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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.

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review 2017-06-10 10:47
The Show-Off Monkey and Other Taoist Tales
The Show-Off Monkey and Other Taoist Tales - Mark W. McGinnis

by Mark W. McGinnis

 

This is a book of retold Chinese fables, based on the writings of the ancient philosopher Chang Tzu but written in modern language that any child could follow.

 

The tales are very short and each has a morale at the end to teach the reader something about the foibles of human nature.

 

The pictures are beautifully done and in full color in what looks like an oriental style. Overall the book is beautifully presented and would make a nice gift to a child, though adults would enjoy it too!

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review 2017-06-04 22:35
I'm feeling old
Everneath - Brodi Ashton

*sigh* It is evident I'm not the public for this book. While some of the alogoric content inside this was something that is important that is adressed, the whole felt all over the place. I think the part most inconsistent was Nik herself: selfish woe is me then all goody sacrificing. It could be that most of what I found annoying, or had me raging, was just age related stupidity, but *shrug*

 

I had also some specific issues: Jack is such a Stu. Somebody should have called Nik's dad on his bulshit: maybe he's trying, but he sucks at it and a chat was owed. No one really adresses how messed up Nik's little brother must be (I can't even remember his name).

 

At any rate, I'm likely done with this genre.

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review 2017-05-23 20:46
The Better Story
Life of Pi - Yann Martel

Defiantly funny in the face of total devastation, but more than that, ever hopeful. I guess that last is the best part of strong faith. The important part. Inner piece and enduring hope.

 

Here's the deal: I'm an agnostic. We get roasted inside *grin*. I could go a long while about the difference between religion and spirituality, between faith in god and the faith in the future that makes you stubbornly plod forward. I wont. My mom says "there are no atheist in the trenches". I have no idea what an ordeal like this would do to me.

 

But here is the other side, the thing about being an agnostic: I can accept both stories. I can love and believe in the tiger, and I can forgive the killer boy. The tiger is the better story, but to me, disregarding the second feels like hiding from a horrible truth too hard to accept. Just as disregarding the tiger feels like the cruelty of denying absolution, or the company of hope.

 

Good book. The movie did it amazing justice, tight and beautiful and with lovely, memorable music, so I highly recommend it.

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review 2017-04-30 18:24
Run! It's too late after you embark
Moby-Dick - Andrew Delbanco, Tom Quirk,Herman Melville

It's not often lately that I find a read that threatens to leave me clueless as to what I'm reading. I'm not talking content here (I'll get to that later), but sheer language. Between the heavy intertextuallity, the word usage and sentences structure, I found myself having no idea what the last paragraph or three meant, and have to backtrack, more than I liked. I though I was over that shit. Conceit corrected.

 

Next, the characters feel like ghosts. Even the narrator sometimes loses substance, becoming something airlike and almost omniscient. They are Ahab's crew. If you want to get all metaphysical, traits of humanity that are driven by one over-consuming. It goes just as well as you could expect.


Last, the story. The thing itself could be spun in a third of the length without loosing anything from the plot. But, and here is where the ambitious bastard trips you, most of the meaning, theme and depth is stored in the fat. All those hazed-eyes inducing chapters? They actually have a point. Damned all those lit analysis classes, much of an overarching understanding of the novel hinges on the Jonah's sermon and the whiteness chapters.

So, is it worth it? Hell if I know. I powered through the thing, even liked it to some extent, and I'm still unconvinced. There is a certain brilliance in what it attempts. To me, the whole idea (and what it feels like to read it) can be encompassed in one passage in ch16: Ishmael goes to Peleg to ask to go whaling for a "desire to see the world" and Peleg tells him to look across the bow of the docked ship. There is nothing but water, says Ishamel, and Peleg answers that's the world he'll see a whaling. You can read a summary of the book as you can see the sea from the shore.The wisdom of going whaling is seriously challenged after all.

 

But it's not the same.

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