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"An eclectic bibliophile who enjoys a challenge, Kell maintains that reading is the most fun anyone can have by themselves!"
Nov. 7, 2013
The Picture of Dorian Gray
I wonder how much of Dorian was Wilde's own beloved Bosie (Lord Alfred Douglas) and how much of himself was in the tortured artist that adored him. Lord Henry seemed to personify Wilde's own ideas about the workings of society, yet the artist, Hallward, seemed to represent his more heartfelt romanticisms...<br/><br/>The story itself is fascinating, though - an exploration into the morals of the time, the belief that sin will show itself on the face of the sinner and that our sins will be found out however we try to hide them.
Nov. 7, 2013
Stoker’s style is incredibly atmospheric, evocative and sensual, drawing the reader into a dark world filled with tumultuous emotions, madness and sexual awakening, even making the protagonist, the brooding Count himself, a figure to be pitied and admired, as well as feared.<br/><br/>Whether or not you have seen any of the hundreds of film adaptations of this classic, really you should treat yourself to reading it first-hand, and experiencing the chilling mix of desire and horror
Nov. 7, 2013
Jane Eyre
Some of the most beautiful writing I have ever experienced: The descriptions of the various locales were such that I could almost feel the wind blowing over the moor and the dank, oppressiveness of Lowood School; the characters, far from being the usual beauteous creatures depicted in many a novel, both classic and contemporary, were plain and homely-looking, and were physically appealing to very few others (throughout the proceedings, the appearance of Miss Eyre is commented upon as being far from pleasing), which made a refreshing change; the plot developments were perfectly timed, so that every drop could be wrung out, without turning sour, before moving on to the next; and some scenes actually had me weeping, whether in sorrow or joy, at the situation of the characters.
Nov. 7, 2013
As much as I could appreciate it, I can't say I'm actively enjoyed this novel. I found too many of the characters thoroughly annoying in a million little ways and just couldn't see the attraction towards any of them as people. I know for a fact that if I were stuck with Highbury Society as shown here, I'd shun the lot of them. Except, perhaps, Mr. Knightly, as I found I agreed with him and felt he was not in it nearly enough for my liking.<br/><br/>I did, however, persevere to the end, as I was determined to finish it. I'm eventually got to grips a little more with the excessively formal style, but found it felt stilted when in the reading and, as a result, it felt like it took forever to plough through.
Nov. 7, 2013
The Three Musketeers
This is not just a classic tale of good versus evil, but has deliberately blurred lines which are crossed by all the characters on multiple occasions, asking the discerning reader to consider the context and implications of the characters’ actions before judging their behaviour. It is also a romp the likes of which it would be hard to beat – the swordplay is always quick and the author never stints on the danger as the heroes are thrust headlong into action.<br/><br/>If you’ve never read this, whether or not you’ve seen a film version, pick it up, turn the pages, and become completely absorbed in this most passionate, adventurous tale – I promise you will not regret it!
Nov. 7, 2013
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
This is very cleverly written in such a way that the reader never knows more than Jekyll's friend, a lawyer named Richard Enfield; although it is told in the third person he is our representative within the tale. By using this ploy, Stevenson manages to keep the tension notched right up and spins the yarn so skillfully that, had the story not been so well-known, the revelations would be shocking (oh, how I wish I could have read this when it was first published!).<br/><br/>What is most surprising, at least to this modern reader, is the description of Mr. Edward Hyde - in film adaptations, he is continually depicted as a hulking figure of powerful physical presence, which highlights how little regard the film industry has typically shown to classic literature.<br/><br/>This is one of those tingling tales that should be told round the fire on a cold winter's evening, with the wind howling and the rain lashing...
Nov. 7, 2013
Pride and Prejudice
Austen seems to enjoy offering up heroines that are slightly different than one might expect from a romantic novel of this period - they are witty, intelligent and fearless in their choices much of the time. They also seem to buck the trend of social propriety, even if it may cause them to lose their good name, happiness and position. <br/><br/>This is a highly enjoyable novel with more than enough social interaction, betrayal of trust, and witty badinage to entertain anyone with half a mind to give it a try.
Nov. 20, 2013
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Although I know this was written to be primarily aimed at children, it does seem rather dated and there are words used that kids of &quot;that age&quot; today wouldn't understand and many of Tom's antics would seem pretty tame (as would his collection of &quot;treasures&quot; such as marbles, a dead rat to swing on a string, and a brass knob - in this age of commercialism, children would marvel that anyone of any age would think of these things as worth having). This also seems a lot more childish than The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn did, although perhaps that's to be expected as this was written first and the hero is younger here.<br/><br/>Overall, I think I liked this slightly better than The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn but there's not much in it. It's was entertaining enough, but not one I think I'll pick up in paperback.
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