To to a book down for what might be forever or simply a while is always hurtful and disappointing to me and I rarely do it, but I just must put "Le Mo...moreTo to a book down for what might be forever or simply a while is always hurtful and disappointing to me and I rarely do it, but I just must put "Le Morte D'Arthur: The Winchester Manuscript" by Thomas Malory down now. My copy hs over 800 pages and I am currently at page 426 and my concentration left me hours, days even, ago. I absolutely love the story about Lancelot, King Arthur and the sword in the stone, and Malory's version is indeed of importance, however, it is also very long with very short chapters that feel like fragmentations to me. It leaves very little to the reader when it comes to the characters as one hardly ever gets to know them; instead the all blur together in a humdrum mass of existence.
I do, however, acknowledge Malory's work a great deal. At the moment it is simply not for me. I want to spend time reading books I like to read as well as want to, and although I did want to read this, I now feel like I have to and that ruins the reading completely. Hopefully, some day I will be able to read the rest of this heavy brick, but for now it shall rest on my bookshelf along with my shame. (less)
"The Phantom of the Opera" by Gaston Leroux is one of many books I have been meaning to read for a long time, and now that I have read it I am not sur...more"The Phantom of the Opera" by Gaston Leroux is one of many books I have been meaning to read for a long time, and now that I have read it I am not sure how I feel about it to be honest; first of all, which I am to blame for, I though it was a play, but it is actually a novel. the story about a phantom haunting a theatre in Paris, deceive one of the performers and falling in love with this person sounds like a solid story, however, the I did not find the phantom scary or ghostlike in any way, and the love-story between Christine and the phantom was psychotic and not romantic as I thought it would be.
“If I am the phantom, it is because man's hatred has made me so. If I am to be saved it is because your love redeems me."
I found the characters to be flat and illogical; neither of them could see the wood for the trees even when the mystical events were rather obvious. Christine for instant is very naive and a typical maid in need of saving, she was helpless and without backbone, where Raoul is an extremely jealous guy who is almost as bad as the Phantom for stalking Christine and watching her every move. Without spoiling the end, I can easily say that is was very anti-climatic; the story leads up to a epic ending, and then the problem is solved far too easy. (less)
BBC have said it to be the new C.S. Lewis which I hardly agree with , but "Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box" by G.P. Taylor is dark Victorian tale of th...moreBBC have said it to be the new C.S. Lewis which I hardly agree with , but "Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box" by G.P. Taylor is dark Victorian tale of the utter darkness which I found quite enjoyable. It is a suitable read for young adults who happen to enjoy this kind of fantasy reads.
G.P. Taylor tells a story with great magical creatures and features such as a magic act, a kraken a gruff sailor who knows a mysterious amount of things about the protagonist, and a pack of cards that can tell the future. Of course it also has the mysterious The Midas Box which turn everything inside it into gold leaving it wanted by the wrong people who will only use it for their own purpose. Mariah Mundi and his new friends set out to prevent this from happening, while children are being snapped by the streets of London and a magic show happens every night at the hotel build in the cliff surrounded by walking dolls and sea witches.
The prose is at times long and dull, but the story is rather enjoyable and Mariah Mundi is a very likeable character. I am sure to be reading the sequel to this, but perhaps not right away. (less)
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams is a sci-fi classic filled with great laughs and creatures, however, it is also quite random a...more"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams is a sci-fi classic filled with great laughs and creatures, however, it is also quite random and a short read. The plot is very toned down, and this instalment works as an introduction to Adam's witty universe.
“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”
Arthur is a great main character who is not a hero at first, but whom I am sure will become one in the following books. He has the potential anyway. The writing is sometimes dull and too simple, but it did, however, make me laugh out loud several times because even though the writing style might be simple, it still managed to create clear pictures in my mind.(less)
"The Princess and the Goblin" by George MacDonald is an overlooked classic fairy tale of the sweet princess Irene who promise a kiss to a boy, who sav...more"The Princess and the Goblin" by George MacDonald is an overlooked classic fairy tale of the sweet princess Irene who promise a kiss to a boy, who saves the kingdom from great danger of the Golin underworld. Written in the 1800s, it is has an antiquated feel that sets it apart from the children's books of today, but it is also what makes it such a charming read.
The plot line is rather slow and has a lot of sub-plots to it, but they somehow manage to come together as one in the conclusion which is nicely done. MacDonald is an unquestionably gifted storyteller and I look forward to read the second volume of Irene and the boy she kissed. (less)
'Charlotte's Web' by E.B. White is one sweet children's story about a pig who one day meets a spider. Together they form a life long friendship storng...more'Charlotte's Web' by E.B. White is one sweet children's story about a pig who one day meets a spider. Together they form a life long friendship stornger than any web the spider can manage, and far sweeter than the pig's nature. It' is sure a heartwarming tale no child (or grown up for that matter) should be without.
“Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' 'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
It is a story about how there can be no life without death, and yet the author manage to explain this fairly to the smaller readers without any hardness. it also deals with great themes such as friendship and unselfishness. Themes that are difficult to explain to most children, and yet E.B. White manage just fine with a hint of his great imagination. A friendship between a pig and a spider is most unlikely, and yet Charlotte and Wilbur become the best of friends.
I do think I would have enjoyed the story even more if I had grown up with it, but unfortunately I did not. It is, however, without doubt a story I would have loved to grow up with. (less)
After my father told me how he spend his youth reading novels by authors like French Jules Verne, I decided to follow my father's footsteps and do the...moreAfter my father told me how he spend his youth reading novels by authors like French Jules Verne, I decided to follow my father's footsteps and do the same. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne is one of the biggest must-read if one is a science-fiction fan, but I am not a huge fan, but I might go coo coo for Verne.
Firstly, because I simply love everything French and secondly, because his writing is rather excellent. I have heard that his writing was not well-served by the English translations of his day which ruins the reading experience for some, sadly. If that is true, I am quite pleased that I read the Danish translation of his work because I think the Danish translator served him justice.
I grew up with the story about Captain Nemo and his magnificent machinery and even watched the cartoon version, but to finally have read it added a new perspective to the story. Très bien, Verne! (less)
Daniel Deronda by George Eliot tells the tale of a young and spoiled woman and a selfless young man and how different their happy ending is if compare...moreDaniel Deronda by George Eliot tells the tale of a young and spoiled woman and a selfless young man and how different their happy ending is if compared even though their are involved with each other. Over all a very likeable about a woman trapped in a marriage and a young man who involves himself in the lives of two women. The story did not turn out as I would have hoped for, but this surprisingly did not disappoint me, instead I believe it says a great deal about the author's skills as a writer.
Gwendolen Harleth was not a likeable character, but George Eliot manage to still make the reader fell sympathy with her for how her story turns out even though she appears to be a spoiled young woman. Even though I like how the author worked on this characters, my criticism of the novel was the lack of development on Daniel Deronda, Mirah and a few of the less important characters. In the beginning of the novel there is a constant change from Daniel and Gwen's point of view and this worked so well, sadly it mostly appears in the start and quickly fades out to two separated stories that run side by side. (less)
Stardust by Neil Gaiman is a dark fairy tale for adults. It has parallel worlds, falling stars and kingdoms just across the human world. It has detail...moreStardust by Neil Gaiman is a dark fairy tale for adults. It has parallel worlds, falling stars and kingdoms just across the human world. It has detailed love scenes, bloody fights and duels and is over all a very enjoyable and modern fairy tale. To begin with the story seemed to confuse me a little because it stars off with Dunstan Thorn, whom I thought was the main character but is actually the father of the main character. Anyway, when Tristan Torn is born the actual story begins with a typical love story where the poor shop-boy has fallen in love with the upper class snob who is very materiel and therefore prefers the rich kid. In order to win her icy heart he decides on finding a fallen star to present her with, and that is when the fairy tale really begins.
Neil Gaiman's writing style is absolutely delightful, and even though many has criticize him for being too detailed and graphic when it comes to the sex and the fights, I believe that only shows what a great author he really is seeing that he is able to make the audience bend and disgust. If he did not know his way with words the audience would not have felt this way. Furthermore I think that is also one of the reasons this novel is an adult fairy tale.(less)
In my opinion one of the best fictional story tellers is Dr. Watson. He is such an enlightening character who knows his way with words, and throws him...moreIn my opinion one of the best fictional story tellers is Dr. Watson. He is such an enlightening character who knows his way with words, and throws himself at danger even them they are clearly... well... a danger. He somehow seems to live in the shadow of Sherlock Holmes, and I really do not think Watson gets enough credit for being a great story teller. He is actually why I keep reading Arthur Conan Doyle's mystery and crime novels. Compared to the time when these books where written, they are extremely easy to read, even when the storyline gets complicated. (less)
A few months ago I first read the classic Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, and to be honest I think I had too much going on on my mind to really enjoy th...moreA few months ago I first read the classic Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, and to be honest I think I had too much going on on my mind to really enjoy this heavy novel, so I decided to re-read it in continuation of the film release in January. This might have been one of the best decisions I have had in a very long time, because Anna Karenina is simply a magnificent story about love in all its glory, and not only between two lovers, but between siblings, family and friends too.
