Friday, December 31, 2010

Discover the real Gulliver—read the book.

Nothing like a movie? I think not! Unless, of course, it drives moviegoers to the books to see what they're missing. Gulliver’s Travels, rich in adventure and philosophy, transports readers into unknown worlds. Movies come rated and so should books—best time to read Gulliver’s Travels—7th grade through adulthood. Need an excuse to stay home for the New Year’s Weekend? —Pick up a copy of the Gulliver’s Travels at the library or your neighborhood independent bookstore.

It is astounding how Gulliver’s Travels, written by Jonathan Swift in 1726, continues to be relevant. I think that is one of the best criteria that defines a classic. The book describes the four fantastic voyages of Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's surgeon. His travels take him to Lilliput where he is a giant observing tiny people. In Brobdingnag, the tables are reversed and he is the tiny person in a land of giants where he is exhibited as a curiosity at markets and fairs. The flying island of Laputa is the scene of his next voyage. The people plan and plot as their country lies in ruins. It is a world of illusion and distorted values. The fourth and final voyage takes him to the home of the Houyhnhnms, gentle horses who rule the land and it is here that he meets the Yahoos, filthy bestial creatures who resemble humans on his fourth voyage. Live and learn.

Happy New Year 2011.

Wishing you a year filled with health, wonders and happiness—in the words of one of my favorite Jewish philosophers—Abraham Heschel~
 "I prayed for wonders instead of happiness and you gave them to me."

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