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Added by dharmabum on 7 Nov 2017 04:20
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 0
Chamber Music - James Joyce
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People who added this item 181 Average listal rating (91 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 3 IMDB Rating 0
The Gold of the Gods - Erich Von Daniken
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People who added this item 129 Average listal rating (67 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
The Time Machine - H.G. Wells
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Vala Auringolle & Aavetanssi - Petri Hiltunen
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 0
The Torrents of Spring - Ernest Hemingway
First I didn't like it at all, but after I took a few days' break and read other stuff, I returned to it and to my surprise found it very amusing! It's a funny little parody of the countless bigger-than-life writers, and, in retrospect, perhaps of Hemingway himself too.
dharmabum's rating:
It's useful as a reference book to some of the main concepts of esotericsm and occultism, but otherwise it's pretty shallow and too much in love with it's subject. That is, the author doesn't seem to possess any critisim towards the concepts and the way he presents them. It should be remembered that pretty much everything presented in this book has been treated and is treated in so many different ways by different people in different places of the globe, but Pineda seems to know exactly how these things are really laid and compresses all this huge amount of information in 150 small pages.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Kiinalainen teekirja - Pekka Nihtinen
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 0
Pudonneiden kukkien puna - Li YĂŒ, Li Ch'ing-chao, Pertti Nieminen
dharmabum's rating:
It's quite fun to read. It doesn't blow your mind or anything, but it never gets boring and keeps you flipping through the pages pretty swiftly, and the 19th century English prose is linguistically wonderful.

However, if you are not a fan of the soulscape of an imperialist Englishman, this book is very likely to get you more or less frustrated, like, all the time. It could be a lot more evil and degrading - Haggard at least gives some respect to the black people and occasionally uses surprisingly friendly language when speaking about them and their culture, but still it tends to get quite annoying most of the time. There are about half a dozen of black servant characters who die to save the heroic white protagonists. The black people more or less worship and serve the white men through the book, with an exception of maybe two important black chiefs. Killing animals from a distance with a firearm sometimes without any particulary reason is seen as heroic and shows a good sportsmanship. In one of the short Quartermain stories that were added to the edition I got from the library, the protagonist, who is by the way treated as a most respectable and admirable good-hearted gentleman, hunts down and slaughters an entire lion family - sure, they killed one of his black servants (who Quartermain regarded as a pretty useless young idiot), but like Quarterman says himself, he didn't have to go after them, but he just wanted to.

This isn't really a fault of the book of course, because it was a general attitude at that time and place, but it's impossible not to notice it when reading. But yeah, all and all it's a pretty enjoyable experience.
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People who added this item 66 Average listal rating (40 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Batman: Arkham Asylum - Dave McKean,Grant Morrison
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People who added this item 39 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 0
This Side Of Paradise - F. Scott Fitzgerald
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 4.5 IMDB Rating 0
Early Irish Myths and Sagas - Jeffrey Gantz
I really like myths and the way they open up the soulscape of a particular group of people, and I especially like the universality of them - different people in different times with no physical connection to each other surprisingly often make sense of the world and reality around us all in a very, very similar way. There is also a lot of important stuff to learn about them, stuff that the majority of people in these modern times seem to have kind of lost, at least in cities and in those places where Western ego-centricity prevails.

As for this 250-page collection of early Irish myths, well, they were readable, but they didn't really give me the kicks. Often the narration is highly repetitive, which of course is not unusual in any way with myths that have been passed on orally from generation to generation for centuries, but whereas, say, Kalevala or Edda both have an amazing flow and rhythm and are a great joy to read, this one is just, well, kind of... stumbling, angular?

