*** This comment contains spoilers! ***
(encara no és una ressenya, són notes per posteriorment escriure-la)
primer llibre una mica lent, el segon ja trepidant. primer planta tota la història. traducció al català? pros, cons gran treball Murakami situacions cotidianes i parar atenció en detalls ínfims, com crea les personalitat. Poca 're
(encara no és una ressenya, són notes per posteriorment escriure-la)
primer llibre una mica lent, el segon ja trepidant. primer planta tota la història. traducció al català? pros, cons gran treball Murakami situacions cotidianes i parar atenció en detalls ínfims, com crea les personalitat. Poca 'resolució' en quant la gent petita, però ja és això realisme màgic? Komatsu? Uchikawa? D'on surt exactament la organització d'aquest? #SPOILER crisàlide d'aire d'Aomame al final? filia? o simplement u recordatori per a què en tengo pugui afrontar la vida amb valentia d'ara en endevant? i la Fukaeri ara què? O el professor Ebisuno? Només se centra en tancar en Tengo i l'Aomame, llibre 3??
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The Graveyard Book
Truly, I didn't expect that it would captivate me with such intensity! I chiefly buy it (it's sad to admit it) due to its front-drawing. I loved it. Besides there was the fact that I do love Gaiman's writing and stories (exception made for Neverwhere, I've never could with that book yet), so I suppo
Truly, I didn't expect that it would captivate me with such intensity! I chiefly buy it (it's sad to admit it) due to its front-drawing. I loved it. Besides there was the fact that I do love Gaiman's writing and stories (exception made for Neverwhere, I've never could with that book yet), so I supposed this one wouldn't be different. The only thing that slowed me was that it's labelled for 'young adults', aka teens, and though I had been the people who was most fond of that kind of novels, I had left them behind long, long ago, so I didn't know which impression it'd cause on me. And I have to say it's the best impression of all.
But let's take it easy: I admit The Graveyard Book is a slow burn. I can't say when one is young if the impression is different, but for a twentish girl, it starts strikingly, but after the first, maybe second chapter, as I see it, the intensity decreases a little, in fact I left the book untouched for several days, I know I was making a mountain out of a molehill, but it was utterly out of my depth. Thereafter I reconsidered and I took it again, and ''forced'' myself to keep reading, and in fact when I had already read the ghoul stuff I resumed my interest in it (although seen it now, I enjoyed the ghouls chapt too!).
The story develops in several chapters and each one (at least in the first ones) contains a oneshot story. In each oneshot, Bod has grown about two years, and it is that way until he reaches youth.
The truth is that in spite of the novel being for teens, I enjoyed it enormously, and I think Gaiman achieves a novel that can both entertain children, for they get lost in the adventure and so forth, but also adults, for it has dialogues and little jokes that maybe an adult enjoys better. I just enjoyed it so much I ended up crying like a child when I finished it.
I would enlight the character that's Silas. OK, I admit it, I love him. And as Gaiman himself tells, there's been other people who also love him. And why? I cannot tell exactly why, the truth is that he doesn't appear that often and his role, although remarkable, it's not the definitive role, but as far as I'm concerned, I just can't stop loving him! The way he cares for Bod, SPOILERS from now on that he even lets himself get involved in a car accident to protect him , his misty and misterious attitude (that only unravels its truth at the end, and it's something I will write about later)... For instance, the way Gaiman introduces him to us, I quote: "The man Jack was tall. This man was taller. The man Jack wore dark clothes. This man's clothes were darker. People who noticed the man Jackwhen he went about his business were troubled, or made uncomfortable, or found themselves unaccountably scared. The man Jack looked up at the stranger, and it was the man Jack who was troubled." And if you know what the man Jack is, I swear to you it's a bloody good introduction to Silas. What unravels at the end, at least as I see it, is that Silas is actually a vampire, one who did very, very weird things when young and now seems that has found his path, and that's a good fellow. But you understand all at once the feeling you couldn't get over along the book that something was odd with Silas. You knew he was a good one, but there was something dark in him. And it makes him interesting! I have to admit that it startled me at the very first aknowledge of what Silas was, for Gaiman doesn't tell anything about vampires through the book, and when you lear Silas doesn't reflect in a pizzeria's table, it's a little bit what the? but thereafter it starts to make sense (though I wouldn't have disliked it if Gaiman had left Silas as a riddle).
