February 2012

Drew’s #9 – The Time Machine

February 28, 2012 // 1 Comment

Like a number of books, the movie was shameful by comparison.  H.G. Wills’s classic story follows his time traveler’s exploits (primarily) 800,000 years in the future.  There he finds mankind divided into two terribly different species:  the carefree but helpless Eloi and the toiling, violent Morlocks.  This stories a quick read; interesting social commentary, good story–a little dry, though. Share on Facebook

Drew’s #7–That Hideous Strength

February 28, 2012 // 0 Comments

This one was actually a re-read.  I’ve read this book a number of times and something fresh strikes me every time.   This story is Lewis’s striking contribution to “Prophetic” fiction–on par with 1984, Atlas Shrugged, Fahrenheit 451, etc…  It’s actually the final installment of his “space” trilogy including Out of a Silent Planet and Paralandra (both great stories on their own but very different stories).  Anyway, the story takes place in England shortly after the 2nd World War pans back and forth between the efforts of a shadowy institution–menacingly flexing its influence in government, media, and academia–to plunge the world into a totalitarian dystopia and the small, eclectic band of underdogs fiercely struggling to save  it.  All these pivot on young couple trying to balance their urbane, progressive aspirations with the inescapable nuances of human affection. Honestly, only Lewis could pull off a story like this–and he does so brilliantly!  The story touches on everything from social relationships to politics to philosophy to Arthurian legend ultimately producing a rich picture of God’s simple, undeniable goodness and our various reflections of that.  One of my all time favorite books, this one is great by itself or as the capstone to […]

Mark’s #10 – Replay by Ken Grimmwood (1986)

February 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

If one of the marks of a good book is that it makes you examine your own life, dreams, choices, and future direction, then Replay by Ken Grimmwood is a great book. Imagine dying of a heart attack in your 40’s only to wake up again as an 18-year-old freshman at college.  How would your second life differ from the first?  What regrets from your first life would you try to avoid in the second?  With your accumulated knowledge from your past, and a foreknowledge of the future,  how would your relationships or career choice be different?  Now imagine doing this again, five or six different times… This is the experience for Jeff Winston in Replay. At first thought, the concept and the opportunity to redo life the right way seems like a pretty cool experience.  Yet, as Grimmwood points out throughout the book, there may be much more of a downside to such experiences than any upside.  These life-cycles seem to be a small snapshot of the Hindu concept of reincarnation (with the goal being to get off of the endless wheel of life and finally reach Nirvana).  For example, anyone you loved and shared experiences with in a […]

Ally’s #11 Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

February 23, 2012 // 0 Comments

I have to give the Bronte sisters a round of applause for having much more substance, mystery, and strange twists to their stories than Jane Austen. If Austen’s books are “Days of Our Lives,” then Wuthering Heights is “Jerry Springer.” It is dysfunction to an unbelievable degree. It’s filled with abuse (physical and verbal), revenge, family infighting, broken marriages, unrequited love, and more. I had to plow through 90% of this book before the dreariness and churning hatred began to lighten up. The story is told from the point of view of the head maid, Mrs. Ellen Dean. She recounts the story of the inhabitants at Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange for the new tenant of her master, Mr. Heathcliff. There are so many characters and names that overlap, that it would be confusing for me to comment on too many aside from Mr. Heathcliff. They all, however, seem unfortunately drawn and bound to him like mice to a trap. Heathcliff is rescued as a boy on the streets of Liverpool by Mr. Earnshaw, the patriarch of Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff is brought home, taught English, and enjoys a childhood equal to the Earnshaw children. He is especially close with Catherine, whom he […]

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