Hey boys and girls. It’s Wednesday, day three of my #weekofreviews. Today I’m going to talk about three books that made me go “WHAT???”
Let me say first that I did read these books in their entirety. My eyes read over every page and every word.
Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard (read 2012)
I have to tell you that I never knew who this person was until college. My friends that were Religion or Philosophy majors were crying the blues about him all the time. You can be sure that I was thankful to not have to deal with any of that. But guess where it showed up later?? You guessed it. On LOST. And you know the story, I was stuck because I committed to read all those books. It was gonna happen whether I wanted it to or not.
Well, I’d say the first 20% or so really wasn’t that bad. It was all about Abram and Issac and the Biblical account of when God asked Abram to take his son up on a mountain and sacrifice him. That is a story that even the most devoted and studied believer grapples with so I will make no attempt to make sense of it here. Kierkegaard presents several versions of that scenario over and over at the start of the book and it’s not too difficult to follow. THEN he moves into a-whole-nother realm for the rest of the book and I couldn’t tell you a thing about it. All I know is that Kierkegaard is a beloved philosopher that was cautious and troubled about his religion. He believed Christianity was a leap of faith that he couldn’t understand completely yet he couldn’t let it go. (Oh my gosh that is so LOSTy right there. That has to be why they put it in the show.)
My friend Justin knows all about Kierkegaard. I asked him for a one sentence description. He said:“Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher burdened by the nominal Christianity of his countrymen and earnest to present true faith as a leap in the dark with everything at stake.” He came up with that right then. I have smart friends.
Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky (read 2012)
This is a two part book. Part one is an intellectual, philosophical work that I didn’t understand and part two is a story featuring an unnamed narrator. I think it was about Utopia. I remember thinking the man was pathetic and whiny. I found a funny review of it on Goodreads by someone named Nate D. Check that out if you’re interested. If you would like a more serious and fine-tuned assessment of Notes then please, go here.
VALIS Philip K. Dick (read 2013)
Vast Active Living Intelligence System. This one is science fiction and it is much easier to read and follow than the other two mentioned above. But science fiction isn’t really my thing so it took effort to stay engaged.
Our narrator’s name is Horselover Fat. He’s insane. He believes that God has spoken to him through a pink laser and he is in pursuit of what all that means in his life. It really does follow the trajectory of insane thinking and I was left scratching my head. However, I do remember getting emotional at the end. Horselover was broken and distraught and even though I could not relate to this person at all, I had come to sympathize with him. There are lots of PKD fans out there who would do this review more justice. I apologize to them.
Regardless of how little I enjoyed reading these pieces, I still learned from them and I’m glad I read them. Going through my reading challenge list efficiently often meant not marinating in any particular book because I was just needing to check it off the list. That’s why sometimes I mention that I would love to take a class on a particular book. But not any of these. I’m all good with these.
Tomorrow I’ll be talking about some of the spookier titles I read for the LOST Book Club. See you then!