Andr itibaren Texas
Bu başka bir hızlı okuma oldu. Garipti, ama bu yazarın diğerleri gibi şehvetli değildi. Kalbini kıran adama karşı intikam almak için kızın bükülmesinden zevk aldım. Genel olarak, hızlı, eğlenceli bir kirli bükülme ve komik bir son ile okuyun.
Üçüncüsü "Cape" de yaşayan bir kız hakkında bir dizi varoluş kitabı. Cape Cod'da olduğu gibi THE Cape ile karıştırılmamalıdır. Sevimli kitaplar ve küçük kızlar için çok temiz ve iyi ve benim için de eğlenceli. Bazen bu tür kolay okumayı seviyorum. =)
Thought provoking, but told in a biased manner. Somewhat formulaic and predictable. However, it was still a good story and hard to put down.
** spoiler alert ** I’ll confess up front that I don’t often have the opportunity to read contemporary fiction; or in any case, I’m always a few years behind. Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, for example, was the only book I read in 2009 that was actually published in 2009 (and I should say that I finished the novel about an hour after midnight on New Year’s Eve—or Day, rather, at that point—as I sipped the dregs of my celebratory champagne). The novel was the latest on my kick of trying to work through everything she’s written, a little mission that began nearly two years ago, when I decided to include her novels The Edible Woman and The Robber Bride in my senior honors thesis on fairytale revisions by recent women (some might say ‘feminist’) writers. I re-read The Handmaid’s Tale for about the eleventh time that summer, and quickly devoured the two aforementioned novels for academic appropriation, and then moved on to Cat’s Eye, Oryx and Crake, Bluebeard’s Egg (short stories), some poetry (Selected Poems and Morning in the Burned House), and, most recently, Alias Grace, which I had the wonderful opportunity to teach in an honors seminar I was TA-ing for. When The Year of the Flood was released in September, I was at the exact point in the semester where I began to be overwhelmed by everything; if nothing else, my first semester in graduate school stripped me of my pleasure reading time. The book sat on my shelf for nearly three months, a shiny, brand-spankin’-new hardcover copy (and you should know by now that I almost never buy books new—it’s just not in the grad student budget, despite the fact that I have to purchase about a million per semester now)—and more importantly, signed by Atwood, who had stopped in Harvard Square to give a reading on her book tour. She sang, she danced, she enticed me by reading bits and pieces from the novel…but still I had to wait. And then winter break. My reading list is hemorrhaging books—everything that’s been shoved to the side over the past four months, but I made certain to crack into Atwood’s before the opportunity escaped me. I posted thoughts on the novel as I worked through it, which you can find on my goodreads.com review of it, but here are some more overarching musings about the novel. First, if you’re not familiar with Atwood’s oeuvre, The Year of the Flood is a ‘sidequel’ or a ‘simul-narrative’ to her 2003 novel Oryx and Crake—both are what Atwood terms ‘speculative’ novels that imagine potential dystopic outcomes for life on our world. The narrative transpires, if I make an educated guess, about fifty years from the present, as an allusion to American slavery places it about two centuries prior. Natural resources are more or less annihilated, with the ozone considerably damaged; innumerable species have fallen to extinction; the U.S. has been commandeered by corrupt corporations that find allies in ‘pleebland’ gangs to maintain order over the masses. Top scientists are creating frightening gene splices: pigs with human brain tissue; chickens that consist entirely of edible parts; mammals with extra organs available for harvesting. In Oryx and Crake, we come into this strange (but perhaps too easily imaginable) new world through Jimmy—known by his alias ‘Snowman’—a survivor of a global pandemic that nearly wipes out the human race. No worries, this is no spoiler—we’re alerted to this little detail on the first pages of O&C. Is Snowman the last man alive? The earlier novel withholds many of these bits of information, and what becomes compelling is not only the possibility of Snowman’s survival and his future, but his past—what brought him to this point, and the little glimpses into the appalling world I just described. Snowman is a disaffected and perhaps (to his mind) undeserving survivor. He and the two other figures at the center of that novel—Oryx and Crake—are the very highest of the elite, and thus the reader’s view of the world is from a vantage point both wider-reaching, for they have the power to access otherwise silenced knowledge, and more insular, for they’re kept in a privileged, somewhat Stepford Wives-ian, bubble of existence. Cut to The Year of the Flood. If its companion novel features a male, privileged eye to this dystopia, YOTF grants us the position of the people who fall through the cracks, and both protagonists are women, to boot (which, I’ll freely admit, I think Atwood writes better than she does male characters). Interestingly, each protagonist begins the novel in a state of isolation not unlike Snowman’s—are they the last alive, they wonder?