I'll be honest with you: this book was not entirely what I was expecting. For one thing, I had no idea that it was short. I didn't mind, and thought tI'll be honest with you: this book was not entirely what I was expecting. For one thing, I had no idea that it was short. I didn't mind, and thought the length was appropriate in the end, it just caught me off guard. I also didn't realize that some of it's themes are relatively similar to some found in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, so if you liked Frankenstein be sure to give The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde a chance.
To be honest, I will say I don't remember this book too much, except that Stevenson was quite descriptive of place and the emotions of his characters. I also think he did a really great job with the horror, both in terms of the premise and the outcome. If you've seen any film adaptations of this novel, I have to say the book itself is different from those I've seen.
If you're looking for a quick but scary read, I would definitely check this out. It'll leave you with a chill running down your spine....more
I'm sure to some people who happen upon my review it looks odd that I've given this poem four stars, especially once they hear my reasons. Overall, SiI'm sure to some people who happen upon my review it looks odd that I've given this poem four stars, especially once they hear my reasons. Overall, Sir Gawain is a quick read, and my lovely Norton Critical edition helped by explaining terminology otherwise. It is essentially the story of a knight, namely Sir Gawain, who, after proving his physical strength, must go on a journey to prove his moral character.
I found Sir Gawain to be very relatable. He is a very human character. While most modern day readers may not find themselves in the exact situation he is in, I think they can relate to the questions which are raised. I think the poet did an excellent job of developing character with him especially.
The writing is very readable. The plot can be a bit confusing, but it all makes sense in the end. It's important to remember that this story is largely about Christianity and social expectations within a very particular context. While I struggled with understanding all of the themes and deeper meanings in this poem at first, I have a better handle on it now and would say that if you're interested in Beowulf or Chaucer, this is worth a read....more
I went into this novel with somewhat unfair pre-conceived notions that it would be very much suited for children in some ways, but contain a deeper leI went into this novel with somewhat unfair pre-conceived notions that it would be very much suited for children in some ways, but contain a deeper level of trippyness. While I think that trippyness comes across in several film adaptations of this novel, the book itself still felt quite Victorian to me, if that makes sense.
I think this novel deals a good deal with childhood intellect and imagination. Alice talks like a proper little lady (hence my allusion to the Victorians) and seems to holds some her own ideas about how people should act and what good manners are. Carroll seems interested in commenting on certain aspects of Victorian society, such as how to raise children. He also parodies several poems, and I think it's interesting to examine the function of this. I myself am not entirely sure what that is.
This book is brief and extremely readable. The plot moves at a good pace throughout the story. I'd also like to say the ending really worked for me. I know some people may see it as a cop-out, but for me it felt feasible.
I'll be writing a paper on this book and an adaptation of it called Neco Z Alenky soon, so I'm looking forward to developing my ideas on it a bit more. I also have to add that should you ever choose to watch Neco Z Alenky, be warned that it gets somewhat creepy and disturbing in some places (it is, however, very interesting)....more
This is the second E.M. Forester book I've read and while I think it still deserves a lot of thought even after I've finished, Forester managed to encThis is the second E.M. Forester book I've read and while I think it still deserves a lot of thought even after I've finished, Forester managed to enchant me again. At a younger age, I don't think this would have been the case.
This novel provides a good deal of commentary on the relationships between the British and Indians at the beginning of the twentieth century (I could be a little off there). Forester definitely had me laughing out loud at his characters and some of their antics, and I'm not sure if I would have done that at a younger age.
For me this novel was really well written. It's hard to say if it was exactly the ideas Forester presented or the prose itself, but towards the end of the second section I found myself far more engrossed than I had anticipated. It was clear that a lot of thought was put into the writing of this novel and the interactions between characters.
This is a novel which will keep me thinking for a while. I hope to revisit in some way and get a slightly better understanding of it....more
Kim is the story of an Irish boy growing up in India in the late nineteenth century and the first novel by Rudyard Kipling I have read. I actually reaKim is the story of an Irish boy growing up in India in the late nineteenth century and the first novel by Rudyard Kipling I have read. I actually read it for a post-colonial lit class which I am taking. (As a brief side-bar, I think when I really want to procrastinate, I may make shelves for all of the English classes I've taken at school). On the whole, I have to say that I really enjoyed the characterization and writing in Kim. I definitely think it's worth a read. However, for whatever reason, I struggled with analyzing this book. I could definitely tell that there were parts where Kipling seemed to be critiquing Westerners' view of imperialism. After writing a paper about this book, I feel that my understanding of it has increased somewhat.
