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Adult Blog

In the process of reading: East of Eden

I have never been a title man. I don’t give a damn what it is called. I would call it [East of Eden] Valley to the Sea, which is a quotation from absolutely nothing but has two great words and a direction. What do you think of that? And I’m not going to think about it anymore. I’ll finish it someday.

2012 Book #14: East of Eden

 I’m totally not hitting 50 books this year. So it goes. East of Eden took me about a month to read, but that’s not because it’s bad. It can be a wee bit slow, though. And it’s really long. It’s basically a Cain and Abel story set in California. I’m sure you can imagine what happens.

The novel follows two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons. Samuel Hamilton moves to the Salinas Valley to farm, but he buys less than ideal land and has little money. He has lots of children, and various things happen to them. Adam Trask had lived with his brother, Charles. Charles had always been jealous, especially about their relationship with their father, and he’d even tried to kill Adam once. Many years later, after Adam joined the army and was gone for several years, their father died, leaving them about a hundred thousand dollars, which was lots of money around the turn of the twentieth century, making them both very rich. They continue to live on the farm, but Adam has dreams of moving out to California. Suddenly, a woman named Cathy turns up, beaten half to death. By this time, we know that she’s entirely heartless and just about pure evil. She killed her parents in a house fire, became a prostitute, and casually broke the heart of a man who loved her. That’s the man who beat her up. Anyway, she stays with Adam and Charles while she recuperates, and then she marries Adam – shortly after she has an affair with Charles because he’s “like her.” Adam moves Cathy across the country to California, and she doesn’t want to go. She eventually bares twins, one light and one dark. She has no interest in him. She decides to leave, and when Adam tries not to let her go, she shoots him in the shoulder, crushing his bones and his heart, then joins a whorehouse in town. And that’s where I stop: the novel follows the Hamiltons and the Trasks through their lives.

I really liked East of Eden, though it’s not my favorite Steinbeck novel. (The Grapes of Wrath is my favorite.) It reminds me of possibly my very favorite novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, though it doesn’t seem as expansive. I think it wants to be. It’s certainly worth reading. I think I might have liked it more if I hadn’t drawn it out so long. Usually, though, when I take so long to read books, they end up in the Fail Pile, so that’s a point in East of Eden‘s favor. Steinbeck is one of my very favorite authors, and this is one of his best novels. Read it.

A Streetcar Named Desire





    A Streecar Named Desire is one of the greatest works of Tennessee Williams. It stands besides Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Glass Menagerie as one of America's great pieces of theatrical work. In order to understand this play you must realize what time period it comes from and the state of the nation at this time. During the twentieth century, a theatrical movement called realism took root in America. Realism was developed as a form of entertainment that would be of more use and more relatable to general society. Realism started as a reaction to several devestating occurences. In America, realism was a reaction to the devestation that the Civil War had caused. In Germany, it was a reaction to the Thirty Years War. Realism brought to light real problems that people faced everyday. It adressed issues that were considered taboo and were considered too unpleasant to drag out of the closet. Some of the issues adressed by realism are: mental illness, homosexuality, adultery, financial ruin, etc.

    A Streetcar Named desire generally expresses the theme of the old making way for the new ( a common theme in realism). In this play, Blanche Dubois is from the crumbling antebellum aristocracy, while her brother- in- law, Stanley Kowalski, is climbing the financial latter. The play is mainly about the clash between Blanche and Stanley's opposing personalities. All in all, it is an excellent well written piece of literature, however I must warn you it does get dark at alot of points in the plot. Though my experience, I feel that it is a great play, but because of my age I feel that I lack the appreciation that an older reader/ playgoer would have for it. I would definitely recommend this book for adults (Not Teenagers).


Adult Book Review: Lunch Poems

Yeah, it’s a book of poetry. And it counts.
I picked up a copy of Frank O’Hara‘s Lunch Poems in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts after walking through an Alex Katz exhibition. Alex Katz, by the way, is very cool.
Anyway, I forget what the relation is, but there is one.

A Review of The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo is a riveting tale of revenge, romance, and adventure all set on the stage of 19th-century France. Our hero, Edmond Dantes, ascends to greatness, happiness, and fortune, only to have it all snatched away as quickly as it came. He is implicated as a Bonapartist on the eve of his betrothal to the beautiful Mercedes and is sent to rot in the treachorous Chateau d'If. Many years later, he returns as the illustrious Count of Monte Cristo, seeking revenge on those who betrayed him.

I must admit, I wasn't too eager to read this at first. It was a reading assignment for school, and we were given six weeks to read it. Being the procrastinator that I am, I put off the assignment until the weekend before the test on it. I opened to the first page of the book covinced that I wouldn't finish in time - and I was only reading the abridged version, mind you. When I started reading, I couldn't put it down. Alexandre Dumas was a master writer who could tell long riveting tales that could still manage to hold the readers attention. I dove further and further in, not caring how long the book was anymore, but just wanting to get to the next revelation. Before I knew it, I was done (with a day to spare!). If you like adventure, cunning, and romance, this is the book for you. Heck, you'll like this book if you're into  the whole billionaire, philanthropist, heroic, vengeful  playboy character...... *cough* Bruce Wayne...................*another cough* Tony Stark. Anyway, the Count of Monte Cristo is an excellent read; even if you are a slow or impatient reader, just take it 25- 50 pages at a time. I promise that reading this book is time well spent. And if you are interested in other works by Alexandre Dumas, feel free to look into The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After.

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