Nic ~ The Great Gatsby

11 01 2010

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great American Novel says what?

chicken butt.


chicken thigh.

Maybe it’s because I read this book full of expectations, maybe because I whisked through it because it looked little, maybe because I didn’t put enough effort into it….Maybe it’s because I am not American.

But I don’t get it.  I think that I am going to read it again.  Slowly, and with focus, and intention.

I suppose that I can see why this would be considered a great literary work…the story itself is interesting, characters on the whole are rich and seemingly dimensional.  Touching upon the “Jazz Age”, prohibition, organized crime, love, jealousy,  the relationship between the pride of being priviledgde and the fall of the materialistic.  It was a piece of literature, that actually upon it’s first arrival to publication, did very poorly, but over time garnered a huge success and following.  And I am able to see the attributes that would gain it this following, but I am feeling far to high minded about it to myself be a respectful fan.

I just think Nick is a take me for a ride pansy, Daisy is a quasi tempting poison, and that Gatsby is a wiener.

I seriously will read this again soon and write a more apt review.


Nic ~ The Twisted Heart

11 01 2010

The Twisted Heart ~ Rebecca Gowers

As you can probably read on the picture of the cover, this book has an interesting little premise that beckoned me to read it.

Kit, a work obsessed literary student, is obsessed with death.  Not all death, just that of prostitutes in the 1900s.  I says pardon?  Kit has spent her time becoming an expert on Dickens, and is searching for clues as to how a real life murder coinciding with the writing of Olive Twist may have been tied to it.  Pouring over documentation in her single room flat, or at the local library leaves little time for a love life.  But when she forces herself to engage in the outdoor world via a dancing class, she finds herself being chased by danger as well…the danger of love (bazinga!).  As her relationship with Joe, as well as both their families and friend further, Joe brings new insight into her hunt for finding out how a real life crime affected not only the writing, but the life, and ultimate demise of one of the worlds greatest literary voices.

As a side note, supposedly the information about Dickens and the murder mystery cases entanglement are in fact, actually new details, that are providing new insight to scholars as to how Dickens concocted his tales.

I was more interested in finding out the details of Dickens and the gruesome real life murder than the romance myself, but an interesting read for a true literary lady.  At times, I found it to be a little bit sluggish in pace, but still, not bad in the end.

Nic ~ On Chesil Beach

11 01 2010

On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan

I previously really enjoyed Ian McEwan’s work, Atonement.  So, I decided that I would take a crack at another one of his works.

Focusing on the wedding night of a newly married couple, it takes us along on the tormented ride as they try to navigate through the expectations of one another as a spouse, and their perceived duties to one another.

The book is a short read, but nonetheless, chock full of emotion.  Moving from trepidation and confusion, to determined and vigilant, to joy and then to pain and bitterness, McEwan certainly does a good job in catching all the fleeting human emotions that pass through one.  As the short story deepens, you begin to learn about the husband and wife’s lives before one another, and beginning to understand the delicate balance in which they exist, you begin to see the heavily weighted string upon which everything is dangling for these two.

I found this story to be very interesting and powerful.  It reflects on different times, when men and women alike were quiet about sex, kept in the dark, and refrained from discussing it in any way (although a note here, interestingly enough, this book spares no details, some of which I found to be unnecessary, but I can be a bit of a prude sometimes.  I can see how the author would deem them necessary to tell the story as he wanted to).  Now a days, the very opposite seems to be true.  From a young age, boys and girls alike know things that worry me to think about, things that young minds cannot at all fully comprehend, let alone deal with emotionally.  This book pushes that idea forward, dealing with how different experiences change people, making me think that neither that period of time, nor the current one have gone about it in the best of ways.  An answer to repression is often to be liberated.  I took away that in life, neither approach really seems to win over a situation.

An interesting read, but possibly not for all.