With A Study in Scarlet being the first Sherlock Holmes novel, it was definitely worth reading so to at least know how this sleuth detective phenomenoWith A Study in Scarlet being the first Sherlock Holmes novel, it was definitely worth reading so to at least know how this sleuth detective phenomenon got its start.
Not surprisingly, the novel does start off so well: we're first introduced to Watson, and then it goes to Watson and Holmes's first meeting, and then about Watson's observations of Holmes's eccentric but brilliant character. The way it's written purveys so much life and personality in these now legendary characters that it's no wonder that the Sherlock Holmes stories became as popular as they were (and still are to this day). Watson is so loveable and Holmes is just plain weird, cocky, over the top, conceited, brilliant-and-he-knows-it, and sometimes cartoonish but it all works. Then the story dives into a mystery of a murdered man in an abandoned house, and things then get interesting as we see Holmes's extraordinary skills in solving mysteries.
The first part of this novel alone is a 5 star affair...but once it gets to the second half...well...let's just say, I wouldn't even give it a 1 star. The second half feels like a completely different novel written by a whole different author. No longer is Watson narrating the story; at part 2 it's told by what I assume is Doyle giving us a history lesson. I understood that it was a flashback and aside about Mormons which relates to the murderer's backstory...but it felt so out of place and the writing was so dull and lifeless that it makes you almost forget how brilliant the first part of the book was. Not that this type of narrative structure is unusual for the Victorian era, many authors during that time have done that, but something about the way Doyle does it here is just...bizarre, clunky, and awkward and completely ruins the entire flow of the novel.
Once it continued onto the present with Watson being the narrator again, I felt so drained and lost all interest. Which is a shame, because the first part of the book was so good!
I will definitely be reading the rest of the Sherlock Holmes novels and stories. I just wish the first book was more consistent in its narrative structure and had delved more into Holmes and Watson's characters and their relationship, which was really the most entertaining, readable, and memorable aspect of this story.
If anything, A Study in Scarlet is one of those books that's more important than it is good. It's important in that it introduces us to one of the most memorable characters in literature. Is it a good novel? No, not really. But is it worth reading? Yes, yes indeed! ...more
I read this during college for a YA literature class...and didn't find it not nearly as compelling, interesting, and fascinating of the story as I imaI read this during college for a YA literature class...and didn't find it not nearly as compelling, interesting, and fascinating of the story as I imagined it would be.
It's an important book in that it was, at the time, the first and only published novel about YA teen lesbians. Unfortunately though, that's really all that this novel has going. It's well-written but not particularly engaging. The characters are sweet and innocent, but pretty dull and boring. The love story is nice, but with no passion or heart that made me root for these girls to be together. Today, it is so painfully outdated.
I contemplated reading this again, to see if maybe I missed out on something, but decided not to. It's worth reading just once, and only once. ...more
Brokeback Mountain is such a short read that you can read it in one sitting. Despite its length though and how quickly you can get through it, there wBrokeback Mountain is such a short read that you can read it in one sitting. Despite its length though and how quickly you can get through it, there were many flaws about this short story that hindered me from really enjoying it.
I couldn't stand the writing style. Far too many run-on sentences that I found so distracting and annoying. Scenes seem to begin and end so quickly that it is as if it didn't happen at all. Though the characters are somewhat interesting, there is no depth...the dialogue is way too forced and corny...it's hard for me to care about characters that are hardly given any life and personality. The love affair between Jack and Ennis i think was better portrayed in the movie...in the short story, I didn't find it believable, touching, or endearing at all.
The story overall has a hasty feel and tone to it. I could maybe blame it on the length, because it is under 60 pages, but honestly, I don't think the author is that great of a writer. The plot is original but the way it's executed is lackluster and boring to say the least.
This is one of those cases where the movie is far better than the book. At least it was a very quick read...so it's not as if you'd be wasting that much time reading it. Still, nonetheless, I'd rather stick with the movie instead. ...more
This novel had so much potential, but left me feeling underwhelmed, frustrated, and bored to tears all at the same time. Underwhelmed because what couThis novel had so much potential, but left me feeling underwhelmed, frustrated, and bored to tears all at the same time. Underwhelmed because what could have been a great story about forbidden interracial love seemed to focus much more on the main character's dysfunctional relationship with her mother and brothers. Frustrated for the overly philosophical, scattered, disjointed, funky, over the top, melodramatic, at times poetic but overall self-serving narrative that made it almost next to impossible to understand what was going on. Not that it matters, because there is virtually no plot. Bored because, well, it was simply boring.
