The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

THE BLIND ASSASSIN BY MARGARET ATWOOD
Published: for World Book Nights 2011
Paperback: 641 pages
ISBN: 978-1-86049-880-0

AUTHOR’S WEBSITE: http://www.margaretatwood.ca/

MY LOCAL LIBRARY:

Minet Library – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Minet-Library-Lambeth-Archives/182910281761857

SYNOPSIS:

The elder sibling Iris reflects on her far from exemplary life, in particular the events surrounding her younger sister’s Laura’s death. Like no other character within the book, she examines all details before her time runs out, however, on the other hand… 

MY BOOK REVIEW:

Before I read this book ‘The Blind Assassin’, as part of the Reading Group of Minet Public Library, I read to get familiar with the author’s writing style, which was written by her too, another book called ‘Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer On Writing’ by the same author, which I own a copy of, that is when it came out alittle later than ‘The Blind Assassin’ as a stand alone book, and its a short study guide, as she talks in-depth about what writing actually ‘means’ and how reading is also important to what is ‘gifted from its insight’ when it comes to a book and any of this kind in its form, such as ‘The Blind Assassin’ which is presented to the Reader.

So therefore I knew that reading the book ‘Negotiating with the Dead’ give me a fore-taste, and would ease me into her way of writing narrative prose and to ‘hear’ her vision on matters, because although all appears normal on the surface, by using a specific reading technique; a nuanced one, as you get into the book you find there are under-currents worth exploring too, in the plot and theme of the Blind Assassin, which gives this book a texualized richness. For she says within this book of ‘Negotiating with the Dead’ that:

“Talking is very old, writing is not. Most people learn to talk when they are infants, but many people never learn to read.  Reading is decoding, and in order to do it you have to learn a purely arbitrary set of markings, an abstract formula.” (page 46)

Buy book on Amazon: Negotiating with the Dead by Margaret Atwood

This one quote from ‘Negotiating with the Dead’ helped with understanding why she wrote the way she did for ‘The Blind Assassin’ generally and when it came to do the review for this book. As her views on writing and that of the character of Iris, is pretty strong on their creative processes which are markedly similar. 

For you were set a blind task to decode through-out the book, you have to ‘trust the purpose’ literally because Iris is talking like someone elderly but her writing is lively. And this comes across from the text of ‘The Blind Assassin’ because there’s much left unsaid and unfinished, as you feel from the book that there is a shortened space of time left too, not hurried so much to have a fast pace to the flow of words in the narrative, its just that there’s a feeling that time isn’t on your or her side to complete the mission in the body of work, and thus each word, each sentence must account for something, and each phrase must count its cost. As one of the character’s states:

“…Sometimes you don’t like me very much, she says. I can’t think about much else lately, he says.  But liking is different. Liking takes time.  I don’t have the time to like you.  I can’t concentrate on it.” (The Blind Assassin: The lipstick heart, page 31)

And that abstract formula is carried through the book in two ways: Religion and Moral Trust. And this is because it’s the mainstay of what keeps them going on, whether they like it or not, whether they believe or not, whether they care for it or not, it leaves a trail and a process of active thoughts as for example it states:

“The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read.  Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.  Impossible of course.  I pay out my line, I pay out my line, this black thread I’m spinning across the page.” (The Steamer Trunk, The Blind Assassin, page 345)

This is very much moralistic in its tone, about life and how as individuals we interact with it, because even if you’re not writing down truth, you can’t assume visually that you won’t be read either, and that is one of the premises of the book ‘The Blind Assassin’ because even if God doesn’t come to read her words in printed form, there is another person that is known who could; without even waiting for the finished copy to be published: is that of the Holy Spirit of God, and as the character states: “The real author was neither one of us: a fist is more than the sum of its fingers.” (The Heap of Rubble, The Blind Assassin, page 626) And this was the message that Iris did have some sort of faith afterall, however you only realised it later on in the book, that she wasn’t an Atheist, which you might have been lead to believe.   

And I thought about this, and this way it took me so long to write this review, for surely I felt that coming from such an upbringing of a duty-bound background, something must have been heartfelt religiously within her! As she spoke to no-one about how she was dealing with life, no friendship outside of peers, only that of adult company, so who was it that Iris turned to during those times when she required that of stability?!

