That's better. That's Armour at the top of his game.
Not to oversell him. He's mildly amusing in his snarky survey of English lit. But there's also a whiff of the old uncle who's humor is rather old-fashioned, but he's always been nice and pleasant and it's easy to just let him ramble on.
So I'm enjoying my Armour binge but am probably not going to request all the other ones. It is good to have them lurking there in the back of my mind, waiting for another low-stress reading bout. Probably though I will limit myself to literature and academia in the future. That's where he's best.
You know what these books are like? It just occurred to me: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. It's the art: buxom young women in quaint attire and it's definitely old-fashioned, but not too offensive.
Praising with faint damns.
I finished this one and it took forever because I didn't like it. And then I more or less immediately started English Lit Relit. It could have been a bad choice: if I was just tired of Armour's sameness, then another would have been an awful idea.
But I'm really enjoying English Lit. Yeah, my degree is in English lit, so I know more about the topic, which probably helps some. That isn't the big difference though. The big difference, in my considered and re-considerd opinion, is that Armour doesn't know as much about communism and/or Russian history.
In Marx the jokes rarely rise above "he was short". So, not quality humor.That's both terribly obvious and not actually amusing.
English Lit, though, that's his specialty. So the jokes are more clever, more subtle, and for that matter, probably better auditioned and rehearsed. It's easy to imagine Armour the Professor lecturing on early English poets. You're plowing through a thousand years of literature in a semester, your text is a fat, heavy Norton Anthology printed on tissue paper to fit in as many pages a possible. Some of it is familiar, or stirring, or new to you, but much of it is just a tedious droning on and on about the same tired symbolism and such. You maybe get something three things that stopped being amusing a couple of centuries back, and once in the whole class if you're lucky there's something that really amuses you. In that setting a lighthearted lecture, or a throw-away line, can really wake you back up.
So, that was an interesting thing to realize.