I enjoyed this book almost as much as I enjoyed The Glass Castle: A Memoir. I found Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novelless shocking, but no less eye-opening and enjoyable. I felt like I was introduced and transported to a completely different world and found it intriguing and vivid and real. Jeanette Walls is truly a talented storyteller. The book is hailed as “Laura Ingalls Wilder for adults” and while I see no reason why the Little House books are not for adults, I certainly agree with that assessment. Life on the prairie, on ranches, learning about the nitty gritty details of the lives of real ranchers and cowboys was not a topic I ever thought that I would find enjoyable or fascinating and yet in this book, they were both. In truth, it is a good idea to read the books in tandem, as Half Broke Horses explains a lot about Rosemary by way of Lily and in turn, Jeannette as well.
Tag Archives: Christianity
I enjoyed Terrorist: A Novel tremendously because John Updike is simply a master of the English language – and I found myself marveling at his stunningly constructed sentences more than I did at the plot. I feel like perhaps, has someone else written this same novel I would not have liked it as much because nobody could have written it like Updike has. Many reviews criticize the plot and the fact that perhaps Updike capitalized on post 9-11 politics and sentiments to write this novel, but I personally feel that it is only natural for every person to seek to make sense of the world around us and the experiences that we undergo and that while someone else may do this by speaking to a psychologist or coping in some other way, novelists make sense of the world around them by writing.
I think that Angelology: A Novel is not only one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, but also one of my favorites. I wanted to read the book in one day, but decided not to because I didn’t want the book to end. This book has everything: mystery, suspense, history and fantasy! And on top of all that, it’s well written, intellectual, literary and engaging. I highly recommend this book and can’t wait for the next one!
I’d been meaning to read more Graham Greene for ages, as I feel I have quite neglected his work and wanted to get better acquainted with it. I have to say that The End of the Affair was not a disappointment, but it was also not what I expected at all!
What I enjoyed the most were his amazing turns of phrase and the anecdotes that the main character related about the writing life (but one can’t help but think that these are the thoughts of Graham Greene himself). The book is certainly a masterpiece in the way that it portrays a mood – the conflict that the main character feels between love and hate – the paranoia and anxiety, but it is all portrayed with such a tragic intensity that in the end the three main characters all seem almost comical. Though I know that many people would mention the Catholicism of the novel and its many references to God and belief – I related more to his detailed and haunting descriptions of interpersonal and complicated relationships – all between a husband, his wife and her lover.
Sarah’s vow in a certain sense makes her ridiculous – why she feels the need to uphold this vow to God when she had already sinned against God and in doing so makes herself miserable and leads to her demise, does not endear her to me. But that is perhaps what makes this book a classic – that there are so many angles to take, so many sides to argue, characters to hate/love, criticize/praise and holding it all together is the master writer whose own life may or may not have been mirrored in the novel as well.
Ever since one of my high school English teachers recommended that I pick up Ellis Peter’s books, I’ve been meaning to. I think I read one once. But I always like to start a series from the very beginning. It’s just taken me 15 years or so to find the first Brother Cadfael book, A Morbid Taste for Bones: The First Chronicle of Brother Cadfael!
I found that the beginning of the book dragged a little bit, though I’m sure it was necessary – as the first book in the series, a little background on Brother Cadfael, his history, a bit about the Abbey where he lives and the garden that he tends to was all very important, but I almost gave up for lack of interesting action. “This is a murder mystery!” I said to myself as I read, “where’s the murder?”
But I have to say that I enjoyed A Morbid Taste for Bones: The First Chronicle of Brother Cadfael immensely and am eager to start on the second book of the series, One Corpse Too Many: The Second Chronicle of Brother Cadfael.
Brother Cadfael is everything that he should be: an older (I imagine slightly portly) man who has given up traveling the world to settle down for a life of quiet contemplation and gardening. However, his quick wits and worldliness are no match for the other monks and in his own way, Brother Cadfael rights all wrongs and sees what others don’t – and solves mysteries in the process, but only in a way that that continues to endear him to everyone around him. You can’t ask for much more than that in a mystery series set in 12th century England, now can you?
