Explore
 Lists  Reviews  Images  Update feed
Categories
MoviesTV ShowsMusicBooksGamesDVDs/Blu-RayPeopleArt & DesignPlacesWeb TV & PodcastsToys & CollectiblesComic Book SeriesBeautyAnimals   View more categories »
Listal logo
Avatar
Added by Keaster on 16 Feb 2020 10:49
198 Views
4
vote

My friends

Sort by: Showing 1-50 of 88
Rating: List Type:
An academically solid presentation of a hypothesis of the origin of life on Earth. Well-documented, compelling, impressive. While the hypothesis itself is very difficult to prove, of course, the data Narby has provided makes it impossible to unprove it either. Writing a book like this is also effectively an academic suicide in most circles, and I have tremendous respect for Narby for publishing it nevertheless.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 10 IMDB Rating 0
The Way of Zen - Alan Watts_III
Alan Watts explains the unexplainable basic idea of zen, chan or tao. It's a wonderful, mind-transforming peace of heart.
Keaster's rating:
Terence McKenna does what he arguably does best, i.e. rambles on about the actual and possible roles various psychoactive substances have played in the history of humankind.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0
Hallucinogens and Culture - Peter T. Furst
A highly interesting study of the role of different natural hallucinogens and other psychoactive substances in various indigenous cultures around the world and through time. The more distant we are from the present moment, the harder it is to write anything academically solid about these subjects because of the serious lack of source material, as is apparent when examining, for example, the Mayas or ancient Siberians, but Furst has used the available evidence with a cool enthusiasm and composed a superb and informative work.
Keaster's rating:
A fascinating collection of various contemporary written sources about the activities of shamans during the last half-millennia around the planet, especially in Siberia and in the Amazon, translated in English.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 47 Average listal rating (20 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
One of the most heart-warming, wonderful, loveliest collection of stories ever written. Reading this feels like you're in a wooden cabin and it's raining and thundering full-on outside, or perhaps there's even an icy winter blizzard outside your rattling windows, but it's perfectly fine because you have a cozy fire in the fireplace, and you are in bed, under a bulky blanket or two with wool socks on, reading this book in the warm candlelight with a cup of hot tea or other herbal infusion like chamomile next to you on the night table. The ultimate experience is, of course, to actually arrange this to happen.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 0
Moominpappa at Sea - Kingsley Hart,Tove Jansson
Well, I could use exactly the same words when describing this as I did about Wind in the Willows. This is also a kind of representative on this list of all the Moomin prose books that Jansson wrote.
People who added this item 241 Average listal rating (134 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse
The life and philosophy of Buddha à la Hesse. Dreamy, meditative, peaceful yet extremely powerful adventure to the essence of love and being.
People who added this item 44 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 8.9 IMDB Rating 0
Narcissus and Goldmund - Hermann Hesse
Another astonishing masterpiece by Hesse. Here his focus is on the ancient dualism between the rational and the emotional aspects of the kosmos. The former is, according to Hesse, the thinking/mathematical/rational/logical side of the human psyche, which is essential in the strict ascetic meditation practices of various religions, while the latter is the driving force behind emotions, adventures, and Art. These two different aspects of being human, these contrasting ways of approaching the kosmos are personified in the two titular characters, and in their paths of life in Medieval Germany. It is a quiet, humble, tremendously moving study of humanity, of us all.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 400 Average listal rating (262 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
Hamlet stands here as a representative of all of the better works of good ol' Shakey (Macbeth, King Lear etc.). There surely is a valid reason for the immense popularity of Billyboy, and that is his astonishing skill of discovering and putting to words some of the most deepest motives that so often animate human beings and effect the course of actions they take, and then weaving truly impressive ‚Äď yet at their core usually surprisingly simple ‚Äď stories out of these. Also, naturally and less surprisingly, a master of language.
People who added this item 8 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
The Leopard - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
A meditation on death, decay, past, and the always-present nostalgia we have for things gone by. On the surface level nothing happens ‚Äď an old aristocrat chooses to allow his nephew to marry the daughter of a wealthy merchant ‚Äď but below the surface, it is a thunderous earthquake. A calm, serene earthquake, perhaps, but an earthquake nevertheless.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 53 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
Dead Souls - Nikolai Gogol
People who added this item 153 Average listal rating (60 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 0
The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Dostoevsky was able to see directly into the soul of humankind, as is evident in every one of his greatest accomplishments such as the Gambler, Notes from the Underground and Crime and Punishment, but nowhere is this more magnificently revealed than in his monumental final work that is the Brothers Karamazov. Having a healthy skepticism towards the philosophical aspects of Christianity (because I find there an alarming lack of), I was astonished at how profoundly Dostoevsky understands and meditates on some of the most basic principles of universe as we experience it, such as love, the foundation of existence and personal freedom from the viewpoint of Orthodox Christianity without getting stuck in the dogmas, or actually almost totally ignoring the existence of such. An extremely impressive mammoth of a novel, and also a fantastic book for its story, deep and authentic characters, the very peculiar and subtle humor of Dostoevsky that is, in a way, ever-present while never really exploding through from the actual narrative. Amusing is also how he plays with the position of the narrator, sometimes being the storyteller that he is outside the book's universe, and sometimes just completely ignoring all that and writing himself in the book as an anonymous villager, never as a character in the story, but as somebody who is living there in the midst of the events.

