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Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
Perhaps not the tightest ship of a novel, but certainly all its intellectual cannons were blasting the world to bits. Much in the same way as reading...more
Apr 21, 2013
Mar 13, 2013
The Earth (Les Rougon-Macquart, #15)
And here I thought Mr. Faulkner was top dog of giving the world lurid stories of agrarian family incest and domestic chaos. A complete novel really -...more
Nov 22, 2011
Nov 19, 2011
A Man of the People
I think what I like best about Achebe's writing is his use of African proverbs to reinforce many of the themes of his novels - especially since Wester...more
Nov 24, 2011
Nov 23, 2011
Probably the best paced of Hugo's major novels. A work of genius really - both thematically and as historical fiction. FIVE STARS I say!
Aug 16, 2011
Aug 10, 2011
George Sand is just the tops. Valentine is just another brilliant gift to us all.
Apr 2012
Mar 27, 2012
Though slagged as Faulkner's worse novel by the all knowing academia, I actually found it to be a good read. It was far, far superior to Faulkner's fi...more
not set
Jul 29, 2011
The Histories
It is an absolute shame that most of this work did not make it down to the present day. And on that note I make my only criticism of this edition: the...more
Jun 2012
May 26, 2012
The Last Man
A very, very tricky book to review this. The first half or so is so utterly dreadful that a thousand times I had to resist tossing it in the nearest g...more
Feb 22, 2012
Feb 15, 2012
One Hundred Years of Solitude
"The world must be all fucked up...when men travel first class and literature goes as freight." As the only thing I had read of Marquez had been "A Ve...more
May 15, 2012
May 10, 2012
East of Eden
"Laughter comes later, like wisdom teeth, and laughter at yourself comes last of all in a mad race with death, and sometimes it isn't in time." A nove...more
Aug 27, 2014
Aug 20, 2014
Twenty Years After (The D'Artagnan Romances, #2)
"'You are Monsieur d'Artagnan?' 'I am that individual,' replied the officer." This sequel perhaps lacks the power of the end of the Three Musketeers b...more
Nov 26, 2012
Nov 17, 2012
Black Rebellion: Five Slave Revolts
A fantastic wee book that encompasses slave revolts in Jamaica, Surinam, South Carolina, and Virginia. And it even has echoes of Malcolm from the oppo...more
May 25, 2014
May 20, 2014
The Way of the Kings
This effort falls far short of Man's Hope and Man's Fate but certainly had splashes of quality. Malraux can really paint with intensity when he gets g...more
Mar 11, 2012
Mar 06, 2012
Theolologicophilolological! A serpentine read through an ever-changing landscape of the word. And certainly better than "cheap reprints of the World's...more
Oct 27, 2013
Oct 04, 2013
A nice wee novel essentially broken into three parts. First part - teen angst - definitely written by a 20 year old man child. But the next two parts?...more
Mar 21, 2012
Mar 18, 2012
A Fable
On different levels, this novel is both a success and a failure. On one hand, the strident anti-war message and brilliant, tense scenes are, in some w...more
not set
Jul 29, 2011
Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870
THIS, ladies and gentlemen, IS American history. It is free online. Get it. "Here was a rich new land, the wealth of which was to be had in return for...more
Apr 28, 2013
Apr 24, 2013
The Reivers: A Reminiscence
This reminded me of a few Balzac novels - it begins with an incomprehensible swirl of characters and motives that makes one want to toss it in the was...more
not set
Jul 29, 2011
The Grapes of Wrath
"There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all o...more
Aug 14, 2014
Aug 06, 2014
Balzac: A Biography
'Twas adequately written at best. I think when writing a biography you really should focus more on an organized, well written collection of facts. Ins...more
not set
Jul 31, 2011
Invisible Man
"No, you could never tell where you were going, that was a sure thing. The only sure thing. Nor could you tell how you'd get there - though when you a...more
Jul 2012
Jun 28, 2012
Peter Camenzind
"Without much regret I felt myself outgrowing my adolescence and maturing to the point where life appears a short path, yourself a traveler whose pere...more
Jan 06, 2014
Jan 06, 2014
Penguin Island
"The Penguin democracy did not itself govern. It obeyed a financial oligarchy which formed opinion by means of the newspapers, and held in its hands t...more
Oct 04, 2013
Sep 28, 2013
In the notes of my atrocious Quill Pen Classic edition, it states that originally Balzac ended the novel approximately two thirds through its current...more
not set
Jul 29, 2011
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
A mixed bag. The analysis of past of societies is brilliant. The cogent discussion of modern crises is well done. But, his political vision is grotesq...more
not set
Jul 29, 2011
Love in the Time of Cholera
"...human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give bir...more
May 24, 2012
May 19, 2012
The Mansion
I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is the best of the Snopes trilogy. The development of Mink as the luckless, ill fated peasant counterweight...more
not set
Jul 29, 2011
Capital, Volume 1: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production (Das Kapital, #1)
"In every stock-jobbing swindle everyone knows that some time or other the crash must come, but every one hopes that it may fall on the head of his ne...more
Jul 17, 2014
Jul 29, 2011
An autobiography that could have been excellent had it not been woefully uneven. SPM's descriptions of his childhood and early teen years is almost un...more
Jan 12, 2014
Jan 06, 2014
The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire 4 of 6
"But the subjects of the Byzantine empire, who assume and dishonor the names both of Greeks and Romans, present a dead uniformity of abject vices, whi...more
Feb 14, 2013
Jan 19, 2013
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