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review 2017-06-21 20:16
Coriolanus, William Shakespeare
The Tragedy of Coriolanus - R.B. Parker,William Shakespeare

Fierce warrior, great general, total prat.

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review 2017-06-21 08:46
Even the title is layered
A Room with a View - E.M. Forster

I feel like I read a book twice as long as this was, not because it was heavy or difficult, but because it was so tightly woven. There were layers of meaning, and so much that could be inferred, and for such short pages, many characters get well fleshed out. No line is wasted. There is this... English brevity, I guess, that makes me recall the meandering tone of "Passage to India". Says something about what must characterize each people in Forster's mind, huh?

It is also a quiet way to depict a fast and turbulent romance, which feels weird in a "still waters run deep" kind of way. There is this three-way war going, between mind, heart and manners (or is it pride?, self-image? calcified indecision?), it is evident when you get to the lying chapters, and the weather tends to illustrate it, but before then, before Lucy looses her temper at Miss Bartlet at the beginning of them out of revelatory fright, it's all so sedate. On the outside; Lucy's facing the exterior gets a companion chapter on "The disaster within". She's running from love: it is scary, exiting, something unknown, and unrecognized, and social mores don't help her in disentangling from the muddle.

On the side, we get some awesome darts thrown into time old hypocrisy, such as how emancipated women are perceived or "accepted"; how men think women think about men; people abroad; obligation as it pertains to favors out of honesty (Emerson) or self-serving humbleness (Charlotte); and bunch of stuff I either posted already, or have marked down and can't speedily condense here. In case the main course wasn't enough.

Seriously, this guy had a way with words.

 

Note: I have to get another copy. Mine was abysmally translated. I turned to a digital version in original English after 20 pages or so. If you read in Spanish, avoid translator Marta Pessarrodona. She's a menace and a beast. Word confusions (she translated kitten instead of kite, for example), wrong conjugations (translated "would have" as present simple), change of punctuation, which changes pace drastically and unnecessarily (specifically, Cecil's entrance is most egregious), change of meaning of whole paragraphs (to the point of reading as the opposite). And it ts only what I caught just searching for the paragraphs I wanted to mark down as memorable while reading the digital copy! Much of this I could not understand of someone supposedly getting paid. It would have been more difficult to invent as she did.

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review 2017-06-18 08:30
Das Drama am Mount Everest
In eisige Höhen: Das Drama am Mount Everest - Jon Krakauer,Christian Brückner

1996 hat sich am Mount Everest eine Tragödie ereignet, die mehrere Todesopfer gefordert hat. Journalist und Bergsteiger Jon Krakauer war live dabei und verarbeitet in diesem Buch  seine traumatische Erfahrung. Er zeigt, dass nicht der Mount Everest von Bergsteigern sondern die Höhenbegeisterten nach wie vor vom Berg bezwungen werden.

Es handelt sich hierbei um ein Sachbuch mit subjektiven Tönen, weil Autor und Journalist Jon Krakauer die Ereignisse aus erster Hand schildert. Er beschreibt seine Erlebnisse, seine Sicht der Begebenheiten und geht auch darauf ein, dass es aufgrund des Sauerstoffmangels zu unterschiedlichen Wahrnehmungen der Ereignisse kommen kann. Daher ist es schwierig in diesem Zusammenhang von der einen absoluten Wahrheit zu sprechen.

Die Wahrheit ist, dass der Mount Everest als höchster Berg der Welt nicht nur die größte Herausforderung für geübte Bergsteiger ist, sondern bereits jahrzehntelang als kommerzielles Ziel für wohlhabende Touristen herhalten muss. Dieser Entwicklung und ihren Folgen gibt der Autor genauso viel Raum, wie den Ereignissen von 1996. Dabei geht er auf die Problematik ein, dass sich Expeditionsführer in einer Zwickmühle befinden. Einerseits kann es keine Garantie für die Eroberung des Gipfels geben, andrerseits möchten sie natürlich zufriedene Kunden haben, weil ihr wirtschaftliches Überleben davon abhängig ist. So wird manches Risiko vielleicht schneller eingegangen, als es vernünftig ist. Dabei darf man nicht vergessen, dass viele dieser Everest-Touristen keine versierten Bergsteiger sind.

