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review 2018-01-31 01:22
Meeting changes those that meet
The Word for World is Forest - Ursula K. Le Guin

This was gorgeous and bittersweet take on the clash of cultures, colonization, slavery. I get why it's some people's Le Guin's favorite. I actually finished it the same day I started, it so gripped me (just happened that my connection swallowed my first review and I've been sulking... I mean, one time, ONE, in about fifty, that I do not backup before hitting "post", and of course Murphy says it's the one that fails).

 

I guess it's the amount of win that is packed in so few pages:

 

Davidson being such an archetype of male, white supremacist. He calls himself a "conquistador" like an accolade. His every though chain is like a slap (he's got all the flavors: chauvinistic, racist, dismissive of scholars), and the part that makes it so grotesque is identifying actual, real people in them. Even this gung-ho attitude that he considers heroism, where I could see what passed for badass in westerns and Haggard's novels, and read in context turns into GI fanatism of the Napalm loving type *shudder* The less said about his mental juggling on not considering the natives "human", therefore not slaves, but good to rape the better (the part where it is pointed out that if he does not consider them human then he's indulging in bestialism was fucking awesome).

 

The friendship between Selver and Lyubov. This on-going theme of Le Guin of one single, personal tie across species that changes the tide, bridges culture. The first pebble of the avalanche. The hinting of irrevocable change while Lyubov is worried, right before the camp goes up in flames. The actual naming on the gift exchange scene between Selver and Davidson. The bittersweet knowledge of permanence when Selver says Lyuvob will stay, and so will Davidson. The good with the bad.

 

Real life parallels abound, but it's more than that. It has heart. It makes you think, but at the same time, it makes you feel, and question. I loved it. 

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text 2018-01-26 14:44
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
The Word for World is Forest - Ursula K. Le Guin

*raised eyebrow*

 

What a piece of entitled white male douche. Like wow.

 

Another Le Guin. I'm feeling sentimental

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review 2018-01-19 16:47
Didn't get the word play of the title until I was writing out my notes
The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People - Oscar Wilde

After what feels like a millennium, I have read The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and I totally get the hype now. Oscar Wilde's play focuses on two men who independently of the other have invented alternate personas that allow them to cut loose without (hopefully) any repercussions. One of the men has created Ernest who is by all rights a scoundrel and his creator has finally decided to do away with him so that he can settle down and get married. The problem is that his friend (the other deceitful man) has decided to take on the mantle of Ernest so that he can win the heart of a girl that he's just met. (I recommend reading this in one sitting because otherwise you're liable to get confused.) Wilde uses word play and absolutely ridiculous circumstances to discuss the folly of youth and poke fun at the whims and fancies of people who believe they are really truly in love even if they don't truly know the other person. For instance, the two women of the play are determined that they will only marry someone named Ernest but as it turns out no one is named Ernest there is a bit of a kerfuffle. After all is said and done, no one comes out on top and everyone is depicted as foolish and unimpressive. It was thoroughly amusing and I guess now I'll have to see the movie that was based on it. :-P If you haven't read it yourself and you'd like a quick, fun read this will do just the trick. 9/10

 

And yes the title of this post is true. I was staring at the book's title and then it hit me: "Oh because it's about two men proclaiming to be Ernest and they do it will all earnestness."  *facepalm* 

 

What's Up Next: The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

 

What I'm Currently Reading: The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-12-30 16:37
Enjoyable read
The Word is Murder - Anthony Horowitz

For fans of Ruth Rendell and Agatha Christie "The Word is Murder" is a very clever detective story which places the author as one of the central characters. Hawthorne is a retired detective and wishes to use his sharp analytical mind to help solve the death of wealthy woman Diana Cowper who is murdered six hours after she arranges her own funeral. He enlists the help of a reluctant author and it is hoped that both will not only solve the crime but also create a bestselling novel.  What gives this story an almost comic edge is the relationship between "Tony" the author and the irascible detective Daniel Hawthorne.

 

The novel proceeds and the usual suspects are introduced and portrayed before the reader, the hope always being that the murderer can be identified from the clues presented. To me the real pleasure of reading this story was the comical and descriptive writing on display by an established and respected author;....."Again, I found myself wondering what it must be like to work there, sitting in a room with those miniature urns, a constant reminder that everything you were and everything you'd achieved would one day fit inside."......."For him, politeness was a surgical mask, something he slipped on before he took out his scalpel."...."There was a sense of something in the air that might have been damp but was actually just misery."...."wearing a suit that could have come out of a charity shop- or should have been on the way to one."...."You never realize how fragile everything is until it breaks."..."It was as if she had been locked up in a lunatic asylum for so long that she had forgotten she was actually mad."....

 

So with a cunning and clever plot, mysterious and intricate characters  all presented in an entertaining dialect "The Word is Murder" is a highly enjoyable and recommended read.

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