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review 2017-06-27 01:39
And it just ends there
Rosemary's Baby - Ira Levin

I think I remember some comments about how the movie was a campy style of horror. It left me completely unprepared for this read.

This is horror alright. I'm unsettled while writing this, actually. I think it's that most of it is more or less plausible. You take away the supernatural bits, and it would still scare you white.

The young, naive, isolated wife, the selfish husband, all the subservient vibes she has going and the way he gaslights her. That conception scene that's bound to leave me with nightmares.

He drugs her! Let's someone/thing rape her while she's out of it, and then to cover the evidence says HE had his way with her because it was baby-making-night. He makes it as she had too much to drink, he excuses himself as him having a bit too much too, that SHE wanted a baby... So gross and disturbing.

(spoiler show)



Reading how the noose and net is slowly tightened, the way she's cut away from anyone that could help her, was harrowing. At some point I had to tear myself away to work and shop for groceries, and even though I was horrified, I did not want to.

It's an unstoppable read. And way better and scarier than I though it'd be. Cheers to Levin. He was always leery of the way the movie turned popular, but there is certainly nothing wrong with the quality of his book.

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text 2017-06-26 00:38
Reading progress update: I've read 7%.
The Picture of Dorian Gray (Dramatized) - Ian Hallard,Aysha Kala,Big Finish Productions,Oscar Wilde, Marcus Hutton, James Unsworth,Alexander Vlahos,Miles Richardson,David Llewellyn
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review 2017-06-24 03:06
[REVIEW] The Lover by Marguerite Duras
The Lover - Marguerite Duras,Barbara Bray
“People ought to be told of such things. Ought to be taught that immortality is mortal, that it can die, it’s happened before and it happens still.” (90%)



The prose is so beautiful, so evocative, that I am immediately transported into the world of “The Lover”. I am glad I read the introduction, confusing as it was because it let me know two important things: 1. this novel is 'somewhat' autobiographical of the author and 2. the characters are mostly nameless.

Because it is written in the first person, you are immediately gripped by the narrator’s voice. The rawness of her emotion is palpable. The timeline isn’t clearly established, we keep jumping back and forth between different ages/memories of the narrator which can be jarring at times.

While reading about a 15-year-old engaging in a sexual relationship with a 27-year-old is deeply unsettling, because of the way the narrator tells the story, you can become confused and think of her as older than 15. I wonder if she engaged in sex as a way to combat the sadness she says she has always felt within her, a sadness that ages her young face and that is mirrored in the deep melancholy of her mother. It's truly heartbreaking.

As it is, the whole novel is accompanied by a sad, melancholic tone and it doesn't let up until you've finished the book.

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review 2017-06-24 03:01
[REVIEW] The Princess of Cleves by Madame de La Fayette
The Princess of Cleves - Madame de La Fayette

God, what a heartbreaking novel. Even while I suspected where it would go, I held on to the hope that maybe it wouldn't go there. Ultimately it did and my poor heart could not take it. Move over Romeo and Juliet, the Duke of Nemours and the Princess of Clèves are the patron saints of star-crossed lovers.

 

The beginning is a chore to get through. The name dropping of the everyone in the French Court is supposed to give you a sense of place along with a cast of characters but it just ended up confusing me even more. Nonetheless, I kept reading.

 

The Princess of Clèves and the Duke of Nemours are a delight to read about it, mostly because we get to see their character evolution. Their story is nothing short of gut-wrenching; their love so true and genuine. But, by all means, this novel isn't perfect. It suffers a lot from frequent visits of the Goddess of Exposition™ which I believe take away from the main story. Sure I want some backstory on the situation but not pages upon pages upon pages of it.

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review 2017-06-24 02:52
[REVIEW] Phaedra by Jean Racine
Phaedra - Jean Racine,Richard Wilbur,Igor Tulipanov

I am surprised at how easy this was to read. After reading little bits on my commute, I sat down and finished it in a day.

Shame colors Phaedra’s life and blinds her completely to any solution other than death. She is not a reasonable person at any point until the very end when she has seen the consequence of her passion. She had hoped in vain that Hippolyte would return her feelings and save her from the shroud of guilt that covered her. Ultimately, he became so disgusted by her sentiments that it made her shame grow into a monster she couldn’t control and that would be the cause for Hippolyte’s unjust demise.

I was not a fan of the false rape accusation at all. It perpetuates this bullshit that women falsely accuse men of rape out of spite. Not here for this.

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