Cormac MacCarthy: The Road

The RoadThe Road by Cormac McCarthy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this because I think that the movie is one of the best movies of the past 10 years, including the best performance of Viggo Mortensen’s career. So I was torn between not wanting to read th enovel and wanting to read it.

In the end I am more tan glad I read it. Not just because I now know that the movie adaptation for once truly captured a novel. But also because the book is magnificent. The style reflects the life of the protagonists (nothing really disrupts the routine). Their relationship is heartbreaking and I still love the fact that the focus stays on them, not on what happened and why and how. This is not important and I love that.

I recommend everyone to read the novel, to then watch the movie and then go down and embrace your loved ones.

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Neil gaiman: American Gods

American Gods (American Gods, #1)American Gods by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Love! I expect from Neil’s books to be the following (because he spoilt me since the first one I read): magical, fun, entertaining, captivating, a warm comfy blanket, happiness, a smart narrator and story and the hope that it’ll never end. I got it again with this one.

I always wonder whether I could rate them and usually „The Graveyard Book“ ends on position one but „Neverwhere“ follows up so closely that it is almost up there on the same spot and then I’d rate them all on spot 3.

Anyway: much much love! More please.

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Iain Banks: The Wasp Factory

The Wasp FactoryThe Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Rubbish.
The author felt the need to have the protagonist explain on the last 2 pages why they did what they did. Good plots don’t need this.

Furthermore, the characters are crude and unrealistic. Whereas the protagonist is the most round one, the others are 2-dimensional at best.

The plot reeks of sadism and cruelty and unlike „American Psycho“ it isn’t a smart if horrifying comment of today’s society. Unless the message of „The Wasp Factory“ is to not kill and torture kids or animals, and you as a reader need to be shown why not, then there is no reason to pick up the novel. If you are however into torturing living creatures, you might just get off reading the thing.

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JRR Tolkien: The Silmarillion

The SilmarillionThe Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is hard to rate because

– it took me three attempts and extreme power of will to finish it. I was so confused with the names and the immensity and the mythology I just went wtf most of the time.

– but, it is a masterpiece because to think of such a world, to know it to develop it to such an extent is just worth one hundred stars.

So I am torn between the two opposites. But I love LOTR and The Hobbit too much no not like this one, although I probably won’t pick it up again, whereas the other two I already have and will pick up more than once in the future.

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Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid's TaleThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A highly disturbing dystopia dealing mostly with feminist topics such as basically the rights of women to be free. It reflects on our daily lives as women, on patriarchy on misogyny and what could happen if women were truly degraded to objects, owned by men under cover of religion.
But it’s also so much more. I felt this especially in the final chapter, which sort of validates the narrative as a document of its time, shedding some light on the what is called the Gileadean epoch.

It’s also about the protagonist trying to survive, to exist in this hostile world. I was shocked at how I felt estranged from the idea of bathing suits, sandals or short skirts after reading only a couple of pages. Margaret Atwood managed to truly get under my skin with this.

Sometimes I was highly uncomfortable and on the whole, I don’t think this is a very amusing or entertaining read. I found it too terrifying, almost too realistic, even plausible. It has an impact, lingers. And I highly recommend it (as I do with all her novels) but not as a book you sit down and relax with, I think.

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Tennessee Williams: Cat on a hot tin roof

Cat on a Hot Tin RoofCat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had only seen the movie several times because I worship Paul Newman. Always have and always will. That said, I did not know about the homosexual undertone of the play… because the movie makers chickened out and turned the whole admiration between Brick and Skipper upside down. There is no mention of the ‚old bachelors‘ from whom Big Daddy inherited the plantation. There is no hint at homosexuality in the play, maybe once in an ironic smile of Big Daddy. And in the film Brick actually desires Maggie. Which in the play is not the case because, and that is not to be denied, Brick and Skipper were in love. Brick is in denial and Skipper was about to tell him and that is one reason that the whole play is moving right on spot two of my favorite play’s list (Othello will always be the lead). It will also occupy that point because it is powerful and cruel and honest and real and I was completely sucked in and could not stop reading. Tennessee Williams does that to me.

So I’m in love. (And I wish that the film would have a little bit braver.)

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J.M. Barrie: Peter Pan

Peter PanPeter Pan by J.M. Barrie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonder wonder wonder wonderful!! It is like the warm fluffy blanket to snuggle in. And the end just breaks my heart. I think I’m going to buy a copy for every child I have in my family, seriously. It’s sooo wonderful. of course I knew the story before I read it but the tone of the narrative and the athmosphere and everything just adds some extra magic to it. I’m so glad there are books out there you feel with your heart.

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