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review 2018-09-15 06:04
David Copperfield (Audiobook) (DNF @ 48)
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

Whelp, that's 0-2 for me and Charles Dickens. I was going to try to power through this - I had 8 more days on the audiobook loan from my library - but every time I thought about listening to this for another 8 days, it was like those dolly zoom shots. I just can't. This is so boring! The first quarter or so was decent, and I thought it was going to go somewhere, like maybe Davie wasn't all that he seemed or something. And I thought for sure something was up with Steerforth, but nope! Davie finds refuge with his aunt and the story grinds to a halt and never recovers. It's just chapter after chapter after chapter of Davie meeting a friend and talking to them, Davie meeting another friend and talking to them, Davie corresponding with friends and then meeting them again and talking to them. Talk, talk, talk, blah, blah, blah. So, I'm done y'all. I'm going to spend the next 8 days doing something that's actually interesting. Like watching paint dry. Or watching grass grow. Or listening to Ben Stein read the dictionary.

 

2 stars because the writing here was a vast improvement over the self-indulgent A Tale of Two Cities. But this turned out to be a different kind of self-indulgence, just dressed up in pretty prose. Simon Vance does a great job with the narration, but even he can't make these characters interesting.

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review 2018-09-11 20:05
The more things change
North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell

How to tag this.

 

Know this though: if you expect a romance... well, there is romance, but it's not really the meat of the story. More like a sprinkled seasoning to give the excuse, and a happy ending I guess.

 

What this is about is industrialization, the theme for most characters was the failure point of their principles or what they considered their cornerstones, and the running one on interactions was misunderstandings arising from lack of enough knowledge to "wear another's shoes" (and no, I do not mean empathy), and it was masterfully done (if long-winded). So masterfully actually, that I had a raging fit and had to stop reading at one point (workers vs owners/strikes), because it is still such an on point analysis today.

 

The vehicle for all that is us following Margaret Hale through a three-year-long trauma conga line, through which she carries herself with so much poise and holding herself to such impossible standards that I could not help but want to shake her.

 

I'm a bit addled still by how packed this was, and I confess I'm downright intimidated by the prospect of her other books. I think I'll leave Wives and Daughters for another year's reading project.

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text 2018-09-11 12:49
Reading progress update: I've read 376 out of 521 pages.
North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell

So many misunderstandings! And they keep getting worse

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review 2018-09-09 14:53
Better with age
The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle

I find that while still not my favourite Holmes, I liked it better this time around. I think I might have been too young, and found it too dreary and long for my age. Gothic is also an acquired taste that came with age for me, so that might have played a part.

 

The other thing that turned interesting, beyond finding the pace a lot more palatable, was that Holmes is a lot more present than I remembered. Part of it is knowing, and so catching, the hints of him all around of course, but I think the pages without his obvious person were too long for my kid self's perception.

 

And, well, the fabulous Stephen Fry's narration is a definitive plus.

 

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review 2018-09-02 17:40
Spisek wenecki
Spisek Wenecki - Jon Trace

Tom Shaman główny bohater tego świetnego kryminału jest księdzem. Swoją służbę pełni w Los Angeles, w najniebezpieczniejszych dzielnicach tego miasta. Pewnego dnia jest świadkiem gwałtu na młodej dziewczynie. W jej obronie zabija obu napastników i popełnia względem kościoła śmiertelny grzech. Dręczony wyrzutami sumienia i rozczarowany dotychczasowymi latami posługi rezygnuję i decyduję się na spontaniczną podróż do Wenecji. Od razu wpada tam w kłopoty - znajduje zmasakrowane zwłoki dziewczynki. Zostaje wciągnięty w policyjne śledztwo, które od początku jest polowaniem na rytualnego mordercę. Tom pomaga policjantce Valentine Morassi i wspólnie zagłębiają się w starożytną historię etruską. 
Fabuła toczy się dwutorowo. Od początku śledzimy akcję współczesną i w 666 r. p.n.e, a później XVII w. n.e.
W książce każdy znajdzie coś dla siebie: jest historia, zwiedzanie Wenecji, opisy dań kuchni włoskiej, romans, pościgi, wartka akcja, makabryczne zbrodnie i wielka tajemnica.
Ja pochłonęłam ją w jeden dzień. Zachęcam do lektury.

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