Great writers like Hemingway, Steinbeck, Fitzgerald et al really give you the viewpoint of the main character or characters and you see the world through other eyes, with their motivations and feelings and reactions. Here Rowling does the incredible feat of totally getting into the heads of at least a dozen characters and weaves a fascinating tapestry. It's like The Great Gatsby and Crime and Punishment and Catcher in the Rye put together, "on steroids." Of course, that takes a certain deliberate pacing to accomplish that but that's cool - this is literature, not an adventure story, and I savored every moment.
I'm actually glad that she made such a radical departure from the Harry Potter genre here (though I was a big fan of them too) - like an actor shedding type casting, she is free to go just anywhere now with her next one, and with her prodigious talent, I am looking forward to that even more than before.
The narration, too, is spot-on.
When you strip off layers of social niceties, you get to real life as told by Stieg Larsson, and he really can tell it. (And so can Simon Vance.) Makes me almost want to move to Sweden. It's the interplay between his characters that's so appealing - such unique characters, too, each one. Such a pity he died - like a character out of his books? - and will write no more.
I've been a big OED fan for years and this was a jolly good read. That's a talent, making an interesting story about dictionary writing.
This isn't my usual type of reading, but I like to learn from experts of all sorts and look into every corner of life and see how it works and this book delivered just what I expected from a pro telling his story. He really is a straight shooter, and writes that way (with help from the co-writer, I guess). No sugar coating, not propaganda, just very interesting reading (if you can stomach this sort of thing).
I somehow never had read this book though I'd heard of it since my youth, and always had some other idea about it. WHAT A STORY!!!! What writing! I'll definitely listen to it again, once it's settled.
A real pleasure getting into this storied time with all the American artist expatriates on the Left Bank. No one can tell it like Hemingway.
I "read" this one at the end of a Hemingway binge, and it doesn't measure up to For Whom the Bell Tolls, but still good reading.
East meets West is always a tasty recipe and this spicy book is a worthy follow-up to Gorky Park.
Yeah, this is like "Dragnet's" Sergeant Friday let loose on the Offshore and Eastern European internet crime punks and crime lords and gives both a fascinating insight into that life, and gave me a good appreciation of things to be cautious about in my own web travelling.
I was afraid that this was going to be a very pedantic, professorial book about film criticism, but it's not like that. It does include all the different schools of thought about film - the auteur theory, mise en scene and all that - but it remains interesting throughout, grounded in facts and anecdotes and focusing on the greatest films of all time - I wound up with an enormous new list of "must see" movies, not because the authors said so, but they made them so interesting to me.
I liked all the tech insights the best. The characters are so unrealistically drawn, like cartoon buffoons, that this became irritating. It might actually make a fun movie to watch, because all the explosions and blood and gore go well with popcorn, but makes very boring reading - I definitely won't bother reading the sequel.
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