Nadejda Ghilca Ghilca từ Split Yard Creek QLD 4306, Úc
Thành phố Ember là cuốn sách đầu tiên của tứ phương Emral. Thành phố Ember kể câu chuyện về một thành phố dưới lòng đất tên là Ember. Cư dân của thành phố Ember sống dưới lòng đất trong nhiều thập kỷ. Kết quả là, cư dân đã quên mọi thứ về tình hình trên bề mặt Trái đất. Họ không biết đến sự tồn tại của bầu trời xanh, mặt trăng hay mặt trời. Điều duy nhất họ biết về thế giới là Thành phố Ember và Thành phố Ember đang trên bờ vực sụp đổ. Ở dưới lòng đất hơn hai trăm năm, nguồn cung thực phẩm đang cạn kiệt. Máy phát điện, thiết bị duy nhất cung cấp điện ở Thành phố Embar, đã bị hỏng. Ngày qua ngày, Thành phố Ember ngày càng bị bao phủ bởi bóng tối. Người dân sợ, nếu một ngày đèn sẽ không sáng nữa. Đó là vào thời điểm mà Lina Myfleet và Doon Harrow, một cậu bé mười hai tuổi tốt nghiệp trường Ember City. Bắt đầu từ ngày tốt nghiệp, cả hai phải làm việc theo kết quả xổ số mà họ nhận được. Lina làm việc như một người đưa tin và Doon làm việc như một công nhân đường ống. Thông qua cả hai tác phẩm, Lina và Doon đã tìm thấy một thông điệp từ các Nhà xây dựng có hướng dẫn rời khỏi Thành phố Ember. Cùng nhau, cả hai quyết định thực hiện tin nhắn và tìm cách thoát khỏi Thành phố Ember. Lina và Doon sẽ cảm nhận được mặt trời trên bề mặt Trái đất? "Những gì bạn cần học, trẻ em, là sự khác biệt giữa đúng và sai trong mọi lĩnh vực của cuộc sống. Và một khi bạn học được sự khác biệt, bạn phải luôn luôn chọn đúng."
i don't get all the negative reviews of this book. i read it out of straight up curiosity, & found myself pleasantly surprised by how much i liked it. i only read it at night when i was done with all my work for the day, when i could change into my pajamas & put my feet up, so it took me like a week to get through it, but it was a really nice week. the gist can be gleaned from the eighty gazillion other reviews on goodreads (& everywhere else in the world), but basically: elizabeth gilbert was feeling seriously depressed & confused after her horrible, drawn out divorce. so she decided to go traveling for a year. she went to italy first, just to hang out, eat a lot of pasta, & finally learn italian. then she spent four months in india, living at an ashram & meditating all day. then she went to indonesia (bali, specifically) to hang out with a balinese medicine man for a while. she had already written a few books, so her publishing house gave her an advance to write a book about her travels. this is the result. i don't know, man. i liked it. it wasn't totally my style, since i am not at all religious or spiritual & am not really into listening to other people go on & on about their own spiritualities. so i was not really looking forward to the india/ashram portion of the story...or even the balinese medicine man part, because i feared it would be a continuation of all the spirituality crap, with a heaping helping of the "noble savage" thrown in for good measure. i mean, half the bad reviews cite liz gilbert as a spoiled yuppie white lady who ignores the poverty right in front of her face while she travels around the third world, footloose & fancy free. but i didn't really see much that bothered me, politically. even all the parts about being in the ashram were okay because she was drawing these larger life lessons from her experiences there, stuff that doesn't necessarily apply just to people who are spiritual or believe in god. (maybe i should mention that i am one of the few atheists who does not hold people with faith in god or some higher power in contempt. i am all for people believing or not believing in whatever they like in that respect.) it seems to me that a lot of people who wrote negative reviews were just jealous or something. i know that sounds kind of ridiculous, but so do a lot of the negative remarks i have heard about this book. shit like, "must be nice to get an advance to travel around the world, eating pasta & meditating. what a spoiled yuppie." well...yeah. it must be nice. i mean, good for her. she obviously worked at establishing her publishing career before she wrote this book, or she wouldn't have gotten the advance. so she used the money to do something she wound up really enjoying. why is that a reason to criticize her? some people say that this book is too self-absorbed. for example, in bali, liz meets an older man & they begin a romance. she writes about having sex too much & getting a bladder infection. "TMI!" croak the haters. well, okay, maybe it could have been edited out without really being missed from the larger narrative, but come the fuck on. the overwhelming majority of people, while they are in the process of falling in love, are very interested in discussing all the particulars of the person with whom they are falling in love & the circumstances in which it is happening. ESPECIALLY writers, especially writers who already have a very confessional style. throughout the book, liz sprinkles little excerpts from her diaries & stuff. after 300 pages of this, it stands to reason that she'd mention her bladder infection too. it really was not a big deal. the last thing i will mention about all the criticism directed at this book is that a lot of it comes from people who are angry for some reason because liz got divorced in the first place. she goes to great lengths not to vilify her husband or justify her decision to leave him. so a lot of critics are all, "what a bitch, leaving a perfectly decent husband to go cavorting around bali with some sugar daddy." i've been divorced, i initiated the divorce, & i didn't do it because my husband was a bad guy. i did it because i was unhappy. & it was a really difficult decision. it was one of the hardest things i have ever done, but also one of the smartest, & these things are challenging enough without people casting aspersions. i really wonder where people get off thinking they can make judgments like that about someone else's private life. i know i didn't write much actually about the book. sorry. but you can find a lot of other people who will rave about it. this is just what i thought of some of the common detractions.