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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