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review 2017-05-17 00:23
Incoming Rant
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway

You know, I'd read in some posh literary review that Jake and Brett were two of Hemingway's most lovable characters, but I really can't see how that could be. I get he was painting an era, but I had the same difficulties I had with Fitzgerald's "Great Gatsby": I was bored by the characters misery (first world high class problems, people, that's what you have!); and I was enraged by the chaos and destruction they sowed all around themselves with their callow carelessness. Stupid egotistical brats.

And that's the other thing: they ARE reacting like brats. "Our parent's culture and ideology crumbled down and betrayed us! Let's rage and get drunk, and screw everyone around!" Except, you know, they are in their middle thirties. I don't say you have to have your shit together by that time or any other, God knows you never really do, and life has a marvelous way of sucker punch you when you think you have it balanced, but the over the top woe-is-me shit you are supposed to learn to manage after the hormones of puberty stabilize.

Every generation has challenges, and I reckon those that were born around the turn of the 20th century had a suck-fest of a raw deal, but what I saw inside this book was not just depression and insecurity over lost direction and of self, but a total lack of care for other people. I saw the phrase "moral bankruptcy" around, and I think that's and exact description, but it was treated as an excuse for how these particular characters act, because apparently it was a pervasive thing all around. News-flash: if everyone is a terrible person, and you act like everyone, you are still a terrible person.

 

So no, I have no love for these characters. Now, do I have any use for this book? *sigh* Thorny issue. If it was an accurate representation of the generation, I have to loose any surprise at seeing them fall right back into war; they all felt suicidal to me, and self-centered enough to blow up the world along with themselves.

 

So here's what I think: maybe it's useful, but I did not like it.

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text 2017-05-16 19:10
Reading progress update: I've read 135 out of 251 pages.
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway

Women made such swell friends. Awfully swell. In the first place, you had to be in love with a woman to have a basis of friendship. I had been having Brett for a friend. I had not been thinking about her side of it. I had been getting something for nothing. That only delayed the presentation of the bill. The bill always came. That was one of the swell things you could count on.
I thought I had paid for everything. Not like the woman pays and pays and pays. No idea of retribution or punishment. Just exchange of values. You gave up something and got something else. Or you worked for something. You paid some way for everything that was any good. I paid my way into enough things that I liked, so that I had a good time. Either you paid by learning about them, or by experience, or by taking chances, or by money. Enjoying living was learning to get your money's worth and knowing when you had it. You could get your money's worth. The world was a good place to buy in. It seemed like a fine philosophy. In five years, I thought, it will seem just as silly as all the other fine philosophies I've had.
Perhaps that wasn't true, though. Perhaps as you went along you did learn something. I did not care what it was all about. All I wanted to know was how to live in it. Maybe if you found out how to live in it you learned from that what it was all about.

 

That's a really good page (I'll ignore the women dig).

 

I'm determined to finish this afternoon. I heavily considered DNF, but this is my second try at it, and it sucks to be mowed down by such a short book.

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text 2017-05-07 09:32
Reading progress update: I've read 51 out of 251 pages.
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway

Dreary all around. And all this scene between Robert and Frances, with Jake as a barely interactive audience is true poison study.

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text 2017-05-05 11:10
Reading progress update: I've read 13 out of 251 pages.
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway

"No; listen, Jake. If I handled both our expenses, would you go to South America with me?"
"Why me?"
"You can talk Spanish. And it would be more fun with two of us."
"No," I said, "I like this town and I go to Spain in the summertime."
(...)
"Did you ever think about going to British East Africa to shoot?"
"No, I wouldn't like that."
"I'd go there with you."

 

Author expy much?

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review 2017-01-08 21:19
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein

Genre: Poetry / Comedy / Children


Year Published: 1974


Year Read:  2010

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

 

Sidewalk

“Where the Sidewalk Ends” is another book of poems from the creative mind of Shel Silverstein, who is the popular author of “A Light in the Attic.” This book details poems about silly people and animals doing crazy activities. Even though this book has some suggestive content, children will easily be delighted in this book for many years.

Shel Silverstein has done an awesome job with both illustrating and writing this book of poems. Shel Silverstein’s writing is witty and creative as uses bizarre creatures and humans to summarize each poem in a humorous way. The poem that I thought stood out the most was the poem about Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who refused to take the garbage out and meets a grisly end (even though he never mentions what happened to her) and that poem expresses the moral that it is important to take the garbage out when it is needed and how one must listen to their parents when doing chores. Shel Silverstein’s illustrations are hilarious and crude as he illustrates each character with long limbs and exaggerated expressions and I also love the way that Shel Silverstein puts the illustrations in black and white format which is mostly found in chapters books for both children and adults.

Sidewalk

Parents should know that there is a great deal of suggestive content in this book mainly revolving around the topic of morbid humor and the topic of God. The two poems that might be the most controversial would be “Ma and God” and “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout would not take the Garbage Out.” In “Ma and God,” the poem talks about how Ma always tells her child to not do bad things, even though God has created the bad things for the child to do. For instance, one passage mentions that mother tells their children to eat their vegetables, but God creates sweets for children to eat. This poem might give children the wrong message about God and parents might want to teach their children about religion before they read them this poem. In “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout would not take the Garbage out,” the garbage overflows the house and eventually the city when Sarah refused to take the garbage out. This poem might worry small children who think that if the garbage overflows their house, then they will meet a tragic fate too. However, the poem merely tries to teach children to obey their parents and parents should try to comfort their children about this poem and the importance of taking the trash out.

“Where the Sidewalk Ends” is another great classic book of poems from Shel Silverstein and it will surely help engage children into the world of poetry. I would recommend this book for children ages six and up due to the suggestive themes of God and some morbid humor that younger children might not understand.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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