I also wrote a little essay in Finnish about the Karamazov for school a year ago, and I might as well paste it here too.

***

1.

Vaikka Fjodor Dostojevskin Karamazovin veljekset on selkeästi 1800-lukulainen venäläinen romaani, ovat teoksen keskeiset teemat säilyneet polttavan ajankohtaisina halki kuluneiden 150 vuoden, ja epäilemättä tulevat tällaisina myös pysymään vielä mittamaattoman pitkälle tulevaisuuteen. Suurin osa romaaniin sisältyvästä filosofisesta pohdinnasta nimittäin keskittyy niihin ihmisyyden peruskysymyksiin, joita on todistettavasti pohdittu vuosisatojen, jopa -tuhansien ajan ympäri maailman, ja jotka ovat luonteeltaan niin moniulotteisia, että niihin on haastavaa kuvitella olevan löydettävissä absoluuttista, keskustelun lopettavaa ratkaisua. Toki jotkut romaanissa esiintyvät ajatustraditiot kantavat tiettyä historiallista leimaa ja tämän leiman mukanaan tuomaa käsitteistöä, osuvimpana esimerkkinä näistä tietenkin kristinusko, mutta tästä huolimatta Dostojevski käsittelee kirjassaan uskontoon ja uskoon liittyviä ajatuksia suorastaan hämmästyttävän universaalilla otteella.

Tämä uskonnon ja ateismin välinen vuoropuhelu onkin Karamazovin veljesten mahdollisesti keskeisin, ja ainakin kirkkaimmin loistava yksittäinen teema. Kirjan henkilöhahmot, etupäässä Ivan, pohtivat Jumalan olemassaoloon liittyvää problematiikkaa. Erityistä huomiota saa osakseen jo toki Dostojevskiäkin edeltäville ajattelijoille tuttu teodikea-ongelma, siis absurdilta tuntuva ajatus kaikkivaltiaan Jumalan hyvyydestä maailmassa, joka tuntuu olevan niin täynnä kärsimystä ja pahuutta. Teoksessa Jumalan olemassaolo kyseenalaistetaan tuolloin niin Euroopassa kuin Venäjälläkin kasvavaa suosiota nauttineen ateismin inspiroimin kysymyksenasetteluin, ja huomiota saavat osakseen muutkin kristinuskosta tutut filosofiset konseptit, joista mainittakoon esimerkiksi ylösnousemus. Tämän uskontoon liittyvän keskustelun merkittävä sivujuonne on myös kysymys moraalista ja moraalin suhteesta Jumalaan: jos Jumalaa ei ole, lakkaako myös moraali olemasta, ja onko ihmisen tällöin sallittua tehdä mitä tahansa? Kysymys on keskeinen kirjan murhajuonen kannalta, ja siinä voidaan nähdä tiettyjä kaikuja Dostojevskin Rikoksesta ja rangaistuksesta tutun Raskolnikovin pohdinnoista tekemänsä murhan oikeutuksesta.

