Maybe all the pop culture going around about this book basically backfired any effect that it could have on me. But I seriously don't understand what'Maybe all the pop culture going around about this book basically backfired any effect that it could have on me. But I seriously don't understand what's the big deal about it. I was much more thraumatised shocked, impressed, and so on, by books such as 1984 or Fight Club. I mean, I can take all the mindless violence you want if there seems to be a purpose. I can even understand that mindless violence can be an end by itself, but in this book it seemed to be just... there. On the other hand cheers to the author for inventing a new brand vocabulary. It makes the reading a bit difficult but, you know, it is an effort, a way to give another aspect to the characters. So Alex is crazy about Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and other classical composers, and enjoys punching, kicking and raping people. Fine. But that's not enough, not for me. This novel could take place anywhere in the (developed) world and in any time. But besides the usual (and here rather superfluous) democracy-is-not-real and there-is-no-such-thing-as-good-people rant, there's not much content. Maybe that's the thing and I have missed the point... But overall I just don't know what was the point of this novel. And the ending... (view spoiler)[ now that was... all this stuff about growing up and whatever... it came out of nowhere! If that's the final conclusion after all this... well... it's poor (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>...more
This novel is about the lives of three married couples in their late thirties & early forties in France. It is basically the typical 'war of the sThis novel is about the lives of three married couples in their late thirties & early forties in France. It is basically the typical 'war of the sexes' that you'd expect to find in any comedy, with a French touch – I'm pretty sure there's more than a couple of movies out there that are almost identical to this book. All the book is full of clichés and, on top of that, it's cheesy and corny. Especially the end (ugh) it was horrible. I mean I could bear the level of shallowness that requires a book that aims to entertain up to a certain level, but the last twenty pages are just too much... too much of a happy ending....more
Wow. I mean. Wow. I don't know if it's better than The Grapes of Wrath but this book is just amazing. The main character, Ethan Hawley, is a middle-agWow. I mean. Wow. I don't know if it's better than The Grapes of Wrath but this book is just amazing. The main character, Ethan Hawley, is a middle-aged store clerk in a small town of the US in 1960. He has famous ancestors but his father the fortune they had during WWII. Ethan loves his wife and his two kids (even if they are quite selfish), and is a honest and humbler working man. But something happens, there's a "click" in his soul that makes up an excuse, a justification, for him to be unethical, deceitful, for a short period of time, so that he can restore the 'family honour' and live up to his wive's expectations and requests. I think Steinbeck describes perfectly the evolution of this character, so that he himself not sees, or does not want to see, the extent of what he is doing – but the reader definitely does – until the consequences knock at his door. There's also the rest of the characters, Margie Young-Hunt was quite interesting too, or the bank manager, or Marullo, the owner of the store where Ethan works. They are all different aspects of the US in the 1960s. Finally, I love how Steinbeck writes, he can be very clear, concise, down-to-earth, but he knows too how to use descriptions very well, to fit the character's mood. ...more
Reading this book was definitely less confusing than The Sound and the Fury but still, there were some bits where I didn't quite know what was going oReading this book was definitely less confusing than The Sound and the Fury but still, there were some bits where I didn't quite know what was going on. An anyway, I think that there are some things I didn't understood, some "secrets" I guess, because that's what Faulkner wanted. But, overall, I think that it is a brilliant – although dark and a bit depressing (some of the characters are not very bright and are taken advantage of, and some others are downright mean) – story, my favourite chapter was Addie's last one (I had to close the book and just... think for a while and re-read it afterwards). So, if you want to start with Faulkner, I'd go for this one....more
