Harper Lee has a very delicate way to describe feelings and relationships between people. The main themes are prejudice and fear. Almost everyone in tHarper Lee has a very delicate way to describe feelings and relationships between people. The main themes are prejudice and fear. Almost everyone in the book fears something, and it's always because they lack experience or knowledge. One of the few sensible persons is the narrative's father, the lawyer Atticus Finch, whose fear is to not be able to protect people of minority groups, and whose even greater fear would be for his daughter to become prejudiced. Atticus is the hero of the book and as young Scout grows up she realizes important things in life.
Lee shows how important it is to have an open mind and heart and never let youself doubt people ony because they think differently or look differently, compared to you....more
The orphan Jane, who's never experienced love or loyalty, finally gets to know a very special man, Mr Rochester.This is one of my absolute favourites!
The orphan Jane, who's never experienced love or loyalty, finally gets to know a very special man, Mr Rochester. Although she is plain and little, in her very own words, she tries to win his heart. Mr Rochester is a very complex character and we might think of him as brooding and arrogant, but we don't really know him until the end. Of course the love story is a strong theme in the book, but Jane Eyre is actually not just a love story. It broke new, refreshing ground in it's time and the main protagonist differs from other novels, including Jane Austen's, referring to looks and social status. Jane Eyre is an intelligent, rebellious, plain-looking young lady, who could be described as a feminist of her time.
Charlotte Brontë's masterpiece is certainly one of a kind, and the way she describes women's situation in the Victorian era and her mainprotagonist Jane's striving for independence is just magnificent. Jane Eyre is, by many, considered one of the most influental books of the 19th century.
Beautifully written. Incredibly well crafted characters. Vivid environment descriptions....more
This is Michael Crichton's biggest achievement, according to me. I think the way he describes human flaws and thus our mistakes in science is just magThis is Michael Crichton's biggest achievement, according to me. I think the way he describes human flaws and thus our mistakes in science is just magnificent. I like the way the character's control are slipping through their hands and that fact that they refuse to acknowledge it, until it's too late. That proves we have no idea what we're getting ourselves into, most of the time, and therefore we should be really careful not to play God. Not that I don't like science. I'm impressed with it in every way. But sometimes, concerning experiments, cloning, viruses, sending messages into space and god knows what else, we should consider the repercussions before we dive into it....more
Surprisingly interesting! Old bones and stone tool findings that have been ignored due to their anomaly. After Darwin's "The origin of species" archeoSurprisingly interesting! Old bones and stone tool findings that have been ignored due to their anomaly. After Darwin's "The origin of species" archeological items that contradict Darwinism were dismissed, even not discussed. These things are reviewed and readers get to follow researchers' and anthropologists' arguments through the centuries. The fact that our ancestors might be much older than we know, actually millions of years, is thrilling. The human footprint next to that of a dinosaur's. The gold necklace in ancient coal. A super ancient beautiful vase deep down in the strata, from a time long before the existence of homo erectus. All these findings indicate a great human civilisation, lost in time. "Forbidden archeology" isn't on of those books that try to convince you of it's authenticity and reliability. This feels truthful....more
From the moment Edmond Dantès is wrongly accused for being a Napoleon agent, arrested and brought to the prison If, his life obviously changes. When aFrom the moment Edmond Dantès is wrongly accused for being a Napoleon agent, arrested and brought to the prison If, his life obviously changes. When an opportunity presents itself, he manages to escape and swears he will seek out the people responsible for his fourteen years behind bars - his former friends - and avenge himself. Fortunately, his acquaintance in prison leaves him with a profound knowledge and an extreme fortune, something that come in handy on his road to revenge.
This must be one of the best written books I've read. There are so many different characters and Dumas stays true to them all. Nearly 1500 pages - a long read, but it doesn't feel extremely long due do the exciting story. There are a lot of mind games and psychological suspense and every chapter is written as excellent as the previous one.
(May contain spoilers) Edmond Dantès is using several identities on his way to vengeance as - the Count of Monte Cristo, Lord Wilmore, Simbad the sailor and Abbé Busoni - and which he choses depend on what the situation requires. For example, when he needs to come in contact with Valentine Villefort's grandfather he assumes the role of Abbè Busoni. It's very interesting to follow his constructive capacity and the ability to perform.
