Book Review: The Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Other Stories by Carson McCullers

From Amazon.com:

A classic work that has charmed generations of readers, this collection assembles Carson McCullers’s best stories, including her beloved novella “The Ballad of the Sad Café.” A haunting tale of a human triangle that culminates in an astonishing brawl, the novella introduces readers to Miss Amelia, a formidable southern woman whose café serves as the town’s gathering place. Among other fine works, the collection also includes “Wunderkind,” McCullers’s first published story written when she was only seventeen about a musical prodigy who suddenly realizes she will not go on to become a great pianist. Newly reset and available for the first time in a handsome trade paperback edition, The Ballad of the Sad Café is a brilliant study of love and longing from one of the South’s finest writers.

There’s something about these stories that makes you empathise with the human condition; we are who we are when we can help it, when there’s nothing else to be but ourselves.

We are who we are because someone has to be.

The characters that inhabit these little stories are what one would define as misfits, rebels. But that’s the magic of stories: we realize that we are all made of the same stuff. We are all human. We are all the same. Different, but the same. At the same time. The paradox of human nature.

What I am trying to say is that these misfits feel the same emotions as we do, and they teach us so much about ourselves, our own fights and defeats, and also make us realize that oftentimes what sets us apart must also make us feel lonely/live a life of solitude.

A must-read, The Ballad of the Sad Café contains stories about other people, stories about the kind of people that we might never encounter in real life, but those stories teach us so much about ourselves.

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[Movie Review] Avengers: Endgame

After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe.

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, and a lot more A-listers

I do not intend to provide any spoilers, so you can read this review if you just want to know whether Avengers: Endgame is worth watching or not, if it’s going to break your heart, and if it’s worth sitting 181 minutes on a chair (which is no small feat.)

And the answer is yes to all three.

Now, let’s get to the review itself. Continue reading [Movie Review] Avengers: Endgame

Book Review: The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

From Amazon.com:

The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal — a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.

Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss. Written in 1952, this hugely successful novella confirmed his power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.

If this would have been Hemingway’s only published book, it would would still have been enough to earn him the Nobel prize.

“It’s silly not to hope. It’s a sin he thought.”

Hope. That double-edged sword, the source of our power, the reason behind so many of our sorrows. Hope. It is truly silly not to hope, not to dream of Heaven even when walking through Hell. Continue reading Book Review: The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

So Bad They’re Good: The 10 Worst Movies Ever Made

Art is all about making people feel. And when it comes to emotions, there’s no recipe, or guide, and the truth is that some movies just fail to make us feel as if watching them was worth our time.

The following ten movies are not just bad, they are so get-out-of-here bad that they are good. In a way. Continue reading So Bad They’re Good: The 10 Worst Movies Ever Made

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

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