Moreover, there are a lot of remarkable characters, and I dare to say the most of them are very secondary ones, dead people from the graveyard but that make you laugh, as it does the poet who accomplish a great vengeance (form it's point of view). There's also the Sleer, Liza the witch, the little friend of Bod Scarlett, the loving Mrs Owens and the old-fashioned Mr Owens, the misterious Grey Lady, and so forth.
Summarizing, Gaiman creates a book which both adults and teenagers can enjoy, and if you're an adult one, let youself get caught by the magic of the book, let yourself remember yourself when you were twelve, thirteen and how would you have enjoyed such a book.
Finally, I just want to say I'm sure you will enjoy The Graveyard Book, and specially I would recommend it to you if, in some aspect, you've never stopped being a child.
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Like most people, I'm glad to have few authors that I know (or at least, I like to think I know) whatever I read by them I'll enjoy it, and Martin is one of those authors. After reading A song of Ice and Fire and Dying of the Light (both in spanish), I was looking forward to ge
Like most people, I'm glad to have few authors that I know (or at least, I like to think I know) whatever I read by them I'll enjoy it, and Martin is one of those authors. After reading A song of Ice and Fire and Dying of the Light (both in spanish), I was looking forward to get Fevre Dream translated in a way which wouldn't scare people, but as it seemed to take an eternity, finally I tired and decided to get it in English. And thanks Gods I got it that way! For the steamboat old English slang&dialect is almost priceless.
For now, I'm not gonna explain the plot of it (for that's something anyone can easily get in a hundred websites) but the impression it caused to me. The book itself chases the spirit of steamboating's kingdom, and despite the fact that one could not be used to river-life argot, that doesn't suppose any obstacles for a good development. From my point of view, that's one of the strengths of this novel: Martin creates such an atmosphere that people who, like me, dislike everything that has to do with aeronautic machinery and sea life ends the book loving ithem. I ended up just fascinated by the magnificence of Mississipi back at 1870's and its charming decadence which Martin recreates in such a splendid way. The characters are also valuable things: from Abner Marsh, who everybody ends falling in love with despite any bad thing Martin says of him, to Joshua York, an odd vampire, one of a kind.
Moreover, Marsh is a godforsaken man who has had the misfortune to have all his business broken, but still chases his big dream: to own a steamboat such big and fast that can beat Eclipse boat (Mississipi's pearl great part of the book), and throughout all the misfortune that's still awaiting for him in the novel, he never loose the will to have Fevre Dream on his own and accomplish his dream. His strength and mankind which is revealed along the book makes Abner Marsh one of the most likeable characters, leaving a strong impression on the reader.
York needs his own explanation: he seemed to me a very ambiguous character from the start, maybe it's just me but almost first half book I was doubting whether he was the vampire that reviews told us we would find in Fevre Dream or not. He has a purpouse, a dream, as Marsh has his own, and he will do whatever is on his hands to accomplish that. Against York, I can only say that due to what literature has always tought about vampires, York sometimes seems too naïve, too good to be a vampire, and makes you wanna slap him and tell him to react. But he's also a likeable character, although I wouldn't have disliked a little bit more explanation of his childhood or youth, and that's for sure because I enjoyed a lot the reading.
The other characters are special themselves too, and except the very secundary ones, each and every single one has something which leaves a mark on you, chiefly Demon Julian, who embodies the darkest side of vampires, the beast itself, who even has escaped the thirst. I would have liked (as it happens with with York) a little bit more explanation about his early years, that story about being the best friend of a rich man's son and how he made this last one fall in love with him. Had it been longer, it would have told a lot about Julian nature.
And the last one, the silent main character of this novel, the Fevre Dream itself. When I first heard about Fevre Dream I thought Fevre was the name of the vampire and the story was about a dream of his, and I was a little bit upset when I found out that Fevre wasn't nothing more than a river which died into Mississipi, and Fevre Dream was the name of the steamboat. But then, after reading the novel, I understood that Fevre Dream was a character itself all along, the main character that rests silent along the story but also what triggers it all. She (as Marsh categorizes the boat) awakes different emotions on them all: for Joshua York is a mere instrument to reach his dream, while for Abner Marsh is the dream itself, and it ends abandoned and world-wide forgotten in wetlands due to Damon Julian hand, who merely doesn't care about her.
But the truth is that everyone appearing in the novel has some characteristic treat that makes you remember him for days, as the book itself makes you think of it before going to sleep and makes you wanna read more about steamboats and Mississipis and vampires, but that new kind of vampires Martin has brought us, not that teenage stuff. And the last lines of the novel are simply golden, the epilogue, one of the best I've ever read.
