Really wanted to like it, but the plot left me wanting in spite of being convoluted, and the writing style was wordy and precious.
It was a inReally wanted to like it, but the plot left me wanting in spite of being convoluted, and the writing style was wordy and precious.
It was a interesting take on a post-Ragnarok world and the powers that survived it. The action was fun, tensions and stakes high enough to keep you wondering what in the hell is going to happen next, and the main protagonist, Jesse, was actually likable! That's a rare treat for a character who starts off as whiny and convinced of his own inability to make meaningful decisions. As a man with nothing left to lose at the beginning, it's nice seeing him come into his own.
(view spoiler)[The characters are many in this book, and Brom can't seem to make up his mind about which one is the protagonist, so he switches POV a lot. You get used to it, but after a while it starts to seem like an excuse for him to write more random details that are meant to "ground" the story in "reality", but really just serve drag down what little magic he manages to drum up with his supernatural characters.
Speaking of magic, Krampus himself is a lot less otherworldly and majestic than I was hoping. In fact, almost everything interesting that he did was because of the Santa sack. After a while you do get the feeling that he really was a low-caste spirit that was powerless without the tools of the old gods. Santa was not much better, and though you do get the feeling that he is more of a villain than Krampus (a little in the vein of Moore's Ozymandias), his arc is not adequately resolved or explored by the end; instead, Brom uses "God" as a sort of deus ex machina to hamfist those lose threads away.
The ensemble cast of humans is enjoyable enough, though many details we're given about them seem completely unnecessary and sometimes distract from what could have been an otherwise straightforward and enjoyable plot. For instance, the chapter with the meth cookers, and the subsequent chapters involving the rescued the little girl seemed like a complete waste of time. The subject of epidemic drug use in rural America could have been breached with far less ink, and had much more of an emotional impact if Brom hadn't taken a case study and obsessively laid it bare by showing us every little piece of grime and viscera.
Chet and Vernon are dragged along for the ride for reasons that are beyond me - Vernon spends the whole book complaining, and Chet's enslavement is more for revenge than anything. His arc peters out and he quite literally just disappears by the end.
Mostly, however, I just couldn't get over how many tiny meaningless details are contained in the book in true tell-not-show fashion. We're given names of things that don't need naming - streets, brands, medications, car make and models - and it feels like it's because the author is unsure of his worldbuilding capabilities. Instead of "shabby sedan", we're told Linda specifically drives a Ford Escort, to no particular end, and it feels like Brom has a hard time trusting the imagination of his readers.
Though I suppose, in a world where we're all enslaved by our screens like "lobotomy patients", perhaps that fear is not unwarranted. (hide spoiler)]...more
Great book. I've been approaching this way of living for a few years now, but this has really taken me to the next level, especially as I'm currently Great book. I've been approaching this way of living for a few years now, but this has really taken me to the next level, especially as I'm currently in the process of moving into my SO's and my first long-term apartment together.
I really don't understand half of the bad reviews on here. Seriously, you're mad because Kondo didn't tell you what to do with your medication or whatever? Or that she's "crazy" because she's animist?
Yes, living as though your inanimate possessions have feelings and a consciousness is called animism, folks, and it's alive and well in Japan, where the author comes from. If you're a westerner and expect all self-help books to cater to you thematically and culturally, get over yourself. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was written with a completely different audience in mind, and guess what, you're not part of that audience. Have a problem with animistic ways of doing and thinking about things? Go read all the thousands of other self-help books out there that don't do that.
I for one, am an animist and I GREATLY appreciated such a perspective on personal possessions and ownership. Every thing in our homes ought to be respected, and if you can't do that, then maybe you shouldn't be owning that thing.
To summarize, this book IS for people who:
- are animists or animist-leaning and want to develop a healthier relationship to the things they own - want to work towards minimalism in a non-judgmental way - like having rigid structures in place for cleaning and organizing
This book is NOT for people who:
- have no imagination - thinks everyone else in the world acts like a westerner or should - think foreign cultures are "crazy" - need to be micromanaged and can't make their own decisions about what should be gotten rid of - are not interested in minimalism - go through organization methods like diet fads...more
It was fine. I wasn't expecting it to talk about the institutional problems of waste, where government farm subsidies go, poverty... this is very cleaIt was fine. I wasn't expecting it to talk about the institutional problems of waste, where government farm subsidies go, poverty... this is very clearly a woman who lives in a bubble and doesn't understand that not everyone makes six figures or that half of America constitutes "food deserts".
Would have been nice, since becoming an actual activist is the only way to enact the changes that would bring this lifestyle closer to business as usual, but it much prefers monied feel-good-isms that let the corporations who have made being wasteful so fashionable know that you're still interested in being beholden to them. (Because being politically radical is gross and scary and doesn't make for good comfort blogging.)
Which is exactly what I was expecting.
Anyways, I found the endless bulleted lists to be very helpful and full of neat ideas. Learned to skip the chapter beginnings because they're full of weird rich-white-people-isms, moralizing, and ableism (good luck being ZW if you're diabetic or can't get out if bed some days let alone make 3 meals a day, 7 days a week).
My first Castaneda book (I think it's the only book of his that my library has), and I'm glad I didn't pay a dime for anything else by him. The "passeMy first Castaneda book (I think it's the only book of his that my library has), and I'm glad I didn't pay a dime for anything else by him. The "passes" are nothing but new age nonsense, possibly appropriated from older ideas? but I'm betting not. I was willing to give Castaneda a try in lieu of all the accusations leveled at him, but going through this book placed me firmly in the "fraud" camp. Don Juan is, in all likelihood, a complete fabrication. On the extremely unlikely off-chance that he was a real, lineaged, nahualli, then I have a very hard time believing that Castaneda's accounts of their interactions are anything but bunk.
If any of his writing has worthwhile things in them, you won't find them here....more