I finished Book number 3 over the weekend and it is The Notebook. I don’t think I have to say whose it is because it is quite popular and even made into a movie (watched it for two hours, stopped to collect my patience every 30 minutes; movie is another story from the book, a good movie anyway, I mean Ryan Gosling? C’mon! :mrgreen:). I even took the book to the gym, read it as I was cooling down, with a couple of guys boxing near me, imagine that.
You’ve probably seen tons of book reviews for The Notebook so I’d try my best here. First thing I noticed was how The Notebook was similar to Dear John, the only other work of Nicholas Sparks I’ve read. The elements are the same: the not happily ever after ending, the beautiful North Carolina setting, the longing, the letters, the military, and how the guy in the story tends to flaunt his softer side so easily.
The Notebook starts by sifting its readers: “the romantics would call this a love story, the cynics would call it a tragedy.” The story is simple, honest, and straightforward. It is about finding the perfect love, the kind you never want to let go until hell freezes over, and the kind that makes you willing to endure, and suffer, and sacrifice… and be happy about it.
A lot of importance is also given to passion, nature, arts, poetry, and doing the right thing. But I must admit, I was not drawn to these, but more on the Alzheimer side of the story, how it is a “thief of hearts and souls and memories.”
I liked how The Notebook dealt of things that matter, and for some, I know they look at this as one of the greatest love stories ever told but on the other side of the room, there are those who would find this too sappy, almost like a soap opera, harboring on overkill. 😳
Me? I felt neutral about it. I appreciate where The Notebook placed its eggs, but I was not caught lightheaded either, even with surprise stormy canoe rides, migratory swans (symbols of eternal love), five continuous pages of sex by a fire, and later, by two old people holding hands while walking and all.
What I found brilliant about it though is how the characters were built – tangible, and believable. Allie, the girl in the story, reminds me of someone I know very well, “fiery, spontaneous, passionate.” As for Noah, the guy in the story, he just earned a seat beside Dumbledore on my fictional character Half of Fame. I loved the way Sparks vividly described him, pocketbook like almost. Noah was agile but sensitive, smart but tender, looking forward but rooted. Even if he recited poetry, he felt real. The short memories of his Daddy were also painted real well and I thought his Daddy might as well be Dumbledore himself. 😀
The Notebook was an entertaining, grow-old-with-you kind of read, perfect for those dreaming of finding their soul mate, of finding “a love that rode on shooting stars and roared like crashing waves,” of finding another whose hands they’d hold even when they are old and it hurt because of advance arthritis.
…But would I read it again? No, I won’t.
On the photo: The copy of The Notebook I have was the original hardbound version, it belonged to my Aunt once. The book is old, battered, the jacket missing, the pages tearing, and there are even doodles on them. I love it (right, scud? :))!