he plot of Kokoro centers around two characters that are never named. The first two parts of the novel consist of a young student getting to know an older man whom he refers to only as ‘Sensei’.
The original novel of The Lost Weekend is quite different from the film. The book is even more honest and ugly, portraying addiction as not only destructive for the addict but the entire world around them.
Each novel is a different exploration and comment on Irish culture, but each is written in a style that is uniquely O’Brien’s. He has a talent for bitter, scathing satire that sits in the midst of light, often comic prose.
These two novels were written in 1942, before their author was arrested by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz where she died of typhoid. The novels and notes were kept in a suitcase and taken by her daughter when she fled from the Nazis during the war. After that, the suitcase remained unopened until 1998. This is a review of Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française.
Where you live is such an integral part of your everyday existence, and this is a novel about Harlem in the Depression Era — covering social politics, racial politics, as well as the complex interplay of social clubs and both religious and charitable organizations. This is a review of Claude McKay’s Amiable with Big Teeth.
It’s a book about many things: Canada’s struggle for identity as a sovereign nation with a complex relationship to Britain and British politics, the psychological and physical impacts of war, the differing attitudes of different strata of society towards the war overseas. I always find Can Lit particularly provides an atmosphere where this kind of multi-layered complexity flourishes. This is a review of Hugh MacLennan’s Barometer Rising.
I was first introduced to this book via the 1934 film of the same name that was very loosely based on it. We watched it on Turner Classic Movies one evening and I thought perhaps that the novel would fill in some of the gaps that I saw in the film. This is a review of W. Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage.