Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning…that’s the opening line in the book, and as the circus this book arrived to my life unannounced. I hadn’t heard of it until one day, at the bookstore the seller recommended it. The cover caught my attention almost immediately with the white and black tent...plus it was on sale ;). 

I devoured this book, like I haven’t in a while. To say this is a story of 2 magicians would be to bring the story down. Yes, there is magic in it, but for me it was the one made by Erin Morgenstern describing the whole making and happening of the circus. To read the book and feel the smell of candy apples, hot chocolate, to feel mesmerized by every single enchantment performed by Celia or Marco…to wish endlessly that you could visit the Ice Garden…that was the magic. 

The story begins in the 19th century, but jumps farther in the “future” and as you advance the two timelines finally join each other. I fell in love with every character, the twins, Tsukiko, even Alexander and Prospero. It has it’s dark moments, but that is perhaps what I liked the most, that is not a happy ever after story, is intricate, is complex, is sad, as live. But as life, it gives you passion, excitement and magic. Apparently this is Morgenstern first novel, so I can’t wait to see what she has in hand. I would dismiss comparisons to Harry Potter or Twilight, as I saw several critics did. I’ve read both series, and I didn’t feel any similarity in the thematic. Anyway, I hope people enjoy this book as much as I did, for it make me happy beyond my expectations for it. 

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

I really liked this book, even though it took me a while to finish for such a small book. There is 2 reasons why it took my so long to finish the book, 1. I had 3 books from the library that I was supposed to finish before leaving for vacations, and since I owe this one, it went into standby; 2. The descriptions of the treatments are so well described from the point of view of the patients that sometimes I had to put the book down to breathe a little bit and remind myself it was just a book. 

I haven’t seen the movie, but I know the main character, McMurphy was given to Jack Nicholson, and after seeing him in the Shinning I have to say he has to be perfect for this character. McMurphy is taken into an asylum because he acted “insane” to escape forced labor, much better than prison, he thought. However he starts to realize that the asylum won’t be the vacation he was hoping for. The whole story is told by another character, Chief Bromden, a part native patient that as far as everyone is concerned is mute. The story starts with the arrival of McMurphy to the institution and follows his interactions with the other patients. The big issue with the center is that is ruled by Big Nurse, a woman that for years has controlled the patients however she wants, overruling even the doctors. 

Now, this is a story that is developed when psychiatric treatment as basically pills to bring down emotions, electroshock and finally lobotomies. With these arms in hand, Big Nurse can scare the patients into complete submission. Off course this works up until McMurphy enters the game. He starts a revolt, or an awakening of the patients. I enjoyed how the characters are so complementary to finally shine as a unit. Also, the way the influence of McMurphy gets them flourish and respond against the mistreatment they were getting.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

I went away on a holiday, but I have a couple of new reviews. I am happy to tell you that last year I read 36 books! this is my very best in years, and considering it was the same year I was finishing my article and my masters thesis, I think congratulations are in order. Soon enough I will upload my comments on the last books I've read.