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Old 01-25-2008, 06:34 AM   #361
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Had to read Girl with a Pearl Earring for school... that's a big pile of meh. It's well-written, has a strong narrative, and all of the symbols/devices/etc... are done extremely well, but I didn't care about any of it.
Pretty much how I felt about it, except I thought it was hard slog to read.

The movie is incredibly boring.
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:38 AM   #362
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just started reading The catcher in the rye" as an add on to the "let me take you down" book about Mark Chapman (he shot john lennon) just to see what all the fuss is about , only a few pages in but i like it already .

also have "To kill a Mockingbird " waiting for me .
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:26 AM   #363
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With To Kill a Mockingbird - I've seen the movie twice, and I've performed in a play based off it, but I've never read the book. Is it still worth it after these other experiences?

My favourite book of all time is the Iliad. It somehow makes violent death beautiful. It makes everything beautiful. It's just incredible, and I always enjoy revisiting it.
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:28 PM   #364
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I started Anderson Cooper's Dispatches from the Edge last night and am really enjoying it. I read 50 pages in no time and wanted to keep reading even though I knew I had to get up early for work today. I'm really impressed with how well he weaves together the past and present, and the writing is beautiful. I have a feeling I'll breeze through it, since I'm already sitting here thinking how much I can't wait to get home and read more of it later.
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:29 PM   #365
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His book is amazingly written.

Even better is having the audiobook of it...
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:30 PM   #366
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With To Kill a Mockingbird - I've seen the movie twice, and I've performed in a play based off it, but I've never read the book. Is it still worth it after these other experiences?
Oh my goodness, yes. A thousand times yes.
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:03 PM   #367
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I just read "The Stepford Wives" last weekend. It was deliciously creepy, and the dark ending was brilliant. I wish there would've been a sequel.

I also just finished "Into The Wild" and it was absolutely amazing. I can honestly say that the movie, in my opinion, is just as brilliant as the book but in different ways. I really enjoyed reading about the real people involved in the story and hearing their own words. Jon Krakauer really did an incredibl job of telling the story of Chris McCandless and also gave well thought out arguments to the people who pass McCandless off as a stupid, naive hippie type, which he clearly was not.
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:09 PM   #368
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With To Kill a Mockingbird - I've seen the movie twice, and I've performed in a play based off it, but I've never read the book. Is it still worth it after these other experiences?

My favourite book of all time is the Iliad. It somehow makes violent death beautiful. It makes everything beautiful. It's just incredible, and I always enjoy revisiting it.
Yes ma'am, it is.

Have you ever read An Iliad by Alessandro Baricco?
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:10 PM   #369
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I read Into the Wild a few years ago, and I found myself rather unsympathetic to Chris. When I saw the movie, I had a much different view of him (although I still couldn't understand why he couldn't let his family know he was okay at least once).

Loved both the book and the movie. Both devastating. In a good way.
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Old 01-25-2008, 04:26 PM   #370
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I read Into the Wild a few years ago, and I found myself rather unsympathetic to Chris. When I saw the movie, I had a much different view of him (although I still couldn't understand why he couldn't let his family know he was okay at least once).

Loved both the book and the movie. Both devastating. In a good way.
I completely agree on the letting his family know front. I think it would've been great if he had at least called before he left and said not to expect to hear from him for a long time. But I think it's unfair to criticize (not that I feel you have, I was thinking along the lines of the letter-writers who lambasted Chris, that Krakauer talks about in the book) and try to understand some of the things Chris did when he's not here to explain himself or give his side of things. He really struck me as a guy who just lived his life to the fullest without fear and just loved every minute of it. I think he could've done a lot of good in the world, especially on the social justice front, had he made it out. I agree with Krakauer's conjecture that Chris might have been planning to sort of reenter life and connect with people again. I doubt he ever would've lived a comfortably numb life in the suburbs, but I think he would be doing some incredible stuff. It's sad that we'll never know all he had to offer the world.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:07 AM   #371
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I completely agree on the letting his family know front. I think it would've been great if he had at least called before he left and said not to expect to hear from him for a long time. But I think it's unfair to criticize (not that I feel you have, I was thinking along the lines of the letter-writers who lambasted Chris, that Krakauer talks about in the book) and try to understand some of the things Chris did when he's not here to explain himself or give his side of things. He really struck me as a guy who just lived his life to the fullest without fear and just loved every minute of it. I think he could've done a lot of good in the world, especially on the social justice front, had he made it out. I agree with Krakauer's conjecture that Chris might have been planning to sort of reenter life and connect with people again. I doubt he ever would've lived a comfortably numb life in the suburbs, but I think he would be doing some incredible stuff. It's sad that we'll never know all he had to offer the world.
I just finished reading Into the Wild, and agree that the author (Krakauer) did a great job of piecing together McCandless' odyssey through collecting his countless interviews, and then presenting his account of events. I also loved the movie, especially Eddie Vedder's amazing music, and felt that it did well to capture the spirit of the guy.

