Showing posts from April, 2015

Signs that a true genius has appeared in the world

No other book is as infectiously humorous and as enjoyably absurd as A Confederacy of Dunces. I would like to have met its author, John Kennedy Toole, someday, if it wasn't for the misfortune of his suicide eleven years prior to the publication of this cult classic-turned-mainstream sensation. I think this is the third Pulitzer award-winning novel that I have read since Middlesex and The Orphan Master's Son, and so far the streak of such critically-acclaimed pieces has yet to let me down. It took me a whole week to finish this book only because I had X-Men comics books squeezed in to read and review in between, but if they weren't there, I can honestly say that I would've finished Toole's book in just two days because even the grimy parts are so riveting.

This was a gripping tale akin to superb situational comedies in television, composed of an ensemble of not-always-likable characters who misunderstand the intentions and needs of others including their own. That,…

Rainbow wings bloodied yet still fluttering

On deciding for the title of this novel, writer Jerzy Kosinki was inspired by the symbolic use of birds in literature which "allowed certain people to deal with actual events and characters without the restrictions which the writing of history imposes". He states that there was a certain peasant custom he witnessed as a child before in which he describes it as follows:
"One of the villagers' favorite entertainment was trapping birds, painting their feathers, and then releasing them in the air to rejoin their flock. As these brightly colored creatures sought the safety of their fellows, the other birds, seeing them as threatening aliens, attacked and tore at the outcasts until they killed them.Due to the controversial nature and content of this book, I was surprised that I even stumbled upon a copy about a year ago while once again casually flipping through the general section of a bookstore. I've only known about the book months prior to acquiring it, and …

Of men of old and their lesser gods

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is a substantial and illuminating piece of African literature written by its author in the English language with the purposes of not only portraying the Nigerian tribal culture through the neutral lenses of one of its native writers, but also to connect with a wider, global audience who very much need a fresh perspective when it comes to how Africans live, worship and govern themselves as families and clans. In this sense, most of the critical acclaim that this novel received is well-deserved. I could definitely agree that it's something schools should require for students to read and analyse in their literature classes. I also think that the broader strokes that Achebe achieved in writing Things Fall Apart must be better appreciated, I believe, with the sequels that followed it. I myself feel encouraged to pick them up someday. For now, I'm content to lavish on the richly detailed significant moments that happened in this book which were …

A Divergence Between Two Places

Two years ago, I spotted Palace Walk in a bookshelf and thought that this might be an interesting read because the last time I encountered a story that has something to do with Muslim culture was in Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and that was it. Still, I always strive to expand my preferences and immerse myself on literature that is more culturally diverse than I'm more used to. In all honesty, I also selected to buy this particular book because of the Nobel Prize Awardee label attached to it. So trusting that alone, I essentially went blind purchasing this novel, not knowing what to expect. I didn't even research about the book afterwards, and only done so once I finally finished it last night during a four-day Holy Week vacation at a beach resort.

In addition to reading Magneto Testament (which I just finished under an hour) Palace Walk has filled my humid, sea-drenched days with unexpected humor and entertainment each time I turn its pages, because this was actuall…