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mirimione

The Bookworm's Den

Worming my way through books since 1998 

Kleine Geschichte des Hasses

Glühend haß ich sie! Vererben

Will ich dir, mein Sohn, den Haß.

Hier auf diesem Altar sollst du

Ew'gen Haß den Menschen schwören!

 

Sei der Todfeind jener argen

Unterdrücker, unversöhnlich,

Bis ans Ende deiner Tage –

Schwör es, schwör es hier, mein Sohn!«

 

Und der Jüngling schwur, wie eh'mals

Hannibal. Der Mond beschien

Gräßlich gelb den alten Blutstein

Und die beiden Misanthropen. – –

 

- Atta Troll, Heinrich Heine (Caput X)

 

Kapitalismuskritik im 19. Jhdt.

Nach den Gütern dieser Erde

Greifen alle um die Wette,

Und das ist ein ew'ges Raufen,

Und ein jeder stiehlt für sich!

 

Ja, das Erbe der Gesamtheit

Wird dem einzelnen zur Beute,

Und von Rechten des Besitzes

Spricht er dann, von Eigentum!

Atta Troll, Heinrich Heine (Caput X)

 

 

Currently Reading: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (p. 264)

Carry On - Rainbow Rowell

Baz has finally appeared on the scene and things have started to pick up - by which I mean that there's finally some tension in the story, and not only self-reflective teenage angst. It was really getting a bit too much for me. The prejudice-fuelled tension between Simon and Baz is lovely though - the only thing I would criticise is that they went too quickly from "you're my worst enemy and I hate your guts" to "I still don't like you, but I'll help you in any way I can". I don't think that that transition was handled well. But other than that I'm really glad for Baz's arrival in the story. It's made things a hundred times more interesting.

Kissing and Spitting ...

For a moment - not even a moment, a split second - I imagine him saying, "The truth is, I'm desperately attracted to you." And then I imagine myself spitting in his face. And then I imagine licking it off his cheek and kissing him. (Because I'm disturbed. Ask anyone.)

- Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, p. 205 (ch. 38)

 

Hands down my favourite quote from this book so far xD! (And my favourite chapter too, but more on that later, hopefully ;)!)

Currently Reading: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (p. 128)

Carry On - Rainbow Rowell

I started reading this months ago, and am just now getting back into it. Honestly, I really have no clue whether I like or don't like this book so far, but here are a couple of thoughts: 

 

  • I hate the Mage. Not just because he's an awful character so far, but because I think that he's meant to be this book's version of Dumbledore, and Dumbledore would NEVER have acted towards Harry in the way that the Mage acts towards Simon. Never ever. His behaviour seems directly lifted from the fanfiction trope "manipulative!Dumbledore", according to which Dumbledore is basically an evil bastard, who only uses Harry for his own purposes in the fight against Voldemort. (And I hate that so much - I love Dumbledore. He's one of my favourite characters, and even though he can be manipulaitve for sure, I do believe that he genuinely cared for Harry's well-being. And this Mage guy doesn't care for Simon's well-being at all. He's power-crazed and vain - two things that Dumbledore definitely never was.)

 

  • Simon is a really annoying character. He's so, so whiny and irritating to me.I really don't know why Penny cares for him - or Agatha. (Agatha is damn annoying too, by the way.) I think the issue is that the book starts right in the middle of a very difficult time for Simon - he's (presumably) just survived a confrontation with the book's main villain, there's trouble with his girlfriend, his idol (the Mage) is trying to get rid of him by sending him away ... obviously he's not going to be all sunshine and happiness. But still - as a reader, I haven't seen him do any admirable stuff or anything which would make me like or sympathise with him. So at this point I'm basically just annoyed by all the whining and sighing that's going on.

 

  • ... Which sort of ties into my next point: I'm on page 128, and the action still hasn't really set in. I really wish that something would happen already, other than Simon wandering about the castle and whining about where Baz has disappeared off to and whether the Insidious Humdrum (or whatever the main villain is called) will attack or not.

 

  • Penny is great. Period. (Actually, I'd love it if she was the main character. I'm much more interested in her than in Simon ...) She's witty and funny, lovely and smart - I'd really love to get to know more about her background. Fingers crossed she'll feature more and more in the course of the novel (more than Agatha in any case ...).
SPOILER ALERT!

Reading progress update: I've read 261 out of 360 pages.