For some reason though the book made me feel some pity for McCandless, whereas the movie makes it clear that despite the ultimately tragic ending, the journey was overwhelmingly fulfilling - the guy experienced more in those couple of years than most people do in their entire lifetimes. The book does give the same sense of joy in adventure, but balanced against that is the tragedy that McCandless had developed an overly-romanticised view of the wilderness experience due in part to the books that he'd read as well as his own disconnection from society. It seems that as much as anything he was enamoured of the idea of himself as the hero Alex Supertramp coping in the Alaskan wilderness, living completely on his own terms, whereas the day to day reality of survival wasn't so grand. I think that he was also at a young age where the perception of issues in life can be overly simplified, but that's another matter...

It was good that Krakauer provided that more balanced view - while he went out of his way to rebuke the criticisms of those who'd flat-out written off McCandless as a naive and incompetent kid, he did support some points of those criticisms where they were warranted.

As for not contacting his family, I reckon that was a way of punishing them for perceived wrong-doings, at least in the case of his parents. And he knew that any contact with his sister would get back to his parents and relieve their worry - not what he wanted.

Completely agree that it was a loss of a life with so much potential. If only he'd pulled through that last leg of his adventure.. who knows what great positive things he would have achieved. And yeah you did get the sense that he would have been one of those people, those great free thinkers, who can use their formidable intellect and sense of morality to rise up and make the world a much better place. From that end, the story is very sad..

Anyway, I really enjoyed both the book and the movie.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:29 AM   #372
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Have you ever read An Iliad by Alessandro Baricco?
No, I haven't. It looks pretty cool. I was thinking about reading Eric Shanower's Age of Bronze graphic novels, too.

Just a question, out of interest: is Patroklus depicted as Achilles' cousin, friend or lover in Baricco's work? I honestly don't like it when a modern author interprets it as the latter. This is not indicative of my opinion on the lifestyle, but rather the truthfulness to the original myths and how they were usually perceived in antiquity.

It comes off to me as writing slash fan fiction.
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:32 AM   #373
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I don't know if anyone's familiar with Italo Calvino, but I'd heard about him for a while, compared to Borges and Philip K. Dick, and finally picked up one of his books, If On A Winter's Night A Traveller.

This thing is FUCKED UP. It begins with the author writing in the second person how You're so excited to buy this new book and take it home, and he ruminates on the pleasures of buying and reading books, etc. Then the story begins, and is interrupted when the author breaks in saying how You realize that the pages have been misprinted, and You have to take it back to the bookstore to get a new copy.

Anyway, the whole rest of this book is this wild goose chase to find the rest of the first story, and is divided into two types of chapters: the stories You, the reader, are reading (each has its own title), and the sequentially numbered sections where Calvino is describing Your attempt to hunt down what's missing, including meeting a fellow reader who helps You on Your search.

Each time You think you've found the continuation, and start reading again, it turns out to be some other story that has nothing to do with the one before it, and then at a climactic moment you're interrupted by Calvino again.

I don't know if I've done this any justice, but I'm over halfway through the thing and it's quite a ride. It's frustrating at first because some of the stories are cool and you want to read more, but it's kind of funny and becomes a bit of a game.

There's a link on Calvino's Wiki page that has the beginning of the book, if you want to get a little taste:

http://www.italo-calvino.com/ifon.htm

Has anyone heard of this guy or read any of his stuff?
I love Winter's Night, it's fantastic.

I've been a bit of a Russian lit kick recently. Finished Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita not too long ago and was blown away. Currently reading The Brothers Karamazov.
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:54 AM   #374
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No, I haven't. It looks pretty cool. I was thinking about reading Eric Shanower's Age of Bronze graphic novels, too.

Just a question, out of interest: is Patroklus depicted as Achilles' cousin, friend or lover in Baricco's work? I honestly don't like it when a modern author interprets it as the latter. This is not indicative of my opinion on the lifestyle, but rather the truthfulness to the original myths and how they were usually perceived in antiquity.

It comes off to me as writing slash fan fiction.
He's depicted as Achilles' friend. Baricco basically sticks to the actual text, except, he removes the G-ds from the story, and tells each chapter from a first person perspective of different characters. It's interesting. He also adds a chapter, which basically deals with the trojan horse and the taking of Troy, lifted from the Odyssey.

It's somewhere between a Cliff's notes version of the Iliad, and a great piece of literature. I still prefer the original, of course.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:04 AM   #375
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Sounds really cool - I'll definitely consider picking it up. Thanks!
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