I really liked Valentine's goodness and the free spirit of Mademoiselle Danglars. I enjoyed the moment when Mercedes confronts Dantès and his layers of emotions. The fact that Dantès transforms from a good, humble person to this rough, authoritarian being is something I approved of. You can't be wrongfully sentenced without trial, by your own friends, without something happening inside you... I really understand Dantès, even though some of his means are a bit questionable.
Jealousy, greed and the eagerly awaited vengeance... what a way of describing them!...more
I find it very hard to review this book. Where to start? There are so many layers of richness for contemplation. This is nothing like any other book I I find it very hard to review this book. Where to start? There are so many layers of richness for contemplation. This is nothing like any other book I have read. It's not a book about a main character who meets difficulties in life and learns how to overcome them. It isn't about revenge, love, or injustice. It's about EVERYTHING! If there really was a main character, I would call it the main theme - the backside of the French society during the French revolution. Victor Hugo blamed the flawed society for the fall of men, the corruption, the wretchedness and greediness of men, which thrive in darkness and misery, and prevent insight and reconciliation.
There might be some spoilers!
We have loads of unfortunate people. There is Jean Valjean, who wants to be a good man, and repeatedly tries to be, but is constantly reminded of his past, by society, which prevents him from being the man he wants to be. As soon as he has created a new life for himself, the past keeps catching up and destroys it. It's as if the rules of society imprison him and between the bars he can perceive freedom, but never reach it. All because he, as a former convict, has destiny written upon him. A few times he has been on his way back to darkness, but someone has showed him kindness and that's the only thing it takes to make him remain on the right path. The thing which makes this book political, is that Jean would be a saint, living a happy life, if it weren't for the rules, prejudices and judgements of society. That is the common denominator for several of the characters. The beautiful, modest character Fantine would be a happy mother if it weren't for the conventions of society. Her fatal destiny is one of the saddest stories I have ever read.
The book is heavy at times and some parts are a bit too detailed and long. Victor Hugo introduces new characters throughout the book, which can be a little exhausting at times. In the middle of the book we meet Marius, an unfortunate young man who would have become a cold-hearted royalist (Hugo's political opinions can be interpreted) if it weren't for a letter from his Bonapartist father. Marius grows up and is woven into the story and you, sooner than you think, begin to care for him, as well. His struggle for love and the void which suddenly has to be filled in his heart is among the best descriptions of true love I have ever read. Marius inner political struggles can in fact be based on Hugo himself, because the author had a similar adolescence.
Another thing which is heavy and worth mentioning is Hugo's digressions. You would think that the book would become easier when you're well into it, but Hugo kept leaving the story to write some forty pages about a topic he found interesting. There are hundreds of pages about things from political views and the battle of Waterloo, to the the sewers of Paris. It seems like he put whatever he fancied into the book and you can't really understand the relevance of it, until the end of the chapter or perhaps hundred pages later. All digressions are a bit too long, but always turn out to be necessary to understand the situations of the characters. Therefore, it's important to read the unabridged version, to really comprehend the content and context, because it shows Hugo's purpose with the book.
Victor Hugo was an EXCEPTIONAL author. He could really understand the psyche of man, he could portray a man's reflections and ethical dilemmas such as Bishop Madeleine's struggles between the choices of saving a man's life or his own, and Marius struggles between saving a man's life or obeying his father's last wish, with so much emotion that it truly captures the reader.
The part where Jean meets Cosette is beautifully written. The father-daughter relationship between them is powerful and they complement each other perfectly. Without each other, they would have been at the bottom, but with each other, they become something extraordinary, able to provide a life for themselves in the shadows. The void in Jean's heart has been filled, and when Cosette is growing up into a beautiful young woman, he begins to worry about eventual suitors, partly because of her mother's destiny, and partly because of egotism. He knows that his mind can't afford to loose his daughter to marriage. Jean Valjean is probably one of the most complex characters in the history of literature, due to his flaws, endeavoring and battle with himself. The most beautiful part of the book is doubtless the father-daughter relationship between him and Cosette. Hugo had a very fine perception of paternal feelings. I have never come across a so utterly revealing description of the deep, unfathomable, incomprehensible, natural fatherly love. This has occupied my heart and I truly think I now understand such a relationship from the father perspective, something I have never got the chance to do, earlier. Here are a few lines that reveals Jean's feelings for Cosette:
"This man who had passed through every distress, who was still all bleeding from the lacerations of his destiny, who had been almost evil, and who had become almost holy, who, after having dragged the chain of the galleys, now the invisible but heavy chain of indefinite infamy, this man whom the law had not released, and who might be at any instant retaken, and led back from the obscurity of his virtue to the broad light of public shame, this man accepted all, excused all, pardoned all, blessed all, wished well to all, and only asked of Providence, of men, of the laws, of society, of nature, of the world, this one thing, that Cosette should love him!"
