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review 2017-02-17 18:38
Spoiled sour meets spoiled sick
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

LOVED it. Sour Mary, spoiled Colin, chatty Martha, angelic Dickon, curmudgeon Ben, wise Mother, the whole thing.

 

Best part for me was where Mary starts shouting to Colin over his hypochondria induced tantrum. Lord, was the girl vicious! It was funny in an overboard, freeing way.

 

A very sweet classic  that makes you love unlikely leads.

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review 2015-04-20 03:09
One should pay attention to titles
Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell

*sigh* Well... I'm depressed.

 

Way nostalgic, incredibly biased, yet a mammoth that deserves to be tackled.

 

The pace is slow and full of description and social commentary yet it gets you into the swaying rhythm easily. The main characters reminded me of Wuthering Heights, so compelling despite their heavy flaws. The story takes us through the Secession War and the reconstruction while we follow Sacrlett's downward spiral.

 

I can hear all the complains: immoral characters, bias, hypocrisy, racism, historic apology. I can see how anyone touchy about any point would chuck this one to the wall. I read it as the characters view of the world, and it worked. I regarded Scarlett as I did Kathy Earnshaw, and it worked too.

 

Scarlett is a selfish, sociopathic creature, shined with the southern belle coat her mother fixed on her. She's a naive, spoiled kid whom the war forces to take great burdens, and it so happens that she has the strength in spirit to carry them, even if she crosses every moral line in the process (not that she ever cared much about those, just the appearance).

 

Rhett is the educated, male version of Scarlett. He's more aware of himself and the world, and so succeeds better in many a point that trips Scarett, social graces and political foresight being the very obvious. He can not only see the futility of social  trappings (which he teaches Scarlett), but their use (which she forgets), and can don them if motivated, though he tires fast.

 

Their mix is an inevitable tragedy. Both of them tend to spoil any they touch, even in help; their combination is ruination.

 

Actually, out of all relationships, the only one that really works is Melly's and Sacrlett's (despite Scarlett too), the first taking care of society, the second of the practical aspects. While there is no man around, their teaming manages very well. It actually reminds me of a married couple's classical roles.

 

Anyway, I'm rambling. I have a lot of little thoughts about this one, and I think I posted most of them as I was going, but the gist is that I really liked it. It's sad and harrowing, and will push many peoples buttons, but it's beautiful too, and funny: every exchange between Sacrlett and Rhett always hit hilarity while ruining the gamut of emotions, and there were so many situations that made for dry or hypocritical humor.

 

An almost five stars for a different read.

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review 2015-04-07 18:17
Science, ethics, history, memoir
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot

This a very informative book. It's also scary.

 

It is a horror festival of how many times, and in how many varied ways, you can get screwed because law marches waaay slower than science, and people, even in those cases where there is no malice, are mostly careless of other people. And sometimes they just play the fools, and play fast an loose.

 

This is a book about ignorance, and failure to communicate and about questions of ethical boundaries. It's an incredible research on tissue science history that manages to address the human aspect. I was engaged throughout, and enjoyed myself (well, I sometimes raged and roared with indignation but *shrug* I got into it) which was very much a surprise.

 

I feel like I learned a lot, and even more, made me think about a lot of things, and raised a bunch of questions in my mind. It made me a little paranoid too, which is a bit funny when you reach the interview with the author, where she says she tried to have care in her writing so as to not get that reaction, except it is not, because, really? That afterword? I'm so diving into the internet to get current, but it basically says that as of 2009 there no legislation regulating consent. It says a company can get hold of a gene patent and have rights over it, but a patient has no say on it's own tissues. So, hypothetical: You have your tissue studied, but since it has a certain gene, the scientist has to pay the company owning it, but you do not even need to be informed. Am I the only one seeing the ridiculousness of it?

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review 2015-02-24 06:02
Give me a bit (thinking took some bracing)
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

*wince* Wow.

 

This deserves a proper review.

 

...

 

It's been a while since I posted the stub, and I'm no closer to composing something that could do justice to what's inside those covers. It felt too visceral. After all this time, the vague fear and disheartening mood still reach me, it is that well written. It's the little details, I think. They are such simple, real, true things. They lend verisimilitude, make the whole scenario believable. Instant, enduring horror.

 

I don't know what else to say, except it got me thinking.

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