A trigger warning is a disclaimer that something unsettling, disturbing, or that has the possibility of upsetting the reader will be found within a piece of writing. I will not post trigger warnings because life doesn’t come with them and I don’t believe in babying my readers just to make them feel happy or safe. Growing up means facing upsetting things and learning not only how to deal with them but how to accept the terrible in the world and either do something about it or move on. (Here comes my unpopular opinion) Continue reading “On the Subject of Trigger Warnings”
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Published in 1985
Genre: Dystopian, speculative fiction
“We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.”
The Handmaid’s Tale takes place in a dystopian future where a religious sect has taken over the United States of America and transformed it into the Republic of Gilead. Patriarchy reigns supreme and a bastardized version of Christianity is the law of the land. Due to this, the Handmaid’s job is to be the sacred vessel for the coming generations. Read: used strictly for procreation. These Handmaids are indoctrinated and made to do their “duty” (awkward and uncomfortable sex) through unquestioning faith. The main character, Offred (whose name is based on the name of the Commander that she serves. Literally meaning “Of-Fred”, it is more of an identification of property. Other characters are named Ofwarren and Ofglen), recounts her experiences as a Handmaid and through her recollections pieces together the change undergone by an entire country and culture. Continue reading “The Handmaid’s Tale – Review”
I have to say that throughout reading the Harry Potter series, I felt many different emotions regarding both the content and technique of the story. As a whole, I believe it is a spectacular crescendo in both Rowling’s technical ability as a writer as well as the way in which she crafts the events and plot lines in the story. Is it perfect? No. It is a feat of engrossing storytelling? Absolutely. Continue reading “On the Subject of Harry Potter”
There is a prevailing gripe in our society today about specific events in a story, television episode, or movie being “spoiled” by people revealing certain information central to the plot. This has become such a trend that it is a recurring joke on the BBC show Doctor Who, in which the time traveling character River Song (the woman in the picture) responds to any questions about the future with a smile and simply states in a sultry tone, “Spoilers.” But why is it that an entire story or experience can be spoiled by the knowledge of a certain twist or event in a story? If said story relies solely on that one revelation or plot point for the majority of its content or worth, is it really a story that needs to be told in the first place? Continue reading “Spoiler Alert!! – On the Subject of Spoilers”
As I said in my review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, there was one fundamental problem I had while reading that had me shaking my head to the point of near distraction. I realize that this is something that a lot of people won’t necessarily notice while reading, but as someone who constantly looks over his own writing for them, I couldn’t help but notice the annoying amount of adverbs (there’s a little bit of alliteration for ya, free of charge) that are present throughout the book.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Published in 1997 as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, published in the U.S. in 1998
Genre: Fantasy, magical realism
“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
The legacy of Harry Potter is undeniable and the critical acclaim is well deserved. The first Harry Potter book not only broke records for sales but also brought about the different genres and categories we have today on the New York Times Bestseller List.
I am going to say outright that this book is as good the third time as it was when I read it for the first almost seventeen years ago. The characters are well fleshed out and J.K. Rowling has a ridiculous amount of talent in the way that she switches from summary to scene that allows the reader to zoom in on the important conversations and events while continuing the world building that she does so well.