3.9/5 This book (the last of the series) was way better than the second but it still cannot surpass the first one. I guess it has all its qualities but3.9/5 This book (the last of the series) was way better than the second but it still cannot surpass the first one. I guess it has all its qualities but it's repetition and it becomes a bit tedious after some point. Actually, my excitement about the curve was shaped like an inversed U. At the beginning the level of ridiculousness and vulgarity was too much to bear (for me, at least). The passage describing Cardinal Guzman's daemons was in many ways too graphic (as so many other small details). Some scenes were just as 'graphic' but it didn't feel superfluous. Overall I've had fun with this book (and trilogy), although I fear I have not reconciled myself with magical realism. I've loved following the stories of some of the characters (not all of them, I couldn't care less about Emmanuel or Dionisio, I already had to put up with him for a whole book), accepting to follow this completely irrational and surreal plot has been quite... an experience....more
Ugh. Again, don't know how many stars to give. I really liked the four of them although by the end I was growing a bit weary as the plots have some siUgh. Again, don't know how many stars to give. I really liked the four of them although by the end I was growing a bit weary as the plots have some similitudes. Basically, the author introduces you to a 'normal' environment, usually a family, but you soon notice that things cringe a bit. And then arrives a disruptive element/character, who is usually a bit weird. I especially liked the first and second plays. The first because it's the story of how a women evolves from being a 'doll' (i.e. someone with almost not will, and always thought of as brainless but very pretty) from a human being (aka. women empowerment ftw). The second one is very interesting because the 'disruptive character' is an ass who has very clear ideas on what's right and what's wrong, and does not, for a second, think on the consequences of doing things that he supposes are universally good regardless of anything. The third and fourth plays felt a bit weirdish, or maybe it's that I didn't like the main characters (Hedda and Hilda). Anyway, it's been interesting to read Ibsen for the first time! I guess this would be a .... 3.75? (I don't remember the last time I read a book worth a 4)...more
Excellent HF book based on a true story: the voyage of four Japanese envoys in the early XVIIth century to Nueva España, Spain and Rome, and from therExcellent HF book based on a true story: the voyage of four Japanese envoys in the early XVIIth century to Nueva España, Spain and Rome, and from there all the way back to their homeland. The story is told from two PoV: Rokuemon Hasekura, a samurai whose family eagerly want to have their lands back (were taken because they fought for the wrong side during a war), is probably the 'stereotype' we have in mind when thinking about a samurai (except there's no martial arts involved, or flying and none of this Hollywood bullshit): someone loyal, obedient, and that wants to maintain his family's and ancestor's honour, as well as his own. He's the one to describe how someone who has never been outside his master's lands feels when visiting two different continents and culture, and their face to face with Christianity. There are three other envoys, who are also samurai, with their own personnality, which I really enjoyed reading. The other side of the coin is Father Velasco, a Spanish Franciscan missionnary who has convinced himself that God wants him to prozelitise Japan, no matter the cost. That's why, when a Japanese Lord starts to be interested in trading with Mexico, he soonly realises it is now or never if he wants to fulfill his ambition: become the bishop of Japan. Indeed, he knows that little trade would be possible between Japan and Spain as long as Christians are banned or severely punished in Japan. Therefore, he uses the Japanese cravings for knowledge and profit to make them agree to send emmissaries to the Western World, and him with them. But are the Japanese earnest? Overall, their trip takes them more than seven years, and many things could've changed. It is a great book. First, because it's a very interesting topic and the descriptions of both the Western and Japanese world seem very accurate. Second, the characters and the plot are fantastic. Except for the samurai, who are bound in their ignorance, everyone has an ulterior motive, an ambition, and nothing is what it seems. The idea I got from the book is the difference between 'normal' people and the 'government', the 'great interests', in a word, the world of politics (which may be at a state-level or for the ruling of the Church). The hypocrisy, the selfishness, and the ever-moving tides of power who are never reluctant to swallow a few middle-men who never had a chance to survive in this game. Again, great great book. Well-written. Read it!
