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Profile for Eirin Mikalsen Orum > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Eirin Mikalsen Orum "avid reader" (Trondheim, Norway)

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Geisha Of Gion: The True Story Of Japan's Foremost Geisha: The Memoir of Mineko Iwasaki
Geisha Of Gion: The True Story Of Japan's Foremost Geisha: The Memoir of Mineko Iwasaki
by Mineko Iwasaki
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight, 3 Aug. 2011
I already read, and liked, "Geisha", which is said to be inspired by this geiko's story, and thought this book would be similar. It is not. "Geisha of Gion" is written from a true first person perspective, thus providing less about anyone but the heroine, and more about details the average reader may not care too much about. The narrator is a very focused woman who does not greatly care for other humans, so the story lacks some warmth and humour. At times feels like reading a list, despite all the full sentences in cohesive paragraphs. I don't think I would like this woman if I met her, but I sure do admire her dedication to her craft and the way she dedicated herself to perfecting everything she did.

The ways of the willow world are clearer to me now than before reading "Geisha of Gion", and I would have liked to understand even better. Unfortunately, several terms go unexplained, whether due to a poor translation into English or a lack of explanations from an author who did not realize other could not intrinsically understand all she had built into her bone marrow.

Peter Pan (Disney) [DVD] [1953]
Peter Pan (Disney) [DVD] [1953]
Dvd ~ Bobby Driscoll
Offered by ajdiscs
Price: £12.99

1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this version!, 3 Aug. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I feel like sueing Disney for theft now. This is the "Peter Pan" I grew up with and never cared much for. Then I saw P.J. Hogan's feature film, and was spellbound. There turns out to be SOOOOO much more to the story than Disney ever let on, they've stripped away almost all levels of meaning and just kept the simplest of storylines possible. The characters in the Disney version are irritatingly one-dimensional, making it hard to really symathize with anyone.

Having also read the play, I now know this is a gem of a story in so many ways. This version of the story has cut away all but one of the gems, and the one they kept was so badly cut that it lost all its sheen, despite all the polishing the mighty marketing empire has bestowed upon it.

My advice is simple: AVOID this version, buy the P.J. Hogan film instead. And feel free to sue Disney for slaughering the real Peter Pan...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 12, 2012 2:57 AM GMT

A Sentimental Journey (Penguin Classics)
A Sentimental Journey (Penguin Classics)
by Laurence Sterne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unsufferable, 3 Aug. 2011
Required reading for a course of Travelling Literature, I had to force myself to read large parts of this book. It was a real struggle, as I greatly disliked the haughty, sleazy little prick that does the travelling. I did not care one bit for his observations or his take on what he observed. I know it's supposed to be funny, a sarcastic twist on the journey of a well known sourpuss, but I just cannot see what's funny about it, even with a considerable amount of goodwill. I was so glad when I could put this book down for good, and plan on never ever reading the rest of it!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 28, 2014 4:07 PM BST

The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia (Penguin Classics)
The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia (Penguin Classics)
by Samuel Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easily read classic, 3 Aug. 2011
Quite slim book that proved quite easy to read and understand. Amusing in parts, shallow in others, and deeply interesing occasionally. I didn't care too much for the hero, a little more for his sister, and I sympathized with their plight. The conclusion disappointed me, however, as unneccessarily pessimistic.

Pathways to Language: From Fetus to Adolescent (Developing Child) (The Developing Child)
Pathways to Language: From Fetus to Adolescent (Developing Child) (The Developing Child)
by K Karmiloff
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 3 Aug. 2011
I had to drop out of the class I bought this book for, but sometimes find myself drawn towards it in my bookshelf despite no academic reward in sight. I haven't finished it yet, but I probably will, because it is rather well written, and the themes interest me.

The Hippopotamus
The Hippopotamus
by Stephen Fry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly enjoyable, 3 Aug. 2011
This review is from: The Hippopotamus (Paperback)
I love Stephen Fry's vocabulary and the way he constructs sentences, there's a playfulness there couple with great knowledge and skill that greatly pleases the language-lover in me. While reading "The Hippopotamus" I found myself marvelling at sentence structures and extraordinary descriptions, and I laughed out loud several times in addition to all the sniggers. Fry is wonderfully un-PC, never hesitating to divulge the obscene and downright dirty, but always doing it with a twinkle in the eye.

The protagonist is disgustingly loveable, and most of the other characters are quite interesting, too. I appreciate the way Fry presents all the flaws of the characters without taking away from their better qualities. And the way he turns the table on the brothers in the end underlines the duality of human nature.

The plot is almost simple, but the theme is quite intriguing to think about even (especially?) after finishing the reading. Readers with strong convictions on one or the other side of this issue might find themselves provoked or even insulted by the developments, but for someone who has questioned her way away from every faith without denying the possibility of something beyond comprehension, the conclusion our protagonist reached was satisfying and easy to live with.

All in all, "The Hippopotamus" conveys beautiful language, intelligence, wicked humour, interesting characters and a theme that keeps you thinking after you put the book down. What more could you ask for?

