Book Review: “Desolation Angels” Finding one self to discover the world

Sometimes, when I doubt about a book, I open a random page and read a paragraph of it. If I like what I read I buy it.

I know this is not a proper book review, but if you like what you’ll read below, and I’m 99% sure you will, there’s nothing else I can say to you…

– Hold together, Jack, pass through everything, and everything is one dream, one appearance, one flash, one sad eye, one crystal lucid mystery, one word – Hold still, man, regain your love of life and go down from this mountain and simply be – be – be the infinite fertilities of the mind of infinity, make no comments, complaints, criticisms, appraisals, avowals, sayings, shooting stars of thought, just flow, flow, be you all, be you what it is, it is only what it always is – Hope is a word like a snow drift – This is the Great Knowing, this is the Awakening, this is the Voidness – So shut up, live, travel, adventure, bless and dont be sorry – Prunes, prune, eat your prunes – And you have been forever, and you will be forever, and all the worrisome smashings of your foot on innocent cupboard doors it was only the Void pretending to be a man pretending to know the Void-

Desolation Angels, Jack Kerouac

14800146._UY200_

Advertisements

Book Review: “The Book Thief”, sweetness and bitterness in the Nazi Germany

Any life is a story, and in many occasions the words have the gift of making a novel from them.

IMG_9499
Markus Zusak, the Australian writer, captivates the reader from the first page, with this touching story about love, pain and the importance of books.

If we can be sure about something is that in the human being, evilness and kindness dwell together to a greater or less degree.

Zusak invites us to discover that besides any acting, word, silence or sight there is a hiden reason, and extreme situations lead people to extreme reactions.

The feats of the little Liesel, protagonist of this unforgetable story, offer us a walk through innocence, through the eyes of a girl who clings strongly to life, and who by means of the reading, her own readings, delights the readers and makes them see that life is but a game of words, and that we all can tell our own story.

Liesel, by the hand of her step-parents, Hans and Rosa Huberman, and her loyal friend Rudy, will learn the values that make from a person a human being, values that in the background of a Germany dominated by nazism are made questionables and force people to get the best and the worst from them and from others; even though in the case of Liesel all actions carry a smile and the expansion of people’s hearts.

Despite of the disastrous consequences of a war, this novel makes us to smile, to cry, to dream and to think in the way we thought someday, when we were 12 years old, to whom clouds draw wonders on the sky, and to whom a feather found on the ground can be the best of all gifts.

Finally words are disolved once have been pronounced and warn us that life and death are not that distant from each other as we think , but once they are written they can remain and live forever with the cartain that they will be used as inspiration for other people.

A story that encourages to tell stories and make hearts to grow.

A Lovely Read: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

1

After “The White Massai”, the novel “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini is another lovely work to experience a different culture. Hosseini’s first novel The Kite Runner (2003), mainly inspired by his childhood in Afghanistan, was highly praised. In A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007), Hosseini wants to explore the inner lives of women in Afghanistan, and as he sais in the book’s afterword, he hopes “the novel will leave you with some […] empathy for Afghan women whose suffering has been matched by very few groups in recent world history”.

“A Thousand Splendid Suns” tells the story of two women in Afghanistan, Mariam and Laila.  It mainly takes place in the cities of Herat and Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital. It is covering a wide period of time, starting in the 1960s up to 2003 and therefore deals with all the troubles Afghanistan has been trough over the last 30 years – mainly focussing on the Soviet invasion in the 1980s and the take-over of power by the Taliban in 1996. All these political changes are central to the story, having a huge impact on the lives of the characters, the way they act and the decisions they make. The title comes from the poem “Kabul” by Saib Tabrizi, a seventeenth century Persian poet:


“Every street of Kabul is enthralling to the eye
Through the bazaars, caravans of Egypt pass
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls”


Due to the fact of their abusive husband and the difficult situation in their homecountry, Mariam and Laila develop a strong friendship, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter, which gives them the strength to keep going.

“A Thousand Splendid Suns”  allows to experience a slice of Arabic culture and to get an insight in the way the people live(d) there, even if it’s just about such ordinary things as their food and fashion. Hosseini included many Arabic expressions such as harami or kolba, which makes his language, which is not pathetic but still touching, really vivid.

1_1

I would recommend the novel not only to everyone who is interested in the situation of women in Afghanistan and everyday life in an Arabic society, but also to everyone who wants to read a tragic-emotional story, but which holds a sparkle of hope and is totally different from any other common love-story you will find in a bookshelf.

“The White Masai” when reality overcomes fiction in Kenya

The White Masai, the book written by Corinne Hofmann, makes us to dream about the beauty and reallity of Kenya.

IMG_9376

What started for me being a travelling novel that would let me know the way in which masai people live, ended up being a story full of romanticism and important lessons to learn, not only because of the words of Corinne Hofmann, but especially because the writter tells her own story, about the great adventure she had after she went on holydays with her boyfriend to Kenia.

Corinne, a strong woman with clear principles left aside her entire life when she fell in love with a samburu warrior called Lketinga, a man that was completely different to everything she knew.

Maybe love at first sight does exist, even thoug few are the lucky people who find it, maybe it is that sometimes people can feel attracted to that which is misterious and different from them, or maybe it just has to do with a certain sight that captivate them in the right time and place. But the truth is that love appears in the most unexpected circumstances and situations.

Once love made its appearace, Corinne found herself completely encharmed by a tall and dark man, full of colorful accesories, from a different continent. And in the blink of an eye she was living in Africa, surrounded by unkown people who didn’t even speak her language, trying difficultly to have a conversation, but still with the biggest smile she could have.

Life takes many a twist and turn, and that means that we are unable to predict the the future, so much that sometimes we find useless to make decissions, but thanks to those choices the world goes around and we are moved at the same time, right in the direction we want.

It is true that there are many different cultures in the worl, and when it comes to love it is not easy to match with all of them.

Finally, when the things go wrong one has to think about that saying which goes “every cloud has a silver lining”.

When things come to an end, the memory and the knowledge you get will last forever, and talking about this book, all it gave me were good feelings, a lot to think about, and even more to learn.

A book of real love and wonderful cultures.