Starting from two weeks ago I've resolved to actually get into reading and start going through books one after another. It's not like I don't pick up something for fun once in a blue moon, but I never really submerged myself in literature. I figured it would be better to die after going through my bucket list plus some. It's the sort of thing you can wait on for years after all.
Lord of the Flies: I've been meaning to get to this one since middle school, though I can probably appreciate it now much more than I would have back then. The symbolism is heavy-handed, but poignant none the less. It's about a bunch of boys getting stuck on an island. The book's about how the savagery of man conflicts with society/our reason and the gradual degeneration of the boys works nicely as an allegory for that. I was surprised by my own reaction to the gruesome parts of the book. When something like that actually gets under my skin that's a good sign. I'm desensitized to pointless gore. This is the sort of thing that should be taught in school, but is gradually being phased out.
Dracula: This was a fun ride. I've watched the German movie in a class before and the differences are astounding. The most well known theatrical versions seem to have cut out the entire plot and half the characters. The book really deserves its own mini-series. Aside from the story itself, it's interesting to see how stuff I watched before seems to have been influenced by it, Jojo in particular in my case. The long speeches about nobility, the dramatic reactions, etc. It's a Romantic/Gothic adventure story. It starts off slow with the first three hundred pages being build-up, and the last 100 being constant action. I actually got invested in the characters the same way I would have in an anime or something. It was entertaining to see the characters, especially Van Helsing, learn about and battle the count in wits.
Frankenstein: This book was very thought-provoking. It's a little hard to get into, but once you become comfortable with the style and look up what countenance means, you should be fine. After reading this, Dracula seemed simple and maybe even a step down, but despite their similarities, they're apples and oranges. The actual plot isn't anything too compelling, but the way the book plays with your emotions and makes you doubt your own perceptions of characters is extremely compelling. The point is, you're not always right about your moral judgments. There isn't a security in your own perspective in Frankenstein. The monster is, by the way, eloquent and intelligent, which makes the theatrical version seem completely butchered. It upsets me a bit to see how people's conception of both Dracula and the monster are based on bastardized versions. It's not long and I definitely think it's worth a read through.
Solaris: Starting a sci-fi book after the last two was jarring, but I powered through that pretty quickly. It's about a distant planet covered in a massive, life-like ocean with the bizarre abilities to influence its own orbit around two stars and continually form massive structures that perform unbelievably complex processes and then disintegrate. The planet has been being studied for 100 years already and at this point investigations seem to be at their tail end without any definitive conclusions having been made. When the main character arrives to the research station, there's only two scientists still left there, with the third having recently committed suicide. Starting from recently, these scientists have been being 'visited' by people from their past memories, like hallucinations, but actually physical. The main character's nineteen year old wife who committed suicide years ago is who comes to him and with no recollection of her death. It's not immediately clear whether these visitors are actually self-aware, or just following a program.
The similarities to Evangelion are too numerous to seem like a coincidence to me. The red ocean, descriptions of giant humanoids floating in it, the planet 'mind raping' people to learn information about them and humans in general, etc. Their atmospheres are also very much alike and there's many similarities between the utterly inhuman nature of the planet, the structures that form on it, and the angels. It's also similarly depressing as hell. There's way too many themes and thought-provoking questions to list. The book also does a phenomenal job at making the long, winding, and splintered study of the planet over a century feel genuinely deep, complex, and hopelessly inconclusive to the point of utter futility. The feeling of dejection and and our own ceaseless plight to feel significant and in control is similar to another book I read called Roadside Picnic. I wouldn't recommend the theatrical versions. They all massively overplay the 'romantic' aspects and water down everything else. If you like Evangelion or sci-fi in general, i'd strongly recommend it.
Books I'm planning on reading in the next 2-3 weeks: My Brother My Enemy, Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde, Dorian Grey, The Count of Monte Cristo.
>The similarities to Evangelion are too numerous to seem like a coincidence to me.
It probably is a coincidence, there's not much similarity beside the superﬂuous theme of something more powerful than humanity messing with people's heads. Which is not even the focus of Eva, now that I think of it. But who knows, Lem is a very renowned writer, maybe Anno was in fact inﬂuenced by his work somehow.
I meant more along the lines of visual similarities, though a lot of that probably comes from my own imagination. The way in which the planet and angels 'mess' with people has some stuff in common too, like the book's dream sequences(the melting together parts among others). I'm not the first person to have made the connection. >superﬂuous
Wrong word I think.
>>856>Wrong word I think.
Ah, yeah, meant to say "superﬁcial". Derp.