Old School Thursdays: Shortened Reviews Part I

These are a collection of reviews from 2008 that are shortened because they were posted on a review site (not all my reviews were shortened, but quite a few were, and I didn’t end up posting all of them on a blog) and seeing as I posted anything for Old School Thursdays in awhile I thought I’d share them.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

If literature was food, then this would be the starving persons feast. Well for me it would be anyway because I devoured this and like all great books you enjoy it was over far too quickly (understandably, seeing as it’s a novella).  And yet if it went on any longer I don’t think it would have been anywhere near the same.

There’s an introduction by Stephen King (at least in my copy) with a line that I found to be very true “he will leave you wanting more” and if you watch the movie, do yourself a favour, read the book because in my opinion a movie could not do justice to this book especially with that ending.

1984 by George Orwell

I must be having a good run with books because this is another one I couldn’t seem to put down. I was glued to it. It was so well written and the story still has a place in this day and age.

My only problem with it was the part where the “book” came along. That wasn’t exactly boring, but it was enough to make me want to go to sleep (or perhaps it was just late at night and I’d literally been reading for hours) and yet I think that the story couldn’t have done without it, well for some people anyway. In any case it didn’t last long and the book carried on perfectly as it had prior to it. Even the ending was really well written and impressionable.

The Castle by Franz Kafka

I feel like I’ve been reading this book for 6 months when in actual fact it has been just under a month and after much struggling and determination I just can’t keep reading it anymore and yet a part of me wants to keep reading it even though it’s a torment. I feel as though if I stop reading I’m letting myself down and missing something. Perhaps it’s because I want to know what’s so good about Kafka. Why do I always seem to hear Kafka praised and nothing badly said about his writing? I have no idea, especially after reading this. I won’t go as far as to say this was a waste of my time or a bad read it’s just after reading 250 pages you’d like there to be some sort of point reached or what seems like a way to the point being made but I didn’t feel like that. The characters are all mental and I felt that they were all just going around in circles. Then there’s the dialogue. These are the longest conversations about the same thing said in a different way every few lines that I have ever read. Torment is the word for it and torment isn’t the reason I read.

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

There’s a comment on the back of the novel that says it’s remarkable. I tend to agree although it’s not remarkable in the sense you would say a book is. It’s not remarkable in the writing style, the character work, the story line. Remarkable to me is 1984 and this is no 1984. Yes I’m aware that I’m comparing a non fiction to a fiction but I honestly can’t think of any remarkable biographies.
What is remarkable about this novel is how it came into being. You can’t help but think about this man lying there being unable to move except for one eyelid. You have more of a tendency to appreciate his every word and the effort that went into it knowing how he dictated it. For those that don’t know about Bauby, he had Locked in Syndrome and was only able to communicate via blinking which is how he “wrote” this book. By blinking through the alphabet (or his version of the alphabet) to someone who would take down every letter. That’s pretty much what is remarkable about this book.

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