fuck I hit, but I just deleted what was the first half of my outstanding review. I'll start over, but we all know it's never as good as the first time.
I never read this book in school. It may have been assigned, I don't remember b/c I didn't attend class (yes, even all the way back to junior high) and even if I had, I sure as hell didn't read. Aside from this absurd idea I have that since I didn't read any of the designated Must Reads in school I HAVE to read them now, the fact that this year marks the 50th anniversary of this book's publication also compelled to familiarize myself with this bestseller.
This book is about societal norms. It highlights the pure mythology of our expectations about gender and family and community, and the desperate pathetic need we have to keep this imaginary construct in tact. Mostly, though, it's about racism--"Southern" racism.
Now I wanna make a point that I don't want to belabor but feel important to mention (to me, anyway), as someone who's grown up in the South yet traveled fairly extensively outside of it (at least Stateside), and as someone who owns a TV and uses The Interwebs, I absolutely LOATHE when my fellow Americans who happened to not be born in the South act is if the word Nigger has never been uttered North or West of the Mason-Dixon line. Let's not delude ourselves. This shit's an American problem, not just a Southern one.
50 years later and we have a Black President. All's well that ends well, right? Not quite. Turns out all We had to do to discover how far We haven't come is to elect a black president. A Black, Muslin*, Foreign, Uppity, Socialist, Communist, Terrorist President.
As much as I love this book there's one thing I know: Atticus didn't exist then and he doesn't exist now. He's as much a fiction as that other "Love Thy Neighbor" motherfucker who they hung up on a cross. To err is human, to suggest that some sicko who'd lynch a black man for catching a glimpse of a white woman through his peripheral should be jailed or hanged also has some good qualities and, you know, you just have to get to know him is a load of horse shit.
I believe in an Atticus, though. Just not this one. I know Atticus. He went to college and then law school, he's idealistic and compassionate, he was raised around and is even related to bigots. He despises racism yet can't keep the word nigger from out of his thoughts every time a black person wrongs him in some way. He's got tons of white guilt. He'd rather get mugged than offend a black homeless crackhead who lives under a bridge near his work by crossing the street or walking briskly to and from his office. He smiles more than normal in black neighborhoods. He tries. He fucking tries. But he's not perfect, no one is. Let's not delude ourselves.
Then there's Scout. My god I love Scout. She's young and curious and keen and isn't interested in meaningless chit chat w/ the "ladies". She's knows it's bullshit when her teacher is outraged by Hitler's expressed desire to eradicate the Jews despite her seeming not to give even so much as two shits about Tom Robinson's being railroaded by her fellow citizens and murdered by the local cops (C'mon, we all know he wasn't really running). Before I wrote this review I looked up some reviews written at the time the book was published and found a few that weren't sold on Scout. They just couldn't believe a girl as young as Scout could be so smart. Meanwhile, not one peep about how Atticus is morally superior to EVERY ONE. Whatever, maybe I'm just biased b/c I hate skirts and love overalls but I never doubted Scout's authenticity. I think I love her so much because of and not despite the fact that she told us the story at age nine. I don't really have much to say about Jem. He was cool but this review is getting long and I'm getting tired. He and Boo and Dill and all the various other Maycomb County Players are more or less bullet points under headings 1: Atticus: Be the good that you want to see in the world and 2: Scout: Trust your instincts and question everything. So, yeah, how can you not be down with that?
I downloaded this before xmas last year for the annual road trip to Dallas. One thing I want to note here is that iTunes sucks for books. I mean, youI downloaded this before xmas last year for the annual road trip to Dallas. One thing I want to note here is that iTunes sucks for books. I mean, you have to do some real navigating to find something recorded in the last 20 years by someone under 80 and not The Shack. I think I'd have more luck finding a cute top or bag at Ross. Anyway, so, this book wasn't on my 'to-read' list but fell under the 'It'll do' category.
And then, it wouldn't do. I couldn't even finish listening to this book.