Kim travels about with a lama and becomes his chela (student/disciple). It's also the story of Britain's attempts to recruit Kim to become part of The Great Game, which is the struggle between Britain and Russia for control of India. For me, this is a story of two characters searching for their identities in the midst of imperial British ideologies and more spiritual ideologies. It's a story of what India means to them and what they perceive their role to be in it.
Kipling's characertization is excellent. I felt like I knew his characters well by the end of the novel. They were complex and relatable. As for the writing, I enjoyed it. I think sometimes when the lama speaks it gets confusing. I would further explain this statement but I think that if you read the book you will understand what it means.
I think the plot and the writing are the more challenging aspects of this book. It's very episodic, so I had to sit down and read a summary on wikipedia and go talk to my professor before I was entirely clear on what was happening. Overall, I definitely enjoyed Kipling's writing, although by the end of the novel I felt that he was portraying a very particular image of India.
After further reflecting on it, this is a novel I enjoyed reading and hope to revisit. Kipling gives readers a lot to think about, and I look forward to further considering the ideas which he has presented to me....more
3.5 stars I'm going to be honest and say that I don't think my reading of this book did it justice. I was supposed to be reading it at a time when I wa3.5 stars I'm going to be honest and say that I don't think my reading of this book did it justice. I was supposed to be reading it at a time when I was quite tired and stressed, so I didn't always absorb as much as I could when I picked it up, so you may wish to take my words with a grain of salt.
I think Dickens has written a really interesting novel about societal outcasts in Victorian London. On the whole I enjoyed the plot. I was somewhat familiar with it going into the novel, but it wound up being more interesting than I expected. Dickens did a great job of developing his adult characters. Oliver wasn't as developed as I expected, but that kind of made sense, given the amount of agency a twelve-year-old can have.
I have to say, something about this novel felt lackluster for me until the end, and I think it was the writing. I felt that the writing was best in the last couple of chapters. I'm not sure if I can explain it. While I certainly felt interested in the story in the beginning, I wouldn't say it entirely sucked me in.
If you're interested in this time period then give this novel a chance. I certainly hope that if I pick it up again that it will get more attention and the reading it deserves....more
This book is beautifully written. I wasn't sure what to expect going into it, but I really enjoyed it. I think that Joyce finds a way to somehow embodThis book is beautifully written. I wasn't sure what to expect going into it, but I really enjoyed it. I think that Joyce finds a way to somehow embody experiences that a lot of people have been through.
As I read the story, I couldn't directly relate to any one particular instance, but I definitely read some scenes thinking that at one point, I had felt what Stephen was feeling. For me, what really resonated was not so much the actual, literal plot but the way Stephen reacted to these to it. However, I have to say that I loved how much Joyce gets his reader thinking about religion, spirituality, beauty and art. I think that these are important subjects not only for the historical context in which this work was written, but I think they're important to contemplate in our day-to-day lives.
I really liked Stephen as a character, regardless of whether or not I thought of him as an artist by the end of the book. Everyone has a different opinion as to whether or not Stephen really is an artist at the end, and I find that's an important decision to come to on one's own. Just think about the title. However, I really enjoyed watching him grow and develop throughout the book,and I finished the book believing in him as a character, if that makes any sense. It definitely made me want to pick up Ulysses....more
As you can tell from my status updates on GoodReads, this book took me a ridiculously long time to get through. It was actually for my Vic Lit book clAs you can tell from my status updates on GoodReads, this book took me a ridiculously long time to get through. It was actually for my Vic Lit book club (not school), and the week I had for Thanksgiving wound up being ridiculous, so I've only just had the chance to finish it. Despite the amount of time it took me to read Lady Audley's Secret, I really enjoyed it on the whole.
