Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is a very long book and takes a long time to get interested in. It's weird and strange and dark. But it's also very VJonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is a very long book and takes a long time to get interested in. It's weird and strange and dark. But it's also very Victorian, though written long after the Victorians. I enjoyed reading it and thought the ending was fitting with the overall tone of the book. I'd recommend Victorian lit lovers read this book, or anyone who has a lot of patience to get through a book that doesn't immediately draw the reader in. It's definitely fantasy, so fantasy-lovers may enjoy it as well....more
After just having finished a theory class, I could see more significance in Alice's uncertainty of who she was. She realizes that she is not the sameAfter just having finished a theory class, I could see more significance in Alice's uncertainty of who she was. She realizes that she is not the same as she was before, and doesn't quite know who she is now. I loved that the entire book was a dream. Her encounters with the characters were very reminiscent of what would occur in dreams, too: the characters are familiar, but odd, and most of the dialogue was nonsensical. Throughout the book Alice is asked to recall verses that she is supposed to know, but when she recites them they are not quite right, yet she doesn't know how they're supposed to go. Like a dream, the scenes she finds herself in change rapidly with no seeming reason (as when the hall with doors disappears even though she hasn't moved). At first I thought the ending was weak: instead of ending with Alice waking, it goes on to focus on her sister musing about Alice and how she would be a wonderful grown up, telling stories to children that would entertain and delight them. I felt it was really odd to switch to the point of view of the sister at the very end. However, after more deliberation, I realized that Carroll used the ending to connect the role of fantasy to real life. Fantasy keeps adults young at heart and is meant to be passed on to enrich children's lives.
If the purpose of the book was to be an entertaining story for children, I believe Carroll succeeded. If it was to be an attempt at describing dreamlike thought, I think it was also a success. All in all, it was an interesting story, though I probably won't choose to read it again for purely enjoyment. I'll probably read it to my children, though....more
Idylls of the King is Tennyson's take on Malory's version of the stories of Arthur. It is well told, very poetic, and quite an interesting read. TennyIdylls of the King is Tennyson's take on Malory's version of the stories of Arthur. It is well told, very poetic, and quite an interesting read. Tennyson "cleans up" Malory's version (leaving out any blatant sexual scenes), but it doesn't seem to lose any value because of that. We still see that Guinevere and Lancelot have an affair (though it isn't explicitly detailed), and there is still murder, vengeance, love, loyalty, and valor to round out the story.
The books (idylls) move from good to bad to worse as the book goes along. It basically follows what happens in an ideal kingdom when the ideal that it is founded on is shaken. Camelot is founded on loyalty and purity, and when Arthur's right hand man, Lancelot, is disloyal to him in his affair with Guinevere and Guinevere's purity is compromised, the idealism of Camelot fails and the impact is felt by all of the knights of the round table, by the kingdom, and finally by the king himself. It is a rather tragic but beautiful story....more