Books, classics, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

People have been reviewing Great Expectations for 150 years. It’s the essence of a classic to survive such a long time and still being read. It is also a writer’s name that adds to a classic’s character, but that is not always the case. However, with Charles Dickens it is the former case and readers have expectations. I do. Whenever I start reading a Dickens novel, I expect it to be long, and contain all the elements of a story telling. Certainly, Dickens is one of the masters of the art.

The story is of an orphan,Pip, who from the beginning of the novel is not an ideal protagonist who have to be heroes or emotionally and physically strong. The story in short is tale written in first person narrative is about a person and his “great expectations”. It is the tale of self-understanding and perception. As a young boy Pip, lives with his sister ad her husband, kind soul, of whom he is fond of in his childhood. One day his presence is at demand in front of a strange woman who lives in a grand house with her niece. This is the starting of Pip’s “Great Expectations”. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens”

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Books, Essay

Understanding Infinite Jest

David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest turned twenty this year and a year ago when  I reviewed it, I did mention that, I am quoting myself, Reading INFINITE JEST was a task waiting to be done for quite a long of time.” Indeed it’s a task. Reading any book above thousands pages, is a big task for me. Infinite Jest was first of its kind and one of its kind for me. After it, I had courage to read books like Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Dickens’ Bleak House, the list is a little bit longer than I expected.

Reading a massive novel means that a reader is willing to be attentive to a period of time in which he completes the task of reading that book. In this particular period, the reader’s attention span can be distracted due to daily activities and a thing called life. What tends a reader to read such massive works? (Another question can also be put here: what tends a writer to write such a massive work? But we are leaving the writing part for some time later.) Well, the one major factor I have found in every lengthy book is the start is important. The start of the text, is what will make a reader curious about it and such that the force of curiosity drives the reader to complete the book.

The start of Infinite Jest wasn’t extraordinary but it was enough for one to be engrossed to. Many might not agree, but that is how I felt since I have never read Wallace’s works before and neither had I read that kind of writing style. I seldom think about reading Infinite Jest one more time, however I know the outcome will be again, disappointing. It was the ending that did not work for me. Yes, the ending of any text is as essential as the beginning but it is not in my hands (or yours), to end a book in a way we want. The ending of the book does not at all depends on the few mere pages of what happens when to whom but it actually depends on the structure of the book.The structure of the book is essential to handle the complexity, if there are going to be a 1000 pages, there is going to be some complexity and not just words pen down in abstract manner. The structure of the book must cope with its characters regardless of the writing style of a writer. 

This is what Infinite Jest made me understand.


Which David Foster Wallace book have you read recently/last?

What do you think about massive books?

Check out this link: Five David Foster Wallace Essays You Should Read

Books, classics, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens  is a book full of quotes. It is the book, in which the lines must be quoted and not para-phrased. I remember first picking up this book when I was fifteen but never finished. Until last year, when I finished the book. Charles Dickens has been a very important personality in my life. I got to know him when i was thirteen when I remember reading Oliver Twist which had an impact over me at that time.

Dickens characters always has never failed to amaze me but A Tale of Two Cities is all about the storyline which is set during era of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. It is a story of love, betrayal, courage, and of sacrifice and redemption. A Tale of Two Cities begins with Miss Lucie Manette and Mr. Jarvis Lorry make a trip to Paris because they believe they’ve found her father. Dickens describes their venture as on their, “way to dig someone out of the grave.” After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter.

Years later after Doctor’s release, Lucie and Dr. Manette take part in the trial of Charles Darnay, who is found innocent, and Darnay seeks Lucie’s hand in marriage. When revolutionaries learn that Darnay is related to an evil aristocrat, they imprison him the next time he is in France. Sydney Carton determines he can bring value to his life by rescuing Darnay. The novel successfully cover the theme of self-sacrifice and self-worth. It also provides social commentaries on British and French culture and politics.  Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens”

Books, classics, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

David Copperfield  by Charles Dickens is considered to be the most closest work resembling Dickens life. It is autobiographical. is the story of a young man’s adventures on his journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist.

