Reflections from Seminary Students

Book Review–The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

March 30th, 2012 § 0 Comments

Stieg Larsson’s 2005 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a multi-layered crime/mystery novel.  Interestingly enough the entire Millennium Trilogy, or series, was published in Swedish after Larsson’s death in 2004.  The American version of the movie recently went to theaters, while the 2009 Swedish version is instant streaming on Netflix.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was originally titled “Men Who Hate Women,” which perhaps is a more accurate title due to the large number of misogynist characters and abuse of young girls and women.

The novel focuses around the mysterious Vagner family.  Henrik Vagner the patriarch of the Vagner family and retired CEO of the Vagner Cooperation hires a defamed journalist/reporter  Mikael Blomkvist to wirte a family biography and discover what happened to Henrik’s grandniece, Harriet.  Harriett disapeared in 1966, on Sweden’s Hedeby Island, and since then Henrik has been obsessed with discovering what happened to this young girl of 16 who was very much like his own daughter.  To compound his grief someone, presumably Harriett’s kidnapper, sends Henrik a framed flower every year on his birthday.  Mikael begins his very literal cold case in the dead of Swedish winter.

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Book Review–The Hunger Games

March 23rd, 2012 § 0 Comments

The Hunger Games is Suzanne Collins first book in The Hunger Games Trilogy and the start of her second Young Adult series.  The protagonist and narrator, Katniss Everdeen, is a young woman of 16 trying to provide for her little sister and mother after her father was killed in a mining accident four years ago.  Life for Katniss is not always pleasant, particularly as she could be shot dead for hunting outside of District Twelve’s fence.  This illegal act of poaching and trespassing is the only way for Katniss to adequately feed her family; “District Twelve. Where you can starve to death in safety.”  The fact that the majority of people in District Twelve do not have adequate food is not the only concern that Katniss has about her district:

When I was younger, I scared my mother to death, the things I would blurt out about District Twelve, about the people who rule our country, Panem, from the far-off city called the capitol.  Eventually I understood this would only lead us to more trouble…Even at home, where I am less pleasant, I avoid discussing tricky topics. Like the reaping, or food shortages, or the Hunger Games.

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Book Review–The Sparrow

January 31st, 2012 § 0 Comments

I have decided that the most lavish picture of academic grace is glancing over a syllabus and seeing a novel assigned.  This quarter for Evangelism and Mission we are gifted with being able to read and discuss The Sparrow.

Mary Doria Russell’s first novel, The Sparrow, can be simplistically described as Jesuits in Space.  Her later novels, aside from The Sparrow and it’s sequel Children of God, are best described as historical fiction.  While The Sparrow is true science fiction, the novel is much more complex than just a mission to space, as the novel gets to the heart of what a life serving God entails–disappointment.  The story is not at all about telling aliens about Jesus, but rather about how mission can be a converting ordinance for the missionaries.

The Jesuit scientists wen to learn, not to proselytize.  They went so that they might come to know and love God’s other children.  They went for the reason Jesuits have always gone to the farthest frontiers of human exploration.  They went ad majorem Dei gloriam; for the greater glory of God.

They meant no harm.

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Book Review–Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

January 17th, 2012 § 0 Comments


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is Jonathan Safran Foer’s (Author of Everything is Illuminated, you may have seen the film, and Eating Animals) 2005 New York Times bestseller, which was recently made into a movie.  The book is written in first person from the perspective of Oskar, a nine year old boy as well as through letters to Oskar from his grandmother and letters that his grandfather wrote.  Oskar is extremely unique, and possibly autistic, but because the book begins after Oskar’s father has died, it is possible that Oskar’s oddness, such as the refusal to wear clothing that is not white,  is merely his intriguing personality coupled with his curious coping methods. » Read the rest of this entry «

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