I finally gave up when the family pet died and was reunited with the dead girl in heaven. ...more
Wanted to get some pleasure reading done over Spring Break. Well, pleasure isn't the right word for this book, but you know what I'm saying. I had a hWanted to get some pleasure reading done over Spring Break. Well, pleasure isn't the right word for this book, but you know what I'm saying. I had a handful of 'to-reads' on my nightstand and this is the only one that grabbed me. ...more
There's this kickass iphone app called 'Stanza' where you can upload a bunch of books to your phone...for free! When I first downloaded the app I didnThere's this kickass iphone app called 'Stanza' where you can upload a bunch of books to your phone...for free! When I first downloaded the app I didn't realize how it worked and only found two free titles: Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." Goodreads David had recently (and marvelously) reviewed Oz, thus inspiring me to choo-choo-choose It. (I've since found an assload of other free books available for download to your phone, including (notably) Darwin's Origin of Species, Melville's Moby Dick, Paine's Common Sense and USA's (!!) Constitution.)
Anyyellowbrickroad- I thoroughly enjoyed touching my way through the tiny text. It was nearly impossible for me to read w/o picturing Judy Garland and all the other characters from the movie, but that only made me realize how well the movie was done (way back before CGI!). The other theme running through my mind was how this book was, supposedly, an allegory for the Gold Standard , the Populism movement, and the ills associated with the Industrial Revolution. I had also read that Baum was pro-women's rights, and was vocal about how they should be given the right to vote. This made me wonder if he was hot and imagine what it would have been like to have dated him.
Whether any of the theories about Baum and this story being about his political ideals/tendencies is true or not I have no idea. But once the seed is planted, that theme was all that sprouted up as I read. Honestly, though, I think it made me enjoy it more. I love subversion!
After I read it I saw something on the interwebs about this being the 70th anniversary of the movie. In honor of this fact, the Empire State Building had planned a day to light up the top building green. Around that same time, there was a request from a political group suggesting the building be lit up green as a sign of solidarity with the Iranian people. They were told "Oh, yeah, no. We already have plans to light it up that day for Wizard of Oz anniversary." And when the political group found out it was going to be green ANYWAY they were like "Oh, that's cool." THEN... then, the people in charge of determining when that shit gets lit up and what color it's going to be thought "Fuck. What if some maniacs see our green lights and think it's some kind of political statement against Iran and then decide the fly a plane into us or something ?!" So at the last minute they went with red, as in Dorothy's ruby red slippers. Which, you know, in the book are actually silver.
Ingenious. Clever. Heartwarming. I liked it. I liked it a lawt. I don't want to waste your time or the tiny bit of brain power I have going right nowIngenious. Clever. Heartwarming. I liked it. I liked it a lawt. I don't want to waste your time or the tiny bit of brain power I have going right now with a plot synopsis, and anyway this book has been reviewed on GR a bunch (and there are some good ones out there)so you can read more about what it's about elsewhere. But I do wanna say that, for me, the book's got a strong Seinfeldy/Larry David vibe. There's tons of general observations about everyday nothingness that evolve into epiphanies about the world we live in and/or philosophical rants. And most of the book is set in an office superstore which is a little like, "who the fuck cares what goes on in a Staples?" which reminded me of the Seinfeld where Jerry and George pitch their show to NBC as being "about nothing." At one point I thought "Hmm. That's sort of derivative, have to knock it down a star." Then I tried reading Bethany (one of the main characters) as Elaine Bennis, but it didn't work. So I realized that while it was reminiscent, it was still original, new...fresh! I found the characters relatable, likable, and real. Besides, nothing's born in a vacuum.
Aside from all of that, the book's actually pretty dark. One of the things Coupland does so well in _The Gum Thief_ is transition from the everyday setting of bad lighting, shithead customers and gossipy teens to heavier issues like suicide, the loss of a child, drug abuse, illness, insanity, and heartbreak without even blinking. It's all so unbelievably believable. And, oddly, not a bummer at all.
I don't know. I'm not sure what else to say about it. There's so much going on. You just have to read it for yourself. I read a negative review by a goodreader that suggested all the characters had the same voice: Coupland's. I didn't get that AT ALL. I mean, I think to have characters that work together, or are friends with each other, or are related to each other each have a voice or perspective so different from the other's would be not only off-putting, but unrealistic. I am a lot like the people I hang around for a reason: I like people who share a similar outlook on life and get my sense of humor. Other than that the reviewer complained the main character was too old to be goth. She's obviously never been to gothsinhotweather.com, or a Marilyn Manson concert.