Jon Krakauer hingegen sind Berge nicht fremd. Zwar hätte er nicht gedacht, dass er eines Tages am Everest stehen wird, dennoch bringt er Gipfelerfahrung mit. Dadurch hat er einen sachverständigen Blick auf den Ablauf und das Drama von 1996. Gleichzeitig geht er auf die Geschichte des Everest, große Namen und die Gier nach dem Gipfel ein, die kaum jemanden kurz vorm Ziel zur Umkehr bewegt.

Der Mount Everest ist eine Herausforderung, der man sich bestimmt nicht oft im Leben stellt. Den Gipfel der Welt zu erklimmen, ist für viele Bergsteiger ein Traum, den es sich hart zu erkämpfen gilt. Krakauer schildert minutiös welchen Strapazen der menschliche Körper ausgesetzt ist. Es ist nicht nur Muskelarbeit, die hier gefordert wird, sondern man muss sich als Ganzes auf die Höhenluft einstellen. Übelkeit, Erbrechen, Durchfallerkrankungen, schneidende Kälte, brütende Hitze, Schlaflosigkeit und permanenter Sauerstoffmangel sind nur einige Widrigkeiten, die es auf dem Weg zum Gipfel zu überwinden gilt. All dies beschreibt Jon Krakauer und geht anschließend auf die unglücklichen Umstände ein, die 1996 etliche Todesopfer am Mount Everest gefordert haben.

Einziger Kritikpunkt ist, dass Krakauer über Bergsteiger und -führer namentlich richtig herzieht. Er beschreibt sexuelle Eskapaden oder unnötige Luxusgüter, die von Sherpas mitgeschleppt werden müssen und geht auf - seiner Meinung nach - mangelnde Vorbereitung mancher Bergführer ein. Es ist vollkommen in Ordnung, Schuldzuweisungen und Mutmaßungen auszusprechen, allerdings hätte er etwas subtiler vorgehen können.

Sprecher Christian Brückner leiht auch Robert De Niro seine deutsche Stimme und so hatte ich das Bild dieses berühmten Schauspielers vor Augen, was doch recht passend ist. Die Tonqualität ist etwas merkwürdig, weil es klingt, als ob Jon Krakauer bei sich im Wohnzimmer sitzt und seine Erfahrungen auf Tonband spricht. Es hört sich wie eine alte Aufnahme auf Kassette an, was der Erzählung meiner Meinung nach hohe Authentizität verleiht.

Für mich ist „In eisige Höhen“ ein authentischer Blick auf den Mount Everest. Ich habe mit hohem Interesse und großer Faszination den Begebenheiten rund um Gipfelstürmern, dem Berg und letztendlich dem Drama von 1996 gelauscht, mir dabei die Sonne ins Gesicht scheinen lassen, die Scherpas bewundert und den Kopf über manch risikofreudigen Expeditionstrupp geschüttelt. 

Meiner Meinung nach ist es ein absolutes Must-Read-Buch für jeden, der sich für den Gipfel der Welt interessiert und aus erster Hand erfahren will, wie sich dieses Drama ereignet hat.

Source: zeit-fuer-neue-genres.blogspot.co.at
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review 2017-06-17 02:50
ARC Review: The Palisade by Rosalind Abel
The Palisade (Lavender Shores) - Rosalind Abel

Lavender Shores is a new series by Rosalind Abel (aka Brandon Witt), and it's certainly off to a great start.

In this first book, we meet Andrew Kelly, whose family was one of the founders of Lavender Shores, a small tourist town/LGBTQ haven north of San Francisco, bordered by the Point Reyes National Seaboard. I've never been in that area, but the descriptions of the landscape in the book paint a gorgeous picture.

Joel Rhodes has come to Lavender Shores at the behest of his father and boss to scope out the town for a new flagship store for his father's coffee empire, and close a deal for the store. He knows this is likely a test, one he's willing to take, but also realizes that he likely will never please his father despite his best efforts. It was fairly easy to feel kind of sorry for Joel from the start.

They first meet at a local restaurant where Andrew's family is celebrating his older brother's birthday and Joel just happens to be in the same restaurant the evening he arrives in town. Attraction is immediate and fiery, and Joel and Andrew spend a hot night together.