Vaikka tällaiset uskontoon liittyvät pohdinnat saattavat vaikuttaa nykypäivän vallitsevaan rationalismiin ja sekularisoituneen maailmaan tottuneen lukijan silmissä latteilta, yhdentekeviltä, jopa täysin järjettömiltä, ei niitä tulisi kuitenkaan missään nimessä sivuuttaa kädenheilautuksella, eikä ajatella jotenkin vanhentuneina tai merkityksettöminä. Nykypäivän länsimaisella kansalaisella on nimittäin usein tapana ikään kuin laatikoitua tiettyyn itsestäänselvyytenä otettuun tieteelliseen ja rationaaliseen maailmankuvaan, eikä jämähtänyt laatikoituminen nähdäkseni palvele ihmisen hyvinvointia. En tietenkään itsestäänselvästi ole kieltämässä tieteen totuudellisuutta, mutta kun maailmaa tarkastelee pelkästään matemaattisen rationalismin silmin antamatta tilaa vapaalle mielikuvitukselle ja sen hallitsemille maailmoille, menettää suuren osan ihmisenä olemisen hauskuudesta ja jännityksestä. Tätäkin merkittävämpää nykylukijalle on kuitenkin ymmärtää se, että käytännössä koko ihmiskunnan olemassaolon ajan, kuluneita noin sataa vuotta lukuun ottamatta, on ihminen tyypillisesti uskonut jumaliin, Jumalaan, tai vain sen tarkemmin määrittelemättömään toiseuteen. Maailmaa on poikkeuksetta tarkasteltu tämän, sanoisinko, mytologisen suodattimen läpi, ja yksilöiden ja yhteisöjen elämää ja kuolemaa on tulkittu juuri tällaisista lähtökohdista käsin. Mikäli siis haluamme todella ymmärtää menneiden aikojen ihmistä, on meidän aivan ensiarvoisen tärkeää ymmärtää hänen tapaansa katsoa maailmaa, päästä hänen päänsä sisään. Erinomainen keino tähän menneisyyden ihmisen mielenliikkeiden tavoittamiseen on lukea aikalaiskirjallisuutta, joka myös usein käsittelee läheisesti ja seikkaperäisesti, eksplisiittisesti tai implisiittisesti, uskontoon liittyviä kysymyksiä. Huomautettakoon lisäksi, että vauhdikkaasta sekularisoitumisesta huolimatta etenkin itäisessä maailmassa on vielä miljoonittain, ellei jopa miljardeittain toiseuteen tavalla tai toisella uskovia ihmisiä, ja ymmärtääksemme heitä, on meidän kannattavaa yrittää ymmärtää myös sitä tapaa, jolla he maailmaa tarkastelevat.

Karamazovin veljekset koskettaa toki myös lukuisia muita ihmisyyteen olennaisesti liittyviä teemoja edellä kuvaillun uskontoa koskevan keskustelun ohella. Yksi näistä on erityisesti Suurinkvisiittori-jaksossa esiintyvä kysymys vapaudesta: ovatko ihmiset todella onnellisia ollessaan täysin vapaita, olemmeko me edes kykeneviä tällaiseen rajattomaan vapauteen, vai onko suurten ihmismassojen ikuinen osa kumartaa pientä ylempiarvoiseksi kuviteltujen ihmisten joukkoa, sillä ainoastaan täten voivat ihmiset tavoittaa onnellisuuden? Ajatusta on mielenkiintoista pohtia tarkasteltaessa historiaa, sekä kautta aikain, että länsimaisen demokratian nousun jälkeen, sillä onko meillä todellakaan vielä tänäkään päivänä esimerkkiä yhteiskunnasta, jossa kaikki olisivat tai olisivat olleet täysin vapaita ja tasa-arvoisia? Eikö hienovaraisimmissakin demokraattisissa valtioissa ole aina yksityiskohtaisemman tarkastelun jälkeen nähtävissä jonkinlainen tai jonkinlaisia huolestuttavan vaikutusvaltaisia henkilön- tai institutionaalisen palvonnan kohteita? Jos näin on, voisimmeko todella paremmin täydellisen tasa-arvoisessa yhteiskunnassa, ja olisiko tällaisen rakentaminen edes mahdollista?

