Reviews by crazypockets
This was not Kerouac's greatest, but I really enjoyed it if only for getting to see a glimpse into his writer's process. The actual novella had a nostalgic, "Our Town" feel to it that I really liked. It was interesting to see Kerouac's evolution in his beliefs and to learn more about his relationship with his father and how it factored in to shaping them. I wasn't thrilled with the editor's introduction and lack of writing skills, but setting that aside, a book definitely worth reading. And it got me inspired enough to want to start writing again, too.
This was a really fun book to listen to on CD, so I took my time with it. The reader did a variety of voices, and you could tell he was having a great time reading this book which always makes it more fun for the listener. As for the story itself, I'm glad I finished it because it went in a different direction than I thought it would. A lot of the elements of it still made me very sad/nervous like the emphasis on digitizing books and the disappearance of bookstores and the glorification of the expansion of Google. I think maybe this book was written at a time when people were more optimistic about Google, when it was an idealistic company and hadn't yet begun to be twisted by its own immense power.... I have to wonder if people reading this in the future, even a few years from now, will feel the anxiety I did during those parts on an even higher level. In that light, the ending was even more reassuring though.
For some reason, I never had to read this one in school but had always wanted to. It's interesting how both conservatives and liberals will pull it out and point to it in their arguments on what's wrong with the world today, and I'd always been curious what the real story was. Really, I can see how it could be argued both ways. The government can be dangerous when it's limiting freedoms, but I think it's the most dangerous depending on who is controlling it. I've never understood why conservatives are so willing to give up freedoms, even to the government, if there's a business behind it, but rabid with fear if it's just the government. It seems like Orwell was writing about Communism or Socialism gone too far (which would make sense and was pretty right on given the time). But what would he think about the way America has turned out today with so much corporate control over our government? The points made about being in perpetual war along with how society always settles back into the hierarchy of low, middle, high were so true, they were pretty depressing. I didn't like the main characters, the plot was sort of predictable, and the love story was contrived and shallow, but those weren't really the points of the story anyway. This book made me wish I had gone into teaching (sort of...) and also that I could sit down and have a conversation with the author today.
Another really fun audiobook-listened to on Playaway MP3 player which was fantastic. Got me through a lot of walks home from work. The voice actors were so so good on this! I loved their accents and not a single voice was annoying. I especially liked the voices of Lyra, Asriel, and the armored bear. The fact that the author narrated it made it all the more great. As for the story, it was exactly the kind of story I loved to read as a child, so it was a lot of fun. It's always great to read an independent, intelligent, NORMAL female child character without it being beaten into the ground that "Hey, she's doing all this stuff AND she's a girl! Isn't that amazing?!" Lyra just did her thing, and that's all there is to it. Can't wait to listen to the rest of the series!
I wanted a light, chick-lit type of book and thought this would be it. It wasn't terrible, but...it wasn't good. The descriptions of the settings were semi-interesting, but the dialog was so awful. It was like if Will Farrell and Rachel Dratch's hot tub hippies got together and wrote a book, this would be it. Seriously nauseatingly bad phrasing. No one talks like that except the most annoying of people. And the way the whole back history to the female character was treated was kind of upsetting. On the one hand, you did have the proper reaction from the priest at the end, but Thomas' half-hearted indignation and her insistence on justifying what happened kind of erased any good done by the priest scene. This storyline felt like an older woman's attempt at commenting on rape culture that just came off as weak and accepting. Shreve could've made a stronger statement but just didn't. And of course, the ending just made no sense at all. Always wondered about her books when I saw them...now I know.