Virginia Woolf creates and most ingenuous novel with the twisting and turning throughout the lives of multiple characters in mind and action centered...more Virginia Woolf creates and most ingenuous novel with the twisting and turning throughout the lives of multiple characters in mind and action centered in London in the span of one day. Woolf's uses a cinematic approach to telling the story of these aristocrats of London just after WWI. She uses these devices such as the echo of London Tower to carry the reader from character to character as the day progresses. While also the use of a plane flying over London with a message being pulled behind on a banner connects the thoughts of each character to the reader. These little technique give a feel mirroring that of a camera zooming along a landscape into a city into a window and upon a character bringing the read directly into the scene and then whisking them away across the town to another scene witch have other characters preparing for the great party at the end of the story. Mrs. Dalloway flutters about the city preparing for her party that will conclude the evening bringing all of the side stories to a menagerie of toil and endearment when one character brings the true message of war to light. Every character has a deep past and interesting story that Woolf has crafted with the greatest of skill and is brought to fruition with duel interactions between characters and flashbacks of memory all with an underscore tone highlighting aspects human behavior that is then punctuated with that message of war in the final actions at the end of the evening. Even the flaneuse Mrs. Dalloway is taken back with the actions of this poor tortured soul. If you are looking for an unbelievably crafted novel with well developed characters and a barrage of themes then Mrs. Dalloway awaits for you. (less)
Through more doors as the world of the Gunslinger mixes with all realities. In this sixth installment of the Dark Tower series by Steven King a end is...moreThrough more doors as the world of the Gunslinger mixes with all realities. In this sixth installment of the Dark Tower series by Steven King a end is near. Not just because this is book six of seven but because Steven King brings himself into the story. The reader gets a look into Steven King's mind and sees how terrified King was about not finishing the book. You get a since that this truly haunted the spook man himself. Funny what else could haunt Steven King then an unfinished novel/story. The ending is much of a cliffhanger, the biggest of the series to be exact but going into the final book could it be helped, I doubt that would plausible. Each character is beginning their individual battles that I believe will need to be solved prior to getting to the Tower, this just has that kinda feel to it. I have to say I am still unsure if I feel comfortable with any of the gunslingers or their companions being killed off, yet I feel going into the final novel there will be deaths. How can it be a western if everyone survives. Onward to the Dark Tower. (less)
The Buggers have attacked Earth's solar system once before and almost brought the human race to extinction. This time the humans are preparing to fig...more The Buggers have attacked Earth's solar system once before and almost brought the human race to extinction. This time the humans are preparing to fight back with the first and final blow. Ender's Game follows the timeline of Ender Wiggin (a third born which is almost unheard of on Earth now) from his days on Earth to his trials at Battle School in orbit around Earth. The military of Earth has taken the duty of ridding themselves of any future threat of Bugger attack once and for all with a secret weapon that will only work once. They now need the minds of ingenious children to train at a young age so they will be ready for the execution of this new plan. After Peter (Ender's oldest brother) who is incredibly brilliant fails the test for being too violent Ender's older sister is then tested. Valentine is just as smart as Peter if not more intelligent however, she fails the test for being too sympathetic. The military give the Wiggin family the option of having a third born which is a choice not giving to majority of the world. Ender is then thought to be the possible future leader of the military attack upon the Buggers. However, his brothers and sisters qualities are deeply rooted in Ender causing internal conflict that might get Ender washed out of Battle School or worse, possible death. Orson Scott Card does an amazing job of tapping into the mind of a not just a child but a gifted one at that. With the main plot revolving around children Scott pulls you into their world and keeps you on the edge of your seat as Ender's plans and Earth's military plans intertwine with a ripping ending that will have you wanting more from all the characters involved. (less)
Something Wicked This Way Comes is a poetic prose of mystery, fantasy and horror spun around in a tail of adolescence innocence. Will and Jim, two te...more Something Wicked This Way Comes is a poetic prose of mystery, fantasy and horror spun around in a tail of adolescence innocence. Will and Jim, two teenage friends that sneak out of there houses late at night, gallop around the town and do what teenagers do in a small town. The tone of the novel is one of innocence and nostalgia but as the title implies something sinister is lurking around the corner waiting to make a grand entrance and suck in the souls of the weak. As a train whistle sounds in the distant early morning Jim and Will escape the safety of there homes and run to the sight of a carnival setting up along the outskirts of town. A carnival that rattles the very spine of the strong willed with it's gruesome freak show of realistic proportion, the magical hall of mirrors that drains the patrons into a dizzy maze of eerie foretelling reflections and a carrousel that is anything but inviting. This carnival is the sinister incarnation that will be the forefront of the wicked that is to come. Jim and Will spy upon the set up and witness a most unsettling display of magic conjured from the carrousel itself that turns the tone to a haunting arrangement of mystery and horror with a antagonist illustrated man named Mr. Dark at the very heels of the boys running to warn the deaf ears of their beloved town. Will and Jim may be trapped and tortured forever like the other imprisoned freaks among the carnival is someone does not think of a plan to out wit this great evil. Ray Bradbury creates this classic novel half fairy tale half horror story with a style that is colorful and haunting as he uses the text to dance the reader's imagination around and around in a colorful palette of imagery. A page turner of childhood innocence and timeless evil. (less)
Pulling one into the incredible journey of the gunslinger with a unbelievable gripping beginning that leaves one wondering how the gunslinger will fi...more Pulling one into the incredible journey of the gunslinger with a unbelievable gripping beginning that leaves one wondering how the gunslinger will finish his path to the Dark Tower. Struggling to survive after his gruesome encounter with the "Lobsterousities" Roland comes across three doors along the beach of his dieing world that opens into the mind's and worlds of three individuals. (making one wonder where Charlie Kaufman entertained the idea for Being John Malkovich) The characters in each door share the same location of New York city only to be divided by different era's of New York. Roland soon realizes that he can pull the individual who's mind he is entering through the door into his own world to join him on his quest to the Dark Tower. As each character joins Roland through the door they each bring with them their own vices that must be conquered while helping Roland recover from his decline towards death. Roland soon starts to realize that these individuals joining him through each magical doors are no random picks, they each are intertwined with one another in one way or another and bring to the table talents that will greatly be needed along their journey as a group.
