Archive for June, 2009

The Great Gatsby

Posted in City with tags , on Tuesday, June 30 by City


Once in awhile you hear whispers of something mentioned over and over until its more like a dull hum in the background and you can’t help but notice it. I think that’s what happened with Gatsby and all these great things he was apparently doing. I will say that Mr. Gatsby is pretty great. He’s a guy that you feel for and understand that he hasn’t done everything the right way, but you aren’t mad at him for it. Even if you do blame him for what’s gone wrong in his little rich neck of Long Island you are mostly proud or envious of him enough to not worry too much about it.

I will say the book does have some good characters and complicated love stories. There’s a kind of noir element to the subtle mafia sub-story and a few deaths thrown in there. There are a few men beatin on their women. But even describing it that way makes it sound much more exciting than it actually is. Basically Gatsby threw a bunch of really great parties in order to get the girl of his dreams. But he was in love with the dream, not the girl.

That’s pretty much all you need to know about the book. There are a bunch of soap opera happenings with the affluent neighborhood that he is in and there is a lot of American Dreaming going on in the head of our narrator and minor character, who is Mr Gatsby’s young neighbor. I’m not sure what to think of this book exactly. F Scott Fitzgeral was an American golden boy of sorts who set the work in a sort of utopian New York Suburb. I don’t mean utopian as in it was a perfect place, I mean it in the sense that it was possibly the best place on Earth. People credit the book for having beautifully described the “Jazz Age” of the US. It was a time before the depression, cars where just getting everywhere, it probably was a fantastical place compared to the rest of the world at the time, but it still seems kind of boring to me. I think everyone is in love with the fact that Fitzgerald wrote a good story and really nailed the American aspect of it. So Fitzgerald wrote the greatest book about America, the greatest place in the world – especially New York in the 20’s, therefore this book is the greatest book in the world. I guess you can’t argue with that logic.

Who am I to doubt a guy who spent the rest of his days palling around Europe with Hemingway. 10/10 greatest book ever.


Book Review: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on Sunday, June 28 by KevinLHinton

Holy Shit. This book rules. In my experience, if  a book has ever been banned from schools, there is a pretty good chance it is bad ass. Brave New World does not dissapoint.

This is a science fiction novel writtein in 1932 about a futuristic “Utopia” where the society is made up of genetically engineered and brainwashed test-tube babies to happily accept their pre-determined caste. Simply as a Sci Fi book – it is sweet. It reads like it was written today instead of 80 years ago. The style is easy and enjoyable to read, and the book is not that long.

But somehow it packs into its 260 pages about everything I could ask for in an facinating way that makes sense. Drugs. Sex. More sex. Orgys.. Orgys with drugs. Religious fanaticism. Orgys with religious fanatacism and drugs. The ethics of science. High tech simulated pornography, with drugs. Slavery. Racism. Obsession with celebrity. Consumerism. The value of isolation. Obsession with beauty/youth. The meaning of death. Social inequity. Abortion. Government/Corporate manipulation and control. Censorship. Societies sick interest/obsession with violence as entertianment.  Massive orgy with violence. Exploration of God. Debate over values. Truth vs. Happyness.

Huxley identfies in 1932 everthing that is wrong with the world in 2009. The characters are well developed, interesting, and evolve through the story. It is not like there is the generic good guy, bad guy, hot chick. They are all good and evil.

Read this book. I give it a 8 for easyness to read, and 10 for content. If you remain unconvinced, chew on this – the movie Demolition Man was inspired by this book.

Book Review: Sword of Shannarah by Terry Brooks

Posted in Big Dog on Saturday, June 6 by KevinLHinton

It is hard to for to really say anything too negative about this book – it is the first fantasy adventure I ever read and it is what got me interested in the genre to begin with. I read it in elementary school, and thought that I would give it another go. It was still a really entertaining read, but I was BLOWN AWAY by how much of a rip off this book is of LOTR. It is literally like reading LOTR light. Some people say Star Wars is a copy of LOTR, but that is not what I mean. This is basically the exact same story.

Quick rundown of the plot of this book: 2 hobbits are chased out of there safe village by a ringwraith, but not before a mysterious and powerful wizard had warned them of their danger and instructed them to flee to some other city. Upon arrival in the city, a fellowship consisting of 2 hobbits, 2 elves, 1 dwarf, 2 men, and 1 wizard unite to travel to kill the Warlock Lord in Mordor. one of the hobbits is the one who carrys the burden of ultimately needing to kill the Warlock Lord with the Sword of Shannarah. Eventually the hobbit has to separate from the group and face the final part of the journey solo, as the remaining fellowship defends the biggest free city against a massive army consisting of gnomes and trolls.

Long story short – this book rules. It is written like Angels & Demons or some other page turner, but in fantasy format. I enjoyed it very much. It gets a rating of 9 for easyness to read, and 6 for quality.

Also – last summer I read a prequel to the Shannarh series. It is a trilogy called “Genesis of Shannarah” – the first book is all I have read, titled “Armageddon’s Children”. I liked this book about as much acutally. Basically, the premise is that we are in a post-apocolpytic America in an epic battle of good vs. evil. Not quite as much fantasy though – more man vs. deamon, with some elves thrown in. Ultimately the adventure appears to be leading to some epic event that changes the landscape of earth as we know it, and leading into the original Sword of Shanarrah series. What makes this series particularly interesting though, is that most of it takes place in Seattle after it has been nuked. The elves live in the forests east of the Oregon Coast. I recommend this book as well.