Tuesday, August 31, 2010

review :: The Kite Runner

Khalid Hosseini

The Kite Runner had been on my to-read list for a while, so when I joined my facecbook book club I was more than happy with the book of choice for the month of August.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was a compelling view of a world I know nothing of--Afghanistan, class issues, and immigration. I did, however, find that the story itself carried this book heavily, as the writing was not spectacular. At times, it was almost soap opera-esque with some of the dramatic surprises and progression of ill-fated events. I also found Amir's adult character in the second half of the book somewhat unsatisfying; it was difficult to connect the adult Amir with the child Amir. His character seemed to change. 

Relationship of varying kinds is explored--father/son, friend/friend, mentor/mentee, enemy/enemy, man/woman--and the various nuances and challenges of loving, longing, and scorning. Hosseini employs contrast to create interest and add layers to this story, most noticeably in the portrayal of Amir and Baba's journey and adjustment to life in America.

Both eye-opening and heartbreaking, Hosseini has crafted a thought-provoking and enlightening contemporary novel. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

word of the day :: prodigious

[pruh-dij-uh s]

1.  extraordinary in size, amount, extent, degree, force, etc.: aprodigious research grant. 
2. wonderful or marvelous: a prodigious feat.
3. abnormal; monstrous.
4. Obsolete ominous.

1545–55;  < L prōdigiōsus  marvelous. See prodigy-ous

"It is one of the prodigious privileges of art that the horrific, artistically expressed, becomes beauty, and that sorrow, given rhythm and cadence, fills the spirit with a calm joy."

* Definition from www.dictionary.com

Friday, August 27, 2010

from Rainer

"Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."

Monday, August 23, 2010

word of the day :: bruit


–verb (used with object)
1.  to voice abroad; rumor (used chiefly in the passive and often fol. by about): The report was bruited through the village

2. Medicine/Medical . any generally abnormal sound or murmur heard on auscultation.
3. Archaic . rumor; report.
4. Archaic . noise; din; clamor.
1400–50;  late ME (n.) < AF, OF, n. use of ptp. of bruire  to roar <VL *brūgere,  a conflation of L rūgīre  to bellow and VL *bragere;see bray1

"There is no healing of thy bruise; they wound is grievous: all that hears the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?"
:: Nahum 3:19,  New King James Bible ::

* Definition from www.dictionary.com

Friday, August 20, 2010

from Mark

"When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear, and life stands explained."

Monday, August 16, 2010

word of the day:: arabesque


1.  Fine Arts a sinuous, spiraling, undulating, or serpentine line or linear motif.
2. a pose in ballet in which the dancer stands on one leg with one arm extended in front and the other leg and arm extended behind.
3. a short, fanciful musical piece, typically for piano.
4. any ornament or ornamental object, as a rug or mosaic, inwhich flowersfoliage, fruits, vases, animals, and figures are represented in a fancifully combined pattern.

5. decorated with or characterized by arabesques: arabesque design.
1605–15;  < F < It arabesco  ornament in Islamic style, lit.,Arabian, equiv. to arab o arab  + -esco -esque

"What is line? It is life. A line must live at each point along its course in such a way that the artist's presence makes itself felt above that of the model.... With the writer, line takes precedence over form and content. It runs through the words he assembles. It strikes a continuous note unperceived by ear or eye. It is, in a way, the soul's style, and if the line ceases to have a life of its own, if it only describes an arabesque, the soul is missing and the writing dies."
:: Jean Cocteau ::

* Definition from www.dictionary.com