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Alberto Venturini

Joined 2 months, 4 weeks ago

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Review of 'Find Me' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

"Find me" is a novel about love: but it's a form of love that is purely and utterly romantic. To me, it just doesn't feel real. The characters (and the way they love) are pure idealisation of romantic love. Not one fight is included, not even one single little creak in the perfect edifice of their love. That's not how real life goes. Conveniently, at the end of each "episode", the narration ends at the peak of the "honeymoon phase", when the two lovers have fallen madly and desperately in love and everything is just perfect. Life after that is only briefly touched upon, but clearly Aciman is not interested in that. That's what I take issue with.

Oliver is the only character that, I felt, has some inner conflict: indeed, he was the only one who felt a bit more real. Too bad he only shows up in the …

Hermann Hesse: Demian (Paperback, Italiano language, 2016, Mondadori) 5 stars

Scritto neI 1917 e pubblicato nel 1919, "Demian" è la storia di un ragazzo combattuto …

Review of 'Demian' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

E' indubbio che Hermann Hesse sia uno dei grandi scrittori del XX secolo. Anche questo breve racconto, Demian, e' scritto molto bene e contiene parecchi spunti di riflessione.

E' la storia del giovane Emil Sinclair (narrata da lui stesso) che ripercorre la sua crescita spirituale, partendo dai tempi della scuola elementare e arrivando all'universita'. Lungo questo percorso, Sinclair e' guidato da alcuni amici, tra cui Max Demian. Sinclair impara a valorizzare l'individualita', composta dalla sintesi di due mondi (bene e male, giorno e notte...), che viene contrapposta al dualismo, alla separazione del bene contro il male. Ma si toccano anche altri temi, quali l'importanza di comprendere e compiere il proprio destino, e la contrapposizione tra chi segue "il gregge" (senza domandarsi se sia giusto o sbagliato) e chi invece cerca di comprendere la propria individualita' e di seguire i propri sogni.

Vorrei rileggerlo nuovamente in futuro, per capirlo e approfondirlo …

Review of 'Dark continent, my black arse' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

An account of Mr Khumalo's road trip from (almost) Cape Town to Cairo, by public transport. It's very factual, but I would have preferred fewer details and more history about the various places that he visits. I read this book after reading his "Rainbow Nation my Zulu Arse", which I enjoyed much more. His writing style has greatly evolved during the past 10-odd years since he published this book.

Hermann Hesse, Herman Hesse, David Horrocks: Steppenwolf (2012, Penguin Books, Limited) 4 stars

A story that focuses on the loneliness and suffering of the protagonist, Harry Haller, who …

Review of 'Steppenwolf' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

What a brilliant book! This is essentially a psychological novel that centres around the character of Harry Haller, a.k.a Steppenwolf. Harry is 50 years old and takes life way too seriously. He is a snob, constantly considering himself superior to everyone else and stuck up in his ideal world of fine arts and philosophy; at the same time, a part of his personality is wild, untamed, instinctual: a steppenwolf, a wolf of the steppes. Harry is constantly caught in this dichotomy between the snob and the wolf, and he is unable to feel at home anywhere. He feels like he is not (and cannot) be part of the rest of society. He constantly despises the "bourgeois" world around him, while at the same time being essentially part of it. He suffers deeply from this situation, and considers killing himself. As a 50 year old man, he is very much stuck …