The better to see you, my dear
Reading progress update: I've read 60 out of 248 pages.
Eugenia Grandet - Honoré de Balzac

This cast is savage! I'm having a blast. I did not expect it to be this easy to read

Reading progress update: I've read 40 out of 248 pages.
Eugenia Grandet - Honoré de Balzac

That's some dreary and ominous set up. I'm reminded of Oliver Twist, and Difficult Times; Madame Bovary too.

Review
3 Stars
Words fail me
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

Alright, there is a lot going on in this little piece of poison dripping, mind-fuck of a story, and I don't know that I'm up to the task.

 

First of all, because it's the immediate, I call bullshit on that end (I'm talking of the 21th chapter that was cut-out of the USA version; if you've not read it, this paragraph will make little sense). I read the author's introduction and explanation, and I more or less agree that our empathy and sympathy tends to grow as we mature (and we are more or less savages as kids and teens), but having read the book, I don't believe this level of inner cruelty and utter disregard for other people, or the length it was self-indulged and brought out onto the world can be called "a folly of youth" and hand-waived like that. I do not believe that level of monstrosity is something that can be redeemed, worked out, grow bored out of, and the person just go on to be some well adjusted adult.

 

I also do not know what is to be done with such a person to be honest, even if my knee-jerk reaction if I was the victim would be to kill them. Brain-washing into effectively loosing their free will does not seem to be the answer though.

 

Next: There is a very strong undercurrent of the battle of the generations going on here. The way money is treated, those articles in the diary, and the mention of day hour and night ours, and whom the street belongs to, and even, who has the power in the first part vs. the second, and what it consist on.

 

Actually, the three parts are distillate poison on abuse of power: young hooligans for first, then the police and other punishing/correctional institutions for second, politicians in the third. Everyone screws everyone over, and in the end I hated the lot, little Alex, and his little followers, and the police, and the jailers, and the priests, and the doctors, and the politicians, and the social fighters, and even his victims.

 

Shit, I wouldn't recommend this one, even if I found it oddly compelling *shudder*. It is interesting, and effective, but a vicious way to provoke thought, maybe unnecessarily.

 

Done. Onto "I am Pusheen the Cat", ice-cream and a helping of crack fics for the soul.

Reading progress update: I've read 150 out of 213 pages.
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

I'm still reading. Oh, my God, I'm still reading.

 

If the first part was trigger fest and violence slide-show (I almost wrote horror-show and then decided it was too twisted), and some bits (and not even the most violent, mind you) gave me real anxiety (it was how close to life some of the situations, initial set ups and general descriptions felt), this second part was the sickening counter-push, just as violent and disturbed, only in a different manner.

Review
3.5 Stars
Scrupulous title
Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King
  • 1922: Three quotes to define it:

 

"And is there Hell, or do we make our own on earth?"

"The dead don't stop"

“Poison spreads like ink in water.”

 

  • Big Driver: The post reaction was full truth, from the confusion, pain, wound-licking, hiding, weighting paths, shying from the future shame to rage and wanting to get back, all the steps. The gun-totting revenge a real pipe-dream.

 

  • Fair Extension:

"This isn’t some half-assed morality tale."

Said the devil.

 

  • Good Marriage: Holy Molly, this one was disturbing and twisted and awesome. My favorite of the collection.
Reading progress update: I've read 260 out of 368 pages.
Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King

I’m a businessman now, but at one time I was a humble salary-man. Got fired before striking out on my own.

 

*snicker* Well, that's one way of putting it (since I'm pretty sure it's the devil spouting the line).

 

I'm leaving my thoughts on Big Driver for later (personal trigger special, yay!)

Reading progress update: I've read 135 out of 368 pages.
Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King

Wow... That was disturbing on all levels, start to finish. Full dark indeed.

 

Two bits on this novella are what I'm thinking on, but I'm too lazy to find the quotes: That we make our own hell right here; and that the dead don't stop.