Supposedly this is a very autobiographical tale speaking from Mme Duras's own experience(s). This would have worked better as a memoir than as a novel. With virtually no plot, little character development, unlikeable characters, and a narrative that's all over the place, it just doesn't work as a novella. It's a short read, I read it within 2 days, and yet it felt like 2 weeks because of how tedious it was getting through it mentally. Sadly, I felt like I wasted two days that I can never get back.
I remember being forced to read this in middle school and hated it; it basically went over my head. Reading it now as an adult, I still can't really uI remember being forced to read this in middle school and hated it; it basically went over my head. Reading it now as an adult, I still can't really understand why this novel is so popular and why this is required reading for young adults.
Here are my main gripes:
1) There is no sense of time or place. Okay, it obviously takes place in a utopian society that is also very much dystopian in its theme and the way society is played out in the novel, but that's about all that we can gather. Otherwise, where exactly does this story takes place? What is this society called? It seemed as if there was virtually no effort put to really establish a time and place, which made reading this novel very confusing.
2) The characters are so bland, one-dimensional, and uninteresting. Why should I care about these characters? The author didn't give me one reason to really care about any of them. Even their dialogue was very dull and dry. Because the characters were so bland, it also made the story very bland as well. Where was the character development? There was none that I found.
3) It's so obviously preachy and its themes are so forced and transparent. I know its a novel aimed at young adults and all but did it really have to be so obvious?
4) The climax felt very rushed to me. The most moving scene of the novel was the euthanizing ("the release") scene of the twin and the main character's horror of seeing what his dad does for a living, but then from there out of nowhere The Giver and the main character decide to "escape" without really much explanation of how they came to that conclusion other than "Things gotta change."
5) The ending. I can't stand endings that don't actually have a concrete ending. I get it's a way to challenge the reader to make up for themselves what happened, but i dunno, i find this tactic very lazy and unfinished.
I dunno if it's just me, but The Giver as a whole just feels unfinished to me. With no character development, no sense of time and place, broad and obvious themes that don't surprise or challenge the reader, and an ending that did a cop-out "You figure out what happened!" thing, it just left me feeling as if I was wasting my time reading this novel then during middle school and especially now. ...more
A Wrinkle in Time is one of those stories that sounds very interesting and intriguing by its plot summary, but where the actual novel in and of itselfA Wrinkle in Time is one of those stories that sounds very interesting and intriguing by its plot summary, but where the actual novel in and of itself is quite boring, very tedious, and at times, too ridiculous to be taken seriously. Okay, so i get this is YA "science fiction" so the reader is expected to suspend a lot of disbelief...but I still feel that the author should put at least some effort into constructing a plot and series of events that actually make sense. It also wouldn't hurt if the characters were likeable and relatable. I didn't care for any of the characters; in fact, I found ALL of them annoying and just not realistic. The most irritating aspect of this novel was the very forced religious symbolism and allegory and the over the top mathematical, philosophical, random quotes from different languages drivel. It didn't seem to have any purpose, just put in for the sake of being "deep." And the dialogue? Very dry at times, and other times, just too pretentious.
It was worth giving this novel a shot, but I couldn't take it seriously and was more irritated by it than anything. Great, unique, and interesting plot, but one-dimensional characters, bland dialogue, funky narration, far too many plot holes, not enough explanation, and very forced and over the top symbolism that made this book so difficult to get through let alone enjoy. ...more
This book has more than enough potential, but it had way too much going on: too much exposition, too many flashbacks, too many characters, and too manThis book has more than enough potential, but it had way too much going on: too much exposition, too many flashbacks, too many characters, and too many descriptions of long, boring, mundane, interesting things about journalism, what the main character is eating and drinking, etc. before you even get to the "meat" of the story, and by then, who cares? I can't stand books that are 600+ pages where the majority of it is bogged by uninteresting characters, stilted dialogue, and NO ACTION! It's overwritten and overcomplicated. I know everyone LOVES this book but i don't get it...couldn't get into it, by page 200 I was bored and not invested in anything that was going on. Life's too short to read something you're not enjoying especially if after dedicating 200 pages into it, you're just over and done with it. ...more
Middlesex is a beautifully written novel that doesn't ever try to come off as too lofty, pretentious, or over the top despite the seemingly grand taskMiddlesex is a beautifully written novel that doesn't ever try to come off as too lofty, pretentious, or over the top despite the seemingly grand task that the author is taking at hand: a tale about incest, intersexuality, and gender identity. For that, I admired it and enjoyed reading it.
