jazzy_dave: (bookish)
Abbie  Hoffman "Steal This Book" (Da Capo Press)



I was very intrigued with the title of this book, and as it was only twenty five pence recent;y found in a charity shop it was a steal!

It is very much a construe cultural book of the sixties and seventies and is somewhat outdated now. However, it is fascinating to read about how the counter couture viewed itself in the heady days of the early 1970's.

Then maybe it is relevant again. Much of the information is out of date,yes, but not the overall feeling that we live in a dictatorship again (as Abbie celled the US in this book a "Latin dictatorship) with the twin evils of Trump and May,and that an underground socialist t revolution and anarchy is just what we need right now

An enjoyable mind changing book either way.


jazzy_dave: (Default)
Michael Cunningham "The Hours"  (Picador)




The Hours is a loving homage to Virginia Woolf's [Mrs. Dalloway]. The novel tells the stories of three women — Clarissa, a 52-year-old woman planning a party for her friend and former lover dying of AIDS; Laura, a young pregnant housewife in 1949 feeling trapped by the order of her life, and Virginia Woolf herself attempting to begin the writing of Mrs. Dalloway in 1925. Each story relates the women's complex inner journeys over the course of a single day.

One of the many profound ways these women's lives and hearts overlap is the way each woman seeks to create her own form of perfection in the world, making such a small thing into so much more than what it is. For Clarissa, it's putting together a party that will properly honor her friend. For Laura, it's assembling a cake that reflects all her feelings of love. For Virginia, it's taking words and shaping them into a story that reveals and transports. And yet, each in her own way feels herself incapable of achieving this perfection. This is just one part of this novel, just one piece, but it's a piece that resonated with me and is something I found to be a part of what makes this novel so heartbreakingly beautiful.

Not only do are each of these women affected personally by the novel, Mrs. Dalloway, but also the writing style of The Hours imitates Woolf's style, the way she layered image and meaning together in complex network of poetic prose. Like Mrs. Dalloway, The Hours is a novel that requires a certain amount of presence and focus in order to follow, but the result of each novel is uniquely beautiful and each are worth a read.

A delightful little footnote: I love that Clarissa mentions seeing a movie star (maybe Meryl Streep) and that Meryl Streep plays Clarissa in the movie version of The Hours. ( )
1 vote | flagandreablythe | Jun 3, 2015 |
There is a unique sensation of both immense loss and joy when you read the final page of a book that you immediately recognise as one of your life's favourites.

Having seen the film first (and loved it), I feared that it would spoil my enjoyment of the book, knowing exactly what was going to happen. At first I had a sense of rushing the book for that reason, but then the story hooked me all over again, and I was rushing simply from an urgency to devour more and more of it's clever deliciousness.

To intertwine a modern retelling of a classic story with parallel stories of Virginia Woolf's demons when writing Mrs. Dalloway, and the fragile state of mind of someone reading Mrs. Dalloway is sheer brilliance - complex yet so simple.

I have not yet read Mrs. Dalloway, but feel I will have to, just to gain another perspective of the immense depth of this novel. Certainly, in reading the novel things became clear to me that I did not pick up on when I watched the film, and I'm sure that having an understanding of Mrs. Dalloway would enhance the book still further.
jazzy_dave: (Default)
Ben Okri "Astonishing the Gods" (Orion)





I must admit that i did not like this book and i  guess it just isn't my type of book. I almost put it down halfway through just because it didn't seem like it was really going anywhere. It has some very good parts,  lyrical parts, poetic parts but I think I've already forgotten most of the story. At least it was a very short read, and perhaps one day i might go back to deciphering  all the subtexts with this novella.

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