This once very popular work by the German Nobelist Hesse is deep, complex and fascinating. And, while short, readable and not terribly dense, it is not a page turner. It is a highly philosophical work that emerges from the narrative consciousness of a man in painful search for meaning outside the normal structures of the comfortable middle class. I listen to it when I have an energy that isn't satisfied by thrillers.
This is a fine presentation of a great novel. The characters and the twists and turns of the story come brilliantly alive. This has long been one of my favorite books and I like it even better after taking in the audiobook.
Again the characters are uncomplicatedly on the side of the good or the opposing sleazy guys. But the interesting character of Jack is missing. His absence is partially compensated by the heroine's powerful, aristocratic American relatives who are on the right side but not quite so good in heart. I had to have this after the first but I am not so hungry for the next one.
I couldn't stop listening to this book with keen enjoyment and kept going back over passages to make sure I'd gotten the full sense of it. That's the good news. This is serious fiction--almost. Where it falls short, I think, is trading off a deep sense of character complexity in favor of strongly delineating which side of the good/bad divide they are meant to be seen as standing on. So, well worth listening to but falls short of the hopes ot inspires.
At first I feared I'd picked a dud. The protagonist seemed too full of self pity to be taken seriously. The narrator's tone of relentless ponderousness contrbuted to this sense. I stuck with it though inermittently and eventually was swept up in a real 'Heart of Darkess' reversal. This is a woman's book in a profound sense, not for wonen only.
And he wrote about it with an excellence no one else has equalled. I would certainly listen to it again. I am amazed at how candid yet diplomatic Churchill is, and how beautifully he writes. Imagine a great world leader, also a brilliant journalist, who knows first hand the course of the most important war in history describing events and the personalities of the principal world rulers with penetrating insight and great humor. There is so much to be learned by this book, listening to it twice would only be good for starters.
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is a brilliant book and I loved it. However, the account of a journalist who lived through the war and observed it first hand pales in comparison with Churchills authority and intimate knowledge of events.
I thought of him as Churchill. I felt Churchill was telling me about the war.
Triumph and Tragedy. The birth of the world today.
This is one book I am going to get a hard copy and take notes.
I think there is sometimes a thin line between great literature and fine detective fiction. Tana French crosses this line. Her characters are finely and deeply drawn and the life they share is far more than a stage set for murder. In fact, the murder is so deeply rooted in the lives and personalities of the characters it serves as an entrance into their complex and difficult world. In other words, this book is not about solving a murder (even though it is) it is about searching for an understanding of love, family, fate and how it happens that one person comes to kill another.
There are so many, most of them explosive interactions between the characters. I think my favorite scenes are the flashbacks to the protagonist undercover cop and the murdered girl he loved.
It's funny that this question surprises me. The narration is so closely associated in my mind with the story, the connection is seamless. In other words, it's hard to imagine the story in any other way than that evoked by Mr. Reynolds.
Faithful Place. Where love brings death home to meet the family.
I've already downloaded In the Woods. Let me know when you have another.
I loved the Hot Kid so much I have practically memorized it and Honey's Room let me live a little longer in view of Carl (Carlos) Webster's ironic brilliance and daring do. All the characters in this book are memorable and intriguing, but the story and the action are not quite up to the standard of the Hot Kid. Nevertheless, I wouldn't have missed it.
I was desolate that it came so soon.
I don't even think of it as a performance it was so convincing. To me, Arliss Howard is the voice of the 1930's.
I loved Honey, so beautiful, appealing, open and direct. However, even though the Polish Countess/German Spy trails a faint scent of a stock character, she is my favorite. She encompasses the essence of a degenerate nobility and the power of a woman capable of intrigue, compassion and murder.
I am a student of 'classic' literature and Elmore Leonard is a prolific producer of
genre pulp fiction. So I stand up when I say his work has a seamy realism and pulse so artistic and close to life he provides profound satisfaction. It should be the basis for at least as many doctoral theses as it has been movies.
The author makes a big deal out of the upper class WASP background that sprouted many of the the CIA's agents, originally, but the narrator doesn't know how to pronounce a lot of the insider words and the author makes big boo boos like calling oarsmen
I wouldn't. It is too painful to hear someone try to create the Ivy League insider culture when he isn't of it. No Yale graduate would mention the fact that he was a Yale graduate and rowed against Harvard. But the author here lays out things like crew and skull & bones as though he knew something about them.
He could have attended Yale.
I would have cut out the entire beginning after the initial assassination. Unfortunately, I couldn't get past this part.
Yes. The title character is a wonder, rich, brilliant beloved by the poor and criminal class, but we never get to see this demonstrated. For most of the book the
The Toff is a great character, but is not developed. The same could be said for all of the other characters as well. They are introduced with much promise but it is never fulfilled.
The opening scene where the mysterious girl and the mysterious stranger who seems so kind and omniscient save the desperate nephew from drowning himself to get back at his rich uncle.
The Toff's friendship with the poor and criminal class, neither patronising nor judgmental, was inspiring. I would like to know more poor people and criminals. Seriously.
I am a fan of Creasy, and, actually, of most British mystery writers of a certain age--like Michael Gilbert, Reginald Hill, Ruth Rendell, and the Inspector Banks novelist (name escapes me at present). There is an innocence about these well-told stories that appeals to me in contrast to the stories featuring a martial arts master, ace sharpshooter and lady-killing hero who beats everyone up or shoots them to catch a really diabolic serial killer, for example--though I love Jack Reacher,too.
My only additional comment is that the questions I have answered here, that you asked, have no relation to the questions that appear in the review as published which makes me look like an idiot.
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