Peter Pan [DVD]
Peter Pan [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jeremy Sumpter
Price: £3.00

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, love, LOVE this film!, 17 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Peter Pan [DVD] (DVD)
Like most Norwegian grown-ups, my relationship with «Peter Pan» largely stems from the Walt Disney movie released in 1953. I never read or saw the play, so I never knew there was more to the story than a charming boy defeating a mean pirate.

Then I saw P. J. Hogan's 2003 release, and became so blown away that I for a moment considered sueing Disney for theft. Yes, theft! Hogan presents a story so full of emotions, with so many intertwined stories and deeper meanings that I felt that James Matthew Barries original script must have been thoroughly abused for half a century, and the general public had been cheated out of a complete appreciation for the genius of «Peter Pan».

The first clue that this film had something else to offer lay three minutes into the film, in the subtle hinting to an increased sexual awareness that was offered through the curiosity about the «secret kiss» that Wendy knows her mother can never give her, and then gets told she herself has developed. The filmmaker's fidelity to the original script elegantly display that her father is not turning her out of the nursery just because of convention, but because Wendy really is crossing a treshhold that will leave innocence behind very soon.

I am now reading through the original play, and find that this version is very close to the words of J. M. Barrie, and captures the wide-eyed gleam of the author much better than the Disney version. The characters' depths are finely portrayed, and they come across as much more believeable than the one-dimensional cartoons in the other movie. Peter Pan, though still undeniably a boy, is clearly very attractive to any young girl as a prospective partner. Kind, strong, swift and very much in control, but still vulnerable and damaged by his concealed longing for parents. Wendy is not just sweet, but a lively and mischievous girl with a voracious appetite for life and the love she expects will find her soon. And Captain Hook! Really, Disney should be prosecuted for character assasination! P. J. Hogan's Hook, portrayed aptly by Mr. Darling, a.k.a. Jason Isaacs, is truly terrifying, as Hook should be. But he is also hurt, scared, lonely, and starting to lose hope of ever being able to dominate his young enemy. Like everyone else in Neverland (with the distinct exemption of Tinkerbell), he admires Wendy and wishes to be close to her, and is flattered that she apparently holds him in high esteem.

Tinkerbell is worth a chapter on her own, with all her physical comedy and strong emotions. My five year-old prefers the sweetness of the Disney Tink, but all the older people that have watched this movie with me prefers the vivacious, charming, not just pretty but downright mean Tinkerbell played by the French actress Ludivine Sagnier. She is thoroughly convincing as a tiny spirit with a huge will.

The flying scenes in this movie are amazingly well made, it is hard to tell that the characters are not flying for real. The costumes are nice and work especially well when Wendy's two young brothers are captured and dangle upside-down. Wait and see! But the most striking part of the movie, characters aside, are the stunningly gorgeous sets. The Darling house is beautiful, as are the scenes from London, but they are in no way comparable to the amazing colours of Neverland. Even the route to Neverland, the "second to the right and straight on until dawn", is so out of this world that there can be no doubt there is magic in the air.

Thank you, P. J. Hogan, for reading Barrie's script again, and for sharing your vision with the world! With this movie, magic has been reintroduced into my universe to such a degree that i at times find myself mumbling: "I do, I do, I do believe in fairies!"
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 20, 2011 9:04 PM BST

The Turkish Embassy Letters
The Turkish Embassy Letters
by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely reading, 17 Feb. 2011
In these days of so much bad press concerning the clothing traditions of other cultures, it is a breath of fresh air to read Lady Wortley's take on cultural differences. She has great respect for the cultures she writes about, but still manages to criticize aspects of those cultures in a truly amusing way.

Travels Through France and Italy (Tauris Parke Paperbacks)
Travels Through France and Italy (Tauris Parke Paperbacks)
by Tobias Smollett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing text with a confusing intro, 17 Feb. 2011
This book starts out with a foreword by Ted Jones which is well defined, and then an equally concise introduction by Thomas Secombe. So far, so good. But then it looks as if the text that follows is written by Tobias Smollett, only as you read, it soon becomes clear that this is another scholarly introduction that goes on for page after page after page. I challenge anyone to quickly find Smollet's first letter! It actually starts at the bottom of page 56, set in the same font as the longer version of Secombe's introduction which turns out to have been what you were reading so far, with no air in between the two. The publishers have made a really bad choice here, as they have in not naming the letters in the page headings.

The Ghost Writer
The Ghost Writer
by Philip Roth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting bit in the middle, 18 Oct. 2009
This review is from: The Ghost Writer (Paperback)
This book was force-fed us when studying English Literature in the spring. I understand the qualities of it, but it is way too male and way too jewish for my liking. I struggled to read it until I got to that bit about the girl being Anne Frank, then was mezmerized for a little while until the tale bit its own tail soon after. The way the writer writes about writing becomes slightly annoying in the end.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 9, 2012 12:20 PM GMT

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