Because the elder sister, Iris, didn’t put her trust in God, unlike her mother, who was a devout Methodist, or younger sister, Laura, who was also a Methodist although with fanatical leanings to what religion and God stood for, literally and unqiuely, and that of their father, who was an Anglican, although losing his faith in God when he returned from the War, and never regained his trust in the Lord back, even with the encouragement from his wife to still uphold his religious creed, he didn’t, although he wasn’t an Atheist either, for as Iris says it wasn’t a term yet invented nor was it up for discussion with his children.

But with Iris you couldn’t tell so easily, but you only became aware to that of her affinity with that of the Holy Ghost much later on, if you hadn’t written off the book due to not ‘getting it’ as a form of repentence, and not given it much thought, as everything she wrote was ghost-like and spiritual, and the Holy Spirit, who to her was a ‘Trans-cultural Metaphor’ which being the ‘living bird’ is represented as a Dove, and it could be decoded from within the book because all of Iris’ experiences she gives in the most poetic views of how she sees Creation, as from the standpoint of the Holy Ghost first viewing the waters of the Earth, right from the begin she doesn’t see herself in the spotlight but her presence is called for and that of being a helper to others, but all this was given through a personal absorption when she writes as its says:

“I look back over what I’ve written and I know its wrong, not because of what I’ve set down, but because of what I’ve omitted. What isn’t there has a presence, like the absence of light.  You want the truth, of course. You want me to put two and two together.  But two and two doesn’t necessarily get you the truth.  Two and two equals a voice outside the window. Two and two equals the wind.  The living bird is not its labelled bones.”  (The chestnut tree, page 484)

Which meant for this book that there’s an underlying unity of the confessional as well as the contemplative lives of the characters, and in that and from that premise, the book has no predictable quality to it, that we as Readers can also identify with in reality, as so much of our own lives are withheld from view, that is, even from ourselves, as in the novel it states on page 632:

“The picture is of happiness, the story not.  Happiness is a garden walled with glass: there’s no way in or out.  In paradise there are no stories, because there are no journeys.  Its loss and regret and misery and yearning that drive the story forward along its twisted road.”

And all this was purposefully set out in the complexity of the novel, because for a time, while we also read it, time has stood still, we do come back to read it at intervals to continue onwards, much as we do in our own lives, and that’s how the book’s format takes us along. As you’ve lost that sense of ‘Paradise’ that you might have held onto in an idealized way, this book shakes that off, but this is because there is not a natural flow, there’s no sense of a re-enactment of trying to write wrongs, nor give explanations for actions or thoughts, what you do get is raw emotional longings of things that hadn’t a chance to flourish within themselves as well as in the social world.  What really brought this home was when I read that line “In paradise there are no stories because there are no journeys.” They end. You don’t do anything in Paradise, you just stand still unmoved and unstirred. But does that mean in Hell there are many stories with differing roads as well as journeys. As said in Paradise Lost by John Milton:

”So without least impulse or shadow of Fate, or aught by me immutablie foreseen, They trespass Authors, to themselves in all, Both in what they judge and what they choose; for so I formd them free and free them must remain, Till they enthral themselves: I else must change Thir nature and revoke the High Decree, Unchangeable, Eternal, which ordain’d Thir freedom, They ordain’d Thir fall…” (page 26, Paradise Lost, by John Milton, PC Kindle version)

And for me that sums up the book, because in alot of the character’s traits, there was no telling who was doing the writing, the editing and the publishing; especially of the completed novel of Iris’ which should have remain hidden in the trunk, but it didn’t work out that way, for we have read it, and thus would she have wanted it public anyway is questionable. So was the revenge unknown to even Iris by its publication without her consent; the lawyer who knew where to find it, perhaps even Myra had it published for the memory regarding what her mother Reenie was like as a loyal person, or was it the grand-daughter who decided to publish the book as a combined bind-up, as some sort of payback: hence the title of the book ‘The Blind Assassin’, for we’ll never know, because it’s a book within a book of another book which we’re reading; a confessional, testimony and a tribute: a memorial (their heritage) within a memorial (the siblings keepsakes) within a scrapbook journal as a written memorial (the people around them that emphasised their lives) but with a betrayal and some very tragic outcomes born from deceit all round.