I have to say that the plot is a bit predictable. It's fairly easy to figure out what the basic idea is. With that being said, I still really enjoyed it. What kept me reading was wanting to discover how exactly everything played out and learning more about the characters. I've always been a very analytical person who pays close attention to detail, so this was important to me. I also have to say that I enjoyed the way Braddon ended the novel.
I also need to confess to being a big fan of the Victorian writing style. It's a bit over the top for some people. I want to include this one quote which I thought was amazing for its style, diction, and its commentary on tea.
"The most feminine and most domestic of all occupations imparts a magic harmony to her every movement, a witchery to her every glance. The floating mists from the boiling liquid in which she infuses the soothing herbs, whose secrets are known to her alone, envelop her in a cloud of scented vapour, through which she seems a social fairy, weaving potent spells with Gunpowder and Bohea. At the tea-table she remains omnipotent, unapproachable. What do men know of this mysterious beverage?"
I also loved that the narrator referred to Lady Audley as "my lady" and that the word "mustachio" was used at several points throughout the novel.
Braddon's characterization is quite excellent in this book. I became invested in Robert in particular, as well as George and Clara, and really wanted things to work out for them.
Overall, this is a great read. If you're looking for a Victorian thriller, pick this up. You won't be disappointed!
Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book....more
**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed this book, because I felt that Esther was a very honest character and Plath is very honest as an author. I felt tha**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed this book, because I felt that Esther was a very honest character and Plath is very honest as an author. I felt that the premise of this book was how people cope when society doesn't allow people to do what it expects them to do.
I felt that Esther's story could still be applicable to society today. She really wants and feels that it's expected of her to attend the class which she doesn't get into, and as somone who's still in college, I can kind of see how a kid who was expected to go to college but couldn't get in may feel the same way (or some other similar situation). I can understand how people today might understand that they are also stuck in the bell jar. I also felt that as an author, Plath acknowledged that the bell jar is not exactly the same experience for everyone. Another interesting aspect of this book was at times it seemed that Esther felt the need to choose between a family and a career, and was very interested about the social impact this would have on her life (i.e. what social circles she would be in and how others would perceive her). Although obviously a lot has changed since Plath has written this novel, I still feel like even in today's society there are moments where women must makes choices. Some people do take a few years off of work to take care of their children or what have you, and others want to have a career before they marry. I felt that at the end of the book, Plath and Esther both acknowledged that the answer to this remains unsure, and I really liked that.
I also have to say that I really liked Plath's style. I thought it was very poetic and perhaps this just me, but I also found it haunting. It really drew me in.
Although a good deal has changed in the world since Plath has written this book, I still think it's a very important piece of literature....more
Ladies and gentlemen, Jane Austen has done it again. I truly enjoyed reading Northanger Abbey and look forward to cozying up with it in years to come.Ladies and gentlemen, Jane Austen has done it again. I truly enjoyed reading Northanger Abbey and look forward to cozying up with it in years to come. As someone who loves reading, contemplating literature and enjoys a Gothic novel
I must confess that I started this novel with some reservation. At first, Catherine seemed a bit meek for my tastes. I’ve read most of Austen’s work right now (four out of the big six) and I’m guilty of comparing her heroines. I feel like comparison can be a poor habit in a reader, but I suppose I view many of Austen’s works or touchstones, particularly Pride and Prejudice, but you’ve probably figured that out by now.
As for Austen’s take on the Gothic and description of the Abbey, I really enjoyed it. While I have not read The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe, it was intriguing to watch Catherine and Isabella read this novel and compare it their day to day lives. I intend to read The Mysteries of Udolpho, and my edition, by Broadview Literary Texts, spoiled a few small parts of Radcliffe’s novel. I don’t mind too much, but just wanted to provide a word of warning for those who intend to use the Broadview edition.
And Henry Tilney. Oh, Henry Tilney. I loved him as a hero. I’ll admit that I was attracted to John Thorpe, but by the end of the story my mind was changed. I don’t want to spoil the novel, but I think Austen fans will love Henry Tilney.
What more can I say? I waited too long to read Northanger Abbey, but am so glad I finally I did. If you are an Austen fan but haven’t read this novel, check this book out as soon as possible. You won’t be disappointed!...more
Various friends, bloggers and professors have been nagging me to read North and South, and eventually while talking about the mini-series on Twitter,Various friends, bloggers and professors have been nagging me to read North and South, and eventually while talking about the mini-series on Twitter, Gail of Ticket to Anywhere decided to fix this problem by hosting the North and South read-a-long. I cannot believe I waited this long to read this novel. Beautifully written and filled with multi-dimensional characters, North and South now has a place on my favorites shelf.
