Week 92: The Talented Mr. Ripley

By | 2019-04-08T23:03:31+00:00 April 8th, 2019|Uncategorized|

The Talented Mr. Ripley book review The genius of Patricia Highsmith in this, her first Tom Ripley novel, is to create a villain so complex and vulnerable that you can't help rooting for him. He cons his way through life, defrauds and exploits those who trust him, and even commits murder. Twice. And yet [...]

Week 91: The Inheritance of Loss

By | 2019-04-02T16:41:11+00:00 April 2nd, 2019|Uncategorized|

The Inheritance of Loss book review   Kiran Desai's second novel, which was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2006, is a multigenerational tale of migration, identity, and the cultural legacy of colonialism. If this sounds a bit too academic for your tastes, let me assure you that The Inheritance of Loss, while disturbing [...]

Week 90: Brave New World

By | 2019-03-27T14:57:20+00:00 March 27th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Brave New World book review O wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in't. — William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, Scene I Brave New World was not the first dystopian novel of the 20th century; that honour goes, most likely, to Yevgeni [...]

Week 88: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

By | 2019-06-11T00:45:53+00:00 March 12th, 2019|Uncategorized|

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest book review Milos Forman's film of Ken Kesey's best-selling novel made Jack Nicholson a star. And deservedly so. Who can forget his portrayal of Randle Patrick McMurphy, the subversive troublemaker who wages psychological warfare with the Big Nurse, played by Louise Fletcher? The film, released in 1975, put [...]

Week 87: Slaughterhouse-Five

By | 2019-03-06T16:11:07+00:00 March 5th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Slaughterhouse-Five book review "All this happened, more or less. The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true". So begins the introduction to Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut's first really successful novel. Vonnegut served in the American army in World War II, was captured by the Germans, and, in February, 1945, survived the Allies' bombing of Dresden [...]

Week 86: The Picture of Dorian Gray

By | 2019-06-11T00:44:58+00:00 February 25th, 2019|Uncategorized|

The Picture of Dorian Gray book review "The road to hell is paved with adverbs." Stephen King wrote that in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. He might just as well have been speaking about adjectives. Too many of them can get in the way of telling a story. Mark Twain would have [...]

Week 85: The Little Prince

By | 2019-02-19T16:01:00+00:00 February 18th, 2019|Uncategorized|

The Little Prince book review I've always maintained that you shouldn't read a story looking for clues to the author's life - the story should stand apart, having its own life, its own universe, if you will. But this particular story has so many parallels with the writer's own narrative it simply begs to [...]

Week 84: Thank You, Jeeves

By | 2019-03-21T19:44:05+00:00 February 12th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Thank You, Jeeves book review So here's the thing: you either love Jeeves and Wooster or you don't. Or, poor thing, you've never read them (by "them" I refer to the 15, by my count, novels and short story collections about Bertie Wooster and the world's most perfect manservant). If that's the case, all [...]

Week 83: The Forsyte Saga Book One: The Man of Property

By | 2019-02-05T16:12:12+00:00 February 5th, 2019|Uncategorized|

  The Forsyte Saga: The Man of Property If you're old enough to remember it airing on PBS in 1969, the Masterpiece Theatre series is probably what comes to your mind when you think of The Forsyte Saga. That is, if you think of it at all, which is unlikely. John Galsworthy's multi-generational chronicle of [...]