logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: anvil-droppin
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-07-19 11:26
Reading progress update: I've read 562 out of 836 pages.
Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind

“No. As Zedd is fond of saying, nothing is ever easy. How can we justify going after one little girl, to solve the riddle of her loaf of bread, while Rahl goes after the box?”

 

Little lesson: sometimes, being true to yourself does more for the big picture than one would ever know.

 

Now I'm going to that corner to tear my hair out

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-07-14 08:49
Treatise and character study
Anna Karenina - Larissa Volokhonsky,Richard Pevear,Leo Tolstoy

The foremost impression I'm left with, since I have the last part very present, is this literary symmetry: Anna takes about sixty pages to come in, by train, and leaves the book sixty pages from the end, also by train (yes, I know, some dark humor).

Next, also with the end very present, this sense that in the end, Levin and Ana essential difference is that when doubt harasses them, Levin goes back to what feels natural to him and trudges on, and Anna gives into despair.

For all that it's name comes from the woman, larger than life in the outside, and deeply uncertain on the inside, it was Levin the vehicle for most of the author treatise on... well, everything: agrarian reform, women's education, religion, politics, war, ideologies... At first I was interested. Passing the middle point, I just wanted the author to get on with it. I've gone over this many times: I have little patience for authors trying to educate or reform me through fiction.

While the Levin/Kitty side of the novel carries the most heart-warming bits, it's also choke-full of opinions, so whenever we got to it, instead of feeling like I was resting from Anna's turbulence, I started to feel dread at the amount of pages Tolstoy was about to bore me with his "insight". I totally get why the movies gloss so much over this side of the equation.

And it is some type of equation, or coin. I wonder if the author was trying to make Anna into a personification of reason, given the stab he takes at it in relation with faith in the end, with Levin as this second, him being unable to properly express himself, but finding peace with his own being at the end; Anna all poise, yet false, forever uncertain inside, speech coming out pleasant while thoughts looped and spun in place without answer. Also, passion vs. love. And romantic feeling against filial.

As for characters (beyond the two protagonist, because, you know, so mired into the theme), they were all so damned well fleshed out:

Vronsky with his honorable selfishness: I know it sounds like a contradiction, but the guy truly does not realize the damage he does, and in his own way, he follows a code of conduct strictly. It's horrifying.

Karenin... *sigh* Anna calls him a robot. At first, it looks like she's just over-reacting to her new feelings, ascribing the worst to her obstacle. It turns out she is over-reacting, but she's also somewhat right. The guy is a wonder of self-discipline, in his life and even where his feelings and though process is concerned. The way he twist and rearranges facts and ideas to suit himself is a thing to read. While writing this, I also wonder if his influence wasn't arresting much of Anna's internal disorder, if she didn't loose what little was keeping her peace when she left him, or if it was the other way around: a wild mare kept in tight reign, that suddenly tasted freedom and galloped non-stop into the abyss, with Vronsky spurring her.

Kitty with her innocence; Vronsky breaks her heart, but after some false steps, she comes on the other side just as sweet, and wiser.

Dolly and her big heart. Stiva forever on the rope by the miracle of his social nature. Sanctimonious Lidia. Betsy, so liberal but in the end unwilling to forsake societies constraints. Sergey and his empty rhetoric. Nikolay and his nihilism. Varenka.

I guess there was much more in all those many pages than proselytism. You can disregard this whole paragraph, I'm claiming that Levin ruined me, but really? Last night I went to sleep, and kept wondering: how much of these explorations impulse change? Much of what is disused in dialogues here feels like sides talking to hear themselves, not to seek understanding, and I was left thinking about social change, and whether writing heralds it, or just meanders over what society has already started to accept or war upon. I noticed many of the topics expounded on came and passed, discarded by history, yet things that are barely touched upon, like womens rights and education became an issue not long after that endures. What I'm trying to say, and I'm treading on deeply personal and weird territory here, is that I started to doubt how much social commentary in literature looks forward, and how much it's just a soap box for the author.

So, *wheoo!*, that's a looong commentary on a loooong book, and I'm still unsure what I'll rate it. No, I do know. It's really good, and as a character study is great, but I don't think it perfect because, for me, if you are going to fill a novel with ideology, it has to age well, and it has to engage even on those bits. So 4 stars.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-07-12 04:02
Exactly what it says on the tin
Love Story - Erich Segal

Back from my visit home now. I did end up finishing it before departing, but couldn't take the time to update.

 

I kinda liked it, and I understand why it did so much noise back in the day. It's simple, it's sweet, and even while you are reading a formula (some type of mash-up between Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet)  it has this air of fresh honesty that charms. Dialogue sounds true too (like your mouth wasn't a sewer thorough uni).

 

There are bits where "society marches on" is a thing (like the doc telling the diagnosis to the husband first), and the end, that if you aren't expecting, you must live in a closed jar, but for the most it's a cute read to fill a couple of hours and a pop-culture gap.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-06-13 17:41
Lovely if a bit heavy handed
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis,Pauline Baynes

This was a lovely read. A great opening line, lots of magic and adventure, and Reepicheep, a character that has shot to my favorites list.

 

I have issues with the fact that Aslan was mixed up with turning around every bad habit or decision, because it says redemption or improvement is impossible without religion to me. I like the concept of free will, and I like to think we can pick the right path without constant divine nudges, so a start docked for the heavy handedness.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-06-09 07:05
Fun applying a bit of the Bellisario's Maxim
The Pelican Brief - John Grisham

There are a lot of movies based on Grisham books. I decided to check some out when I found about them. Never watched this movie but kept hearing about it, so I had it my tbr pile ready for the game square.

The idea is that in a country filled with lawyers to the gills (it's a factor that's gone over a lot through the pages), a shot in a million had a lot of chances of happening: some busy-body would stumble into the right theory. The bad luck comes in when the brief is picked up as a way to needle back in a quarrel between agencies. No one takes it seriously, but a lot of noise is made. And it just happens to be right. A lot of pettiness that results in a murder fest.

 

The good guys win. Or at least they get to the end of the book alive. Let's not think about the trial. I don't much like their chances of lasting up to it in a real life scenario. After all, the small fishes pay, the rest keep swimming. We know how long those types of cases takes, and how often the big weights actually go to jail: One patsy every age.

(spoiler show)


It's an entertaining thriller (and depressing if you have your brain-cells firing too much). I'm still likely to read The Firm at some point (the movie that first got me interested in these books)

 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?