Along with that, each character mentioned falls short, within their own flaws, as they weren’t well-rounded people nor well adjusted, although none could see it, even from that of the Reader’s interpretation, as they were enthralled with themselves, as each character comes to pass and live even through a brief moment, the author dies alittle as they move across the page in creating because there’s no second chances in this type of abstract novel, for the Readers’ play that of Revelations and divine retributions, that is the Reader of the book becomes God in Judgement, the Holy Ghost as Comforter, or the Devil’s Advocate, and the absence of Jesus as Love, but as with all of them, its hard to judge them without entering into cliques, and taking into account their motives, blind convictions and chances, yet still, they and us remained free, and in what they themselves judged we might not have given such thoughts, and to what they choose throughout the events, we came to our own conclusion as Readers.

Overall, this book would be very resourceful in the many discourses that could be entered into as part of an educational set book due to the subject offerings that can be pulled out of the book eg. historical perspective, feminism, sexuality, class structure, religion, industrial welfare, war, sibling rivalry, inter-racial romantic relationships, the ethical practices of the commercial media and that of women in society, to name but a few. As well as for being beneficial to Reading Groups to have a lively discussion regarding the different Reader interpretations that could arise. But last, but not least, for just being a read definitely worthwhile. It deserves to become a ‘Classic’ book. 

MY FAVOURITE PASSAGE:

“Jesus sits at the right hand of God,” she said, “so who sits at God’s left hand?” “Maybe God doesn’t have a left hand,” I said, to tease her.  “Left hands are supposed to be bad, so maybe he wouldn’t have one. Or maybe he got his left hand cut off in a war.” “We are made in God’s image,” Laura said, “and we have left hands, so God must have one as well”, She consulted her diagram, chewing on the end of her pencil. “I know!” she said “The table must be circular! So everyone sits at everyone else’s right hand, all the way round.” “And vice versa,” I said.  Laura was my left hand, and I was hers. We wrote the book together.  It’s a left-handed book.  That’s why one of us is always out of sight, whichever way you look at it. (The Heap of Rubble, The Blind Assassin, page 627)

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Filed under Contemporary, Inter-racial Romance, Reading Group

MY BOOK CHALLENGE 2012

                           MY THREE BOOK CHALLENGES 2012

I will leave my comments in the box below; as replies for updates for how I’m progressing throughout the year, as well maybe do reviews on the books I found interesting and rewarding to have read.

(R) = Read


The Long Book Challenge

This one was made up by Debra’s Book Café and Bumblesby, on their youtube book channels and goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/
59600.2012_Big_Book_Challenge
.
The challenge for 2012 is to ‘up the game’ and read longer novels
(mine would be from the local library) of books over 400 pages in length. 

1.The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (627 pages) (R)

2. The Time of My Life by Cecelia Ahern (419 pages –
    large print edition) (R)

3. The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer (523 pages –
    large print edition)


Read Non-Fiction Book Challenge

This is a challenge to read at least one book every three months
that is non-fiction (that has some historical/biographical value)
from the public library.

1. A History of English Food by Clarissa Dickson Wright

2.

3.

Read Contemporary Books Challenge

This challenge has been made up by me, to read at least six (adult)
contemporary books in a period of over six months, that has been
borrowed from the public library (thats not duplicated from the above
book challenges – it has to be a different book.)

Weblink as to what is meant by ‘contemporary fiction’ as a genre:
Postmodernism, Backgrounds and Definitions and Contemporary Fiction

1. A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood (R)

2.

3.

4.

Read Chick-Lit fiction Book Challenge

This is a challenge to read at least one book every month
that is from the public library.