P.S. Although the author was Catholic and there's a lot of discussion on the nature of Christianity (which is very interesting btw), it is not proselytizing. It's not a book about how cool Christianity is, it is not a book about redemption or how samurai convert into Catholicism because Western values are so much better. It's nothing of the sort. I thought the author's/characters' thoughts on religion, on the image of the Christ, and why some people believe, were very meaningful, very interesting, but in no way imposing themselves. ...more
3.9 This book is not only about Cal Stephenides, an hermaphrodite born in the late fifties in Detroit, but also about his whole family, since their gra3.9 This book is not only about Cal Stephenides, an hermaphrodite born in the late fifties in Detroit, but also about his whole family, since their grandparents decided to emigrate from Turkey in 1922. I really liked this books, the approach on how someone like Cal might feel, how he slowly evolves. And against his personal story there are also generations before, a story of immigrants, the story of the low-middle classes in the US. ...more
2.5/5 Well... I'm not very fond of reading this kind of stories – authors using the work of other writers, aka published fanfiction after all –but a fr2.5/5 Well... I'm not very fond of reading this kind of stories – authors using the work of other writers, aka published fanfiction after all – but a friend of mine who is very much into the Sherlock Holmes stories told me to read it, and it is a short book so... Overall I think that the writing-style is very similar to Conan Doyle's, as it's the depiction of Holmes, Watson and Lestrade. The plot was alright, I don't know if I completely agree with the re-interpretation of the Reichenbach Falls event, but it is a nice twist. It's a fast read, it takes less than a day to read it, it is a fine adventure story but nothing more (like all the SH stories btw)....more
I really really liked this book. The beginning is a little bit slow but after half a dozen of chapters you cannot stop reading. It is set in 1866, inI really really liked this book. The beginning is a little bit slow but after half a dozen of chapters you cannot stop reading. It is set in 1866, in a island in New Zealand, during a gold fever (I always thought that this only happened in the US), and it begins with the murder of Crosbie Wells and the finding of 4000 pounds in gold in his property and the arrival of Walter Moody a fortnight after that. What I enjoyed the most about this book is its structure. There are a lot of characters (I'll come to this later) and every one of them narrates its own story, and at some points they converge, but at some others, only the reader has all the information (which is gained page by page and, believe me, it's a lot of fun). And of course there are flash-backs, and people who tell stories, and people who tell stories inside the stories and this sort of stuff. Plus, there are a lot of characters. Usually, I'm rather annoyed if I find both characteristics in the same book (as I'm easily lost by inception-like narrative and zillions of characters) but not this time. Catton does an excellent job not only in telling a complex story in a very complex (but very entertaining) way but also in managing that the reader hardly ever gets lost. And this is not an easy task. Incidentally, all characters are associated to a zodiac or astrologic symbol, which determines their character. I have no knowledge whatsoever on this area, so I cannot really comment on this. Otherwise, I think the characters are quite well-built, but do not expect a lot of psychological analysis. In fact, there is a fine portrayal of the character's personality when he or she is introduced (more or less), and she/he quite sticks to it throughout all the novel. I'm also not very fond of coincidences, which are fairly abundant in this book, but they did not feel awkward or forced. Still.. Anyway, this is a very entertaining book, it really does not feel long at all. It is an excellent murder-mistery historical fiction and very well written. It does not offer any kind of philosophical musing on the nature of mankind & co but you really have a great time reading it. Actually, I think this is a fantastic novel to read during the summer!...more
It is an entertaining novel, not more, and certainly not even close to be as thrilling as Alias Grace. It's the story of three women (Tony, Roz, and CIt is an entertaining novel, not more, and certainly not even close to be as thrilling as Alias Grace. It's the story of three women (Tony, Roz, and Charis) bound by another one, Zenia. Zenia is a mystery, she randomly appears into their lives and destroys them (aka. takes away their husbands/partners). Her motive is unknown, and I'd have liked to know more about it, more about Zenia. Not necessarily who she really way, her past and so on, but why she behaved in such way. At least to me it doesn't look like she does this because she enjoys "stealing" partners, but more because she enjoys torturing the other three women. Anyway, it was interesting that Zenia had invented many stories, and the three friends cannot tell which is her true identity. The thing is that the three of them have a double self. They constantly refer to having another, a hidden self, it can be a ghost of the past or something else, but it is there, and they are fighting it because they are scared, because they want to be good, etc. Maybe Zenia is not. To sum up, not bad, not brilliant, I recommend it if you're an Atwood fan like me. If not, she has other (and "better") novels....more
