Christopher Paolini: Eldest

Eldest (The Inheritance Cycle, #2)Eldest by Christopher Paolini
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I still think that he drew too much on Tolkien’s characters (Beor Mountains, e.g.). It was also too much detail for me and therefore to slow paced. I did skip some paragraphs or only cross-read them. The end was gripping, yes, but to get there took time. Lots of time.

Also, those lovesick boys…*le sigh*…grow up and learn to deal with a no. I also think, that the author misses out on creating some stronger women. Why do the people in Carvahall treat women as grown-up children who need a man to take care of them and who don’t own anything except some cutlery and who, if they don’t own that, lose worth? Not a society I’d want to live in.

Moving on to book three. I shall finish the series.

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Charles Dickens: Great Expectations

Great ExpectationsGreat Expectations by Charles Dickens
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My edition (not the one I selected but I couldn’t find it) was in tiny print. I’m sure it would have been twice as thick a book if it had been in a regular typing. So it felt like a really slow read. It took me almost 2 weeks and the protagonist reminded me of all the other protagonists in the Dickens‘ novels I have read so far. Which isn’t a bad thing but I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about it. But nonetheless, a good one to read.

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Neil Gaiman: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the LaneThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I waited impatiently for it and maybe that was the thing, but I wished it had a bit more magic…usually I am left feeling warm and happy and just simply good. And while I still feel some of those feelings, now that I have closed the book, I wish I could have known more about the three women.

I wasn’t all that interested in the protagonist…I couldn’t even tell you his name or if I even read his name, but those women. They are gold. The boy and his troubles reminded me of Coraline and the Other Mother somehow…bad nanny etc. I want to know more about the Ocean…maybe it needed some more words, maybe it’s just me. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it or that it isn’t worth a read, I just want more.

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Lionel Shriver: We need to talk about Kevin

We Need to Talk About KevinWe Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At first I was e bit hesitant to start the book, because I work at school and didn’t want to bring work at home. But once I did, I loved it immediately.

I understand Eva, the mom, so much that at times it was uncanny. All my arguments against becoming a mom are in the book (and some other thoughts I’ve had in regards to the USA). All my fears that I’d be just like her (because you simply cannot give it back, the kid I mean), are in the book. So, that was … interesting to say the least.

The writing itself is intelligent and the style fits perfectly. even though I read the book rather fast, I kept wanting to avoid the ending, since I knew what was to come and I didn’t think I was ready to face it but the style helped and it wasn’t clichéd or over the top, I think.

Anyway, I’d recommend the novel without reservations.

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Philip Pullman: The Amber Spyglass

The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3)The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There might be spoilers.

So basically it said: obsessive religiousness = bad.
And: Lyra = born liar and temptress and manipulative = female
But in the end it came back to having faith and re-creating religion? Or what? And when did Lyra re-create the Fall and how did Mary tempt her? Honestly, how? To what and when and what was it anyway?

The best part was as they were in the world of the dead but the rest was tedious. So, no, not really my cup of tea. I’m disappointed.

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Philip Pullman: The Subtle Knife

The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2)The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What I don’t like about it is, that Lyra went from protagonist and from being a strong-willed, independent, smart girl to following around a boy, neglecting her mission to find out more about Dust and letting him boss her around (and he did, don’t even start arguing with me).

Why? Is it because she has to fulfill a role that is sexist? The frail woman who had been persuaded and who disobeyed? And why was book 2 narrated in Will’s POV so much? It would have been clear that he also had a part to play if one had stayed in Lyra’s POV. So, I’m not really happy. (Also, the whole religious theme isn’t interesting but that’s just me because I don’t see a necessity in re-writing a story, in this case the Bible. Well…maybe book 3 will be better.)

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Terry Pratchett: Small Gods

Small Gods (Discworld, #13)Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So smart. So wonderful. And funny.

I love how it is ultimately about responsibility. The responsibility of people, history and god (or gods, depending on where you are from). I love (being an atheist myself) that he didn’t declare what is right or wrong. You believe or you don’t. Fine, as long as you think too. I loved the part where Brutha (love him) and Om are in there desert and he talks about the god being replaced by the religion. Smart. And that deities need people too. It is too often forgotten. A lot of people I know should read this and maybe re-think their way of believing.

Anyway.

Also: Didactylos. That name is perfection. Best name ever. Apart from maybe Aristocrates. *lol*

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Toni Morrison: Desdemona

DesdemonaDesdemona by Toni Morrison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As you might or might not know, Othello is not just my favorite play, but probably also my favorite piece of literature ever. I wrote my thesis on it and I have very clear views on it. For instance, I resent the racist interpretation that claims, Othello just succumbed to jealousy. It is much more complex than that, as are the characters.

That being said, the ‚Leerstelle‘ / vacancy that is Desdemona has always bothered me and I even attempted to put her story into words. Needless to say, I failed to express what I had in my mind.

It needed Toni Morrison to do it. She has, in my opinion, given answers to all those questions that remained open in Shakespeare’s play. It is short, succinct and precise. The songs are wonderful and evocative. It is complex. The women have their say, finally.

I love it. I love Toni Morrison’s writing. She simply has no equal. And I am grateful she took on the subject.

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