Book Review: The Hive by Camilo Jose Cela

Camilo Jose Cela once said, “I’m translated – what can I do about it- in every language, and I have never received an award.” Of course, he was being his usual self, witty and a bit arrogant, because he did receive awards. Virtually every single award he was entitled to: The Nobel Prize, Cervantes, Premio de Principe Asturias, and many more.

A controversial figure, especially during his later years, Cela has never been afraid to experiment with his stories. The Hive, arguably his masterpiece, introduces the reader to Spain during Franco’s regime, to a world rendered with uncanny precision. There are no heroes, no villains, nothing extraordinary happening. It’s just life, and the realism, the mundane is shockingly powerful in this novel. Continue reading Book Review: The Hive by Camilo Jose Cela

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Showcase: Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein. A leading figure in the pop art movement. Inspired by the comic strip, he produced precise compositions that documented while they parodied, often in a tongue-in-cheek manner. His work was influenced by popular advertising and the comic book style. He described pop art as “not ‘American’ painting but actually industrial painting”. Continue reading Showcase: Roy Lichtenstein

Book Review: Look at the Birdie by Kurt Vonnegut

From Amazon.com:

In this series of perfectly rendered vignettes, written just as he was starting to find his comic voice, Kurt Vonnegut paints a warm, wise, and funny portrait of life in post–World War II America—a world where squabbling couples, high school geniuses, misfit office workers, and small-town lotharios struggle to adapt to changing technology, moral ambiguity, and unprecedented affluence. 

Kurt Vonnegut was one of the best writers of the last hundred years. Probably better than most of the literary establishment ever gave him credit.

Why? Continue reading Book Review: Look at the Birdie by Kurt Vonnegut

Book Review: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

First of all, I’d say that this book should be read by the open minded, by those who can accept certain views and theories about us that not everyone can stomach. From sexuality to economics to religion and almost everything in between, Sapiens is the kind of book that challenges your beliefs about what it means to be human.

It is a refreshing read. It is quite interesting. And it is well worth a try.

Of course, like I previously said, there are parts in this book that you’ll wish wouldn’t be true. That the society we built for ourselves is far from perfect, far from ideal, and that we are still to understand who we were and how we ended up being who we are now.