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text 2019-01-19 08:05
Reading progress update: I've read 332 out of 752 pages.
Moby-Dick (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) - Herman Melville

From an entire chapter dedicated to the type of rope used for whaling:

 

[...] but previous to that connection, the short-warp goes through sundry mystifications too tedious to detail.

 

YOU GUYS. Melville finding something too tedious to detail is like THE ULTIMATE BURN. Imagine being so tedious NOT EVEN MELVILLE CAN BE BOTHERED DESCRIBING YOU.

 

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review 2019-01-17 18:48
Mixing Good And Bad
Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) -

Scientist Victor Frankenstein is obsessed with finding a way to reanimate human life after death. After he successfully fulfills his desire he immediately regrets it, condemning the new horrific life form to live in hiding. As Frankenstein’s new monster learns to understand those around him and his own existence he begins to hate his creator. The monster enacts revenge on Victor by taking away those he loves, only stopping if the doctor does what the monster asks for.

The very start of the book reminded me of Moby Dick, at least the little I read of it. Victor Frankenstein obsession with creating life is very much like Ahab’s obsession with finding the whale. Then the middle of the book was like The Picture Of Dorian Grey which a book I really liked and very much about doing good or evil and how it affects those around yourself. It ends again like Moby Dick as Victor new obsession directs him. The middle of the book had me interested because it is really a discussion on what being human is or could be, and regret. Actually, it is about even more than that so much you could a book about and people probably have.

I for one not a fan of the scenes where Dr. Frankenstein was channeling Ahab from Moby Dick. His obsession is part of the reason I couldn’t finish Moby Dick. Luckily Frankenstein is much shorter than Moby Dick.

I am glad I took the time to read this. It is a book that is so much different than what the movies and tv have done. In fact, there is so much difference in the movies I am really curious why or how they came up with things...like the character Igor...no where in the book. The monster having a square head and bolts on the neck...nope not in the book. I am not a big fan of most classics but this one that I did enjoy.

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review 2019-01-17 16:30
The House of the Seven Gables (Hawthorne)
The House of the Seven Gables - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Somehow I missed this during my omnivorous reading of the 19th century gothic in my undergraduate years. I read it now from the point of view of someone who distinctly resembles fractious, unsightly Hepzibah far more than the idealized "little woman" Phoebe (though perhaps I have always been more a Hepzibah than a Phoebe). In any case, the emphasis on Hepzibah's incapabilities and infirmities, and her constant scowl, was the one truly uncomfortable note for me in this otherwise delightful excursion into Hawthorne's extravagant and oratorical chessboard of symbols and motifs. I'm aware that Hepzibah's offputting scowl, which does not at all represent her actual mood or actual morals, is the counterpart of the Judge's false and beaming smile, and both are equally insisted upon beyond any reasonable requirement for description so as to force the careless reader to consider what they actually represent. But I must admit, at the umpteenth reference to the ugly Hepzibah scowl, I was provoked into growling, "oh just give it a rest, already, Nathaniel!" Subtlety - not his forte.

 

Chapter 18 is extraordinary writing. I started reading it in a slightly irritated mood, because it seemed that the author was going to take a simplistic trope (the narrator doesn't realize that Judge Pyncheon is dead) and just make a chapter out of it without doing much. Instead, it becomes an absolute symphony of rhetorical, imaginative expansion of the would-haves and could-haves surrounding the mundane fact of a nasty man dead of congenital heart failure in a decaying old house.

 

I have a very small and select folder on my Kindle called, "read but keeping". In goes The House of Seven Gables.

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text 2019-01-17 06:23
Reading progress update: I've read 262 out of 752 pages.
Moby-Dick (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) - Herman Melville

"Ready," was the half-hissed reply.

 

Question: How does one half hiss a word with zero sibilant consonants?

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text 2019-01-16 17:33
Reading progress update: I've read 311 out of 460 pages.
The Penguin Classics Book - Various Authors,Henry Eliot

Les Miserables is the 2nd longest novel in the collection - only Clarissa is longer. I've read the former but not the latter; I wimped out and decided to try the shorter Richardson novel, Pamela, first, but even that is staring at me from the shelf, disapproving of the neglect it is suffering... 

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