There is a funny anecdote related to this book. At the time when I was reading David Copperfield, a friend of mine tells me that the first book Sigmund Freud gave his fiancee, Martha Bernays, on their engagement in 1882. At the moment, I wanted to question his anecdote but I thought it otherwise. I said to myself, ‘Why not read this 900 pages book and find the answer to that ‘why’ myself?’ And indeed I did.

The first half of the novel begins with the childhood of David Copperfield. The childhood starts of with his father’s death only when he is three years old. His mother, very young, pretty, and inexperienced, raises the boy with the help of her loyal maid, Clara Peggoty. Things go well, young David is growing up in a happy, loving home until his mother marries again. David’s stepfather, believes that firmness is the only way of dealing with boys. He ends up sending Davy away to a boarding school run by a cruel schoolmaster. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: David Copperfield by Charles Dickens”

Books, classics, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Bleak House is a novel by Charles Dickens, published in 20 monthly instalments between March 1852 and September 1853. The title, ‘Bleak House’ isn’t exactly an invitation for a reader to pick it up, and not a famous one either in terms of other Charles Dickens novels, especially A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations. Even though it is not as famous as Dickens other novels yet it is one of the vast book and includes engaging variety of minor characters and sub-plots.

The novel starts by a description of a murky November day in London. Thought out the novel Dickens’ descriptions of fog over the London in various words and styles is extraordinary. This novel share the brilliance of Dickens’ manner of writing, wit, plots and sub plots and yet it is different from his all other novels. The first base of Bleak House being different is that it is not Dickens’ regular morality tale. Bleak House has been called the first detective novel in English, and there is a mystery to be solved, avaricious lawyers, a blackmail attempt, a thoroughly nasty old man who spontaneously combust whether because of his drinking or his wickedness is never entirely clear.

The book is driven forward by two figures alternatively, one an unknown, unnamed narrator and Esther Summerson who is one of the major characters of the book. Capable and affectionate Esther Summerson knows nothing of her lineage since having been brought up by her godmother. Her life is one of misery and solitude until she is placed under the care of her guardian, Mr. Jarndyce, an eccentric, warm-hearted bachelor. Mr. Jarndyce’s two other wards, cousins Richard and Ada, adore Esther as well, and she finds herself completely happy and loved for the first time in her life. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Bleak House by Charles Dickens”

Book List, Books, classics

Five Anthony Trollope Books You Should Read

April 24 marked Anthony Trollope’s 200th birthday. The 19th century english novelist wrote forty seven novels and is famous for details and descriptions of his characters and the scenic settings described in his books. He often been compared to Charles Dickens for that. But I personally think, Anthony Trollope is Trollope and Charles Dickens is Dickens. They are both, two separate writers who write well. Here are five books you should take a look that are written by Anthony Trollope:

The Warden

The Warden centers on Mr. Harding, a clergyman of great personal integrity who is nevertheless in possession of an income from a charity far in excess of the sum devoted to the purposes of the foundation. On discovering this, young John Bold turns his reforming zeal to exposing what he regards as an abuse of privilege, despite the fact that he is in love with Mr. Harding’s daughter Eleanor. It is an essential novel is you read any books written by Trollope.

The Way We Live Now

It is widely considered Trollope’s best work. The satirical novel is definitely worth a read for those interested in the social commentary on the time period that continues to be relevant today. It is a tale of a great financier’s fraudulent machinations in the railway business, and his daughter’s ill-use at the hands of a grasping lover is a classic in the literature of money.

Can You Forgive Her?

This is the first in the Palliser series of novels by Anthony Trollope. Published in 1865, the novel recounts the story of a young woman who breaks off her engagement with a perfectly fine fiancé and then marries a man more suited to her own temperament. In this book Trollope has created a telling and wide-ranging account of the social world of his day. Continue reading “Five Anthony Trollope Books You Should Read”

Books

BOOKS ON THE SHELF

    DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER by Jeff Lindsay

BLEAK HOUSE by Charles Dickens