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decadent_and_depraved's books

Philip K. Dick: The transmigration of Timothy Archer (2011) 4 stars

The Transmigration of Timothy Archer is a 1982 novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. …

Review of 'The transmigration of Timothy Archer' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

The most human of Philip K. Dick's works, which is quite bizarre considering that a large portion of this work is philosophical speculation. While I do not think this novel works as a whole, I do believe that the theme of grief is particularly well explored, for it does not take the form of mere abstract conjecture, but also manages to gracefully stir up emotions that one seldom gets to experience in the ordinary everyday existence.

Review of 'The medium is the message' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

The Medium is the Message

Apparently (what can be ascertained by the means of eyesight), an empty (assessment of space by the means of eyesight) statement, vaguely gesturing (observation of movement by the means of eyesight) at some pseudo-visionary (the ability to imagine with originality or wisdom - to see the future) idea. However, it is anything but. Oral tradition privileges the ear and the written tradition the eye, but most crucially, the medium through which information is conveyed influences both how we think about that particular piece of information and all the other information. There exists a symbiotic relationship between the medium and ourselves. As the new medium emerges, we adapt to it, or maybe more accurately, it adapts us to itself, but we shape it further, for ultimately we are the creates of the medium in the first place. The oldest medium, language, is the foremost example …

Irvin D. Yalom: Lying on the Couch (Paperback, 1997, Harper Perennial) 4 stars

Review of 'Lying on the Couch' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Wow! I was genuinely astonished by this work. Before reading it, I looked at its length and thought that it will just be another book with an intriguing premise that the author did not know where to go with or how to end. I was wrong! The whole work is an exploration of different temperaments and different schools of thought existing in both the world of psychotherapy and the everyday. The ending, while no doubt will irk some, is perfect. This type of exploration necessities ambiguity, to encourage readers to explore further and hinder dogmatic sentiments. Yalom, this just might be one of your best.

Review of 'Hollywood Spiral' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

Pastiche. An utter artistic failure.

I probably would not be so critical of this work if I were not such a fan of Neilan's other work. Then, again, I am pretty certain I would have never picked this one up if I were not such a fan of Apathy and Other Small Victories. Unfortunately, this work has no witticism nor playfulness of Apathy and Other Small Victories. The story, themes, and ideas are nothing new, which is fine, not everything has to be new, but the author chose to present them in such an uninspired way. Worst of all, this book is simply boring, and unless you need to make your work boring to send an intended message, do not make your work fucking boring.

After 15 years, Neilan blesses us with a new book, just for it to be a curse.

Jorge Luis Borges, Andrew Hurley: Collected Fictions (1999) 5 stars

Review of 'Collected Fictions' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

What was Borges? First and foremost, an author, but what other title shall we crown him with? Philosopher? Theologian? Anthropologist? Mystic? Lunatic? No doubt, whichever one we decide on, it will belie. My friends, do not be mistaken, Borges was far greater than any of the aforementioned titles would suggest, as he was no less but the lover of infinity, poet of the impossible, dreamer of language, and a dutiful explorer of the soul - both of every living being and the universe itself. His genius cannot be questioned, yet not all of his works are alike. Although each and every one of the works is written in a style that can only be described as methodical and imaginative, the tales range from dreadfully dull to nearly managing to caress the transcendental. Curiously enough, I looked around, and it would seem that virtually all of the great tales of Borges …

Philip K. Dick: Flow my tears, the policeman said (2012, Mariner Books) 4 stars

"Grappling with many of the themes Philip K. Dick is best known for--identity, altered reality, …

Review of 'Flow my tears, the policeman said' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This story could almost be summarized as an exploration of the Hegelian dialectic of recognition. How is my reality, my self, impacted by the way people perceive me, or choose to not perceive, or are unable to perceive me because I seemingly do not exist. The work is neat, no doubt, but left me somewhat unsatisfied.

Georges Bataille: Blue of noon (1979, M. Boyars) 4 stars

Blue of Noon (French: Le Bleu du Ciel) is an erotic novella by Georges Bataille. …

Review of 'Blue of noon' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

To love life yet hate death is but a folly. One loves life along with death or one does not love life at all. The essence of love itself is its potent prerogative to perish.

I told her very softly, ‘Don’t cry any more. I just had to have you act crazy. I needed it so as not to die.’

Philip K. Dick: A scanner darkly (2011, Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) 4 stars

A Scanner Darkly is a science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick, published …

Review of 'A scanner darkly' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I have read a few books written by and about druggies and drugs, think William S. Burroughs and Irvine Welsh, and I have largely enjoyed them even when I did not believe them to be good works. The thing with A Scanner Darkly is that I found the writing neither authentic nor original and the story quite mediocre. Yet, I do not honestly dislike it, and although I would not say I enjoyed it in the sense that it is a book written by a druggie about druggies, there is a certain other atmosphere to it that makes it work - as much as I can say that it works. I would also note that I do not believe one really gets anything extra out of this book as compared to the movie based on it, and I would recommend the movie over the book.

H. P. Lovecraft, H. P. Lovecraft: At the mountains of madness (2005, Modern Library) 4 stars

Introduction by China MievilleLong acknowledged as a master of nightmarish visions, H. P. Lovecraft established …

Review of 'At the mountains of madness' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

This work is simply disappointing. I was willing to suffer through all those tedious, technical, and dry descriptions at the beginning, hoping that the latter half of the book will be mystical and worthy of madness, but it was not. It was rather uninspired. This story does not justify its length, especially since it felt like Lovecraft spent too much time describing certain things which did not warrant such emphasis, while completely neglecting others that indeed could have used a lot more focus.