So, after reading Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2), I went on to read The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, Book 3), 1st edition, even though I wasn’t as impressed with The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2) as I had hoped I would be.
In truth, I had difficulty finishing The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, Book 3), 1st edition, though I did read on until the end. Similar to The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2), the book seemed like the author just made everything up as he went along. The strange wheeled mulefa people that Mary meets up with, Father Carlos’ quest to go kill Lyra, the angels, Metatron, Lyra’s relationship with both her mother and father, Mrs. Coulter’s duplicity, the world of the dead, setting the ghosts free, the harpies, it was all just too much! And yes Pullman does eventually pull it all together in the end, Lyra’s “fall” happens anyway and the entire fantasy saga turns into a coming of age story almost at the last minute. There are way too many difficult questions about God here for a child to be reading or even for a high-school age child to be reading, in my opinion, and too much confusion about angels and ghosts and daemons and souls. It’s almost as if the book tried to tackle too much – as if book two didn’t do enough and so book three came in to sweep up all the broken pieces.
I was not convinced by this story in the same way that Golden Compass has me convinced and transported me into a completely different world and made me want to wish I could be there. There were too many worlds and too many characters and too many big questions in this book and as I said about book two, it’s no wonder they never made a movie out of this book either.
So after I read Golden Compass and watched the movie, I was so excited to read the next book! However, I found The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2) to be a huge disappointment! I didn’t feel that the book had the same cohesiveness that the first book had. It almost felt, to me, like the author was making everything up as he went along. There were too many new worlds and new characters and while it’s a neat idea to make Lyra’s world meet up with the modern world and modern Oxford, I felt let down. I really liked Lyra’s world and I didn’t want to leave it. I also felt that the idea of Spectres wasn’t really explained that well and the book lacked the same kind of genius and creative ideas that the first book had.
After I watched the first movie: The Golden Compass (Widescreen Single-Disc Edition) I went online to see if there was going to be another movie put out about the sequel. Apparently, there was originally a plan for a second and third movie – a trilogy, but the plans were scrapped because the anti-Christian themes in the books were just a bit much for the general public – at least that’s what speculation seems to say (see here for more information about this) . The truth is, in my opinion, the reason a sequel was not made was because the second book lacks the magic of the first book – it is not a self-contained stories in and of itself, it is a poor continuation of the first book.
But I was intrigued enough to give Philip Pullman another chance and so I went on to read the third and final book of the trilogy: The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, Book 3), 1st edition
I had been meaning to read Golden Compass for a really long time. I bought my son the movie and in a moment of weakness let him watch it, which I usually never do because I always insist that he reads or that we read the book together first. Anyhow, at least in my case I wasn’t going to watch the movie before I read the book.
First of all, I have to say that I’m not really sure that this book is a kids book because it really deals with a lot of issues about God that are totally not appropriate for most children – certainly not for an eight year old. I also think that the idea of “Dust” was not that well explained and a bit esoteric for more kids. But besides that I thought that the books was extremely imaginative – lots of new fantasy ideas in there that I had never seen anywhere else. I love how different his witches are, the idea or a daemon, of armored bears and his use of zeppelins and hot air balloons as the most prevalent means of transportation. I also loved his take on the Northern Lights. I felt that the book moved really quickly, the story was self-contained and made sense and could easily see why it would make a good movie. It really made me want to read more and watch the movie.
The movie of The Golden Compass (Widescreen Single-Disc Edition) was wonderful. I thought Lyra was well portrayed and Nicole Kidman was perfect as Mrs. Coulter. The movie really was magical and it didn’t bring up all the weird Adam and Eve stuff and the issues about God as the book did. But of course, the ending of the movie was totally different than the book.
Anyway…off the read the next in the trilogy!