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review 2016-05-28 11:00
A Woman Longing for Peace: The Church of Solitude by Grazia Deledda
Church of Solitude the - Grazia Deledda,E. Ann Matter
La chiesa della solitudine - Grazia Deledda

So here's a classical novel dealing with a very serious topic. This time it's breast cancer. Its author is the Nobel laureate in Literature of 1926 who suffered from breast cancer herself. She died in 1936, the same year when the novel was published.


However, The Church of Solitude isn't just the author's attempt to cope with her own fate. Far from it! Like all this writer's novels it offers a very interesting as well as first-rate portrait of rural life on Sardinia, Italy, during the 1930s. Moreover, its plot surrounding a female protagonist who suffers from breast cancer and who longs for nothing but peace and quiet so she tries her best to keep at bay her suitors is touching as well as gripping. I enjoyed the read and hope that the novel will be to your taste too!


If you'd like to know about this novel by Italian Nobel laureate, please click here to read my review on my main book blog Edith's Miscellany or you can find its duplicate here  Read the Nobels.

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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review 2016-03-19 11:00
Beware of Dreams Come True: Women as Lovers by Elfriede Jelinek
Women As Lovers - Martin Chalmers,Elfriede Jelinek
Die Liebhaberinnen - Elfriede Jelinek

This novel by the so far only Austrian Nobelist in Literature - Elfriede Jelinek - is from the 1970s, thus an early work of the author who is better known today as a playwright and a rather  controversial one that is.


Women as Lovers is a rather disillusioned story about two young women or actually girls called Brigitte and Paula who have grown up in miserable circumstances in Vienna and in a small village somewhere in the countryside respectively. They both believe that Mr. Right will be their ticket to happiness and so they do everything in their power to catch him. But then they find that reality isn't at all the way they expected.


For the full review please click here to go to my main book blog Edith’s Miscellany.


Women As Lovers - Elfriede Jelinek,Martin Chalmers 

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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url 2016-03-01 11:00
Writers En-NOBEL-ed... and Quite Forgotten

As you may be aware – or not –, I’m a more or less regular contributor to Aloi’s blog Read the Nobels and in January I also joined her annual event Read the Nobels 2016 (which is still open for sign-up, by the way!). Both challenge readers and bloggers like me to explore the vast variety of works written by recipients of the Nobel Prize in Literature and I ever again seize the opportunity to dig deep into the treasure trove of their books. It’s one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world, and yet, many writer names must be called insider tips rather than household names. Why? Is it a matter of changed tastes? Is it their sheer number? Is it their assumed literary profundity that discourages readers?


Click here to read the rest of the post on my main book blog Edith's Miscellany.

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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review 2016-01-02 11:00
A Man Passed by Time: The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
The Winter of Our Discontent - John Steinbeck,Susan Shillinglaw

The topic of John Steinbeck's final novel is amazingly acute today although it was first published more than fifty years ago... it's a novel revolving around morals in a money-centred modern world.


The Winter of Our Discontent is the story of a good and honest man who finds his morals corrupted by the requirements and habits of post-war America where virtually everything seems permitted to achieve financial wealth and social status. The protagonist clings to his high moral standards passed on to him by his forefathers, but his family's yearning for wealth and prestige forces him to think over his attitude and thus plunges him into a deep inner conflict.


I invite you to follow the link and read my long review on my main book blog Edith's Miscellany or its duplicate on Read the Nobels!

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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review 2015-12-17 11:00
A Boy and a Red Lama on the Diamond Way: Kim by Rudyard Kipling
Kim (Wordsworth Classics) - Rudyard Kipling

Worldwide most reading lists for children contain at least one book written by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 1907 “in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author”. Without doubt The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book are the most popular and most widely read ones of his children’s books along with Just So Stories, but also his 1901 novel Kim uses to be classed with the classics of children’s literature although the author wrote it for adult readers really.


In fact, Kim is a gripping adventure and spy novel surrounding the orphaned Irishboy Kimball O'Hara who is thirteen years old when his story begins in the streets of Lahore, India. Rudyard Kipling set the boy’s almost savage existence against a colourful and vibrant backdrop of India around 1900 that includes many details of daily life, customs, society, politics and not least religion that children or less informed adults may not fully grasp nor be interested in. Even Kim only understands part of what is going on. He is too young and he never knew the life of a European Sahib, but grew up like any Indian boy in the poor neighbourhood. He never learnt to write nor to read. Moreover, he speaks the local languages better than English. Kim is a clever boy, though, with many friends and perfectly able to look after himself, when


“… there shuffled round the corner, from the roaring Motee Bazar, such a man as Kim, who thought he knew all castes, had never seen. He was nearly six feet high, dressed in fold upon fold of dingy stuff like horse-blanketing, and not one fold of it could Kim refer to any known trade or profession. At his belt hung a long open-work iron pencase and a wooden rosary such as holy men wear. On his head was a gigantic sort of tam-o'-shanter. His face was yellow and wrinkled, like that of Fook Shing, the Chinese bootmaker in the bazar. His eyes turned up at the corners and looked like little slits of onyx.”


As it turns out, the man is an old Red Lama from Tibet called Teshoo on a pilgrimage to find Buddha’s legendary “River of the Arrow” that frees from the “Wheel of Things”. Out of curiosity and because Kim feels that the old man will need help to get along in a country full of crooks, he joins him as his disciple. At the same time Kim thinks that wandering about with the lama will give him the opportunity to look out for the great Red Bull on a green field that – as his late father always told him – would come for him with the Colonel riding on his tall horse and nine hundred devils. To raise money for the travel Kim accepts to secretly take a letter to an Englishman in Umballa for his Punjabi friend, the horse-dealer Mahbub Ali, and thus first gets involved in espionage in colonial India where local powers still try to shake off British rule and regain sovereignty. Before long, both Teshoo Lama as well as a British officer in charge of recruiting spies see to it that Kim gets some formal education and he becomes a St Xavier's boy in Partibus at Lucknow for nearly three years. Then he resumes his wanderings with Teshoo Lama to be initiated as a spy afterwards, but he is pushed into the trade much sooner than expected…


All things considered, I enjoyed reading Kim very much. It’s true that from today’s point of view the novel must be called a children’s book rather than adult fiction, and yet, it offers such a vivid and detailed picture of Indian cultures and religions that it amazed me. In addition, it is a testimonial of Indian history from the point of view of an Englishman whose great intelligence and exceedingly sound education show through every line.


Kim (Wordsworth Classics) - Rudyard Kipling 


Nota bene

Since Rudyard Kipling has been dead for so long, it goes without saying that his works are in the public domain and can legally be downloaded for free from sites like Project Gutenberg and ManyBooks.net just for instance. A expertly made-up free edition of Kim is available on Feedbooks.


* * * * * 

 This review is a contribution


to the Back to the Classics Challenge 2015,http://karensbooksandchocolate.blogspot.com/2014/12/announcing-back-to-classics-challenge.html

namely to the category Children's Classic.


»»» see my post for this challenge on Edith's Miscellany with the complete reading list.


http://readnobels.blogspot.com/ &


to the perpetual Read the Nobels challenge.
For more information and a complete list of books that I already reviewed for it »»» please read my challenge post on Edith's Miscellany!
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