Sunday, April 09, 2006

The 30 Second Bookviews Of A Wanderer

Homage to Catalonia George Orwell - When asking Anthrophe if this would be a good book to take with him, he sat up suddenly, said that I should drop everything else, read this one first and write a 2000 essay on how it changed my life. So I did, well not the essay part but I did read it first and really its a personal account of the Spanish Civil War. An example of anarchy in action. And you can see the roots of where 1984 and Animal Farm came from. If I was younger and didn't already know about the Spanish Civil War and politics I could see how it could "change my life". So I suppose I could write a retrospective essay. In the end it entered my subconsciousness and started having dreams about being coined a communist and having to go into hiding.

Animal Farm George Orwell - I got this book in Lunag Prabang when I traded in my scuba diving book that I had no use for and which apparently has no value outside the islands. The question might be why have I not read this before, the answer to that includes families, gender prejudice and teenage angst. Its a simple book, screaming absolute power corrupts absolutley and begging people to fight for anarchism. It did encourage me to buy Burmese dreams go continue my George Orwell and South East Asia theme, but alas by the time that became a possiblity I was stuck into cyber punk novels.

Sex Slave; Traffiking of Asian Women
Louise Brown - This book is just badly written. Really this woman has all this knowledge and information and she wants to get it out but what ends up happening is a spewed mess that repeats the same point through examples of a dozen countries. If you want to find out more about the sex industry in Asia I would suggest starting from her bibliography but giving this book a miss.

David Peace- This is another book that Antrophe suggested I bring, this time I didn't listen to him (mainly because the book was to large to drag around for two months.) But the second island I was on had it in their library. WARNING it can seem confusing to start off with. Its a historial fiction about the Miners' Strike. I actually really enjoyed the confusion of it all, you have a diary entry of an average joe on one side of the page then a novel who's chapters are split into weeks of the strike. You end up flipping back and fourth alot trying to get it all in. I left this book half way through since it still was too big for me to drag around and secondly because it really started to bring be down . . . corruption, money - power - control. I read it dirrectly after Homage to Catalonia and started to be sick of human behaviour in general. I will pick it up and finish it now that I am home and don't need to drag it around.

The Princess Bride
S. Morgenstern - Classic. For all those who watched and loved the movie as a kid, this will bring back the greatest memories and let you hear Vizzine lisp "INCONCEIVABLE" in the dialogue in your head and it makes all your adventures a bit more fun, the crazy cliffs that you kayak past become the cliffs of insanity. Classic.

Pattern Recognition
William Gibson - William Gibson is said to be the god father of cyber punk novels. This is a more recent one of his that I would say he has not lost his touch. You will be infatuated with the main character unsure if you want to be with her or be her. The discriptions of London, Tokyo and Moscow are brilliant along with the internet message board world. Its a gate way drug to the cyber punk world.

VURT Jeff Noon - Yet another cyber punk novel. Dealing with drugs, dreams, virtual reality, love, sex and fighting cops. Jeff Noon takes you to the world of the Vurt filled with robodog, shadowgoth, robocrustie, pures and many more. This book will take you a bit longer to read then the average novel but really its worth getting your head around the stash riders world.

Around The World In Eighty Days Jules Verne - Mud traded something to get this. I felt through out the book that I was going to be asked to write an essay on how the British colonists viewed the orient and the other. The discriptions of cultures and places were so full of arrogant sterotypes. Yet its a great read to have when you are traveling. Any time you are taking long journeys of trains, boats, buses etc, you can always say Phileas Fogg would have been proud. It started an adventure reading tread for Mud. Which resulting in her naming her dragon (the one that would accompany her on her adventures after I left) Jules.

The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown - Ok there was this couple that saw me reading The Princess Bride and got all excited, they wanted to know if they could trade it for some classic after I was done. They were all cute about it. The guy had never read it before and the two of them were going to read it out loud to each other. A few days went by and we never say them. We had given up on the trade untill we ran into them agian on the way to Bangkok. We gave them the book happily only to discover The Da Vinci Code was all they had left to trade. I had avoided reading this book for years, since EVERYONE plus your grandmother has raved about it. It felt like reading the subtitles to a Hollywood film. Don't get me wrong the female goddess stuff was interesting and made we want to look at paintings in a new way. But nothing has screamed block buster to me like this before. So wait and watch the film, its on its way out.

The Plough and Stars Sean O'Casey - This is an Irish play that created mad controversy when it first came out. Its a critique of the Easter Uprising. Basically saying that it was out of touch with what the working class people wanted. Its a realist play and blatently says what it likes. And really a nice touch of Dublin while you are away.

Heart of a Dog Mikhail Bulgakov - This book was lent to me by Doc, saying it was a good travel book. Its a parady of the Russian Revolution. Very weird, very good. But it did make me start to wonder about my book choices.

Parody/discription/analysis of revolution:
Books where animals stand up like humans: 3/11
That means more then 25% of the books I read had dogs or pigs walking around like humans.

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homage to catalonia is up there with my favourite books. It's one of the few that i've re-read multiple times. Have you read Joyce's Dubliners? really descriptive short stories that describe Dublin and its people of the time perfectly.
Yeah I really enjoyed that last william gibson one too - funny how the man who amost "invented" the internet (well conceptually) can still right a good pacy "relevent" book set in the now - I was pleasently surpried. Think Jeff Noon has never really equaled vurt tho' - I hated Pollen. Homage to catalonia is grade A and makes new little anarchists for us every day - kp
I think the whole thing with Gibson is that effecitively reality has essentially caught up with the sort of world he was describing in the mid 1980's. Pattern Recognition is the last one of his I've read too. I haven't read his earlier stuff in years and years, several of his novels were passed around among school mates in study years ago. One of them was inspired enough to take a lead and start writing his own novel, several chapters of which apparently are complete. Anyway - if interested in a gander here's a chapter he recently published on his blog he wrote in a bored series of study halls years ago.
Sorry, that there be the link
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