Monday, April 4, 2011

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

"Then the fish came alive, with his death in him,
and rose high out of the water
showing all his great length and width
and all his power and beauty."

I know that this book is studied as a literary masterpiece. I know that it's used to demonstrate successful symbolism. I know that it's a "deeper" story than just a tale about an old man and the sea. But I gotta tell you...all I got was the old man and his journey catching a fish. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book. It was well-written and I was able to finish it easily in a day (it's only like 125 pages). I was sad for Santiago, who had gone so long without catching a fish that the other villagers laughed at him and talked about his bad luck. He's so determined and optimistic that day 85 will be his day to catch a fish, and he hooks the largest marlin you can imagine, only to have the fish torn apart by sharks as he tries to return to shore. It was very sad, and I can see where you would be able to draw parallels between his experience and the way we sometimes allow our dreams and pursuits to consume us, but I didn't get much more out of the book than just a good story.

Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

"Yeah, but she's my psychopath."

I still don't know how to accurately review this novel. I read it in its entirety in one day, which tends to make me like books more because I don't have to wait for things to happen. In this book are a lot of elements of my favorite tv shows, Criminal Minds and 24--FBI profilers, serial killers, torture, a drug-addicted hero, families broken by careers in law enforcement, etc. What was most interesting is that the main killer you deal with, Gretchen, is a woman.

One downside to this book was the language. It wasn't the worst I've read, but for some reason lately I've been avoiding books with much swearing, so the foul language that was in this book really stood out to me.

Also, if you have a weak stomach, you wouldn't do well with the torture scenes. It's interesting: I realize now that I've never read torture scenes, only seen them on 24. But reading them didn't bother me much and it's probably because I'm interested in that genre of television shows.

I just found out that this book is actually the first in a series of 4, and I think I'll definitely be reading the remaining 3. I'll let you know what I think.