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review 2018-12-18 19:38
Unhappy Philosopher: "The Street of Crocodiles" by Bruno Schulz
The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories - Bruno Schulz,Celina Wieniewska,Jerzy Ficowski,Jonathan Safran Foer



(Original Review, 1981-05-30)




Why do I read? To learn, to experience worlds, emotions, interactions that I don't experience in my reality, to think, to be, to become.

If not for Huxley - recommended by an English teacher at school - I'd have remained a working class racist, sexist homophobe, would never have smoked haxixe, gone on to study philosophy, met my children's mother, have had wonderful kids or stepped out of a culture of impoverished imagination.
I might have been 'a happy pig' rather than an "unhappy philosopher," (to paraphrase Plato) it's true, but it's been a richer life for it.

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-12-17 10:37
Hemingwayesque Style: "Frankenstein in Baghdad" by Ahmed Saadawi
Frankenstein in Baghdad: A Novel - Ahmed Saadawi



Finished Ahmed Saadawi's "Frankenstein in Baghdad." It’s worth contrasting with Shelley's Frankenstein. Shelley writes about Frankenstein's misuse of Science, i.e., galvanism, in creating an ultimately vengeful Creature, existing primarily in a Romantic world of wild nature, the background of which is the setting for the novel. Saadawi's Frankenstein in Baghdad, OTOH, is set in an urban hell of murders, car bombings, massacres and various varieties of sectarian warfare.

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-12-15 17:21
Ham-Fistedness: "Cinco Esquinas" by Mario Vargas Llosa
Cinco Esquinas (HISPANICA) - Mario Vargas Llosa

(Original Review, 2016-03-05)



I'm really glad that Mario Vargas Llosa's “Cinco Esquinas” wasn't the first of his books that I've read or I'd have abandoned his work forever. An unbidden, recurring image of him hunched over his keyboard, lickerish and drooling, haunted me as I read what were surely his pollution’s nocturnes about the room-temp romps of a pair of married, fabulously wealthy, gorgeous best girlfriends, all the throbbier for the perils posed by the Fujimori regime.
 
 
 
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.
 
 

 

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review 2018-12-14 16:35
Tornagusto: "Pinocchio" by Carlo Collodi, Gioia Fiammenghi (Trans.)
Pinocchio - John Boyne,Carlo Collodi




(Original Review, 1981-05-20)



I am reading the English version of Pinocchio; I read it, obviously many times in my language and the other day I found a small book with this title and I was curious to see how it was in a different language from mine. I also want to "invite him for dinner" as it is the title of a context of a famous Italian newspaper (writing an invitation for a character of a book at your choice) but I have not yet written a word. I am not too keen on inviting to meals, it means extra work and I did it enough. But maybe by reading it I’ll get inspired.

 

 

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-12-14 16:14
Double Entendres Galore: "Hopscotch" by Julio Cortázar
Hopscotch - Julio Cortázar,Gregory Rabassa


(Original Review, 1981-05-15)




If you like your novels simple and straightforward, don’t read “Hopscotch”.
If you have an allergy to extended brainy digressions and convoluted debates, you better avoid “Hopscotch”.
If you abhor puns, double entendre and wordplay, I most seriously advise you to stay clear of “Hopscotch”.
If you can’t stand literary, philosophical, musical and artistic references cramming your narrative, I sincerely prompt you to veer off taking “Hopscotch” from the bookseller’s shelf.
If you like your narrative to be free of phrases, expressions and vocabulary from languages you don’t know and don't care for, maybe “Hopscotch” is not a book for you.

 

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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