I am going to be teaching this novel to some English II students. At first, I listened to others and thought it was a dull book. However, I was wrong.I am going to be teaching this novel to some English II students. At first, I listened to others and thought it was a dull book. However, I was wrong. Yes - only eight or ten things really happen in these 209 pages; but, it really isn't about that. It's about a world that is changing, about not wanting to be like your parents, about the weakness of a man, and about a whole culture.
I will only give it 2 stars, but it wasn't something I would chose to read. But. . .it is much more complex than people (especially high schoolers) tend to give it credit for. ...more
- I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the novel. It felt like the time period, without being too heavy.The first in a long series of novels.
- I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the novel. It felt like the time period, without being too heavy. - The characters - at least the ones we spent the most time with - were people I liked quite a bit. I thought people like Ross and Demelza and the rest of their household and friends. - I love the relationship between Ross and Demelza.
- I didn't care for the pacing.
- Why does Ross still have some feelings for Elizabeth four years on? I found her an awfully dull character....more
A whimsical and yet bittersweet fairy tale for adults. More than anything, it reads like a novella about self-discovery and growing up.
- EveA whimsical and yet bittersweet fairy tale for adults. More than anything, it reads like a novella about self-discovery and growing up.
- Even translated, the prose still came across beautifully. I loved the originality of the story and its steam/gothic-punk feel.
- The character of Jack was a tad self-centered at times, but than most teenagers are. The minor characters - for the most part - were well written.
- It read a bit like a French fairy tale, that I had forgotten about. Yet, it still felt like a really unique and original story.
- Really beautiful imagery that sparkles off the pages.
- I didn't feel terribly close to anyone (except for Jack and Dr. Madeleine and even Melies), but than there wasn't much time for solid character development.
- At different parts the story felt too rushed. Which was odd, because it is only a 172 page story. But, I still felt like things would rush and than slow down to a crawl and than rush again. Very odd pacing at some spots.
- This is probably more a 3.5 than a 3 star novel. ...more
I think it was a case of me just being too excited for this novel. I was really looking forward to it, but in the end it did nothing for me. I thoughtI think it was a case of me just being too excited for this novel. I was really looking forward to it, but in the end it did nothing for me. I thought the setting and overall feel of the novel was great. However, I found the characters and overall plot to be bland. ...more
A Russian fairy tale full of romance, death, and magic.
- The poetic prose is amazing. I loved the writing style used in this novel. Such wonA Russian fairy tale full of romance, death, and magic.
- The poetic prose is amazing. I loved the writing style used in this novel. Such wonderful and imaginative imagery.
- The overall feeling of this story: I felt like I was in some magical tucked away land. Or I felt like I was in some starved, dark, and isolated Soviet Russian world. It went back and forth between these things masterfully.
- A wonderful twist of (what I've been told) is a classic tale. It was a "modern" fairy tale for grown ups.
- The middle of the novel drags. Part 2 and much of Part 3 of the novel did nothing for me. I found myself bored at times and it was a struggle to get through. I had adored Part 1 and enjoyed Part 4. . .but, the stuff in the middle was not for me.
- Honestly the characters - especially Marya - weren't characters I had a strong connection to. At some points I confess I didn't care much for anyone.
- 3/5 stars. It has made me want to go look up more Russian stories and read more from this author. ...more
Daniel Deronda by George Eliot is a novel that came to my attention several years ago. Due to one reason or another, it has taken me ages to finally sDaniel Deronda by George Eliot is a novel that came to my attention several years ago. Due to one reason or another, it has taken me ages to finally sit down and read it. Was it worth the wait? Well, it certainly wasn’t a waste of time. I can see why many consider this novel to be a classic and Eliot’s best work.
Characters: Most of the characters are rather likable. It’s a bit rare in these kinds of novels to have a lot of nice people wandering around. While Gwendolen Harleth isn’t all together likable, she’s at least rather fascinating.
Plot: Jewish faith and culture play a large role in the novel, and it’s done respectfully. Actually, a lot of the plots- in Daniel Deronda’s side of things - are rather well done and interesting. They certainly kept my interest. Having only watched the 2002 miniseries before, it was lovely to dive deeper into the past of many of the characters. Suddenly Mirah and her brother had their own lives; the stuff with their father, Mirah’s sad past – it all came alive. I also rather enjoyed seeing Deronda’s inner thoughts in regard to his parentage and his growing love and understanding of the Jewish faith and culture. Even Hans and his lovely family came more alive on the page.
Writing Style: It doesn’t always read like a lot of novels from the same time period – and that’s a good thing. It feels like a mix of social satire (most of Gwendolen’s story) and of morals and people’s places in the world. People, who might not have been seen as sympathetic in other novels, are shown with a sympathetic and understanding eye.
Characters: I can understand why some people have said that Gwendolen Harleth is one of the most complicated and fascinating characters in Victorian literature. I can also understand how some can view her as a naïve, manipulative, selfish, satire of the “modern day heroine”. I’m sure people could (and have) written whole papers on Gwendolen Harleth. On a totally personal note: I found her to be selfish and manipulative and immature; however, I pitied her. Mostly because she kept making terrible choices and didn’t seem to grow until half-way into the story. Though, I suppose that is alright, considering that none of the other characters had much character growth either. And why couldn’t Daniel admit his feelings for Mirah (especially to himself) until after he found out he was a Jew? I get the times, but he had already met a person who had married outside their religion.
Plot: Many people say that the novel is two stories: one that deals with Gwen, her family, her marriage, and those around her; the other deals with Daniel’s parentage and the Jewish community of London, as well as the reunion of Mirah and her brother. It certainly felt that way to me. And I wonder if the novel couldn’t have been two companion novels, each standing on their own, with Daniel being the connection. I know some countries have just punished Daniel’s story.
Plot/Writing Style: While I enjoyed the overall plots and subplots (and they were all written wonderfully) I did think that at 710 pages the novel was a bit long. There were a few scenes that could have been shorter or cut all together.
Overall, I enjoyed the novel more than I thought I would. I give it a 3.3 out of 5 stars. More people should give Daniel Deronda a read. ...more