1. Monday to Friday Man by Alice Peterson (R)

2. The Black Violin by Maxence Fermine (R)

3. Pear Shaped by Stella Newman

4. Hotel Vendôme by Danielle Steel

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Paint Me Rainbows by Fern Michaels

PAINT ME RAINBOWS BY FERN MICHAELS
Publisher: Thordike Chivers
Hardback: Large Print, 216 pages
ISBN: 1-40563374-3

AUTHOR’S WEBSITE: http://fernmichaels.com/

MY LOCAL LIBRARY:
Minet Library – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Minet-Library-Lambeth-Archives/182910281761857

SYNOPSIS:

With nothing but her shattered pride and wedding dress, Jill Barton flees town after the heartbreak and humiliation of being left at the altar. While a charming country retreat in Washington State offers her sanctuary, its hard-bitten owner, Logan Matthews, does not. And soon Jill realizes that nothing is safe around Logan – not her secrets, not her desires and especially not her heart.

MY REVIEW:

A romantic book with an young adult female with a can-do attitude and an accomplished alpha male. As it was published in 1981 at the beginning of the ‘anti-male’ feminist track from middle-class women, it was reflected in this book rather too well, because Jill, the main character was forever making ‘put-down’ comments regarding his, Logan’s male capabilities, and his macho attitude only occured once in the book, although I’m glad he refrained from getting in-touch with his ‘feminine side’ as that would’ve done me in I feel and I would’ve lost total respect for Logan if he had as the male central character, *phew* so that was his saving grace. Also, I didn’t like Jill’s character that much, and I think it was because as soon as she found out that Logan was wealthy from Aggie, the manner of Jill’s address to him suddenly changed, and I thought ‘gold-digger’ even though the author went to pains to say that she wasn’t, and that Jill was truely in love with Logan, I still didn’t believe it. The star of the book for me was ‘Doozey’ the dog and Aggie, the housekeeper, they kept me entertained throughout the book, without whom that book would’ve fallen flat and been regarded as a ‘typical’ romantic book with all its cliques. However, I really liked the Xmas theme of the book and all the warmth it brings to the season.

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The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

THE LOST SYMBOL BY DAN BROWN
Publisher: Bantam Press
Hardback: large print, 505 pages,
ISBN: 9780593054277

AUTHOR WEBSITE: http://www.danbrown.com/

MY LOCAL LIBRARY:
Minet Library – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Minet-Library-Lambeth-Archives/182910281761857

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NOTE: the origins and early development of Freemasonry are a matter of some debate and conjecture. A poem known as the “Regius Manuscript” has been dated to approximately 1390 and is the oldest known Masonic text. There is evidence to suggest that there were Masonic lodges in existence in Scotland as early as the late 16th century (for example the Lodge at Kilwinning, Scotland, has records that date to the late 16th century, and is mentioned in the Second Schaw Statutes (1599) which specified that “ye warden of ye lug of Kilwynning […] tak tryall of ye airt of memorie and science yrof, of everie fellowe of craft and everie prenteiss according to ayr of yr vocations”). There are clear references to the existence of lodges in England by the mid-17th century.

Weblinks:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemasonry

http://www.ugle.org.uk/what-is-masonry/

___________________________________________

EXTRACT:

“…What I’m saying is this…two heads are better than one…and yet two heads are not twice better, they are many many times better. Multiple minds working in unison magnify a thought effect… exponentially. This is the inherent power of prayer groups, healing circles, singing in unions and worshipping en masse. The idea of universal consciousness is no ethereal New Age concept. It’s a hard-core scientific reality…and harnessing it has the potential to transform the world. This is the underlying discovery of Noethe Science. What’s more, its happening right now. You can feel it around you. Technology is linking us in ways we never imagined possible. Twitter, Google, Wikipedia and others — all blend to create a web of interconnected minds.”

MY COMMENT:

I agree to a point. For what if it had answered or had made some sort of suspense or thriller element as a sub-context in the book regarding that of about the ‘God-Head’.

As the ‘God Head’ denotes the Divine Nature or Substance, set apart from the Trinity; as the ‘Word’ is set apart in Genesis in the beginning. As the ‘Godhead’ is a ‘substance’ of Divine Nature, that is a part of a Single mind, three into one converged energy, which acts with a Multiple mind purpose.

Then the book would have given another perspective on what the main character Robert Langdon might have explored, as Dan Brown’s theme within this book was regarding science, religion and the Freemason, that of two aspects that can be found to be: ‘transformation’ and ‘transubstantiation’ that is to change in substance as a person as to something beyond oneself.

