#Bookreview ‘Baudolino by Umberto Eco #ccbookreviews #TuesdayBookBlog

Today I’m reviewing, as part of my 50 classics challenge, ‘Baudolino’ by Umberto Eco

Translated from Italian to German by Burkhart Kroeber

Baudolino Umberto Eco

 

Blurb (from Amazon):

It is 1204, and Constantinople is being sacked and burned by the knights of the fourth Crusade. Amid the carnage and confusion Baudolino saves a Byzantine historian and high court official from certain death at the hands of the crusading warriors, and proceeds to tell his own fantastical story.

Did I like it?

As I’m a ‘fan’ of the writing of the late Umberto Eco. Yes, I most certainly do. Although I read the book in its German translation, I guess I could safely put my trust into the work of Burkhart Kroeber. Eco knew how to tell a story. A story without limits to his fantasy. Holy roman emperor picks up a boy in a swamp in Italy. Takes the boy with him. And from then on the story unfolds. In the later part of the book, you get all the mystical creatures from Medieval maps you can imagine.

What I didn’t like

Just a little technical thing. Some parts in the German edition are printed using a strange type face. As I read the book in bed before sleeping. And my sight is deteriorating. This type face was very hard to read. Apart from this technical stuff, the answer to the question is: Nothing, as usual.

Would I recommend it?

You’re a fan of Eco? You’re open to something a bit different than ‘The Name of the Rose’ by Eco? Read it! 18 out of 20 points.

#Bookreview ‘Angels&Demons’ by Dan Brown #ccbookreview

Today I’m reviewing “Angels&Demons” by Dan Brown translated from American into German (‘Illuminati’) by Axel Merz. Another part of my ‘50 Classics Challenge’

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Blurb (via Amazon):

An ancient secret brotherhood. A devastating new weapon of destruction. When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol—seared into the chest of a murdered physicist—he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati…the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy—the Catholic Church. Langdon’s worst fears are confirmed on the eve of the Vatican’s holy

An ancient secret brotherhood. A devastating new weapon of destruction. When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol—seared into the chest of a murdered physicist—he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati…the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy—the Catholic Church. Langdon’s worst fears are confirmed on the eve of the Vatican’s holy conclave, when a messenger of the Illuminati announces they have hidden an unstoppable time bomb at the very heart of Vatican City. With the countdown under way, Langdon jets to Rome to join forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid for survival. Embarking on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and even the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome toward the long-forgotten Illuminati lair…a clandestine location that contains the only hope for Vatican salvation.

 

Did I like it?

It is quite complicated to judge this book without comparing it to the one I’ve read before. I do not think it is fair to judge Dan Brown in comparison to Jane Austen. Even if you forget that these are two completely different works. Austen work of art, Brown work of ??? commerce. With Dan Brown’s book I couldn’t help but constantly thinking the book is written to be sold. And that is the only reason it was written. Like one of the courses ‘How to write the next bestseller’ Dan Brown sold a sh..load of this book. So who am I to judge

 

What I didn’t like

See above. The book reads like an article in a magazine. Not a bad one but like a long article in a magazine

 

Would I recommend it?

If you haven’t read it and you are interested by conspiracy thrillers, by the Vatican. A bit by medieval art (architecture in the widest sense this time) and you’re not looking for literary merit (for whatever that may mean). Why not? 15 out of 20 points

#Bookreview ‘Sense & Sensibility’ by Jane Austen #TuesdayBookBlog #ccbookreview

Today, I’m reviewing as part of my 50 Classics Challenge, ‘Sense & Sensibility’ by Jane Austen.

Sense and Sensibility.jpg

Blurb (from Amazon):

Jane Austen’s first published novel, Sense and Sensibility is a wonderfully entertaining tale of flirtation and folly that revolves around two starkly different sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. While Elinor is thoughtful, considerate, and calm, her younger sister is emotional and wildly romantic. Both are looking for a husband, but neither Elinor’s reason nor Marianne’s passion can lead them to perfect happiness—as Marianne falls for an unscrupulous rascal and Elinor becomes attached to a man who’s already engaged.

