Wild Geese – First Impression

Hi guys, I’m back with another book! The book’s called Wild Geese; it was originally a Japanese literary book; that later has been translated into English.
The author of this book, Ogai Mori, had a vast influence on Japanese literature of Pre-World-War era along with Soseki Natsume; for having written during the fall of the Meiji Era — or what marked the decline of the classical image of Japan as it struggled to accept the new Western influences. These authors were remarkable; they could incredibly depict the cultural context and values of Japanese people at that time.
Before reading this book, I watched a movie called “Memoirs of a Geisha” (see the previous post), which was a quite a lot similar to this book. Reading this book after watching the movie, made me easily understand the context of the book.
The book starts off with a narrator, who is staying at a boarding house in Japan, near his medical school. Just like other students, he works hard, and reads book a lot, struggling to be top of his class. There is one of his classmates in the boarding house named Okada, who is handsome, respectful and smart; and the narrator starts to tell a story about him and his love life. And the story unfolds as 2 men, Okada and a usurer develope a love triangle around the girl named Otama…
Stay tuned for more details!

Memoirs of a Geisha (Movie review)

Memoirs of a Geisha is a movie based on Japanese culture, it is an autobiography of a Geisha named, Sayuri, who reveals her past living as a Geisha. She goes through jealous rivalries between other Geishas, who want to be the most famous Geisha, the entertainer in Japan, highly respected and desired by rich and famous, influential men of Japan. As Sayuri’s story unfolds, the plot also deals with themes about Geisha agency, social structure and traditional values, the duplicity, American occupation over Japan after WWII and, of course, romance of the main character; the most important element of a Hollywood movie.The movie well depicts the cultural elements.

First of all, what is Geisha?
Geisha is a respected artist in Japan. Even though they might seem like a prostitute, as they drink and entertain men, they are educated, probably more educated than normal women in Japan. Most of Geishas are sold by their own parents who needed money for their living. After they were selected based on their appearance, they are trained to be a Geisha, in Geisha school; they learn how to play instruments, dance and learn the values and tradition of Japanese culture. They are respected by men, and they are forbidden to sell their body.

The cultural contexts in the movie.
Set before World War II, the movie well depicts the coexistence between the Western culture and Asian culture. The movie includes lots of scenes that well shows the traditional life of a Japanese household; the foods their eat, their traditional Japanese housings, and clothing; kimonos. It also shows the Japanese people’s traditions and values; it shows well how they consider their values and honor important, to an extent that they would have to end their life to maintain their values or honor. It also shows Japanese people’s way of life being westernized; people using electricity, wearing western suits, fedoras, using cars, and it is also evident how Japanese men became more respectful towards women, through westernization as Asian females are redeemed from oppressive Asian traditions by men who are westernized to a certain extent. The film acknowledges the negative effects of American occupation of Japan, but softens the blow by representing Americans in negative but historically accurate portrayal in a modern-day multicultural coexistence mentality.

The more you want to know about Japan and her culture, the more you will enjoy the movie. It has lots of cultural context, that will teach you the deep Japanese culture and their people, as the movie shows the daily routine of normal Japanese people, and the prosperous culture that Japan had, that was mixed with both Western and her own traditional culture. I highly recommend you to watch the movie to find out more about Japanese culture.

Anthem by Ayn Rand

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Anthem by Ayn Rand is an another Dystopian novel. This book is really similar to the book ‘Giver’ (another Dystopian novel), as in both novels, their governments erase “shameful” history, and they have the utter power to control everything – from people’s lives to controlling everything in the universe: colors, weather, day and night, etc.
Ayn Rand in this novel, depicts a young man in a future’s society. This young man is “extraordinary”; he is different from everyone in his society, who were educated to be obedient, and follow the government’s rule. The young man was born defiant, always wanted to know more than what the school taught him; even to things that the government didn’t want him to know about.
This book kept me thinking: Is it good for civilians to have a totalitarian government that decides what you should do for living, based on what you’re good at? Is it good to have a government that restricts anyone who wants to be different and better than others? Is it good to erase history full of blood and gore, and brainwash, uneducate people the true history to prevent the history from happening again? As many people in our world want fair, equal and peaceful society, isn’t the world in the novel their ideal society? But in this novel, Ayn Rand is criticising such society (communist societies): where everything is fair, and controlled. She views these societies as evil, when she views societies that allows individualism and ‘capitalistic’ societies more efficient, and more peace loving.

Which society do you think is more ideal? Society that allows your own individuality or society that keeps everything the same, fair and equal?