As the ‘God-Head’ is mentioned in Acts 17:29, Romans 1-20 and Colossians 2:9 from the Wycliffe 1395 bible version and Tyndale 1525 bible version, which specifically gives that word to the reference of ‘Godhead’ that is a Middle English variant of the word ‘godhood’, and the ending ‘-head’, is not connected with the word ‘head’ as in terms of leadership, its something else entirely. Also John Wycliffe introduced the term godhede into the English Bible versions in two places, and, though somewhat archaic, the term survives in modern English because of its use in three places of the Tyndale New Testament (1525) and into the Authorized King James Version of the Bible (1611). For “…while three entities comprise the Godhead (state of being God), they are one in nature, purpose, and thinking (cf. Jn. 14: 8-11)…” it is mentioned within this book a similar premise; the Freemasons creed, the universal consciousness and the Noetic science.

Weblinks:

http://www.bibletruths.net/great%20truths/gt01.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noetic_theory

And I’d say that just because the ‘Godhead’ hasn’t been delved into as much by authors, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, just that its been sidelined in the realm of explored research and theories, and it could’ve tied into science, the Freemasons and religion within this book, and that is because as far as I know, the ‘Godhead’ doesn’t have a symbol, therefore its lost, and you’d have thought it would, being that everything else does of somekind, with an associated attribute of a symbolic classification, that started in the Age of Enlightenment during the 17th century, and they overlooked this one element?

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The Lost Book of Salem by Katherine Howe

THE LOST BOOK OF SALEM BY KATHERINE HOWE
Publisher: Penguin Books
Hardback, large print, 459 pages,
ISBN: 9781408430538

AUTHOR WEBSITE: http://katherinehowe.com/

SOURCE FROM: Library Collection

MY LOCAL LIBRARY:

Minet Library – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Minet-Library-Lambeth-Archives/182910281761857
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NOTE: the word Salem means in the Book of Genesis, ‘Salem’ is a name of place in which Melchizedek is king. Genesis 14:18 and in the KJV bible it renders this as “Melchizedek king of Salem, the priest of the most high God (El Elyon).” The Hebrew root Salem means “whole, complete” in the idiomatic sense of “at peace”.

Weblink: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_Jerusalem
___________________________________________

MY REVIEW:

The book was good. Instead of being written in just English though, it had the American dialect of New England, as well as the Old English from the 16th century to contend with when reading this book, so you had to be abit of an imagined linguist of being able to put each character and setting part into the context of the narrative. As as that of the Salem Witches stories within the book were written in Old English, that of the New England dialect, which even the main character had difficulty understanding what was being said to her in that twang, but then you relaxed when it got to the 20th century English language that is well understood currently.

My interest was peaked in trying to work out the motive for the Witch hunts, as we had learnt just some of this from my history class when it came to the Reformation and how the Witches were caught up in this, so much so that I thought I’d put my own theory forward:

THE MOTIVE FOR THE WITCH HUNT

The motive for the witch hunt goes back in history to Margery Kempe (1373-1438) who made a pilgrimage during 1413, going to the shrine of St. Thomas a Becket in Canterbury. At a local Monastery, a monk challenged her, asking what she knew of God, and she answered that she knew. The monk asked her to name his secret sin, and she replied “Lechery.” He was taken aback, and asked “With single women or married.” “Married,” she replied, and he cried, “She is a right holy woman!”

Weblink: http://www.vlib.us/medieval/lectures/margery.html

Now what if this piece of verbal exchange certainly carried around Britain as gossip, as the Kempe woman was examined in public by the Monk within earshot of others, and therefore God’s secret sin was no more a secret then. And any woman of certain social class wanted to be the next Mary, that God sought for sexual liaisons, and if not him the next best would’ve been Christ. And what if then God could be entrapped by ‘cunning women’ feared the human men, they’d see this as an affront to their masculinity also, although I guess not much has changed from this thought in Western society. The outcome?

Forward to 1692, and what if the educated women of Salem, got to know what the town name of Salem meant in Hebrew, that is being God, whole and complete and in peace. The townspeople would all have had differing motives: rivalry at its very worse and sexual competition. The males wanting to show God how virtuous they were, the young females how innocent they were, and older women how righteous they were. All stated in this novel ‘the lost Book of Salem’ through the character of Deliverance Dane, a God fearing woman.

