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review 2020-05-28 13:51
The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell
The Doors of Perception/Heaven and Hell - Aldous Huxley

by Aldous Huxley

 

Non-fiction

 

This is a well-known treatise on altered perceptions and is loosely categorized as Philosophy.

 

The Doors of Perception is largely about the author's experience of mescaline and the altered mental perceptions of the world he experienced under the influence of the drug. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with the limited viewpoint as this could have been much more interesting with input by other people, especially native American people who have traditionally used Peyote for spiritual questing in their rituals.

 

The sequel, Heaven and Hell, goes more into the philosophical musings that I was interested to find. In this follow-up, Huxley discusses correlations between hallucinogenic drug experience, especially the heightened sense of color, and religious experience as well as the natural attraction our species has to gemstones and flowers with bright colors.

 

It made for dry reading, yet had some interesting points. The rock band, The Doors, named themselves for this book so curiosity made me want to read it. I wouldn't recommend it for deep Philosophy, but it was interesting in parts and blissfully short. Reading a few pages at a time worked for me to keep from letting the boredom mask the worthwhile insights.

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review 2020-05-07 02:09
Dream logic and existentialism
The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K. Le Guin

This certainly made up for "City of Illusions". I admit that the end lost me, but then again, dreams are not supposed to make sense all the way.

 

There is a persistent feeling of urgency about this story. Haber's conceit and grandiosity is apparent soon enough, and the more the book advances, the more anxiety how beholden to Haber Orr is it caused me. It almost tips into impatience about how passive Orr is.

 

And that might be part of how genius the book is. Because for all intents and purposes, Orr is a god. THE god and creator of the world inside those pages. And the story itself shows us what Orr himself puts in words: that an unbalanced god that is not part of his own world and tries to meddle with prejudice ultimately destroys everything.

 

There is much more. A recursiveness that gets reeeeally tangled and confusing at the end. Either a god that dreams himself and more gods into existence (a little help from my friends), or maybe that other dreamers already existed, and even, maybe, that the dreamer was not the one we thought (specially from halfway in). The way we keep coming back to the importance of human connection (the one thing Haber maybe had right, even if he denied it in his own dealings), the fact that "the end justifies the means" implies that there is and end, as if history, or mankind, or the world wouldn't then march on, and as that is not truth, then there are only means.

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text 2020-05-05 17:15
Snakes and Ladders Track Post
Our Mutual Friend - Charles Dickens,Richard Gaughan
Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson
The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K. Le Guin

 

1. Author is a woman: Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey 04/01 Review

6. Title has a color word in it: Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 04/04 Review

 

27. Set during WWI or WWII: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer  10/04  Review     

38. Newest release by a favorite author: Golden in Death by J.D. Robb  11/04 Review

41. Characters involved in politics: Yeah, no. Read Vendetta in Death by J.D. Robb 14/04 Review and roll 1 die.

47. Snake - go back to 19

 

19. Set in the UK: The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories by Angela Carter 18/04 Review

28. Written between 1900 and 1999: The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer 23/04 Review

36. Set in Central or South America: Too scattered for Amado, I read a short Bodoc for children and call it. Review

37. Has won an award: Started Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie  05/01 Review

45. A book that has been on your tbr for more than one year: I counted so wrong before, but I was listening The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin  while cleaning and cooking this weekend and still works. Will post review in a bit. Meanwhile

54. Is more than 400 pages long: Huh... well... I've got Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens on the dock. And Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. Either ought to go over that...

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text 2020-02-19 09:27
TOUR, EXCERPT & #GIVEAWAY - On The Devil's Side of Heaven by Roger Peppercorn
On The Devil's Side of Heaven - Roger Peppercorn

@GoddessFish, @Archaeolibrary, @TheRogerPepper, #Thriller, #Crime

 

With the drop of a judge’s gavel, Walt Walker has finally lost everything. The badge and gun he used to carry and the moral certainty of right and wrong, good and evil that used to keep him grounded. Now Walt, sans gun, gets his badges from an Army Navy store. He spends his days in South Florida, working for a boutique insurance firm as their investigator. He spends his nights in dive bars, trying to forget the mess he has made of his life.

