As this book consists of The Professor, the fragment of Emma, and their poems, I'm going to review each of the three separately.
The Professor I really...moreAs this book consists of The Professor, the fragment of Emma, and their poems, I'm going to review each of the three separately.
The Professor I really enjoyed this. Given that this was the first novel she tried to have published, and the fact that no-one was willing to publish it until after her death, I was expecting it to be rather heavy-handed. I thought it was a simple, sweet love story. I would have liked to see some of Frances's viewpoint, but I enjoyed having a love story told by a man for a change. I gather that Villette incorporates many of the same themes and is told from the female point of view, so perhaps when I read that I will have a clearer idea of what Frances was experiencing.
Emma This is even more of a fragment than Austen's Sanditon, amounting to only a couple of chapters. I would love to know exactly what Brontë's intentions were for the development. I may have to see if I can find a completion by someone else, as has been done for Sanditon and The Watsons
Poems The vast majority of these are long verses that I have no patience for. I much prefer prose to poetry. I will, however, go back and dwell on some of these for longer. Except for those of Patrick Brontë, which I did not like. The styles of the sisters are similar, yet quite different. I found something to enjoy in each of their poems and look forward to a longer acquaintance with them.(less)
This is a very interesting read. It's really quite a fascinating look at political matters, the way people live in other, less westernised countries a...moreThis is a very interesting read. It's really quite a fascinating look at political matters, the way people live in other, less westernised countries and, most importantly, the lengths that people will go to in order to help themselves. All they need is the resources, which are so very hard to come by. Greg Mortenson, however, makes sure that they get them.
This book is partly about the development and work of the Central Asia Institute and the work they do. It's also partly about Greg Mortenson - who he is, why he is the way he is and so on. It's not really a biography, though it's certainly biographical. It's a weird mix of things. It's definitely worth reading, though it can be heavy-going in places.(less)
I really enjoyed this. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary for an Enid Blyton book, and was quite similar to many of her others. Rather decidedly m...moreI really enjoyed this. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary for an Enid Blyton book, and was quite similar to many of her others. Rather decidedly moralistic, but there's not necessarily anything wrong with that. I adored the twins, I liked Lizzie and Aunt Grace and thought the others got what was coming to them. I do sometimes get annoyed with the happy endings - not everyone is going to be able to pull themselves together and see what's really good for them and have the strength of character to do it. I do think, though, that it's important to show that it's possible, so I can't complain too much.(less)
This is a fascinating book. The commentary at the end, which includes letters and reports by Anne Sullivan enables you to read about this experience f...moreThis is a fascinating book. The commentary at the end, which includes letters and reports by Anne Sullivan enables you to read about this experience from the inside and the outside. I feel somehow as if I know Helen, despite the fact that she died long before I was born. She writes with a clarity and an intimacy and a warmth that draws you in to her feelings and experiences. I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like to live without sight and sound. Helen's story is inspirational.(less)
This is a good series. It's fun, mostly well-written and full of glorious details. The books centre around Harry Potter, the Boy who Lived, and his ex...moreThis is a good series. It's fun, mostly well-written and full of glorious details. The books centre around Harry Potter, the Boy who Lived, and his experiences at wizarding school. Though, really, if any of you don't actually know this I'd be very surprised.
The earlier books are much better than the later ones, in my personal opinion. The earlier books are very much school stories with, of course, the obligatory adventure at the end. My favourite of these is Prisoner of Azkaban, though I am very fond of Chamber of Secrets as well. The later books are far more action-oriented - they are far more in the adventure style than in the school style. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but the books lengthen and the plots suffer for it. It's hard to pick a favourite here, but I'd go for either Goblet of Fire or Order of the Phoenix. Phoenix does have the problem of making me cringe, but then Goblet of Fire has the problem of Hermione looking drastically different in the same way that no-one recognises Superman when he puts on different clothes and glasses. It's ridiculous. There are increasing plot-holes and bad characterisation as the series goes on.
I'm not going to detail my every objection to the series, but Rowling needs some practice at writing believable teenage romance and angst. She could also have used a better, less star-struck editor who was capable of spotting the glaring errors and fixing them. I cannot complain too much though, given the horrific editing of some of my favourite books (here including Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie, but not Tolkien). I will, however, complain about the way that she 'develops' her characters. They not only grow, they regress. Now, while I grant that there is some cause for some of this, occasionally she just takes a character and disregards their entire personality and turns them into someone else with the same name (and yes, I'm thinking particularly of Cho here). I also think that a few of her supporting characters are a little too two-dimensional and could have been far better developed, considering the length of time she had to develop them in all the enormous tomes she wrote.
I don't think very much of the movies, but that's mostly because of the way that they deviate from the books. The errors that the books make are bad enough - there is no need to compound them by making even worse errors in the movies. They did, in my opinion, have very good casting for the most part.
And, a word about the covers. I for one like the majority of the covers. There is only one I object to and that's the one for Deathly Hallows. The artwork seems out of character with the rest in the sequence. I would have much preferred for all the artwork to have been done by one artist, preferably one of the ones that did Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix. I do not like the covers by the artist who did the ones in the Afrikaans translation (and possibly the books that were published in the States? It's hard to tell). There are also the 'adult' covers. Entirely unnecessary in my opinion, but some people are weird about their book covers. I personally don't usually care too much about the cover.
Anyway, if you haven't read these, you probably should.(less)