Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Fault in our Stars - by John Green


Unfiltered words that makes it funny and yet also blatant truths that make it instructive.  It is a story about cancer and love. After reading it, how you wish that one can fall in love again – to enter  the third space between 2 persons. It is as many book reviewers wrote - raw and honest. 

Cancer survivors didn't choose to have the courage to survive all the various cancer treatments - It is just that they had to go through them. It is like rereading Sophie World to me - except that this is even more friction than Sophie's world, yet it teaches you the simple essence in life. How it will all come to pass with the passing of the sun in 5 billions years time, how boys are boys and the boy want to die for a greater cause. 

Still, frictional part of the book reminds me of “ To kill a mocking bird”. 

Some memorable quotes:
1. “There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. .....
There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it.” 

One day all that we have done will come to pass... No one will be around to remember anything.  So why do it? 

2.“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” 
How I feel about so many of the books that declare that a crisis is at hand or that which explains the evolution of human history so well, such as “ Guns, Germs and Steel.”

3. “Without pain, how could we know joy?' This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.” 
Is this true? Or is it more like still like what Lao Tzu said.  I have taken what Lao Tzu has said for it is, but yes, it does seem that your body can tell you as it is tasteful, enjoyable or not just by itself. 
Still, by having the extreme, makes you appreciate the opposite more.  

4. “Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.” 

5.'But I will say this: When the scientists of the future show up at my house with robot eyes and they tell me to try them on, I will tell the scientists to screw off, because I do not want to see a world without him.'

6.“That's the thing about pain...it demands to be felt.” 

7.“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities”

8.“You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.” 

9.“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.” 

10. “What a slut time is. She screws everybody.” 
11. “That’s part of what I like about the book in some ways. It portrays death truthfully. You die in the middle of your life, in the middle of a sentence” 
12. “Because you are beautiful. I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence” 
13. “It's a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don't give it the power to do its killing.” 
On How Augustus hangs a cigarette in his mouth but never smokes. 
14.“Come over here so I can examine your face with my hands and see deeper into your soul than a sighted person ever could.” 

Laughing at the typical feel good lines of consoling a blind person. 
15.“According to the conventions of the genre, Augustus Waters kept his sense of humor till the end, did not for a moment waiver in his courage, and his spirit soared like an indomitable eagle until the world itself could not contain his joyous soul.
But this is the truth, a pitiful boy who desperately wanted not to be pitiful, screaming and crying, poisoned by an infected G-tube that kept him alive, but not alive enough.
I wiped his chin and grabbed his face in my hands and knelt down close to him so that I could see his eyes, which still lived. 'I'm sorry. I wish it was like that movie, with the Persians and the Spartans.'
'Me too,' he said.
'But it isn't,' I said.
'I know,' he said.
'There are no bad guys.'
'Yeah.'
'Even cancer isn't a bad guy really: Cancer just wants to be alive.” 

16. “There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I'm likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.” 
It may just be a short period of time, but the intensity that you live in that period - generates so much feelings.  
Or as Meijun read from a science journal, only this particular memory gets stored and constantly reinforced as you recall each and every single time. 
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