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Mirko Gustic's suggestions and warnings

Chances are you might remember me talking to you about the book I’ve read. I do it that often that, statistically, you might be among those few who have even enjoyed it. For this elite group, which will be holding annual member’s meeting in telephone booth we will choose in the mid of June (mark your calendar), I shall populate this page with books I find noteworthy. My hope is that you will agree, or share you opinion in case you don’t. (I would love to say) I do this for you. But I don’t! Mostly, I do it for myself. I want to remember all those special moments I was lucky enough to experience while reading these (master-)pieces and I, selfish as I am, would be ecstatic should I learn that I’m responsible for similar feelings of yours. (To do that, I’m more than willing to lend all of these books…) Happy reading!

Got Gusticed for 5/10

The Zahir - Paulo Coelho, Margaret Jull Costa

Score: 5/10

My wife is always right. As they all are…

…would be, I’m sure, a very polarising beginning of a review which is aimed to connect, so I will start a little differently.

(I’m sure though, I would get some “Totally know what you are talking about…” Just sayin’…)

She (my wife) said: “I think he is writing his books only to seduce as many women as possible…”

And she (still my wife) is absolutely right and he (Pablo) even admits so much in this book and he thinks it’s even good, which it probably is, but THAT just can’t be IT…

Now tell me honestly, when reading Coelho, don’t you get that feeling “I don’t believe him to be that enlighted as he pretends to be.”? Or better yet, don’t you wish him to be a little more spiritually advanced person than he is (in those autobiographic ones)? Wouldn’t it be a good sign? Don’t you feel like you are “following” the wrong “messiah” when reading him?

I think it’s because of this. I think it really is because his books (as good and life-changing as they are – a MAJOR KUDOS for that) are soaked in that self-insecurity and it would be ok if they wouldn’t be written in that Let-me-tell-you-how-to-live mode, but they are.

And again, there are some beauties (ideas) in this book too (mainly- live everyday as if it was your first, i.e. forget your previous life thingy – it’s a rich one and I ABSOLUTELLY love the concept of strange people meeting up to discuss their personal problems, to share also their mishaps, we, usually, so desperately try to burn within), but the most telling thing has to be the fact that the backside of the cover reads:

“His books have had a life-enhancing impact on millions of people.”

– Nothing noteworthy about this book in particular, eh?

And yeah there is an antidote for this (disease?). As a matter of fact, I would so want return the favour Pablo has given me, in particular, by making him read this: Slow Sex by Diana Richardson (https://www.amazon.com/Slow-Sex-Fulfilling-Sustainable-Sexuality/dp/159477367X) . BUT, I have some doubts about us being able to make him do so and I haven’t finished the book yet, so I’am a bit reluctant to make Pablo to waste his time in case it turns out for a bad one… So Pablo, if you are reading, don’t press that “Proceed to checkout” button in just yet!

Favourite line (And it’s so good that I do these, as going through all my low-dog-ears I realised that there was in fact many of a beautiful thoughts in this one…(6/10 perhaps?):

“My dream is now realisable, but if I try and fail, I don’t know what the rest of my life will be like; that’s why it’s better to live cherishing a dream than face the possibility that it might all come to nothing.”


Source: http://somethingreallyeasytospell.com/portfolio/paulo-coelho-the-zahir

Got Gusticed for 7/10

The Family - Mario Puzo, Carol Gino

I can’t blame you for singing “we are family, I got all my sisters with me…”now. As a matter of fact, I’m doing it too. BUT, oh boy, once you read this one you won’t be singing it so carelessly anymore. Guaranteed.


Let me take you back to the Italy of greatest minds in the history. We shall meet with Michelangelo, Machiavelli and many many more and it’s hard to argue, that this was somewhat of an intellectual climax of our good planet so far. What is even harder to debate, though, is that when it comes to dirty minds, we will have to time-travel a trifle more to Sodomy to find some competition and I know way too little about that one to do that.


Puzo knew about it certainly less than he learned about the era of, who he deemed to be the predecessor of all the dons, Pope Alexander VI (Borgia).


Let me tell you, this book can get really nasty and Puzo does it in his very own way, where he describes even the worst possible acts with such a tenderness that at times you feel like “ah ok, it’s some bad shit they did, but they are not the worst people ever…I mean, they were just too weak to fight their desires, aren’t we all victim of the same sin from time to time too?”. (And you naively jerk your head from side to side)


Well, you certainly remember yourself heading to the nearest mobsters recruiting center after reading The Godfather. Feats, these grand people of God do, are way worse, so you might not end up being excited as much as you were back then, but you will still have some hard times to condemn them. (I shall help you with that a bit later when reviewing Erasmus’s Praise of Folly, but shhh about that one for now…)


Puzo would have an automatic 8, but this book was finished by somebody else (for obvious and not very jolly reason) and although he’s not bad, he’s no Puzo.


I guess you won’t be too surprised by the corruption of the Catholic Church in its heyday, but this one really is a tough one to swallow. Again, that relentless romantic in Puzo makes it somewhat better. In fact, he makes it a rather philosophical riddle, as it could be deemed as just yet another display of people not being good or evil, but both good AND evil…


Favourite line:


“Pope Alexander smiled. He seemed more amused with the story than horrified. “The Baglioni are true believers,” he said. “They believe in paradise. Such a great gift. How otherwise can man bear this moral life? Unfortunately, such a belief also gives evil men the courage to commit great crimes in the name of good and God.” 





Source: http://somethingreallyeasytospell.com/portfolio/mario-puzo-the-family