This was my first Anthony Trollope adventure, and after taking over a month to complete it, it felt more like an extended hospital visit. (Spoilers in...moreThis was my first Anthony Trollope adventure, and after taking over a month to complete it, it felt more like an extended hospital visit. (Spoilers included - but this book is 2000 years old so it can hardly be considered a true spoiler.)
WHY I LIKED IT I thought Emily (Wharton) Lopez (Fletcher) was a highly believable and sympathetic character. She finds herself madly in love with the eccentric man she can't wait to marry, much to the chagrin of everyone she knows and loves. It doesn't take long into her marriage to discover that she made a huge mistake, and even after her husband's untimely (but let's call a duck a duck here - fortunate) death, she blames herself and feels she must shoulder the mistakes of marrying him in the first place, and his demise. She wasn't the first woman to do it, nor will she be the last.
WHY I DIDN'T I never quite got how the storylines between the Wharton (and Lopez) family and the Prime Ministerial hierarchy fit together. They seemed like two parallel storylines that never impacted one another. There were so many ancillary characters that I thought could have been given the brush off since they didn't add much to drive the plot. And speaking of the plot (I never thought I'd hear myself say this), there wasn't much of one and it bothered the crap out of me. There was no climactic action, unless you count Ferdinand Lopez's death, and that happened in part 12 of 21 (audiobook... a very, very long audiobook).
IF I WERE AN EDITOR, I'D SAY Some of the more fun classic vocabulary kept me chuckling under my breath: ducal, plontaginate, etc. Cut half the story, and make Emily's battle have something to with the election (or is it appointment? I don't get Britain) that's obvious enough for the reader to get.
My biggest beef with this book was that it was a little hard to get into due to the fact that I could not identify whatsoever with the practice of hit...moreMy biggest beef with this book was that it was a little hard to get into due to the fact that I could not identify whatsoever with the practice of hitchhiking across the country with no money or destination. Still, the point was for Kerouac to marvel at the beauty of the American countryside and I couldn't help but get carried away with his breathtaking descriptions and imagery of what he saw during his years on the road.
It's a great snapshot in time, back when gas wasn't $3.50 a gallon, hitchhiking was a common (and safe) practice, and people partied freely with friends and strangers alike. It's escapist literature at its best even if it's a little bohemian for my tastes.(less)
This is an example of what every book should be like. The story is great, the characters are complex, the world is vivid. It had been a few years sinc...moreThis is an example of what every book should be like. The story is great, the characters are complex, the world is vivid. It had been a few years since I'd read this, and I'd forgotten what a great story it is. And of course, it's all done in the prosaic, believable way that only Bradbury can pull off.
This collection of stories is accessible to readers of all stages of liking science fiction. I didn't love them all, but that's the point of a collect...moreThis collection of stories is accessible to readers of all stages of liking science fiction. I didn't love them all, but that's the point of a collection - there will be some you love and some you can take or leave.
I was hoping that The Illustrated Man would be integrated into all of the stories, but he was not. I picked this book up because I was looking for books that feature tattoos (as I am writing one) and The Illustrated Man is a staple for this.
There are lots of stories about Mars and rockets, so if you like these you'll probably like this collection. Ray Bradbury is a masterful storyteller who does a great job of making science fiction stories accessible and enjoyable for a wide audience. It's a fairly quick read, too, for as beautifully written as it is. Pick it up. You'll like it.
Whew... Over 2 months to read? Either I need to carve out more reading time, or this is just that dense :P
No one does despair like Dickens. He really...moreWhew... Over 2 months to read? Either I need to carve out more reading time, or this is just that dense :P
No one does despair like Dickens. He really knew how to communicate the feeling and experience of despair that made the reader feel it, palpably.
This book had a bjillion characters, which made them a little hard to keep straight. Having the chapter at the end that brought everything back around and explained what happened to (most of) the characters, really helped.
My favorite chapter was Fagin's last day alive - so poignant and again, such great grasp of despair. The parts that made me feel the most, however, were the scenes there Sikes' dog's life was in danger, which might make me an unfeeling jerk.
It took me the better part of a year to read this guy - over 600 pages makes it a pretty heavy read. Like most people, I was somewhat familiar with Ar...moreIt took me the better part of a year to read this guy - over 600 pages makes it a pretty heavy read. Like most people, I was somewhat familiar with Arthurian legend, but it didn't make The Once and Future King any less enjoyable for me.
The book has a lot of thinly veiled big ideas - not the least which is war. I was almost in tears when I read these lines out of the last chapter (almost)
"Perhaps wars were fought because people said MY kingdom, MY wife, MY lover, MY possessions... Perhaps, so long as people tried to possess things separately from each other, even honour and souls, there would be war forever."
It won't be a quick read for you, but all 600+ pages will hold your attention and you won't regret it.(less)