Maybe it’s the fact that I hang out with so many Austen lovers, but I’ve heard a lot of people compare this novel with Pride and Prejudice, so I wanted to clear the air in regards to this. Don’t get me wrong, the two novels definitely have their similarities. However, the two female protagonists are very different. Margaret Hale is expressive of her opinions, but she’s also very religious. North and South also deals much more with the industrial class and issues surrounding trade, which was really interesting. I think I’d absorb it better if I re-read the novel.
The entire novel was wonderfully paced, especially the romance. Gaskell kept throwing in plot twists, and I never quite saw them coming. I found Thornton to be a dynamic and entertaining as a love interest, yet still attractive. Mrs. Thornton, his mother, is a character who I enjoyed hating throughout the novel. By the time the story ended, I loved how everything tied together.
North and South has been one of the most fantastic books I’ve read this year. I’ve met characters who I look forward to revisiting in future readings. Fans of Austen will love North and South. I can’t wait to read more by Gaskell....more
Moreso than some of Austen’s other works, it seems, Emma gets a lot of mixed reviews. With this being my fourth Jane Austen novel and being somewhat dMoreso than some of Austen’s other works, it seems, Emma gets a lot of mixed reviews. With this being my fourth Jane Austen novel and being somewhat different from her other work, it was almost a shock to the system. Yet much like with every other Austen novel I’ve read, I loved it. Austen’s wit may be more subtle in this one, and the humor sometimes mean, but the more serious subject matter made me both sympathetic and empathetic towards the characters and their situations.
Emma focuses heavily on how other people treat each other, on what kindness is and how to be kind. I started of this novel with a mixture of like and dislike for Emma. It was undeniable that she was a little snobby, and perhaps her matchmaking advice wasn’t always the best, but I could tell that her intentions were to make other people happy. There is still humor throughout this book, but Austen also makes us think about humor and its context. When is humor more hurtful than funny? How does one’s use of humor affect how others judge that person? Even without as much witty banter or parodying as some of Austen’s other novel, I still found myself chuckling at some of the characters.
As this is my fourth Austen novel, some aspects of the romance were a tiny bit predictable for me, in the sense that right away I could tell who scumbag guy would turn out to be and who might later end up with whom. However, this didn’t make the book any less enjoyable for me. In fact, it may have even made me like it more. What is it that made this guy bad? I must say that even moreso than other Austen novels, this one had me guessing how everyone was paired off, especially because there were two characters I was dying to see together.
Like many of the Austen heroes I meet, I adored Mr. Knightley. He was a very gracious and generous character, but he also stuck me as gentle. He teaches Emma a good deal about how to be a more compassionate person, but was never too harsh in his reprimands.
Austen is often known for her wit, and I think Emma showcases a more reflective side of her writing. I admit that this was a slower read my first time around, but I know that it’s a book which I will grow to love. Emma satisfied my need for some more Jane Austen on every level. ...more
Wow. I enjoyed this book so much more than I expected to. I thought I wouldn't really get into it and that it wouldn't be my type of style, and I wasWow. I enjoyed this book so much more than I expected to. I thought I wouldn't really get into it and that it wouldn't be my type of style, and I was very much proved wrong. Bram Stoker is definitely a wonderful descriptive writer--I think some of the descriptive passages of the book were among those that I most enjoyed. I could really visualize what was happening.
I think my doubts in this book stemmed from the fact that I thought the plot wouldn't really move. However, I thought Stoker did a wonderful job of building suspense throughout the novel. I didn't feel that anything was dragged out but I also constantly wanted to turn the page to see what was coming next.
I'd also like to comment on the style of this book. It was written in diary and letter format, and sometimes I feel that books written in this format don't provide enough details to satisfy and leave some gaps open. I feel like leaving things more open works at times, but not always. However, the details (see bit above about description) are part of what made me love this book so much.
I would recommend this book to anyone, provided that your stomach does not churn too much at the discussion of blood....more