I like the rain. I want to have a spring bookworming rain party full out with wellies—but not those Hunter Boots; absolutely not—, with yummy airy things like puffed pastries, meringues, mini fluffy cheese cakes, mousse dessert, macaroon, biscuits, crepe, and Earl Grey tea, definitely Earl Grey tea. and Tillandsia. We'd have lots of "air plants". Lots! And We'd read, but not anything structured. We'd bring books, trade books, read out-loud, pass books around between sentences and paragraphs. We'd leave with books we hadn't discovered.
I like books like I like my Jazz; euphoric, dangerous, occasionally a bit manic, sorrowful, bleak, raging, mood-incongruent, mournful, unforgivingly ragged, symbolic in a quiet way, warm apple pie for the soul. Give me a Plath style. Yōko Ogawa, M. Roach,
Criteria: Not rated on likability of characters. Not objective. I like Moxie Soda; chances are you don't.
time spent in that before bed reading slot:
5-until blurry eye 4-Later than I intended, but I still kept to my extended, extended reading time 3-I really should have been to bed an hour ago 2-customary 30 minutes. 1-book. side table. eyes closed.
How are common themes handled?
5-With an aesthetic that repurposes everyday themes into something fresh. Think of Hole Celebrity Skin covered by Cat Power 4-there is a comfortable air of familiarly.
3-Deja Vu 2. No deviation from its mates 1. Devastatingly trite, redundant, and stale.
Where would you keep it post-reading?
5-Next to my bed. 4-it's the center piece of my favorite bookshelf 3. On my other favorite bookshelf, but it's a bit dusty over their 2-Great cheap bookends 1-It never made it out of the box marked 'moving'.
5- Where is my teddy bear? Emotional-hangover 4- If I wasn't so emotionally stunted I'd cry. 3. Did James Cameron co-wrote this? Artfully contrived. 2- calculative emotional manipulation. This was literally written by James Cameron.1- I…feel…..nothing.
Mechanics (plot structure, voice, presentation, word choice, sentence structure, characters, writing style, pacing, and consistency):
5-Chanel 4-Prada 3-J-Crew 2-Gap 1-Old Navy
such squandered potential. Boyhood..... but young boyhood. an event happens. boy meets girl who brings him on an adventure of his life. Boys life alters in ways he can't imagine; ways that adults would never fathom. seriously that's ALL you need to know. 'Think Stand by Me', written by Joe Hill and Karen Russell. The premise works, but both authors' have their own faults, particularly Russell who destroys the whole of the novel with run-off topics and sub-plots while Hill tries desperately to hold it together with transparent attempts at shocking us with ill formulated horror/shock. Russell swoops in and uses her redundant beautiful prose as a literary device strictly used to distract us; we are too smart of you Russell, we won't be tricked a second time. Someone here should have stopped at the bridge and said, do we really wanna see a dead body at the end of this?
break down on lost stars ......
1. narration. My perception is that this was a child voice funneled through an adult. the words were there, but the the feeling, the core to what childhood is—the peter pan syndrome of remaining innocent without having an adult perception—vanished between its lines. unlike Room it did not convey a sense of awareness of childhood, nor did it fully envelop childhood. Adult perceptions were superimposed on top of a seemingly delicate, but harshly rendered version of childhood. What i mean here, is that the text became laden with philosophical meaning with a strong adult lens. if this was the intention, Gainman failed realize it himself, and thus failed to convey that this was his attempt to his readers. It just didn't have the feeling i expected and it certainly didn't echo childhood. All together we have an unreliable narrator (who is delightful in his own right, however) that is seven while also being an insightful, unimaginative, dull adult. The combination, as expected, does NOT work here. Drag a red pen through that adult voice, leave it as a child lost in his imagination and captivated by the world through his OWN eyes; you would have gotten something that Patrick Ness would, could pull off.
2. the content. Like Swamplandia, this book had brilliant aspects that rose up from its pages and collided with my brain in a boooooooooooooooom. So enthralled, i stopped and re-read sections.
Some of my reactions:
'ooo look how he demonstrated a child's fear of strangers'.
'wow the detail of those birds is utterly amazing, captivating, and strong'.
'the horror of losing a pet is cemented well in the text, and reveals a crack in the child's very being'.....
Around the middle of the book it seems like the author lost his way. Like Swamplandia the plot had offshoot of small stumpier little plots. These little extras were forced and not needed. It seemed many of them were a failed attempt to establish character development, or maybe similar to be flashing and Neils version of 'look at me, look at what i can do with words'. However, it impacted the drama of the writing, and tarnished beautiful sentences. Conceptually it was nice. the idea of a mysterious family down the lane that joined itself to our young narrator's life is certainly interesting, however the author failed to encapsulate it in a manner that was believable; I'm not talking believable in a rational sense, I'm speaking to the idea, that in the novel it wasn't believable. Trust me this was rightfully aligned with my most cherished types of books, even if I have failed to find one to my liking.
.5 for just pissing me off. I REALLY wanted this novel to work. curse you Neil for leading me on. It's like going to a restaurant and eating an amazing appetizer, say Velouté of Kohlrabi. What a mouth watering,heavenly experience. Then a mediocre Bone-In New York; dry and overcooked. Followed by a Soufflé that collapsed inward. It was cruel. I felt that when it started up and maintained a good balance, taking my imagination for a ride, a plot twist, not really a twist, but an added element or a description, would stall the prose and the wonderful storyline. I still really want to like this Neil, like that restaurant, give you a second chance, but unfortunately you can't do that with books; the sentences will all read the same. The content will always express the same idea. and the meaning and potential will always be stamped on.