The reader is treated to scenes, vignettes, lush descriptions of the landscape and the culture. Sit back and enjoy it. If you’re waiting for the plot to carry you, it just isn’t going to happen — and that’s not what Berlin Alexanderplatz is trying to accomplish.
The story is one that has been told so many times, but it’s one that has long withstood the test of time. In fact, it’s hard to believe that A Christmas Carol is nearly 200 years old.
What drew me to this book initially was the simple fact that my local independent bookstore had it in stock and it was a mystery published in the late 1970s that was dubbed a classic.
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.
There’s been a lot of analysis on the character of Madame Olenska, but in my opinion it’s in the writing of a character like May Welland that truly shows how masterful writing. This is a review of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence.
This is narrative about trying to find a place of belonging in the midst of a society that is alienating and cruel and has festered hatred not just between races but amongst families, dividing individuals from each other and parts of themselves. This is a review of Langston Hughes’ Not Without Laughter.
It might seem strange, and I’m sure it’s not a preference that many people share, but sometimes when I feel my worst — very anxious, very depressed, very not well — and can’t sleep, scary stories are what I turn to. There’s something about ghosts, goblins, vampires, and spooky houses in settings a hundred and fifty years old that draws me out of the racing thoughts my brain gets stuck in. This is a review of Horror Stories.
I’ve met people that swear by Camp Crystal Lake and others that don Freddy’s classic bladed gloves or put on the Ghostface mask from the Scream series. But nothing really gives me that feeling of decay, destruction, and ghostliness like stories, films, and books that have Victorian settings. This is a review of Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black.
This book got mixed reviews when it was published, one going so far as to call it ‘obscene’. What was obscene about it was the discussion of themes and aspects of Victorian life that Victorians were in no way comfortable discussing — including the struggles of the lower classes and their exclusion from even the dream of higher education, the lack of class mobility, sex, sexism, animal cruelty, the destructive power of gossip, bad marriages, and horrible people. This is a review of Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all been at the big box bookstore and looked at the one table they usually bring out sometime around the beginning of the school year. You get three of them for ten bucks, sometimes even less. This is a review of The Yellow Wall-Paper.