Saturday, June 18, 2011

More from Wordsmith P

Today, my four year old son was making up words, mostly just strings of nonsense words. He loves to watch children's movies and then recite what he heard. When we asked him where he'd heard his most recent rhyme he said,

"I'm just knowing it up."

Monday, June 13, 2011

How Refreshing

The more I read of Barry Eisler's John Rain series, the more I like it. His style is terrific, his characters are okay, not spectacular, and the setting descriptions are extraordinary. It's like meeting an old friend.

Someone wrote a review about it and said, James Bond meets Shogun. I agree. I actually think that these are a smidge better than James Bond novels if only because I can relate to them more easily.

I'm a huge fan, and I find it refreshing to be moving from Dickens to Eisler. A long jump, but worth it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Book Review – Great Expectations

I remember I read Great Expectations in High School. I also remember that I didn't like it. At first I chalked this up to the fact that I didn't begin to enjoy reading till my seminar class in College. I'm beginning to think that my high school experience might have had more to do with the tone of the book than with my not being a Dicken's fan.

First, it was a hard slog. Maybe it's because I have this new job, or maybe I'm in the middle of a slight reading burnout, but it took me forever to read this sucker.

Secondly, I was happy to see that the writing was so much fun to read. It's a funny dichotomy. Fun to read, but took me a long time to read it.

Thirdly, I'd forgotten how sad and depressing the book is. The whole of the story could be condensed into just a few chapters, and episodes that take Dicken's hundreds of pages could be explained in very few.

I liked the passage where Pip is describing Orlick's favorite turn of phrase:

    "This penalty of being jiggered was a favorite supposititious case of his. He attached not definite meaning to the word that I am aware of, but used it like his own pretended Christian name, to affront mankind, and convey and idea of something savagely damaging. When I was younger, I had had a general belief that if he had jiggered me personally, he would have done it with a sharp and twisted hook."

Despite all this, I'm glad I finished it. It's a classic. Next time I'll read Little Dorrit or Bleakhouse though. Neither of those could be as depressing as Great Expectations.