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Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays

Consider the Lobster and Other Essays - David Foster Wallace How dare I only give 3 stars to a David Foster Wallace book! I feel like a weasel doing it, but I have to be honest. I merely liked this collection. Big Red Son I could not read. I'm not a prude who cannot handle porn. It's just that DFW tried to make this piece humorous, but failed. I'm not into vulgarity for the sake of vulgarity, which is what these porn awards seem to be. It was a nauseating and distasteful read, so I didn't read all of it. American Usage: Yep, he really is a SNOOT, and I consider myself a mild one, but I just found that I stopped giving a damn midway through the essay. It became tedious instead of making me think. Up, Simba: I can see why Rolling Stone severely cut up this piece. Again, DFW didn't know when to shut up. Also, this is one that is now dated, so again, I stopped giving a damn, even though he was trying to make this a bearable read by inserting humor in it. I didn't think I would give a rat's tail about How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart, but I found myself nodding in agreement with most of what he said. I haven't read Ms. Austin's book, but I have read a few sports memoirs, and found them to be exactly as DFW said. Like him, I continue to pick one up here and there (except I'm smart enough not to pay for mine. I get mine from the library), and for the same reasons he did. It was nice to not feel alone in that...The rest of the essays I thoroughly enjoyed. They are timeless and do give helpful insight to things. You may not agree with them, but they are still well thought out. Personally I enjoyed DFW handing Updike's ass to him on a silver platter. Damn you, Mr. Wallace. Now I really will Consider the Lobster. Thank you for your perspective on Kafka and Dostoevsky. And my oh my, you really did capture 9/11 accurately. Damn 9/12/08. :(

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles Series #1)

The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss Damn you, Patrick Rothfuss, damn you. How dare you write a fantasy novel so good that a person who usually avoids the genre like the plague becomes as enthralled as I am now. Good work, Mr. Rothfuss. :~) I wait with high anticipation for your next book (damn!! A whole year. I ought to slap you. :p ). Thank you, Sir, for that very good read.

Slaughterhouse-Five; or, The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death

Slaughterhouse-Five; or, The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death - I cannot say this book was brilliant, because it wasn't. But, it was still pretty good. This book may be classified science fiction (just because an unheard of planet and life form is included in the plot), but I don't see it that way. In science fiction books, the setting (other planets), characters (non Earthly life forms), and technology beyond what's available today is a reality. I don't believe Billy Pilgrim actually went to Tralfamadore. I never got that impression. My impression, since he "time traveled" (which is really flashbacks), is that he invented Tralfamadore in his own mind, not that he physically went there. (It IS possible to have flashbacks AND also invent places to imagine you're at instead of where you really are.)There is honesty in this book. Yes, a war veteran might just have a breakdown once his coping mechanism stops working. It was called "time travel" in the book, but to me, it's more that he was merely remembering what had happened to him (flashbacks) and also allowing himself some respite from the trauma of it. While there were terrible flashbacks about horrible experiences, he also relived better moments in his life. And then, Tralfamadore was his escape for whatever he couldn't cope with. It was his relief; it's what settled him. It was what made him more important and more interesting than he really was. It might not be that great to be housed as if he was an animal in a cage at a zoo, but it was more attention than he had in reality. Tralfamadorans flocked to see him; that wasn't the case in reality. In reality, he was just a wimpy, surrendering, and ashamed war veteran. Sure, he was also an optometrist, but there was nothing intriguing about him. Yes, a man really does think filthy things about sex. In reality, Billy Pilgrim married a fat woman, and she is whom he was fated to make love to. At Tralfamadore, he was mated with Montana Wildhack, a svelte actress. He had better at Tralfamadore; it was better in his head that it would ever be in real life. Yes, he was a legend in his own mind, but it's what kept him alive.And, that is reality. The author of this book had the nerve to let his readers know that everything wasn't peachy keen upon arrival home from war. War really is dirty business and traumatic. We play tricks on our own minds, we believe lies we tell ourselves to keep us "sane."