I've just finished my first reading of this book. I say first, because I'm reading it a second time, more closely, to really study it. This book I take very seriously and regard it to be among the very finest and most important books one can read in Romantic Realism today. (It reminds me so much of Ayn Rand, that I'm posting it in this section of the forum.)
Though I do not know who exactly Pandora is, I think the name holds some kind of important significance to the series itself, as being a reference to the Pandora in Greek mythology. I think they use it, because it suits their expression.
There are 46 chapters in the first volume in the Work of Art Series. Pandora includes the first 7 chapters to the second volume in this book, as well. I was delighted to see that, and as soon as I did, thought of it as "the encore." Certain things in the book made me laugh, though it's no comedy. The seriousness is all-pervasive. I adore Pandora. They take ideas and writing very seriously. But... Who is Pandora? Who is the writer behind the words? And why the use of that name? That myth can hold different meanings, depending upon one's reference, interpretation, telling, recontextualization of it.
One of the main focal points in this book, is education. A progressive education of the Academy, which is a public school (read: Government school, government education) contrasted with that of the School for Self-Esteem, which is based on the Montessori Method, but in the book it's referred to as the "Miranda method". It also reminds me of the VanDamme Academy way, etc. But anyway, in the book, it shows the result that each said approach can have on each child, on individuals. There is much more to the plot, than just education, though.
The story is engaging, the style I quickly warmed up to, the plot and characterization all handled masterly, it is so well-crafted. As I said, I will be studying it further. There are many quotable parts throughout the book. Let me share a few, to give you a broad sampling of the text:
They were very quiet, going about their work with reverence. They treated the learning tools delicately, as if the tools were sacred icons. They selected objects from the shelves. When they were finished with didactic tools, they returned them, carefully placing the objects where they had found them. They talked quietly to others, in hushed tones, expressing their admiration for each other's work.
Professor Vandemeer thought that it seemed as if the workshop were not a part of a school - but that it were part of a temple. He thought that the children seemed happy, as if happiness came from work that they were doing. They were proud, as if pride came from how well they did their work. They weren't striving to outdo their peers, but as if they were trying to outdo themselves; from a standard or a measurement that did not come from a teacher, not from the others, not from external surroundings - but that came from within.
You can read the reviews it has already received, and can try a free sample of the first chapter for yourself. I highly recommend it. I'm going to attempt to review it. It will be a 5 star review, that's for damn sure.http://www.amazon.com/HUNGER-ATLANTIS-W ... r+atlantis