Reading progress update: I've read 60 out of 368 pages.
Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King

Hah! Of course! 1930! Depression! Dust bowl! How did I miss the context part most relevant! This is... I don't know if poetic justice quite applies, but... *mad cackle*

Reading progress update: I've read 50 out of 368 pages.
Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King

“I can put her name and description out on the telegraph wire, if you want. She won’t have gone no further than Omaha, will she? Not on just a hundred and eighty smackers. And a woman who’s spent most of her life keepin’ house has no idea of how to hide out. She’ll like as not be in a rooming house over on the east side, where they run cheap. I could have her brought back. Dragged back by the hair of the head, if you want.”
“That’s a generous offer, but—”
The dull gray eyes surveyed me. “Think it over before you say yea or nay. Sometimes a fee-male needs talking to by hand, if you take my meaning, and after that they’re all right. A good whacking has a way of sweetening some gals up. Think it over.”

 

That's the Sheriff. Charming time to live on being a woman, huh?

Reading progress update: I've read 5 out of 368 pages.
Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King

Oh my God this guy is a seriously deranged, dangerous, misogynistic fuck!! And his opening salvo working on the boy! What will he make of that boy!

Review
4 Stars
Coming of age sci-fi
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle

I'm rating this what I think my 12 years old me would have, because adult me has issues.

 

What was touched upon that I loved:

 

  • How structured education can grind on an, as Calvin calls it, uneven child.
  • That moment of realization where we find out that parents are not omnipotent, and the subsequent time were we resent them for not living up to that expectation.
  • Being equals and being the same are two different things.
  • Siblings love.

 

Talking generally, I really liked the descriptions. Very vivid.

 

My adult hang-up: More or less the same as with Narnia, though thankfully not as egregious. The religious undertones I could well have done without (hell, the three Mrs. could well be placeholders for the holy trinity, one not being corporeal, one good at communicating, one coming as quotes). I'd demote half a star for that today.

Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 211 pages.
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle

I've just finished "The "Tesseract" chapter, and I love how the concept was explained.

 

Looks like we are in for an epic with a major E

 

A bit later: Camazotz is "Another brick in the wall" creepy. And from this trailer that Debbie posted, it looks like the movie is getting it right.

 

Another chapter further: The red eyed man too! Those trailers look even better now that I can tie flashes to events *grin*

Reblogged Quote
We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.

Anaïs Nin

Reblogged from Debbie's Spurts
This looks interesting

 

More about it here

Reading progress update: I've read 5 out of 213 pages.
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

I'm reading the version published outside USA, with it's extra chapter and, in this one, a very interesting introduction about the difference. It really puts it on it's head, doesn't it? What I'm left thinking on (and there is quite a bit touched upon in the author's words), is the bit where he calls the truncated version a fable, and the full one a novel, because I would point out that in there, besides the movie, resides the persistence of this book. After all, we have proof that we hold onto our fables and archetypes for millennia.

Page one: Ok, whut? Should I point out, yet again, that English is not my first language, or is this as heavy in slang that it's almost incomprehensible to everyone else too?

 

And yeah, I'm alternating this and "A Wrinkle in Time", with "Men explain things to me" around for non-fiction. Nice salad, huh?

Reading progress update: I've read 40 out of 211 pages.
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle

Loved the introduction. Put me in mind of Pullman talking about his Dark Materials series.

 

The breadth of vocabulary of the characters, and the way a precocious child can struggle with structured schooling is depicted puts her writing where her mouth is, and I applaud it. Oh, and the frustration with adults! I would have loved this when I was a kid. Even more, the variety of sentiments in those adults causing the frustration, from the truly empathetic (but sometimes you want nothing but to rage) to the fake/managing ones (that kids instinctually pick up on most times).

currently reading

Progress: 60/248pages
Men Explain Things to Me - Rebecca Solnit
El nombre de la rosa - Umberto Eco, Richardo Pochtar