jueves, 29 de enero de 2015

La Virgen del Sol (Jordi Díez) (Comentario)

La Virgen del Sol (Jordi Díez)
Comentario de Alex Canton-Dutari
Como dice el autor, esta novela  ubicada en el reinado del Inca Tupac Yupanqui tiene una serie de licencias históricas que le dan a la trama fuerza y continuidad. 
Las descripciones sobre la geografía y la cultura inca hacen revivir su existencia, y la historia de Numa a través de la búsqueda de su hija hacen que la historia sea creíble.
Pero lo que más me agradó fue el estilo quasi poético del autor: "… era tan claro que ensordecía el silencio y paraba la luz". "¿No es mejor día para morir mañana que hoy?"

Si bien la mayoría de los regionalismos podían ser interpretados en su contexto el glosario fue un instrumento imprescindible aunque su constante consulta podía distraer más de la cuenta.

lunes, 19 de enero de 2015

Je Suis Charlie?

It is difficult nowadays to express one's opinion without being, at some point, considered not politically correct.  I am keeping this in mind as I try to write my opinion about the latest events concerning Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French magazine.
Most educated people, especially those interested in world affairs, are aware of the contents of the magazine, especially known for its irreverent social critique.  This means that most religions, world leaders, local French politicians and what not have been subjects of the editorial opinions posted through cartoons.
As a rule, it seems that the recipients of their attention have just grinned -- perhaps -- and taken it.  It is said that it is better to be talked about than ignored.
Nevertheless, this is not the case with some of the Muslim population throughout the world, who have reacted quite violently in turn, going as far as killing fellow human beings for being offensive to their religion.
I understand that freedom of speech -- written, oral, sign... -- Has to be upheld.  Nevertheless, quoting Sally Kohn, who appeared with Anchor Erin Burnett on CNN a few days ago, "freedom of speech carries responsibilities."  To this I would add "respect."
Disrespect will usually produce a defense reaction that may be manifested through actions of revenge, as is the case of the Muslim radicals.
The slogan Je Suis Charlie supports the underlying freedom of speech that we all want to uphold.  But I cannot support the disrespect which has characterized some magazines and newspapers throughout the world.  In this case I have to state:  Je ne peut pas être Charlie.  Je suis Alex.
This is my politically incorrect, apparently, opinion.

ESPAÑOL
Hoy día es difícil expresar una opinión sin ser tachado de ser políticamente incorrecto.  Estoy tomando esto en cuenta mientras intento escribir mi opinión sobre los sucesos concernientes a la revista satírica francesa Charlie Hebdo.
La mayoría de la gente educada e interesada en eventos mundiales está familiarizada con el contenido de estilo irreverente pero de crítica social de la revista.  Esto significa que la mayoría de las religiones, líderes mundiales, políticos franceses y muchos más han sido objetos de sus caricaturas satíricas.  Los afectados generalmente lo toman con un grano de sal.  En realidad, se dice que es mejor ser objeto de atención que ser ignorado.  Empero, como dijo Sally Kohn, quien apareció en una entrevista con Erin Burnett de CNN, "la libertad de expresión conlleva responsabilidades".  A esto yo le añadiría "respeto".
La falta de respeto generalmente produce una reacción defensiva que puede manifestarse a través de acciones de venganza, como en el caso de lo algunos grupos musulmanes.
El <slogan> "Je Suis Charlie" apareció para apoyar la libertad de expresión de los comunicadores sociales representados por Charlie Hebdo.  Pero, yo no puedo apoyar el irrespeto -- acepto la irreverencia -- que ha caracterizado a muchas revistas y periódicos en todo el mundo. 
En este caso, Je ne peut pas être Charlie Hebdo.  Je suis Alex.
Esta es mi opinión políticamente incorrecta en este momento.

Hands Full of Ashes by Kim Holtzon (A review)

Hands Full of Ashes by Kim Hotzon
Review by Alex Canton-Dutari

Do you remember that feeling when the curtain drops and you feel compelled to applaud? Well, I almost did when I finished reading this novel by Kim Holtzon.
I was planning on reading the book at a later date, but I decided to read the acknowledgements, which made me switch gears and continue reading. Moving from comfy Canada to Africa? This was something I could identify with, though it would turn many an eye.
Kim was able to take me on a journey -- actually in a short time frame -- where the main character was trying to recover from deep loss while facing almost more of the same but trying always to survive -- physically and emotionally.
The atrocities in Rwanda, which have been rampant throughout Africa were described realistically enough. The author also took a risky theme in incorporating an inter-racial relationship.
While some trans-cultural reads make me feel that I would like to visit the place, this was not the case for me. It takes people like Olivia and Jan.
BTW, the tree is the baobab. Though seeing referred to as "baobob" made me chuckle.

miércoles, 7 de enero de 2015

A Christmas Bonus by EM Lynley (A Review)

A Christmas Bonus by EM Lynley
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari

I liked EM Lynley's easy flow to her story, even enjoying a bit of her social prodding -- Wall Street tactics vs. honesty in business.
The sex scenes were characterized by very good taste.
I wonder why I was left with a lure for the South Pacific....

Rise of the Fallen (A Review)

Rise of the Fallen by Donya Lynne
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari

My reading of the vampire theme remains within the Bram Stoker type of characters, which is the reason this novel turned to be quite a surprise as it dealt with the modern conception of these creatures.
The story was very well written and the plot unfolded swiftly. 

lunes, 5 de enero de 2015

Death in Malta by Rosanne Dingli (A review)

Death in Malta by Rosanne Dingli
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari

This book gives a very good look into the Island of Malta and into the day-to-day life of its inhabitants -- especially as to the small town tight-knit society. To this add a plot full of suspense and a bit of romance. I can't decide which of the two I was more attracted to as the mystery-suspense was perhaps highlighted. This is another well-written novel by Rosanne Dingli.