Startling secrets, unexpected twists, and heartless betrayals interrupt the marriage games that follow. Filled with satiric wit and subtle characterizations, Sense and Sensibility teaches that true love requires a balance of reason and emotion.

 

Did I like it?

Yes and no. Yes for the language. It is just beautiful to read ‘Is it not’ instead of ‘isn’t it’. Reading something from someone who knew how to use words, how to paint a picture with words is just a pleasure.

What I didn’t like?

I’m not quite sure if Didn’t like is the perfect expression for it. But the constant money centred approach of several people is …revolting. John Dashwood for example His wife.

Would I recommend it?

Sure, if you haven’t read it, there’s a part of literary history missing in your life. 17 points out of 20

#BookReview ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows’ by J.K.Rowling #TuesdayBookBlog #ccbookreview

Today I’m reviewing the last book in the Harry Potter series. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows” by J.K.Rowling

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Blurb (from Amazon):

As he climbs into the sidecar of Hagrid’s motorbike and takes to the skies, leaving Privet Drive for the last time, Harry Potter knows that Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters are not far behind. The protective charm that has kept Harry safe until now is now broken, but he cannot keep hiding. The Dark Lord is breathing fear into everything Harry loves, and to stop him Harry will have to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes. The final battle must begin – Harry must stand and face his enemy.

Did I like it?

It is certainly not the best book in the series. But at least a good finish to the story. Even if the end is as foreseeable as can be. You have nearly all the revelation you need. Some things are still left unsaid but it works (for me)

What I didn’t like

Why did Harry split up with Ginny at the end of book 6. His reason for it doesn’t make sense. He could use exactly the same reasoning for not pursuing his quest with Ron and Hermione. Which he’s not doing. He has doubts about Dumbledore’s actions and the reasoning behind them. But he still keeps his promise (Not revealing his quest to anyone other than Ron and Hermione) Makes not really sense to me. Why the sons of Death Eaters are at Hogwarts and kind of unsupervised is hard to swallow. Why Dumbledore didn’t reveal Snape’s role to Harry only Mrs Rowling knows.

Would I recommend it?

As a standalone novel books 1 and 2 are working. From book 3 on you need the series. If you’ve read the series, read this one too. I’ve read that the series was written for readers from age 8 on. Maybe the first 2 books. At least not books 5 and 6. 16.5 out of 20 points

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#Bookreview ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ by JK Rowling #TuesdayBookBlog #ccbookreview

Today I’m reviewing book 6 of the Harry Potter series. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” by J.K.Rowling

hp-and-the-half-blood-prince

Blurb (from Amazon) :

When Dumbledore arrives at Privet Drive one summer night to collect Harry Potter, his wand hand is blackened and shrivelled, but he does not reveal why. Secrets and suspicion are spreading through the wizarding world, and Hogwarts itself is not safe. Harry is convinced that Malfoy bears the Dark Mark: there is a Death Eater amongst them. Harry will need powerful magic and true friends as he explores Voldemort’s darkest secrets, and Dumbledore prepares him to face his destiny.

Did I like it?

It’s the darkest book in the series with the two most funny scenes. Minister of Magic visiting the PM. And description of the top of the Christmas tree at Weasley’s.

What I didn’t like

Complicated. It’s something between I did not like and I do not get. Harry splits up again with a girl. For an absolutely understandable and thus acceptable reason. But he will go on his quest in book 7 with his two loyal friends. Which will put him in exactly the same danger as if he would have stayed together with his girlfriend. Snape and Malfoy. Bad throughout the whole series but in Snape’s case trusted by Dumbledore. And in Malfoy’s case accepted by Dumbledore. Although Malfoy’s father is a Death Eater, and the fathers of his two friends are Death Eaters, too. I just don’t get it.

Would I recommend it?

Yes and nothing but yes. 18 out of 20 points

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Ausone’s notebook, 59.th instalment #amwriting #mondayblogs #cats #IARTG

Hello, Humans. It’s Monday again, so here I am. My favourite human announced last weekend on Twitter that I won’t be talking about politics today. Let’s just say I’ll do my best to avoid talking about the US elections as much as possible. Talking not about politics is just not possible because everything is politics.

