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review 2020-05-27 16:42
Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë

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The last time I recall someone telling me that a book was the greatest romance they ever read, they were speaking about "Fifty Shades of Grey." I was reluctant to even read this one because I knew that I probably wasn't going to like it. I started to read it and went, yep do not like. I gave this two stars honestly because it's engrossing to read even though I didn't like one character save the two servants (Nelly and Joseph). And I was pretty much luke-warm on Nelly for most of the book. I don't know, maybe this would have worked better if the story was told from Catherine or Heathcliff's point of view. Most of the story follows Nelly's POV and a man named Mr. Lockwood. 

 

"Wuthering Heights" begins in 1801 when a man named Lockwood begins the tale. Lockwood is a new tenant at Thrushcross Grange and he goes to pay a visit to his landlord a Mr. Heathcliff. Mr. Heathcliff lives in his home called Wuthering Heights. Lockwood is repelled by most of the household (same boy, same) and wonders at the young woman named Cathy that lives there and a young man that Cathy seems to despise named Hareton. When Lockwood stays overnight in Wuthering Heights, he finds the diary of a woman named Catherine Earnshaw and starts to wonder about the people who lived there. He eventually gets his housekeeper, Nelly to tell him about what went on at Wuthering Heights. Bronte then proceeds to take up the rest of the tale explaining about Catherine, her brother Hindley, Heathcliff and the Linton family. 

 

So, there's so much going on that the narrative told by Nelly doesn't help. Nelly is like the priest in Romeo and Juliet to me. Knows a lot about what is going on, but does nothing to help. 

 

I honestly don't get why women were swooning over Heathcliff. He's a bully and as much of a mess as Catherine. I do feel badly for how he was treated by Hindley, but he purposely went about trying to ruin people and play God with other characters.


Catherine seemed ridiculous to the extreme to me. I just imagine that the men fought over her because no one else was in the vicinity besides Isabella. 

 

Hindley I found to be terrible and I honestly pitied Edgar and Isabella. The last two are just used as chess pieces and don't seem to be viewed as people with real hope for love and a happy marriage. 


The writing was a bit tough to get through. It just didn't work for me at all as a Gothic romance. I really loved Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte so just figured this would work for me too. I think if the book had switched things up so that we stayed with one narrator this would have made things stronger. 

 

The flow was off. I think switching from narrator to another narrator and I think some other narrators (my brain shut off) it just made the story too unwieldy to follow after a while. 

 

The setting of Wuthering Heights sounds desolate and unforgiving though.


The ending just leaves you with a shake of your head. You are left thinking that maybe a cycle has been broken, but you wonder since once again, the families in this story are a hot mess.  

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text 2020-05-26 21:02
Reading progress update: I've read 16%.
Murder by Matchlight (British Library Crime Classics) - E.C.R. Lorac,Martin Edwards

“Pop in!” she adjured him.

“Landing blackout’s N.B.G. I do like a bit of light. This dark business is enough to give a girl the creeps. Come right in. That’s better, isn’t it?”

“Much better,” replied Macdonald cheerfully, blinking a little in the strong light. His first impression was of a prevailing pinkness: pink walls, pink curtains, pink cushions: artificial pink roses stood in ornate vases, artificial cherry blossoms trailed over mirrors and peeped coyly round elaborately framed photographs. Macdonald disliked pink as a colour, and this room seemed to him to resemble pink blanc-mange. He turned in some relief to study the owner of all this roseate effect—a neat little black-coated figure, she stood and returned his stare sedately.

This is my second attempt at E.C.R. Lorac's works. I didn't enjoy my first attempt - Bats in the Belfry - much, and it took me 4 attempts so far to get into this story without drifting off.

 

It's not looking good for E.C.R. Lorac's books to make any further appearances on my TBR. 

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text 2020-05-26 19:00
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë

Well we finally get into the history of Mr. Heathcliff, Hindley, and Cathy. 

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review 2020-05-20 19:31
The Call Of The Wild by Jack London
The Call of the Wild/White Fang - Jack London
Wow!
I went through so many emotions while listening to this audiobook.
I was outraged at the abuse that occurred throughout. I was excited by the perseverance of the animals. I was saddened with each death. I was elated when freedom reigned.
I now know why this is such an acclaimed classic story.
It's brilliant!
It really takes you through it all, on each step of this cold journey. You really feel a sense of what it could have been like at that time, in that place.
Now I look forward to seeing the film. I have heard mixed reviews but love drawing my own conclusions. I suggest you forget whatever you may or may not have heard and do the same for yourself.
 
 
Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2020/05/the-call-of-wild-by-jack-london-30.html
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review 2020-04-22 17:36
Bleak House
Bleak House - Charles Dickens

There are many curses that people place upon themselves and their descendants, some are the rest of their actions and others by their indecisions complicated by bureaucratic failures then sometimes it’s both. Charles Dickens shows the effects of both in his 1853 novel Bleak House not only on his main characters but also on secondary characters who are just unlucky to interaction with the afflicted persons.

