Thursday, March 12, 2015

Week of 1/26/2015 Book Review (5) - East of Eden by John Steinbeck

I'ma get a little serious for this one, because I think this book warrants it.

East of Eden is essentially based upon the story of Cain and Abel -- the two sons of Adam and Eve. Cain is the older brother and had the gift of tilling the land, Abel is the younger brother and had the gift of being a shepard. They both gave God gifts reaped from their talents and God was like "ayo Abel good lookin' out my dude" and he neglected acknowledging Cain. Jealousy drives older brother Cain to madness and he ends up committing the first murder ever, on his own brother. Cain ends up being Satan's first roommate.


East of Eden takes Cain and Abel and weaves its structure and themes into family and interpersonal relationships that many can relate to. It's brutally honest and something that I really appreciated.

John Steinbeck's writing is masterful -- from how he describes the environment, to his careful character development, and to how he delicately delivers the story. Steinbeck's writing is a good balance of complexity -- it's a notch down from Blood Meridian Cormac McCarthy while still being able to paint robust sensory images.

The story was so engaging that it elicited strong emotions out of me while I was reading -- it was weird, but also welcoming. I get pretty emotionally attached when I watch movies (like wow I was like irritated the whole time watching 'Her'), but never really when reading. East of Eden changed that.

 East of Eden is the best book I've read in a long while. I strongly recommend checking it out.

5/5 (first one!)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Week of 1/22/2015 Book Review (4) - The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

I'll be honest, this book was really just a filler book before I started East of Eden by John Steinbeck. This book comes in at a little over ~100 pages from what I remember. It was a very quick read.

Unfortunately the quick read wasn't very stimulating. This book is about a guy who has his homies over (AFTER he's "time travelled") and tries to convince them that he's built a time machine. The homies are like "wtf you talkin about dude? this guy's baked". Then he goes and shows the machine to them. He then regales them with his most recent adventure -- that of which, was quite boring. :(

The book was amiss of any true character development -- I didn't feel any attachment to the protagonist or any of the creatures that he met during his travels. I was on some "If he dies, he dies." Ivan Drago tip from Rocky IV. This was my sentiment while the main dude was crawling around:

I might be a little rough but I'm just being honest. I think this was the book that elevated H.G. Wells' popularity. I can believe it because it's a nice little story, but it didn't engage me enough intellectually or emotionally.

2/5 but I think I gave it 3/5 on my goodreads account