The Plague, by Albert Camus

I finished it, and though parts of it made me think and feel and were interesting, overall I was mostly bored and impatient with it.

I enjoyed the close-view narration style of The Stranger a lot more, and maybe if I’d gone into it more expecting a sort of dry historical style account for most of it, I’d have liked it more. The last third of the book did have a lot of good stuff to it though.

On to new things!

Advertisements

dying, now or later…

The Plague has been getting more interesting. One part I enjoyed was, as the characters are now all quarantined inside the town, and death is all around, one character is sitting in his house trying to write a book, and rewriting the same sentence for days and weeks, trying to find just the right words. He’s asking his friends for advice, agonizing over it, switching out words for similar ones, and then putting them back, and so on. All while hundreds of people are dying all around him every day.

But we’re all dying, right? Even if these characters survive the plague, they’ll just die five or ten or twenty years later. So why not spend your time fussing over the first sentence of a book you’ll never write?

Life is strange…

A meaning hidden by other meanings…

Odd John: another biography style story about super smart people

I just finished Odd John and it reminded me a bit of The Glass Bead Game in that it was a historical/biographical style telling of a group of super intelligent people who the rest of the world doesn’t understand. It was about ten times more entertaining, though that isn’t saying much. It was also written around the same time so maybe fictional biographies were a fad then.

This story was interesting, and gave me a lot of ideas to pirate. It follows the path of one character, John, from his birth to death. He starts out as a genius baby learning to read and speak and do complex math, physics and more all in his first years. From there, he moves on to even stranger/more amazing feats.

The end is what one might expect from a group of hyper smart people trying to start a colony. The world can never accept what it doesn’t understand. The author leaves it a bit vague what the group is trying to do with their collective smarts, but whatever it was, we normals would never have understood…

An interesting book, but I wasn’t a fan of the way it was written.

Solaris, by Stanislaw Lem

The end of this novel went in a different direction than I expected. I was drawn into it right away and was excited by the story and the ideas and the potential, but it feels like in the end it left much unexplored.

There was a lot of attention focused on the technical details, research, and visual details of the alien ocean. This did lend a lot to the realism of the world, but I think I would have preferred more about the effects on the characters. We never did get to find out who or what the other character’s ‘guests’ were.

I also wondered about the first version of Harey that was sent up in the rocket… what ever happened to her?

Over all an amazing book that left me wanting more, and one that I’m sure I’ll think about for some time.