Tag: Portrayal

Dan Brown – Origin | Review

Title: Origin

Author: Dan Brown

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 473

Rating: 3.25/5

You know what you’re getting with Dan Brown, at least to a certain extent, although I do feel as though in this one, there were fewer twists and turns and a lot of the plot was more linear. There was also a twist at the end which was pretty easy to figure out, although I will admit that the motives had passed me by. It happens!

The main problem that I had with this book is that something happened at the end of the last book which really ought to have had repercussions. Instead, it wasn’t even mentioned. I guess that makes sense given Brown’s style, because he tries to make each of his books function as a standalone. And in all fairness, this one does work as a standalone – as long as you haven’t read the one that comes before.

What was cool was the way that this investigated artificial intelligence. Brown’s portrayal of it wasn’t particularly realistic, especially at the time it was first published, but if we give it ten or twenty years, we might not be far off it. There were also some interesting ideas about the ultimate fate of humanity – or to quote the book, “Where do we come from? And where are we going?”

They’re some pretty important questions, and I thought it was interesting to see how Brown – and his characters – approached them. I’m not sure whether I agree with their conclusions, or whether the science involved is even possible, but it was still a pleasant journey to go on. Sure, I got infuriated from time to time by Brown’s writing style, in which he sets up a mystery and then takes a dozen chapters to reveal the actual answer, but it also did its job and kept me reading.

What I would say is that it’s worth going out of your way to get a paperback copy if you can. I had the hardback and it was difficult to hold while I read reading it. Admittedly this is totally a firstworld problem and not one that everyone would have, but it did bug me a little bit and hamper my enjoyment. Actually, this may be one of those rare books where it would work better as an e-book or an audio book than when it’s physically in print.

All in all then, I’m glad that I finally picked this up, if only because I’m a completionist and I’ve read all of Brown’s other books. I’ll probably pick the next one up too, assuming there is one, but I won’t be pre-ordering it. I’ll try to grab it from a charity shop if I can. I’ve got to be honest, I fancy my chances. And that’s about all I’ve got.

Learn more about Origin.

 


Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar | Review

Title: The Bell Jar

Author: Sylvia Plath

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 216

Rating: 5/5

 

 

This is one of those books that I’ve been meaning to read for years but which I never got round to. I’ve read Ariel, Plath’s poetry collection, but I eventually had to order a copy of this online after giving up hope of ever seeing it.

Plath’s writing is beautiful here, and she does a fantastic job of capturing the complex emotions that are going through her protagonist’s mind. It’s also interesting because it’s semi-autobiographical, and indeed it foreshadowed Plath’s own tragic end. If you have any interest at all in mental health and its portrayal in literature, this one is a must-read.

All in all, my voice is just yet another one that rings out in praise of The Bell Jar, but what can I say? When people say this is an excellent novel, they’re right. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up on my top books of the year list. I also liked that in the biographical note, it mentioned that the novel was described as like a feminist Catcher in the Rye. I can see that, and I think that if you like one then you’ll like the other.

 

 

Click here to buy The Bell Jar.