Steve King pulls you even deeper into the world of the Roland the Gunslinger as he introduces and develops three new characters that will accompany Roland to the Dark Tower even if it means to their own demise as well. (less)
Slight Spoiler. . . I talk about King's choice in an ending in a vague manor.
The Stand is an interesting read to say the least. Divided into "three b...moreSlight Spoiler. . . I talk about King's choice in an ending in a vague manor.
The Stand is an interesting read to say the least. Divided into "three books" revolving around the storyline of a handful of characters divided between "good" and "evil" after a population devastating virus is release in the United States. King constructed this novel as his need to create an "America epic" in juxtaposition to the tales of epic battles and adventures in middle earth as related in The Lord of the Rings with a tip of the hat to Earth Abides. A virus that wipes out 99.9% of the countries population sets in motion the grand story of survival, unity, rebirth and rebuild, dynamics of civilization and what is truly needed in a sound and enjoyable life.
However, the brooding "epic" battle between good and evil is never brought to full affect in regards to Tolkien's great battles for Middle Earth. Which is quite the let down do to such an amazing set up of a constant struggle between good and evil only to follow with a "lucky" ending.
The development and dynamics between the two clans is intriguing and enjoyable, but if one is looking for a solid worthwhile ending after laboring through 1141 pages, then I might just suggest sitting through the bad acted mini-series.
The reason for four stars is that the novel as a whole is quite well crafted and formed into a great story of conflict and resolve with tangible characters that range from complex development to one dimensional character that push, pull, twist, and weave the plot forward for an overall enjoyable story. Steve King just has a difficult time in ending such great works. (less)
The Jungle is one of the toughest reads I have encountered. Not because of the style or vocabulary of the novel the difficulty comes strictly from the...moreThe Jungle is one of the toughest reads I have encountered. Not because of the style or vocabulary of the novel the difficulty comes strictly from the hardships that the main character endures while trying to simply survive in America during the 1900's. Jargis, a Lithuanian migrant that moves to America with his family and marries his true love must endure catastrophic episode after episode from losing job after job, home, loved ones and even placed upon his own death bed a multitude of times only to take a step forward in righting previous wrongs to be shoved backwards without warning. Upton Sinclair takes us into the world of the immigrant in the early 1900s with the setting in Chicago amidst the over bearing giant that is known as the beef trust. I can see how this novel caused such an uproar among the populist to the point of great referendums in healthy, safety and workers rights deep in the trenches of the beef trust and America in general. I was fired up myself as I read the unimaginable actions taken upon fellow human being all in the name of capitalism and profit. This is very much a socialist propaganda novel, however the message was clear and to the point. Many a great horrors are happening right before our eyes and needs to be cleared out and rebuilt in a more controlled and regulated manner in the interest of the common man and begone with the elite and wealthy paternalism. This is a masterpiece of literature that every generation should read to remind one's self that we all have rights and if there is a great wrong being displayed in front of us even a simple story can change all that. I have added a passage from a letter written by Sinclair.
"The American People will take Socialism, but they won't take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to 'End Poverty in California' I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them." Upton Sinclair(less)
Edgar Rice Burroughs the father of Tarzan created a series of John Carter of Mars novels that are enjoyable to read on a few accounts. First there are...moreEdgar Rice Burroughs the father of Tarzan created a series of John Carter of Mars novels that are enjoyable to read on a few accounts. First there are about ten novels in the Martian Chronicles measuring in about 200 pages or less. So a quick read of some well written storytelling. Second is the language that is used is an excellent way to expand and strengthen ones vocabulary especially if you are looking for a more descriptive verbiage.
A Princess of Mars begins with one of the greatest introductions I have come across in the realm of fiction or science-fiction. Beginning with a letter to the reader from the author ERB (Eager Rice Burroughs) stating that the transcript that one is about to read is re-written from a series of notes collected from his Uncle, who was a outstanding ageless man, about a tell of his life that surly no one would believe in being true.
