This was my first Wodehouse and I can see why he is so beloved by so many people.
The book is not a novel, more a collection of short stories loosely s...moreThis was my first Wodehouse and I can see why he is so beloved by so many people.
The book is not a novel, more a collection of short stories loosely strung together. Having read a few reviews, it seems that this was possibly not the best place to start as I hadn't previously read any other Wodehouse, however I have an OCD-like need to read things in order so it had to be this one first. I can see why they say that, as I didn't think this was amazing, however I am willing to reserve judgement until I've read a few more. What I will say is that this was fun, well written and made me laugh in numerous places.(less)
Being a teenager is hard enough without being moved to a new town and a new school where you don’t know anybody and no-one wants to talk to the new gi...moreBeing a teenager is hard enough without being moved to a new town and a new school where you don’t know anybody and no-one wants to talk to the new girl. Alice finds it difficult to fit in and so when she has the opportunity to go back to her old town for the summer she jumps at the chance. Whilst she’s there she meets one of the popular girls from her old school, who invites her to a party. Having never been part of the popular crowd, Alice is excited to be invited and accepts the invitation. Unfortunately for her, this proves to be a bad decision as this is where she is, unknowingly, turned on to drugs. This book is a diary of her ensuing journey with drugs and chronicles her life as addiction takes hold.
This is supposedly based on a true story, however over the years there has been some controversy over whether this is the case. Regardless of whether or not it’s factual, it’s an absorbing read. It was heartbreaking to see Alice’s decline as the addiction took hold and the torment she went through as she tried time and time again to break the habit. What is clear throughout is that Alice knows that drugs are wrong and she hates herself for needing them, but the desire to take them is, ultimately, stronger than her desire to quit. I really liked Alice and so I became emotionally invested in the decisions she made throughout the book and went from rooting for her to screaming at her in the course of a page.
I wouldn’t say that the writing is good, but then, if it is a true account, how good could you really expect the writing to be from someone who is using drugs? What I will say though, is that despite this being written in the 60s, the story is still very true today. I have been lucky enough to only have had limited exposure to drugs, however I know of people who have been down this path and I know the devastating affect it can have on the lives of everyone involved.
If I had read this book as a teenager, especially in my early teens, I can see how it may have seemed glamourous to run away from home and live the life of a ‘grown-up’ whilst still so young, however reading it now, I’m horrified that this may the impression the book gives. I think all teenagers should read this as part of their drug education, however I don’t think it’s suitable for younger teams.
Overall, I’m glad I read it. Although I know of people who have been down this path, it’s been an eye-opener to see it from their perspective. (less)
I'm ashamed to say that I'm 24 and this was my first Dickens novel. I can't believe I haven't read his work until now!
I enjoyed this... more than I th...moreI'm ashamed to say that I'm 24 and this was my first Dickens novel. I can't believe I haven't read his work until now!
I enjoyed this... more than I thought I would actually. I liked his style of writing, even if it did get a little... wordy... sometimes. I've seen the movies countless number of times, so obviously I knew how the story would end, but I still enjoyed the story.
The short stories were a little hit and miss. I enjoyed the ones before A Christmas Carol, however the ones after just didn't hold my interest and so I didn't read them all the way through.
I'm looking forward to reading more of Dickens' work. (less)
Somehow this book passed me by when I was growing up. It wasn't assigned reading at school and so I didn't get around to reading it as I didn't really...moreSomehow this book passed me by when I was growing up. It wasn't assigned reading at school and so I didn't get around to reading it as I didn't really get into the classics until a few years ago. Anyway, I finally got around to reading it after hearing people talking about it during Banned Books week and on various podcasts.
It took me a while to get into the story, but once I did, the story flowed really well and I became absorbed in the adventures of Huck and Jim. Initially I found the language and dialect quite difficult to get my head around, possibly this is due to the fact that I'm British? I don't know. This soon became a non-issue though and in fact it's one of the things that made me really enjoy the book. The fact that the whole thing is written in Huck's dialect gave the book that extra layer of authenticity, but I will admit to having to read Jim's parts out loud in some semblance of an African-American accent in order to actually understand it because it wasn't making sense straight off the page!
I can understand why this book was so important in trying to break down the stereotypes of black people in America, however I don't agree with all of the controversy over the use of the 'N' word. I'm not condoning the use of the word in any way but it just didn't have the same connotations back then as it does now. These things have to be looked at in context. Anyway, that's an argument for another day. I really came to care about Jim and it was fascinating to see his journey throughout the book. Yes the book is about a journey and an adventure but it's also about the journey that Jim makes from being a 'dumb' slave to being a rounded person with an interesting, intelligent and caring personality. This is so different to the stereotypes that painted black people of the time as vengeful, hateful and stupid.
I also loved Huck and the fact that, whilst he wanted to be a rebel and be a typical boy, he had morals and he made decisions that weren't easy and that would have gotten him into a lot of trouble, in the name of friendship.
I can see now why this is a classic and I wish that I had read it sooner. I definitely think that all children should read this.(less)
Well... who knew that the life of rabbits could be so engrossing?!
This book was a joy to read. The author used beautiful imagery to the point where I...moreWell... who knew that the life of rabbits could be so engrossing?!
This book was a joy to read. The author used beautiful imagery to the point where I could imagine every little detail of the scenery and surroundings. He definitely has a way with words and I loved how he interspersed the writing with 'Lapine' (rabbit-talk) to make it that bit more believable. His writing made me want to keep reading and I would have happily read another 500 pages. I was sad when the story ended.
I loved the characterisation in the book. I guess that in a story about a bunch of rabbits, it could be easy to mistake one for the other. Not in this book. Each of the main rabbits has a distinct character, and throughout the book I found that I actually really cared about them. I can't really say much more about the characters without giving the storyline away, but suffice to say that it was a rollercoaster of emotions.
The story carries deeper meaning than just a story about rabbits. It's a tale of survival, team-work, friendship and perseverance. I think that this message is a valid one for adults and children alike, and that at some point EVERYONE should read this book. I can't believe that I didn't read it in my childhood.(less)