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Hangsaman
Shirley Jackson, Francine Prose
No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs
Naomi Klein
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"I want to perform an unnatural act."

- Lenny Bruce



"I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative. I don't like anything in the mainstream and they don't like me."

- Bill Hicks



"I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.’” Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say, “We’re the So-and-Sos,” take a walk. And if, somehow, you must join, if it’s unavoidable, such as a union or a trade association, go ahead and join. But don’t participate; it will be your death. And if they tell you you’re not a team player, congratulate them on being observant."

-George Carlin



"The more I see, the less I know for sure."

- John Lennon

The Count of Monte Cristo - Umberto Eco, Peter Washington, Alexandre Dumas We have all been wronged at some point.The degrees, of course, are what change. A slight infraction, a bitter con, or, as some of us have experienced, something that took our lives clearly off course. A betrayal that rocks us to our core, forever changing our future, ourselves.Some people have never really experienced that, and I hope they are grateful.After a recent minor betrayal I tweeted this: "To forgive is up to you. To forget is an abomination." I won't go into the details of every time I've been fucked over by someone I cared for, or even loved, as it's not important. What's important is how one reacts to such a betrayal.First, the rage. Oh, the rage. It pours out after denial has been wrung through and discarded. You can feed off of it, make it into something that fuels you into a bitter sort of madness.After that comes action. To forgive, or to seek revenge?The Count of Monte Cristo is about revenge, and the consequences of devoting one's self to carrying out such a revenge. The devotion by Edmond Dantès is beyond anything you will probably read. He changes himself so much that his old self no longer exists. Just the name, and with it, the damnation of those who wanted to throw his life off course for their own gain and amusement. If you aren't familiar with the story, it's of Edmond Dantès, a man about to get a hefty promotion and also marry the girl of his dreams when a few schemers frame him. He subsequently is taken to prison, and although he is innocent, his fate is sealed in order for others to further their own gain.To say prison changes Dantès is an understatement, but I'd imagine it changes anyone who experiences it. Dantès encounters Abbé Faria, who is so incredibly resourceful that I seriously wonder if he was one of the influences for MacGuyver. He also gets inspiration from his fellow prisoner, as well as a means to start life anew if he manages to escape.After much adventure, the transformation is complete. Dantès becomes The Count of Monte Cristo.The Count is feared, loved, and admired.He is also clever, ruthless, and cunning.This book is huge, but it is never boring. Not once. In fact, so much happens in this book that it's truly mind-boggling. For example, here is a chart that showcases some of the events and relationships in TCoMC:Here is a closer look (CAUTION: SPOILERS) - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/CountOfMonteCristoRelations.svgAs I tend to become lost in intricate plot details and endless characters, I found it helpful to use a few links like this and this to help me along the way.Then of course is the overall summary in the Wikipedia page for the book.Literature is full of books that have surprassed more than one manifestation; movie adaptations, plays, graphic novels, etc.TCoMC has all that, as well as an anime, as well as a few online games (links here and here):This is neither here nor there, but I think I like this cover the best:Although this is decent:And this is clever:But yes, the book is everywhere. It's a revered classic, and it's not without merit.No matter what your stance is on revenge, you owe it to yourself to read this book.Bonus links: Wrestler MVP's TCoMC tattoo: Here's him and Matt Striker talking about books, encouraging literacy, and his tattoo:http://gawker.com/5651124/wwe-wrestlers-reveal-literary-tattoos-and-love-of-judy-blume(what's wrong with Judy Blume, Miss Journalist?! Recognize!)Check out this Kickstarter project of a cloth adaptation of TCoMC:Link is here (SPOILERS!): http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2018844838/little-literary-classics-cloth-books/posts/507459Search for "Count of Monte Cristo" on etsy and you'll find some cool stuff: