Review: The Stranger by Albert Camus

“I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn’t.”
~Albert Camus, The Stranger

Plot summary

“The title character is Meursault, an indifferent French Algerian (…). He attends his mother’s funeral. A few days later he kills an Arab man in French Algiers, who was involved in a conflict with a friend.

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Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

“What the hell does liberty mean anyhow? It’s just a word like house or table or any other word. Only it’s a special kind of word. A guy says house and he can point to a house to prove it. But a guy says come on let’s fight for liberty and he can’t show you liberty. He can’t prove the thing he is talking about so how in the hell can he be telling you to fight for it?”
~Dalton Trumbo, Johnny Got His Gun

Plot summary

“After his dugout suffers a direct hit from a German shell in the last days of the Great War, 20-year-old American infantryman Joe Bonham gradually comes to in a French hospital.

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Story time: Päiväpurjehduksella 1923

Aluksi katsoin valkeaa maalauspaperin pintaa, ajatukset pysähtyivät. Ei tullut mitään mieleen. Tarkoitukseni oli maalata talvisempi tunnelma valoineen ja piparkakku-ukkoineen, jotka leikkivät kynttilän ympärillä eloon heränneinä.

Kaunis taustamusiikki taustoitti rauhallista tunnelmaa. Musiikki vaikutti unenomaiseen hetkeen, joka teokseen lopulta valikoitui. 

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Music year of 2016

Say No To Pop! Painting and photo: fiktiivinenstina
Say No To Pop! Painting and photo: fictivestina
Can You Feel It?

This is actually not a trick question but the title of one of my favorite songs I’ve been listening to in the past few years. The song has enough funk about it and it brings back great memories from Kenya. I remember I was driving through the city center of Nairobi with a friend of mine a few years ago and we were listening to Next Stop … Soweto Vol. 2: Soultown. R&B, Funk & Psych Sounds From The Townships 1969-1976.

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Review: War with the Newts by Karel Čapek

“It suddenly occurred to me that every move on the chessboard is old and has been played by somebody at some time. Maybe our own history has been played out by somebody at some time, and we just move our pieces about in the same moves to strike in the same way as people have always done.”
~Karel Čapek, War with the Newts

Plot summary

“Man discovers a species of giant, intelligent newts and learns to exploit them so successfully that the newts gain skills and arms enough to challenge man’s place at the top of the animal kingdom.” More on Goodreads

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Review: Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov

“[S]urely the Cupid serving him was lefthanded, with a weak chin and no imagination.”
~Vladimir Nabokov, Laughter in the Dark

Plot summary

Once upon a time there lived in Berlin, Germany, a man called Albinus. He was rich, respectable, happy; one day he abandoned his wife for the sake of a youthful mistress; he loved; was not loved; and his life ended in disaster.’ Thus begins Vladimir Nabokov’s Laughter in the Dark; this, the author tells us, is the whole story except that he starts from here, with his characteristic dazzling skill and irony, and brilliantly turns a fable into a chilling, original novel of folly and destruction.

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Review: Going to the Dogs. The Story of a Moralist by Erich Kästner

“I’m waiting for the victory of decency, then I could make myself available.”
~Erich Kästner, Going to the Dogs. The Story of a Moralist (Informally translated)

Plot summary

“Originally published in German in 1931 and in an expurgated English translation in 1932, this novel is the tale of Jacob Fabian, a Berlin advertising copywriter doomed in the context of economic, ethical, and political collapse by his characteristic mixture of detachment and decency.

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