Bleak House is Dickens brilliant satire of the legal system. The descriptions of Victorian London are more vivid and imaginative than anything I've reBleak House is Dickens brilliant satire of the legal system. The descriptions of Victorian London are more vivid and imaginative than anything I've read. Every social class is brought to life in an interesting, insightful way. I really enjoyed the central characters, as well as a host supporting characters.
Dickens covers topics as wide ranging as greed, beauty, power, family, class, love, and revenge. He weaves all of this into a superb plot that involves more characters than you can imagine. The more I've pondered this book, that more I've liked it. I will probably read it again someday....more
The writers do an absolutely brilliant job of researching and exposing every flaw and injustice in our current college football postseason, exposing tThe writers do an absolutely brilliant job of researching and exposing every flaw and injustice in our current college football postseason, exposing the greed, corruption, and lies that have perpetually plagued the sport. Any college football fan should fully educate themselves by reading this book. By logically showing that the current bowl system is not a financially sustainable enterprise for college athletics, the writers offer great hope that the BCS will soon implode. The writers' solution to how a playoff should be conducted is the perfect plan that completely maintains (and actually improves) the current regular season. All who care passionately about college football should do all they can to support this plan. I think it would be the best sports postseason in the world if implemented, a far cry from the current system, which is the worst in my opinion....more
Frankenstein is a book that really shocked me because I did not expect it to have such depth and meaning. The premises is absolutely preposterous. ButFrankenstein is a book that really shocked me because I did not expect it to have such depth and meaning. The premises is absolutely preposterous. But the story is told so eloquently and with such conviction that I was quickly able to get past that. Additionally, the characters are people you come to care deeply about, which makes the horrific events that dominate the second half of the novel very difficult to cope with, causing serious reflection.
There are really three central issues that Shelley brings to light that caused me to ponder seriously. First, the role that appearance has on how people accept them. It's easy to think we are not judgemental, but the reality is we are all probably guilty of this to some extent. The way this issue is presented in the book is brilliant because it caused me to really think about the ways I fall short.
Second, I felt Shelley addressed the role of being a creator and a parent as keenly as any book I have read. It's interesting to contrast Victor's own father with the kind of father he is to the monster. There are other fathers in the novel who are not the actual father of the characters to which they exemplify what it means to be a father. I found great insight on this issue by taking the time to think about all of these examples. Taking this a step further, I found myself considering the responsibilties a parent has to humanity by the actions they take in both the creation and nurturing of children.
Lastly, the issue of nature versus nurture is addressed with tremendous resonance and force. I have always been of the opinion that both theories are flawed and we are both a product of our environment and our natural selves. I discount both theories, but taken and studied together, I find I am able to make sense of how we have become our current selves. I think Shelley was able to present both of these theories without becoming didactic at all so that the reader is able draw their own conclusions on why Victor Frankenstein or the monster he created evolve throughout the novel.
These issues are as relevant today as they were nearly 200 years ago when this book was written, if not more so. In a world that is dominated by appearances and a general lack of acceptance and love, we need to study books like Frankenstein that challenge us to think about how we can make a difference in people's lives....more
Fathers and Sons is Turgenev's brilliant novel about generational and philosophical differences. Turgenev tells the story simply, without pretense. ThFathers and Sons is Turgenev's brilliant novel about generational and philosophical differences. Turgenev tells the story simply, without pretense. The story is an account of two students who have just graduated from college and have come home to spend the summer with their families before they make the transition to assuming adult responsibilities. The characters are all vivid and come to life with astonishing realism. The dialogue is meaningful and rings true, with characters routinely talking about weighty emotional and philosophical issues. There is quite a bit here to ponder and learn.
Like Tolstoy's masterpiece, Anna Karenina, Turgenev uses juxtaposition to great effect. Peasants and landowners, the young and the old, and nihilists and the established order are just a few of the people that are contrasted with deep poignancy. This is a book I will definitely want to read again, I was sad it had to end....more
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde is extremely suspenseful, engaging, and entertaining, but what makes it great is the final chapter that brilliantly expoundsDr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde is extremely suspenseful, engaging, and entertaining, but what makes it great is the final chapter that brilliantly expounds on the duality of man. I've never read anything secular on the subject that I found to be more profound or meaningful. It really gave me something to think about regarding the choices we make in life. The story really reads like an allegory on our free agency on whether we choose to be our best or our worst. I can't think of anything more important or valuable....more