Wednesday, January 04, 2006

On my plate

I've been reading a lot lately, thanks to a wondeful two-week break. Just thought I'd share some of what I've consumed in the way of literature.

Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
It's the story of a young woman who grows up in Chile and follows her lover to California during the Gold Rush. Great for the historical context and vivid imagery of the untamed West. Not so great for the value of the overall story and the maturation process of the characters. I give it a 5 on a 1-10 scale.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A complex story about a boy who grows up in Afghanistan prior to the Russian takeover and control of the Taliban. This is a beautifully written book. It delves into the psyche of children, the importance of father/son relationships, the ravages of war, the horrors of sadism, the hope of freedom and the overall reality of suffering as a normal part of life. There are graphic descriptions in this book that are difficult to read, especially for the squeamish. However, I highly recommend this book; it is a must-read. I give it a 9.

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
Unlike many of Lewis' works, this is very easy to read. It explores the ideas of heaven and hell. Lewis says to participate in Heaven, humans must relinquish every souvenir of Hell. I don't agree with all of his theology, but he offers some interesting perspective and thought-provoking ideas. This is written in fiction form as the dream of a young man. It scores a 6, points being taken off for faulty theology.

I am currently reading The Problem of Pain, also by Lewis. Will let you know what I think.


Karie said...

Kiterunner-words cannot describe the power of this book. Thanks for the recommendation, Laurie. I'd love to have a book club on this book if we could get the takers!

Karie said...

Oh yeah, forgot to add...Heard today that Khaled Hosseini is coming out with a second book...Can't wait!

dovie said...

I understand your low scoring of The Great Divorce, but it still makes me sad that you didn't love it more.

I think I viewed it as extreme representations of an ideal (giving up all of hell to participate in heaven), but the imagery and close-to-home situations he portrays are so powerful.

It struck me so deeply that as soon as I finished it, I turned back to page one and re-read the entire book again.

Laurie said...

Dovie, I completely concur that the imagery and concepts in the Great Divorce are brilliant! Lewis does a great job of exposing the depths of our own addictions to all things earthly. I loved how he portrayed mankind as unwilling to part with that which was dirty and useless.

My main concern is for those who aren't fully grounded in solid theology (I'm not talking Calvinism in this instance, just plain Christian doctrine). Lewis puts forth some ideas that simply don't line up with scripture. That's why I gave it such a low score. I was disappointed that he would include confusing and false ideas for the sake of illustrating his point.