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There are times when it is hard to tell whether a book is for children or for adults, especially when it comes to a fantastic tale revolving around children and other worlds within a world. In this work, Neil Gaiman has managed to intertwine both the fears and lives of a child with the almost real world of adults, of modern and timeless. There are moments of an almost philosophical nature, carefully combined with memories of a childhood caught within two worlds, that of the real and that of the imagined. There are moments of fear, everyday fear of the dark, of being alone, of being helpless crafted into a whole with those of the fantasy world every child imagines for themselves, where they are the hero, they are the immortal power which brings everything back into its ordered role.
Photo Credit: OLDSKOOLDAVE – Creative Commons
Despite its relatively short length – Gaiman admits it was intended as a short story originally – The Ocean At The End Of The Lane takes the reader into themselves, back to their childhood days, back to a time when darkness was a time of fear, when marvelous monsters and fairies lived at the end of the lane, the bottom of the garden. His words weave a spellbinding story which loses nothing by being read through adult eyes; the reader is taken back to their own childhood fantasies, their own youthful fears. And it is much more:
Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.
Gaiman’s newest work reminds adults of what it was like to be a child, to explore and, above all, to learn something of this world which they, as adults, have forgotten: the fantastic; the unbelievable; their suppressed imagination. It is exceptionally well written, from the viewpoint of a child, which loses nothing for being aimed at an adult audience, for reminding us of what we once had and what we have lost. And loss is also a major part of the tale, be it the loss of innocence or a friend, a perfect mixture of fantasy and reality from a world we all wish we could revisit, relive.
Publisher: Harper. ISBN 978 0 06 232513 6.
- Viktoria Michaelis.
I have absolutely nothing planned for today, it is one of those days when I can just sit down and do whatever I want without any pressure, without worrying about appointments, college work, housework or anything else. And I’m on my own. We still have Spring Break, although the changing weather means I can’t really do much outside unless I take both summer and rainy weather clothes with me, so, what to do?
Photo Credit: asha susan – Creative Commons
For anyone who knows me, the answer is clear. I’m not going to sit in front of the computer and see what is going on in our virtual world, nor am I going to wander from one room to another in my apartment trying to find something to tidy away, wash or just look at. I shall take my book and a cup (or two) of coffee, and just sit and read. No pressure, no haste, just relaxation.
Love & Kisses, Viki.
So, I got no money from Neil Trotter, or from the person who claimed to be him but clearly isn’t. I don’t feel down, I don’t feel disappointed, I don’t feel left out at all. Why?
My name is Michel Kanasa. I was a personal Lawyer to Kegl Gorazd, who died as a result of car accident (may his soul rest in peace). I hereby seek your consent to present your name to Gorazd’s Bank, so that you can inherit His money through my assistance.
About the money value USD18,500,000.00 Dollars deposited by Gorazd before his death. Kindly get back to me if you want more details about this case.
Advocate Michel Kanasa
Because the next offer is right around the corner…
Love & Kisses, Viki.
If you ask the average German on the street who Thilo Sarrazin is, you will get one of two answers: either a blank stare with a shrug of the shoulders, or a long and detailed account of what they know about him. The first answer is understandable: the name doesn’t say much to many because they do not keep up with the news, do not read books or are not interested in politics and education. A name which appears in the press is often quickly forgotten, unless there are scandalous reasons for remembering it: a sex affair of some conservative, right-wing, virtuous politician or religious figure; a pop star; a mass murderer or similar.
Those who know (of) him are also split into two groups: the first condemn him for a controversial, racist book he wrote some years ago about politics, immigration, intelligence and education; the second group have read the book. Amongst those who belong to the first group, who have condemned the work out of hand, is the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who openly admits that, despite her condemnation, she has not read the work, and does not intend to.
Photo Credit: killerturnip – Creative Commons
Thilo Sarrazin’s new work – Der Neue Tugendterror (The New Virtue Terror) covers the reactions to his first work in some great detail. The opening chapters detail how his work was treated by the press and certain politicians, by those who are involved in education and immigration and by the public at large. It is a story of two widely differing camps. The press lambasted his work as being racist, as putting immigrants down as second class citizens, as defiling the excellent German education systems, with all its successes and failures. More than this though, they demanded that action be taken against him for his opinion. Not, you should note, for the facts and figures he relates in his book Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany Destroys Itself), but for his personal opinion and, above all, for being Thilo Sarrazin, for having a personal opinion.