Lisäksi kirja sivuaa hyvien ja pahojen ihmisten määritelmää. Onko yksikään kirjan henkilöhahmoista oikeastaan varsinaisesti paha? Eivätkö Smerdjakov ja jopa isä Fjodor kaikessa sikamaisuudessaan ole oikeastaan olosuhteidensa uhreja, jotka vain toteuttavat rooleja, joihin heidät on kasvatettu ja joihin he ovat kasvaneet, kykenemättä ymmärtämään hyvyyttä ja toimimaan sen mukaan? Entäpä jos maailmassa ei oikeastaan ole olemassa sellaista asiaa kuin paha, on vain hyvyyttä ja tietämättömyyttä hyvyydestä, kuten jo sekä Sokrates että Siddhartha Gautama noin 2500 vuotta sitten pohtivat? Edelleen relevantteja kysymyksiä nykypäivän maailmassa, joka helposti näyttäytyy kokijalleen olevan ääriänsä myöten täynnä pahuutta ja pahojen ihmisten tekemiä vastuuttomia, vahingoittavia tekoja.

Viimeisenä teemana nostan esiin kysymykset kunniasta ja maineesta, jotka ovat ensiarvoisen keskeisiä vaikuttimia lukuisten henkilöhahmojen teoille. Koko Dmitrin ja Katerina Ivanovnan suhdetta määrittää vahvasti käsitykset kunniallisesta toiminnasta, ja myös esimerkiksi kapteeni Snegirjov kieltäytyy hänen kipeästi tarvitsemastaan kahdesta sadasta ruplasta ainoastaan ylpeyttään. Toisin sanoen sekä henkilöiden omanarvontunto, että heidän asemansa yhteisönsä silmissä ovat olennaisessa asemassa ohjaamassa heidän toimintaansa. Näitä ajatuksia on hyödyllistä peilata omaan käytökseemme, sillä kuinka suuri osa teoistamme oikeastaan juontaakaan juurensa omiin, kenties alitajuisiin käsityksiimme siitä, miten tekemisemme näkyvät tai vaikuttavat meidän yhteisöissämme? Tai toisaalta, mihin on vedetty itse kunkin henkilökohtainen rehellisyyden ja itsekunnioituksen rajaviiva, ja kuinka moni on valmis ylittämään sen tai valehtelemaan itselleen saavuttaakseen haluamansa?

2.

Karamazovin veljekset on tyyppiesimerkki polyfoniasta kirjallisuudessa. Romaani käsittelee monimutkaisia ja pitkälle vietyjä ajatuksia ja käsityksiä muun muassa Jumalasta, oikeudesta, moraalista ja yhteiskunnasta, mutta teoksesta ei ole tislattavissa minkäänlaista yksilöityä ideologista sanomaa suuntaan tai toiseen. Kirjan painopiste on nimittäin ennen kaikkea filosofisessa keskustelussa, ajatusten tasapuolisessa esittämisessä, ongelmien ilmi tuomisessa ja niiden problematisoinnissa, ja lopullinen käsitysten muodostaminen jää yksinomaan lukijalle. Dostojevskin tarkoituksena ei mitä ilmeisimmin ole ohjata lukijoitaan jonkin tietyn ajatussuuntauksen kannalle, vaan haastaa hänet itse pohtimaan suuria, ihmisyyteen liittyviä kysymyksiä, ja muodostamaan näistä omat kantansa. Tätä ajatusprosessia Dostojevski mielellään avittaa esittelemällä erilaisia maailmankatsomuksellisia lähtökohtia lukuisten henkilöhahmojensa pitkälle personifioitujen näkökulmien kautta.