The very next day Joel is both delighted and dismayed to discover that Andrew is a real estate agent, handling the commercial properties. As they thus meet again, and as their night of passion still lingers, the two men spend more time getting to know each other. An extra day leads to a week, and falling in love happens quicker than either of them thought.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Like I said in my final update, there's hot sex, a ton of emotion, a tight narrative, and a well-chosen location, with excellent use of romance tropes - what's not to love?

There's a bit of angst, of course, because there has to be. Falling in love in a week, developing such a strong bond in such a short amount of time - there's got to be some angst to level out that playing field. Joel's in a terrible position, what with his father's expectations and his own desires at complete opposites, and Andrew is unable and unwilling to leave Lavender Shores behind, happy and content to stay in the small town he calls home - thus theirs is not a smooth ride to everlasting happiness.

But love will find a way, and there's the most amazing and teary-eye-causing happy ending, and I was overjoyed to see them so in love. Joel finds in Andrew what he's been missing most his life. And Andrew gets exactly what he's dreamed of for so long.

A sweeping romance, excellent pacing, and a cast of fantastic characters (Andrew's dad is a hoot), except perhaps Joel's father, who was a bit of a caricature horrible man, made this book a fabulous read and a real page-turner. There are quite a few sexy times inside but none of them felt superfluous and all of them helped move the relationship and thus the plot forward. I also want to point out that this being the first in a series, the author did a fantastic job introducing the town and its people without it distracting from the main couple's romance.

Highly recommended. I can hardly wait for the next installment.


** I received a free copy of this book from its author. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-06-16 01:59
Release Day ARC Review: Romancing The Ugly Duckling by Clare London
Romancing the Ugly Duckling (Dreamspun Desires Book 36) - Clare London

On the isolated island of North Uist, which is apparently off the coast of Scotland, there lives a man all by himself in a smallish house after running away from his assholish brothers and his neglectful parents to paint, dive for scallops, and be mostly a recluse, keeping to himself.

His four brothers, one of whom I hated on sight, all somewhat famous for some reason or other, hope to make a deal with a TV company to create a reality show a la Kardashians, but they can only get the deal if the 5th brother appears as well. Greg Ventura, gentle, kind giant, wants nothing to do with them or the TV show.

Poor Perry Goodwood (lulz at that last name), ambitious and fashionable, is sent by his boss to the island to convince Greg to come to London to participate. After a make-over, of course. He flies to Scotland and catches a boat to the island, and is then stranded at the port before being fortuitously delivered to Greg's doorstop, looking like a drowned rat. The team that was supposed to meet him to convince Greg to come to London is nowhere to be found, and Perry's boss is giving him a bunch of excuses.

Great start, amirite? City slicker meets backwoods grump, and opposites attract - excellent trope!

This book is full of cute and sweet and quirky, and as Perry slowly falls in love with the island and Greg, so does Greg fall for Perry. The setting is perfect, and rather well described, so much so that I felt like I was right there on the small island. There be heather and bogs and cold, cold lochs, and beautiful nature all around.

I really liked both Perry and Greg. Perry impressed me because despite his city roots, he really tried hard to fit in on the island, and he seemed so appreciative of everyone who gave a helping hand. He wanted to learn from Greg and experience island life for himself. Greg is a bit rough around the edges, and grumps a lot, but I could tell that this was mostly to protect himself. He was kind and gentle, if somewhat clueless on occasion. The chemistry between the two men was there from the start and truly believable. There are certain parameters for this series as far as on-page sexy times are concerned, and the author delivered within those parameters, but also managed to infuse a lot of emotional bonding outside of the bedroom scenes.

The locals on the island play a huge role in this book as well, and I just loved how the author gave them all unique personalities and characteristics. Dougie, Bridie, and Louisa were perfect in their roles, and I enjoyed especially Bridie's easy banter with Perry, and how she was ultimately... well, you read this for yourself.

The Scottish brogue comes across well in the writing, and I had no trouble reading the dialect.

Quirky. Cute. And utterly adorable. A perfect addition to the Dreamspun Desires series. I had a grand time reading it. The author did a fantastic job with the characters, the setting, and the pacing, giving us a really emotional romance between two men who are complete opposites at first sight, but turn out to both want the same thing after all.

Fabulous!!


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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