I hadn’t heard of her until 2014, when I got caught up on the Dublin Murder Squad series. Love them all, except for The Likeness.
Based on your recommendation, I have bought 3 or 4 Tana French books (including the Trespasser)…I really need to get around to reading them.
I am currently reading A Legacy of Spies by John LeCarre. It is a bit of a trip down memory lane, with Smiley, Alec Leamas, Peter Guillam and the Circus. I am a bit over half way through and am enjoying it.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Which is the first novel I really read from this writer. Oliver Twist I read as a kid and never finished through as the book is so grim and depressive. Even rainy day is more glossy than this one. Anyway, I read Two Cities because Nolan used it as one of the influences on TDKR - and it’s clear where those references came from.
As Ivanhoe, which I read few weeks ago, I wouldn’t call Two Cities a masterpiece. And the reason is the same. Excessive verbosity and extremely slow build up throughout the most of the book - which, I believe, didn’t do justice to the characters, who appears so two-dimensional and don’t shone through. Well, save for one, who appears as a true hero at the novel’s sad and poignant ending. Also, Dickens’ penchant for dialogues and poetic, metaphorical description had me re-reading this section few times and those were tough to me to comprehend, and to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
Unlike Ivanhoe, which depicts medieval England as brutal, yet, romantic place, this novel gets truly dark and tragic - thanks to French revolution - the centerpiece of novel.
As said, most of the novel is slow, except in later stages, where the pay-off is worth of any Hitchcock intense thrillers and had me flipping pages voraciously just to see what will happen next. Very good read.
Started on Ann Leckies new novel Providence. It’s as enjoyable so far as the Ancillary series though it hasn’t yet thrown out any big ideas like that series had.
Tale of Two Cities IMO is Dickens’ best work. Most of the other stuff is too danged depressing. Also great window for understanding part of the French Revolution.
Pacing, the further back one goes, is quite different. I rather like it, as it reflects the times it was written.
Yeah, I read that some historians and novelists use it as template when they deal with the French revolution. It is interesting, but neverthless gut-wrenching and unnerving to see revolutionars succumbing to madness while throwing off their oppressors.
I may try again Oliver Twist in future, this time to finish it and through its all grimness and despair. Now I look forward to Christmas Carol and Haunted House tales.
One play I missed was when Patrick Stewart did a one-man Christmas Carol, acting some forty parts. Takes a lot of the depressive sting out!
Between Dickens and Somerset Maugham, antidepressants sell well!
To be fair Dickens deals with some grim stuff but ends up with happy endings. The protagonists invariably end up overcoming whatever hardship they faced.
If you want to be properly depressed read Thomas Hardy.
I read What the Hell Did I Just Read, the third John Dies at the End book.
Not as good as the gut-punch third act of This Book is Full of Spiders, but still very enjoyable.
I’ve started reading IT. I haven’t even gotten to the monsters and this book is seriously messed up.
Gar speaks the truth. Thomas Hardy was a great writer, but not a cheerful one.
I love Dickens, but the usual criticism there is a bit twee at times (take David Copperfield for example).
I never got through any Dickens, it didn’t appeal to me. Of the classical British writers of that era I mostly liked Emily Bronte, I read Wuthering Heights in high school and I thought it was a masterpiece. I think some of the Millarworlders didn’t like it if I remember correctly.
The domestic abuse scene in the beginning is a bit unfortunate I think.
I read Wuthering Heights in university and loved it too. I think partly because I’d been fed so much Jane Austen which is all about manners and repressed emotions and WH was full of passion.
Finished Providence by Ann Leckie’s. My original sentiment carried through to the end. It was an entertaining but slight read. As always Leckie is about to create society’s the feel alien but aren’t impenetrable or overly complex. She’s also has writing style that is imminently readable. Unfortunately, this book doesn’t have the same kind of big ideas that were the hook of the Ancillary series. So while I enjoyed this book a lot, it ended up being a bit forgettable and certainly not something I would read again.
Oh, so one good thing about my not still not having read This Books Is… yet is that I’ll be able to read it and the next sequel in one go. Nice!
I’m one; I read Wuthering Heights in high school and recall enjoying it at the time; I read it again in 2014 and thought it was an overwrought, melodramatic potboiler. Nothing against the genre or the era – I like Austen, Woolf, Wharton, Henry James – but I feel Emily Bronte’s writing was just too heavyhanded.
Of course, Wuthering Heights is widely acknowledged as a great novel, so what do I know?
That would be me. I thought it was poorly written, with a messy plot and unconvincing narrators. The fact that there was not a single likeable character didn’t help (though a likeable character isn’t a prerequisite for a good story).
I have only read The Remains Of The Day and Never Let Me Go, but I enjoyed them both hugely. It has spurred me to try and get on to some of his other work (did anyone read The Buried Giant? It sounded quite interesting).