Monday, June 17, 2013

Real Seriousness and Talent

Real seriousness in regard to writing being one of the two absolute necessities. 
 The other, unfortunately, is talent.
E R N E S T  H E M I N G W A Y
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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Let me start off by saying: aaaaah it's soo good!
If you have yet to encounter Gone Girl it is essentially the story of Amy's sudden disappearance on the day of her fifth anniversary.  Her husband Nick receives a phone call and rushes home to find their living room in disarray and his wife, who normally would never leave the house in such a state, is gone.  It's told through Amy's diary entries from their earlier years of marriage alongside Nick's diary entries of the days after she disappears.  It is a story of long term relationships, trust, and manipulation.  It is a bloody good story at that.

It turns out that Amy and Nick: the perfect New York couple are not so perfect after all.  Amy is the daughter of writer parents who based their bestselling children's series on her and she lives off of a tidy lump sum - which her parents then need back due to the economic downturn.  Nick loses his job in the recession as well and shortly afterwards his mother is diagnosed with Cancer forcing them to move away from their expensive Manhattan pad to a small house in Missouri.  Amy struggles to settle in - she doesn't find a new job and Nick resents her for doing nothing all day.  Their marriage is not what it used to be.  They struggle to talk to one another any more.  So when Amy goes missing - Nick is automatically the police's number one suspect.

Flynn manipulates the unreliable narrator to its best usage.  You have no idea who to trust and who to believe.  You just have to keep turning the pages in order to find out more information to develop your own opinions.  There are constant twists and turns and Flynn manages to keep several balls up in the air at once whilst writing in a literary way.  It isn't a simple thriller - she makes you think, makes you question, makes you keep reading.

My only complaint: the ending.  What was that? It wasn't what I wanted - I would be interested in seeing if you guys actually liked how she ended things!  It wasn't that the ending was badly written or sloppy...just I wanted better for them! (Sorry, I can't say more without spoilers!)
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Friday, June 7, 2013

The Saddest Poem



Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example,'The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before.
Her voice. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her. 


P A B L O  N E R U D A

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Book Recommendations

What have you read lately which you have loved?

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Monday, June 3, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in our Stars tells the story of Hazel, who aged 13 is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she has a 'miracle' prescription of a drug which although it won't cure her will allow her to keep living a bit longer.  She leads a sheltered life, choosing to stay at home reading, rather than going out and making friends.  She considers herself a 'grenade'.  It would be more considerate for her to stay home and only upset her parents when she eventually dies than to upset more people.  That is - until she meets Augustus 'Gus', who shows her that she is worth the pain felt when you lose her because of all the good gained when you know her.  It is a story about cancer: its losses, hardships, and the love it allows Hazel and Augustus to gain.

I have seen so many snippets of it posted everywhere on the internet and it has been sitting on my 'to-read' list for some time now.   I found myself moved by the story: the characters and their struggle with a devastating disease was sensitively portrayed.  This was a book about cancer ignoring the cliches.  Unlike A Walk to Remember these patients have symptoms which are immediately noticeable: Hazel carries an oxygen tank with her, Augustus has a slight limp as he lost his battle with cancer.  There is no promise of a happy 'we're all cured!' ending.  They know that their time is limited: the question is how will they spend their time, and they choose to spend it falling in love.

My only problem with the book was that they seemed to be living inside of a cancer bubble: wherein their close friends have a tragic involvement with the illness and those who does not have cancer are heartless and self absorbed.  There's a sense that the endless people who write their names on a facebook wall to share their condolences do not deserve to be sad: they're all faceless names, who disappeared shortly after they left school.  Whilst I know this wasn't necessarily the focus of the story - I felt like this could have been a good opportunity to show how devastating it can be for the community when a child suffers from cancer.  That community was confined to the hospital, a cancer support group, and their immediate families in this novel, and it just felt a bit too insular.  Especially when the outsiders are negatively portrayed.

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