Thursday, February 02, 2006

Book Reviews

I have finally read:

Devil in the White City: Absolutely fascinating. The architecture, the big dreams. Good stuff. The nut: I wonder if the author didn't make him a bit too one-dimensional. There were a few spots where he reviewed a contemporary fact about him, and then editorialized a bit. Rarely are people that simple. The third plotline, the guy who is obsessed with the mayor, seemed a little contrived. Flesh it out more. Or less. But I'm not complaining- it was a great book.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: The book briefly touched on some issues I've been having with the world, but most of it went over my head a bit. I'd say it was one of the toughest reads in a long while. I don't know the language of philosophy and it is used extensively in this book. It was written in, and I think for, another generation. There is a subtext of a WWII guy pleading with the boomers not to take thinks for granted. It's quite possible there is almost no mention of any Eastern philosophy in this book. It's very long. I think I'm writing this way on purpose now. Being a concrete minded sort of person, I hate the "riding off into the sunset" sort of ending. It's not that I don't get the point in many cases, but that I want a payoff. Yes it's about the journey, blah, blah, blah, but just as the journey of a thousand miles begins with a footstep, it also ends with a knock on a door. I want just a tiny little bit of what happens when they answer. Not very zen-like, I imagine. It was still a good book.

Both recommended.


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