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review 2017-03-25 15:37
The Wizard of Oz #4
All-Action Classics No. 4: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Ben Caldwell,L. Frank Baum

What a unique adaption of the Wizard of Oz and I have to say, that this graphic novel moves quickly. I thought that the frames were easy to follow and I liked the bright and bold colors that were used in the illustrations. I was disappointed that some of the classic features of the novel were left out but the author added some his own adaptions that I think younger children will enjoy. I found a few illustrations hard to decipher, the chaos inside them overlapping and the features hard to distinguish from one another, I decided that bedlam was taking place and I moved on to the next frame. Some of the characters had some interesting characteristics to make them stand out while other characters I wasn’t too fond of. This mix of characters created a fun and entertaining read.

 

The graphic novel opened up just like the classic novel that we all love with Dorothy and her beloved dog touching down in the Land of Oz. Finding out that she has just killed the Wicked Witch of the East, the munchkins inform her just how wicked the witch was including how the witch had cut the library funding. Dorothy doesn’t immediately find herself in the ruby slippers in this adaption, the munchkins tell Dorothy that she can remove the magical slippers from the witch and she then become the new Witch from the East. Dorothy is not sure if she wants to be a witch but the shoes are rather tempting and after explaining to them that she wants to go back home to Kansas, she puts on the sparkling shoes. The munchkins explain to Dorothy her best option to get back to Kansas and send her and her dog on her way with the golden bricks under her feet, the picnic basket swinging from her arm and her dog running beside her. With new adaptions to this classic, I found that this novel would be entertaining to younger children.

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review 2017-03-20 23:39
Parnassus on Wheels, by Christopher Morley
Parnassus On Wheels - Christopher Morley

Christopher Morley’s Parnassus on Wheels is a delightful novella about two oddballs who fall in love over books and light adventure in the early twentieth century. It’s a perfect book for bibliophiles, especially if they want something that has a happy ending (unlike my beloved The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry)...

 

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.

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review 2017-03-19 08:00
How We Weep And Laugh At The Same Thing
How We Weep and Laugh at the Same Thing (Little Black Classics #29) - Michel de Montaigne

Michel de Montaigne was apparently one the most important French Renaissance philosophers, but I had never heard of the good man before picking up this Little Black Classic which bundles six of his essays.

I was pleasantly surprised. His ideas were not particularly shocking (at least not today) but the meandering way in which it was written made for a nice read. However, while I liked this, I'm not really inclined into reading more of his essays.

Little Black Classics ~ 29

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review 2017-03-17 08:00
Femme Fatale
Femme Fatale (Little Black Classics #15) - Guy de Maupassant

Femme Fatale combines the title story and three other short stories from French author Guy de Maupassant. I can only say that they felt rather explicit and openly contained lesbianism which quite surprised me since it was being written in Victorian times. Something else I notices was that it had a French-ness that I can't really explain any better.

The stories themselves were okay, but none of them left a real impression with me. Rather, they felt quite flat, but I'm not sure some of it was lost in translation. Since I don't read in French, it would have to be in translation again, so I don't think I will be reading more of this author.

Little Black Classic ~ 15

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review 2017-03-13 14:43
Mr Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker
Mr. Rochester - Sarah Shoemaker

As most people who will choose to pick up this book, I am a fan of Jane Eyre and any other book written by the Bronte sisters. They have a way of clutching my emotions and drawing me into their stories as if they were reality. That being said, I have always wondered a bit about Mr Rochester. He and Jane's attraction for one another has been a bit of a mystery to me, so I thought it would be intriguing to read his point of view.

 

Mirroring Jane's own journey, this novel begins with Edward as a small child. He is largely ignored by his father, teased by his brother, and left to whatever amusements he can find for himself in Thornfield Hall. It is not until his father sends him away to a tutor that Edward forms any true relationships. Watching Edward's childhood pass by in a series of arrangements that his father makes for him without discussing or explaining them helps the reader see how he became the man he is in Jane Eyre. He is obedient to a fault, and this leads to the events that harden his character.

 

Rochester as a child deeply feels disappointment and loss in a way that explains why he is so guarded later in life. He is close to few but is a deep thinker, so this book takes us into his mind.

 

"Why had I so easily assumed there would always be another time, another chance?"

 

"The future is as uncertain as the weather, knowable only as far as one can see on each day, and therefore just as unpredictable and, just as unkind."

 

The heartbreak and neglect that he suffers helped me form a greater sympathy for and attachment to the dark, mysterious lover of my precious Jane. His battle to cope with the wife he is tricked into taking on also created greater sympathy for Rochester. While it is easy to read Jane Eyre and wonder at his great deception, in this book we see just how much he had done for poor, mad Bertha.

 

"Still, she was my wife; I had taken her for better or for worse, though none of us imagines beforehand how bad the worse might be."

 

I only wish that the revelation of character had continued once Edward and Jane's stories came together. Instead of continuing to be a deeper look at Rochester's thoughts, here the novel becomes a quick retelling of the story that we already know. It is still difficult to see the love growing between Jane and Edward. In fact, one wonders at how cruel this previously thoughtful and sensitive man could be toward the woman he claims to love more than any other.

 

He has suffered disappointment and disillusionment, but his actions toward Jane still don't seem to fit with the character that Shoemaker has created. The romance is there because we know it is, not because we see it happen.

 

If the Jane portion of the story seemed a bit rushed and didn't answer all the questions that I had hoped it would, I still greatly enjoyed this story. I feel a closer connection to Rochester having read it, especially through feelings he experiences that are easy to share, such as "I ran from the room, my mind at once full and blank, if such a thing is possible." Yes, it is possible. I feel for you Edward, as I did not before.

 

I received this novel through the publisher and NetGalley.

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