(I personally think capitalistic society is more ideal)

V For Vendetta

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V For Vendetta is a dystopian, action novel written by Alan Moore. It is one of the greatest dystopian novels in the world, and it was made as a movie, too. Its setting given in future’s dystopian society of England, ruled by a fascist government, it is about a revolutionary named “V”, terrorising the government, and revealing to English civilians what real freedom is. It is really exciting, it’s a good book showing how a man could withstand his motives against his surroundings, overcoming the fear of being punished and tortured by an oppressing government. I suggest you’d read it; it motivated me how to truly believe in myself and not give up my opinions on certain things, that are different from others.

Plot

Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, V For Vendetta tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked vigilante known only as “V.” Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he detonates two London landmarks and takes over the government-controlled airwaves, urging his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression. As Evey uncovers the truth about V’s mysterious background, she also discovers the truth about herself – and emerges as his unlikely ally in his plot to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with cruelty and corruption.

The Lovely Bones

Hi guys, recently, I am reading this book called, ‘The Lovely Bones’. It is an interesting book; the book is in extraordinary format; the book starts off as the main character, via the narrator dead, viewing the world from the heaven.
The books disarmingly starts off, narrating, “My name was Salmon, like the fish, first name Susie,”. “I was 14 when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.. . It was still back when people believed things like that didn’t happen.” The main character/narrator, Susie, whose bones are kept all over the neighborhood (that’s how the author came up with the title!), narrates the events happening from the heaven, when she is dead. From the heaven, she starts narrating the impacts on her family after she was found dead; the tragic, break-down events that were to come to her family in despair.
I will update you guys on the book, and introduce varieties of characters in the book; so stay tuned!

Reading and finishing Assassin’s Apprentice

Hi guys, recently I couldn’t update you guys on the book, ‘Assassin’s Apprentice’. I have finished the book. Despite the high expectation I had on this book, I should say, the book was quite boring.

As I told you guys before, when I started this book, I was quite excited and enthusiased , because I personally LOVE adventure, action, and medieval based novels. And the title of this book, “Assassin’s Apprentice” really drew me into this book. I was hoping that there would be medieval assassin’s fighting scenes, just like the game, ‘Assassin’s Creed’, like I said on the previous post regarding this book.

So the story opens as the author, in first person’s view from Fitz, the bastard son of Chivarly is being described. Fitz, the bastard son of Chivarly (who is king-in-waiting prince) has been neglected by his father, because he is not a legitimate son. The soldier brought Fitz to Prince Verity, who orders that he is to be given, and raised by a stableman, Burrich. As Fitz and Burrich arrive Buckkeep, Chivarly abdicates from his position with is wife, so that no harm would be done on Fitz (Fitz could have been harmed, and Chivarly’s fame would have been degraded once people find out that Chivarly has a bastard son, Fitz). Fitz works as a stableman, but he gets an offer to become an assassin for the king. Fitz gladly accepts it, as he dreaded his life working as a stableman, and becomes trained for assassin’s. He trains special abilities, (so called ‘Skill’, which is like telephathy) and weapons mastery in order to become a great assassin. As he goes through training, he goes through different hardships because of his rivals in his training school…

I’m going to stop telling you guys about the story. I don’t want to ruin it, as some people who were also reading this book found it very interesting, so I don’t want to spoil the story. Anyways, as I said, I found the book really boring. The book’s storyline was quite long, and instead of having more interesting, exciting events that happened in the book, there were more dull moments that lost my attention. The ending was quite confusing, and weird, in the way that Robin Hobb rushed (?) to finish the book- it seemed to me that he skipped few events that would have explained, and led to the ending. 

Well, I heard that there are two more books in this Assassin’s Apprentice trilogy. I haven’t read them; who knows? they might be more interesting than the first book, maybe more actions, and excitable moments in Fitz’s life of being an assassin.

I will cover the other books in the series if I have the time to read them, and tell my feedback on those books to you guys. 🙂

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There is a wise saying, “Do not judge book by its cover”. However, this book’s interesting title and its cover made me judge. The title of this book “Assassin’s apprentice” and the picture of a medieval assassin thrilled me and I personally judged that it would be an interesting, thrilling book. As an enthusiastic “Assassin’s Creed” (game) player, I’m thinking that this book will be really similar to the game, which is fantastic game with much action into it.

The story is in 1st person narrative, which then I can guess that it is about a person telling about his account of his growth. I found out that he was a “bastard” and he was meant to be an assassin in a medieval world, to assassinate other Duchies.

I can’t wait to keep on reading this book. I bet there would be lots of actions into it and would be thrilling!