A somewhat close second to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. And for me, more enjoyable and satisfactory than North and South. Great characters and p...moreA somewhat close second to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. And for me, more enjoyable and satisfactory than North and South. Great characters and plot lines. Like her female literary colleagues in the 1800s, Gaskell creates formidable protagonists and antagonists and comical characters in between. She pokes fun at society's social expectations, interweaving some scandalous stories and character blemishes along the way. Unfortunately, Gaskell died before finishing this novel; but this particular edition gives a brief summary of how this book is likely to have wrapped up. Only a few more pages would have been needed from Gaskell....a shame she didn't quite get to complete it herself.(less)
I wanted to give this more stars, I really did. This novel had so much potential; but there were some things that bugged me. 1. You'd think that a boo...moreI wanted to give this more stars, I really did. This novel had so much potential; but there were some things that bugged me. 1. You'd think that a book written this long ago and considered a classic would have been "cleaned up" in the spelling/punctuation department. The countless typos are somewhat of a distraction. 2. The uneducated working class of northern England. Really? I know toddlers who speak better than they do. I felt I needed a Rosetta Stone to try and decipher their dialogue. 3. (Warning: SPOILERS!!) The last 50 pages were a drag. I was gearing up for a big ending and felt totally jipped. The two protagonists don't hook up until the last page and a half? That's all you're going to give us?! It was rather anticlimactic.
Some of the writing is quite brilliant at times, but falls flat in others. I felt that there were some loose ends left untied. Overall it's a good story of two dynamic and completely different characters who fall in love, despite their better judgments. The novel takes you through their intertwining lives and their softening of feelings for each other. Some of the secondary characters are fantastic, including Mr. Thornton's crazy mother who hates Margaret. His sister is a piece of work, too.
I honestly would have written the ending differently. (Warning: MORE SPOILERS!) I was expecting Mr. Thornton to be Margaret's knight in shining armor after the death of her father. Losing both parents in one year would be debilitating, and Margaret certainly fell apart; Thornton should have been the one to pick her up off the floor and come to her rescue, so to speak. (Even though she jilted him with his first marriage proposal; it was obvious he still loved her and cared for her.)
I just hope the miniseries I bought is better than the book.(less)
The fact that this was written in 1949 yet has so much relevance today is a little frightening. Orwell explores the dangers of totalitarianism and wha...moreThe fact that this was written in 1949 yet has so much relevance today is a little frightening. Orwell explores the dangers of totalitarianism and what can happen to a society if it lets Big Brother reign. Parallels to modern times can easily be drawn: Rewriting history to suit their needs, restricting freedoms, Monitoring speech and thought, running the media, and basically trying to control every aspect of its citizens' lives. Any rebellion to The Party's rules results in severe torture and/or complete disappearance. While some of the aspects in the novel might be extreme, it is quite symbolic of what we see today. Winston, the main character, comes to realize that The Party's objective is to rule all because most people are too ignorant, thus complete power over them is for their own good. This particular theme hits home because it seems to translate to the powers that be in my own country. (Cue the Twilight theme music.....) Is Uncle Sam trying to become Big Brother? Definitely food for thought.
This novel is well written and interesting. It was surprisingly even a little kinky; perhaps not meant for young eyes and minds.(less)
Not as good as Pride and Prejudice (of course), but still a cute story.....and up there as an Austen favorite. Mr Knightley is another dashing hero; a...moreNot as good as Pride and Prejudice (of course), but still a cute story.....and up there as an Austen favorite. Mr Knightley is another dashing hero; and Emma an intriguing, likable heroin.
Austen has a knack for unique characters and intricate plots. I love her genius with the pen and artful way of poking fun at social peculiarities and expectations.(less)