As summary, I really recomend Fevre Dream to everyone who wants to read an original and well-written story about Mississipi 1857's life and all it carries with it, about a new point of view of vampires, about friendship beyond differences and, basically, about the dream of achieving the own dreams.
Kafka on the Shore
Kafka on the shore (no spoilers)
This is the very second book I've read by Murakami, being Sputnik Sweetheart the first one, and from my point of view, the one tackled here is a great deal better than the other- Murakai tells a dreamy story with a 15-year-old boy and an elder man as the main
Kafka on the shore (no spoilers)
This is the very second book I've read by Murakami, being Sputnik Sweetheart the first one, and from my point of view, the one tackled here is a great deal better than the other- Murakai tells a dreamy story with a 15-year-old boy and an elder man as the main characters. Basically, the story goes like that: Kafka Tamura is a 15-year-old boy whose mother and sister left him when he was only four and now lives with his father. Kafka decides to run away from home, for besides his life being insubstantial there, there's also a kind of a curse he's trying to get round. Parallel to that, we've got Nakata, a sixish man who, as he never tires of telling everyone, is not very bright but despite it is able to talk with cats. In spite of the two of them living in the same area, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the story begins to unravel it reaches the reader that there's something more to it, and the connections and feelings both of them build with and between other people. Murakami tells the story in a catchy way, once you've started it gets difficult to leave it. I may not be a Murakami's literate, for I haven't read the books which are regarded as his masterpieces yet (I am talking about Norwegian Wood or The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle), but I dare say Kafka on the Shore is a very well unraveled history, with strong characters (I bet Nakata will follow you for the rest of your life) and a plot which, though sometimes may distract the attention from the main story, helps to create a world in which you can easily get lost. I would recommend it to whoever wants to read a not-so-down-to-Earth story, them being Murakami fans or just beginners. What's more, I would recommend it specially to beginners, for if you have read something by him before, it may not seem as good as the others, and if you read it influenced by what you've read before, you may miss the essence of the book: follow your path whichever it may be, because what is to happen will happen for sure.
As an ending, I would like to remark that Kafka on the shore has a lot of deep reasonings that make you stop for a while and think about them, a lot of valuable quotes and a kind of beauty that will not disappoint you at all. Give it a try!
From now on it contains spoilers for sure
If you have already read it, here comes my personal opinion regarding some aspects of the book:
First of all, I must say I love the characters, they may not be very 'usual' or credible people, but, who really is? Kafka is a boy who wants to get stronger so that he will be able to avoid the curse his father put on him: Kafka is bound to kill his father and make love with his mother and sister. Throughout the story Kafka experiences a big change in him. Right from the start what he wants is to become tougher than he is, so he will be able to fight against whatever happens to him. He leaves his house and starts to become the boy he wants to become. But the truth is that Kafka achieves his purpose of being the toughest 15-year-old boy when he makes up his mind, grows up and realizes that the most mature thing to do is not running away from home but come back, face the problems (his father's killing, the police, and further on) and above all finishing his studies. He matures and realizes he has to get something in this life if he wants to make a living, he has to face all he has run away from. It's a learning he develops along everything that he's gone through.
Regarding the relationship between Kafka and Mrs Saeki, I must say that Murakami doesn't give an explanation on purpose. It is a story without an ending, an open end brings people the chance to imagine or interpret whatever they want. Some may regard it like a faint point of the novel, but actually I like it, it makes you sit down and think over the story once you've finished it. In my opinion, both characters complement each other. Murakami doesn't tell us whether Saeki is really Kafka's mother, or Kafka's some kind of Saeki's dead lover reincarnation, but what stands for real is that each one finds in the other one a way to accomplish their purpose and keep going on with their lives, either finding freedom to die in peace or finding strength to face the problems. Kafka finds in Saeki the way to forgive his mother for abandoning him when little, and also get rid of the curse his father put on him: he do makes love with Saeki, so it's like he has carried out the curse and he has to live no longer with it. On the other hand, Saeki finds in Kafka the way to make herself forgiven by his former lover. Both know the other one may not be neither his mother nor her boyfriend's reincarnation, but they find in the other one the way to close up those chapters of their lives.
