WARNING and APOLOGY: this post starts with a rather long tangent about literature, art and people. (Sorry! Probably should be two posts, but I’m lazy.) If you don’t really want to read it (but you should there are a few great quotes) skip to after the third block quote. And to get it out-of-the-way, The Picture of Dorian Gray is the January read for my books into movies book group at the local library and conveniently appears on my Mount TBR (extended) list and my Classics Club list!
Now for my tangent, I’ve noticed as I read a wider variety of literature that the authors I’m drawn to have a lot to say about books, reading and writing. I have a lot of respect for authors who are able to reflect on writing, books, and literature within their own books and stories. In his forward to The Portrait of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde writes the below quote.
“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.” (4)
And I can’t help but appreciate how incredibly insightful and powerful this is. Imagine if all the people threatened by books, who’ve burned books, who attempt to ban books, and those who just refuse to read certain books actually understood this. I love this quote so much it’s my new email signature and I’ve added it to the great book quotes on my sidebar (only the third)!
It may have taken two weeks to read this book, but it was completely worth it. I don’t know the last time I’ve spent this much time basking in the beauty and wonderment of a novel. 1Q84 counts for my 2013 Mount TBR and Tea & Books challenges. Now on to my response, which is jumpy and hardly all-inclusive, but hopefully it portrays some of the wondrousness this novel is. Let’s just say I can’t wait to read more Murakami, regardless of if it’s a mind f*ck like Kafka on the Shore or like 1Q84, which is also technically a mind f*ck.
How does one even begin to classify Murakami. From the two books I’ve read the only things I can definitely say are that he defies genres and bucks trends, is incredibly well versed in classic literature and music and popular culture (films and music) and his descriptions are so vivid you don’t have to strive to imagine things because you see them completely formed in front of you. What I can appreciate is Murakami usually drops a line into his books which perfectly explain the books (so far, again I’ve only read two) and this books is (NOT A REAL SPOILER, but maybe skip the quote if you don’t want to know anything – the rest is okay though.), Click here to continue reading
What a wonderful novel AND a beautiful film! The day I bought this book my roommate asked if I wanted to go see the film and after a lot of internal dialogue made external I decided to see the film before reading the book and it was well worth it. The score of the film was one of the most beautiful I’ve heard in ages and it was also visually stunning.
I knew this would be a good novel because it was only short listed for the Man Booker Prize! It was nominated for and won a few other awards. I’m still convinced, in general, the runners-up on the shortlist are often better than the winners. I have read the winner that year, Alan Hollinghurt’s The Line of Beauty, and although I really enjoyed Hollinghurst’s novel it was a tome and I struggled, so this book was easier to read and I would say more enjoyable for it’s set up and it’s approachability.
What is there to say about this wonderful book that hasn’t already been said in some way or some form? Not much honestly, so this isn’t much of a review. It’s more a response/regurgitation of my immediate thoughts having finished reading it Wednesday evening.
I’m glad I squeezed in a re-read of The Hobbit this year for a couple of reasons: it’s the 75th anniversary of its original publication; I haven’t re-read it since high school; the first of the films comes out this year; and there was an awesome panel at the 2012 Boston Book Festival about the book, the movie, the previous adaptations and the associated artwork.
What I enjoy most about The Hobbit is that it’s a tale told as a story. Tolkien tells the story as if you are one of his children snuggled up in bed waiting to find out what adventures happened from the night before and you can hear and experience this in the writing. And this is one of the things that makes me want to perhaps try an audio version of this book.
However, at the same time that this makes the tale magical, it also detracts, only minimally, from the story. The writing at times isn’t as concise, clear or powerful as it could be because I believe Tolkien sacrificed some of this for simplicity and spoken voice. But, as I said, I am perfectly okay with this.
What a messed up novel. And I mean that in a really good way. Like I’m shaking my head saying to myself, ‘What in the world?’ I mean seriously, where do authors come up with ideas like this? I’m sure Levin at some point discussed it in an interview, but I don’t really want to know it’s that strange.
(Also, in honor of the occult in this novel, I’m posting this on 12/12/12 at 12:12. Haahaa! – It just happened to be ready to be posted on 12/12/12 and I was like might as well post it at 12:12)
I read Rosemary’s Baby for our Books into Movies book group at the local library, and for lack of a better word, it was an interesting read. Perhaps strange is a better word, or odd, but not like oh this is strange, but like what a strange ass story. Regardless, this book once again reaffirms why I am glad that I participate in a book group with such a wide range of individuals. It takes me out of my reading comfort-zone and introduces me to some pretty interesting and weird novels. I’m strangely looking forward to the film if only because it is such an iconic thriller, and from the introduction I know that it stays close to the book.