Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Amber Spyglass

Title: The Amber Spyglass
Trilogy: His Dark Materials Trilogy
Author: Philip Pullman
Pages: 548

In the final book of the trilogy, Philip Pullman manages to make you feel frustrated you've reached the end. You basically become addicted to the vivid descriptions, the mystery and the vague hints of rebellion against all we've been taught. Nevertheless, you end up wondering "Is is this fiction?"

To give my 50 cents on this trilogy, would be rather biased, for one simple reason: anyone who went past the 5th page will be totally in love with Philip Pullman's writing style. It is so eloquent yet fluid... and not necessarily jabbed with troublesome words - one that would cause you to disconnect your love line and head to the Webster instead.

Why didn't this trilogy reach the world level like Harry Potter did? Simply, because it may rub some people the wrong way. If you thought The Da Vinci Code caused controversy... well.. prepare yourself for His Dark Materials trilogy.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Subtle Knife

Title: The Subtle Knife
Trilogy: His Dark Materials Trilogy
Author: Philip Pullman
Pages: 341

'Will is twelve years old and he's just killed a man.'

Yes, that's the very first sentence of the blurb, simple catchy and intriguing.We continue our journey in the Dark Materials trilogy with a new hero... the bearer of the subtle knife.. the ultimate weapon of all times.. but why? Lyra acompanies Will on his journey (narrated in Will's view), and discovers the naked truth of Lord Asriel's plans. The second book is surprisingly more amusing than the first, Philip Pullman seems to get better with each each page i flip. This unique blend of reality, theology, science, and fantasy would basically turn any boring weekend into a fireworks display.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Nothern Lights

Title: The Northern Lights (aka The Golden compass US Edition)
Trilogy: His Dark Materials Trilogy
Author: Philip Pullman
Pages: 398

Let me just tell you, if you consider Harry Potter a masterpiece, then
Philip Pullman's Trilogy exceeds your dreams. My experience reading was
magical, thrilling, and allow me to say that i astroprojected for a span of
one week everytime i opened this book. I've been sucked into this dazzling
world where theology, science, and magic intersperse vividly. Lyra an
orphaned child takes on a troublesome journey to find her friend Roger, who
mysteriously disappeared, surprisingly, in the same manner many of the
children vanished about the same time. Rumors, gossip, and Enigma circles
Lyra's circle, who accidentally turns the course of her destiny in one night. Her
well-defined life takes a new radical form she never imagined. And as she
seeks the North - a new prophecy unravels, only to pull us directly into the
hunger of reading the second book in the series. I bet any person who read
this is already joining the standing ovations...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince

Title: Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince
Author: JK Rowling
Pages: 652

I have to say that the more i read of Harry Potter, the more i become addicted to it. I practically devoured this book when it arrived to my hands, after a very long wait, am pleased to tell you it's magnificent, yet... in the same time disappointing.

Before my fellow Harry Potter Fans start to shoot empty bottles on my head, allow me to explain. Many of the things in this book, were... out of the blue if you can call it. Many of the relationships that 'apparated' into the book seemed illogical to me, and then comes the very... "Hermoine/Ron" shipper, i mean i was going like "Not agaaiin" I mean where did i see this before? Not only we did not see Voldmort in the whole app 600 pages, the half blood prince wasn't hard to guess if you tell me. I was intrigued to continue, because i love JK Rowling's world... BUT.. if i was to vote one book off the collection: Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince would be it. Nonetheless, extrordinary masterpiece from JK again, hoping the next and final book would be better than this one.

Burning Elvis

Title:Burning Elvis
Author: John Burnside
Pages: 240

I've never read John Burnside's poetry, although i would have loved to. And this collection of his short stories caught my eye in the library for the catchy "Burning Elvis", being one of Elvis's devoted fans, i almost shrieked.

But when i read this collection, i was surprised i didn't read this earlier. The catchy flow of the stories made me dazzled, the way he created a vivid atmosphere in a matter of seconds, the setting contrasted the conflict, and the conflict held a higher moral. The ones i've loved the most were "The Invisible Husband", and "Burning Elvis"

You can see a pattern of death in different ways, whether is is mortal death, or invisibility, or even a dysfunctional family. I loved this book, and it's certainly on my "Books To Buy" List, since i'd love to keep it in my collection.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Woman At Point Zero

Title: Woman At Point Zero
Author: Nawal El Saadawi
Pages: 112 pages

This story stirred a wave of emotions inside me, it's the ultimate indignant scream on the society of poverty, corruption, and irrationality. Nawal El Saadawi, in her masterpiece shed the light on the reality of poverty, and how girls in the 80's and even now are forced into the harsh life by the "Male Factor" that promises to protect them, but instead eradicates their role in life. The story highlights the issue of female genital mutation also know as FMG, or Female circumcision. Female circucision not only leaves 3/4 of the circumcised woman unstasfied during their sexual encounters, but it also causes many illnesses, and fertilatiy problems.
Another important question she poses in front of us is what is your definition of honor? This story reminded me in a way or the other of Najeeb Mahfouz's "The Thiefs And Dogs", when we are left in the end to wonder what is the definition of a thief, conclusively, what is the definition of decency and honor.

Woman At Point Zero is a must read, it is emotional and gives you an insight to the real world most of us don't indulge in. I am gonna leave you with my favorite quote of this book,

"Now i had learnt that honor required large sums of money to protect it, but that large sums of money could not be obtained without losing one's honor. An infernal circle whirling round and round, draggng me up and down with it."- Firdaus the heroine of Woman At Point Zero.