I’d be really interested in hearing a few opinions about an article, published on CNN’s Belief Blog, which discusses the state of dress amongst people today. It begins with a complaint that too many people are turning up for religious services as if they’ve just finished mowing the lawn and suggests, openly, that this is caused by a lack of gratitude. It’s not just church services which are mentioned: boarding a plane, going on a date, shopping for groceries are all covered.
My first thought was: well, the god that people are showing gratitude towards doesn’t go by appearance; this god should be a viewer of the inner soul.
Now, I can understand the reasons why people should dress up for a first date, for a job interview and other events where they need to make a good first impression, but grocery shopping? Flying for eleven hours to some foreign destination? Isn’t comfort just as important?
Is the fact that people wear comfortable clothes to go out, to buy their groceries, a sign that our society and its standards are slipping into the abyss?
Love & Kisses, Viki.
I am, as you can well imagine, disappointed. I had hoped for so much, laid plans, decided exactly which color my new curtains should be and then, well, nothing. Neil Trotter – you will remember my post about his offer – didn’t answer me, didn’t send me any share of his millions, left me to fend for myself in this harsh world.
Photo Credit: coda – Creative Commons
And that despite the fact that, back on April 3, I sent him all my details. Well, almost.
Perhaps it was the fact that I entered my address as being Broadway, Victoria, London, home of New Scotland Yard, which put him off. Or perhaps, unlikely as it may seem, the Internet Fraud Squad is now receiving spam and other marvelous offers to make them rich quick through the post. Perhaps Neil even went to visit them…
Although I doubt it, to be honest. I always knew that it was a scam, and even wrote my feelings about it at the time. Still, a few extra Euro in my bank account would have been useful.
Perhaps someone else will make me an offer… Anyone want to buy Tower Bridge, I can make you a very good offer.
Love & Kisses, Viki.
There are downsides to being a celebrity or someone in the news for sport skills or whatever.
You don’t get to Tweet what you really think without being caught up in Gawker, Buzzfeed or the Daily Mail and condemned for being human.
Love & Kisses, Viki.
I spend a good deal of my time thinking strange thoughts. I don’t mean just those seemingly strange thoughts which I have written about over the last few days, which are only strange to people who cannot allow their fantasy to run free or their mind to wander elsewhere. My strange thoughts tend to be random ideas for things to write about, for stories and articles, even for blog posts now and then. Often the wildest ideas run through my kind, almost like a B-movie in some cases, take some sort of form and then, if they are worth anything, allow themselves to be put down on paper. Admittedly only as notes, but with the promise of future greatness, I like to think.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Kos-Read – Creative Commons
Recently my thoughts have been turning more and more to fictional works, and to one particular genre. Not the one you might think, going by my record of writing so far, but something a little different. Horror.
Tomorrow I will hit another mark in the fight against spam. Well, not exactly since it is not really a fight, more of a submit and delete. Tomorrow my stats will show that more than eighty-five thousand spam comments have been caught and deleted on this blog.
Photo Credit: chrismar – Creative Commons
The big surge in spam comments that I have received over the last week – several hundred each day – comes because of a change I made here: all spam sent through my comments page which then arrive as mail are now filtered through Akismet and no longer reach their target. Someone operating a spambot somewhere – because these spam messages are not sent out by real people – must have noticed and changed their methods.
Does it make a real difference? Not really. All I need to do is click on one button and the spam comments waiting in the approval queue are deleted unread.
Of course, there are blogs which allow comments through unmoderated, where anything goes. These are the sites which fall into Google’s bad list thanks to the links most spam comments contain. I can’t imagine that anyone who allows such comments through has been savvy enough to activate a nofollow on their blog.
So I will watch the number grow, sit back with a satisfied smile on my face, and click that delete button, keeping, as far as is possible, a clean blog.
Love & Kisses, Viki.
You know that feeling, when you see someone, where you just stop thinking about anything else and concentrate just on them? Where, if there was a lamp-post or an open manhole, you’d walk into it because you’re so distracted?
That lip-biting moment when someone gets so in your mind from one quick glance in their direction? If you don’t then, I’m sorry, but you’re a Eunich.