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chaotica2010 has commented on (4) products.

Of Human Bondage (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) by W Somerset Maugham
Of Human Bondage (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics)

chaotica2010, December 13, 2006

"Of Human Bondage", by W Somerset Maugham had been on my shelf for awhile when I decided to read it. I wished, as I do with a lot of books I have, that I had read it sooner.

Maugham writes the human condition very well, and while the book is almost 700 pages it never gets slow. The story centers around Phillip, who's life is followed from childhood well into adulthood. Phillip has it harder than most, his mother dies in the first chapter of the book, leaving him alone in the world except for his aunt and uncle with whom he goes to live. The whole story deals with Phillip finding his way in the world. He is particularly bad at relationships and in finding what it is that he wants to do. He goes through one hardship after another and attach's to people that are not the best of influences. He is constantly trying to find himself through all of these characters he meets, and slowly but surely he eventually finds himself. Not though before he has to go through a lot of other things first.

If you want to read Maugham, try this out. You won't be disappointed.
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(16 of 86 readers found this comment helpful)

The Trial.

chaotica2010, December 13, 2006

Franz Kafka writes my hell. If hell is the inability to reason that is. Kafka's writing is the reasonable man in unreasonable and absurd circumstances, trying to use reason to survive. It always ends badly. "The Trial" is no exception, as you will read.

Kafka's main character Joesph K is accused of a crime for which he cannot find out the charges. The police simply show up at his door, and announce that he is under arrest. From there things spiral out of control for the protagonist, as he is drawn into a huge web of absurdity where his skills of reasoning have no effect. He is forced to navigate his way through a series of bizarre encounters, all the while running into constant blockades of non information.

Kafka writes a world where things are not at all as they should be and yet his character takes it all in stride as if any minute his reason will prevail and his accusers will see the absurdity of it all.

I highly recommend this to anyone interested in Kafka's work, although a good first attempt might be "Metamorphosis" which is shorter and a bit less taxing on your psyche, but none the less absurd.

Be warned though that this book will test your limits if you are a reasonable person, because you want to throttle everyone in the book including Joseph. "The Trial" will keep you up nights wondering, but it is worth it.
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(10 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)

The plague

chaotica2010, December 13, 2006

Possibly the most important existentialistic author of our time, Albert Camus' book, "The Plague", was my first introduction to his writing.

The story itself is just as the title states, it is about a plague. However, Camus as in all his books, takes the normal and twists it into absurdity. The plot centers around several characters, and how they deal with the plague in their own ways. The doctor of the book is thrust into the role of the hero, while one of his own patients, who before the plague was suffering from severe depression, is ecstatic in his new position as a profiteer. People in the book are adept as if acting like nothing is wrong right until the plague strikes them or their loved ones. This is Camus showing the complacency of man, and how absurd we truly are.

Camus is a brilliant author, and this is still my favorite of his that I have read thus far. The novel itself is short, and the story keeps your attention, unlike a book by Kafka, which can go on for pages driving home his point.

Albert Camus was recently recognized by a poll in the UK as the favorite author of men there. One read of "The Plague", and you will know why.
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(5 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Little Prince

chaotica2010, December 12, 2006

Having read this book a dozen or so times, not only for myself, but to all of my children, I have but one question. Why haven't you? If you are reading this it may be because you have yet to read what may be the greatest book of all time. I myself own a first edition, which my son begs to be read at bedtime.

The story itself is filled with so many undertones and philosophies for adults that I get something new each time I read it. At the same time though, young children delight in hearing it again and again.

I have heard that James Dean himself was a fan and could quote lines from the book. My personal favorite is from the fox, who told the Little Prince "You risk tears if you let yourself be tamed."

Even if you just buy a good reading copy, you will have done yourself an immense favor. By stepping into the Little Prince's world if only for a bit, you will be a more enlightend person for having done it.

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(10 of 18 readers found this comment helpful)

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