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Search tags: American-Elsewhere
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review 2019-03-17 01:40
Short but Sharply Provocative Masterpiece!
Chronicle of a Death Foretold - Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel Garcia Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, following “Chronicle of a Death Foretold”, which was published the year before. This short novella (122 pages) was generally lauded as a masterpiece and translated from the original Spanish, it is clearly a complex literary exploration of individual and collectively-held values and the moral standards underpinning them.


Set in a small, diverse Caribbean community, the opening sentence immediately peaks the readers curiosity:–
“On the day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at five-thirty in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on.”


Notwithstanding the proximity of ‘the church’ and the attendant moral authority, the most heinous crime is about to be perpetrated. The plot goes on to test the case for an ‘honour killing’, in undermining this most fundamental of commandments and the complicity of individuals and society in rationalizing the sacrifice of an ostensibly innocent man. In spite of the subsequent handwringing, the acceptance of the concept of dishonouring an individual, a family, a community, breathes life into a chain of reactions and responses, which culminate in a barbaric, unchecked thirst for revenge, on behalf of victims, apparently unable to withstand the expectation of social norms. And there are a series of ‘victims’ and consciences to be expiated.


However, the ambiguities discovered through the author’s examination of the circumstances and subsequent reflections seventeen years later give credence to the possibility of fate, yet the certainty that the killing solved nothing and surely failed to salvage any sense of honour.


This book is provocative and deliberately harrowing in its dissection of a community through the lens of a murder enquiry. Moreover, it questions our capacity for independence within a human hive.

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review 2019-03-13 21:50
Review ~ Awesome
American Gods Volume 1: Shadows (Graphic Novel) - Neil Gaiman,Scott Hampton,Walt Simonson,P. Craig Russell,P. Craig Russell

4.5

 

Book source ~ Library

 

I read the book years ago and then I recently found out there’s a graphic novel. Of course I had to read it, but my library didn’t have it. So I suggested the purchase and they obliged. My library is awesome!

 

First in a trilogy (or so I’ve heard), this volume covers Shadow’s release from prison and his introduction to Mr. Wednesday, all the way to where he’s leaving the funeral home of Ibis and Jacquel. For those who don’t think they can do the longer novel version I recommend the graphic novel because it hits all the high points of the story. Because of the medium it can’t quite get all the nuances (obviously), but it’s a really good adaptation. Since I read the book years ago, I didn’t really remember most of it until I started reading this one. Then it began to come back to me. The artwork isn’t really all that for me, but it’s nice all the same. It reminded me of some of Gaiman’s Sandman comics so I did some research and a few volumes use the same illustrators. Look at me! I recognized some artwork! Impressed myself, I did. Lol I may need to check out the tv show now. Maybe. We’ll see.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2019/03/american-gods-vol-1-shadows.html
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review 2019-03-12 15:36
My one hundred thirty-ninth podcast is up!
Charles Austin Beard: The Return of the Master Historian of American Imperialism - Richard Drake

My latest podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it, I interview Richard Drake about the role played by the 20th century historian Charles Austin Beard in the foreign policy debates of the 1930s and 1940s. Enjoy!

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review 2019-03-11 22:50
A Poor Man's (or Woman's) "House of the Spirits"
The House on the Lagoon - Rosario Ferré,Silvia Sierra

Ugh.  If this hadn't been my final "Snakes and Ladders" book I'd have DNF'd it.  This is essentially a Puerto Rican version of House of the Spirits minus magical realism, plus a plethora of characters and episodes that don't greatly advance the plot (think 500-episode telenovela) and a whole lot of telling instead of showing.  That isn't to say I learned nothing at all about Puerto Rico, its people and its history -- indeed, the island itself was by far this book's most interesting, believable, fully elaborated and just plain likeable character -- but by and large, I'd have accomplished more by reading a nonfiction history book or a travel guide about Puerto Rico ... or by going there to see it for myself.  (Which I'm still hoping to do at some point.)

 

Nevertheless, I've enjoyed my "Snakes and Ladders" run enormously -- a huge thanks to Moonlight Reader for her spur-of-the-moment inspiration in initiating this game!

 

(Charlie and Sunny also say thank you for the exercise and all the snacks along the way.)

 

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review 2019-03-01 14:50
Podcast #137 is up!
Walter F. White: The NAACP’s Ambassador for Racial Justice - Robert L. Zangrando,Ronald L. Lewis

My latest podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it, I interview Ronald L. Lewis about his new biography of NAACP leader Walter F. White, which he co-wrote with Robert Zangrando. Enjoy!

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