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text 2015-09-21 15:48
The Group: A Novel By Mary McCarthy $1.99
The Group: A Novel - Mary McCarthy

A classic!

 

A novel that stunned the world when it was first published in 1963, Mary McCarthy’s THE GROUP found acclaim, controversy, and a place atop the New York Times bestseller list for nearly two years for its frank and controversial exploration of women’s issues, social concerns, and sexuality.

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review 2014-09-10 03:56
Green Bike: a group novel - Kevin Rabas,Mike Graves,Tracy Million Simmons

(Full disclosure: I know Kevin Rabas personally)

I could go on and on about how great Kevin Rabas is, but rather than that, why not paste my blurb for Green Bike right here?

"Green Bike brings the idea of unseen, underlying cause and effect to the chaotic world of love, showing us one thing very clearly: though love is a volatile emotion it can be ignited by something so simple and so pure as a green bike. And that’s what people want for themselves, I think, the comfort in knowing that an unexpected spark can be responsible for infinite happiness."

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review 2013-12-27 11:15
Bravo! Oh, bravo!
Miss Hargreaves: A Novel (Bloomsbury Group) - Frank Baker

That's what Miss Hargreaves said, and that's what I wished I could say to Frank Baker.

 

So, Miss Hargreaves, she's the type I'd call dragon woman. Luckily I've met only one or two of this species, although deep in my heart I have secret aspiration to grow into one. I don't think I'll ever reach that goal though. Because these type of woman, well, they're cool, they're invincible, they're strong, they're fun to be with if you're their friend, nobody should mess around with them and deep inside they have golden heart; though you'd have to dig deep with strongest implement and maybe some explosive material to get to it.

 

And this one, she's born from the figment of imagination. Born from the spur of the moment type of imagination; striding strong and determined to conquer the real world. Despite the whole mess of problem she caused, Norman ,the creator, couldn't really let her go nor could he help being proud of her. So the story continuous with the dynamic of creation and creator, energy shifting, control given and taken away until the last heartbreaking moment.

 

To wrap it up, it even have great ending. Where it stays true to Norman's mental turmoil and the key moment came about with the help of his friend. I wanted to clap my hand reading it. Yes, this is how it should be. Just because Norman's the main protagonist, doesn't mean he'd have to be the superman at the end. I'm glad that Frank Baker didn't make him one. So glad I can forgive his giving an easy way out on the romance side of it.

 

Once I finished reading it, I couldn't help wishing to read the other book with character born from imagination, Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi. So I did.

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review 2013-11-28 22:15
Transported Me to a Different Place and Time
The Lotus Eaters - Tatjana Soli

This was a terrific read, which came through despite my not reading it in the usual way. I tend to be a fast, voracious reader. I'd have ordinarily made my way through this book in a few days, not a few weeks, but lately I've been forced to put my spare time and energy elsewhere. I'm not sure if that was to the benefit or detriment of the book.

The book is set during the Vietnam War and is centered on, Helen, an American woman photojournalist and her two lovers--Darrow, an American, Linh, a Vietnamese. I love books like this--one that can open up to you another world, and in these cases two, or rather three: Vietnam. The Vietnam War. Photojournalism. The book starts with a ferocious overture--like <i>Private Ryan's</i> D-Day landing--though in this case the Fall of Saigon, as we watch Helen stay for one more story and try to get out alive. By the time that beginning ended, and we then go back to her days as a tyro journalist in the early days of American involvement in the war, I was thoroughly hooked--and that part I read fast. The prose is strong, by turns visceral and lyrical--painting a picture of Vietnam beautiful, horrifying and mesmerizing. And I certainly cared about the central characters. In a way, my slow reading of the rest built on that, as I took time to get to know the characters, let them sink in.

The end did feel a bit to me like an anticlimax--or at least not enough--too abrupt after all this time spent with the characters. I do have another problem with the book--even if for me a minor one--but one that, for instance, would keep me from gifting this to a friend of mine for which it's a pet peeve: holding point of view. Soli doesn't. Now, yes, I know there's such a thing as omniscient. But well-done omniscient has certain hallmarks and quirks that ground you in that point of view. A certain narrative attitude, a bit intrusive in voice and opinion, statements about the future, and of course shifting points of view. When instead what you have in essentials a limited viewpoint mostly told through one character, but then you suddenly abruptly shift to a statement or thought or sight that couldn't come from that character, it feels jarring--worse I feel it's a violation of a contract with the reader. In this case, what was strong in the book--the characters, the sense of place and time--meant I found this a minor point I could overlook--but certainly did notice. But yes, I would recommend this to anyone for whom the subject appeals. As you might guess from the setting and theme this is not a light, happy book--but it does take you on a journey--one I was happy I made.

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review 2013-10-12 00:00
The Reading Group: A Novel (P.S.)
The Reading Group - Elizabeth Noble DNF. Thinking about reading this book made me depressed.
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