Monday, December 05, 2016

Review: Silas Marner

Silas Marner Silas Marner by George Eliot
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The language and psychology of this classic were extraordinary, felt like Joyce at its best; but at the same time it was pure treacle. Still, I am proud to say I've "read" George Eliot: maybe someday Middlemarch.

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Friday, September 02, 2016

Review: Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Performed by Michele-Denise Woods, this classic work flows so smoothly read aloud, like it was meant to be. Strangely the last disk broke, so I had to read the last portion from the novel itself: a perfect mixture of how to take in this book like true nourishment. There is so much truth to Hurston's observations about men and women, primal like old testament source material and wielding metaphors new and timeless. Kind of amazing to think how many ships this books set to sail, as short and simple as it is.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Review: Buddha, Vol. 8: Jetavana

Buddha, Vol. 8: Jetavana Buddha, Vol. 8: Jetavana by Osamu Tezuka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

...and I'm done! Buddha, too. The lesson (no spoiler, really...): it's about us, y'all; the divine is in each and everyone of us. So proud to have done this Tezuka Saga.

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Review: Buddha, Vol. 7: Prince Ajatasattu

Buddha, Vol. 7: Prince Ajatasattu Buddha, Vol. 7: Prince Ajatasattu by Osamu Tezuka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The trials of middle age and bureaucracy.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review: Ayako

Ayako Ayako by Osamu Tezuka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was reading one of the Buddha books when waiting at the DMV and a Japanese man younger than me, got really excited saying "TezuKAH, he is the greatest. Very great. You must read more." He described Ayako as one of the artist's best, a classic that deals frankly with great problems for Japan after the war. His enthusiasm and intensity was so sincere and well received by me. I went right out to Kinokuniya and bought it. After page 200 or so I could not keep myself form reading the rest of the book in one sitting. When Tezuka does his adult works, there are illustrations that are so exquisite. His pacing is extraordinary, and his storycraft completes with great literature. Concurrent with this I am listening to Gogol's Dead Souls. There are parallels in the change from agrarian to modernist society, the pitfalls and tragi-comic themes.

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Review: Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth

Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ware's whole approach is pretty intense: extraordinarily ordinary, told with an unforgettable storytelling strategy. While this feels like a classic, I have a hard time adoring this as I might like.

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Review: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just love reading Murakami, even if this wasn't my favorite so far. This book begins in the first person, for two characters; from which I never quite recovered. I enjoy better how he creates characters slowly, and at a near distance. On the other hand, the author puts it best when he writes,"I love Maugham. I’ve read The Razor’s Edge three times. Maybe it’s not a spectacular novel, but it’s very readable. Better that than the other way around."

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Review: But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past

But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maybe the most ambitious Klosterman book yet? But not sure if I liked it. I read it in pretty much one sitting, on the plane to Iceland. Early on I thought it sucked. A high point, a conversation about dreams with Richard Linklater Buddha-like: "...I sense he's sweeping the floor of a very large room as we chat - his sentences are periodically punctuated by the dulcet swoosh of a broom. 'Dreams used to have a much larger role in the popular culture..."

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