To get rid of it; I just don’t get it. How could you vote for a misogynist, a xenophobe? How? I get that you don’t want to vote for the other candidate. Being female alone is just not enough. Having people from Monsanto in your team should disqualify everyone. Not that the team of the other candidate is better. There you have people from Goldmann Sachs. In the end the argument that US citizens voted against the political establishment is just not working. They just voted for another member of the establishment. Which means that Americans voted for nothing but a misogynist xenophobe.

And now for something different. My mornings start every day alike. Alarm clock going off. Human leaves bed, heading downstairs. He to the loo, me to the kitchen. Before he opens the door so I could leave, he switches on the radio. Either I have to hear the bad news immediately or I hear them when I come back from the morning stroll. The one that’s revolting me the most at the moment is one from a charitable organisation in Belgium, “Viva for life”. One of their publicities starts with: A kid tasting Brussels sprouts for the first time. “C’est pas bon, Ca pue.” (That’s not good. It stinks.) The publicity goes on. “Brussels sprouts may be not what you like. But not having enough to eat is worse. In Wallonia one in four kids is living beyond the poverty line. Make a donation.”

This is revolting, even for a cat. Belgium is a first world country. One in four kids beyond the poverty line? Politicians are still able to sleep? Still get elected? What’s wrong with this society? What’s wrong with humanity? Isn’t anyone telling the majority that there is one in four kids living (existing) beyond the poverty line? Unfortunately you hear it nearly every day. Every year there is a big donation on TV. Every year they have a new record of donation. Nothing changes. Next elections Belgians are voting for the same parties as usual who change nothing. Maybe next year it’s no longer one in four. Maybe it’s already one in three. But still voting for the same parties. Still the same scapegoat. Only the names change. But having a new unnecessary car is much more important then kids living below the poverty line.

Just to show you that nothing will change a verse from ‘Punk rock song’ by Bad Religion written 1996. Nothing changes.

10 million dollars on a losing campaign
20 million starving and writhing in pain
big strong people unwilling to give
small in vision and perspective
one in five kids below the poverty line
one population runnin’ out of time

I’m pissed with humanity.

See you next Monday.

Photo from the stock, preferred photographer has other things on her mind than taking new photos of me.

ausone-fireplace

Yours

Ausone

#Bookreview ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ by J.K.Rowling #ccbookreview #TuesdayBookBlog

Today I’m reviewing book 4 in the Harry Potter series. ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by J.K.Rowling

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Blurb (from Amazon) :

“‘There will be three tasks, spaced throughout the school year, and they will test the champions in many different ways … their magical prowess – their daring – their powers of deduction – and, of course, their ability to cope with danger.'”

The Triwizard Tournament is to be held at Hogwarts. Only wizards who are over seventeen are allowed to enter – but that doesn’t stop Harry dreaming that he will win the competition. Then at Hallowe’en, when the Goblet of Fire makes its selection, Harry is amazed to find his name is one of those that the magical cup picks out. He will face death-defying tasks, dragons and Dark wizards, but with the help of his best friends, Ron and Hermione, he might just make it through – alive!

Did I like it?

It’s getting darker from book 4 on. The dark lord rises again. From this book on the character Snape starts puzzling me. In the first 3 books, he seems just like a teacher who doesn’t like Potter. Due to Snape’s history with Potter’s father. In book 4 it is finally revealed that Snape really was a Death Eater. Why Dumbledore trusts him, is not revealed. Although Dumbledore is asked precisely this question.

What I didn’t like

There are some little things that derange me. Dumbledore is kind of the Guardian Angel of Harry Potter. Why Potter still has to return every year to the Dursley’s, stays hidden. It doesn’t make sense to me. The Weasley’s would accept him with open arms. Potter’s name comes out of the Goblet? No action whatsoever from Dumbledore. Moody punishing Draco Malfoy and at the end you learn that Moody isn’t what everyone thought he is.

Would I recommend it?

Nothing to add. It’s part of today’s society. Read it (the series). It’s just good. Giving points is hard, let’s stay with the 17.5 out of 20.

