Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Promise by Pearl S. Buck

Overall rating:★★
Lao San was the Third son of Ling Tan, a farmer in a village in China, and his wife Ling Sao. Mayli was a futile young woman raised in the US by her father. The Promise is the love story during times of war of these two characters.
Lao San decided to leave his village and join the rebels to liberate his country from the Japanese invasion. His connections landed him in the military and as he ascended in the hierarchy he obtained, among other benefits, a new name: Sheng.
Mayli was bored with her comfortable life in the US and decided to return to China searching for her roots and her identity. She had a somewhat relaxed existence in China as well. This uneventful life pushed Mayli to join the army as a nurse.
Sheng’s division was sent to rescue a British-America platoon that got trapped in Burma during World War II. Little did he know that Mayli was in the same division with the rest of the nurses and doctor that accompanied the soldiers in that mission. The assignment was extremely difficult and, in my opinion, not successful. At the end of the day, the Westerners showed their true colors… in all shades.
This book is available in paperback.
Beauty and use of language:★★

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Overall rating: ★★★★
Aomame was on her way to “work” when the taxi got into a traffic jam on the Metropolitan Expressway. Traffic was not moving and Aomame could not be late, not for this job anyways. The driver suggested she got off through the emergency staircase that would take her to street level; from there she could take the subway and arrive at her destination on time. Aomame decided she didn’t have anything to lose and followed the taxi driver’s advice.
Tengo was a math teacher on a school and a part time writer for a magazine. His editor, Komatsu, received an interesting story for a contest his magazine sponsored. Komatsu proposed Tengo to meet with the author, 17-year old Fuka Eri, and rewrite (polish) the novel so it could enter, and win, the contest.
These two events took Tengo and Aomame to the year 1Q84, for Aomame where Q stood for question, and to the town of cats for Tengo. What made 1Q84 different to 1984? For starters there were two moons in 1Q84 as well as the existance of the Little People.
In this novel, or should I say epic novel, Haruki Murakami takes the readers through an intrisic world where reality and fantasy are intertwined. The characters have depth, a great deal of introspection, and the book presents a number of philosophical and ethical questions that make us examine our own convictions.
This book is available in paperback and Kindle.
Originality: ★★★★
Beauty and use of language: ★★★★