Arthur & George - Julian Barnes

Finally reached the last hundred pages! So, what are my thoughts up until now? (I'm literally asking myself this question)

 

Well, the first thing that comes to mind: the pages are too damn looooooong. I know, that's a really shallow complaint to have ... but I hate it when I feel like I'm not progressing through the book at all. It takes me like an hour to read even 20 pages O_O - and that's because my edition has only 360 pages in total, whereas other editions have over 500 ... *grumbles*

Other than that though, I still think the book is brilliant. I've read comments by other people, arguing that it's a bit wordy and that it takes too long for Arthur and George to meet up, but I disagree - I think the pacing is just right and it's a joy to slowly discover how these two people's lives are going to cross. Plus, everything that happens in the meantime is really exciting - including the institutional racism and the trial against George. And now that Sir Arthur has taken up the investigation for George's sake, my eyes are basically glued to every page.

 

One thing I will say though is that you need your full concentration while reading in order to enjoy this book. This is a novel that's obviously meant to make you think - about racism, justice, religion, belief, public image, love and one's (chosen and dictated) purpose in life. To sum up: heavy, thought-provoking stuff wrapped in a fascinating crime story in post-Victorian England.

Reading progress update: I've read 83 out of 360 pages.

Arthur & George - Julian Barnes

I really like this book so far, mostly because the characters are fascinating! It's told from two alternating points of view: from "Arthur's" and "George's". As becomes clear pretty quickly, the "Arthur" in this story is actually Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and as a Sherlock Holmes fan it's incredibly interesting to read about the author's life and his relationship to his most famous creation (which wasn't a great one, famously).

 

What's truly incredible is that even with such a well-known titular partner, the "George" in this book is really quite equally interesting - I really enjoy his unique perspective on the world. It's very British, in a way xD. He's really quite proper and ordered in his appearance and dealings - and he's in love with the law ;). But he manages to be quite charming and endearing at the same time - just a sweetheart really.

 

To sum up: I love it so far!

SPOILER ALERT!

Rick Riordan - Percy Jackson: Diebe im Olymp

Diebe im Olymp (Percy Jackson, #1) - Rick Riordan

Nun gut, obwohl es sehr verlockend ist, werd' ich dieses Review nicht damit verbringen, alle möglichen Vergleiche zu Harry Potter zu ziehen (von denen es wirklich eine Menge gibt ...). Das haben andere schon auf wesentlich humorvollere und prägnantere Art und Weise gemacht (z.B. die Träume die der Hauptcharakter ständig vom großen Antagonisten hat, die Schule für außergewöhnliche Kinder, die beiden side-kicks, die Organisation der Schule in Häuser/Hütten ... nun gut, jetzt hab' ich's doch ansatzweise gemacht ... :P).

 

Trotz der Ähnlichkeiten fand ich das Buch aber echt okay - nicht das originellste was ich je gelesen habe, aber es waren genügend eigenständige Ideen enthalten, sodass es echt Spaß gemacht hat mehr über Percys Welt zu erfahren. Besonders amüsant fand ich die Arten und Weisen, wie sich die Götter (äußerlich) an die moderne Welt angepasst haben. Ein Kriegsgott mit Lederjacke auf einer Harley Davidson gibt schon was her ... (Gut, den Olymp über dem Empire State Building hätt' ich nicht unbedingt gebraucht, aber soll sein ...)

 

Ich fand Percy als Hauptcharakter auch wirklich amüsant und liebenswert. Sein Sarkasmus ist wirklich göttlich (:P) und es ist toll wieviel Wert er auf seine Freunde legt. Das Einzige, was ich bekritteln würde: die Beziehung zu seinen Eltern. Wenn man bedenkt, dass er gerade mal zwölf sein soll und seine Mutter sein einziger Bezugspunkt ist, dann steckt er ihren vermeintlichen Tod relativ gut weg. Zwar beschreibt der Autor durchaus Percys Traurigkeit ... aber ich denke, dass der Verlust der Mutter in dem Alter sich schon etwas dramatischer abzeichnet als nur mit ein paar Tränen und dann findet sich schon eine Aufgabe mit der man sich ablenken kann. Das fand ich etwas unrealistisch. Und auch Percys Beziehung zu seinem echten Vater war etwas seltsam - ich hätte mir etwas mehr Wut über dessen lange Absenz erwartet. Aber stattdessen akzeptiert Percy das mehr oder weniger, schluckt seinen Zorn hinunter und ist dann sogar stolz auf seinen Göttervater. Nun gut, vielleicht ist das doch die angemessene Reaktion für einen zwölfjährigen der rausfindet, dass sein Vater ein Gott ist ... aber auf der anderen Seite sind (beinahe) Teenager nach meiner Erfahrung nie so verständnisvoll. Aber schauen wir mal wie sich das noch entwickelt.

 

Toll an dem Buch fand ich auf jeden Fall die ganzen griechischen Mythen, die in die Geschichte eingeflossen sind. Riordan hat mir echt Lust gemacht, die alle noch einmal zu lesen - und auch ein paar neue zu entdecken. Und das find' ich schon eine tolle Leistung! Alles in allem daher ein wirklich tolles Buch :)!

Frage 38!

