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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
The Joy of Life (Les Rougon-Macquart, #12)
One of the more ironic book titles you will find. The only character that seems to have any joy is the cat Minouche - who doesn't even seem to mind wh ...more
Oct 09, 2011
Oct 07, 2011
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
Young Romantics: The Tangled Lives of English Poetry's Greatest Generation
A fascinating story which is at times eclipsed by a "dissertation" like quality produced by the author. Instead of simply telling the intertwining sto ...more
not set
Jul 29, 2011
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
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
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
History of the Revolt of the Netherlands
"It is an interesting spectacle to observe the struggle of man's inventive genius in conflict with powerful opposing elements, and to see the difficul ...more
Jul 25, 2014
Jul 17, 2014
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
Memories of My Melancholy Whores
"There's a painting on the opposite wall I told her. Figurita painted it, a man we loved very much, the best brothel dancer who ever lived, and so goo ...more
Apr 18, 2015
Apr 12, 2015
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
Main Street
"It is an unimaginatively standardized background, a sluggishness of speech and manners, a rigid ruling of the spirit by the desire to appear respecta ...more
Apr 16, 2015
Mar 29, 2015
The Alkahest: The Quest of the Absolute
Brilliant Balzac as always. This story in a modern reading feels much more like the experiences of a family being ripped apart not by a scientist imme ...more
Oct 06, 2011
Oct 02, 2011
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
A History of France from the Earliest Times to the Treaty of Versailles
A decent, concise narrative of French history whose most significant weakness is that it is written by a most opinionated reactionary.
Jun 15, 2013
Jun 02, 2013
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
Black Boy
"I began to marvel at how smoothly the black boys acted out the roles that the white race had mapped out for them. Most of them were not conscious of ...more
not set
Feb 07, 2015
The History of the Peloponnesian War
Classic, yes. A bit dry, yes. Lacking the humor and bombast of Herodotus, yes. Fascinating nonetheless, yes.
Mar 26, 2012
Jan 30, 2012
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
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
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
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