There is a lot of humor in these stories though, perhaps even more so than in your typical family of myths, and sometimes it indeed is amusing. Some of it derives from the said repetition, for example how one guy replies to the other like 40 times how "clouds of blood will come to you" because he doesn't like the advices the latter is giving to him, but the adviser doesn't really give a fuck but keeps just going on and on and the former I guess just sits there angrily and tries to stare the life out of him. The celtic way of using the pronoun 'that' is also so pleasant that I had to read the occasional phrase aloud to myself because my tongue demanded it, and the concept of the mythological realm of SĂ­de is one of my favorite aspects of these stories.

There's other good stuff too, for example how the Ulaid (a group of northern Irishmen) don't really care when a witch threatens to make their sons fight their fathers and their daughters their mothers, but when he tells them he will make the tits of all the Ulaid women flap against each other and go all sour they panic and do what he tells them. It's also amusing how Cu Chulainn, the fiercest super warrior in the universe who kills everything in his path with the force of a thousand suns, is possible to make harmless by bringing naked women in front of him, because that makes him so confused and ashamed that he just blushes and hides his face in his shirt until someone has dealt with the situation.

So yeah, they have their moments and as stories they are alright, but the narration doesn't really serve them, I think. This is the way they have been written when they were collected in around 12th century, so no fault of the translator that.
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People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 0
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 0
Zen and Japanese Culture - Daisetz T. Suzuki
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Kirjan kansista saa sellaisen vaikutelman, ettÀ jÀtkÀt haluaa esitellÀ near-death experienceja tasapuolisesti kaikilta mahdollisilta kannoilta, mutta hyvin pian kÀy selvÀksi, ettÀ teoksen tarkoituksena on piiskata lukijasta pois pieninkin usko minkÀÀnlaiseen yliluonnolliseen edes etÀisesti viittaavaan. TÀtÀ hanketta arvon proferssorit viiden miljoonan dollarin apurahoineen toteuttavat valitsemalla esimerkkitapauksiksi neljÀ NDE:etÀ, joiden suoristaminen materialistisen nÀkökannan mukaiseksi on suhteellisen vaivatonta, lukuun ottamatta paria yksityiskohtaa, jotka suurin piirtein sivuutetaan kÀdenheilautuksella. On lisÀksi huomattavaa, etteivÀt herrat vaivautuneet kirjaansa varten haastattelemaan yhtÀkÀÀn NDE:n lÀpikÀynyttÀ persoonaa. TÀtÀ perustellaan sillÀ, ettei se ole tarpeellista kirjan argumenttien kannalta, mikÀ teoriassa toki pitÀÀkin paikkansa, mutta se osoittaa hieman vittumaista ylimielisyyttÀ, kun kyseessÀ kuitenkin on tÀmÀn mittakaavan aihe, jonka perusta on nimenomaan nÀiden kokemusten henkilökohtaisesti koetussa transsendenttiudessa ja sen kÀsittÀmÀttömÀssÀ volyymissa.

LisÀksi professorit kÀyttÀvÀt useita sivuja siihen, ettÀ he vÀÀntÀvÀt tarpeettoman akateemisella englannilla lukijalleen perille esimerkiksi sellaisia pointteja, kuin ettÀ kokemukset, joihin ei liity tuntemusta yliluonnollisesta, voivat olla kokijalleen merkittÀviÀ. Toisin sanoen vaikkapa vanhaan ystÀvÀÀn törmÀÀminen kadulla 20 vuoden jÀlkeen voi tuntua merkittÀvÀltÀ kokemukselta, vaikkei sitÀ ajattele yliluonnollisena. On hienoa, ettÀ tÀllaisen informaation nugetin voi lukea akateemisesti rahoitetusta tieteellisestÀ painotuotteesta.

Professorit yrittÀvÀt vÀkisellÀ konkretisoida sellaiset kÀsitteet kuten sielu tai Jumala, ja kun se ei onnistu, ollaan vakuuttuneita siitÀ, ettÀ kaikki henkisyyteen millÀÀn tavalla liittyvÀ on vÀistÀmÀttÀ tyhjÀnpÀivÀistÀ kuvittelua, vaikka nÀiden kÀsitteiden olemukseen nimenomaan kuuluu, ettei niiden konkretisoiminen tietyn pisteen jÀlkeen ole mahdollista. LisÀksi kirjoittajat puhuvat LSD-kokemuksista valossa, joka paljastaa, ettei heillÀ ole kuin nimellinen kÀsitys siitÀ, miten tÀmÀ substanssi kohteeseensa vaikuttaa.