The reason why I did not rate this novel five stars, which was very tempting indeed, is simply because of one smaller section of the story which I just could not get over. It is the part where Anna and Vronsky travels through Europe; in my opinion this part was unnecessary and a bit of a cliché. (less)
This cannot be any doubt that a younger Nikoline would have appreciation this adventurous series a whole, but hat said it does not mean the twenty yea...moreThis cannot be any doubt that a younger Nikoline would have appreciation this adventurous series a whole, but hat said it does not mean the twenty years old me did not like The Field Guide by Holly Black, because I did. I think this is just the right book for any young soul who likes an easy and fun read with a lot of things going on in a very few pages. This is indeed a series I will read to my future children. (less)
"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald is much more than a simple love story about a man and a woman going through some trubles in order to be reun...more"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald is much more than a simple love story about a man and a woman going through some trubles in order to be reunited at last. It is a large mosaic made of symbolism and visual pictures made from a devouring writing. It is a story of a man trying to capture the past in his presents, where green and gold money colours his everyday. He is a man very few truly knows and the more the narrator, Nick Carraway, and the reader get to know him, the more the sympathy for him grows as he is on a fairly impossible mission.
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
When I first read "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald a few years ago I was sceptical because I did not truly care for its symbolism which hangs over the novel as a shining sun. I recently read it again with a different understand of its concept, and just a week later I decided to reread it once more just before the film is released with Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire in the leads.
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
With a much different understand of the context, Fitzgerald's authorship and the symbolism of the novel, I can honestly say that it has not only a special place in my heart, but also among my all time favourite books. The story is elegant and written enduring. I cannot put a finger on any aspect of the novel that did not make the reading a honest pleasure. (less)
"Franny and Zooey" by J.D. Salinger is two somewhat related stories. "Franny" is a short story and my absolute favourite. Its writing is lovely, simpl...more"Franny and Zooey" by J.D. Salinger is two somewhat related stories. "Franny" is a short story and my absolute favourite. Its writing is lovely, simple and yet it leaves you with the very open and complex ending where one has to fill out the missing piece in order for the story to whole. In my opinion that is what makes a great short story. The composition of the story is also brilliant; Lane Couteil is reunited with Franny Glass and they go out for dinner. Lots of things indicate that they do not love each other even though they might tell each other so, and they both talk but never listen. It is like two people living two completely different life which they try to combine into one, leaving them with an impossible mission.
“I'm sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.”
"Zooey" on the other hand I did not happen to enjoy nearly as much. Zooey is the second-youngest member of the Glass family, an actor and an utterly boring guy who still lives at home with his parents. This is not a short story both more of a long novella, and it saddens me every time that the length is not the other way around, or that "Zooey" is at least shorter. All in all the writing was great, the second story bad, the messages about stopping to feel sorry for yourself and move on with your life great, the characters bad.(less)
Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin has become an official classic read, and is therefore in my opinion also a must read if you happen to be a dedicated fan...moreRosemary's Baby by Ira Levin has become an official classic read, and is therefore in my opinion also a must read if you happen to be a dedicated fan of literature. That said, it could probably find myself rereading it sometime on a stormy night, because reading it while swimming in sunlight does not do much for the horror aspect of this. (less)
I am very torn with my rating of "Notre-Dame de Paris" by Victor Hugo. The first time I read it I gave it two stars because I was struggling getting i...moreI am very torn with my rating of "Notre-Dame de Paris" by Victor Hugo. The first time I read it I gave it two stars because I was struggling getting into the book, and its endlessly many characters and the grand Paris. Now what I have read the heavy novel for the second time, I must admit that I did enjoy it more this time than I did the last, however, I still stand with the review I wrote in 2012.
“Love is like a tree: it grows by itself, roots itself deeply in our being and continues to flourish over a heart in ruin. The inexplicable fact is that the blinder it is, the more tenacious it is. It is never stronger than when it is completely unreasonable.”
The hardest part of reading this was the beginning; the reader is being thrown directly into a miserable Paris with billions of characters, and the only thing I could really focus on was how sad it is that Hugo and Tolstoy were not alive during the same time because they would have been a match made in heaven with all their characters.
In 2012 this was my first Victor Hugo novel, since then I have read his grand "Les Misérables" and I can certantly see how he grew as an author between those two, and yet there are many similarities I found it difficult to abstract from even though the stories are not very alike in the plots. I recommend this book to readers who fancy long detailed reads, historical fiction and all time classics that have left a great impact on today's literature.
“A one-eyed man is much more incomplete than a blind man, for he knows what it is that's lacking.” (less)