 

Ronald Jacobs always preferred the title Human Resource Manger to Hitman. But now that he's retired, he can concentrate on living in the shadows as a respectable gentlemen farmer. Far from the reach and pull of his past life.

 

Their transgressions are behind them but a chance encounter and a failed assassination attempt sets the two of them on a collision course of violence and retribution. Hunted by contract killers, the law, and corporate bag men, they are pursued across the unforgiving adobes and the sweeping vistas of the Mesa Valley in Western Colorado.

 

Survival means putting their past in front of them and their differences aside, because in this world the only thing that matters is to cast not others on the devil’s side of heaven, lest you be cast in with them.

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/post/on-the-devil-s-side-of-heaven-by-roger-peppercorn
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review 2019-12-07 11:00
Darker adventures and even more action
The Angel of Evil - Kenneth Bøgh Andersen

I received an ARC copy from the author but that has in no way influenced my review, which I freely chose to write.

This is the fourth book in The Great Devil War Series, a series that I’m enjoying enormously, and I loved this part as well. As I warned in my review of the previous book, that one ended with a huge cliff-hanger, but you don’t need to worry; that is not the case here. And not only that, but many of the mysteries and questions that had yet to be answered from the rest of the series get their answers here (we even learn the meaning of life! No, I won’t tell you what it is. You’ll have to read the book to find out!). In many ways, this book felt like the end of the series. But, luckily, there is a teaser with the first chapter of the next book included, so you can breathe easy if you’ve loved the series as much as I have. If you’ve read the previous novels a while back, don’t worry; there is enough information of what went on before to bring you up to speed, but I would recommend readers who haven’t read any other novels in the series to start at the very beginning, otherwise they’ll miss a lot of the fun, and the story won’t work as it should.

I am not going to discuss the plot in detail, for evident reasons, but we have Philip taking control of the situation and coming to the rescue more than once, and there’s also a mystery at the heart of the book (Aziel, Lucifer’s sworn enemy, is up to no good, the Devil War of the title approaches, but how is he planning to win it?), with plenty of cryptic clues (people with a knowledge of the Bible might have their suspicions, but it’s not straightforward), red herrings, twists and turns, plenty of action; we revisit some of our favourite characters, and meet some new ones (I particularly enjoyed Samson’s guest appearance, but I won’t spoil the rest of surprises). As the description promises, all Hell breaks loose, literally, and it is epic. Oh, I loved the ending as well, although it feels bittersweet.

The writing is as good as in previous books, with vivid descriptions of places and characters that don’t detract from the flow of the story. If anything, I’d say this book is darker than the previous ones, and although there are humorous moments, there is plenty of suffering (both physical and psychological), more explicit violence (young adults who love gore, bloods and guts will be happy), and subjects such as loss, death, choice, free will, betrayal, identity, sacrifice… are explored in detail, always within the realms of the story. The character is growing up, and so are his concerns and the seriousness of the decisions he is confronted with.

I was a bit disappointed with the role of the female characters in this instalment. Satina is not in a position to act as she usually does, for reasons to do with the story, and none of the females seem to take active part in the big scenes, but this does not detract from the enjoyment of the adventures (although it is, perhaps, a lost opportunity).

I recommend this book, and the whole series, to YA and adult readers who love fantasy, adventures, are not squeamish and love a touch of horror, monsters and dark events. This is a great coming of age story as well, and it will suit readers who appreciate complex characters to go with their thrills and exploits. There are tonnes of risky moments, scares aplenty, and surprises to keep readers hooked. Oh, and although many questions are answered, I’m already mulling over some new ones. I’m looking forward to The Fallen Angel already.

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