Hugo wrote in this exceptional way, as if he had been inside the characters heads and fully understood them. He had a unique ability to portray people's inner nature. I have never read anything so insightful and comprehensible. I'm very satisfied that I read the unabridged version, because that gave me the whole picture of a society, about what deprives people of their freedom. I don't think I would have been able to even come close to understanding the thoughts and motives of the Thénardiers if it weren't for these parts. I don't think I would recommend the abridged version to anyone, even though I know there are many people who don't like heavy literature. I would encourage them instead, saying: "You benefit from reading it all. It takes time and demands a lot, but then again, it's Victor Hugo! And these heavy parts give so much more in return!". This book is one of a kind, and makes you succumb to reverie and want to be a better person....more
This must be one of the most difficult novels to grade, so far. I have no idea how many stars to give it, four or five. It's so strange and unique thaThis must be one of the most difficult novels to grade, so far. I have no idea how many stars to give it, four or five. It's so strange and unique that I'm incapable of comparing it to any other literature. I know it inspired Ann Radcliffe's The Italian, but I can't see many significant similarities between the two. The story is so dark, I can't think of another novel in the same way. Most gothic fiction fade in comparison.
The main story is about a man's fall from the highest of grace and rank to the lowest darkness of deception. Ambrosio is not just any man. He is the highest, most graceful person - a monk, and the most virtuous, religious monk there could be. That kind of adds to the magnitude of the crimes, in some way. These contrasts are everywhere to be seen throughout the book.
Lewis gives a very interesting perspective on what could happen when someone, who has been shielded from the world his whole life, is suddenly exposed to temptation of human nature. The novel has gained a lot of attention because of its emotional, sexual and passionate content. It must have been controversial at the time.
Temptation has always been perceived as a threat, an unpredictable danger. That part in the book reminded me of another one with similar events. The Bible. When Ambrosio has tasted the forbidden fruit, he forgets who he is and gets totally consumed by everything opposite to his previous life. Then he gets bitten by a snake. It's impossible to predict the events that are in stock for him. Manipulation, deceit, kidnapping, rape, murder, even witchcraft follow his new passion for women. There's no turning back.
Naturally, there comes a time when ordinary people, normally busy with living their lives, catch up and take a stand. I'm not sure what the complete ruin of the monastery really meant, if there were some allegories hidden behind it. I read somewhere that Lewis thought of the mob and the destruction as events similar to the french revolution. I see a parallel between the demolition of the building and Ambrosio's destiny. A destiny deserved by hypocrites. But unfortunately not all people inside were guilty. Is the collateral damage the price to pay for the angry mob, when justice takes its revenge? People innocent of the crime fall prey to the devastation, because justice is blind.
I guess the religious conventions are to blame for a lot of the crimes. Where it not for the church, Ambrosio wouldn't have gone to such great lengths to cover everything up and Agnes would have been able to get married to her beloved right away, give birth in safety and ensure her child's survival. But if there is one ground theme, it is the characteristic of hypocrisy. It's being portrayed as the biggest of sins, because it overshadows everything else. Thanks to hypocrisy, fatal crimes is being committed and it deserves to be punished severely, beyond reasonable relevance I might add. The bloodbath on the street was really horrible and the inquisition was frightening in its ruthless striving after confessions. Actually, the violence surprised and disturbed me. It's very fierce up to the last page. Ambrosio's final decision to sell his soul to the devil to avoid hell after death suited his character perfectly. Unfortunately for him, his decision might have been worse.
End of spoilers
The fact that Lewis was only nineteen when he wrote the book, and managed to complete it in ten weeks, is very impressive. Unfortunately, his other novels didn't get the same response. The only thing that disappointed me was that the modest characters, such as Agnes and Antonia, got little room. They would have contributed more to the story and made the story even more subtle, if they had been considered as important as the other characters.
