Monthly Archives: April 2012

Read: Brave new world by Aldous Huxley

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Continuing on with my sic-fi kick, I finished Brave new world this lovely afternoon on the sunny porch–a paradoxical setting indeed for such a book.

Wow. I’m still stunned by not only the ideas, plot, and characters but even more so by the execution. This is an instant favorite of mine now. Huxley meant for this novel to be a work of art, something that the society he writes about would ban and despise.The language is an artistic object of beauty, describing people and a civilization that detest that very notion. Brilliant.

In that sense, it reminds me very much of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov; the difficult topic and content are embellished and showcased with such a mastery of language that you can get caught up in the stunning language while it jars your perceptions of what you are reading. For some, both books might be too tough to get through, yet they are well-worth any squeamishness that may cause. Oddly enough, I started both books previously and put them down early on, being appalled at first. However, since they are classics, I returned to each in turn and am very glad I gave them a second chance and stuck them out. These will definitely make my “re-read” list–perhaps when this current challenge is over, I’ll post about that.

This book is fairly recent to my bookshelf. The copy I tried to read before was a library book. I found this one on sale, due to minor spine damage, at a bookstore in Wooster, Ohio. It called out to me,what can I say? Really, it taunted, as in “Sure, the English major librarian still hasn’t read me” tone. And of course, 1984 and Ana Karenina jumped onto the counter that day as well–they’re coming up soon, promise. The mistake was walking into the bookstore in the first place but I’m very glad I did! Haven’t been back since, though, and don’t plan to until I’m done reading what I have now.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled onto a cool website that posts unique letters sent to, from, or about famous people. The letter Aldous Huxley sent George Orwell prompted me to pick up this book next and sets me up for my next one already, you guessed it, 1984. Clearly, Huxley thinks his future is more likely than Orwell’s, so I had to see what all this is about, hence back-to-back readings. I’m sure getting my sci-fi fix now!

Recommended: Definitely! No matter what your tastes, this is an amazing, thought-provoking book that everyone should read, especially in this consumerist era.

Infinite update: same place. Alright, by next post I’ll move that bookmark forward a ways! This is ridiculous.

Note: :/ Sorry about the sideways pic again–any suggestions on how to post it vertical? I’ll have to look into this now and try to fix it for next post.

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Read: Neuromancer by William Gibson

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Last week kept me busy with posting to my other blog, so even though I finished this book then this post got delayed until now. And with the gloomy, extremely windy weather outside tonight, it’s a perfect time to blog and read more books!

Neuromancer by William Gibson, make sure that is neuro-mancer and not necro-mancer which autocorrect thinks it should be, is a sci-fi action novel famous for the genre cyberpunk. If you don’t know what that is, it is what it sounds like: futuristic wired-in (as in Internet) dystopia.

My love of Robert Heinlein fed my collection of other sci-fi works, and of them this novel is well-known. The best way to describe it in comparison to other fiction works is to juxtapose A clockwork orange with Do androids dream of electric sheep? First, Clockwork because Gibson creates his own setting in which new terms and ideas remained unexplained throughout the word and the reader has to figure out and cobble them together as the story progresses; with both books, I feel I missed a lot on the first read and when I finished each, I had an urge to start them again–they could easily be re-read repeatedly with new discoveries with each reading it seems. It is like Androids because of its pulp fiction, action-adventure, movie-script-feel; they both are visual novels that readers can easily watch in their heads like movies, especially since the works are not as concerned about the language and beauty of the writing. However, there are some breath-catching lines that make you pause, either for their diction or meaning. The opening line is just that:

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

Would I recommend this novel? Only if you like this sort of work. I know many people who would dislike or not care for it, while I know some who would be crazy for it.

Now that I’ve dipped my toes back into sci-fi, my tastebuds crave more–and there are several more books of that type waiting on my bookshelf. Remember?

Next up are a couple of sci-fi classics. You’ll just have to wait for the next post to find out more!

Infinite update: p. 95, footnote 43. Another puzzle piece examined yet not much further along. Although the next section looks to get us back to the tennis school, where most of the action occurs so who knows, maybe I’ll pass page 100 by the next post and be cruising right along for the next 800+ pages.

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