Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2015 Week 2 (1/18/2015) Book Review - Open by Andre Agassi

Here we go boys book 2!!! O lawd I'm buzzed off red wine but the show must go on

The 2nd book I've read this year is an autobio of the pro tennis player Andre Agassi called Open. I think I have a thing for autobiographies of athletes -- I read Mike Tyson's last year and deeply enjoyed that one. I played tennis growing up and also boxed a little bit in college so maybe thats why. Maybe I'm buzzed.

'Open' walks through Agassi's life -- from being a kid pushed into tennis, to his struggles being a pro, the controversy he brought to tennis, his successes, and his downfalls (within tennis and romantic chit). I always gravitate towards hard working people so I definitely enjoyed his anecdotes of the work he put in.

The book is definitely written in Agassi's voice -- somewhat confident/arrogant but also kinda whiny in the fact that he constantly complains of hating tennis and would be like 'OMG I suck I quit'. But I mean, understandable because he was forced into it. I would have liked to read more about the technicalities of his game and what he worked on to achieve his success, but I enjoyed the book regardless. He had his swag man -- his look back in the day was his way to hang onto his individuality that was stripped from him at a young age. Check this picture out:

Swag boy status if you ask me -- mullet, bright colors, jean shorts (!!!), Nikes. Funny thing is that he discloses in the book that his hair was falling out from an early age and actually wore hair pieces during tournaments -- it worried him so much that he almost lost matches because of it. That's why he ended up shaving his head.

This was a fun read. Definitely lightened things up after reading something so grotesque and grim as Blood Meridian the previous week. 4/5

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2015 Week 1 (1/11/2015) Book Review - Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

One of the resolutions I made for 2015 was to read more. A good amount more. To the point where I'm going to attempt to read a book a week. I'll come clean and say that I started this book in 2014, but hey it's 2015 now and I finished it within the first week! Convenient!

These book reviews are pretty much going to be unfiltered -- I won't be editing these. They'll be a one-take thing because I feel like it will make the review seem like more in my 'voice'. Also, maybe because I'm lazy.

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy is about the United State's expansion to the (wild) west. It follows a 14 year old from Tennesee and the things he sees. I'll say outright that this is not a pleasant book -- it is very gruesome. Easily the most graphic book I've read... maybe ever.

The reason for this is because the kid ends up in a ragtag band of soldiers that get paid for killing Indians -- they scalp them and trade them in for money, clearing the way for western expansion. Eventually they just kill everything and everybody, because scalps are scalps right? :(

The story follows multiple characters in the book, the main one not actually being The Kid, but arguably a man named Holden aka 'The Judge'. The author makes it out that this guy can do anything he wants with unparalleled skill -- from making bullets out of dirt, to copying pieces of art in his scrapbook and immediately destroying it. The guy's nuts. I've read discussions about there are comparisons between Judge and Satan, which I can understand now after completing the book. The Judge is just a reprehensible villain.

It's weird because he's such a bad guy, but I was captivated whenever the book focused on him. It may be the suspense -- I honestly didn't know what he was going to do. A good comparison would be the Joker from Batman (Heath Ledger version, RIP).

“Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.”- Judge Holden
I enjoyed this book, but I will say Cormac's apparent disdain for punctuation and appetite for complex vocabulary made some parts difficult to get through. There were multiple occasions where I would read something and not know what I read (lmao). I had to get through them via context. This is the 2nd book of his I read, The Road being the first. I really liked The Road, more so than Blood Meridian.

I'll give this a 4/5, just because the way it made me feel weird.