August 30, 2016 · 4:18 pm
The story is about a young man who is turning 30 and who destroy his previous life in a couple of days. First of all, he betrays his wonderful wife and she left him. Secondly, they fire him. The most engaging task is to take care of his 4 y. o. son, because till now he did not make anything with him and left the Whole work to his wife. The second task is to convince his new love, an American waitress with a daughter, to stay with him.
So: nothing new under the sky. But the way in wich the author describes problems and actions manages to let you feel like the carachter. This is the main reason I would suggest you to read this book: because even if you never separated, never had to care about your son, never met the hurdles of a divorce, you feel compassion for Harry Silver as you were involved in his problems.
The most touching part of the book, in my opinion, is where Harry’s father falls ill and dies. Because the protagonist finds out how much he resembled his father: and this is a feature that I notice in my life too! But you discover it just when you have a son, I fear… not earlier.
At the end: well build carachter and well Worth book!
August 30, 2016 · 3:19 pm
I loved The New York Trilogy. I cannot say the same thing for Hand to Mouth. But maybe I am not the right person for Auster’s autobiographies. Actually, this is – I think – his third authobiography. He writes of himself as “you”, in second person, maybe to add some distance between him and himself.
My interest went up and down. I must admit that I did not like the lists: lists of things he did, of actions, of people… in my opinion you cannot write a page full of list. You can do it in your journal, if you keep it in your drawer… same reasoning for the lack of internal order: he writes subjects as they get his memory: from early years, to the 64th birthday, from writing, to house moving, from panic attaks to marriage, from sexual impulses to dance.
I appreciated the parts in wich he tells about his mother’s Youth and Death, and how she was despised by the “dour matrons of father’s family” because she acted as if she was the most beautiful woman on the earth. But I also liked the way in wich he remembers her, as a woman who was, at the same time, very practical, active and sensitive. And I love the doutful life she had, because the author will never know if she had a lover during her marriage or not.
At the end: no, I did not like this book very much, but if you have the change, please do read it. It is anyway a collection of memories of a man who has lived, loved, written, read, suffered and travelled a lot (Gosh, I do not know how many times he moved from a house to another: I would become mad doing that!). A little sad, maybe, because he reminds us that we will wither too, despite all our current ebullience, but anyway useful.
April 19, 2016 · 12:54 pm
Born in 1955, Mo Yan is a soldier. How many soldiers do you know that are able to tell such stories full of grief and Death and fear and love and mistery and nature? I do not wonder if his government did not allow him to leave his country and travel abroad.
A soldier who thinks by his own? OMG, please, this is too dangerous for chinese public image…
Anyway, the story is sometimes difficult to follow, because the author jumps from one year to another, but this not prevents you from falling in love with the characters; on the contrary: although you already know that someone will die in a certain moment and in a certain way (usually a very bloody way), this lets him be even dearer.
While you read you cannot distinguish anymore if the red of the landscape you see in front of your eyes is the one of the sorghum or the one of the blood.
The story takes place in 20th Century: I do not know if chinese people died more from their inner problems (famine, banditry, internal fights) or from Japanese invasion. The result, anyway, is always the same: sadness and cruel deaths (skinnings, genitals cuttings, rapes and lots more) for men, women and children.
And still, at the end of the novel, when you see that the hybrid sorghum has supplanted the natural red sorghum, and you understand that this is the end of an era, and despite its load of sufference and grief, you feel that you miss something. Life, maybe?