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review 2018-11-05 19:52
Tales from a Greek Island by Alexandros Papadiamantis
Tales from a Greek Island - Alexandros Papadiamantis,Elizabeth Constantinides,Alexandros Papadiamantes

This collection of 12 short stories was written by an author apparently renowned in his native country of Greece, though not translated into English until long after the fact; Papadiamantis lived from 1851-1911, while this collection was published in 1994. The translation is fluid, but a side effect of the long delay in translation is that its contemporary literary English makes it difficult to feel that one is reading a 19th century work.

 

The stories, set on Papadiamantis’s home island of Skiathos, chronicle the lives of humble people living there. Recurring themes and situations include marriage, the death of children, the injustice of the dowry system,* young men yearning for beautiful women, and middle-aged women whose lives are full of suffering. The portrayal of late-19th century Greek island life is interesting; it appears to be a society divided between the sea and everyday agricultural work, taking place in fields set far from the towns where people live.

 

I have to admit this collection didn’t do much for me. It wasn’t Papadiamantis’s much-discussed conservatism, which despite a couple of cringeworthy gender-essentialist passages doesn’t really seem to define the text. Perhaps it’s because, as the translator discusses in her introduction, several of these plots are taken from ancient Greek writings or mythology; perhaps the author was too devoted to recycling plots rather than allowing them to develop organically. Or perhaps these characters just didn’t strike a chord in me for any of the nebulous reasons that fiction can fall flat for some readers. But although I can’t point to a specific flaw in the crafting of the plots or characters, I was largely indifferent to these stories and eager to move on from this collection.

 

 

* In a couple of stories, families are forced to give up practically all they own to secure the marriage of a daughter, the parents moving out of their home to include it in the dowry, or a family giving up half of its land and mortgaging the other half. These situations were apparently based on reality; the author himself, through choosing the less-lucrative career of a writer, saw 3 of his 4 sisters unable to ever marry. But I’m baffled at how such a system can survive: if most women can’t afford to marry, then most men will also die single; from an economic standpoint you’d expect the dowry demands to decrease dramatically rather than allow a system in which most people never marry. The missing link would seem to be large numbers of men dying disproportionately young, which we don’t see here, unless we’re meant to conclude that they’re all setting sail for the Americas and most never return? The author of course had no need to explain their own society to contemporary readers, but the translator might have done so.

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review 2018-11-02 21:13
Salt for Air Spolier Free Review
Salt For Air - M.C. Frank

 

"Breathe, dammit..."

 

I'm not sure if I can breathe after reading this story. Salt for Air by M.C. Frank is about teenage fanfiction writer Ellie is astonished to encounter a merman asking her to save his life. It's a story not about love but about death and loss. It's a story about trying to survive, whether in this reality or another.

 

 

This book was a whirlpool (see what I did there?) of emotions. One second everything would be fine and dandy (or at least as fine and dandy as it could get in this story) and then the next splash! (I'm not stopping with these water puns) everything would go to hell. I rarely got a minute to catch my breathe, but that was fine. It just made me want to read more and more. I've read enough of Frank's writing to become familiar with her tone and I was happy to fall back into those lyrical, poetic pages. That effect just made me glide through this story so much easier and something that I really appreciated. 

 

 

"You're it."

 

Everybody's 'it' and by 'it' I mean the characters that I grew to care for in a bit over 200 pages. There's more that I won't mention because of spoilers so I'll just talk about the main two. There's Ellie, of course, the main female character who's point of view the novel is in. Placing the book in her point of view made me really feel for her being able to see her innermost thoughts. In particular there was one scene that my heart literally broke for her and had me saying "oh no no no no" when it happened. Our spectacular merman is our other main character who, well, it was hopeless for me not to fall in love with. Of course there were times I wanted to slap him across the face but near the end of the novel I was crying his name nonetheless.

 

 

M.C. Frank never fails to disappoint with endings and Salt for Air is no exception. There were at least two points I thought 'what else could happen' and other things happen they did. But it wasn't meaningless run-on at the end of the story like other novels I've read, it was substance, scenes that needed to happen or the story wouldn't have been so fulfilling at the end.

 

 

This book takes a spin on the ever-popular greek mythology and revitalizes it in a new way. The myths in this story aren't the cut-and-dry definitions that you can find in any textbook. They're unique and unexpected. And don't even get me started on the descriptions of the mer-creatures because they're just beautiful. I wish I was an artist so I could draw them, but the gorgeous image in my head will just have to suffice.

 

 

I'd recommend Salt for Air to anyone who wants to read an amazing story about fighting back and taking back what is yours. Oh, and also anyone who likes mythology and mermaids too. You'll enjoy it as well.

 

 

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel by the author in exchange for my honest review*

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text 2018-10-24 11:29
What are the vital things you should consider as a Renter?

 

There are several important things you should have in your mind when you are going for renting a home or apartment.

 

Renters are very excited to look for a new place:

 

People feel so happy and their excitement that comes along with when they opt for a rented apartment in a new place. Many people say that they are excited throughout their search for a rental. They feel excited about new rental Greek property home because they love new experience.

 

An important thing in rental:

 

The two important things for renters when they are looking for the rental home are price and location. Price is most important because it shows how they are looking for, and many people say that they search the location for rent that is closer to their work because it will take much time to arrive there.

 

What do renters think about apartment hunting?

 

The renters think if they looking for the change then for this something in their mind like neighborhood, square footage specific amenities and utilities. Many apartments provide a gym, swimming pool, game pool and many more. If you have no price issue then you also see these things when you are going to looking for a change. They are also thinking about cyprus houses for sale if any available.

 

Compromising with rent:

 

This is the reality, just because of their responsibilities they have to sacrifice with rents. The least willing to compromise with location and facilities because if they want facility and apartments for sale in cyprus in a good location for this they have to pay much money.

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text 2018-10-23 05:45
Reading progress update: I've read 225 out of 410 pages.
Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold - Stephen Fry

The footnotes in this book are brilliant:

 

Aprodite lent Harmonia her girdle, a magical item of lingerie that had the power to provoke the most dizzying and rapturous desire.*

 

*i´m damned if I can find a convincing definition of "girdle". Some thinks it´s a belt, others a device more like a Playtex panelled support or corset - others yet have described it as a "mythical Wonderbra", Calasso calls it "a soft deceiving sash".

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text 2018-10-21 16:25
Reading progress update: I've read 106 out of 410 pages.
Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold - Stephen Fry

Hermes eyed him quizzically. "You must be, let me see ... don´t tell me... Apollo, right?"

Not to be recognized was a new experience for Apollo and one that he found he didn´t quite like. Being spoken to in superior tones by a day-old baby was another on his list of least favorite experiences. He was about to crush this cocky little squirt with a cutting remark and possibly a swift right hook to the chin when he found himself facing a dimpled outstretched hand.

"Put it there, Pol. Delighted to meet you. Hermes, latest addition to the devine roster. You´ll be my half-brother. I think? Mother Maia here took me through the family tree last night. What a nutty bunch we are, eh? Eh?"

 

 

Hahahahaha...

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