Lit Review: Georges

Alexandre Dumas is well known for his plot twists and adventure tales. Georges does not disappoint. What is unique to Georges is a main character, who like Dumas himself, is a mulatto.

The novel’s eponymous main character sets out to revenge himself, and all men of color, after being wronged as a child by a white nobleman’s son. Needless to say, such a setting and plot is rather out of the normal for books of its time. In addition to this, we are offered a rare view from Dumas on the plight he faced as a mulatto.

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Lit Review: The Road

How I ended up reading this book is a bit beyond me. Sure, I was intrigued by it. Familiar with the influential nature it has had on post-apocalyptic everything.

But this book is post-modern to its very bindings. McCarthy writes extensively in tiny sentences, fragments, eschewing quotation marks and commas all the same. The world is bleak. The characters’ lives are bleak. The story is bleak.

And yet, I enjoyed it.

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Lit Review: Faust by Goethe

It is a familiar name. Even non-readers are familiar with Faust and the idea of the Faustian deal. But Faust extends well beyond this concept into a full-blown philosophical tour de force.

Goethe took a strong stance against organized religion while also seeking to tackle moral issues of his time. All of this he reveals throughout Faust, using heavy symbolism, particularly in Part Two, to make his case. Readers and fans of Shakespeare ought take note: this is a book length Shakespearean work, full of the hidden meanings and references as their eponymous predecessor.

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Lit review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Science Fiction is often written off in the Literature world. This book, however, makes a strong case for its inclusion. Most people who know of this book know of it for its movie derivative: Blade Runner. The movie, as is so often true, does the book no justice.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (or DADES from here on) is a book heavy on philosophy. What is it that makes us human? What is the place of religion and philosophy? Philip K. Dick tries to answer these questions through a story intertwining them in the lives of the book’s characters.

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Lit review: The Word for World is Forest

So as you may be able to tell, I am currently taking a Science Fiction as Literature class. Hence the science fiction book reviews. I have omitted the short stories we have read, although some of them are fantastic. In any case, the eponymous book was our latest.

The Word for World is Forest is a book by Ursula Le Guin, best known for her Tales of Earthsea series. Having previously read the first three books of the Earthsea series, I was apprehensive to read this book. The first book of that series was excellent, the second mediocre, and the third downright awful.

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Lit review: The Time Machine

I read The Time Machine many years ago. Revisiting it now, I have a much greater appreciation for it. It is, of course, still a timeless commentary on Marxist ideas. Although, I do think it tends to glorify the bourgeoisie through the ‘Eloi’.

In any case, the prose that Wells uses throughout the book is one of the the main things I wanted to touch on. It is simply lovely at times! I don’t recall it being so beautifully written when I read it the first time. One of my favorites is the last line of the book: “And I have by me, for my comfort, two strange white flowers – shriveled now, and brown and flat and brittle – to witness that even when mind and strength had gone, gratitude and a mutual tenderness still lived on in the heart of men.”

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Lit review: The Diary of a Country Priest

I can’t say that I was expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. I am no Catholic, and certainly no apologist of Catholicism, but this book is truly amazing. It is, as the title may suggest, the diary of the eponymous country priest.

My first impression was of familiarity. The book reminded me much of Flowers for Algernon (a great book might I add), in its styling. The second impression was the intimacy of reading the thoughts and interactions of the priest. The caring and love in his heart for his parish were poignant representations of Jesus’ love, love that we ought to live in the same way, emblazon our hearts with. Yes, we, like the priest, will fall short of this ideal to which we climb, but in our hearts it is there, even when we force it into dormancy.

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