And although the main character Connie was able to read peoples’ outward manifestations of impression and expression, she couldn’t read their inner motives. But the accused witch Deliverance Dane could, on pages 311 and 402 as to the given examples within the book without resorting to spellbinding, for she was a healer only.

So why the witch-hunt in a far-off place such as Salem, New England, says it in the name really and in the behaviour of the residence back then. They wanted to root God in time and in that location, they did an incantation that went wrong, and didn’t want to reverse it, if God could be kept among them, but wait, healing women could free God, that was a risk they couldn’t take, for the Holy Ghost has many benign gifts that he empowers females with as beknown, hence only those that were visibly in their spiritual gifts were charged; the healing women accused of witchcraft being put to death by hanging.

I truly believe that no-one really believed that the Holy Spirit exists, for it astounds me that no-one asked for his help and some still don’t today. But there is a clue within the book of the Holy Ghost’s presence being that of the ability of ‘Divination’ which includes ‘prayer intentions’ such as:

Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God
Do not forget the helpless.
Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account?”
But you, O God, do see trouble and grief;
You consider it to take it in hand.
The victim commits himself to you;
You are the helper of the fatherless.
Call him to account for his wickedness
That would not be found out.
The Lord is King forever and ever;
Your hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted;
You encourage them, and you listen to their cry
Defending the fatherless and the oppressed
In order that those who are of the earth,
may terrify no more.

(Psalm 10 v.12-18)

And mentioned in the book on page 374 of “…Will? It was not quite, but almost. Intention. In the book it was called variously ‘technick, crafte and authoritie.’ So there would’ve been no need for persecutions

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The Celibate by Michael Arditti

THE CELIBATE BY MICHAEL ARDITTI
Paperback: 340 pages
Publisher: Arcadia Books
ISBN: 978-1906413224

AUTHOR WEBSITE: http://www.michaelarditti.com/

SOURCE FROM: Library Collection

MY LOCAL LIBRARY:
Minet Library – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Minet-Library-Lambeth-Archives/182910281761857

____________________________________________

MY REVIEW:

As the author, as to and through his main character conveyed a significant insight about all manner of subjects, but less on experience, therefore he had ‘Specific Understanding’ that is the main character that he himself admits. For it was picked up on that they, both the author and main character lacked and felt contemptuousness of those that do have the ability of ‘Sensed understanding’ internally regarding meanings gathered from awareness, which the author through the main character admits on page 212 when assessing that of another person, “that there is a gulf between ‘Sense-Knowledge and that of ‘Revelation Knowledge’ for he laments that ‘Sense-knowledge could never tell us which came first;” true, as it tells what is, where is, there is, and how is, and most importantly why is it so.

However, in modern times is given more credence in terms of acceptance when done as a self-confession rather than from any type of meaningful-interaction with reflection.

As there are three regards which applies to ‘Sense-Knowledge’ particularly as you read this book, or a book that is complex, is that it should be borne in mind with sensitivity as to:

Social Causality – reflecting on the causal influence regardless of who actually begins the interaction as it gives rise to impression about behaviour and its causes.

Temporal Contingency — as to the interaction with each other by eliciting our behaviour in that we may understand a greater number of traits in others than in ourselves.

Spatial Proximity — creates the perception of intentionality, the reader is ‘figural’ here which gives a tendency for the reader making out the purposes, the contexts and working with it.

As the character says: “Its hard to gain a perspective from a position of partial truth. And yet there are so many truths even as there are many stories. And at some point they must all connect. I used to think that that would only be in death; but I’m now convinced that as I reach out to more and more people, so I’ll come to understand their stories, and the partial truths will make more sense.” (page 247-278) Hence my reading was in the style of being nuanced in thought, that is just as much as the author’s were multi-complex in the contents.

To which I state that ‘Sense-knowledge’ is a virtue, which when a reader masters how to judge a book regardless of subject matter, just as much as they must know how to arrive at an understanding of its contents, that is no matter the subjectivity of it, the outcome of which is that there must be resolutions being stated in terms of shared critiques that builds upon awareness in having social perspectives that is insightful.

