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Poike (Tokyo, Japan)

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The Picture of Dorian Gray (Penguin Classics)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (Penguin Classics)
by Oscar Wilde
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining real literature, 16 Mar. 2010
I am a slow reader, for English is not my native language, however, it did not take so long even for me to finish the Picture of Dorian Gray. This is so fascinating book. First, the plot is inviting that Dorian remains forever young and beautiful while his portrait grows old and corrupt absorbing all his sins. Then, the story itself is eventful such as an actress Sibyl Vane's suicide, murder of Basil Hallward, and James Vane's vindictive act for her sister, etc. Even without realizing it I was engrossed deeply into the world of the author. It may be because Wilde is playwright who knows exactly where to accentuate the story and where to withdraw to please audience or reader.

Wilde also inserts many paradoxical epigrams mostly marked by seemingly experienced but naive character, Load Henry which are so amusing and puzzling. It is as if I was trapped into the author's strategy to perplex reader playfully with his wits and pungent cynicisms about society, matrimonial life, art and so on.

Also, the story is filled with hedonistic notions occasionally insinuating Dorian's visit to opium den or his homosexual relationship with Basil Hallward, but they are not clearly mentioned anywhere, and these undemonstrative expressions leave the story so enigmatic that makes me wonder what in fact happens behind each scene. What interests me most is that Dorian's dissolute life may be displaced with the author's own real life which was always rumored for his homosexuality. I have a feeling that Wilde may have wanted to confess his inclination to his own sex ambiguously somewhere in this story.

Isn't it true irony that Wilde's own life was devastated by his own creation of the book as Dorian ended up being haunted by ghost of people whom he did so much wrong, then tried to be redeemed from his sins by slashing the portrait, but was avenged by it or "himself" at last?

It is pity to learn that this story was so severely criticized due to its immorality back then although this is full of entertaining factors as well as essences of genuine literature. Even as Asian residing in a small island country of Far East, I found this story very individual, entertaining, inviting, and this is one of the most interesting books I have ever read of English classic literature.

Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Combination of real and unreal, 1 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Never Let Me Go (Paperback)
I think this is a story about how people feel and react under special circumstances. I thought at first children of Heilsham Scheel are all orphans who are brought up to do a certain task. As reading through however I began to realize they are not ordinally and are created for a dreadful purpose. Their life is so limited and they should "complete" in short time. This situation Ishiguro creates is obviously unreal so much like other science fiction, but how Kathy feels in her own daily life is nothing but real human emotion.

Her devouring pornograpic magazines apparently trying to find her "model" as if an orphan looking for her parents would likely to happen to anyone in the same situation. As his previous novels show, his delicate and suble way of expressing human emotion is once again so vividly created in this story in combination with an unusual science fiction background of the clone production, which makes this novel so unique and unforgettable. I finished this book and it is now in my own bookshelf, but everytime I glance at it heartbreaking feeling returns to my mind. I am sure to read this book again and again and never forget true human feeling written in it.

Dorian Gray [DVD]
Dorian Gray [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ben Barnes
Price: £3.38

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well made but odd, 26 Feb. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dorian Gray [DVD] (DVD)
I read the book, The Picture of Dorian Gray twice, and found it very fascinating. So, I was hoping this film to come to my own country, but it never came. Therefore, I decided to buy DVD as soon as it was released. However, I am confused and wonder if this is the same story as the original book since there are so many changes in it. As the nature of a film it may be inevitable for the story to become simplified that turns out to be romantic love at the end. Load Henry's daughter falls in love with Dorian and Dorian in love with her, and her trying to save Dorian's life seems rather odd to see. Dorian should have died in solitude as the original novel tells. I think the person who leads double life letting the picture absorb all wrong while himself being forever young should die secreatly alone. Decadence and its words repeated again and again in the book are simplified too in the film. Also, the beauty of Dorian Gray that I create in my mind while reading is not preperly re-created by the actor Ben Barnes although he is very good looking. Maybe I was expecting too much. Just as an entertainment, however, this is a well made film and worth to see. I do not regret purchsing it from Amazon UK.

A Pale View of Hills
A Pale View of Hills
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Edition: Paperback

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and beautiful, 27 Nov. 2009
This review is from: A Pale View of Hills (Paperback)
After reading The Remains of The Day, Never Let Me Go and Nocturnes, I decided to buy A Pale View of Hills for I would like to know what Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel was like.

As the previous books I read, his first novel did not betray my expectations. As his later published novels his writing is as subtle as ever and describes Etsuko's character so beatifully. Etsuko, a pre war born traditional Japnese woman currently residing in England recalls her one summer season in Nagasaki after the city was completely destroyed by atomic bomb and people were struggling so hard to rebuild their own life. Her first marriage there ended in failure. Then,she married an English again and went to England with her first born daughter, Keiko. However, Keiko killed herself for she could not adjust herself to the new living environment of England. Etsuko's husband died sometime ago too.

There are so many predicaments in her life and her soul must be so wounded. Ishiguro does not use exaggerating or dramatic expressions to describe inner most part of her mind, but his fine writing just fits to depict a typical Japanese woman of old generation who is outwardly docile but inwardly so firm and strong. Also, I feel there are many unspoken words between sentences leaving the readers feel whatever they want to feel. There is not a definite ending or direction in this story which I belive is a charm of Ishiguro's novel.

Although English is not my own native language, I enjoyed this book a great deal. Maybe because I am a Japanese woman.

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