I read The White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty a few years ago in college and, for being a relatively short novel, it had a lot of impact on me as a reader. Below is a structured response I wrote when reading it in class, that explores the author’s use of exaggeration as a writing tool.
“Efimov, who had more than probably married her because she had a thousand roubles, sat back and folded his arms after the money was spent, and, as if glad of an excuse, declared to all and sundry that marriage was the death of talent, that he could not work in a stuffy room face to face with a starving family, that these surroundings were not conducive to inspiration and that is was clear that he was destined for this kind of misfortune. It seems that he himself had come to believe in the truth of what he was saying and was only too pleased to find another line of defense. The unhappy, ruined genius was searching for an inner cause on which to put the blame for his misfortune and disaster.”
Being a huge fan of Dostoevsky, and Russian literature in general, I was very excited when I came across an unassuming little copy of Netochka Nezvanova (which translates, sadly, to Nameless Nobody) in a used bookstore. I had really never heard about this book, so I did some research on it before I read it. It was a good thing too, because it turns out that the book is actually unfinished. This was Dostoevsky’s first attempt at a novel, as well, which is so important in terms of his growth and development as an author, and on his themes. There are about 180ish pages here of Netochka’s story, but Dostoevsky was arrested and exiled to Siberia before he could finish it. Then, upon his release, he abandoned the work altogether and focused on his other novels, the famous ones we have all heard of. While this may not be his strongest novel by any means, there are sparks of brilliance throughout that speak to his later books, and I found it enjoyable and fascinating as a whole.
“He stood there for a moment looking around the silent room, shaking his head slowly. All these books, he thought, the residue of a planet’s intellect, the scrapings of futile minds, the leftovers, the potpourri of artifacts that had no power to save men from perishing.”
Well friends, since I have mentioned this book so many times in my book tags over the past few weeks, I decided to finally post a review for you guys. Yay motivation!
I Am Legend is not a huge book, based on length alone, but the weight and gravitas of this story goes beyond any measure. It is a haunting story that has been one of my favorites since high school. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for something creepy or just something that doesn’t seem to be that well known, but is truly amazing. I mean, everyone knows Stephen King, but do they know that he had this to say? “I think the author that influenced me the most as a writer was Richard Matheson. Books like I Am Legend were an inspiration to me.” And really, in King’s best novels that I have read, he emulates the subtle, creeping sense of dread that Matheson writes so well. This book is not just for fans of the horror genre, but anyone wishing to delve into the mind of the last living man on earth, as his world is slowly taken over by vampires.
I came across this book tag on The Book Nut’s blog and I really liked the discussion. Who doesn’t want to see their favorite books turned into movies or TV shows?! Unless of course, you are the type of reader who fears the worst when your beloved story falls into the hands of the clueless film producers. Let’s see! Continue reading
So, I find myself in a reading slump as of late. I feel like my thoughts and my motivations are all over the place and I can’t concentrate on one thing. Should I be working on my own writing? Should I be finishing the book that I put down two weeks ago? What about working on book tags or reviews? Maybe I should update my Instagram with more pictures?
I know I need to be more organized about my creative outlets, but splitting my attention between so many different areas just makes me retreat altogether and then I get nothing done. Quite frustrating, I must say.
How do you guys stay motivated or keep your different projects on track?
Happy Tuesday! I came across this book tag as I was browsing through some lists of them and it seems so fun! I think it is a bit of an older tag and technically you are supposed to get tagged by someone to do it with a list of 10 books, but I am just gonna pick some and go for it on my own (shrug emoji). Basically, you use a gif or a couple gifs to review the given books, or indicate what you like/disliked about them. You can add some written context if you like, or just let people figure out what your gifs mean. Let’s go then!
“People were messy. They were defined not only by what they’d done, but by what they would have done, under different circumstances, molded as much by their regrets as their actions, choices they stood by and those they wished they could undo. Of course, there was no going back – time only moved forward – but people could change.
And for better.
It wasn’t easy. The world was complicated. Life was hard. And so often, living hurt.
So make it worth the pain.”
So, I feel like I would have enjoyed Our Dark Duet a bit more if I had read it closer to when I finished This Savage Song. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed this second and final novel of the Verity books…but it was surprisingly a little lackluster for me in places. That sense of urgency, that feeling of needing to read more and find out what happens next, that I had after This Savage Song just was not really there for me anymore. That and a few other things lead me to give this book 2.5 stars.
This will have spoilers!