Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Charles Dickens (Chapter 30 in Oliver Twist).
Does that make you want to cry? I did. Of course, I had twenty nine chapters to build up to this beautiful scene, so when Rose laid eyes on Oliver for the first time her compassion for him was powerfully overwhelming.
I have heard it said that Dickens was an angry man, who strafed the world with his satirical novels, poking and parodying those he felt the greatest contempt for. I disagree (partly). I think that Charles Dickens was a great student of human nature, with a quick and brilliant intelligence that was elaborate, prolific and that his novels are a wonderful gift from a great man who could see, not only the most ugliest of human nature but the purest beauty of it as well. I can appreciate the goodness more because the badness has been thoroughly shown to me beforehand. Not only is the language beautiful, the characters are unique as well, and every feeling while reading this novel is felt fully, humour, horror, fear, compassion, relief, you will have your full measure (with a heart filled to bursting!), and get to have the genuine Dickens experience.
This is by far my favorite Miss Marple mystery. Boo to the BBC for cocking it up. I mean, really! What was wrong with the original? Nothing!
Okay, I'm kidding (a little bit!). I feel that there is more here than just a murder mystery. This, to me, is a nod at a bygone era (just passing by moments before), making all of the events a very nostalgic trip down not just the memory lane of our protagonist but of Agatha Christie's as well. In my mind's eye I can see all of the ghosts and it made this book, for me, extremely beautiful as well as a very emotionally powerful story.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
There were lots of references to Earth (so apparently this story is not too far in the future). The story rolled along at a steady clip, kept me engaged but while I'm thinking about it, there was one character, who was a catalyst to the crisis in the story, who just disappeared at a certain point and I didn't see anything about him again.
It was a baffling but interesting romp, in a not too strange world with a uniquely formed culture. It won the Nebula so there's got to be a good reason for that right?
I have no imagination. How I would come up with a story or a plot or an adventure is beyond my ambitions. The only thing I know about is my own life, and believe me, that would be a miserable thing to write or read about. Why write when there is already so many amazing books out there? I would rather spend my time reading them than writing them.
I'm grateful not everyone feels the same way as I do, and of course, ever so grateful that I grew up in an age that has so many great writers. I don't know how many ways I can say this but I am just so glad that Ray Bradbury was born. What an immense gift to the world, and to myself. He takes me to so many different places, with so many different problems, each an experience so different from the last and all flavored with his enthusiasm and joy for the written word. Out in space, where he isn't limited to what might happen here on Earth, the ideas are just unfathomable, showing me that he was such a great writer, and how I never could be.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
This book in a way was a Spring Cleaning kind of book. A whole bunch of loose ends were taken care of (quite satisfactorily), with the promise of some good things to come. Naturally, it won't stay that way.
I just had to revisit this book today as I have been reading Agatha Christie's autobiography and I was ever so excited when she began talking about her attempt at writing her very first detective novel.
I have to say that the experience was pleasurable in that I saw so much more in the book than previous readings. I appreciated every part that refered to her actual experiences, was tickled pink by them and amused! I couldn't help chuckling every time I encountered something that came directly from her own life. She really was a funny old duck, with tremendous talent, and is still one of my favorite mystery writers. I still haven't finished the autobiography, it's quite a long book, but every chapter is very interesting, and Agatha always wrote in a style that is so relaxing and enjoyable to read.
I would recommend any day a Christie mystery... just put aside a day for reading, choose a very comfortable chair, wear your softest clothing, drink tea out of your favorite literary mug, curl up and savor the experience.
Friday, March 8, 2013
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Then of course there is The Veldt. Such a powerful story which has touched many people I think, so check out this link for a wonderful homage to the story. The Veldt I love the video, love the song and try not to get teary eyed (and always do). I think that if Ray had lived to see it he would have thought it was wonderful and he would just have been tickled about it.
It's just not my cup of tea. In this instance, I think the movie is better than the book because you don't get too bogged down wth the technojargon (which always automatically switches off any interest I may have). Either version of the movie is neat and nifty in a very insipid paranoia-inducing way, the seventies version for nostaligia's sake (they made so many pre and post apocalyptic shows in that era, it's hard not to be fond of them) and the tv movie that they made in the last decade with newer technology but the same effect (the creepy-heebeegeebee-paranoia effect).
Secret germ warfare facilities out in the desert ready to blow at any time...yep, that's creepy. And probably true...
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Huge fan of Jane Austen? Can’t get enough of Pride and Prejudice? Well look no further (well maybe that isn’t the right thing to say as I will always be on the lookout for more fan fiction about Pride and Prejudice!). This trilogy goes a long way to fulfilling the need for more. The Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy is very thorough. Three books about one book, all about Darcy’s delicious side of the tale, it is very satisfying, doling out not just Darcy’s oh-so-wrong outlook and his struggles to become the man that would be eligible for marriage with Elizabeth Bennet, but sharing other lovely tidbits of Regency Era history, and some nods to the other books that Austen wrote (but I’m not going to tell you much about that…it’s just too much fun to find them on your own). This is a must-have for a Janeites collection, and be sure to have plenty of Earl Grey tea, harp music, and of course, an empty weekend in which to indulge yourself completely with this lovely collection of novels.