—but as the narrative progresses, we realize their pasts are intertwined; both were members of a sort of eco-religion/pseudo-cult called the God’s Gardeners. Thus, the third ‘narrator’ (though he’s more of a disembodied, Wizard of Oz sort of voice) is the leader of this group, Adam One. Toby, we find, was another leader-figure in the organization. Saved from the grips of a murderous rapist by the Gardeners, Toby is the eloquent, razor-sharp, and hardened narrator Atwood has perfected at this point in her career—she’s reminiscent of Tony from The Robber Bride or perhaps the older Elaine Risley of Cat’s Eye—but a distinctive voice among a truly strong group of female narrators throughout Atwood’s fiction. She’s the voice of reason and of doubt—she has a wealth of experience at hand, but there’s a compelling vulnerability beneath her cold cocoon. Her pupils may mockingly refer to her as the ‘Dry Witch,’ but Toby’s is a wonderfully evocative voice throughout the novel—particularly in terms of her relation to the Gardeners, whose doctrine becomes more and more convincing the farther into this wasteland we travel. But Toby’s wavering faith in their doctrine mirrored my own—of course we hope to hold onto something solid when we’re going under, but Toby recognizes the vast limitations in both the group and in her standing within it. Ren, on the other hand, is of the more fragile type—most strongly reminiscent of young Elaine in Cat’s Eye, if I were forced to make the comparison. She’s a member of the Gardeners as a child, and we grow up with her in a way that we don’t with Toby—as such, I found myself (at times) more emotionally drawn to Ren than I was to Toby (but I’m also not the sort of reader that sees that emotional umbilical cord as integral to a character’s strength). Ren is a stripper at the time of the pandemic—what is called in this novel the Waterless Flood by the Gardeners, and thus, the title of the novel—though we’re not really given to know how she moved from sheltered religious girl to sex worker until nearly the end of the novel. I love that Atwood handled sex work with such grace; for so many people, even or perhaps especially writers, it becomes a repulsive or tragic potentiality for female characters. If you know me, you know my views on sex work, and I think Atwood granted dignity and humanity—not to mention, treated it for what it is, a job (and not some sort of martyring)—to Ren’s position at the aptly named Scales & Tails club. Perhaps I should backtrack a bit. I couldn’t help but think of Cat’s Eye as I read the novel, particularly Ren’s sections. Though the novel is in the world of Oryx and Crake, the affective quality of it takes me back to Cat’s Eye, which is perhaps her most emotionally moving novel for me. Perhaps this is why I enjoyed YOTF more than I did O&C—both are absolutely wonderful novels, and each has powerful justification for its approach to the apocalypse—O&C makes sense as a jaded, detached sort of narrative for me. It’s just that I’m more personally drawn to this sort of Atwoodian narrative, where the characters’ interiors take precedence over the trajectory of the plot. If the earlier novel was more in the Orwellian strain of dystopic narratives, this one takes me back to The Handmaid’s Tale, which is of course a terrifying dystopic vision, but is also the tale of the human condition under those pressures. That was an insular, almost asphyxiating, narrative—likewise, the scope of YOTF is grand, but we’re offered a view of it by two women who wield a specifically tailored sort of tunnel vision to their experiences. And I love Atwood’s ability to balance private experience with a colossal plot. This is becoming far too long, not to mention I feel like I might move into spoilers if I talk much longer. Perhaps I should direct you to my goodreads review pages for both O&C and YOTF. But in short, this is a real achievement for Atwood. The prose is lucid and witty, cutting like paper—bad metaphor, I know, but I suppose what I want to impart with it is that the writing pierces unexpectedly. It may not be identifiable at first, but you find yourself haunted by it. Every character is beautifully drawn—I could read a novel from the perspective of each of them. Pilar, the beekeeper, was particularly fascinating to me, but I’d read a narrative behind Bernice’s eyes, or Zeb’s, or even Ren’s awful mother, Lucerne. This can be a stand-alone novel, but I strongly recommend reading Oryx and Crake first, simply because so much of this novel will resonate more strongly having that one under your belt. It was astonishing seeing Atwood tie the threads of the two together—moments in that novel that seemed so trivial at the time (Red’s diary, for example) become pivotal for this one. I can’t praise this one enough—I wouldn’t call it her masterwork (perhaps only because I couldn’t choose among my favorites of her novels), but it’s