Friday, June 11, 1999

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin * * * * *

I read this book as a part of my special literature class. We were studying dystopia and this is pretty much the founding book of the genre.

I loved this book. The description of the society was haunting. I still visually remember some scenes of it, the places, even though I read it in 1999. The glass houses, the people marching to music. Round O. The big hand or the leader.

The story itself is not long, nor is it as exciting as some of the later dystopia books. Perhaps the reason why I remember it in pictures was that it was more of a description of the world, than a string of events.

This book made me fall in love with the genre. I would buy a copy if I found one. It should also be made into a movie.

Saturday, May 1, 1999

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway *

I read this book a really long time ago for high school. What do I remember from it? Practically nothing. I do remember the end though, because that was just the cherry on the boring, ridiculous cake for me. I get it, it's supposed to be allegorical, and some great literature, but the thing about a lot of classics is that I find them to be incredibly boring. Maybe because I'm a 21st century person. Men who try to prove they are men by fighting the dragon don't impress me. Which reminds me, I was sorry for the poor fish. Back to the case in point. What is impressing to me is if a man shows that he can stand by me through thick and thin, not kill himself in something idiotic. I get that the Old Man is a lot like Hemingway, but I always thought of Hemingway as a bit of a dick. Maybe good at parties, and at a dinner discussion, but not the kind of man I'd get hot and bothered about.

Another thing why I don't like this book, and some other classics is that I don't really feel like the target audience. I'm female. I happen to be a practical person. I have to scream when I see people doing idiotic, fruitless, dangerous things. I can hardly stand to watch people smoke! So if I pulled up in a boat next to the Old Man, I would have first insulted him, then told him to just let the poor fish go and go home already.