One Hundred Great Reads

Wide Sargasso Sea

Posted in review, Watch TV Instead by Jimmy on August 17, 2009
Wide Sargasso Side Cover

Wide Sargasso Side Cover

Author: Jean Rhys

Three word summary: Dull, slow, disingenuous

Thoughts: From the beginning of this novel I was really sure what to make of it.  I’ve never been a fan of period dramas and, apparantly, this book is closey based on Jane Eyre.  It must be some kind of tribute to a book which I ‘ve never been tempted to read (“philistine”, I hear you cry!).  In any case, this book never really engaged me from the beginning.  I found it hard to get into and the story fairly uninspiring.  Although there are some interesting turns, the main character’s decent into madness doesn’t really seem very credible to me.

Mark out of 10: 2

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The Crying of Lot 49

Posted in Probably Worth A Re-read, review by Jimmy on April 17, 2009

wasteAuthor: Thomas Pynchon

Three word summary: Pacey, witty, inaccessible.

Thoughts: Well, I found this is a difficult book to get my head round.  I had high hopes after the first chapter.  It all made sense.  There’s a girl who is asked to co-execute an estate of an ex-boyfriend.  She meets the co-executor and they start to have an affair.  It was funny, readable, and most importantly easy to follow.  However, after this is goes downhill very quickly.  Perhaps it was the cultural references that I just don’t understand.  A lot of it was just, whoosh, over my head.  I intend to re-read the book again at some point after I’ve read a companion to the book or something.  There’s enough Pynchon-inspired musicians that I like (Radiohead and Yo La Tengo) to make it worth my while getting back into it.

Mark out of 10: 4

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The Lord Of The Flies

Posted in Give Yourself A Few Free Nights, review by Jimmy on April 8, 2009

lord-of-the-flies

Author: William Golding.

Three word summary: Dark, short, tense.

Thoughts: I liked this book a lot. The characters leap out at you from a very early stage and there is a palpable tension throughout the book, which continues to rise and rise as the narrative continues. Although it seems a little dated now in language and style it is a very enjoyable read. In fact, that’s not fair. It’s a real page turner! I would like to have seen a little more adventures on the island, more about how the boys built their shelter and how they adapted to island life – it’s very hard to tell how long they’ve been on the island or what other kind of wildlife is on there, for example the fish and fruit they ate was very glossed over. I know the book is about children who wouldn’t know the papaya from avocado but I feel that the detail was missing slightly. Especially when you compare the book to one of my all time favourites: Robinson Crusoe.

Mark out of 10: 8

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