a novel that I already want to reopen and immerse myself in again. That’s a rare feat for a jaded reader like me. --- Here are the earlier thoughts I had on the novel, as I read it--SPOILERS ahead. I'm going to try something another reviewer (Choupette) did with another Atwood novel (Robber Bride), and jot some notes down with YOTF as I go, coming back for a more comprehensive review at the end of the novel. --- @ p. 160 First and foremost, I must admit that I find the characters of YOTF more compelling than those in Oryx and Crake; at times, I felt that Oryx or Crake were so enigmatic as to be opaque to me, and Jimmy/Snowman was well-written but not particularly nuanced. I loved O&C, don't get me wrong, but I'm also of the mind that Atwood writes women better than she writes men, and so Toby and Ren are already much more tangible for me than any of the O&C characters were at the end of the book. Both are fantastic; Toby's past is reminiscent of Crake's, but this time, we're given to know the sort of haunting her past inflicts upon her. Ren isn't as clear to me yet, primarily because I'm just now getting into her childhood (which reminds me, strangely, of Elaine's childhood in Cat's Eye), and so I've seen her identity as God's Gardener but not so much as Scales & Tails dancer (though the repeating cuts to the scene of her in the 'Sticky Zone' are both simple and terrifying at once--very effective, Margaret!). As I mentioned (incidentally) to Choupette, I find Atwood's handling of the sort of religious fanaticism of the God's Gardeners here surprisingly compelling, not to mention frighteningly convincing. I should revise-I don't think of them as fanatics, but this doesn't mean that to an outsider, they would come off as a bit freaky. Think less televangelist (a la Serena Joy, as another reviewer, Moira, reminded me) and more extremist foodie cult (maybe fruitarianism would be comparable?). But what I love, much in the way she does with Serena Joy, is that we see both the benefits of being part of such an organization *and* the regrets/pitfalls that come with it. Toby, for example, doesn't really buy this shit; nonetheless, they saved her from the very real possibility of having her brains bashed in by an abusive employer, and she really appreciates many of them *as* people. Atwood doesn't create paper cutout characters here, which is to my mind one of her strongest faculties as a writer--and something I think she sometimes fell a bit short with in O&C. Perhaps the strangest thing yet is that this reads more like Cat's Eye or The Handmaid's Tale in the world of O&C, rather than a total sidequel to that novel. The so-called Waterless Flood has barely registered in the novel yet; we're still getting to know everyone, we're still delving into the past and the fraught emotions of living in a world that moves a bit too fast...it's beautifully done, surprising, and very tender in ways that O&C was not (again, though, I love O&C, just for different reasons). I've been taking my time with this one, which I usually don't do, just to savor it... --- @ p. 230 The plot really began to pick up over the last 60-70 pages, in surprising ways. You'd think that the whole 'sidequel' thing wouldn't work too well, or it would be done in a really cheesy manner. But [spoiler alert:] once Jimmy and Glenn (Crake) appeared, the frayed ends of each novel began to weave together--and again, I can't cry enough how much I'm loving that this novel does O&C from a female perspective; so when Jimmy reads his lover's diary (remember that from O&C? It was a pretty minor moment...), it becomes a much more potent betrayal and pivotal moment, because now we've got Ren's entire history behind the diary, not to mention her 'fear' of words, instilled through the doctrine of the Gardeners. So to have Jimmy commandeer her precious words, and use her up in the way he does--now there's a powerful emotional resonance behind the event, rather than disaffected humdrum quality of it in O&C. Again, each novel uses these different tactics in effective ways; O&C is a disaffected novel that capitalizes on the possibility that our bright, utopic future might be, simply, so bright as to blind us to joy and variation. It's a novel that considers the upper classes as ensnared within a sort of technological static, a flatlined state of existence in overexposure. YOTF, then, provides the opposing side of the mirror; thus, we get the gritty underbelly of the pleeblands, we get the hopelessness and despair of people living in a largely lawless state that is sometimes infiltrated and appropriated by a Big Brother-style government--one that is essentially in cahoots with the same criminals that usually infest the pleeblands. But with this, we also see the resourcefulness of those living in such an awful situation--and as I've said, the affective capacity of these characters becomes paramount, because the stakes are higher. [Possibly major spoilers ahead:] One of the most shocking moments was when Lucerne took Ren back to the HelthWyzer compound (which in turn leads Ren to