Author Archives: dsbs42

dsbs’s CBR III Review #19 and 20: The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer

Excerpt:

Ok, so for my minor in Classical Civilization (aka Greek and Roman studies), I’m taking a class in Greek and Roman Literary Genres, and naturally, I had to read the big three: The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid. Now, I feel strange as hell writing reviews of the classics – their impact on society is already so established that it almost feels redundant to write a review – that’s why I’m not assigning stars to these books. So what I’d like to do is write a quick little piece on my opinions while reading the book, and then post the essay I wrote for that class, examining the themes of death and honour in Greek society.

The review part is only three paragraphs, though. Seriously, no one has to read the essay 😛

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dsbs’s CBR III Review #18: Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi

Excerpt:

I first came across Portia de Rossi in Arrested Development, and then again in Better Off Ted. In both shows, I thought her mannerisms a bit odd at first, but in both shows she grew on me, and in Better Off Ted, she became (after Phil, and I mean, come on) far and away my favourite character. And this makes sense because in person (and on paper) she appears funny and smart. Of course, in her memoirUnbearable Lightness, but her sense of humour only indirectly reveals itself in her recounts of conversations with suits, because anorexia is not a funny illness, and I imagine that no matter how far she has come since 1999, it’s still difficult to treat such a dark part of her life lightly.

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dsbs’s CBR III Review #17: This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitan

Excerpt:

So with all this, you might think it would be my favourite book ever written, like a bible and life instruction manual in one. And it is very good – like reading a very intimate, fascinating, short, approachable introductory textbook – but it IS just an overview, and it’s full of flaws which you will find fully expounded upon in any amazon book review.

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dsbs’s CBR III Review #15 and #16: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, and Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart

Man, I am behind. Although I’d like to point out that I have read 25 books, and am in the middle of about 9 more, so I’m slightly less pathetically behind than I look!

Anyway, I rated both these books three and a half stars, but for very, very different reasons.

Eat, Pray, Love review excerpt:

A warning: if you read/open this book, you enter in to a sort of contract with the author – she will not shove her enlightenment in your face, but if you choose to read the book, she will share it with you. By this, I mean that she’s not aggressive in her writing, but it is written from the perspective of one who feels she has had a spiritual experience. If you have no patience for that sort of thing, there is simply no point in you reading this book.

Absurdistan review excerpt:

I don’t consider myself a particularly dense or stupid person. Maybe I should. Maybe others who read and “got” this book should feel righteously superior to me. Maybe my confusion stems from the fact that the book is written about the social and political, um, politics or a world I am not familiar with. Maybe all those review excerpts on the back cover were right, and this really is a work of phenomenal genius on par with Catch-22. Maybe. Or maybe Shteyngart is a little less clever than he thinks he is (oh, har har, there’s a conniving little bitch of a character named Jerry Shteynfarb, I see what you did there!), a little too caught up in the grotesque imagery he creates with his obscenely fat main character, a little on the nose in his depiction of a war built around a stockpile of oil that doesn’t actually exist, and I actually got it just fine.

(Ok, that’s actually about a third of the whole review, but whatever)

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dsbs’s CBR III Review #14: The World of Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

Not my best review, I’m afraid. I’d advise you against reading it, but why not pick up the book? Good for bathroom OR coffee table!

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dsbs’s CBR III Review #13: Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

Excerpt:

I have come to the conclusion that Jeeves is a manipulative bastard who enjoys putting his obliging and feeble-minded master in difficult situations for a laugh. I approve of this practice.

In general, I like Wodehouse’s full-length novels better than his short stories. They let him build, they let the mix-ups get more intense and bizarre, and they’re slightly less formulaic and repetitive; the short stories have a tendency to become a bit rote when many are read in a row:

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dsbs’s CBR III Review #12: I Know I Am, But What Are You? by Samantha Bee

Excerpt:

Bee has led a moderately unusual life, which, combined with her talent for storytelling, means there’s something in here for voyeurs (who want all the dirty details about any celebrity life), fellow odd-balls (who can relate), and even normal people because regardless of the circumstances, Bee is relatable, friendly, and funny, and who wouldn’t want to spend a couple hundred pages with that?

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