Moby Dick review

I was hesitant whether to rate it or not, since it’s such a tough read, 19th century English, which is not my mother-tongue to begin with. But that’s not a flaw of the book, but only a hallmark of the time in which it’s written. But Moby Dick is a gruelling, complex, metaphorical and symbolical […]

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Twilight in the Forbidden City review

A highly personal (and therefore subjective) telling of Chinese history, spanning 1898 to 1934, and also a rare first-hand experience from inside the Forbidden City. Johnston is an intellectual tutor who grows into a surrogate father to Puyi, and talks in rich detail about China’s transition from a monarchy in chaos, to that of a […]

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The Great Gatsby review

It’s the 1922 version of today’s Rich Kids on Instagram. It’s a short book, but each sentence is so dense that it carries much weight. It’s a joy to read the sharp pen of Fitzgerald, and mystifying to witness the many symbols of the book, such as the eyes of T.J. Eckleburg, the parties, the […]

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Bits and Pieces review

“The road was clear and beautiful in front of me. I felt within me that urge, the sensation of speed, the feeling of tearing up the fine cool morning air as I got up to speed. I was out of sight of the pits and was making for the village of Gueux. As I changed […]

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Commonwealth review

It is a simple story. No spaceships, no explosions, no frantic action, no grandeur. Just people. And yet the story tells so much, about the beauties and difficulties of life.

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Thirty Rooms To Hide In review

I bought this book because ‘Hey Whipple, Squeeze This’ is my bible and got me into advertising. I didn’t expect such a private and personal book, nor Luke Sullivan to be able to write such a thing. But this book is totally separate of the other, and creates a thirty-room-world of its own. The stories […]

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De opkomst van het Oosten review

Interesting theses which I want to believe, but the book is merely a collection of anecdotal evidence, and sadly never makes the choice between being a personal recollection, or giving a wide objective view on the world, nor does it ever give a complete answer to its outset. To introduce this book as a ‘personal […]

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The Circle review

Although written slightly dry, it’s a gripping read. Not as apocalyptic as 1984 or Brave New World, but definitely in that category, as perhaps this near reality scenario is equally frightening. What’s compelling is the total descent into a world without privacy that happens with reason, albeit the wrong kind of reason, and the fact […]

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Lolita review

If you want a joyful or entertaining book to read, look elsewhere. Lolita is slow to read and the story itself, dare I say it; boring. Yet Lolita consists of prose perfection on a grim subject, and I learned afterwards that the book helped introduce the idea (and policing) of sex abuse of children in […]

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Light Years review

I love Salter’s confidence in writing, his poetic style, his sense of rawness. But the story barely has a narrative, and the story it does tell is generic. Every paragraph filled with a metaphor, which becomes annoying and causes the pace of the book to be sluggish. This book is easy to admire, but for […]

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