I couldn't put this book down. It was very informative about pre-revolutionary Chinese culture. But even more than that, it was an interesting emotionI couldn't put this book down. It was very informative about pre-revolutionary Chinese culture. But even more than that, it was an interesting emotional journey. In the beginning, Wang Lung's character seems so simple and kinda static, albeit respectable. But as the novel progresses, his character becomes more and more complex, more and more human. It was hard for me to really define my opinion of him when it was all over. It wasn't as simple as just hating him because there was also a part of him that was good, even in the end. That's what makes him human. I think that feeling is the result of the peek Buck gives us into Wang Lung's mind during difficult decisions.
I think we all wanted to get more of O-lan. Obviously we all sympathize with her and, despite her unlikeability to pretty much everyone in the novel, she is extremely likeable and respectable to us as modern western readers. But I think the fact that we DON'T get to be more involved with her has meaning in itself. She was considered insignificant despite the fact that all of her contributions are arguably the most significant. As readers we were only allowed to see the surface of O-lan's character, just as everyone in her society saw--it's all they cared to see and really, it's all they believed there was. I think it's very clever writing on Buck's part....more
I love this story and the book is so much more thorough than the musical (which I also love--who doesn't?). It has a strange way of fostering love andI love this story and the book is so much more thorough than the musical (which I also love--who doesn't?). It has a strange way of fostering love and hope in the reader for a hateful, vindictive creature, even more so than the play because it provides a detailed account of the Phantom's entire life. I like the conflicting emotions that it evokes. ...more
This book is such a great motivator. I can't see how anybody could read it and not be moved to change their current habits and make plans for a healthThis book is such a great motivator. I can't see how anybody could read it and not be moved to change their current habits and make plans for a healthier lifestyle, both mentally and physically. I already had strong beliefs against video games and the crazy "technology age" that we live in (as I frequent a book website--hey, the internet isn't ALL bad), which may explain why a person like me would be drawn to a book like this. It certainly reaffirms what I already think.
I really like that Louv included a lot of references to academic research--I always value that in a book that makes claims as strong as his. He also cited several other works that I am now looking to read.
What I didn't love about this book is Louv's style of writing. Like another reviewer said, I felt like it was kinda preachy (for lack of a better word). Also, at times it felt like the line between his summary of research and his own ideas was a little fuzzy. That said, I would definitely, definitely recommend this book to all parents, educators, and other humans. Everyone has something to glean from it....more
I wish I could have made it through this entire book. I actually attempted to read this before I saw the musical and almost didn't see the musical becI wish I could have made it through this entire book. I actually attempted to read this before I saw the musical and almost didn't see the musical because of it (which would have been terribly tragic). Basically, I LOVE this story and all the themes surrounding it (individualism, good vs. evil, what defines good and evil, some 1984-esque stuff,etc) and it's packed with powerful irony. Unfortunately, I found the book too offensive to get through. The language and graphic imagery were pretty shocking stuff. I gave it 3 stars because I love the story but I can't give it 5 because of the fact that I couldn't bring myself to finish it. Who knows, maybe I'm just a prude....more
I really loved this book. It is definitely strange but that's part of its (and Oscar Wilde's) charm. I especially loved this book for the idea of a viI really loved this book. It is definitely strange but that's part of its (and Oscar Wilde's) charm. I especially loved this book for the idea of a visual representation of how our actions affect our souls. Dorian's portrait starts out as strikingly good looking but as his actions get worse and worse, his portrait gets uglier and uglier. It really made me think a lot...and I like books that do that....more
Like many other reviewers I was supposed to read this book in high school, but I'm glad I skipped class because I may not have reread it now as an aduLike many other reviewers I was supposed to read this book in high school, but I'm glad I skipped class because I may not have reread it now as an adult and that would have been my great loss.
It took me awhile to get into the book but I pressed on out of a duty to good literature. Once I really got into it, I really started seeing Flaubert for the genius that he was.
Flaubert's treatment of religion was very interesting to me. Using Homais the chemist as his mouthpiece, he directly shares philosophies about religion that were very contrary to his day. Also, when Emma turns to religion, Flaubert's language in describing her visions of heaven ("seraphic harps" and "a golden throne")mimicks that used to describe her romantic fantasies. Emma has an obsessive fascination with God, and as Flaubert implies, her "relationship" with him verges on being sexual. The relationship is brief and dies out after it proves disappointing, just like her other "escape" relationships. She is using religion in the same way that she used her affairs. It seems like the novel is contending that religious devotion is also a mere escape from boredom or despair.
I was really, really intrigued by the character of Homais. It seems like I would need to read this novel several times through to really appreciate him for what he is. On the surface he seems to have it all together: he has a good wife, children, and he does well in his profession. But he, like Emma, is discontented and seeks fulfillment outside of those things. The interesting thing is that, while Emma's flight tendencies stem from her romantic fantasies and obsessions, Homais is very grounded in science and reason but still has those same flight tendencies, though they are expressed much differently.
I can definitely see why Madame Bovary is required reading for pretty much every student. There is so much going on this book-- stylistically, thematically, and symbolically--that one could read it over and over and never cease to discover new things. It is beautiful.
This was an entertaining story but for me it was a little shallow. Three stars because the narrative kept me riveted, but no more because the substancThis was an entertaining story but for me it was a little shallow. Three stars because the narrative kept me riveted, but no more because the substance was kinda blah. ...more
I read this book because it is like the Bible of creative nonfiction, Truman Capote's brain child. The whole idea of a book like this--transforming blI read this book because it is like the Bible of creative nonfiction, Truman Capote's brain child. The whole idea of a book like this--transforming bland reporting of facts into meaningful fiction-like narration--is intriguing to me and Capote's style is very original and effective. It's super creepy to get into the minds of actual murderers, and to be honest, I had to make a rule for myself that I could only read it when my husband was home. It was very disturbing because it was so real. Definitely a major landmark title in literature. ...more