Besides, there's the matter with Sakura, the girl he meets when running away from home. I also regard this case as a metaphor for accomplish the curse of his father: Kafka sees in Sakura his lost sister, although she appears to be not. Metaphorically she fulfills that necessity of a sister in which rely on the curse. Besides, they only make love in a dream. Whatever, it helps Kafka to end the cycle of the curse, and thereafter he will be able to go on living. As we are told, responsibilities begin in dreams.
Another matter is Hoshino. He experiments the greater change. He is empty in his own way, not in the way Nakata or Saeki are empty, for they crossed the line between worlds once and the half of them remained in the other world (what they call to be half-shadowed), but empty because his life has been meaningless and purposeless until he meets Nakata. Nakata fills him, makes him change, think, rethink his life. And it's a remarkable fact that when Nakata dies, he asserts that a piece of Nakata will always live inside him, like if the mid-shadow of Nakata were enough (maybe the only way) to fill another person who has not been through anything to be empty but is.
What I didn't catch altogether was which was the role Nakata played in this story. Nakata, as Saeki, had lived chapters of their lives when they made contact with the other world, but neither of them remained there. In spite of that, they came back half-empty, with their shadows weak. In Nakata's case it is visible in his dumbness, and in Saeki's case in her inability to feel anything, like he had died back in her twenties. But despite of that, Nakata is connected someway to Kafka, although they really never meet each other, nor learn of the existence of the other one. Nakata performs Kafka's father's killing, but it is Kafka who appears covered in blood. What's more, Nakata has the duty to open and afterwards close the entrance to the other world, but he does it purposeless, he only knows he has to do it. In fact he suspects he may recover after that, that he will be no longer dumb, but the truth is that he dies before accomplishing his will, and it's Hoshino's duty to close the entrance. That's a little bit confusing, because although being the most remarkable character, Murakami doesn't explain at all what happens to Nakata: why he is not so bright (yes, Murakami writes about X-files, but the ultimate reason is not given to us), why he is able to talk with cats, why he can make thing fall from the sky, sometimes unwillingly, which connection he has with Kafka, who truly is Johnny Walker or even Colonel Sanders (yer, we've learned, they are a concept but a concept performing what? What do they gain with it? Magic flutes which take away souls? I didn't understand it at all), why he dies so suddenly or why an odd white maggot appears from his mouth and Hoshino is to kill him. I would have liked a little more explanation on it, because it is not like an open ending, it is a little no-sense actually. One thing is to leave things to the reader's mind, and another very different is to not explain why things happen. But it's forgivable, Nakata's special in his own way, a very remarkable character, above all in the beginning, so sweethearted when talking with cats you'd like you had invented it. As I said before, I bet it will follow you all your life.
Despite of it, I enjoyed a lot the book, the story and it all, and I just can't wait to start 1Q84, the next one of Murakami in my list, although the very follower now is 'The Graveyard Book' by Neil Gaiman, just wait for the review in here!
Thank you for reading!
The Day of the Triffids
A very catchy book which tackles the theme of human decadence from a weird point of view: our doom is settled by strange plants that can feed on humans and which ultimate purpose is to rule the Earth. Not a purpose they want to achieve consciously, but somewhay something they have in their DNA, some
A very catchy book which tackles the theme of human decadence from a weird point of view: our doom is settled by strange plants that can feed on humans and which ultimate purpose is to rule the Earth. Not a purpose they want to achieve consciously, but somewhay something they have in their DNA, something they are born with.
The story starts with , a man who wakes up in a hospital after being hit by a triffid. He realizes everything is too quiet for being a Wednesday for him it resembles more to a Sunday. Thereafter, he walks in and out of the hospital and he realizes that everyone seems to have turned blind out of the blue, whereas he is not. Here starts the decadence of the society as we know it, for those lucky ones which can see are sometimes forced to run away from those who can't, but also feel sad for leaving all those people without help them. Besides it, there is also the issue of the triffids, which until know had been restrained in farms but now are free to wander wherever they want and start to hunt humans on which they can feed. Humans willing to live will have to imagine a new way of making a living with what is left for them to use, without any help and with triffids lurking all around.
It's a book that changed the apocalyptic stories: with an odd plot (giant plants which are able to communicate with the other of their kind, a world-spread blindness, atomic and biologic weapons hanging from the sky above and a flawless morality which starts to fade away), Wyndham is able to tell a very catchy story, with characters that may be a little flat but fit perfectly the purpose in the story, and a decadent world able to scare due to its reality and well-described landscapes and situations.
I encourage you to give it a try, and I bet you'll get lost in the story and more than once will find yourself wondering 'what would I have done?'
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