This was a total surprise! Naturally, I've heard a lot about "The hunger games" and as usual I'm a bit doubtful towards these blockbusters. But I wasThis was a total surprise! Naturally, I've heard a lot about "The hunger games" and as usual I'm a bit doubtful towards these blockbusters. But I was swept away somewhere around the first chapters. The characters are interesting, the plot thrilling and the underlying messages are many. I like the kind of book that faces moral dilemmas and injustice. I think the injustice in the Panem Society is very convincing and not totally irrelevant to read about since there are present societies with totalitarianism. "The hunger games" offer readers all over the world insight and knowledge.
There were some minor flaws and I would have liked to know the other tributes better. It would have been exciting with more combat, but at the same time Katniss role in all this is the rebellion who refuses to play on the Capitol's terms. It was nice to follow her in the arena, not changing her morals.
The fact that Peeta was a really good lier made me question his loyalties. I really felt with Katniss when she saw him teaming up with Cato and the other evil tributes. However, there was only going to be one winner. A game is a game. I feared for her and dreaded what would happen if they were the last tributes left, facing each other.
The ending was unexpected and pretty sad as well. I got disappointed, but hoping things will change in the next book. ...more
Bear Grylls, the famous adventurer, will never cease to impress. My expectations, which were very high, were fulfilled and exceeded far beyond any limBear Grylls, the famous adventurer, will never cease to impress. My expectations, which were very high, were fulfilled and exceeded far beyond any limit.
The most humble, modest man doesn't seem at all changed from his new role as a celebrity. He tends to shun away from any kind of publicity and declined the offer to be the main star of "Man vs Wild" three times, before finally accepting to shoot a pilot, something he hasn't regretted, I'm sure. The thing with people like Bear is that you really get to know him during reading because he opens up totally. The most important thing is that he is honest. He tells the reader everything, not only the good, innocent parts.
This book is funny, sad and thrilling:
It's funny because he seems such a mischevious, smiling guy that always stands up for his friends and family. Hence, he has got many friends. Not a single time in the entire book has he written something negative about someone. He sees the good in people, and emphasizes it. For that matter, he might not agree with everyone. He has a strong self-respect and never diverge from his morals and values in life.
It's sad because he has lost people he loves and he honours them beautifully. The kind of life he has chosen has small marginals, a balance between life and death. He cried on at least ten places in the book, either from grief or from the risk of never seeing his family again.
It's tremendously thrilling. His training and the SAS selection was exciting, since it's often considered so secretive. (He didn't reveal anything he shouldn't, and left out the details I had so looked forward to read. But he had to run it by the SAS for approval, and it couldn't involve anything confidential.) What a horrifying experience, people have died of plain exhaustion, trying to get in!
I couldn't stop reading when the nutcase decided to climb Mount Everest only months after breaking his back in three places in a parachute accident. I mean, come on! Enough is enough!
His constant expeditions seem to serve as encouragement, fuel, to his ever present love for challenges. And at the end of every adventure, he acknowledges the lessons needed to be learned and wisely reinforces his knowledge.
This is a great inspiration! Grylls is proof that you can achieve anything with perseverance and a strong mind. The sky has no limit....more
The novel was first published in book form in 1898, and is one of the first books containing a meeting with extra terrestrials. Wells was before his tThe novel was first published in book form in 1898, and is one of the first books containing a meeting with extra terrestrials. Wells was before his time with his reasoning science tone throughout the book. He has thought of everything, nothing is ignored. His knowledge about science is fascinating.
A shooting star turns out to be something totally different and the beginning of a war the human race could never have imagined, let alone anticipated. When a cylinder crasch into the earth, it doesn't take a long time for a war to begin. In the middle of this, a man and his brother, in separated ways, struggle to survive. Not government officials or a police officers. Simple men.
The only flaw is the lack of character descriptions. The reader doesn't even get to know the names of the main characters, referred to only as ”I”, in the first person narrative, and ”my brother” in the second. But, on the other hand, like in the novel "The Road", the focus lies elsewhere - In this case, it concentrates on a society encountering something so incredible, so unpredictable, that the human race is totally unprepared of it, and what happens in such a devastating situation.
The purpose of the book might have been to explore the themes of relativity and evolution.