Kirjoittajien tapaan suhtautua asiaan epÀilemÀttÀ vaikuttaa yhdysvaltalainen kristillinen fundamentalismi, jonka pohjaton ja aivan liian laajalle levinnyt idiotismi aikaansaa voimakkaan tarpeen poistaa se hÀiritsemÀstÀ lajimme ÀlyllistÀ potentiaalia. TÀmÀ ateismi vs. uskonto -asetelma on kuitenkin siitÀ vittumainen, ettÀ se jakaa todella monimutkaisen ja moniulotteisen sarjan kysymyksiÀ ja tapoja jÀsentÀÀ maailmaa kahteen suhteellisen tiukkaan ja selkeÀÀn leiriin, eikÀ tÀstÀ asetelmasta syntyvÀ usein hyvin aggressiivinen juupas-eipÀs -vÀittely palvele yhtÀÀn ketÀÀn eikÀ mitÀÀn. NÀitÀ aiheita on huomattavasti hedelmÀllisempÀÀ kÀsitellÀ avaamalla nÀkökantoja kaikkiin suuntiin ja perehtymÀllÀ mahdollisimman syvÀllisesti kaikenlaisiin maailmankatsomuksiin kautta aikain ja historian, sen sijaan ettÀ otetaan toiselle puolen kristillinen paradigma ja toiselle tieteellinen rationalismi ja sitten lukkiudutaan nÀihin, ja vain ja ainoastaan nÀihin.

Kirjoittajat sentÀÀn mainitsevat ohimennen teoksessaan, ettÀ tiede uudistaa koko ajan itseÀÀn, ja kÀsitykset, joita on aiemmin pidetty itsestÀÀnselvinÀ, saattavat yhtÀkkiÀ kÀÀntyÀ aivan pÀÀlaelleen. TÀmÀ tietenkin pitÀÀ tÀsmÀlleen paikkansa, ja jossain tÀÀllÀ suunnalla on mielestÀni avain near-death experiencejen kÀsittÀmiseen. Sen sijaan se ei ole kaukaahaettujen ja vÀkivaltaisesti tarvittavaan muottiin sopivaksi vÀÀnnettyjen materialistisen teoriahÀkkyröiden parissa, eikÀ myöskÀÀn sellaisten kokemusten nostamisessa Jumalan valtakunnan uudeksi tulemiseksi, joita lÀhemmin tarkasteltaessa paljastuu, ettei niissÀ oikeastaan ole mitÀÀn sen kummallisempaa kuin minun huomisissa ruokaostoksissani. Ajattelin ostaa ainakin ruisleipÀÀ, ja mahdollisesti pienehkön siivun hyvÀÀ juustoa punaviinin kylkeen.
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People who added this item 102 Average listal rating (43 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
A Scanner Darkly - Philip K. Dick
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Meetings with Remarkable Men - George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 0
Bysantin historia - John Haldon
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People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
The Orchard Keeper - Cormac McCarthy
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People who added this item 13 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 0
The Soft Machine - William S. Burroughs
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People who added this item 45 Average listal rating (22 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0
Narcissus and Goldmund - Hermann Hesse
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 0
Stephen Hero - James Joyce
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 4 IMDB Rating 0
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People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
The Acid House - Irvine Welsh
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People who added this item 254 Average listal rating (121 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
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People who added this item 63 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 0
Ubik - Philip K. Dick
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 0
Samaanin sampo - Irma Korte
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Books I've been reading since around August 2017 featuring the occasional rambling.

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