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Wow, I mean WOW! What an amazing ride this has been. Deathly Hallows was nothing short of a fitting ending to a fantastic series. I want to forget itWow, I mean WOW! What an amazing ride this has been. Deathly Hallows was nothing short of a fitting ending to a fantastic series. I want to forget it and read it all over again.
2nd Reading: Still as satisfying a novel as it was the first time. It truly is the proper ending to the saga of Harry Potter....more
After seeing the film, my wife convinced me to read the novel, and I am glad she did. Cunningham delivers and amazing story told in a very simple stylAfter seeing the film, my wife convinced me to read the novel, and I am glad she did. Cunningham delivers and amazing story told in a very simple style that is meant to pull you into the events without drowning you in verbosity. Though I haven't read Mrs. Dalloway, my wife tells me The Hours does a fantastic job of reimagining Woolfe's novel in a modern setting, while remaining all its own. On its own, The Hours still holds amazingly well, delivering a story that is sure to rock you to the core of your being....more
I was first made aware of this book by the BBC miniseries, which played on BBC America last year. My wife and I liked it, and I got my wife the novelI was first made aware of this book by the BBC miniseries, which played on BBC America last year. My wife and I liked it, and I got my wife the novel for her birthday, and ever since Sept. she has been bugging me to read the novel. With the DVD coming out, I decided to finally read it. Wow. Lemme say that again: Wow.
First of all, Sarah Waters is an amazing writer that from now on will forever remain on the Favorites list at my house. Tipping the Velvet is a great debut novel by a great writer, and that is a rare treat to find. Concerning the story of Nancy, a young girl from the British countryside, Tipping the Velvet develops as a coming-of-age story set in Victorian England. Nancy falls in love with Kitty Butler, a theatre performer who dresses up as a chap and sings songs (and who I totally despise) and eventually ends up in London, working alongside Kitty on the city theatre stages. From there the story develops as we see Nan go through hell (pretty much literally) and back, all while she tries to find herself and her place in the world. That Nan happens to be a tom (Victorian equivalent of lesbian) and that this coming-of-age story involves quite a few sexual scenes is a nice extra, but not the main drive. Tipping the Velvet is a story where the protagonist happens to be a lesbian protagonist, not a lesbian story; there's a difference, and it shows. Waters is always out to write a good novel, and even when she is using the elements of the various genres she mixes (Victoriana, lesbian, etc) she weaves them according to her rules, not the rules of the genre. This alone makes Tipping a rare novel. Coupled with Waters' uncanny ability to write in a Victorian voice more than 100 years later, and a style that grabs you and does not let go (I mean, her prose is simply addictive), the result is a novel that is as tender as it is bawdy. Simply put, this was a great book, made even better by the fact that it is only the initial offering from a very gifted writer. If this is only the first book by Sarah Waters, I cannot imagine what her other two are like, and what she has in store for us in the future....more
What can be said about the Harry Potter series that hasn't been said already! Though it was annoying having to wait three years in between books, OrdeWhat can be said about the Harry Potter series that hasn't been said already! Though it was annoying having to wait three years in between books, Order of the Phoenix was well worth the wait. What a great adventure. The plot thickens incredibly, and though many of the revelations in the book have been more or less made by many readers by now, it is shocking for the protagonists to find out once and for all what is going on, and that fate has in store. I love the dark tone of the book, how the story matures with the characters, and how Rowling does not talk down to anyone, not her characters and not the readers. I am already anxiously awaiting the next installment in the series, and all the surprises it is bound to bring. And I would like to go on record saying, the prophesy that is revealed at the end of the book, I think it is much darker in its implications than Dumbledore leads Harry to believe. Only time will tell. Write, Rowling, write!!!
Addendum: I like this book, but in the greater context of the series, I still feel this is the weakest link in the chain. A lot of the action in the book happens beyond Harry's control or participation, aside from the creation and training of Dumbledore's Army. It works mostly as a setup for the later books and as an information dump about the background of the greater storyline. So, good, but not the best of the bunch....more
I am curious to read The Da Vinci Code, so I decided to pick up Brown's previous novel, the first one with the character of Harvard symbologist RobertI am curious to read The Da Vinci Code, so I decided to pick up Brown's previous novel, the first one with the character of Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. The premise of the new rise of the ancient Illuminati was enough to grab my attention, and though I admit I was simply expecting a run-of-the-mill thriller, I was pleasantly surprised.
Please do understand, this book is a thriller, plain and simple; that said, it is actually a good story. Brown's writing is plain, sometimes bordering on the melodramatic, though I guess for the genre it is okay. The story is quite good. Even though as a reader you never really have to put much thought into what is going on--everything is spelled out and revealed quite nicely--the story is good enough, and interesting enough, to keep you turning pages. The scavenger hunt across Rome in search of the Church of Illumination, the ancient secret lair of the Illuminati, dominates most of the action, and while, as I said, things are spelled out for the reader, I quite enjoyed it. Having visited Rome, and various of the locales featured in the book, and knowing some of the artwork mentioned as being key to the story, it was fun to see how Brown managed to craft a great plot out of ingenious interpretation of existing places and artifacts. I am not exactly sure how much of the story if the Illuminati is true, and how much is Brown's own making, but I will give him props for blending the two so nicely that I have actually to hit my books to find out. The resolution is weak and expected, surprising for a book with so many interesting twists. That said, it is not disappointing, and wraps up the story well, even if there are a few holes that we simply decide to ignore for convenience's sake.
At the heart of the novel, however, is a very interesting premise, the eternal question of Science vs. God. The Catholic Church (and Christianity in general) has, historically, been quite opposed to scientific evolution based on the grounds that science seeks to disprove the existence of God. Scientists throughout the ages, though starting primarily with the Renaissance, have decried the Church as being an enemy of science for fear that science will prove that there is no God. Both sides present their arguments in the book, and at the end the reader is left to form his own opinion, as it should be. Personally, my position can be best summed up as follows: some scientist say that looking at science and all we have learned from it proves that there is no God. I say that, looking at science and all we have learned from it, how can there be no God! Science, and all its discoveries, to me is the ultimate proof of the magnificence of God.
If you are going to read The Da Vinci Code, this novel serves as a good introduction to Brown's style, the main character, and the way in which the author mixes historical fact with carefully-planned fiction in order to craft an enjoyable tale....more