Friday, July 31, 2015

The Count of Monte Cristo

This is like the epitome of revenge books. I'd never really known that about the story (mostly because I'd never read any part of it or even seen any of the movies based on the book). But a huge chunk of the story is the revenge that Edmond Dantes inflicts upon the three people who condemned him to 14 years in a dungeon of an island fortress for absolutely no reason.

While it took a while for me to get through, mostly due to craziness that limited my reading for a while, it's one of those books that, if you can power through, reveals some interesting details about human life in general. It's a timeless book that I hope never fades into obscurity. It is a powerful book and I appreciate that I took the time to read the unabridged version as opposed to an abridged copy that would have eliminated some parts that may seem pointless to the story, but which, in the end, truly have a purpose in the grand scheme of the story of Edmond Dantes and his personal revenge against Villefort, Danglars, and Fernand. Along the way he makes friends, he makes enemies. But in the end, he does what he feels is right to essentially return the favor to three (even four) people who he feels wronged him and stole his life.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I still love this series, even after all these years. I love how the books themselves mature, like Harry through these years.

Order of the Phoenix is one of my favorites. You've got Harry essentially fighting a perpetual battle against Voldemort, the Ministry, even his fellow students. The story gets darker than it had been in previous books, and you can tell that the characters are dealing with things that are well beyond what their age should be putting up with.

Harry definitely has a hard time in this book, what with this mental connection with Voldemort that he has to deal with.

I'm not going to lie, I'm glad that Pottermore exists, because it gives so much more depth to a series that I loved as a teenager.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Handmaid's Tale

I found this book confusing for a good chunk of it. It starts off (and really stays) rather disjointed. The main character/narrator, whose real name you never know and for a while you don't know is even called Offred, is obviously recounting this story. And it's a dark story.

It's dystopian in nature, since society has evolved in such a way that women are really just things. The narrator is a Handmaid, who has one main job: get pregnant. But she won't be allowed to keep whatever child she might bear. She's essentially a surrogate and her child with her Commander will belong to him and his wife.

I won't lie when I say that some of the story is disturbing. The female characters are so broken down that they've started accepting that they are nothing, even the narrator, who occasionally recounts times from "before". She remembers her husband Luke and their daughter, who remains nameless. But she is obviously becoming accustomed to her life as a Handmaid, which sort of bothers me because she seemed to be such a strong woman "before".

The book ends rather abruptly. It leaves you wondering or even making your own ending. But I think that ending is necessary to this book. It's needed from the darkness of the entirety of the story.