The play is three acts and at its core is about lost potential and the regrets that follow it. To some extent it is also about the corruption and power dynamics that can flourish in academia.
The amount of correspondence included here seems nearly silly when you think that this is before the age of internet and the two-line email and all of them — other than the telegrams and internal memos — required stationary, stamps, and envelopes.
Claire Boltwood is on such a trip across the country — driving herself and her father from Minneapolis to Seattle in a very nice car on some not very nice roads. Lewis describes not just the scenery but also the reality of flat tires, car repairs, getting stuck in mud, and unpleasant hotels.
I didn’t plan on not being able to finish this book — but I didn’t finish. So this unreview is part of the journey, a bump on the literary road trip.
On the surface, he’s travelling with his attorney and a trunk full of drugs in order to document a racing event and later on to attend a convention for law enforcement on drugs and drug culture. Below the surface, it’s a journey to figure out the purpose of journalism, idealism, and its role in the shifting tide of American culture. This is a review of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
A critique of journalism and the complex politics and corruption present in the newspaper industry in Paris at the turn of the last century, this is a review of Guy de Maupassant’s Bel-Ami.
What follows is a light-hearted escapade through the tropes and clichés of rural melodramas complete with a happy ending and a lot of jokes at the expense of 1930s high society and their ideas about farming and the poorer classes. This is a review of Stella Gibbons’ Cold Comfort Farm.
The real shining piece of this book is the ghost and the setting. The whole world of the opera house comes alive as the ghost wrecks havoc and extracts vengeance. This is a review of Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l’Opéra).
Reading correspondence is not quite the same as reading a novel, obviously, but it can be just as valuable when it comes to understanding a writer, their work, literature of the period, or the general customs of the time period. Writers writing about writing can be a very enlightening read. This is a review of Letters to a Young Poet.
I had read some of Murdoch’s work previously, but I admit that I wanted this set because the book design was gorgeous from the covers to the selection of typeface and the ratio of text to margins. This is a review of Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea.