Sunday, January 24, 2010

3 books, 1 post

Holy weirdness, Batman. This is absolutely the best book on the list I've read so far. My mind is blown. The characters are so wonderfully written, you can see them; you almost know them. The dialogue between these characters is so off the wall and outrageous, I couldn't help but get giddy about it. Don Delillo makes what should be a simple conversation about the weather into something completely wacky and hilarious, but still incredibly brilliant. Periodically, I'd take a break from reading and find myself in awe. This book is unlike anything I have ever read. It's almost too brilliant. If you read this book and don't end up thinking that Heinrich is the coolest kid you'll ever come across, you fail.

You have to read this book!

Wow. Heartbreaking. Depressing. Beautiful. Tragic. These are the only words I can muster to describe this novel. Things Fall Apart is a story that takes place in late 19th Century Africa, with the second part of the novel taking place just as the Europeans begin to arrive. The culture that the main character, Okonkwo, resides in is rich with traditions, many of which would be considered horrific by modern standards. While this culture provides the backdrop for the novel, the real story comes in Okonkwo's endless struggle to prove he is a better man than his father, known for being lazy and having many debts.
Most novels have something which the reader can grasp onto and find familiar; a sense of comfort can be found by anyone. This novel was so different from anything I've ever read. I felt like a spy, trespassing on this very unfamiliar, often startling culture. While it is difficult to connect to characters who inhabit a world so very different from my own, I still found this novel to be beautiful and incredibly well written.

By nature, I am not a reader of science fiction. I can't get into the super technological lingo or crazy futuristic plot lines. Also, it's for nerds. I picked this book up only because it was on the list and was not looking forward to the read. While it did take me abou 2 1/2 weeks to get through it, I really ended up enjoying this novels. One step forward for nerd literature, one step backward for my coolness.

Essentially, through Snow Crash Neal Stephenson examines ancient topics such as language and religion through a futuristic technology driven storyline. I really found the book to be a brilliant criticism of organized religion. Fun, funny, thought provoking and fast paced, Snow Crash was one hell of a nerdy ride.

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