Tag: Literature

Review: The old man and the sea by Ernest Hemingway

08 Dec 18
Roos Bergers
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This is the first Hemingway book that I read! It is a highly praised classic and I was very curious to find out what was so great about it. I love reading all sorts of books and genres and I thought this book should be on my read list, as it greatly influenced story writing from that point on. It even won a Nobel Prize for Literature! What did I think of this classic? Find out below!

Book Cover

Set in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Havana, Hemingway’s magnificent fable is the tale of an old man, a young boy and a giant fish. This story of heroic endeavour won Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature. It stands as a unique and timeless vision of the beauty and grief of man’s challenge to the elements.

My First Impression

The book starts off with an old fisherman, Santagio, whom did not catch any fish for a long time. He is regarded as unlucky and the boy that used to fish with him is not allowed to do so anymore by his parents. He decides to go fish on his own and goes farther out than he’d normally go. The story did not really got a hold on me in the beginning, but it was okay enough to read further.

The Story

As Santagio is alone and far away from the main land, he hooks a very big fish. The fish is so big, that he cannot really handle it by himself. He adjusts the line so the fish doesn’t break the pole, but it results in the fish dragging him out even farther into the sea. Santiago admires the fish, but he also knows that he must kill him. He struggles until the fish gets tired and he sees an opportunity. When this task is finished, he is left with another task: getting back to shore. Will he be able to get to shore and if so, is the captured fish still with him? That is for you to read.

My Opinion

I feel like I should be blown away by the book and that I should think it’s brilliant, but… I don’t. Even though it is amazing that Hemingway changed the way authors write and that he could capture man vs. nature in a short novel. It is obvious that the story is not to be praised by its story alone, but by Hemingway’s style and his capability to write a full story of internal and external battles in just a 118 pages. I do appreciate the contrasts and metaphors and I do understand why it is a classic. What matters most to the story are the elements of perseverance, masculinity and survival.

Conclusion

The Old Man and the Sea is beautifully written, full of metaphors and contrasts and innovative. However, personally I did not feel the thrill of reading this book. I can imagine I would have felt if I read it when it was published in 1952. I do recommend reading it, just to learn why this book had such an impact. Perhaps it will have a more lasting impact on you, because when I read other reviews, that is what most people experience.

Verdict

The Religion War by Scott Adams review by Book Barista

Review: The Religion War by Scott Adams

03 Oct 18
Roos Bergers
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Years ago, I read “God’s Debris” by Scott Adams and I was completely blown away because of its amazing (fictional) theories. I loved it so much that it still has me thinking even after all these years. It’s no wonder that the sequel to “God’s Debris” was on my to-read list. Did I think “The Religion War” was just as good? Find out below!

Book Cover

In this frenetically paced sequel to Adams’ best-selling ”thought experiment,” God’s Debris, the smartest man in the world is on a mission to stop a cataclysmic war. A war between Christian and Muslim forces and save civilization.

The brilliantly crafted, thought-provoking fable raises questions about the nature of reality and just where our delusions are taking us.

With publication of The Religion War, millions of long-time fans of Scott Adams’ Dilbert cartoons and business bestsellers will have to admit that the literary world is a better place with Adams on the loose spreading new ideas and philosophical conundrums.

Unlike God’s Debris, which was principally a dialogue between its two main characters, The Religion War is set several decades in the future.

The smartest man in the world steps between international leaders to prevent a catastrophic confrontation between Christianity and Islam. The parallels between where we are today and where we could be in the near future are clear.

First impression

The Religion War starts interesting right away! The student has become the master. It is not long before logical reasoning and big questions enter the book. This was promising.

The Story

In a considerably nearby future, the world is divided into two worlds. These worlds are the Muslim world and the Christian world. The Christian world also includes every other religious group such as Jews, Hindu’s and small religious groups. A great war is about to break out and the Avatar (the former package delivery guy) attempts to prevent the war, because he feels like it is his responsibility.

Due to inter alia his cold reading skills, he manages to speak to all the important leaders of both sides. Moreover, he goes on a quest to find the one person that can influence the entire world, because that person will be able to prevent the war. All the while, the Avatar analyses the patterns around him, leading him to brilliant solutions for any situation, or any person he speaks with.

Will the Avatar’s reasoning and discovery of patterns help him find the influencer and prevent the war? Well, I can tell you, this book actually has a plot. Hurray!

My opinion

This book was definitely worth the read and a good sequel to “God’s Debris”. The Religion War is not as mind-blowing as the first book, but it definitely explores interesting ideas and big questions. The book is filled with insights that dare you to think differently. It is amazing how the author succeeds in shaking up the way you think, even though it is fiction. I feel like everyone should read both the books, as they are thought-provoking.

The conclusion of The Religion War

The Religion War was a fast, brilliant read filled with thought-provoking philosophies that sound very plausible. I wish there were more books like “God’s Debris” and “The Religion War” because I really enjoy the philosophical and fast format. I read some reviews that claimed there were a lot of holes in Adams’s theories. That may be true, but it does not claim to be anything other than fiction. I would recommend everyone to read the books and just enjoy the mind-boggling insights and discuss them with your peers!