Klasické detektivky ve Středověku — Vlastimil Vondruška a jeho “Znamení Jidáš’

Znameni Jidas - Vlastimil Vondruska na Goodreads.comJe to má první kniha z tohle sérii (Hříšní lidé Království českého), která má asi 20 knih, a proto můj názor není úplně kompetentní. Nevím, jsou-li hrdiny ukazované  důsledně a mají-li vůbec nějaký vývoj charakteru.

Máme tu klasickou dvojku —  chytrého detektiva (Oldřich z Chlumu) a jeho věrného pomocníka (Ota), — klasickou vraždu v zamčeným pokoji, a také neméně klasický rozvrh, který nebudu vysvětlovat, aby neotrávit vám čtení. Celá akce se koná ve středověké Praze, že kdo zná Prahu dobře, bude se těšit popisy města. Já bohužel neznám, len jakž takž pamatuji Staré Město, a proto nemohla jsem si dobře představit scenérii.

Řekla bych, že kniha je dost dobře vyvážená: tajemství, intriky, láska a sex (který raději bych neměla, však mám názor, že o takových věcech mělo by se psát, jen pokud nedá se tomu vyhnout).

Ale nemohla jsem neporovnávat do Jméno růži Umberto Eco, které jsem přečetla v nádherným překladu do ruštiny. Myslím tím jazyk. V Znamení Jidáš vůbec neměla jsem pocit, že jedná se o Středověku —  všichni mluví normální, současnou češtinou. Kdyby dát hrdinům místo mečů pistole, místo koní auta, a místo dopisů emaily, tak nikdo by se nepoznal, že se nejedná o naše časy.


Utopia and dystopia

I am sure you know what utopia and dystopia are. Generally speaking, utopia is about the best life system and dystopia is about the worst one. A classical example of utopia can be that written by Thomas Moor and a typical dystopia can be presented by Ninety Eighty-Four written by George Orwell. Some time ago I was interested in such works and I have read some novels, so I could pick up main characteristics of an ideal and un-ideal world.

So, in an utopia people generally live in accordance with nature — as in Men Like Gods written by Herbert George Wells, where happy population of a parallel universe exist with full acceptance of their human entity — for example, they wear almost nothing because nudity is just natural thing.

Utopian people also have some strict rules or religion which serves their development. I liked very much a conception of an individual mutualism described by Harry Harrison in his fantasy fiction The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted. As the author says: “A basic tenet of IM is from each according to his needs, to each according to the wealth of society”. It sounds like communistic slogan, but it works if everybody is intelligent and sympathetic.

Another question is money. There were no money in all utopian fiction I have read. In that book about Steel Rat people use wirrs — work hours. They say: the wealthier society is becoming, the less people should work, so the more the wirr costs and the wealth of society is growing, people work less and so on.

Talking about dystopia, the total control is the main thing. Government wants to know even what you think. Another characteristic feature is intentional lowering of cultural level, as in well-known Fahrenheit 451, where books were burnt down. Also very often natural aspects are blamed, as in the film Equilibrium, where emotions were forbidden. People must follow very strict rules and mainly there is any kind of revolution in a dystopian fiction.

Nevertheless, sometimes utopia and dystopia is mixed up, as in modern teenager novel The Giver written by Louis Lawry. We see a typical dystopian world where everything is regulated, people have to suppress their sexual attraction, old members and unnecessary kids are killed by lethal injection and so on. But in the same time:

  • everybody respects everybody,
  • they are happy,
  • every member gets a job according to his interests and children start to learn their job at the age of 12,
  • children are given only in families which want this; they are being brought up with all possible attention and respect,
  • couples are formed up according to their personal qualities, they are in very good relationship even without having sex,
  • there are no serious crimes, everybody has everything he needs,
  • euthanasia is humanitarian and the day of death is a big holiday for old people: they remember the best moments of a life of a hero of the day, thank him for his life and are truly glad for him (he is authentically happy). I strongly believe it’s much better than crying and lamentation traditional in our society.

Sisterhood Everlasting — Ann Brashares

Sisterhood Everlasting (Sisterhood, #5)Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I like the whole series of Sisterhood, but try as I might, I couldn’t finish this book. I am really sorry to say it seems to me be boring and sometimes flat.

(view spoiler)

In short, I was able to identify myself with the girls in previous books and now I cannot, even I am in their age. (hide spoiler)]

View all my reviews

Best Friends for Never by Lisi Harrison

Best Friends for Never A nice book for young girls, something like The Devil Wears Prada for teenagers. Characters of heroes are shown more clear than in The Clique and generally the action is more interesting.

I am wondering how much Massie is unpleasant 🙂 I really don’t know why other girls want to be with her if she constantly abases them and tries to assert herself at their expense. I know that in real life Massie is a poor embarrassed unsure of itself child who can accept itself only with admiration of other people. And she buys and buys and dresses up and make parties only to suppress her inside emptiness and fear (I don’t mean she is fool, but she is so badly try to pretend to be imaginary ideal Massie that this intention fully exhausts her).

As for me Claire is much more better than Massie but she is base a bit too. I do not understand why she so hard works on getting Massie’s friendship and does not try to make her own clique (she has found Lane and I am sure there are more nice girls in the school). Well, there are moms who want them to be friends, but girls could only be polite with each other and kept their social lives parallel, not crossing.

Alicia has such a strong personality as Massie and acts like Massie, so I think she can be another “Massie” with time :).

Anyway I wonder how much the clique is unstable. Girls abandons Massie without doubts, they keep big secrets from their “the best in the world” friends, hit a nerve with premeditation. I really do not know why they are still together… maybe everything is because of popularity.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

The main point of Chinese parents: they turn their children into slaves of their mad ambitions just for the revenge of being slaves of their parent’s mad ambitions.

I DON’T AGREE Amy’s methods, but the book is interesting. And I consider Amy to be a perfectionistic narcissistic callous EGOIST. All the story I waited for the girl’s revolt and I was pleasant when Lulu finally confronted with her mother and won. I think Amy wants her daughter to be the best because this will show that she is the best mother, so she realizes herself with the girls. She uses them as an instrument all the book long, but never says it with clear words.

And where is the father? Where is he when Amy yells at his daughter, runs over them, humble them? Why didn’t he do anything in the episode with Lulu and “Donkey”? Ach, he told Amy that maybe Lulu couldn’t play it properly because of her age. And it was all. ALL. He allowed the obsessed mother to continue threatening HIS child. He allows Amy turn girl’s life in a horror and he seems not to pay attention to his daughters. Poor girls 😦

But I have to agree with Amy that rote repetition works wonders. And I think she was right making the girls to do new birthday cards for her (but unfortunately she didn’t understand WHAT REALLY the girls thought about her with these cards).