This is a book I randomly stumbled upon at a friend's house. Having nothing to read on the bus, I took it and was surprised to find how easy and pleasThis is a book I randomly stumbled upon at a friend's house. Having nothing to read on the bus, I took it and was surprised to find how easy and pleasant it was to read. Amazingly, this book is far from obsolete. Conclusions are based on solid logic derived from people's behaviour, which obviously has remained pretty much unchanged for the last couple of centuries. I agreed with and enjoyed a great deal of the insights to human nature, and got some interesting new ideas that might affect my thinking from now on....more
An interesting read which raised some questions, but I was expecting something a bit more thorough. The book tried to condense information so much thaAn interesting read which raised some questions, but I was expecting something a bit more thorough. The book tried to condense information so much that it failed to explain how opinions and conclusions were reached. It was only helpful in summarising the connections between things I've already read about. I think it would do a better job as a short summary than an introduction....more
At first, it was the sheer absurdity of the book's title combined with the author's name (Kaputt and Curzio! Bulgarians know what I'm talking about) tAt first, it was the sheer absurdity of the book's title combined with the author's name (Kaputt and Curzio! Bulgarians know what I'm talking about) to draw out this book at Somnium Proxy's house and start reading it aloud, in all its glory. It took 100 pages of this book to get us all laughing out of our minds, and some of the pearls of its genius will surely be used in conversation a lot over the next few months. This book is such an entertaining read that I find it hard to describe my feelings for it exactly. It's the endless descriptions, with each separate character described carefully from head to toe, regardless of their role later on in the novel (or lack of it, as it is in most cases). It's these very same characters that keep repeating themselves, and what others say as well, in every single one of their conversations. It's the unbelievable fact that the author is obviously so close to his characters that, just like them, he actually keeps repeating himself in his descriptions. And then, hold the line, there is more to come - it's descriptions. The style is compelling and easy to get under the reader's skin: it usually involves someone's eyes being like the ones of: a) an animal; b) a fish; c) a reptile. If you're pretentious enough to be dissatisfied with all this overflowing madness, just wait patiently until the next phrase lacking ANY kind of sense comes across you. Because yes, it seems like all the stuff in this book does come across its readers more than they come across it.
Иначе казано, откъде точно започна четенето на книгата. 1. Епично търсене на отговора на въпроса "В крайна сметка какво е Капут?!" в предговора. Очевидно авторът си го задава не по-рядко от нас. 2. Прочитане на няколко от заглавията на частите и главите. 3. Прочитане на пълния списък със заглавията на частите и главите. 4. Литературно четене. Много смях....more
I can't say the book was particularly interesting in the first and especially in the third part, where King tells us a bit about about his biography.I can't say the book was particularly interesting in the first and especially in the third part, where King tells us a bit about about his biography. It definitely had its moments, but as a whole the book would not be even half as fascinating had it not been for the "On Writing" part.
No other book has ever had such a huge influence on my writing, I think. "On Writing" serves its purpose better than I could imagine - in a light, affable manner it manages to somehow reach me subconsciously. To my surprise, the very next time I sat to correct some of my work (my idiotic novel "Hatu Bob"), I really did follow the advice from the book. I was correcting my writing just in the way King had suggested, and I realized it only after doing the whole thing. Even though I did not entirely agree on some of the points in the book, later on when writing I convinced myself that language does sound better with these remarks in mind. I was really amused when I found myself removing all the adverbs... XD
Anyway, I came to love this book and will treasure it as my first manual to writing....more
Perhaps my expectations for this book were a bit overhyped. Perhaps reading Brave New World beforehand influenced my mind a bit too much. I believe (aPerhaps my expectations for this book were a bit overhyped. Perhaps reading Brave New World beforehand influenced my mind a bit too much. I believe (at least I desperately hope) that 1984 is the book of the past, while Brave New World describes the future - horrifying as it may seem, but still too engaging to resist. I am certain, however, that the main reason I didn't enjoy this book too much was that I already knew about most of the things happening in it.
And sadly, it was not because someone majorly spoiled it for me, it was from stories of my parents' personal experiences. They've told me so much about the communist regime that I don't really want to read a whole lot about it anymore. This fictional world is not very different from the world my parents lived in.
That's probably why the book didn't seem to impart much more than an endless procession of misery. It couldn't shock me: it just kept on reminding me, over and over again, how horrible life was during the communist control over my home country. If they had the technology for it then, they would have installed their telescreens - other sources of information however, like friends, neighbours and children, were there to do their task a bit less efficiently. The past wasn't fully destroyed, but it was concealed so well that the after-effect still hasn't washed out in Bulgaria - I have the feeling it won't, for years and years to come. The pleasure of sex and the joy from relationships weren't condemned, I guess because it would have been nearly impossible to control such basic instincts for humans, but those topics were certainly not discussed much out in the open. Torture mechanisms were, I suppose, not as advanced, but I can't really have precise information about this. Other than that, to me 1984 was just a dreary recollection of what I knew about everyday situations a few decades ago. It was just depression, depression, and then some more depression. Nothing to do with Animal Farm, whose witty allegory and humorous accusation I loved so much.
1984 is a masterful work of art, in any case. Orwell did something of great importance to society, and I didn't read that in a book, I felt it on my own with every word of his (hence the fourth star). The existence of this book is vital to our world. We should remember how much a seemingly virtuous idea could go wrong, and at least make new mistakes instead of the old ones over again. What shocks me most about this book is that some people (even Bulgarians who had family members living under the communist regime, not to mention people who actually HAVE lived at these times and haven't noticed - or have successfully forgotten - how wrong things were) are still convinced that 1984's story is purely fictional, or perhaps is loosely based on actual events and practices. It's not. It tells about affairs that were strictly hidden from most people until much later, and it discusses them with great insight. Even right now, in 2010, such great effort is made for the past to be erased, it's just vicious.
The whole book is a rebel on its own, and this should never be forgotten. Otherwise the Ministry of Truth would finally, and indisputably, win....more