"Aber ich war doch nie in meinem Leben auf dem Olymp! Zeus spinnt!"

 

[...]

 

"Äh, Percy ...?" sagte Grover. "Wir benutzen solche Wörter nicht, wenn es um den Herrn des Himmel geht."

 

"Paranoid könntest du ihn vielleicht nennen", schlug Chiron vor. "Aber anderersetis wäre es nicht Poseidons erster Versuch, Zeus zu entmachten. Ich glaube, das war Frage 38 in deiner letzten Klausur ..." Er sah mich an, als erwarte er wirklich, dass ich mich an Frage 38 errinnern könnte.

 

- Percy Jackson: Diebe im Olymp, Mir wird eine Aufgabe angeboten

 

Ganz davon abgesehen, dass ich es wahnsinnig finde, dass es einen Test mit (wahrscheinlich) über 38 Fragen geben kann ... lol. Ich glaube solche Lehrer wir Chiron kennen wir alle ...

"Aber ich fand es ein wenig demütigend, langsamer zu sein als ein Baum."

Für den restlichen Tag war ich mit Freiluftaktivitäten beschäftigt. Ich suchte etwas, in dem ich gut war. [...]

 

Laufen? Auch kein Erfolg. Die Waldnymphen, die mich unterrichten sollten, sausten mir sofort davon. Sie meinten, ich solle mir darüber nicht den Kopf zerbrechen. Sie hätten Jahrhunderte Übung darin, vor liebeskranken Göttern wegzurennen. Aber trotzdem fand ich es ein wenig demütigend, langsamer zu sein als ein Baum.

 

- Percy Jackson: Diebe im Olymp, Wir erobern eine Flagge

 

Das ist eines der Dinge, die ich an diesem Buch liebe - der Humor. Ich versteh' Percys Frustration da sehr gut ... xD

SPOILER ALERT!

Reading progress update: I've read 310 out of 448 pages.

Diebe im Olymp (Percy Jackson, #1) - Rick Riordan

Also, Percy und seine zwei side-kicks befinden sich mittlerweile auf dem Weg nach Los Angeles, weil sich dort das Tor zur Unterwelt befindet. Camp Halbblut haben sie schon lange hinter sich gelassen - was ich persönlich schade finde, weil ich noch gern mehr über das tägliche Leben in diesem Camp erfahren hätte und auch die Dynamik zwischen Percy und den anderen Bewohnern relativ spannend fand. Vielleicht ist das die Harry Potter Seele i mir, aber ich liebe einfach die alltäglichen Details - welche Lehrer mag Percy besonders? Mit welcher Hütte kommt er besonders gut aus? Wer hat Camp Halbblut überhaupt erschaffen? Das sind alles Fragen auf die ich mir eine etwas ausführlichere Antwort erwartet hätte ... Oder erhofft hätte. Aber nun gut es gibt immerhin noch ein paar Bände mehr, warten wir also ab ;-).

 

Ich hätte es außerdem cooler gefunden, denke ich, wenn die Identität von Percys Vater noch ein wenig länger geheim geblieben wäre. Klar, für den nicht völlig bescheuerten Leser war es ohnehin klar ... Aber trotzdem. Irgendwie ging mir das dann zu schnell. Aber das ist ein Kritikpunkt den ich mir noch für das eigentliche Review aufspare.

 

Trotz meines Interesses am Camp ist die Reise bisher wirklich spannend - mir gefiel vor allem die Episode in Mississipi als Percy einen kurzen Tauchgang im Fluss eingelegt hat! Jetzt bin ich gespannt auf Las Vegas. Hoffentlich wird das besser als im Film. Da fand ich das nämlich grauenhaft.

Reading progress update: I've read 226 out of 448 pages.

Diebe im Olymp (Percy Jackson, #1) - Rick Riordan

Ganz ehrlich, am Anfang war ich nicht so begeistert. Es hat schon sehr wie ein schlechtes Harry Potter Abklatsch gewirkt. Aber ... Ich muss zugeben, mittlerweile hat mich das Buch schon ein wenig in seinen Bann gezogen. Ein definitives Plus is die Fantasie des Autors - klar erkennt man die Vorlage ... Aber er schafft es dann doch immer wieder ganz lustige und interessante Extras hinzuzufügen, die einen dann schon auch schmunzeln lassen. Ich werd dann später ein paar Zitate machen. Zuerst les ich aber mal weiter ;-).

George R. R. Martin - The Ice Dragon

The Ice Dragon - George R.R. Martin

This is a lovely little book that has quite the fairy-tale-feel to it, in that the characters don't have that much of an individual personality and the setting is pretty unspecific, both time- and location-wise. It's really quite a charming little tale - I mean, it's got dragons in it, how can it NOT be?!

