Lord Peter Wimsey is a charming, intelligent aristocrat who keeps occupied as a rare book collector and an amateur sleuth. Set in post-World War I BriLord Peter Wimsey is a charming, intelligent aristocrat who keeps occupied as a rare book collector and an amateur sleuth. Set in post-World War I Britain, he occasionally suffers from PTSD from his war years. Wimsey enlists the help of his valet, Mervyn Bunter, in the detective work, and the dry British wit of the duo had me laughing. Wimsey's mother, the Dowager Duchess of Denver, is another wonderful character--a socialite who often voices the feelings of the 1920s upper class.
A body--naked except for a pair of gold pince-nez-- is found in the bathtub of an acquaintance of Wimsey's mother. On the same day Reuben Levy, an important Jewish financier, is reported missing. The corpse has a mild resemblance to Levy, but is found to be an unknown person. Wimsey, Bunter, and the competent Inspector Parker from Scotland Yard work together to solve the cases. A confessional letter by the criminal at the end of the book detailed why the corpse was found in the tub.
Although the characters seem to think that the Jewish Reuben Levy is a good person, there were quite a few stereotypical comments about Jews scattered throughout the book. It is probably reflective of the lack of understanding of other religions and ethnic groups that existed in 1923.
This short detective story is the first of a series of Lord Peter Wimsey cozy mysteries. It kept my interest, and I especially enjoyed the humor....more
Real life is such a disappointment for Emma Bovary. The beautiful young French woman loves to read novels filled with sophisticated men, romance, andReal life is such a disappointment for Emma Bovary. The beautiful young French woman loves to read novels filled with sophisticated men, romance, and riches. But she is married to Charles Bovary, a goodhearted but incompetent country doctor. Although Charles adores her, Emma finds him boring and longs for a passionate, cosmopolitan lover. She has no interest in mothering, and leaves her daughter's care to the servants. She creates a web of lies to cover up the debts she runs up with her extravagant spending.
As a middle-class woman in the 1840s, Madame Bovary does not have the career opportunities that would be open to a man. So there is no way for Emma to obtain the funds she needs for an idealized life. Emma is always looking for more--lovers, excitement, material goods--but nothing will ever live up to her dreams. The self-absorbed woman feels trapped with no way to escape her provincial life.
Author Gustave Flaubert slowly and skillfully builds the story to its inevitable conclusion. The life of Emma Bovary culminates in a perfect storm of despair and tragedy. Flaubert has created an unforgettable character--Madame Bovary....more
Robert Louis Stevenson's story ideas often came to him in dreams. He was awakened by his wife when he was thrashing around during a "fine bogey-tale".Robert Louis Stevenson's story ideas often came to him in dreams. He was awakened by his wife when he was thrashing around during a "fine bogey-tale". He developed it into this novella by writing straight through three days and nights. His wife suggested that he should add allegorical aspects to the horror story so he burned the first story, and rewrote it in another marathon writing session.
Dr Jekyll, a client and a friend of the lawyer Mr Utterson, has willed all his worldly possessions to Mr Hyde. Mr Utterson has heard terrible stories about Mr Hyde, and wants to preserve the reputation of the good doctor. The lawyer tries to obtain more information about Mr Hyde, a vile, depraved man who has been violent toward helpless, innocent people. Eventually, a letter from Dr Jekyll surfaces which explains his scientific experiments and shows the duality of human nature--a virtuous side and an evil alter ego.
Stevenson uses wonderful Gothic descriptions of the dark London streets with fog swirling around in the moonlight whenever the story is centered on Mr Hyde. Written in 1885, the story has a Victorian feeling to it because of the dark descriptions, and the emphasis on good vs evil, civilized vs primitive.
I saw the stage play "Jekyll and Hyde" years ago, but this is the first time I read Stevenson's story. I wish I hadn't waited so long because this is a great classic horror story....more