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L'Assommoir (Les Rougon-Macquart, #7)
L'Assommoir is well known for its portrayal of alcoholism. The 20th century prohibition movement took this novel up in a big way, as a morality play f...more
May 24, 2013
Apr 10, 2012
Boule de Suif (Penguin 60s)
This brief but charming little story/novella owes some credit to Flaubert and Zola, both friends of Maupassant, for his borrowing of their style to so...more
May 24, 2012
May 23, 2012
ABC of Reading
Despite the pretentious name, this is not really a reading guide per se, more of a poetry appreciation guide. Especially for the first few chapters, w...more
Oct 24, 2013
Sep 07, 2013
Anna Karenina
Being a fan of Dostoevsky, I can't help but measure Tolstoy's work against his. As well as Anna K, I finished War and Peace recently. These two works...more
Mar 22, 2011
Jul 11, 2010
The Adolescent
For many, The Adolescent fell short of the brilliance Dostoevsky displayed in other novels. I think of this novel as a slightly weak link in the chain...more
Jan 2003
Mar 18, 2009
Home sapiens is only man, in the fullest sense of the word, when his grammar contains no question marks, only exclamation marks, commas, and periods....more
Feb 19, 2014
Jan 10, 2014
Sixties Style
This catalog/encyclopedia of 60s trends caught my interest for its simple designs. I've always admired 60s pottery, glass, even plastic housewares and...more
Feb 17, 2014
Oct 24, 2013
The Doré Bible Illustrations
Doré did most of his work in the mid-19th Century, and though he was French and Catholic, preferred and often worked commissions for his Victorian nei...more
Jan 10, 2013
Dec 26, 2012
The Captain's Daughter and Other Stories
I already read these stories in The Complete Prose Tales of Alexandr Sergeyevitch Pushkin, but wanted to reread Pushkin's prose in a more recent trans...more
Oct 28, 2012
Oct 15, 2012
Madame de
“Whenever love touches history, events of the past belong to the present.” The first line of this tale made me want to give up. What a ridiculous and...more
Feb 05, 2014
Dec 27, 2013
A Season in Hell/The Drunken Boat
I really enjoyed Illuminations but not so much this one, perhaps for its prose aspect. Patti Smith's foreword is fun to read, though rather excessive...more
Aug 08, 2012
Aug 08, 2012
The Red and the Black
In many ways, this book seems to have been a precursor to Flaubert's A Sentimental Education. Though its full title The Red and The Black: A Chronicle...more
Dec 23, 2010
Nov 14, 2010
Catch-22 (Catch-22, #1)
Reading this book, I had a rough time knowing "when" I was – though looking back now, I understand what Heller was trying to do. His "free association...more
Jan 18, 2011
Jul 11, 2010
The World of Matisse: 1869-1954 (Time-Life Library of Art)
These Time-Life World of… books are good for three reasons. First, they alternate two styles of writing. The first chapter is mostly text, the second...more
Nov 15, 2012
Nov 02, 2012
The Insulted and Injured
This really should be ranked among Dostoevsky's top few novels, based on character type alone. The concept he expands most here is forgiveness. The ch...more
Nov 15, 2009
Mar 19, 2009
The Skating Rink
I'm on the fence about whether I'll read more from Bolaño. I'm not a big fan of detective novels, though I've read my share of journalistic novels or...more
Mar 10, 2012
Feb 24, 2012
Midnight's Children
I'm ashamed that I haven't read this before now. What an incredible book. Rushdie's magical realism rivals Garcia-Marquez while taking on original for...more
May 06, 2009
Dec 10, 2008
Netochka Nezvanova
As in Fitzgerald's The Love of The Last Tycoon, it can be heart-rending to read an unfinished book. I feel satisfied though, as Netotchka concludes, h...more
Oct 22, 2009
Mar 03, 2009
A Farewell to Arms
This book hooked me and reeled me in. I thought I knew what to expect from EH but he shocked me a bit. Not just the plot – with its flat, uneventful c...more
May 28, 2012
Jul 11, 2010
The Winter of Our Discontent
**spoiler alert** I love Steinbeck's discourse, whether in the character's mind or dialogue with others. His character Ethan is likable with an intros...more
Oct 27, 2012
Oct 11, 2011
'It is all the same unbridled kingdom of phantoms, and nothing more.' part iii, chapter iv. This quote emerges during Liputin's turmoil over whether t...more
Jan 2007
Feb 25, 2008
Wave of Terror
I really was happily surprised by this book. The title makes it seem frightening and the subject matter likewise, but the author actually keeps it pre...more
Jul 09, 2010
Dec 15, 2009
Confessions (World's Classics)
Dostoevsky mentioned this autobiography as an influence to his A Writer's Diary, particularly praising Rousseau for his unflinching relation of every...more
Sep 23, 2010
Mar 03, 2010
The Short Stories of Dostoevsky
Mr. Prokharchin is about a miser, but ultimately about a selfish man. The main character lives isolated and impoverished for 15 years until several bo...more
Jun 2004
Feb 26, 2009
Fathers and Sons
I must admit influence from Joseph Frank's biographies of Dostoevsky led me to read this. Though he (Dostoevsky) praised the work at publication, his...more
Jun 13, 2009
Jan 14, 2009
Crime and Punishment
The remarkable thing about Dostoevsky's characters is his foresight in portraying their reactions to their fate. He somehow always knows how a certain...more
Aug 1998
Mar 18, 2009
Eugene Onegin, Vol. I (Text)
There are so many references to this work in the canon of Russian lit., I'm ashamed to have just read it for the first time.

The verse is enthralling....more
Jun 18, 2008
Feb 27, 2008
The Complete Short Novels
Chekhov is a master at writing short fiction, and I feel most of these novellas are more like short stories than novels. The first, second and fourth...more
Feb 06, 2011
Jul 11, 2010
The Misfortune of Being Clever ("Góre ot Oumá" or "Woe from Wit")
Many Russian writers – Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Lermontov – refer to characters from Woe from Wit, especially Chatsky. I've always been curious to have at...more
Dec 13, 2012
Nov 28, 2012
The World of Gainsborough 1727-1788
I confess I wasn't too familiar with Gainsborough. What little I had gathered from his career marks him as a landscape painter of renown, but his port...more
Dec 08, 2011
Aug 11, 2011
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