A another stack to short reviews has stacked up so…time to publish them!
Perhaps I am missing out on something big here but I really could not enjoy this play as much as I’d hoped. Majority of it was due to the ridiculousness of the characters. Willy, in particular, was absolutely infuriating. The ending and Linda’s mini-monologue almost makes me regret reading this play. Willy was nothing but an asshole and I care little for glorying the life of anyone like him. It felt pretentious, to be blunt, for Miller to take such an approach towards the end. Nothing about a character like Willy is really redeemable in my opinion; I found myself barely moved by his death and the only pity I felt was for Linda and the way Willy treated her. I also did not care much for their sons, Biff and Happy, although at some points in the story, I did feel myself shifting towards each of the perspectives and how they choose to approach their lives. In the end though, they did little to redeem the wretchedness of their father.
Maybe it would play out better in theatre then it did in print? I am not sure, but I will try to check out any adaptations available online and see if the viewing can redeem the reading experience.
I can see why Atwood is considered one of the best living authors today. Her writing is flawless and incredibly easy to fall in love with; absolutely wonderful. I did not, however, enjoy this book as much as I was expecting to. I did not even have many expectations except that Atwood is excellent at everything she does (which I found to be true) so I had little idea of what this book was about. Atwood calls this “speculative fiction” (rather than science-fiction) and the title fits because it explores a lot of human experiences and ideas. It is often terrifying and sometimes even touching. But generally, there were a few too many parts in this book that deals with topics I usually prefer not to read about. Oryx and Crake is a lot darker than I expected it to be; it is gritty and unflinching. Brilliant in one way but hard for a reader like me to read so although I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others, I will not continue on with the series as it made me more uncomfortable than I was expecting. So I leave it as that. Good…but not for me.
This novel deals with the idea of ex-slaves (more particularly, ex-black slaves) owning slaves and although this is not a new concept for me, this is the first novel I’ve read that deals with this topic. I liked the way this novel is written overall, but I had a lot of issues with the way the characters are written in this novel. The author has this habit of introducing a character, then giving us a glimpse into this character’s future (often he would tell us about a character’s death right after the introduction—both how and when he or she dies), and then coming back around to discuss what the character is doing in the moment. This was incredibly distracting and detached my attention from each of the characters before I could even get to know them. This became frustrating to no end. Another aspect which makes this book a major disappointment is the overwhelming amount of characters. The synopsis leads you to believe it is about less characters than there really are in the story. By the end, I was considering that this novel is more about an entire town rather one household or family. It was confusing, dissatisfying, and incredibly maddening to keep track of everyone—forget trying to actually connect with any of these characters! I see no reason why Jones won the Pulitzer for this novel, except that he wrote about a topic that many are unaware of (although I was aware of this prior to this novel so we can blame this one on American public school for keeping majority of the American population ignorant about this topic). Overall, it is an okay book but if you can find any other novel that discusses the same issues, I would consider choosing that over this book. I’ll be trying a non-fiction book myself next time.
Hope ya’ll have a good weekend. Let me know if you have read any of these. :)