I would not recommend this novel at all. Though there are some artful aspects to the story and it is certainly historically significant as a reconstruI would not recommend this novel at all. Though there are some artful aspects to the story and it is certainly historically significant as a reconstruction novel, it is also very racist and vile in its connotations. In the last part of the story, the racism really seeps through and becomes more overtly transparent. Though strong writing talent shines through a few points, upon reflection it becomes evident that Dixon is more of an apologist for his prejudices than an artist. Though Dixon does have some storytelling skills, I feel the story is fragile due to the lack of believability at several points. I also had trouble sympathizing with any of the characters....more
It's been so very long since I've jumped into the Sherlock Holmes stories and this foray has been so very delightful. It reminds me that deep down, miIt's been so very long since I've jumped into the Sherlock Holmes stories and this foray has been so very delightful. It reminds me that deep down, missing detection and deductive reasoning skills notwithstanding, I'm a devoted Sherlockian.
These stories are top notch, showing Holmes in his finest form. And they never grow old. A. C. Doyle's genius is behind every stroke. It's also heaping brilliance upon brilliance to have both Mycroft Holmes (Sherlock's brother) and Moriatry (Sherlock's reptilian nemesis) introduced in these stories.Though we hear so little of them, they are brilliantly crafted characters.
This book makes me want to move to Victorian England and become a consulting detective with all its peril. And then perhaps write a technical monograph on some obscure subject such as The Footprint Width of Peruvian Newts. It makes me wish there were thousands more canonical Holmes stories.
An unexpected side-effect of my return to the Holmes canon has been an increased respect for the recent BBC Sherlock Holmes series.The nine episodes, as an adaptation, stand up to the scrutiny of an examination of the Holmes canon. Benedict Cumberbatch is a wonderful Sherlock. Mark Gatiss gets Mycroft right. Martin Freeman nails the essence of Watson. Rarely is a TV series so thoroughly vindicated as by the re-reading of this book.
If you haven't read this book yet, the driving question is: why not?...more
Farah is a prolific Somali novelist and this is his latest novel. It is also the second novel of his that I've read.
I have mixed feelings about this oFarah is a prolific Somali novelist and this is his latest novel. It is also the second novel of his that I've read.
I have mixed feelings about this one. Farah once again proves he is a masterful story teller and quite a genius. There is no question about that. However, it took me to long to get drawn into this one, and while the characters were fascinatingly portrayed, I struggled to sympathize with any of them--especially the adults. The first half seemed to limp along and the end was abrupt and not very believable to me. I think Farah mastered little details but lost footing on the big picture.
I would suggest you start with a different novel by Farah, such as 'Crossbones' - - which is excellent....more
This is an engaging read in the fantasy genre. I first heard of Jeremiah Montgomery's fiction in an interview he did with the Reformed Forum podcast.This is an engaging read in the fantasy genre. I first heard of Jeremiah Montgomery's fiction in an interview he did with the Reformed Forum podcast. He's an Orthodox Presbyterian Church pastor,and it was interesting to hear about how his Christian faith comes to bear on his writing. I also listened to an interview he did with Shaun Tabatt. I found the interviews fascinating, so when I saw a review copy available on NetGalley, I quickly signed up for it, even though I hadn't read the previous two books.
I was a bit concerned that jumping into the third book of this trilogy might leave me a bit disoriented, but thankfully that was generally not the case. Even when I found myself struggling at a few points early on to keep up with the episodes and names, there were enough hooks and twists to motivate me to press on. This is a rich fantasy story filled with war, alliances, intrigues, and complicated family relationships. The world Montgomery constructs is fascinating, curious, well-crafted, and ultimately believable.
Montgomery is a highly talented writer, and this book is well-written and readable. He has a great handle on how to surprise the reader and use indirection and there are plenty of twists and thrilling turns. Though religion is a prominent theme and the references to Christianity are very thinly veiled at some points, but they fit into the story well and are not over-the-top or "preachy." It well reflects reality, which is often complicated and not always neat and tidy. Montgomery has done a good job tying things together satisfactorily, but yet leaving some intriguing loose ends!
This is a great read and I'd recommend it to those who generally enjoy fantasy books. I'm also starting to think that I might need to read the previous two books in the trilogy!...more
The Help is an excellent read. It really drew me in. Normally it takes me at least a month or two to finish a book of 200 or so pages. This book weighThe Help is an excellent read. It really drew me in. Normally it takes me at least a month or two to finish a book of 200 or so pages. This book weighs in at just over 450 pages and I finished it in well under a month. That's pretty remarkable for me. At no section of the book did I get impatient or become tempted to skip some pages. It was captivating throughout.
The reader is treated to a rich portrayal of the complex social life of white and black women in Mississippi in the early 1960s. Filled with racism, alienation, ambivalence, and vicious ugliness, no doubt, but also camaraderie and sisterhood. The characters are well done: Eugenia (Skeeter), Miss Hilly, Aibileen, Celia, and Minny, are especially well done, to name a few.
Stockett makes the gutsy (and, successful, I believe) move of trying to capture the dialect of the two black maid narrators (the other narrator is a white woman, Eugenia/Skeeter). For example, they say things such as: "Law, I'm thirsty" or "gone done". The effect can be jarring at first. But, as the reader gets used to it, and it fits really well. This linguistic twist certainly adds to the appeal.
Overall, it is believable, moving, and engaging, especially for one who is interested in the South and the civil rights movement.
This book generally has gotten rave reviews. On Goodreads, as of June 2014, it has over 1,000,000 ratings, with a mere 9% below four stars. That's pretty impressive. It does, though, have some harsh critics. The less than 1% who gave it a one star rating are fairly vocal. Though I regard myself as a fairly critical reader, I am not one of those critics. I loved it. I say, go and pick up the book and give it a try! ...more
A good read. Contrary to the impression one gets from school, there are riches in Orwell far beyond Animal Farm and 1984. This novel is essentially saA good read. Contrary to the impression one gets from school, there are riches in Orwell far beyond Animal Farm and 1984. This novel is essentially satirical look at money, poverty, art, friendship, and love. It is written masterfully, with several masterfully portrayed characters. Despite its darkness, it has a surprising amount of dry humour. ...more