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Kfir Luzzatto's Blog

A blog about writing life, life in general and random thoughts.

For my Disclosure Policy see "My Other Stuff".

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Posted by on in Must Read

If you haven't read one of these books you owe it to yourself to read it soon. Here's why:

1. The Trial, by Franz Kafka – because of the genius that emanates from every page, dialogue and situation in the book.

2. I, Claudius, by Robert Graves – because the people and struggles of the time come alive in this book like nowhere else.

3. Aunts Aren't Gentlemen, by P. G. Wodehouse – because it is the funniest, wittiest and most enjoyable book I ever read, the dialogue is simply outstanding and the prose is perfect.

4. The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham – because of the vision of a possible, haunting future, which is all the scarier because it is based on human nature, and not so different from the present we witness in some parts of the globe.

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Posted by on in True Color Blindness

This cute, small blue frog can kill you with poison darts.

 

Much confusion can be found in discussions of this topic all over the web, if you do a Google search for “ugly inside, ugly outside”. Lack of attractiveness can result in some cases of ugly behavior, as pointed out by Mocan and Tekin in a study sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research, who conclude: “We find that unattractive individuals commit more crime in comparison to average-looking ones, and very attractive individuals commit less crime in comparison to those who are average-looking.” 

Yes, but that misses the point (or at least, the major point).

Nature (or God, if you are a believer) has gone to great trouble to display what goes on inside its creatures . . . or to conceal it, which highlights Nature’s ability (or, again the Divine design) by which the outer appearance of a creature is directly linked to its inner essence. Take for example small poisonous animals that can’t go after their prey and kill them with brute force. They are beautiful, apparently harmless creatures that will attract the prey to come to them instead, so it can be killed and used for food (i.e., survival).

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Posted by on in On Writing

I never react to reviews of my books. In fact, while I enjoy stumbling upon a great review of one of my novels (and if I really like it, I may even tweet about it), I seldom read through a review that promises to be unpleasant. Reviewers are entitled to their opinions, whether I like them or not, and there is no point in getting hot under the collar if someone doesn’t like my work (or me).

But I do read reviews of other author’s books, both before and after reading the book itself. Comparing views on a book is interesting, because you learn why people react to the same thing in different ways, and also because a keen-eyed reader may have spotted some important detail that you have missed. I am particularly interested in reading negative reviews left by readers of a book that I rated 4 or 5 stars, and sometimes I learn interesting things about what may put a reader off.

Many of the differences between readers have to do with preferences – people who must have a happy ending, or who want more romance, or less of it, etc. Since there is no accounting for personal tastes it is difficult to draw many conclusions from their reviews.

And then you have the morons.

I have recently finished reading a great book (the title of which I will not reveal, to avoid any potential exposure of the reviewer to whom I will make reference below). The book was masterfully written, with a riveting and original plot and likable, three-dimensional characters – in short, one of the few books that I catalogue in my mind under the “I wish I had written it” category. So I had to read a review that gave it 2 stars and find out the reasons for the low rating. The reasons given by the reviewer were essentially the following:

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