Selkeimmin jako n√§kyy tietenkin kolmessa Karamazovin veljeksess√§, joista vanhin, Dmitri, edustaa impulsiivista tunteen paloa, Ivan j√§rke√§, rationaalisuutta ja √§ly√§, ja nuorin, Aleksei, uskoa ja Jumalaa. Periaatteessa n√§m√§ kaikki kolme ihmisyytt√§ kenties keskeisimmin m√§√§ritt√§v√§√§ suhtautumistapaa todellisuuteen ovat siis edustettuina, ja n√§ist√§ jokainen p√§√§see √§√§neen, esitt√§√§ tulkintojaan, kertoo toiminnastaan ja sen motiiveista. Tunnetta, j√§rke√§ ja uskoa edustavat veljekset tietenkin my√∂s usein haastavat toisiaan. Luultavasti muistettavimmin t√§m√§ on n√§ht√§viss√§ Ivanin ja Aleksein k√§ymiss√§ keskusteluissa Kapina ja Suurinkvisiittori‚Äďjaksoissa, joissa Ivan koettelee Aleksein maailmankatsomusta perinpohjaisesti kyseenalaistamalla osuvasti Alekseille niin t√§rke√§t k√§sitykset Jumalan olemassaolosta. Kirjasta on my√∂s luettavissa v√§hemm√§n hienovaraista mieskeskeisyytt√§, jota aikalaislukijat eiv√§t v√§ltt√§m√§tt√§ ole osanneet huomioida. Sill√§ teoksen kaikki naishahmot, joista muutamalla tosin on selke√§sti oma √§√§nens√§, ovat kuitenkin jopa Dmitri√§kin impulsiivisempia, h√§t√§ilev√§mpi√§, ja alttiita voimakkaille tunteellisille kohtauksille. Teoksen aukeamilta uhkuva hysterian mielipuolinen hy√∂kyaalto melkein hukutti t√§m√§n esseen kirjoittajan erityisesti lopun oikeudenk√§yntiosiossa, jossa Katerina Ivanovna k√§ytt√§ytyy vailla j√§rjen hivent√§k√§√§n, emootioidensa t√§ydellisesti viet√§v√§n√§ todistaessaan Dmitri√§ vastaan, juuri hetke√§ aiemmin h√§nt√§ valan alla puolustettuaan.