 

Still though, it's very different from the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, and even though it's apparently supposed to be set in Westeros, I could basically see this taking place anywhere (... By which I mean "in any fantasy world"). As part of the fairy tale genre, this is an excellent read, however :-)!

SPOILER ALERT!

FINISHED :D!

A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin

So, at the end of this book, what are my thoughts?

 

1) THE CHAPTERS: I enjoyed Jon's chapters massively (.. except for ONE MASSIVE DOWNER). I thought his continued struggle concerning his code of honour as the Lord Commander and his desire to help his family was really well portrayed. And there really was a lot of exciting stuff going on at the wall besides. I really liked Tormund - his exchanges with Jon were brilliant to read. And Val was fantastic too, for that matter :).

 

I wasn't too keen on Tyrion's chapters in the beginning, to be honest. They were very slow and Tyrion was in a really depressed and "fuck the world" kind of mood - understandably so, of course, but that doesn't make it any more fun to read. Towards the end his chapters really picked up pace, however, and I really loved the addition of Penny as his sidekick. She's a really sweet girl and it's interesting to find out how other "dwarves" actually live their lives in this world.

 

The real kickass chapters were Reek's/Theon's though. I won't lie, they ARE difficult to read and you shouldn't spend too much time picturing Ramsay's torture methods ... but, again, Theon's struggle between his old and new identity was beautiful to read - especially once Jeyne Poole arrived and he was clearly torn between his fear of Ramsay and his desire to help the poor girl. I'm really curious to find out what'll happen to him in the next book, now that he's arrived in Stannis' camp. Assuming that Stannis is alive ...

 

2) LENGTH: I have to admit, even though I enjoyed this book a lot ... it did feel a bit stretched out, sometimes. Dany's chapters, for instance - sometimes there didn't seem to be much going on at all. And I wasn't a big fan of Victarion's or Quentyn's chapters - even though especially the latter was a lovely contrast to Dany's storyline with the dragons, I suppose. I don't know, I think I just feel like this whole upcoming battle in Slaver's Bay is one battle too many? I think that Dany should really be making for Westeros already, if she's ever going to arrive there - she's been staying in Essos for too long. And especially now that there seems to be another contender for the Iron Throne of Targaryen blood ... (By the way, even though I enjoyed reading the Young Griff chapters ... on another level, his appearance bugs me. It feels a bit deus ex machina to me. But who knows - given that things never turn out as one thinks they will, I wouldn't bet too much money on Aegon actually sitting the Iron Throne ... but that's just my opinion.)

 

All in all I enjoyed this book massively, however, and I'm glad that I only read it now, when it seems like the publication of Winds of Winter isn't too far off ... fingers crossed ;)!

SPOILER ALERT!

"He thought of Arya, her hair as tangled as a bird's nest."

Jon flexed the fingers of his sword hand. The Night's Watch takes no part. He closed his fist and opened it again. What you propose is nothing less than treason. He thought of Robb, with snowflakes melting in his hair. Kill the boy and let the man be born. He thought of Bran, clambering up a tower wall, agile as a monkey. Of Rickon's breathless laughter. Of Sansa, brushing out Lady's coat and singing to herself. You know nothing, Jon Snow. He thought of Arya, her hair as tangled as a bird's nest. I made him a warm cloak from the skins of the six whores who came with him to Winterfell ... I want my bride back ... I want my bride back ... I want my bride back ...

 

'I think we had best change the plan,' Jon Snow said.

 

- A Dance with Dragons, Jon XIII

 

YES! YES! YES! :) Even though I know he's not going to find the real Arya ... but yes, he finally decides to go and help his family! This moment is so emotional, it's really epic to read!

SPOILER ALERT!

Reading progress update: I've read 990 out of 1056 pages.

A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin

Last 60 pages people! Nearly done! Only one more Jon, Barristan and Daenerys chapter left - and the epilogue of course! Excited!!! Especially since at least two of these chapters should hopefully blow my mind ;-)! Yay for Dany and Jon!

 

What else has been happening though? As I thought/hoped I got to know more about Theon through Asha's POV chapter - and it was glorious! Thank God he's free - him and Jeyne both! I'm excited for what's in store for them in the next book!

 

I also really enjoyed reading about Tyrion - I feel like he finally has got his groove back and he's ready for some smart little scheming and intriguing! I'm really excited how he's going to turn the second sons back to Daenerys' side in the next book. I'm sure it'll be epic! Plus, I'm actually really excited to see what will happen to Penny. She's one of those minor characters which I really grew to love throughout this book and I love how protective Tyrion is of her. They've got a sweet friendship I think - even if it's slightly imbalanced in that Tyrion is obviously in charge. But Penny is actually very persuasive in her own way - I don't think that many people could have persuaded Tyrion to ride a pig ...

 

Anyway, see you at the end of the book ;-)!