I really loved this book. Set aside the fact that I enjoy Atwood's writing style, this one was particularly close to my own experiences. Elaine, the mI really loved this book. Set aside the fact that I enjoy Atwood's writing style, this one was particularly close to my own experiences. Elaine, the main character, is a Canadian painter who comes back to Toronto, the city where she spent most of her childhood and early adulthood. Walking through the city she remembers all that, and it's a journey for her to rediscover her past. I think that often some authors idealise childhood, and Atwood makes it clear that children maybe younger, but they very well can be as cruel as adults (or even worse). It explores the thought, the behaviour of child that is not directly, physically, bullied, but something worse. Also, her sense of not belonging anywhere, that will stay with her for all her life. And, finally, how the child, growing into a teen, copes with her past, and how this affects her personality and thus her entire life. Elaine chooses revenge, to bear a grudge against their old 'friends'. It's brilliant how Atwood manages to make it visible how this affects her whole life and ways of dealing with relationships and her art. ...more
I feel very conflicted about this book. On the one hand reading some chapters I could only think about how beautifully written and brilliant was thisI feel very conflicted about this book. On the one hand reading some chapters I could only think about how beautifully written and brilliant was this book. On the other hand, in other chapters I was bored to death and thought that some things were a bit too much . When I say too much I mean too many sentences, complicated and obscure, with an apparent deep meaning that I was too dense to understand (or maybe the point was to make fun of all that, but again, once is enough to get the idea). I did like the characters. Yes, Oliveira is despicable and Maga is... pitiable at the most. But, I loved their interactions, how their story evolved. The second part was less interesting in my opinion. So I don't know how to rate this book. ...more
I know justifying the low number of stars is not going to be easy, but here it goes. I'm very conflicted right now because, although my literary senseI know justifying the low number of stars is not going to be easy, but here it goes. I'm very conflicted right now because, although my literary sense has enjoyed reading this set of short stories – I mean, the reality he creates, how he uses words, the irony behind the narrative in some stories, and so on, is simply brilliant, hats off, it was very interesting to read –, my reader self has not been very thrilled by this book. First, I'm not very keen on magical realism, I've got nothing against it (actually, I think The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts is a great book), but it says nothing to me. I can admire and relish Borge's skills as a writer, and there are a couple stories that I have really liked (and especially the message behind them), but for most of them I was left feeling pretty cold. Again, I want to make the difference between saying that I didn't "like" a book and saying it's "bad". Nothing farther from what I think, it's just not for me. (By the way, why do people tag this book as Spanish literature?)...more
Uhm. Well. I don't really know what I think about this book. Most of the time I didn't know what was going on, except for the last two chapters, and sUhm. Well. I don't really know what I think about this book. Most of the time I didn't know what was going on, except for the last two chapters, and still, I found it quite hard to follow. Some bits were awesome, like the beginning of chapter 2, I think that's my faovurite part of the novel.
3.5/5 Good book about Bathsheba Everdeen and her three suitors: Gabriel Oak, a poor but straightforward and honest shepherd, Mr. Boldwood, a rich farme3.5/5 Good book about Bathsheba Everdeen and her three suitors: Gabriel Oak, a poor but straightforward and honest shepherd, Mr. Boldwood, a rich farmer, and Francis Troy, a handsome soldier. It is set in the XIXth century, in the countryside (beautifully described by Hardy, I really fell in love with the landscape he writes about). There's also an extensive description of agricultural work and other related stuff like fairs. First, a great quote I found in this book:
It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.
Basically, Bathsheba is a young woman who suddenly inherits a farm from her uncle and decides that she can manage it for herself, that she can be independent and need no man. I liked the story and I think Bathsheba is a fairly independent woman given the time she lived (she managed the farm herself and did all the accounting work, go to the fairs, etc) , and she struggled hard to earn respect from then men that worked for her. But she is also a woman, she has feelings, she's not made of ice, and because of them she makes mistakes. Also I guess that the novel also shows three different kinds of lovers, the three of them are in love, but one is steady, understanding, selfless; the other is gloomy, obsessive; and the other volatile and unreliable in his passions. Overall the plot was nicely conducted to its natural consequences, although I felt that the end was quite rushed. (view spoiler)[Boldwood killing Troy... it was... well, sudden, but I guess it was an impulse even if it felt like a quick way to get rid of Troy and avoiding divorce, which I gather was a social taboo back then. (hide spoiler)] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I liked this book as much as the first one. It has a slow pace, but it doesn't really matter because it is beautifully written. I strongly recommend tI liked this book as much as the first one. It has a slow pace, but it doesn't really matter because it is beautifully written. I strongly recommend this to anyone who likes good historical fiction novels....more