#Bookreview ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ by J.K.Rowling #ccbookreview #TuesdayBookBlog

Today I’m reviewing ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ by J.K.Rowling

hp-and-the-prisoner-of-azkaban

Blurb (from Amazon) :

When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it’s the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run – and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry’s tea leaves. But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss.

Did I like it?

Yes, and there is a cat playing a vital role. Hermione turns more into a friend than a straight A student. Malfoy junior and senior are still the same a-holes as ever. Malfoy junior’s friends are still the same senseless bullies as ever. Gryffindor is losing a Quidditch match. Snape is still Snape. Hagrid still Hagrid. Just a pleasure.

What I didn’t like

Not much. There is one thing that puzzled me. In book 2 Harry and Ron erased the memory of their teacher of ‘Defence against the Dark Arts’, two students. In book 3, Snape “catches” all of them near the climax of the book. Threatening all with his wand. And then gets first knocked out. And while Snape being unconscious. None of the group even spends a thought about erasing his memory. When they finally leave the cave. Lupin transforms into a werewolf. Which they have conveniently forgotten that it WILL happen with the light. The reason why Sirius Black is in Azkaban (Pettigrew) escapes. And Snape catches them again. (Abbreviated version). The only one who believes their story is, again, as usual, Dumbledore. Who then gives them hints how to save Sirius Black and even more.

Would I recommend it?

As I’ve already said the Potter series has become an important part of our society. And every book that makes people especially young(er) read has to be recommended.

17 out of 20 points

#Bookreview ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ by J.K.Rowling #ccbookreview #TuesdayBookBlog

Today I’m reviewing ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ by J.K.Rowling’

HP and the Chamber of Secrets

Blurb (from Amazon):

Harry Potter’s summer has included the worst birthday ever. Doomy warnings from a house-elf called Dobby. Rescued from the Dursleys by his friend Ron Weasley in a magical flying car! Back at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year. Harry hears strange whispers echo through empty corridors – and then the attacks start. Students are found as though turned to stone. Dobby’s sinister predictions seem to be coming true.

Did I like it?

Yes. It certainly isn’t high literature. But I’m sure this wasn’t the intention of Mrs Rowling. The story is interesting; it’s very good escape literature. You can sink yourself into the world of Hogwarts and escape reality. What do you expect more from a book?

What I didn’t like?

The same as I’ve already said in my critique of book 1. The fuss about the series. It’s a book, part of a series. Nothing more, nothing less. If it brings people to read it’s good, job done! Kudos!

Would I recommend it?

Again, it’s part of our society. You haven’t read you’re missing out on something. And, again, no film can replace a book. I wouldn’t recommend starting the series with book 2. Read ‘em in order, it makes sense. You could read all books as stand alone novels but you will miss something. For my taste, book 2 is the weakest of the series and I’m unfortunately unable to say why. 15 out of 20 points.

#Bookreview ‘Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen’ by J.K.Rowling #ccbookreview #TuesdayBookBlog

Today I’m reviewing as part of my 50 classics challenge

Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen

by J.K.Rowling, translated by Klaus Fritz

HP und der Stein der Weisen

Blurb (from Amazon):

Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That’s because he’s being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle. Who are terrified Harry will learn that he’s really a wizard. Just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards. And he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colourful faculty at his unusual school. Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world.  He never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.

Did I like it?

I guess you could say Yes. The story is interesting, the writing style of Mrs Rowling is very well translated by Mr Fritz. As this is book 1 of the series. It makes you wonder what comes next. And if you like the genre, YA and fantasy. It’s absolutely OK. You won’t regret the time you’ve spent with the book. There are things missing but the most part is revealed later in the series. So no critic about that.

What I didn’t like.

Let’s say nothing about the book. The book is a very good start to the series. Even in the translated version. What I don’t like is the whole fuss that was made about this series. Book launches were events where, mostly kids, were waiting in front of the stores to get their hands on them. As soon as they hit the stores. Then came the films. Now we have theme parks. Musicals, it’s getting too much. I don’t blame Mrs Rowling for all of this. If she gets rich she deserves it. The fuss is just much too much for my taste.

Would I recommend it?

Yes. If you haven’t read the series you’re missing a part of today’s society. 16 out of 20 points.