Hard Times by Charles Dickens
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
From the very onset it felt like the reader was lambasted with useless jargon and unnecessary repetition. The very first page was a stark reminder of the very reason I never enjoyed Dickens in my adolescence.
It was my intention to read the book in its entirety, but due to an uneasy restlessness and annoyance at Dickens' words it prompted me to shut the book and call it a day (indefinitely). I believe that life is too short to struggle through a book. I admire those that are a fan of Dickens work, but I cannot faithfully say that I am one of them. Perhaps, you might be more emphatic to my reasoning when you review the following extract below:
"The scene was a plain, bare, monotonous vault of a school-room, and the speaker's
Indeed, repetition is a wonderful thing but in this case it is infuriating!
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The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
"The Two Towers" is a highly descriptive tale, but too long-winded in my opinion.
The sequel to "The Fellowship of the Ring" most certainty had a different tune, far more focused on the character's travels before they can reach their journey's end. In a sense, this was the predominant theme in this book - travelling, and the reader has to endure each weary step that a character must undertake on their way to Mordor.
Tolkien should be praised for the sheer descriptiveness of the changing landscapes, especially his detailing of the Dead Marshes, the western parts of Gondor (Ithilien) and the perilous cave of Shelob's Lair. Tolkien's attention to detail allows the reader to vividly imagine the foreboding settings that Sam and Frodo cautiously venture into. The author successfully taps into the reader's sensations, in which they can detect the sights, sounds and even tastes that the character's experience. I highly enjoyed the travels of the two main character's Frodo and Sam, but the rest of the characters like Merry and Pippin I wish I could dispense of.
I am ashamed to admit it, but it took me nearly two years to complete this novel. I am naturally a fast reader, but this sequel could not hold my attention for long. The moment I picked it up, it would eventually be lowered so I could wander off to a new novel. I believe my disinterest was a direct result of tedious, unnecessary plot-lines that felt more like a filler to me. I believe Tolkien was at the height of his game when the characters were put into extreme circumstances or suspenseful scenes such as Shelob's Lair, so I wished he incorporated more nail-biting scenes that would keep the reader engaged.
All in all, it was somewhat of an enjoyable read. It may take me a while to pick up the final novel "The Return of the King." A strange intuitive feeling assures me that I will enjoy the final instalment far better than "The Two Towers," but I suppose I will have to just wait and see...
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I am so honoured to be interviewed by such a spectacular book reviewer. Are you interested in learning about my writing projects and things still to come? Check out the link below to read it now.
The Ghost of Emily Grey by Renee Ross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Spellbinding! A truly exquisite piece of Gothic literature.
Renee Ross has done it again! From the very first page, the author draws you into the eerie settings of a large Gothic castle and a tortured soul that is about to plummet to her death. "The Ghost of Emily Grey" is full of mystery after mystery. Just when the reader thinks they have discovered the truth, they are thrown off the trail and have to start all over again. It felt like I was on the tip of my toes the whole time, for the suspense was like a lightening bolt - clear and piercing until dark shadows came around to hide the truth from the reader once more. The entire experience was absolutely memorizing!
After the tragic death of Emily Gray, the second part of the story is set in the year of 1964; a young seventeen year old girl named Claire is anxious to leave the Sisterhood chapel and work under the supervision of Doctor Kensington's. She is hired as a nanny, and is expected to take care of a two month old baby due to the mother's inability to watch over of him. From the start, Claire is bewildered, almost awe-struck by the gigantic mansion that she is forced to call her home. There is a dark foreboding about the place, an eerie feeling that makes her uncomfortable especially when she learns of the gruesome suicide of Emily Grey. Fearful that the house is haunted and that the ghost of Emily is blood-thirsty and wants to take poor baby Daniel as her own, it is up to Claire to find out the truth and save the family before it is too late.
If you think you know how this story is going to end, you are wrong. There are so many twists and turns, it is makes you realize how much of a brilliant writer Renee Ross truly is. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is a fan of "The Turn of the Screw" or any other famous pieces of Gothic literature with a hint of the macabre and murder.
I look forward to reading more of the author's works in the near future. Congratulations again, for another stunning piece of Gothic literature!
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