Unfortunately though, it does have many, many flaws that made me think twice about giving it a glowing review.
1) I don't so much have a problem with the novel being told by the first person. However, I found it very unrealistic that the narrator knows EVERYTHING about his family members from where they had sex, how they felt, what they did, etc. basically taking on the role as a third-person omniscient. I'm all for suspending some disbelief but this is beyond out of that realm. It's not believable, plain and simple. Why bother making it the first person if the character becomes an "all-knowing" narrator? It doesn't make much sense.
2) As an intersex individual myself, i thought that I was going to read a novel about someone who perhaps has gone through similar things as I had growing up. I thought the bulk of the novel was going to be about Cal and his life story, but no, it basically ends up being more of a family saga, which I thought disappointing and misleading. When it did finally get to the main character's experience with being intersex, it felt very technical, forced, and rushed. I also didn't like the term "hermaphrodite" being used since that term is offensive and outdated. I also thought that the author seemed to use the character being intersex as more for shock value or some kind of "look at everything I know about intersex people and famous hermaphrodites!" thing, which I'll admit made me feel uncomfortable and somewhat annoyed. . I get that he's not intersex himself and had to base everything off of research, but did it really have to be that obvious and technical? Also, I felt that Cal had NO personality at all...being intersex alone does not make someone interesting and exciting, and though most intersex people do go through some psychological issues with their gender identity and with their bodies, it's not ALL that we think and care about. I just wish there was more depth to this character...other than that he's intersex.
3) I wasn't bothered by the incest thing...I was more bothered by just how much we're beaten over the head about how SHOCKING this novel is because there is INCEST. I mean, does it make the story interesting? Sure, but at 500 pages there's only so much tension you can put into that especially when nothing much else happens other than what we already know and are told over and over again.
4) Speaking of 500 pages...for such a BIG novel, not a whole lot happens. There is way too much detail and back story for Cal's grandparents that really don't add anything to the novel and that could have easily been told in a couple chapters, not in 300+ pages. And being that Cal is the narrator, there is hardly if any back story in regards to him until up to the end, and even then, still there's not much there. I wish more focus could have been on the main character...because after all, we're almost led to believe that he's the central character of the story.
Is this novel terrible? Not necessarily. The writing is not by any means phenomenal but it is good and at times makes you forget that there really isn't much of a plot or story, just a LOT of good writing that does keep your interest but yet makes you feel empty. There just isn't a good enough plot/story to back it up, because, after all, we read for the story, not to see how excellent of a writer the author is. I don't regret reading this but at the same time, I really wish this novel was shorter, more focused, and had more story and not just great writing. Also, less shock value would have been nice too. It's just okay, the hype is somewhat deserved but really, it could have been MUCH better. ...more
I remember as a little girl I really enjoyed Little Women. I liked the characters, enjoyed their life adventures, and really learned a lot about goodI remember as a little girl I really enjoyed Little Women. I liked the characters, enjoyed their life adventures, and really learned a lot about good morals and values that every young girl should know. Now, reading it as an adult, and reading the adult version, it's funny to see how not only boring Little Women is but how very preachy, pretentious, and dry it is. To me it feels like one of those classics that as time goes by will just feel more dated, long-winded, and tedious by age. Young girls should still read the children version of the story, though. However, as an adult, it's just not as magical, believable, and fun as my childhood has led it to believe. ...more
I'm not entirely sure if, for all of Baldwin's talent in writing novels and essays, his writing translates well in the theater/play format. I guess thI'm not entirely sure if, for all of Baldwin's talent in writing novels and essays, his writing translates well in the theater/play format. I guess the problem is that it feels rather long and dragged out. I think this story would have worked better as a short story; as a play, I just don't think it's particularly effective or moving as the plot is trying to put out there. Nonetheless, a great concept and effort to try and take the same themes as Go Tell It On the Mountain and put it on the stage. ...more