A great one-volume commentary on Genesis. Although, in common with many other commentaries the weighting is more towards the Primeval History (GenesisA great one-volume commentary on Genesis. Although, in common with many other commentaries the weighting is more towards the Primeval History (Genesis 1-11 takes up 1/3 of the commentary) rather than the Patriarchs ("The Chosen Family") (Genesis 12-50 takes up only 1/2 of the commentary).
The whole thing is readable and insightful. What I did find interesting, for a commentary written in the 1960s, was a sustained critique of the Graf & Wellhausen JEDP documentary theory. I had assumed that it was pretty much accepted as fact at that time - And even Kidner acknowledges at one point that "the prestige of the theory tends to protect it from criticism"....more
John Christopher, J G Ballard, John Wyndham, etc, used to write this post-apocalyptic stuff back in the 50s & 60s. And they did it so much better.John Christopher, J G Ballard, John Wyndham, etc, used to write this post-apocalyptic stuff back in the 50s & 60s. And they did it so much better. Earth Abides (1949!) by George R. Stewart is a good American take on the genre.
The basic plot here is that: Not much happens, then very little happens, then bugger all happens again. There is an upbeat ending which doesn't really work that well with the rest of the book.
Don't get me wrong. I don't think its badly written. Its fairly light and can be read in an afternoon (the high page count is belied by the low word count). It just doesn't add anything to the genre and I certainly wouldn't have given it a Pulitzer Prize. Dull and derivative.
And, yes, I know people have raved about this. But I can't understand why....more
The story is written as a series of letters, mainly to and from the main character, writer Juliet Ashton, as she corresponds with her editor and the mThe story is written as a series of letters, mainly to and from the main character, writer Juliet Ashton, as she corresponds with her editor and the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. There is an interesting array of characters, most of whom speak in their own unique voice. The book evokes the post war years very well (or at least the way I imagine them) and the characters seem to speak as people of the time would speak. The situation on Guernsey during the occupation has clearly been well researched and the whole story is peppered with interesting anecdotes.
I actually found the first half of the book, where Juliet was corresponding with the literary society, to be the most interesting part. The letter writing format worked well with characters that were at a distance from and introducing themselves to Juliet. By the second half, she has travelled to Guernsey and the story proper gets underway. It was still very enjoyable, but for me a little uneven in the second half.
But all in all a fascinating range of characters and a great insight into some of the lesser known stories of the second world war....more
Nothing is quite what it seems. Read this for a book group and the general consensus seemed to be that those who didn't finish it didn't think much ofNothing is quite what it seems. Read this for a book group and the general consensus seemed to be that those who didn't finish it didn't think much of it (no real surprise there), but those who did felt that it paid off in the end. But you do need to read all the way to the final chapter, in fact probably the final paragraph (final line?).
And this was very much my view. I found the first third of the book to be a real chore. There seemed to be a whole load of very similar characters that I really didn't give a toss about. That's not to say there weren't some intriguing hooks. There were, but the pay-off really didn't come until much later.
The middle third I probably would have enjoyed more, but I really couldn't sympathise with the main character's growing attraction towards her guide. It seemed that her husband had been deliberately set up by the author as a two dimensional character that it was ok to cheat on. But, as I said at the start, nothing is quite what it seems. Some extra mysteries are set up throughout this section and some partial explanations given. In short, it starts to get interesting.
The final third begins to give some hints and explanations and the whole thing starts to build to quite an exciting conclusion. A great deal of stuff is tied up and concluded very satisfactorily, but there are one or two slightly frustrating loose ends.
In summary: The novel is not perfect. Some of it does feel quite contrived. But, it is on the whole well written, and if you are prepared to read right to the end, it really does deliver....more