Karamazovin veljesten polyfoniassa on yksi erityisen viehättävä ominaispiirre, ja se on teoksen kertoja. Suurimman osan romaanista hän pysyttelee olemattomana, ja jos teosta tuntematon henkilö avaisi niteen miltä tahansa aukeamalta, luultavasti hän olettaisi pikaisen silmäyksen jälkeen lukevansa tyypillistä kolmannen persoonan näkökulmasta kerrottua kertomusta. Kuitenkin ajoittain Dostojevski kuljettaa tarinaansa ensimmäisen persoonan näkökulmasta, joka antaa lukijan olettaa kertojan olevan itseasiassa yksi kylän asukkaista. Esimerkiksi oikeudenkäynnissä kertoja on asettanut itsensä osaksi spektaakkelia tarkastelevaa yleisöä, ja kuvailee vaikutelmiaan kuin katsojana muiden joukossa. Hilpeän ja räikeän vastakohdan tälle kuitenkin luo se, kuinka kertoja toisaalta toistuvasti pitkin kirjaa huomauttelee kirjoittavansa romaania, siis fiktiivistä teosta. Tavallaan tässä ei ole mitään järkeä ja Dostojevskin itselleen kirjoittama rooli on kaikkia kirjallisuuden tyypillisiä konventioita vastaan vuosikymmeniä ennen modernismin syntyä, ja juuri sen takia nautin siitä niin suunnattomasti.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 0
A wonderfully enjoyable collection of small stories and episodes in the life of a few highly sympathetic individuals in Paris in the late 19th century, undoubtedly a time and a place like no other.
Quasi-biblically narrated epoch of blood, dust, dirt and mindless violence with one of the most satanic antagonists in the history of literature.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 117 Average listal rating (59 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
The Call Of The Wild - Jack London
When I started this I was a bit sceptical about reading a non-children's book with a dog as the protagonist, but oh boy am I glad that I did. It is an incredibly powerful, emotionally thunderstorming story set in the frontiers of the old North. Through the pages you can smell the pines and the ever-present lure of the freezing death dancing under the flaming auroras.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 393 Average listal rating (238 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Adolescent adventures don't get any better than this. It reads also as a compelling and fascinating albeit very Twainesquely colored period piece of the life in the Southern States in the middle of the 19th century. The vernaculars are hilarious, and not only because of this it's a great pleasure to read out loud.
Keaster's rating:
THE Finnish novel. A moving, captivating, realistic, earthy and enchanting family saga spanning perhaps the most interesting and in many ways also the saddest decades of the recent history of the country. This first book here represents the complete trilogy.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 20 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 0
Spoon River Anthology - Edgar Lee Masters
Occasionally ascending to heart-breaking levels of sadness, Masters' masterful collection of lyrical epitaphs in first person of a small generic village somewhere in the United States in the late 19th century is one of the finest poetical achievements of that country ‚Äď of which there are a few, for sure.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Meetings with Remarkable Men - George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
... or, Some of the Incredible Adventures of One G. I. Gurdjieff. With emphasis on the word 'incredible', I might add, because everything he says should certainly not be taken at face value, but, bearing this in mind, it is an wonderfully entertaining collection of stories that may or may not be or may partly be true, set up in different and usually very remote parts of Europe and Asia of the early 20th century. It's also a good introduction to the eccentric worldview and philosophy of Gurdjieff. One of my favorite parts is when he's riding through a vast desert with his mates for weeks in search for the buried ruins of an ancient civilization, feeding their goats with sand because they scientifically calculated how sand is a perfectly fine and nutritious cuisine for a goat and casually learning an ancient language while goatbacking towards their destination.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 88 Average listal rating (55 ratings) 8.9 IMDB Rating 0
The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov
A unique epic cosmic explosion of literal genius.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 9.1 IMDB Rating 0
One of the high peaks of modern playwriting; a brilliant, nostalgic and bitter family drama with few consolations.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 517 Average listal rating (280 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
An account of an utterly depressed survivor of the war trying to make some sense to his total post-war desperate confusion with an imaginative power and a sense of humor rarely equaled in the history of literature.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 129 Average listal rating (76 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
The Complete MAUS - Art Spiegelman
If I was asked to recommend a definite art piece about the Holocaust, this is where I would direct the inquirer to (haven't read Anne Frank nor seen Shoah yet, though). It's a very cleverly narrated graphic biography about the author's father as a Jew in Europe during the Second World War, and also a touching study about their uneasy relationship and of the process of the author finally starting to understand his father, after years of mistrust, through the interviews he conducted for this masterpiece of art. Also profoundly moving, chilling and heartbreaking.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 473 Average listal rating (196 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
Perhaps the single most funniest book I have read. And while being so, it's also an extremely sad, mad and desperate cry for sanity and compassion towards our fellow-beings.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (17 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Ask the Dust - John Fante
If you'll excuse my anachronism, an excellent proto-Bukowskian bohemian love story set in Los Angeles of the 1930s. Reads very easily and pleasurably.
People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
The Long Goodbye - Raymond Chandler
