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The Secret Place (2014, Viking) 2 stars

Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting for his chance to join Dublin’s Murder Squad when …

Don't read

2 stars

I was impressed by all her past works I've read, the quality of the language, the tension buildup.

In this one the ravings of a bunch of teenage, rich teenage girls with sentences such as "it as like, ewww, I don't know". So you could say that the ambience is well recreated but it sure makes for a long a boring read. At about 25% I went to read other reviews who all said it didn't get better until the end so I have to admit I left it at that.

Civilization and Its Discontents (Paperback, 2002, Penguin) 4 stars

Civilization and Its Discontents is a book by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. It …

Everyone should read this book

4 stars

I was directed to this work by listening to an episode of France Culture's Chemins de la philosophie: L'universel, à l'épreuve du mal.

I won't go into the details but Kristeva was talking about the attitude contemporary society should adopt towards the conept of "evil", given the spreading of what has come to be called polulism. Freud, looking out from the basic economy (not money but the management of forces in the mind) of the libido and death drives gives us a very raw vision of society and it's attempt to organize and maintain a semblance of cohesion. I'm very surprised that a work that, to me, seems so rich in consequences and potential has not been looked into by others.

Journey to the End of the Night (French: Voyage au bout de la nuit, 1932) …

Lecture longue et penible

3 stars

Desole pour le manque d'accents, mon clavier n'en a pas.

J'ai longtemps hesite avant de lire ce classique car je connaissais l'antisemitisme passione de l'auteur. En general les extremistes en toutes choses ont un discours qui m'ennui tres vite. Ils repetent toujours la meme chose de maniere similaire ou differente mais toujours la meme chose. Je me suis enfin resolu a le lire pour me rendre compte que ce que je craignais se realisait: en gros on peut resumer les quelques 400 pages par ces mots: chienne de vie, nous sommes des vers pourris sur une terre pourrie. Ce sont mes mots mais je crois que je traduis assez fidelement le message de l'auteur. Il a bien sur son stlyle a lui et fait souvent de bonnes trouvailles mais la repetition incessante rend la lecture lassante. N'allez pas m'assassiner pour la comparaison mais il m'a fait penser a La Putain …

Borges and the eternal orangutans (Paperback, 2005, New Directions) 3 stars

Entertaining little book

3 stars

Read this book because I'm just back from Buenos Aires which totally charmed me and where the action of this novel is located.

A thriller a la A.E.Poe the goal is to find who murdered one of the participants to a Poe convention that has been moved at the last minute to Buenos Aires.

Allow me to quote to give you a better idea of the tone: "And you told us what the story would be like if you had written it. Urquiza was to kill Johnson. Urquiza was to invoke the powerful beings from the South, Azathoth and Yog-Sothoth, and to be the embodiment of Hastur, the destroyer, he who walks in the wind, so as to prevent Johnson from revealing even more than he already had, quite innocently, revealed of the language of the Necronomicon and of the secret code concealed in Poe’s literature. Everything had been set …

The Butterfly House 2 stars

Hospitals are supposed to be places of healing. But in the coronary care unit at …

Poor quality "whodunit"

2 stars

The problem with this type of work is that the genre has been firmly established by Agatha Christie quite a while ago and the structure as such does not present many surprises. In consequence if someone wants to write an original and interesting thriller that author has to come up with something else that's original. Katrine Engberg does definitively not succeed. First she constantly introduces new characters to the point that from the get go the reader becomes quite confused as to who is who and the fact that I'm not Danish and the names of course are doesn't help. Second the characters have shallow personalities whose actions and reactions are stereotypical to the point of seeming to be copied from some high school manual. I could go on but I think that gives a good idea of the work. In my humble opinion don't waste your time.

Never 2 stars

The new must-read epic from master storyteller Ken Follett: more than a thriller, it's an …

Would have expected better from him

2 stars

You're probably too young to remember painting by numbers. Basically when you bought that, you got a board on which you found the outline of what was being painted in (a tiger, a house, etc) and this outline was filled with small numbered areas. You applied paint #1 to the areas numbered 1, 2 to the 2s and the final result was a beautiful tiger in full colour which you could then show to your friends pretending you painted that. This novel by Follett reminds me exactly of that. It seems to be written by Mr Follett following a pretty exact recipe on how to write a spy novel. You have to hang in during the first 75% because not much exciting happens. Things get a bit more lively towards the end but by then I had mostly lost my patience. Nevertheless reading a work on a possible scenario leading …

started reading Swann's Way by Marcel Proust

Swann's Way (Paperback, 2004, Penguin Classics) 5 stars

Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time is one of the most entertaining reading experiences …

The title should not be Swann's Way but A la recherche du temps perdu. This is the title that Proust gave to a series of books that would be like chapters in one long book called A la recherche. The total is more than 4000 pages and although many claim to have read it in its totality it's assumed few have. I had read separate books during my life but not the whole. A la recherche du temps perdu is comprised of the following books each well over 600 pages: Du côté de chez Swann A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleur Le côté de Germantes Sodomie et Gomorrhe La prisonnière Albertine disparue Le temps retrouvé

It took me a while, not an easy work so can't read casually. Something important that was on my bucket list that I'm glad I can check as "done".

Incredible work with incredibly enlightening …

The philosophy of Schopenhauer (1997, Clarendon Press, Oxford University Press) 4 stars

Uniquely accurate explanation of a philosophy

4 stars

I have read many introductions to philosophers but this is in my opinion the best I've read. If you want to not only understand the remarkable philosophy of Schopenhauer but also avoid the obvious pitfalls of any even modestly complex system of thought, then read this book. But be warned, it's not easy reading and it's definitively not condensed (465 pages).

replied to airdog's status

Adorno said (Sorry if I'm too lazy to fetch the exact quote) that all good music had to be listened to through gritted teeth.

What he meant by that is that all good music is the result of very exacting work and the result is that it challenges our understanding of the world as we had conceived of it to that moment.

I think this book proves this true. It was written through gritted teeth and needs to be read the same way.