Poe had excellent timing in the pace for The Tell-Tale Heart, setting it to the quickening beat of a increasingly nervous heartA short story classic!
Poe had excellent timing in the pace for The Tell-Tale Heart, setting it to the quickening beat of a increasingly nervous heart. (Don't you dare comment below about how "the heart" mentioned in the story is the victim's, not the narrator's!)
Countless future writers, especially tv writers needing to tie things up within a half hour, would use this story as a framework for how to wring a confession out of a perpetrator.
Unfortunately, this story might not capture the terrified hearts of readers as it once did, because today this sort of homicide is fairly common place. We've been there, done that and seen it a hundred times on the morning news. It's almost as if The Tell-Tale Heart has become a valuable suggested template on what to do if you're annoyed by your roommate. ...more
Nothing can live up to the exciting, over-the-top adventures Alexandre Dumas concocted, except maybe the real life exploits of his father.
The subtitlNothing can live up to the exciting, over-the-top adventures Alexandre Dumas concocted, except maybe the real life exploits of his father.
The subtitle "The Real Count of Monte Cristo" is speaking of the writer's father Thomas Alexandre Dumas, a mixed race soldier from the former French colonies in the Americas. He was the basis for the tragic, wronged, swashbuckling heroes of The Count of Monte Cristo, the Three Musketeers tales, and more.
Tom Reiss' biography tries to bring back the memory of an unfortunately forgotten hero of the French Revolutionary Republic. General Dumas rose up from a common soldier to lead thousands during France's Revolutionary Wars. Reiss portrays a man passionate about the cause and willing to risk his life in the most daring of ways for the ideal of equality for all.
The Black Count marches linearly ahead at an admirable pace, mixing the history of father and son (and even grandfather as it applies to his future generations), tantalizing and revealing at just the right moments. A high quality history text that, regardless of dwelling rightly upon human atrocities, can't help but entertain considering its adventuresome subject matter.
Reiss certainly seems biased towards his subject and even tries to put General Dumas on a pedestal...literally by the end there is discussion and lament over a statue of him. However, if you can forgive him his slant, I think you'll find this a highly enjoyable read!...more
There's no "big bang", no great revelations, just a few minor ones, which are interesting in theirHarken ye to the very dawn of mankind!
There's no "big bang", no great revelations, just a few minor ones, which are interesting in their own right. I'm always happy to read and reread about the Norsemen in America stories of which maybe one day we'll know the whole truth. I hoped for and expected more about the Inuit culture, but didn't get much here.
Just when I was about finished I discovered the author, Stephen Leacock died in 1944. I looked this up because I was beginning to notice that some of the information in this book was only marginally correct or flat out wrong (The most obvious example: he was of a time in which misinformation was spread about the ancients believing that the world was flat.) That cast doubt upon everything I was reading and I felt I had to be on my toes. However, that's not a bad thing. We should all be more cautious about what we're reading (I'm looking at you, people who get their politics from memes posted to Facebook!).
Regardless, there's plenty of solid history here about Canada's beginnings and I feel I have a slightly stronger grasp on the subject, and it's written in a readable style, which can't always be said about histories. ...more
Kitchen sink wackiness and a troop of tropes parade through a book not half as hilarious as I hoped.
In a barely fictional California coastal town - tKitchen sink wackiness and a troop of tropes parade through a book not half as hilarious as I hoped.
In a barely fictional California coastal town - that's about two hours from where I live and, to the writer's credit, I feel pretty sure I've been there - the locals of a sleepy tourist town prepare for Christmas. A handful of middle-aged divorcees, lonesome loners, curmudgeons, and crazies bitch and bumble their way through a hair-(and more)-raising couple days. A celestial visitor scares the bejesus out of the local constable, who's got his hands full sorting out a town's worth of mischief and mayhem.
Do all of Christopher Moore's books include angels and a undercurrent of Christianity? I've only read two Moores so far, but I'm two for two on the jesus and god shit. I should probably look for titles without "gospel" and "angel" in them.
This isn't as funny as I'd hoped. In fact, neither of his books lived up to the hype I built up after reading a few reviews. I got a snort or two out of The Stupidest Angel, but generally I find his humor to be dated and easy, as in, he goes for the easy gag. There were a few insightful satirical jabs, but not enough to make me feel it was worth the read. ...more