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review 2018-09-20 02:59
First half to see good, then the shots are fired
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt

When I was around two thirds in, I started idly concocting a review in my brain, about how the almost surreal elements and characters was what gave this narrative such a verisimilitude. Cue me over the 80% mark, just going to search for a detail, and finding out this is nonfiction. Sure, there are artistic licenses, but in essence?

 

I love it when knowing absolutely nothing about a book pays up in such ways.

 

As I mentioned previously in an update, the general tone reminded me a lot of latinoamerican writing. This has a lot to do with the conservative (and quirky) societies that brew in relatively small, isolated towns. You have the sedate and beautiful surface, and the decades, generations, long ugly undercurrents. Everyone "behaves" in public out of a certain need for society and peace, and whomever "pops" may as well go the whole nine-yards and wear it like a flag.

 

So, that's basically the aim: to illustrate Savannah. The plot as it were serves the theme. We go into the deep ugly undercurrents. Almost every ugly you can imagine. Sometimes you are enraged and amused at the same time from the sheer hypocrisy rampant. I spent most of the book in some queer state of entertained stupefaction because it is so grotesque you almost can't believe it. But you do. You recognize it. It is your hometown.

 

 

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review 2018-04-19 05:23
New beginnings
Four Ways to Forgiveness - Ursula K. Le Guin

These are four loosely connected but independent short stories set at the start of Yeowe's independence from Werel, after 30 years of revolutionary war. They are the stories of people as different as they can possibly come, coming to terms. With loss, with cultural differences, with a place in society, with the past. They are all also big on starting anew. And, of course, feminism. The right to freedom, to a voice, to vote, to an education, to not be raped. These are all discussed and are an important part of the book, given the planet's recent upheaval and it's heavy history of slavery and male-dominated environment.

 

I found it bittersweet and lovely, and ended up with a huge bunch of quotes saved and a lump in my throat that I know not what to do with. There is so much wrong with this planet, so much hurt, and yet... it is so hopeful. I guess forgiveness is a kind of hope. Another chance. Much like love; another thing that permeates the book and is ever-present in every story.

 

I have closed it, as so many stories close, with a joining of two people. What is one man’s and one woman’s love and desire, against the history of two worlds, the great revolutions of our lifetimes, the hope, the unending cruelty of our species? A little thing. But a key is a little thing, next to the door it opens. If you lose the key, the door may never be unlocked. It is in our bodies that we lose or begin our freedom, in our bodies that we accept or end our slavery. So I wrote this book for my friend, with whom I have lived and will die free.

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review 2017-09-04 06:05
Better than I remembered
The Drawing of the Three - Stephen King

Second volume of this saga is sooo much better. Better than the first volume and better on second read.

Better than the first because it felt more grounded somehow. Despite the whole "magic doorway" thing, it was way less surreal than "The Gunslinger". The writing was more rounded too, and I connected better with the characters.

Better on second read because there was a dimension of meaning and character growth I could not appreciate first time around (having read it as a stand-alone), and because I'm older, and no matter how mature you think you are, there is a lot you can't really understand when you are a teen.

Despite remembering almost everything, I was not bored. At all. I actually sped through 3/4 of it before my brain revolted clamoring for sleep. That's a "good stuff" stamp, if there is ever one.

I'm full on board of this train now, and will be reading the next install soon.

 

 

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text 2017-05-06 09:04
Reading progress update: I've read 214 out of 768 pages.
Vicomte de Bragelonne - Alexandre Dumas,David Coward

"How did you conceive that idea?"
"It came to me one morning on the banks of the Loire, whilst our beloved king, Louis XIV., was pretending to weep upon the hand of Mademoiselle de Mancini."
"Monsieur, I declare the idea is sublime. But--"
"Ah! is there a but?"
"Permit me! But this is a little like the skin of that fine bear--you know--that they were about to sell, but which it was necessary to take from the back of the living bear. Now, to take M. Monk, there will be a bit of a scuffle, I should think."

 

Lol! So D'Artagnan is about to lit a powder keg under Europe trying to sell his bear skin, Athos might unknowingly deprive him even if their aims aren't incompatible because they have very different reasons, and we still don't know what Aramis is scheming. God, I love these guys.

I also love the fact that D'Artagnan, while quick and observant (he did notice the king's bit of acting, I had wondered), is not the most intelligent politically or long-term wise. He also has a rotten luck, lol.

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review 2016-09-08 02:31
The sinking and the after shakes
Hearts in Atlantis - Stephen King

Damned tearjerker. To paraphrase Bobby's mom "life is unfair". And boy, do I have mixed feelings about her character. Most of my screaming-at-the-page moments came thanks to her. Anyway, the first story ripped my heart out, and I loved it. 

 

The second was a mix. Kinda' like the characters, their age and the era. Jumbled and confused, almost angels and petty devils. Liked it. Not as much as the first.

 

The third was the puzzler. Interesting bridge, but wtf. Also, he has a good life, life isn't fair. Maybe.

 

The fourth took time to hit it's stride, but really got to me on the last two to five pages. Had my waterworks well primed and going. Ready for the last story.

 

The fifth was  the coda. Full circle. And maybe life is unfair, but sometimes is kinder than we expect.

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