Monday, January 14, 2008

Pigs in Heaven - Barbara Kingsolver

It took me a while to realize that this is a sequel to the only other Kingsolver book I read - The Bean Trees. I liked this one a lot. Seems like nothing about it is flat... I also like the way she thinks - things can work out somehow, even if sometimes it feels like nothing good can come out of a situation.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

1984 - George Orwell

Well, this is the second time I read this book. I was a mere teenager when I read it first, and I didn't remember how intense it was! Maybe now that I'm older I'm more easily affected by things like that.
But more than the fact that it's a scary book, I find it also scary that even though it was written more than half a century ago, some of the ideas expressed in it are still not common knowledge nowadays.
For example: torture. The Party doesn't use torture to get information - they know it's useless for that. They use it to dehumanize people. To make them stop being humans.
Another example: desperate means. When Winston and Julia are asked whether they'd do anything if it worked against the party - they both said yes. Would they kill innocent people? Yes. Would they throw acid in a face of a child? Yes. Yet their answers are not automatic - made just to please the questioner, because they do say NO when asked whether they'd be willing to separate and never see each other again. Millions of people have read this book, and yet it doesn't seem like many of them remember this part when they talk about suicide bombers.