Well, I never believed I could finish this book in less than a week (seriously, 1200+ pages in 6 days, how is that even possible). I was very enthusiaWell, I never believed I could finish this book in less than a week (seriously, 1200+ pages in 6 days, how is that even possible). I was very enthusiastic about it and it hasn’t been a disappointment in the least. For some time now I have been keen to learn more about the war of the roses, but it was difficult to find a historical novel set in that period that was “serious” (aka. more concerned about the facts than devising some romantic plot and lots of useless description of the dresses) until I found about this book. And then, my dearest friend Paula gave it to me as a birthday present and, again, I want to thank her for this most perfect gift. This book has absorbed me for the past few days so I feel like I owe it a review. To be honest, I also want to write down my thoughts, and encourage fellow readers to give it a chance! The story starts when Richard is 7 years old (future Richard III, son of the Duke of York) and the War of the Roses (the war between the houses of York and Lancaster for England’s throne) has already begun, until Richard’s death (and an epilogue narrating the end of remaining characters). It is difficult to know where to start with such a huge book, which brings me to the development of the plot. I had literally no idea what the war of the roses was about (only what I described a couple of parentheses before) so I expected a lot of confusion, googling and wikipedia-checking while reading this book. To my surprise I didn’t even write a list of characters and their relationships. So, I have to applaud Penman for how she succeeds in telling such a complex story as this one. Seriously, the alliances change quite often, and the rival families become friends, or vice-versa. And also all the political plot, who holds a grudge against whom, why this or that happened, why this or that could not be done, the economic situation, etc. I also liked the fact that past events – from Richard’s II deposition, Edward and Richard’s brother death during the war against Lancaster, to childhood memories, and so on – popped up all along the book and some of the returned more than twice, which I think strengthens the feeling of reality, that those were really the characters, than if a fact was only used to make the plot go forward, forgotten or only revived when absolutely necessary. And not once was I lost by all the ever shifting political scenery (and the dozens of names that disappeared and reappeared now and then). In my edition, at the end of the novel there are two afterwords by the author, one of them explaining the difficulties of trying to accurately portray what went on during that period, as there is little information available and most of it is likely to be biased. For instance, Penman sustains that the Tudors took a lot of pains to discredit Richard and turning him into a sadistic, amoral and ambitious man with a limp, and I don’t know how many more physical deformities (as, in that time, a person’s physical appearance mirrored the soul, so I’m making no comments about Henry VIII). She, for one, seems to believe a great injustice (those are her words, if I’m not mistaken) was done to Richard III, that he was not as evil as popular beliefs have it. For instance, it has been widely believed that Richard III is responsible for the disappearance (and probably murder) of Edward V and his brother (King Edward IV’s sons and Richard’s nephews, aka. The Princes in the Tower), whereas Penman departs from the mainstream and attributes it to the Duke of Buckingham. The way she presents it, it does seem rather unlikely that Richard would be so stupid as to make this tremendous mistake (whether he loved his nephews is something that we will never know and that is rather irrelevant). I have to confess that, after seeing Shakespeare’s Richard III, I was quite disappointed. I had long believed that The Bard was an exceptional man in the sense that, in a few hours, he could capture a very complex character and show all its nuances. But not with Richard III, the only thing left to do was to make him wear a pair of horns and a pointed tail while adoring Satan. So for sure I could not believe this was the whole truth. (And even then I could feel sympathetic towards Richard, only because I felt he was being slandered). But I have completely digressed from the point. The thing is that I do agree more with Penman’s opinion, but maybe not as much as she does. I mean, I do not strongly hold this belief as I have no information other than this book and what Wikipedia has told me (so if anyone would be kind enough to suggest an NF book about the War of the Roses that doesn’t put Richard as the cruelest man ever to have lived I’d be very grateful). But this does not mean that the book is biased, at least not more than current serious fiction and non-fiction about this period. Richard is not perfect, he is not entirely virtuous (but he does has a very strong sense of duty, moral and virtue, which kind of reminds me of Robespierre, another historical figure that I find fascinating), he does have flaws, and he does makes mistakes (trusting the Duke of Buckingham being a notiorious one that he himself acknowledges). He can be driven by his emotions and his utmost loyalty to some people will eventually kill him. Usually I feel a bit skeptical when reading about people that actually lived in HF novels. I mean, you don’t know for sure they were like that. Penman herself says it in the afterword, that although having an idea of how Edward IV and Richard III were was relatively easy, there was absolutely nothing to be found about women (this including Queens, oh yes). Which is kind of unbelievable given the huge role that women such as Marguerite d’Anjou (Henry VI’s mother) and Elizabeth Woodville (Edward IV’s wife) have in the story. And this is important in this book because I think I have seldom hated a character as much as Elizabeth Woodville. In her defence, she is more intelligent than all the male characters in this book. But she is a pain in the ass, and her obsession for making the fortune of her family ruins the House of York from the beginning until the very end of the story (WHY NED? WHY DID YOU HAVE TO MARRY THIS WOMAN??). So that’s when I’m a bit cautious about what the book tells. Keeping this in mind, reading all the intrigues and conspiracies was quite thrilling, even if I knew how it would all end. Coming back to the point, the fact that there was little information about female characters explain my feeling that characters such as Edward V and Richard III are much more development, meaning that they have a marked evolution throughout their lifetime, whereas women seem far more… constant. This does not mean that they are completely void as characters, just that they do seem to be driven by the same impulses. Oh wow, this review is getting quite long, I should move on then. Throughout all the novel I kept thinking that somewhere some time ago I had read that George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire was inspired by the War of the Roses. And well, there are certainly some parallelisms. First, you have the names: York (Stark) and Lancaster (Lannister). There’s a King who’s rather mad, one that dies suddenly, an aspiring heir who is in a foreign country across the sea, claims that the king’s sons are illegitimate (and this does happen more than once), an unsuitable secret marriage that will bring a lot of troubles to the family, a very controlling mother who wants his son to be king no matter the cost (and there are two of them, although Elizabeth is far worse than Marguerite to be fair), does that ring a bell? Well, I’m sure that this was the usual thing back in the Middle Ages but… Also, if you think that the death toll in ASoIaF is huge, just wait and read about this. Everyone dies. Finally, about Penman’s writing. I found the book quite pleasant to read, not at all dull nor dry (considering it’s 1200+ long), and I did read it in six days, you don’t need further evidence. No, I was not in awe of the beauty of her prose, but it’s fairly entertaining and very, very, clear and precise. There were, however, some words that were repeated more than… I don’t know 50 times? (seasoned warrior, bloodshot eyes, etc). Also, each and every one of the characters (except Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and wife of Henry VII) alwaysalways conceal their feelings, and the author makes a point of saying so every 20 pages.
Overall, great book (I think this is the longest review I’ve ever written), you should definitely read it if you’re into English History or HF, I’m sure it will more than match your expectations.
P.S. I just saw another parallelism between Tyrion and Richard III. Tyrion is an imp, Richard has been depicted as someone with several physical defaults (they are also the youngest of their brothers and sisters). Tyrion was the hand of the King (and the King is about 12-13, just as Edward V), Richard III was Lord Protector. Both were married to people from a previously rival family that had been defeated (Warwick's daughter for Richard, Ned Stark's daughter for Tyrion). Both were accused of murdering people from their own family and henceforth described as pure evil (including the King they were suppose to protect or give council too, Edward V and Joffrey). But again, this is only me making connections. And Martin has all the merit for creating such a brilliant character and most certainly my favourite one of the ASoIaF saga. ...more
A haunted house! A poltergeist! Intrigue! Madness! Suspense! Actually, I doubt that so many "!" were used in all the book, as it is basically build onA haunted house! A poltergeist! Intrigue! Madness! Suspense! Actually, I doubt that so many "!" were used in all the book, as it is basically build on slowly creeping the shit out of you. The main character, Dr. Faraday, enters into the lives of the Ayres family, of noble blood and once rich, that now live in an ever-decaying manor, the Hundreds, for whom his mother once worked. Then he gets to meet Mrs. Ayres, a melancholic middle-aged widow and her two children: Caroline (a plain woman and future spinster) and Roderick (a young man with a serious injury from WWII). The last 'living' member of the household is Betty, a teenager who serves as a maid, and fears there is 'something' wrong with the house. The Little Stranger is not only a frightfully good thriller, it is also an excellent depiction of the class differences in England after the Second World War. To that there is the main character, coming from a poor family and having a complex feeling of hate-admiration for the Ayre family, and how this channels his relationship with Caroline. Dr. Faraday's character (I don't think his first name is ever mentioned) is very interesting, how he develops an attachment to the house over time... For me it's a kind of mix between Rebecca and Brideshead Revisited!...more
3.5 Even though this set of short stories were written after The Forsyte Chronicles' third volume, but it is actually better to read it just after 'The3.5 Even though this set of short stories were written after The Forsyte Chronicles' third volume, but it is actually better to read it just after 'The Forsyte Saga' (the first volume comprising 'A Man of Property', 'In Chancery' and 'To Let') as the main characters are those from the 1st and 2nd generation of Forsytes. If after reading the Forsyte Saga felt, as I need, that it was difficult to part with Old Jolyon, Soames and the other characters, then you should read this book. You discover more about the lives of the first generation – for example, the past of the three old-maid-aunts, or what happened to some Forsytes during WWI (an episode that is completely skipped by the novels), or know more about other branches of the family besides Old Jolyon's and James' descendants. It is not as good as the novels, it is understandable I guess, but those who have already enjoyed the Saga will definitely have fun with this one! You can find such treasures as this wonderful quote: ' No such thing as love on a hundred and fifty a year'. ...more