Four Dystopian Novels That Are Eerily Close to Becoming True

Dystopia literally means “not-good place” and is a term used to describe a community or society that is undesirable or frightening. Dystopian novels were all the rage back when during the Cold War, possibly as a way to warn people of the perils of such a totalitarian regime as the Communist one. As a fictional genre, dystopias have the uncanny characteristic of painting a rather hopeless future for society.

Here are four dystopian novels that are eerily close to becoming true:

Continue reading “Four Dystopian Novels That Are Eerily Close to Becoming True”

12 Books That Will Surely Make You Cry

Art is supposed to make you feel something, right? And what more can you ask from a book other than to be moved by it in such a way that you end up shedding a few tears?

Also, psychologists claim that crying is kind of good for releasing stress and making you stronger emotionally, so here are twelve books that are guaranteed to make you cry.

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Book Review: The Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald

From the book’s description:

Unfinished at the time of his death, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Last Tycoon is a story of doomed love set against the extravagance of America’s booming film industry. The studio lot looks like ‘thirty acres of fairyland’ the night that a mysterious woman stands and smiles at Monroe Stahr, the last of the great Hollywood princes. Enchanted by one another, they begin a passionate but hopeless love affair, starting with a fast-moving seduction as slick as a scene from one of Stahr’s pictures. The romance unfolds, frame by frame, watched by Cecilia, a thoroughly modern girl who has taken her lessons in sentiment and cynicism from all the movies she has seen. Her buoyant humor and satirical eye perfectly complement Fitzgerald’s panorama of Hollywood at its most lavish and bewitching.

If the great Francis Scott Fitzgerald would have finished writing this novel, it would have been his masterpiece. Yes, it would have been better than The Great Gatsby, which is my favorite novel of all time, and the only piece of writing I’ve been reading once a year since I was seventeen. Besides Dune. Continue reading “Book Review: The Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald”

Book Review: Hyperion by Dan Simmons

One word review: Wow!

Ever so often it happens that I get to suspend disbelief and immerse myself in such a brilliantly constructed fictional universe that it feels like a dream I’d never want to end.

Yes. I did not want to wake up from this.

I’m still book hangover. I am currently reading the sequel.

Hyperion by Dan Simmons is a brilliant SF novel. The world is complex, intriguing, and believable. It tells of certain aspects of humanity that should/could be enhanced as we develop our technology.

This is also a great novel in terms of storytelling. The writing does its job. Each character has its own way of describing events, certain motivations and dreams and hopes and aspirations. Continue reading “Book Review: Hyperion by Dan Simmons”

Book Review: The Autumn of the Patriarch by G.G. Marquez

For those who enjoy Magical Realism, Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the biggest names out there. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, he is undoubtedly one of the best stylists of this century. His prose is beautiful, his stories weave a mesmerizing and intricate web of situations and characters, and his settings are spectacular.

The Autumn of the Patriarch, the author’s favorite novel, is the story of lonely dictator, a grotesque character surrounded by enemies. He’s forced to political maneuvers and assassination to ensure his control over the state, and at one point, the population starts to view him as being immortal.

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Book Review: Kolyma Tales by Varlam Shalamov

From Amazon.com:

It is estimated that some three million people died in the Soviet forced-labour camps of Kolyma, in the northeastern area of Siberia. Shalamov himself spent seventeen years there, and in these stories he vividly captures the lives of ordinary people caught up in terrible circumstances, whose hopes and plans extended to further than a few hours.

Feeling depressed? Feeling as if life’s unfair? Hard? People are mean? Read Kolyma Tales. That should make you feel better.

Don’t believe me?

“The men were not shown the thermometer, but that wasn’t necessary since they had to work in any weather. Besides, longtime residents of Kolyma could determine the weather precisely even without a thermometer: if there was frosty fog, that meant the temperature outside was forty degrees below zero; if you exhaled easily but in a rasping fashion, it was fifty degrees below zero; if there was a rasping and it was difficult to breathe, it was sixty degrees below; after sixty degrees below zero, spit froze in mid-air. Spit had been freezing in mid-air for two weeks.”

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The Best Movies about Writers

Finding Forrester (2000)

In a way, I just couldn’t start with any other  movie, simply because Finding Forrester was so cute and sweet and sincere that I almost cried at the end.

Starring Sean Connery and his manly voice in the role of William Forrester, a very successful and yet reclusive writer, this movie actually has some pretty good advice on writing. Continue reading “The Best Movies about Writers”

5 Simple Steps To Drastically Improve Your Writing

If you’ve always wanted to share your thoughts and ideas and stories with the world, then surely you’ve asked yourself this simple questions: How do I become a better writer?

Well, even though it takes years and years of practice, following these five simple steps will drastically improve your writing. Continue reading “5 Simple Steps To Drastically Improve Your Writing”

Book Review: Diary by Chuck Palahniuk

Without a doubt Chuck Palahniuk is the literary equivalent of a method actor. He meticulously researches his books.

But this novel is different. This one’s about the artistic process, one I think this author is both familiar with and also terribly good at explaining it.

Diary is the story of Misty Wilmot, a waitress. Yeah, she was once a promising painter, but now she’s just there, not dead yet, but not quite alive either. But when her husband tries to kill himself (and fails), she finds out that she hasn’t yet lost her talent. That’s basically the premise of this story. More or less. Yeah, there’s a plot twist towards the end, ’cause that’s Chuck’s specialty. And yeah, we’ve got strange characters doing strange things in a strange world. Continue reading “Book Review: Diary by Chuck Palahniuk”