Thursday, April 22, 2010

Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Sterling Publishing Co., New York (2004)
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Unabridged Books on Cd, Read by Norman Dietz, (1987)

The 100th anniversary of Twain's death is April, 21 2010.

Tom Sawyer lives with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother, Sid, in the Mississippi River town of St. Petersburg, Missouri. His best friend (buddy) and companion of adventures Huck Finn helps Tom to invent how to avoid school, and get fun night and day.

The main themes are: children looking for trouble, adults as adults always do, and humorism tinged with satire.

Sometimes Tom disappears in the Huck's shadow, and sometimes Tom and Huck work together: these passages are most successful with Twain's job. For example:
Huck: 'When you going to start the gang and turn robbers?'
Tom: 'We'll get the boys together and have the initiation tonight, maybe.'
Huck: 'Have the which?'
Tom: 'Have the initiation.'
Huck: 'What's that?'
Tom: ' It's to swear ... etc etc

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a classic book suitable for all ages.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Review: The Long Way Home

The Long Way Home
by Andrew Klavan
Thomas Nelson Publisher, Nashville, Tennessee (2010)

Charlie West is accused of his best friend's murder. Charlie's ordinary life as a high school student changes completely when terrorists (The Homelander) and police try to kill or arrest him. In this second book of The Homelanders' series, Klavan tells the story of Charlie's back home to find who is the murder and who's hiding behind the terroristic organization The Homelanders.

Klavan uses the first person (the main character Charlie) telling the story, so he manages to create a suspensful novel, and page after page you are clinged at the words. Apart from this appearance of gripping book, in my opinion it lacks of substance: for instance, the first 90 pages describe Charlie's escape from the library and the police trying to catch him; my feelings are of something missing.

The message of this book is 'how beautiful is the ordinary life!'; Charlie's words: 'when nobody cares how your day was or how you slept or how you miss it, I can tell you. You miss it a lot.' p. 150-1
Teenager looking for an escape from daily life (school, parents, textbook, etc.), could learn from this book the benefits of this way of life.

I recommend this book to all teenagers and also to who's studying English as second language (since the book's language is easy).

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publisher as part of their book review blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, part 255.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Review: Rooms: A Novel

Rooms: A Novel
by James L. Rubart
B&H Books, (2010)

I received this free ebook from NetGalley.

Micah Taylor runs a software company and unexpectedly inherites a house (with a lot of strange rooms) on the Oregon coast. A new way of life starts, all happens with no reasonable grounds. A spiritual book.

Rubart writes: 'Micah, you have to decide once and for all which kingdom you want to live in. Because eventually one of the kingdoms has to -and will- disappear.' p. 186
This is a book of decision-making and like in every christian path Micah has to know the hell before the heaven.

Well written, but apart from this statement I didn't like Rooms.
I started reading this book thinking about a mystery-detective ones, but when Micah's ordinary life swings towards an extraordinary-faith-no faith life, all falls apart: both for the main character and myself.
A cybernetic God appears (Micah plans to project a 'Software that would change the Kingdom of God' p. 161). Micah starts a search of the lost truth in these rooms and small clues-madeleines (several letters, strange appeareances, new friends) help him in this hunting.
Micah as Mr. K. from The Castle by Kafka struggles to understand the misteries of these rooms, and he is alienated from the truth until the end of the book.

I recommend this book to those who love christian fiction and not just mystery books.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Review: The Brooklyn Follies

The Brooklyn Follies
by Paul Auster
Henry Holt and Company, New York (2005)
HarperAudio (2006), Audio CD

From Austen to Auster.

The characters: Nathan Glass, tha main character and the mirror of the others; Tom Wood, his nephew, from whom tree born a little brunch: Lucy (Tom's niece, 9-year-old); Harry Brightman, who (without knowing) lights new paths to follow.

Nathan has come to Brooklyn to die, in this city of follies he met Tom, who's working in a library owned by Harry. Others threads (people) run in this book crossing each other. From a background without hope and lives at the end of their days, give birth to a new order (a natural order).

Almost at the beginning Auster writes: 'All men contain several men inside them, and most of us bounce from one self to another without ever knowing who we are.' p.125

From old Europe Auster takes the idea that there must be something beyond all the symbolic order we live in. The problem is we cannot translate this order like a project in our life. 'Aeschylus, Homer, Sophocles, Plato, the whole lot of them. Invented by some clever Italian poets during the Renaissance.' p. 128
Auster specially quotes just Casey Stengel, a baseball player.

So the new America helps Auster: a full back to the natural order. This natural order appears with the child Lucy: she prefers no to talk, we have already said all the words. Lucy is the cause of the not planned stop in Vermont's woods. Auster writes: 'I want to talk about happiness and well-being, about those rare, unexpected moments when the voice in your head goes silent and you feel at one with the world.' p. 167

Eventually Harry said: 'one of my dreams was to publish an encyclopedia in which all the information was false.' p. 127