After this letter of warning the story opens with John Carter telling his story of a near death experience that shot him unknowingly clear across space onto the red planet of Mars. Becoming an amazing legend of a skilled swords man empowered with great strength, wit and charm upon Mars.
The first of many daring adventures of James Bond. If any kind of fan of the movies I highly recommend the reading of this novel. This is the James B...more The first of many daring adventures of James Bond. If any kind of fan of the movies I highly recommend the reading of this novel. This is the James Bond that I wish I grew up with more then the campy films that were created prior to the revamped version of recent starring Daniel Craig which is much more similar to the novels then any other Bond movie.
James is set upon an old Russian operative that had squandered the earnings of a secret organization called SMERSH. If Le Chiffre does not earn his money back in an high-stakes baccarat game his demise is certain. While James Bond is funded by the British Empire to beat Le Chiffre and bankrupt him so that his own organization will dispatch him and the British Empire's "hands" are kept clean while a thorn in their side is elevated. Bond's background and luck in gambling puts him as the best agent for this assignment even if he has just recently earned his "00" title. Bond under estimates Le Chiffre and is beaten early only to save some face when a CIA operative with the same plans from the USA decides to back Bond's luck and skill over his own. This gives Bond just enough to compete with Le Chiffre sending both of them battling for the money and pure survival. James Bond is shown as a true human with faults and luck just as any other man would have in such cloak and dagger situations with his cool calm thinking and attention to detail giving him the edge to out last death for at least one more mission.
Ian Fleming created a character that will continue to be adored by generation after generation instilling the iconic suave hero in the eyes of many. His debut is nothing sort of magnificent as he sets the tone for this legendary character to be of human error and flaw yet stay ahead of the game by the thread of his neatly tailored suit. (less)
Where to start with this little bit of treasure. In fact, that is just what this novel is a piece of trea...more Slight Spoiler. . . Vague comment on ending.
Where to start with this little bit of treasure. In fact, that is just what this novel is a piece of treasure, a piece of eight if you will. Not quite the whole coin but worth something none the least.
A future Utopian novel on the construction of a community that is sanded down and edges smoothed into a tight-nit community of unity where everyone has a position and all errors of the past are alleviated. At the Twelfth year of a citizens life in the community they are assigned a profession (after close consideration by a judging committee) that they will preform till they are sent to the elder house and then later "released." Jonas's life is about to change when he begins to notice strange occurrences that he can not understand or explain to anyone around him. Once his profession is decided for him and he meets "The Giver" the rare occurrences are explained and the dark secrets of this perfect community are brought to his attention. The darkest of the secrets will affect his personal family. The choice is now up to him what to do with all the knowledge of his people's entire history. Lois Lowry begins with this touching tale of loyalty with an insightful approach to a possible future for a utopian society. However, the finale I feel falls short with an open ending that can be interrupted differently depending on the readers perception. I would have enjoyed a little more light at the end of the tunnel then is given. (less)
John Carter is once again finding himself awaking upon the grounds of Mars after a ten year leave where he preyed every night to the power above that...more John Carter is once again finding himself awaking upon the grounds of Mars after a ten year leave where he preyed every night to the power above that he be returned to his new beloved planet and newly acquired life style. He awakes in a strange and unknown realm of Mars that is covered in luscious green vegetation. Upon closer examination he finds that he is in a gorgeous garden at the end of a river that the denizens of the Mars that he left ten years ago would take as there pilgrimage to their believed Heaven. John only finds out that there is another race of martians that live in a temple above this garden protect this gorgeous secret with a horrible death that awaits the unsuspecting pilgrims. These "white men" of Mars call upon the plant people of that garden to feast upon the unaware travelers as the float into their demise. In this discovery Carter jumps to aid of a group of Green martians that John has learn to befriend only to find that one member of the group is his only true Green warrior friend Tars Tarkas. Together they fight off the horde of Plant people and White apes only to be taken captive by the guardians of this land. Carter and Tars must fight to escape this land and tell the rest of Mars about the deception of there religion in the process of his escape Carter discovers he must hurry back to save his beloved Princess.
Once again Burroughs takes us on an amazing adventure of John Carter of Mars, with great battles, swordplay, cunning, and his great prowess of being an Earthling on a lower gravitation pull planet. However, one starts to see a common theme and even a kind of formula being displayed to the reader in only the second novel of a eleven novel series. Carter jumps into battle narrowly escapes, meets unfairly treated denizens of mars and gorgeous prisoners, trick by the antagonist only to be aided by an "unsuspecting fan" of Carter reputation, great battle and a final cliff hanger.
Don't get me wrong the story is still entertain just a little on the predictable side. The I would give this novel more stars except that it is the second novel of a series and really just continue the story of John Carter without adding to much that was not introduced in the first novel. Burroughs is a great author and his vocabulary is something to enjoy. If you enjoyed the first John Carter novel you will enjoy this little treasure.