Literary Mumblings

A few words about the books I’ve read…

Archive for the ‘Fantasy/Sci-Fi’ Category

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Posted by Amanda on May 4, 2009

fahrenheit451A classic tale.  The story of a fireman – a man whose job it is to burn books.  Because society has grown past them.

Fahrenheit 451 is just one of those amazing classic books that you are always told that you have to read and is, amazingly, as good as everyone says, if not better. I choose to read it during the Read-A-Thon because it was a small book but it is also very interesting and it sort of grabs a hold of you and doesn’t let go.

For those of you who have not yet heard of this book, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is about Guy Montag, who works as a fireman in the not-so-distant future. The job of a fireman in this dystopian novel is to start fires where books have been found and Montag is fond of his job but a new neighbor, a teenage girl who is different from everyone else he has ever met, begins to make him question things.

One of the most interesting factors for me was the history of how books came to be banned. Minorities would object to the text of one book and another minority would object to the text of something else and soon, books had to be censored to make people happy. Because that was the only important thing – that people were happy. Please the minority at any cost. And so society banned books and the firemen only enforced that ban.

Even outside of that interesting meditation on society, this is an amazing book. There were some slower parts but all of it comes together wonderfully. This books has earned the respect of people everywhere and there is a reason. If you haven’t read it, go. Get yourself to a bookstore (or a library) and read this one. It won’t take you long and you won’t regret it.

2009-22

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American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Posted by Amanda on March 30, 2009

American GodsAmerican Gods is one of those books that people seem to be simply ga-ga for.  I have never really even heard anything negative about this one.   One of my friends heard that I was thinking about reading it and said that I had to read it as soon as possible and that it could save my life.  I still don’t know what he meant by that one but clearly, this book has many admirers and I had very high expectations for it.

Unfortunately, this one just didn’t live up to the hype for me. I feel like every Gaiman fan is growling at me for saying this but I really didn’t think it was all that great.

The story is about a man named Shadow, which I still don’t get. I mean, can’t Gaiman at least give the guy a last name? Anyway, Shadow has just got out of prison and he is expecting to come home and be with the wonderful wife that he loves and work for one of his friends. Unfortunately, he leaves jail to find out that his wife and friend both died in a car accident, and now, he has neither wife nor job. Except that a strange guy named Wednesday has offered him a job as a sort of body guard as he begins to gather the old gods of America.

The idea was interesting and there were a few twists that certainly caught me off guard but I didn’t think it was that great.  I mean, the writing was okay and some of the characters were cool, especially some of the modern incarnations of the old gods.  Still, something about it was just really unenjoyable to me.  I suppose part of that can be attributed to the oddity near the end.  I just didn’t enjoy it for some reason.  I wish I could explain it but sometimes, a book just isn’t your cup of tea.

2009-8

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