A master of literary film noir, of elegant and cool suspense, and this is his finest hour. A lot of attention is given to the wonderful character of Philip Marlowe and his endeavors, which is where the relative length of the book comes from.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 17 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
L.A. Confidential - James Ellroy
This represents all or at least most of the books by Ellroy I have read so far. They are extremely captivating criminal or political thrillers, written in an intense, bold and rapid style. Often they are also more or less paranoid or over-the-top in their violence and endless labyrinths of conspiracies, but never too extensively.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 456 Average listal rating (276 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
The Stranger - Albert Camus
A chillingly laconic, distanced, almost anti-emotional story of internal existential emptiness manifesting itself with expected consequences.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 52 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
A Streetcar Named Desire - Tennessee Williams
Streetcar represents most of the plays I have read by Tennessee Williams so far. I see them as having this kind of, dare I say, even a _serene_ undercurrent, that carefully and steadily floats onward, develops, and often suddenly explodes to a STORM, returning afterwards back to its usual state, but always in a profoundly altered form from the starting point. His plays are like snakes laying on the ground in a spiral, then making a sudden deadly furious attack to the guy coming at them with a stick, and then in less than a blink of an eye recoiled back to their comfortable spiral posture ‚Äď only the guy just fell down next to them, already a corpse before he hit the ground. Now I am aware that there probably does not exist a snake this deadly or precise in its aim in the world, but I'm taking some poetical license here.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 30 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Junky (Essential Penguin) - William S. Burroughs
I find the more experimental works of Burroughs philosophically extremely interesting and also important, but the actual act of reading them can be very laborious and even slightly frustrating, such as was the case for me with Nova Express, for example. This early book by him, however, is a superb, laconic, even quiet, but very, very powerful classic totally deserving its reputation. Noteworthy is the total lack of moral judgement to any direction.
People who added this item 472 Average listal rating (230 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
On the Road - Jack Kerouac
When I am asked what is my favorite book, this is always the first one in my mind. A wonderful modern-day adventure told with the absolutely unique combination of naivety, melancholy, compassion, insight, vitality and lyrical beauty of a young Jack Kerouac. Reading On the Road truly feels like spending time with a friend.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 72 Average listal rating (38 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
The Dharma Bums - Jack Kerouac
Even though it doesn't chronologically follow On the Road, I kinda see this as the direct spiritual sequel to that book. In many ways it's very similar to the Road, but it's more steeped in the philosophy of Zen Buddhism or at least in Jack's enthusiastic and wild interpretation of it, and perhaps also in the loneliness that was to follow him and grew to more extensive dimensions during his later years. Lovely and energetic.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Desolation Angels - Jack Kerouac
It requires some patience to get through the first hundred pages or so to the point where Desolation Angels really starts off, but once it does, it is certainly worth it, because in the pages of this book it's possible to see and read the water-mark that divides the young optimistic, naive, sad yet in his autumnal melancholy still a happy Kerouac from the old grumpy, weary, alcoholic one. The currents of this transformation are, of course, rooted early on in his life and previous work, but the clearest turning point of those currents is documented here, and specifically in the weeks he spends at Mexico City. It is also his last masterpiece, I think. And even though the first part can seem a bit incomprehensible, there is a clear logic behind his words, but it helps a lot if the reader has a fresh recollection of the Dharma Bums to understand what is going through Jack's mind.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Her
Lawrence Ferlinghetti's personal highly surrealistic Odysseia to find the essence of femininity and true love in the Europe of the 1950s.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 350 Average listal rating (166 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Kesey's original exploration to the core of institutional insanity and of resulting authoritarian physical and mental suppression, which, we find, may very well be the actual reason for the existence of the madness it's trying to control.
People who added this item 34 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
A stunningly brilliant account of the psychedelic revolution of the 60s in the fiery burning point of it all. The bizarre entourage of Ken Kesey is almost unparalleled in the history of literature ‚Äď except this is not fictitious, but a true horde of original hippie freaks fueled by incomprehensible amounts of high-quality LSD. Wolfe's immersive style of writing makes this a highly enjoyable reading experience, as does the fact that this is not a retrospective account, but a book that was written and published during the time when everything was still totally on full-power and absolutely nobody could know how it would all turn out.
Keaster's rating:
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is an unique gem, there is nothing like it in the history of the arts. On the surface level it is an absolutely hilarious drug-fueled adventure in what is perhaps the most disgusting city in the planet written by a raving lunatic with a supreme sense of humor and self-irony. But the ever-present undercurrents are a messy storm of sadness, anger, frustration and confusion, and there is an abysmal feeling of being totally and completely LOST in the world with nowhere to go anymore.

