Re-reading DUNE now for the third or fourth time, but the first in more than a decade. I am reading it with a student, having assigned it as an examplRe-reading DUNE now for the third or fourth time, but the first in more than a decade. I am reading it with a student, having assigned it as an example of outstanding worldbuilding, and am finding the book every bit as compelling as I did the first couple of times I read it. The style is slightly dated -- Herbert uses omniscient voice and hops from one character's point of view to another's with disconcerting frequency. But at the time the book was written, this was accepted practice. The market dominance of tight first or third person point of view is a relatively recent phenomenon.
Aside from that one stylistic quirk, DUNE still offers rich, complex worldbuilding, strong characters, and enough political intrigue and action to satisfy any reader of SF, fantasy, or for that matter, any other genre. If you haven't read this classic you should; if you haven't read it in a long time, it might be time to try it again....more
There is something about 18th century English literature that is incredibly charming; the earnestness, the lovely, leisurely descriptions, the wry humThere is something about 18th century English literature that is incredibly charming; the earnestness, the lovely, leisurely descriptions, the wry humor. SENSE AND SENSIBILITY has all of these qualities in abundance. This is one of those books that I've known for some time I need to read. How I got through school without reading it I have no idea, but I did. So I made up my mind to read it, but I felt in a way that I was doing penance for past literary sins of omission. I was deeply skeptical. I feared that I would be bored. And I also have to confess that I even felt a little self-conscious going to the gym with what might well be the original chick-lit. But I totally loved this story of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood and their trials and tribulations. I was drawn in from the start and couldn't wait each morning to get on my stationary bike to that I could return to Barton and the charming company of the Miss Dashwoods. How much did I love it? Well, I finished it last night, and this morning I started reading PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, which I also somehow avoided when I was a student....more
Part of what makes PRIDE AND PREJUDICE such a fun read is the amazing dialogue, which is written with a dry, cutting wit. Some characters, most notablPart of what makes PRIDE AND PREJUDICE such a fun read is the amazing dialogue, which is written with a dry, cutting wit. Some characters, most notably our heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, and her father, manage to be biting and critical while also remaining utterly charming. Others -- characters of less wit and awareness, indict themselves inadvertently. For this reader, though, the effect was always the same. I was intrigued, completely engaged, and always entertained.
The other aspect of the book that I found fascinating was Austen's ability to make Elizabeth strong, spirited -- a true heroine -- while keeping her within the bounds of the tightly circumscribed gender roles of the time in which she wrote. The story should be dated; the lives of these women should seem wholly alien to the modern reader. But they don't, because Elizabeth's story is pitched so perfectly.
I adored this book, and to be honest, I didn't necessarily expect that I would....more