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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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text 2018-06-08 08:23
5 Best Authors in English Literature’s History after Shakespeare

There’s no exaggeration in saying that William Shakespeare was the greatest of all times as far as being gifted in the genre of English literature is concerned. He was the one who set the table for the later authors and poets to eat their food on. He popularized literature beyond the concept of being used simply as a mode of communication and means of keeping records – he introduced the entertainment and philosophical parts of the literature to the common.

There are no second thoughts to this – Shakespeare was the greatest of all times. But who are the next best names in English literature? I have compiled a list of 5 authors that according to me are the best in the field of English literature. I decided to do this after I had to do my essay on literature during my papers last semester. And if you need any help in literature, you can seek it from the best essay writing service. Let’s see if you agree or not:

  1. Geoffrey Chaucer: Considered as the father of English literature, Geoffrey Chaucer still is considered one of the best after Shakespeare. He used to write in a style that was very close to a derivative of Anglo-Saxon language. The language he used was not very different from that used in Beowulf, the epic. He was one of the most influential writers (read poets) in the history of English literature. Some of the most notable works of Chaucer are – The Book of the Duchess, The Canterbury Tales, The House of fame, and many others.

  1. Charles Dickens: Widely regarded as the most descriptive author in the history of English literature, Charles Dickens had a gift. He could make the reader glide with him throughout the prose. His writings were as good as a film going on in front of your eyes – he was that magical. The characters from his novel have become immortal. Such was the pull that he created towards the characters and towards the English culture. He weaved the words to create imageries in the minds of the readers. Some of the most celebrated of his works are – Great Expectations, Hard Times, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.

  1. John Donne: Considered as the pioneer of the metaphysical writing style, John Donne was one of the most influential poets in the history. He is most popular in the history for the use of metaphors in his poems. The way he framed and portrayed incidents in his works is what made him famous. There are very less poets who could achieve that level of flexibility in the use of literary tools in their writings. Some of the most notable works of John Donne are – Holy Sonnets, The Flea, The Good Morrow, Death be Not Proud, and The Dream.

  1. Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Coleridge can be counted as one of the flag bearers of the romantic era of English literature. He is famous for his beautiful wreaths of lyrics that he weaved, and painted a larger than life picture of something as trivial and mundane as a bird. He was the master of personification, simile, and metaphors. Some of his immortally famous works are – The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Lyrical Ballads, and Kubla Khan.

  1. John Milton: One of the most celebrated poets in the history of English Literature is John Milton. The very flavour of contrast that his works bring to the Bible is the source of food for thought for some very famous philosophers. ‘Paradise Lost’ was, is, and will be the greatest poem in English literature.
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review 2018-06-03 18:06
Absolutely On Music - Conversations between Seiji Ozawa & Haruki Murakami
Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa - Haruki Murakami,Jay Rubin,Seiji Ozawa

As Duke Ellington once said, “There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind.” In that sense, jazz and classical music are fundamentally the same. The pure joy one experiences listening to “good” music transcends questions of genre.

 

I studied at Tanglewood during summers as a teenager when Seiji Ozawa was conductor of the BSO. The amazing thing about him was that he had no real requirement to deal with Tanglewood kids, yet he did. It didn't surprise me at all many years later when he started both an orchestra and a school for the younger musicians of the world. He is brilliant, patient and an excellent teacher. I enjoy reading or listening to conversations between smart people in general, and this book hits on many cylinders. 

 

While Murakami says he's an amateur, his words often feel like music (even in translation.)

Haruki Murakami is well known for his love of music. He sticks a Beatles reference in nearly every book and there are always myriad musical references. So it wasn't that shocking to learn that he and the Maestro are fast friends.

 

One thing I learned early in my own mostly amateur musical life is that music happens and it's gone instantly - you have to experience it all in the moment and find an effective way to communicate about it. This is often why teachers and students have their own special language. My teacher used to tell me to sing like green velvet. Why? Because I told him I thought a certain singer sang like green velvet. That's fine, but what about when you want others to understand? This is the magic Murakami and Ozawa make.

 

It's hard for me to point out how very high the wall is that separates the pro from the amateur, the music maker from the listener. The wall is especially high and thick when that music maker is a world-class professional. But still, that fact doesn't have to hamper our ability to have an honest, direct conversation. At least that's how I feel about it, because music itself is a thing of such breadth and generosity. Our most important task is to search for an effective passageway through the wall - and two people who share a natural affinity for an art, any art, will be sure to find that passageway. 

