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Search tags: charles-dickens
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review 2017-01-27 10:33
Powerful historical fantasy
Drood - Dan Simmons

Dan Simmons book DROOD is a masterpiece of sorcerous historical fiction. The sorcery doesn't lie in some otherworldly supernatural changes to history, but instead lies in the astonishing historical verisimilitude that Simmons brings to his portrayal of Victorian society, Charles Dickens and his milieu. Simmons helps us to smell, taste, and live in the often-crumbling and often-opium infused reality of that society, and to understand the complexities of the relationships around Dickens.

 

What's fascinating to me is that Simmons hardly ever has to bring in anything supernatural in order to make a book spooky, otherworldly and astonishing. Instead, he simply tells one version of Dicken's life, and the clarity he brings to that observance of a life is powerful. 

 

I found the book enthralling: one of Simmons best works. 

Source: nednote.com
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review 2017-01-04 02:48
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (Audiobook)
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens,Simon Vance

Narrated by Simon Vance

 

If I were just rating this book based on high school memory, it would probably be four or five stars, but I found that this audio version didn’t always hold my attention. I’ll have to reread it in print at some point or maybe just re-listen to the audiobook because I remember this being a good story. It was still a decent story but I felt like I missed stuff.

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text 2017-01-02 12:05
2016 – the Best of the Best and the Worst of the Worst
Edie: American Girl - Jean Stein,George Plimpton
Metro 2034 - Dmitry Glukhovsky
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley,Maurice Hindle
Jaws - Peter Benchley
The Catcher in the Rye - Jerome David Salinger
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
The Man-Eaters of Tsavo - John Henry Patterson,Peter Hathaway Capstick

With the old year gone and the new one just two days old, it is time for a quick retrospective on what was great and what wasn’t.

 

Let’s start with the Best of the Best!

My favourite book of 2016 was probably Edie, the amazing biography of Edie Sedgwick. Not only was it exciting to read about her short but intense life, but it was also a great experiment in terms of writing style and figuring out new possibilities within the genre of biography.

Another book, that was surprisingly good was The Man-Eaters of Tsavo. I initially started reading it, because I was curious about the book on which one of my all-time favourite movies is based on, but after a couple of pages I fell in love with it (despite all of its flaws).

 

 

and now the Worst of the Worst

The biggest letdowns of 2016  were two books I was unfortunately really looking forward to read.

The first one was Metro 2034 by Dmitrij Gluchovskij. This was such a huge disappointment for me, because the first book in the Metro series was really exciting with a lot of interesting characters, really good writing and a thrilling plot. Unfortunately, Metro 2034 had nothing of the things I loved about the first one.

The other letdown was Jaws. And what a letdown that was! This is a sentence you hardly ever hear me say, but seriously: Go and watch the movie! It is ten times better than the book.

 

Additionally, there are some honourable mentions, meaning books, I am happy to finally have read and which I therefore can happily cross off my bucket list. Those are:

The Catcher in the Rye (although this is definitely not one of my favourites), Frankenstein (which was really good) and A Christmas Carol (love it!)

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review 2017-01-02 03:14
Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens
Little Dorrit - Charles Dickens,Stephen Wall,Helen Small

Like many of his other books, Charles Dickens’s Little Dorrit is about the (eventual) triumph of good people over adversity. But it is also about the futility of struggling against the establishment. The good people in this book don’t strive so much as endure what life hands them until good fortune lifts them up. While this makes sense in light of the fact that Dickens was satirizing an ineffectual government, it makes for a curiously unsatisfying reading experience...

 

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.

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review 2017-01-01 22:23
A Christmas Carol ★★★★★
A Christmas Carol (Audible Audio) - Charles Dickens,Tim Curry

I love this story so much that I revisit it every year at the start of the holiday season. I love everything about it, from the characters to the story to the writing style. Dickens writes with sly humor, but there is no mistaking the gravity of his argument about the spirit of Christmas and those who pervert its lessons.

 

"There are some upon this earth of yours," returned the Spirit, "who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us, and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us."

 

And of Ignorance and Want, those children of Man:

 

"Have they no refuge or resource?" cried Scrooge.

"Are there no prisons?" said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. "Are there no workhouses?"

 

This is the audio version, read by Tim Curry, who is an excellent reader, though the version with Jim Dale’s performance is even better.

 

For the Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season book challenge, Task the Twelfth: The Wassail Bowl (Read a book set in the UK, preferably during the medieval or Victorian periods)

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