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.
All Book Reviews
Hargrave reads voraciously and diversely — mostly antiquarian and classic books in translation. These are her book reviews.
While she reads more books than she could possibly write about, she does consistently post weekly reviews. New reviews are posted on Mondays.
Looking for one of the books that have been reviewed? Want to find some vintage treasures of your own? Second-hand and used books are unique and eco-friendly, and can be found at your local independent bookseller. If you’re looking for an American bookseller, you can check here. UK booksellers can be found here.
If you’d prefer to buy books online, many vintage and rare editions can be found at AbeBooks.
It’s a fast-paced narrative that critics and readers alike agree has literary merit. The debate comes from the author’s proclamation of being perfectly factual. This is a review of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.
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.
This week I’ve decided to write a double review since both books are by the same authors and both are at least semi-autobiographical. This is a review of two books about the Fitzgeralds: This Side of Paradise and The Beautiful and Damned.
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.
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.
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.
When Greenwood is asked to list her symptoms, she keeps repeating that she can’t read and she can’t sleep. She is studying English for her post-secondary education, and reading as well as words define her life. When she can no longer read, what’s left of her world falls apart, and it drives her to attempt suicide. This is a review of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.