 

It's unsurprising when the "interlude" about music and writing comes early in the book and Murakami explains patiently to Ozawa about rhythm in writing. It sort of shocked me that Ozawa hadn't noticed this on his own. He reads a ton of scores, and he works very hard, so maybe he just hadn't thought about it? He readily admits to being a horrible student, and I doubt he reads much beyond scores when he's working.

 

It's a series of conversations between the two masters - complete with markers for which one is talking. (Audio book would be great, but I don't know if one exists.) They talk about a few pieces in deep detail and the range of music covers everything from the blues to opera and Japanese music. They also talk about record collecting and teaching in lovely chapters. I'm pretty sure my enjoyment had to do with the fact that I knew the music they discussed well, and I'm not sure whether others would like it as much if they didn't have a familiarity and curiosity about both the men and the subject. Their fun and mutual respect nearly shines off the page, and I enjoyed it a lot.

 

Chapter Titles:

Mostly on the Beethoven Third Piano Concerto 
On manic record collectors 
Brahms at Carnegie Hall 
The relationship of writing to music 
What happened in the 1960s 
Eugene Ormandy's baton 
On the music of Gustav Mahler 
From Chicago blues to Shin'ichi Mori 
The joys of opera 
In a little Swiss town 
"There's no single way to teach. You make it up as you go along."

 

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review 2018-06-03 10:43
Short but perfectly formed. Highly recommended.
Literature® - Guillermo Stitch

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team and thank Rosie and the author for providing me an ARC copy of this novella, which I freely chose to review.

It is difficult to describe the reading experience of Literature. I have read reviews comparing it to noir novels (absolutely, especially the voice of the characters and some of the situations), to Fahrenheit 451 (inevitable due to the plot, where fiction has been banned and nobody can possess or read books) and 1984 (although we don’t get a lot of detail of the way the world is being run, the sense of claustrophobia and continuous surveillance, and the way terrorism is defined are definitely there), and even Blade Runner (perhaps, although Literature is far less detailed and much more humorous). I did think about all of those while I read it, is true, although it is a pretty different experience to all of them.

Billy Stringer is a mixture of the reluctant hero and the looser/anti-hero type. The novella shares only one day of his life, but, what a day! Let’s say it starts badly (things hadn’t been going right for Billy for a while at the point when we meet him) and it goes downhill from there. The story is told in the third-person but solely from Billy’s point of view, and we are thrown right in. There is no world-building or background information. We just share in Billy’s experiences from the start, and although he evidently knows the era better than we do, he is far from an expert when it comes to the actual topic he is supposed to cover for his newspaper that day. He is a sports journalist covering an important item of news about a technological/transportation innovation.  We share in his confusion and easily identify with him. Apart from the action, he is involved in, which increases exponentially as the day moves on, there are also flashbacks of his past. There is his failed love story, his friendship with his girlfriend’s brother, and his love for books.

The story is set in a future that sounds technologically quite different to our present, but not so ideologically different (and that is what makes it poignant and scary, as well as funny). People smoke, but you can get different versions of something equivalent to cigarettes, but they are all registered (it seems everything is registered). And you can drink alcohol as well (and Billy does, as it pertains to a hero in a noir novel). Transportation has become fundamental and it has developed its own fascinating-sounding technology (the descriptions of both, the vehicles and the process are riveting). It has to be fed by stories, by fiction, although literature itself has been banned. We get to know how this works and, let me tell you that it’s quite beautiful.

The book is short and I don’t want to spoil the story for readers, but I can tell you the writing is excellent and it is exquisitely edited. Despite its brevity, I could not help but share a couple of snippets.

“You like her?” he said. He was looking at the knife like a person might look at an especially favored kitten. “Been with me a long time,” he said. “She’s an old lady now. But she’s still sharp.” He looked up at Billy. “I keep her that way.”

In a day very generously populated with problems, Jane’s kid brother was Billy’s newest.

I loved the ending of the book. It is perhaps not standard noir, but nothing is standard in this book.

I recommend it to anybody interested in discovering a new and talented writer, with a love for language and for stories that are challenging, playful, and fascinating. A treat.

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