Although Pride & Prejudice has a few flaws and isn't the most intellectual novel of all time, it's an enjoyable and witty read that reveals many c...moreAlthough Pride & Prejudice has a few flaws and isn't the most intellectual novel of all time, it's an enjoyable and witty read that reveals many customs of the time period. The book is occasionally shallow, true, but the characters are entertaining and the plot memorable - which is all that really matters, right? Jane Austen is a master of sarcasm, and each character has at least one humorous moment. This book made me laugh aloud. The two central characters, Lizzy Bennet and Mister Darcy, create the epitome of a love/hate relationship, and it's hilarious watching the pair interact. I'm not a fan of romances, but Pride & Prejudice did a fine job of warming my heart and the novel has a special place on my shelf.(less)
I really wanted to like this book. I think my low opinion is partially my fault, because I drove into the story...more* * REVIEW CONTAINS SLIGHT SPOILERS * *
I really wanted to like this book. I think my low opinion is partially my fault, because I drove into the story with high expectations due to rave reviews. I need to learn not to do that.
The beginning of this novel was excellent. A Ivy League dropout, who formerly studied to be a vet, runs away and joins the circus. The time period? The Depression and Prohibition America - a historical era of uncertainty and chaos. I was looking for an intriguing tale of a college youth thrust into an unfamiliar world, along with a dose of touching animal stories. What I got was a romance. Pure and simple.
A major issue in this novel is the characterization. The characters, with the exception of Walter (aka Kinko) and his dear Queenie, were flat and predictable. Marlena and August bothered me the most - Marlena being beautiful and kind and boring, and August being a cruel husband due to his mental illness. Besides the hackneyed stereotype of the mentally ill being violent, August's schizophrenia appeared to be a plot device to bring Jacob and Marlena together without making them look like bad people for cheating. I didn't buy it for half a second. I think the affair would've been much more interesting if August was...well, basically a normal husband who was maybe a little too obsessed with his own accomplishments.
The romance between Jacob and Marlena made me yawn. While Jacob was a fairly developed character, Marlena was the epitome of a side-female love interest: gorgeous with little beneath the surface. Barbara, the "cooch girl", had more depth than her. If Marlena were developed further (and if she had a flaw or two), I could buy their love story. And hey, maybe one day I'll appreciate where the characters ended up. Today is not that day. On a similar note, I've heard some people complain about the sex scenes, and while the descriptions are a bit odd, I had no problem with there being sex in the book. The setting is a circus, there is booze everywhere, and sex is gonna happen.
Again - I think I went into this novel with high expectations and if I'm getting the wrong idea or whatever, that's my own doing. I'll probably pick it up again in the future to see if I think differently then.(less)
Like many other readers here, I saw the movie-version first and enjoyed it better. Kitty and Walter were far more sympathetic and developed than their...moreLike many other readers here, I saw the movie-version first and enjoyed it better. Kitty and Walter were far more sympathetic and developed than their book counterparts. In the book's opening, I felt nothing except loathing for the central character (Kitty) and then only a small dose of empathy toward her at the book's conclusion, mostly due to her failings in Hong Kong with Townscend which made her "transformation" seem temporary. I know many of my fellow readers are quite romantic (at least that's the vibe I get :)), and enjoyed the movie better because the love between Walter and Kitty was mutual. Although I DEFINITELY preferred the relationship in the movie, I could've respected the unrequited love within the novel if it were presented more clearly (re: with more interaction between Kitty and Walter after they depart from Hong Kong along with Walter's character being more developed).
That all being said, I do not regret reading this novel. The setting (1920s China) was EXTREMELY interesting, and I particularly enjoyed the bits about the nuns' convent. The Mother Superior was certainly a compelling character, and I loved learning about her privileged life in France before she went to China. The book is also an easy read - not too difficult to follow but not completely bland either. The author's ability to move between time-frames was very skillful too.(less)
I cannot believe I wasted three days reading this book. I knew about the Twilight's plot before I started reading and wasn't impressed, but a lot of m...moreI cannot believe I wasted three days reading this book. I knew about the Twilight's plot before I started reading and wasn't impressed, but a lot of my friends liked the book and I figured I'd give it a shot. I mean, why say you hate something if you haven't read it?
Well. I've read it and I'm still not impressed. It's basically 498 pages that describe Bella's clumsiness and dependency and Edward's beautiful eyes. Also? You'd think that after 498 pages I could believe their love, but I didn't. It was so forced and the dialogue was cheesy ('Do I dazzle you?' Come on. Really? Dear Lord...). I could rant forever about how the author treated vampires and romance, but it's all been said already and a lot of the other one-star reviews can phrase the displeasure better than I can.
The sad thing is? SMeyer CAN tell a story. I would've loved to hear more about the Cullens themselves, especially Carlisle and Alice, but the bad overshadowed the good.