Jimmy and Glenn/Crake)--shocking because, first, I wasn't really expecting *that* to be her departure from the Gardeners, but more importantly, shocking because of how beautifully Atwood handled it. Lucerne's action is incredibly selfish, despicable really--the sort of impetuous revenge motion of a 'woman scorned'--but Atwood doesn't leave it there, of course. We see soon thereafter the humanity of Lucerne, who is able both to threaten Ren with the death of her best friend (Amanda, another figure making a reappearance from O&C) and to save that very friend. Likewise, once Ren begins sleeping with Jimmy, even she begins to understand Lucerne's impulsiveness; Lucerne's pain in her relationships with both her husband and with Zeb becomes valid motivation for her seemingly horrible actions. Moments like those are what really bring me back to Cat's Eye, I suppose, because there's a really stunning subtlety to the way Atwood depicts betrayal and violence--a sort of tenderness that you don't expect to see when vileness becomes integral to a character's forward movement in the narrative. Truly well done. Also, I'm super sad that Pilar died. Boo. --- @ p. 309 This has become a novel that I want to spend the next year slowly working through; I want to savor every page, but Atwood makes it so tough, because even at her smartest and most poignant and reflective, her plots remain compulsive page-turners. I know I've been cheating by avoiding the book at times I really want to read it; delaying the moment where I pick it up and dive in once again...simply in order to stretch out the span of time I have to cuddle up with this. The past 70 pages heated things up in a really violent way. If you've thought the first part of the book was meandering (and I can see this point, though I loved that quality to the first half), stick with it. Because now it's nearly impossible to put down. The threads are all coming together and I am so so curious to see how she concludes the novel. I suppose I've got about another 100 pages to go, and that's a disheartening thought, because I could really stay in this world forever. But to my surprise...Atwood just keeps surprising me with this novel. [Again, SPOILERS:] The way Ren ends up back in contact with Amanda, with Toby...and at the point I've just stopped, quite literally on top of Jimmy? The architecture of the novel is impeccable. And it's been a real treat to watch Ren grow up, because what was originally a character able to pull on the inner child I still harbor (unwittingly, mostly) has become a fully-fleshed-out and incredibly complex adult that bears the trace of that curious child, but carries the awful burdens of passing over the threshold. In short, and I hate to say it, I feel as though Ren is someone not entirely unlike me. In a lot of ways, I'm able to identify with her in ways I've rarely identified with Atwood's characters--I can always touch them, I always feel that I've encountered them, but Ren is the sort of character I could discover inside myself. And that makes the emotional punch all that more terrifying. Likewise, Toby has become the sort of intricate figure that I admire, respect--someone I wouldn't mind becoming more like, in time. I know, I know, these are silly personal anecdotes and ramblings--but once again, I remain a bit awed that this novel has hit as hard as it continues to do. Perhaps that's why I feel its kinship with Cat's Eye, maybe more than any of her other novels. Sure, this is the world of O&C (and now, the characters of O&C are more present and pivotal than ever), but this is the emotional field of Elaine Risley and Cordelia--it's tough to face at times, but indelibly imprinted onto your consciousness, potent and familiar. I suppose, in short, that what I have to say at this point is that I'm going to be really sad to turn the final page of this one. Luckily, I've got a pretty damn fine reading list laid out to fill the rest of my winter break. But this will be instantly tossed on my 'need to reread' shelf. ---
An interesting read with twist and turns! Imagine a prison warden being taken over by his own fellow CO's he knew years ago as a CO himself when they had endured a prison riot together and he's on the run trying to prove he didn't do any of the things he's accused of years later to stay out of prison himself!
Witty, silly, frivolous fun, very much of its period (English Golden Age mystery). It's not a typical whodunit, because Campion is trying to prevent a crime not solve it, and Allingham is more interested in having fun and spinning out a complicated, evocative structure than in restoring the world disrupted by crime to order as so many detective novelists like to do. There are a few notes that jar: the Jewish jeweller, who is depicted as wise and skilled but definitely other, and the odd dialogue spoken by the rural peasantry, which just sounds weird and also very other but not at all authentic; of course, authenticity of any sort is not exactly the aim of this book. But if you like English Golden Age detective fiction, Allingham is a must.