I read this in school waaay back. It bears a re-reading. Franklin writes about his childhood, how it shaped his strengths (and weaknesses). I was also...moreI read this in school waaay back. It bears a re-reading. Franklin writes about his childhood, how it shaped his strengths (and weaknesses). I was also fascinated by early America and the technical innovations / Age of Enlightenment that he was involved in. This is in re: to the French edition, not the one edited by his son.(less)
I've actually hiked parts of the PCT in Sierras and Oregon. The scenery and experience are lovely. Reminds me of all the reasons backpacking in the Pa...moreI've actually hiked parts of the PCT in Sierras and Oregon. The scenery and experience are lovely. Reminds me of all the reasons backpacking in the Pacific North West are brilliant.
Besides the topic/scenery- I love the writing though, and her honesty. Really great read.(less)
I'm a fan of the series- sad to think that since she's been writing, my sister's cat Havers died- but personal notes aside, well OK one last one: I to...moreI'm a fan of the series- sad to think that since she's been writing, my sister's cat Havers died- but personal notes aside, well OK one last one: I told two of my sisters, who are far more into mysteries than I, that I was reading it. One of them said: "Oh she's so long-winded." and the other went "Didn't George find God or something?" I have a lingering cold and need some serious downtime, so in a way a long-winded mystery was just right.
Other reviewers have said this and I totally agree- the Deborah character is super annoying. I largely scan anything about her. The "needing" and constant hunger for a child, after... 6 miscarriages?? and her weird relationship with her husband, her rudeness to her friends and family, and all because she's some artsy emotional red-headed photographer, I don't get it. Lynley is largely cold and unreachable, and his love of Helen is also a mystery. Helen (and my sisters agree) seemed very cold and flat as a character.
George is great at pacing, and I love the setting. I think her writing really speaks to anglophiles like me, in that she's an American and knows what we want to hear/live/experience about England. Still, some of the descriptions bordered on landscape/architecture porn.
The ... edgier plots were totally ridiculous. When did cottage mysteries get so dark? She's no Ruth Rendell.(less)
OK this may pop out as totally bizarre in my list of 4-starred books. I just read this, it's not nostalgia for me (like so many other reviewers). I ca...moreOK this may pop out as totally bizarre in my list of 4-starred books. I just read this, it's not nostalgia for me (like so many other reviewers). I can honestly say I'd never heard of it, and was reading a post on Jezebel this morning where someone was talking about how BDSM has gotten a bad name (haha) via Fifty Shades, and this book was brought up as a "gorian erotica". Then I read the hilarious "gorian houseplant" satire. Intrigued, I read the book today (one sitting).
I didn't expect to like it. It reminds me of the total batshit crazy science fiction I used to read when I shelved books at the library when I was 15. I experimented with almost every genre, which led, I guess, to be coming an English major. I remember reading good, and bad science fiction. The good stuff keeps you riveted, it's pulpy, it makes you think (a little). The bad stuff just bores you- too much explanation, not interesting. As for the controversy re: BDSM, in this book it's quite tame. And, as another reviewer pointed out, I find Twilight and Time Traveler's Wife a lot more objectionable. I was more annoyed with other more chauvenist sci-fi writers. The chauvenism seems more mild- more about submissives etc. and chivalry.
The fun of Arthur C Clarke and John Varley- imagined worlds - where two characters go off on planetary orbit discussions, weapon & technology development, and social anthropology... in fiction! It's just a delightful little brainy nerdy trip. I have to admit I did gloss through it. The writing was a bit stolid in places, and I didn't quite track the battle scenes that closely. I did really like the historical aspects, linguistic asides, etc. Strangely not that dated for being 50 some odd years old. Reminded me a bit of Game of Thrones, too. I may read a few more.(less)
I have very strong feelings about the interpretation of Jane Eyre, having read it multiple times in school, majored in English, etc. Still, I enjoyed...moreI have very strong feelings about the interpretation of Jane Eyre, having read it multiple times in school, majored in English, etc. Still, I enjoyed this book. I tend to like anything that is in the aura of a book I love. I don't think it has to be identical or even very faithful, especially if there's no claim to copy or rewrite, or slavishly devote itself to the original.
Having said that, there are key themes missing from the original. My favorite parts of Jane Eyre are how it's her wresting control of herself in a largely powerless situation. How Mr. Rochester is blinded by the fire- his own failure really, and relinquishes the keys to the estate to Jane. How Jane, despite not being pretty, is true to herself beyond anything. There's a lot of interplay between Rochester and Jane regarding power, gender, and place in society.
In this book, the author doesn't really take those themes, instead she does a quite literal (not literary) reading of the original. I'm always playing a "what if" in my head with books, and I appreciate that the author did a good job of putting this in the 1950s, it's interesting to me, and the geological transplants are interesting too. In a way that science fiction is interesting. But still, she's talking about totally different themes. And, I don't agree with her original reading of Jane Eyre.
If you want to see some other interpretaitons of Jane Eyre, read Wide Sargasso Sea - a prequel/perspective of Jane Eyre from Rochester's first wife (yes, the one that fell screaming from the flaming roof). Historical and geographical placement of Jane Eyre are important to its themes- while interesting, it largely re-interprets the major ideas in the book. (less)