Friday, February 26, 2010

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

A horrorshow experience reading this one. I thought the movie was twisted, but the novel may be even more messy. By now you might be able to tell that I enjoy reading authors that have the ability to create worlds and words that no one else could imagine, even if those worlds happen to be horrifically violent. From the introduction, Burgess makes it clear that he does not consider this his best work, but, for better or worse, it is the one with which everyone associates him. It has me wondering how Alex's society got to the point that it did and how quickly our own moves in that direction. Terrifying.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism by Walter LaFeber

LaFeber uses Michael Jordan and his endorsement contract with Nike to discuss globalization and its changing nature in the post-1970s world. He seemed to say that people got a type of "swoosh tunnel vision" as Nike quickly rose to prominence as a global entity. (My paper that is due on Wednesday will be slightly more detailed.) Thanks to Cal for letting me borrow her Nikes!

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

This book was one of those dark, twisted reads that is impossible to put down. I have always been especially freaked out by the idea of getting cut on the area between my wrist and my elbow, which made the first few pages difficult for me to read. I could see in the Lisbon girls the overwhelming desire to get OUT, to break away from a life that was in no way living up to their expectations. However, as the narrators so adequately put it, there is no way to know in the end exactly why the events unfolded as they did. All the reader is ultimately left with is the vague, dissatisfying notion that these events could happen in any homogenous suburb anywhere.

"In the end, the tortures tearing the Lisbon girls pointed to a simple reasoned refusal to accept the world as it was handed down to them, so full of flaws."

Thanks to Angela for passing it along.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

I never want to ride a merry-go-round again.


I also know for a fact that if I was a few years younger, Mr. Dark would be giving me nightmares tonight. Whatever your personal feelings about Bradbury, you have to admit that the man has imagination. The book was fast-paced and intriguing up until the point when Will's dad went on a ten page philosophical monologue about life and aging. That almost killed it for me. I think the most insightful aspect of the book was the way Bradbury dealt with Jim and Will's friendship in light of their different natures. It's a good read, but I will not be going to any carnivals any time soon. Thanks to Terry for letting me raid his bookshelf.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

This book came into my hands through an interesting turn of events. I was taking books collected from a book drive to the public library, and the volunteer there struck up a conversation with me about how much she loved this book. I told her I might have to come back and buy it at their next sale, and she told me just to read it now and donate it when I was finished. It's been in the trunk of my car for three months. A week ago, during the first bout of ice 2010, I broke the ice off of my car with the sole intent of getting to this book. All in all, it was a good read. The author uses smell as a main part of creating scenes, which, unfortunately, is lost on me. In typical New York Times bestseller fashion, he also uses big words for no real reason and uses sex as a way to keep the reader interested. However, beyond that, the story hooked me with its description of San Piedro Island circa 1954. Guterson manages to show the interaction between the island population and its struggles to come to terms with its past treatment of its Japanese-American citizens. A good snowy day read (no pun intended).