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The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas
Paperback: 396 pages
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
ISBN: 978-1847670700

Author Website: http://www.scarlettthomas.co.uk/

Source from: Home Library Collection

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Harper edition
ISBN: 978-0007233717

Author Website: http://uk.cecelia-ahern.com/

Source from: Library Collection

MY LOCAL LIBRARY:
Minet Library – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Minet-Library-Lambeth-Archives/182910281761857

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MY REVIEW:

THE LINK BETWEEN THE BOOKS:

Both characters are searching for something that’s missing in their lives.

Both books deal with the spiritual supernatural element within their lives.

Both book characters have to deal with virtues and vices; in the ‘Book of Tomorrow’ its lies and in the ‘End of Mr Y’ its about truth.

Both books deal with also the infliction of words rather than their empowerment; as the ‘Book of Tomorrow’ dealt with the thoughts from speech and the ‘End of Mr Y’ that of the thoughts from the written word.

Both books I felt was dealing with something beyond them. Ultimately they had or were facing choices;

In the ‘Book of Tomorrow’ it was a matter of chance, faith and the possibility of understanding, from that of a personal perception. That is it mattered to her what she thought.

In regards to the ‘End of Mr Y’ it was a matter of risk, rational and the possibility of being understood, from that of a social perception. That is it mattered what others thought.

HOW DOES THIS LEAVE THE READER:

In the ‘Book of Tomorrow’, the interest lay in the apparent paradox, the basis of which lies in the difference between the nature of our experiences and our knowledge of how those experiences are caused.

In the ‘End of Mr Y’, its about the conflict between our everyday life experiences of objects and an analysis of how these experiences come to exist. It looks to enquire how the human being creates a coherent perceptual world out of a maze of physical impingements.

Thus from the readers perception from both books, its about our experiences which is dependant upon our active role as played out as the ‘Perceiver’ who in terms of the influence sets or has the expectation to achieve a structure from the books, from what maybe ambiguous or withheld from us as the reader.

And this is because our world of experience has stability in the constancies of perception which bears some relation to external events, in other words the perceptual act can be said to generate understanding that we can use as a basis for action. The connotation of meaningful here is that structure and stability are probably necessary for meaning to exist.

So the role of the ‘Perceiver’ is in affect to verify, endorse and validate the perceptions of people, behaviour and context and how these are interpreted, and may differ in a) what it being paid attention to, b) how they label, categories and relate to what they have observed and c) what inferences they draw from the person, behaviour or situation.

And you gain that concept from reading both these books, for both in the ‘Book of Tomorrow’ it was from a philosophical perceptive. Whilst in the ‘End of Mr Y’ its was from a psychologist perceptive. As both these field of study have been intrigued with the nature of the human perceptual process, and its given in this way from the books I’ve just read for example in:

‘The Book of Tomorrow’ its on page 417; “I constantly wonder how much of my life I would have learned if it hadn’t been for the book. Sometimes I think I would have found out sooner or later, most of the time I think that’s what the book’s purpose was, because it most certainly had a purpose. It led me to here. It helped me discover the secrets that made me a better person.”

And in ‘The End of Mr Y’ its on pages 16 and 18; “And I read the opening line of the preface, first in my head, and then aloud, as another train rattle along outside: “The discourse which follows may appear to the Reader as mere fancy or as a dream, penned on waking, in those fevered moments when one is still mesmerised by those conjuring tricks that are produced in the mind once the eyes are closed” as most “of his ideas were about the development and nature of thought, particularly scientific thought, and he often described his fictional works as ‘Experiments of the Mind’…”

That is, one is curious about their contact with the outside world and wonder how their experiences are caused and to what degree they reflect the world accurately. This is found within the book ‘The End of Mr Y’ in this concept.

One is the nature of our experiences and the other is our knowledge of how these experiences are caused by ourselves from reflection. This is found within the book ‘The Book in Tomorrow’ as a concept.

So there are questions posed of: “how do you dispose of a book once you’ve read it? As asked in the ‘Book of Tomorrow’ and in the ‘End of Mr Y’ it is asked: “what would happen if those who read my book not only discover but find some way to alter it?”

What say I or You.

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