What had happened, then? The Sixties were there just a brief moment ago, those utterly bafflingly upward-downward spot-on incredible years of true Paradise on Earth when everything, everybody and all was full of nothing but unconditional LOVE, when all was possible right here and now, and when, for a little while it truly looked like finally, after several millennia of tyranny, compassion was going to win. And it would be a joyful parade with nobody being put on trial, but everybody dancing and making love for the rest of the eternity. But, alas, the dream crumbled away and fell down in pieces, and those who were part of this new revolution were left standing mouths gaping & eyes gazing at how the empire of Evil was back up and running again, scarier than ever.

So, logically, the only humane way to cope with this horrible tragedy is to continue the well-established diet of the Sixties that worked so well for years, and dive straight on to the rotten heart of this madness, this empire of Fear and Loathing. Some know it by the name of Las Vegas ‚Äď the embodiment of the American Dream, the city where money is the only one doing the talk, where anybody can get it all in a matter of seconds, and lose it even faster.

And this is what it's about. No need for me to ramble more, because nothing more can be said; the rest is written in the book with the cumulative force of 10 000 red hot steam engines pumping the Great Red Shark on full speed towards the vast desert of Madness, because that is the only sensible thing that there is left to do.

Read it, if you haven't. If you have, read it again! I know I will.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0
A love story like no other. Hilarious, sensual, and deeply touching.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 71 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Post Office - Charles Bukowski
A representative of, well, not all of the Bukowskis, because there's a lot of them, and some of them are actually quite repetitive (like the story about two German girls appearing in Buko's door that ends up in him having sex with them and wondering about the strange bone he feels in the pussy of the other who is usually named Gertrud, that I think I have read at least three times in slightly altered forms), but the best of them are pure literal gold. Laconic, extremely hilarious, honest, and emphatical to all those creatures who haven't had it that easy in life.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 485 Average listal rating (230 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Burgess' original, imaginative and inventive dystopian vision is recommended to read for various of reasons, the least not being his interesting linguistical explorations.
People who added this item 462 Average listal rating (227 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A narrativeral machine gun of a book. Almost impossible to keep on track with, yet extremely enjoyable and fantastical thunderstorm of a family saga in the jungles of Colombia. One of the best endings ever, one that chills you right to the bones.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 129 Average listal rating (74 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
The Godfather - Mario Puzo
Keaster's rating:
Robert Crumb is a very curious individual with an equally curious sense of humor. This is a collection of some of his work from the 60s and after, with interesting recollections and other writings by Crumb himself in between the comics. Especially noteworthy are the ones where he reminisces his experiences in the West Coast during the 60s.
Keaster's rating:
Offers an excellent basic background of the most essential artistical and philosophical influences behind the counter-cultural movement of the 60s, and of the movement itself, with a special focus on its esoteric aspects. Quite often Lachman gives some extra color to the individuals and incidents here portrayed, but in this case it's alright because his very amusing sense of humor makes the book even more enjoyable than it would be without, the facts are still there and there is nothing fictitious added (I think), and it's not pretending to be a historical monograph per se.
Keaster's rating:
A truly fascinating account of the good doctor's endeavors in chemistry as a young man working in Sandoz, his role in the discovery of other natural hallucinogens of great historical and contemporary importance, his later journeys in Central America, and of his complex relationship with LSD, or rather, of his role in the complex relationship between LSD and the Western society. Included are also some recollections of his and his friends' personal experiences with hallucinogens, and overall it works as a wonderful presentation of his worldview and philosophy. It's also funny how for decades counterculture folks thought of him as some kind of cosmic hippie doctor, but in reality Hofmann was of course a very respectable gentleman of the education and cultural environment of the old Europe before the war(s).
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 10 IMDB Rating 0
The history of lysergic acid diethylamide provides to show that sometimes reality is indeed wilder than any fiction, ever. The saga of LSD from the laboratories of Sandoz through to the bonkers and _extremely_ immoral experiments of CIA up to being the fuel of the mind_blowing cultural and artistical explosion of the 1960s and beyond is one of the most fascinating phenomena in the history of humankind. The incidents, persons and entities involved, and the arches of historical development are so utterly random and original, and often also so incredibly hilarious, that there is really nothing I know to compare them to.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 16 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 0
Prometheus Rising - Robert Anton Wilson
Robert Anton Wilson presenting a synchronized theory, based on the research of one Timothy Leary, of Gurdjieff's theories, yoga, quantum mechanics etc., of how the human mind works and how to get the most of it is something worth reading for the reasons just mentioned, whether one agrees with him fully or partly or not at all.
Keaster's rating:
People who added this item 13 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
The Year of the Hare - Arto Paasilinna
A humorous and joyful journey of a man and a rabbit out of the binding shackles of this ratwheel of a society into the Forest.
Keaster's rating:
A collection of some of the best poems of Ferlinghetti. The balance he has achieved between surrealistic stream-of-thought and realistic down-to-earthiness with occasional cultural references to all around is really something worth experiencing, and, in a way, one of the finest achievements of literary modernism, even though Ferlinghetti is from a slightly younger generation. Lyrically extraordinarily beautiful, occasionally melancholic and angry, but always, in it's essence, heart-warming and friendly.
Keaster's rating:
Load more items (38 more in this list)

Some of them, that is. In a very peculiar order.

Added to

16 votes
Bibliophilia (84 lists)
list by PulpRoman
Published 2 months, 1 week ago 1 comment



Related lists

Terrible Movies My Friends Like
6 item list by Joshua "LF"
16 votes 7 comments
My Friends Think I'm Crazy for Finding Them Sexy
11 item list by Stars-Are-Fire
24 votes 10 comments
Great Movies My Friends Dislike
9 item list by Joshua "LF"
18 votes 12 comments
Great pics posted by friends
31 item list by Mass. Patriot
77 votes 21 comments
Favorite actors of my Listal friends
68 item list by yreesesfreak
13 votes 3 comments
My Favorite Guest Appearances on Friends
48 item list by milagenovez
58 votes 16 comments
My Fav Avatar's Photo From My Friends
32 item list by Dark Warrior
26 votes 17 comments
My Fav Avatar's Design From My Friends
29 item list by Dark Warrior
32 votes 17 comments

View more top voted lists

People who voted for this also voted for