Friday, January 26, 2007

Madame Bovary

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) – Well this book was a little different than what I normally read. It contains a scandalous tale of a woman that has two affairs to satisfy her desire for love. The build up to the main story of the book helped me understand why she didn’t care for her husband. Although he really wasn’t a bad man. She was just blinded by the ideals of love and romance found in fiction stories. This book ends in suicide and a complete devastation of her family. It’s really quite sad to read. Every time she got bored of her life at home I was upset with her at her inability to accept the blessings she has. I don’t think I’ll ever read this book again, but it was a very interesting read. Apparently this book created an uproar when it was published because of the intimate details that were part of Madame Bovary’s affairs. Her adulterous behavior was not something that was to be published. But it was later accepted as a monumental book that change the way book were looked at. I did enjoy reading it because it was different and gave me a new story to read. The style of writing was a little difficult to read. It may be the translation I have or perhaps just Flaubert’s style. It’s in third person past tense but at the same time its revealing things only at the same time the characters find out. It’s interesting now that I think about it, but I was a little annoyed as I read. I had to reread some parts to understand what was happening. If you want something different to read then go for it. Its not bad.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Bram Stoker (1847-1912) – Well this was one of the most thrilling books I have read. I could barely put it down and was done reading it in a week. The story itself is very interesting and is written in journal form from the perspective of all the different characters. There are a few particular people involved in the story and are all effected by Dracula in some form. Their main goal is to figure him out and destroy him. The fast paced action in this book creates a fascinating scene and I really wanted to find out what would happen. If you don’t particularly like reading classic novels this is a good one to read anyway. It brings you into the world of classic literature but is interesting enough to keep your attention. The author was genius in his creation of a creature that would last for many years to come. There has been so much done with the story of Dracula in years since that it is truly a hit. The contents of this book are thrilling and I just don’t have the right words to describe it. At times I felt like some of the characters weren’t very smart. They went about things in a very round about way and I wanted them to just explain their actions to one another. I believe part of that frustration I had was because it was in journal form. I only knew as much as the individuals knew. The story happened at the same pace as the journal and I was a part of the story. I liked it but sometimes I wish I was given the knowledge of a narrator. Overall it was great. I would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting a good book.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Great Expectations

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) – The title of this book carries much of the weight of the story. This novel tells of a poor orphan boy, Pip. He is not able to recognize happiness and stay a hard worker in the blacksmith shop with Joe. He strives for what he thinks will be a better life. Once he is there he doesn’t find the happiness he desires because he finds his riches come from one that is not worthy in his eyes. I find that Pip is very ungrateful throughout most of the story. It is true that he is mistreated as a child and doesn’t have anything to be grateful for, but later he is blessed with some opportunities and doesn’t know how to be thankful for them.
There is a strange connection between all of the characters in this book. They are somehow related to one another in some sort of way. If not by blood then by incident. The book gives some very interesting twists in the relation of people that keeps it interesting. I almost want to yell at some of the characters to figure it out and to just get along. But the nature of the characters is very strong and unchanging.
Dickens definitely uses a style of writing that gets at your emotions rather than your head. It is very easy to follow the heart of the main character and what he is feeling. It is also easy to get angry at certain characters when they take advantage of another’s position. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was well written and kept me interested. I will for sure read another Dickens book at some time or another.