 

Sir Leicester Dedlock and his wife Honoria live on his estate at Chesney Wold. Unknown to Sir Leicester, before she married, Lady Dedlock had a lover, Captain Hawdon, and had a daughter by him. Lady Dedlock believes her daughter is dead. The daughter, Esther Summerson, is in fact alive and is raised by Miss Barbary, Lady Dedlock's sister, who does not acknowledge their relationship. After Miss Barbary dies, John Jarndyce becomes Esther's guardian and assigns the Chancery lawyer "Conversation" Kenge to take charge of her future. After attending school for six years, Esther moves in with him at Bleak House. Jarndyce simultaneously assumes custody of two other wards, Richard Carstone and Ada Clare (who are both his and one another's distant cousins). They are beneficiaries in one of the wills at issue in Jarndyce and Jarndyce; their guardian is a beneficiary under another will, and the two wills conflict. Richard and Ada soon fall in love, but though Mr. Jarndyce does not oppose the match, he stipulates that Richard must first choose a profession. Richard first tries a career in medicine, and Esther meets Allan Woodcourt, a physician, at the house of Richard's tutor. When Richard mentions the prospect of gaining from the resolution of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Jarndyce beseeches him never to put faith in what he calls ‘the family curse’. Richard disregards this advice and his subsequent career endeavors fails as a result of his growing obsession while his personal relationship with Jarndyce deteriorates. Lady Dedlock is also a beneficiary under one of the wills and while looking at an affidavit by the family solicitor, Mr. Tulkinghorn, she recognizes the handwriting on the copy and almost faints, which Tulkinghorn notices and investigates. He traces the copyist, a pauper known only as "Nemo", in London. Nemo has recently died, and the only person to identify him is a street-sweeper, a poor homeless boy named Jo, who lives in a particularly grim and poverty-stricken part of the city known as Tom-All-Alone's. Lady Dedlock investigates while disguised as her maid, Mademoiselle Hortense. Lady Dedlock pays Jo to take her to Nemo's grave. Meanwhile, Tulkinghorn is concerned Lady Dedlock's secret could threaten the interests of Sir Leicester and watches her constantly, even enlisting her maid to spy on her. He also enlists Inspector Bucket to run Jo out of town, to eliminate any loose ends that might connect Nemo to the Dedlocks. Esther and Lady Dedlock see each other at church and talks at Chesney Wold without recognizing their connection. Later, Lady Dedlock does discover that Esther is her child. However, Esther has become sick (possibly with smallpox, since it severely disfigures her) after nursing the homeless boy Jo. Lady Dedlock waits until Esther has recovered before telling her the truth. Though Esther and Lady Dedlock are happy to be reunited, Lady Dedlock tells Esther they must never acknowledge their connection again. Meanwhile Richard and Ada have secretly married, and Ada is pregnant. Esther has her own romance when Woodcourt returns to England, having survived a shipwreck, and continues to seek her company despite her disfigurement. Unfortunately, Esther has already agreed to marry her guardian, John Jarndyce, who sees Woodcourt is a better match for her and sets not only Woodcourt with good professional prospects and sets the two of them up for an engagement. Hortense and Tulkinghorn discover the truth about Lady Dedlock's past. After a confrontation with Tulkinghorn, Lady Dedlock flees her home, leaving a note apologizing for her conduct. Tulkinghorn dismisses Hortense, who is no longer of any use to him. Feeling abandoned and betrayed, Hortense kills Tulkinghorn and seeks to frame Lady Dedlock for his murder. Sir Leicester, discovering his lawyer's death and his wife's flight, suffers a catastrophic stroke, but he manages to communicate that he forgives his wife and wants her to return. Inspector Bucket, who has previously investigated several matters related to Jarndyce and Jarndyce, accepts Sir Leicester's commission to find first Tulkinghorn’s murderer and then Lady Dedlock. He quickly arrests Hortense but fails to find Lady Dedlock before she dies of exposure at the cemetery of her former lover, Captain Hawdon. A new will is found for Jarndyce and Jarndyce that benefits Richard and Ada, but the costs of litigation have entirely consumed the estate bring the case to an end. Richard collapses and Woodcourt diagnoses him as being in the last stages of tuberculosis and he dies before the birth of his namesake son. John Jarndyce takes in Ada and her child, a boy whom she names Richard. Esther and Woodcourt marry and live in a Yorkshire house which Jarndyce gives to them. The couple later raise two daughters.

 

The above synopsis only covers the main plot, but expertly woven throughout are two subplots surrounding Caddy Jellyby and Mr. George Rouncewell who interact with the main characters at various times throughout the novel. Dickens masterfully crafts the cast of characters and the plot in an engaging and intriguing serious of plots that make the book a complete whole thus showing why his work is considered among the greatest of literature. Yet Dickens is also a bit too wordy resulting in scenes taking longer than they should and making some readers like myself, to start skimming through places in the later half of the book when a character that likes to spout off begins having a soliloquy of some indeterminable length at the expense of missing something connected to the slowly culminating climax.

 

Bleak House turns out to show Charles Dickens at his best as well as showing off what might be his one little flaw. The interesting characters and multilayered narrative keep the reader engaged throughout the book even as they must sometimes endure Dickens wordiness that might drown them in unnecessary prose. Though over 900 pages, a reader should not feel intimidated given that many Dickens books are an extraordinary length and the reader keeps on being engaged throughout their reading experience so that length does not matter.

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