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review 2018-06-23 00:56
Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist

A trip down reading memory lane with one of the countless inspiring quotes from Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist:

Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is a perfect example of the saying ‘good things come in small packages’. The simple little tale conveys a very powerful and inspirational message. First published in Portuguese in 1988, it is considered a modern classic. Continue reading >>

Source: bookloverbookreviews.com/2010/05/book-review-alchemist-by-paulo-coelho.html
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review 2018-06-22 19:02
Fin-de-siècle Urban Nightmares: “Lucio's Confession” by Mário de Sá-Carneiro, Margaret Jull Costa (translator)
Lucio's Confession - Mário de Sá-Carneiro


"Deep down, I did hate those people – the artists. That is, those false artists whose work consists of the poses they strike: saying outrageous things, cultivating complicated tastes and appetites, being artificial, irritating, [and] unbearable. People who, in fact, take from art only what is false and external.”

 

In “Lucio's Confession” by Mário de Sá-Carneiro, Margaret Jull Costa (translator)

 



From the street, two floors below my hotel window in a dreary urban business park slash hotel district, I heard desperate, blood chilling cries for help. I rushed to the window, expecting to see the victim of a hit and run car accident lying bloodied at the curb-side but instead, I saw a young man with a tear stained face wearing only a long sleeved, open-cuffed shirt walking this way and then that, each time with purpose, until the moment he changed his mind. Shouting, pleading with his hands outstretched. For a heartbreaking moment, I thought he looked like my estranged stepson.

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-06-20 10:13
Et ego in illo: “Baltasar and Blimunda” by José Saramago, Giovanni Pontiero (Translator)
Baltasar and Blimunda - José Saramago,Giovanni Pontiero

“If Adam was punished for wishing to resemble God, how do men come to have God inside them without being punished, and even when they do not wish to receive Him they go unpunished, for to have and not to wish to have God inside oneself amounts to the same absurdity, and the same impossible situation, yet the words Et ego in illo imply that God is inside me, how did I come to find myself in thus labyrinth of yes and no, of no that means yes, of yes that means no, opposed affinities allied contradictions, how shall I pass safely over the edge of the razor, well, summing up, before Christ became man, God was outside man and could not reside in him, then, through the Blessed Sacrament, He came to be inside man, so man is virtually God, or will ultimately become God, yes, of course, if God resides in me, I am God, I am God not in triune or quadruple, but one, one with God, He is I, I am He, Durus est hic sermo, et quis potest eum audire.”

In “Baltasar and Blimunda” by José Saramago, Giovanni Pontiero(translator)

(“ […] Se a Adão por querer assemelhar-se a Deus, como têm agora os homens a Deus dentro de si e não são castigados, ou o não querem receber e castigados não são, que ter e não querer ter Deus dentro de si é o mesmo absurdo, a mesma impossibilidade, e contudo Et ego in illo, Deus está em mim, ou em mim não está Deus, como poderei achar-me nesta floresta de sim e não, de não que é sim, do sim que é não, afinidades contrárias, contrariedades afins como atravessarei salvo sobre o fio da navalha, ora, resumindo agora, antes de Cristo se ter feito homem, Deus estava fora do homem e não podia estar nele, depois, pelo Sacramento, passou a estar nele, assim o homem é quase Deus, ou será afinal o próprio Deus, sim, sim, se em mim está Deus, eu sou Deus, sou-o de modo não trino ou quádruplo, mas uno, uno com Deus, Deus nós, ele eu, eu ele, Durus est hic sermo, et quis potest eum audire.”

In “Memorial do Convento” by José Saramago
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Arriving in Mafra, let us imagine ourselves as part of the crowd that, on October 22, 1730, attended the consecration of the convent. Impossible not to be impressed by this façade more than 230 meters in length. To the centre, the basilica with its dome and bell towers, and on each side the imposing turrets. The portico columns clearly showed the neoclassical influence, complemented by several sculptures in the same style. Saramago tells us that 40,000 workers worked night and day so that the Basilica could be finished on D. João V's birthday.

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-06-10 15:42
The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum

The same as the movie and yet, so different too.
If I was to describe the story and act like there was no movie to be seen, I would tell you about this dark and whimsical fantasy. Where witches rule the lands and creatures of many kinds are in abundance.
I wish I had not seen the film. As epic as it was, it's actually ruined the real story for me a little bit.  The movie was so magical and family oriented . The book is not. It has a darker element than the film adaption. I like that though but don't think everyone will. Especially if you've already seen the film first. Things happen in the book that don't happen in the movie, or the things that do happen are out of sequence to the film.
Still, I like dark and I liked the book.

 

Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2018/06/the-wonderful-wizard-of-oz-by-frank-l.html
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review 2018-06-10 01:52
Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life
Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life - Herman Melville,John Bryant

While known today for vengeful captain chasing a white whale, Herman Melville’s writing career began with a travelogue of his adventure on the Nuku Hiva and was his most popular work during his life.  Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life is a semi-autographical book that Melville wrote about his approximately 4 week stay that he “expanded” to 4 months in the narrative.

 

Melville begins his narrative when he describes the captain of the “Dolly” deciding to head to the Marqueas Islands and then events surrounding the ship’s arrival at the island as well as the actions of the French who were “taking possession” of it.  Then Melville and a shipmate named Toby decide to ‘runaway’ to the valley of the Happar tribe and execute their plan when they get shore leave.  Climbing the rugged cliffs of the volcanic island, they hide in the thick foliage from any searchers but realize they didn’t have enough food and soon Melville’s leg swells up slowing them down.  Believing they arrived in the valley of the Happar, they make contact only to find themselves with the Typee.  However the tribe embraces the two men and attempt to keep them amongst their number, but first Toby is able to ‘escape’ though Melville can’t help but think he’s been abandoned.  Melville then details his experiences along amongst the cannibalistic tribe before his own escape with assistance of two other natives of the island from other tribes.

 

The mixture of narrative of Melville’s adventures and the anthropological elements he gives of the Typee make for an interesting paced book that is both engaging and dull.  Though Melville’s lively descriptions of the events taking place are engaging, one always wonders if the event actually took place or was embellish or just frankly made up to liven up the overall tale.  The addition of a sequel as an epilogue that described the fate of Toby, which at the time added credibility to Melville’s book, is a nice touch so the reader doesn’t wonder what happened to him.

 

Overall Typee is a nice, relatively quick book to read by one of America’s best known authors.  While not as famous as Melville’s own Moby Dick, it turned out to be a better reading experience as the semi-autographical nature and travelogue nature gave cover for Melville to break into the narrative to relative unique things within the Typee culture.

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