Written by Stephen King, “The Dark Tower-The Gunslinger” is a horror novel about the journey of the last survivor of the Ancient Land Canaan, a Biblical land of prosperity and “grapes so large that people would have to carry them on sledges. However, a revolution occurred later, in which the Gunslinger, once named Roland Deschain, fought on the side of the rebellion. This resulted in war and the decline of Great Canaan, and this heavenly land could only be brought back by the dark tower and the “man in black”. Thus, the gunslinger went onto a search for the tower, during which he met a New York boy name Jake, who was just like him, “eerily dreamlike”. They began a friendship which made the boy become tougher and more independent.
I will recommend this book to any fans of adventure stories. The book narrates with a relatively fast pace that will always keep the reader sitting at the edge of their seat, expecting what will come next. As King takes the readers to slowly discover the identity of the Gunslinger, this adds a mystery aspect to this book. There are no wordy and unnecessary descriptions, what left of the book is only an intense, odyssey-like journey, very captivating.
If I have to choose a book to base my reflection on, I would choose the current book I am reading. “Collapse-How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” by Jared Diamond. Unlike the previous book I read, “Collapse” is a non-fiction book that focuses on analyzing the success and failing of society geographically, environmentally, politically, economically and civically. This might be a reason why I want to choose this book. I have an inclination on reading non-fiction texts for friction, or narrative texts sometimes makes me feel bored. However, when I read non-fiction texts, I am excited and willing to explore more.
This book stood out not merely because of personal reasons, how the author explained the failing and success of each society was also understandable and detailed. For example, the Easter Island. The author discussed how the society on this island was wealthy due to the quarry and the resourceful forest. Diamond also mentioned how different clans traded and transported resources frequently, which is another reason why this society was successful. Ultimately, the deforestation led to its collapse. However, the story is not that simple. The author gave multiple factors that led to the deforestation such as the climate, later explained how theres factors were created. Moreover, Diamond compared the past societies to modern societies, describing how the issues are fundamentally similar to the issues we face now. The logic was tight and the details were clear. Although it is a non-fictional text, Diamond’s language is definitely insightful in this book.
In the prologue, the author wrote “In the present book focusing on collapse rather than buildups”. I believe this is a book that reminds and warns our modern society about the past mistakes, especially environmentally, so that we won’t have to repeat it in the future.
So far, the most striking aspect of the book is how the author analyzed the failing and success of societies in an incredibly detailed, systematic and clear way. As we are researching on the Indian Reservations in class, I will take the Montana Reservations as an example. The author Jared Diamond first discussed how this society formed, then he analyzed how this society eventually failed through various perspectives. Agriculturally, the soil and climate is disadvantaged; politically, the government’s restriction on the reservations was too harsh; civically, the Indians in the reservation was unpleasant about the place. Above are only a few aspects. Diamond also included ample primary sources like John Cook’s documentary and his altitude toward the political environment. Moreover, there was a map of the region that helps readers to understand the geographical aspects better.
In this book, the author incorporated ample professional social science vocabularies. However, he would explain them using more comprehensible words which made this book more understandable for normal people. Because this is a non-fiction book, there are not too much literary devices, but the author did balanced the amount of words, data and pictures well in a way that the readers won’t get too bored.
So far I am on chapter 32 (out of 42 chapters). The novel is structured in a unique way. In the first eleven chapters, the novel focuses on introducing each individual characters and their lives during 1944 when the war first started. Then, until chapter 20, the story started to focus on a flash back on the “Great Big Siege of Bologna”. After that until chapter 30, the story focused on lieutenant Milo’s past.
So far until page 17 I learnt about the characters in the story. The main character captain Yossarian, and others including Dunbar, the chaplain and the Texan. The story so far focuses on the life of Yossarian in the hospital, he plot hasn’t really developed fully yet. I can’t really explain the title so far because there isn’t much information until page 17 related to the catch. The story probably fits under historic fiction. It is a novel based on WW2 which is a true historical event. So for my favorite character is the main character Yossarian. Although he decided to stay in the hospital during the war despite his recovery, which is a selfish decision to make as a captain and a bombardier, I sense traces of me in him. Wanting to avoid violence and enjoy life.
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