The Martian

Reading The Martian has really been an unforgettable experience. The story set in Planet Mars at some point in the near future. Would would you do if someone proposed you to be among the first explorers to reach Mars? This is what I sometimes tell my son it might happen to his own descendants. What if you got stranded there for a long period of time? You ought to be a genious to survive in such a place with a limited set of food, air and water.

I would not spoil the end of the story because, of course I strongly recommend anyone to read the book. To be sincere I haven’t watched the film yet, but I am not really looking forwards to it. I want to keep it the way I imagined it is supposed to come about.

The main character tells us the story as though he was recording messages in a digital diary. He is struggling to survive and looking for solutions to any survival issues that might arise. It reminds me of other adventure novels like Robinson Crusoe , Huckelberry Finn or Don Quixote as the main character has to tackle with the inconveniences of a very long and dangerous journey.

Is is relevant what we say or think if other people are not listening? Is is important what we say or think when our own survival is at risk? These are some o the phylosophical topics this book comes up with and indeed, it makes you feel responsible for your own thoughts, opinions and actions.

It took me about a month or so to read the book: between May and June 2016. I read it on my Sony digital reader and I bought my copy on Google Books. This is no longer the old experience, is it?

 

curiosity

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Cold Mountain

I am writing this review for several reasons: I fell in love with the movie when I first watched it on TV. My mum had already spoken to me about the film and she said that it was lovely. When I went to Oxford in 2013, I found the book. It was a bargain. Apparently the shop, whose name was “The Works” was in the process of closing down and I bought a dinossaurs book for my son and a copy of Cold Mountain.

I have started reading it several times, but the vocabulary was too difficult. I found there were too many local expressions and idioms and words related to nature that I could not understand. I found a reduced version though. 74 pages instead of more than 300, and I have eventually gone through the whole story.

I like this book because it contains all the central elements of what anyone could call a great story. Romance, of course: I have never come across such a healthy and sane love story. The main characters genuinely loved each other. There’s also action and war passages that take you back to this brutal and astonishingly cruel period of American history. we also find the topic of the journey, a common place in Western Literature. – Remember that there was also a journey in Don Quixote, Huckleberry Finn, The Odyssey and son on. -. Destiny and fate establish a very strong link among the characters, their experiences and lifetime anecdotes. The very end of the book is a clear example that somehow, everything was written from the very beginning and future events depend all on this particular and specific journey.

Music is also one of the most interesting issues both in the film and in the book. I listened to some videos on youtube with some traditional American music and I have to to say that I was simply taken aback and even stunned by the beauty of those songs. There are plenty of those on Internet: chores, guitars and soft voices are the main features of those traditional songs.

All in all, I strongly recommend both the book and the film. It is definitely worth the while  spending a few hours with them. It makes you sad at times though.

I hope that you liked my review.

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The fall of giants

It’s the second time I read this book. Or…, not really! I received a translated copy as a Christmas present about three years ago.

I mean…, maybe, you expected me to write about the plot or the novel or characters and so on, but actually, if you think of it, there are hundreds of essays and reviews of the kind cramming on the Internet. Istead, what I consider really relevant is how I read this book.

I’ve learned most of what I know from books, magazines or any other kind of paper manufactured objects: leaflets, newspapers, etc. In fact, I write my posts on a piece of paper before I actually publish them on the Internet. I keep hundreds of books in a shelf but a time goes on, I consider this to be more and more useless.

I have read The fall of giants both from my ebook and my android tablet. Either way is fantastic. More than a thousand books fit into my e-reader and the number of available  and/or accessible books is almost endless.

About the book: it was awesome. Is was amusing, interesting, easy to read, well organised. I really had a good time reading it.

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Ex-machina

The last film I have watched was Ex-machina, a film that deals with the AI topic. I enjoyed this film a lot even though I did not watch it in English (unfortunately). I obviously watched the dubbed version instead.

The film has got two different settings. On the one hand, and for a very short period of time, we are witnessing a multinational compay office in which the main character seems to work. On the other hand, the same character goes to a remote location where most of the plot evolves. Here we go! That’s the most fascinating stuff about the film: The main character, a young adult of whom we know is a computer geek, meets a robot. This robot, along with other technology breakthroughs provide us with a really deep insight of a futusitic world in which machines acquire self identity and consciousness.

I was even more terrified with the film than with zombie movies because the latter are very predictable. We know what they want and how they try to achieve their goals. The former (I mean, robots) are compeletey unpreditable and their intelligence will be a major asset to bring us round and try and lead us to our own destruction.

I centainly did, I really relished this film. Of course I’d recommend you to spend a few euros and watch this film. I hope you guys and girl liked my review.

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Twelve years a slave

This book is set in the 1840s and 50s in the USA, more specifically between the states of NY and Louisiana. It tells the story of a free African-American man who is taken as a prisioner and kept as a slave for twelve years.

Even though the book follows the chronological course of events in a very tight manner, in my opinion, it is divided into three separate parts. In the first few chapters, we meet an ordinary free man living with his family. We then know that he is an skilled professional who can ven play the violin. Secondly, the bulk of this autobiographical piece of narrative is devoted to a very through and detailed account of his emprisionment years. To end up with, the author includes some official documents and events that helped his liberation.

About the style, I would say that is is written in a quite old fashioned way, but also in a rather plain and comprehensible English. In this biography of himself, he endevours to convey his own feeling and experiences in a way that it is as close to the real story as possible, but he devotes though so many pages to talk about so many places, tasks at work, seasons, memories and situations, that it eventually becomes a very neat piece of literature.

I would strongly recomment this book as a means to understand a little bit more about the evil side of human beings and let History teach us something.

Link to the official trailer of a major Hollywood movie.

Get this free book from Gutenberg Project.

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