I've never considered Our Mutual Friend to be boring, but I do recognize that Charles Dickens can be an acquired (even difficult) taste to for some.
In his review of Our Mutual Friend, John Thornton writes, "Are generations of high school students wrong in thinking that Charles Dickens is one of the most boring writers ever to write what in many cases amounts to soap operas for money? An answer to this depends on what we mean by 'boring'."
Cover Art © Oxford University Press.
Did you know? 1984 is suddenly on the bestseller list, catapulting the novel to as-yet, unheard-of heights almost overnight! (BTW, his other novels are also climbing in sales.) What could it mean? You might well ask, "Why?"
Well, the news about NSA snooping is making everyone second-think (or "double-think"?) those stories once considered so delusional, wrought with paranoia, or far-fetched. But, now we wonder: how mush truth can we now find in re-examining those famous dystopian novels? What about all those predictions (and all the examples of how those fictional musings have become realities of modern science and technology)?
If you're one of those who have jumped on George Orwell's 1984 (bestselling) bandwagon of Winston Smith and Big Brother, based on the work of Yevgeny Zamyatin, you will likely enjoy these other great novels. So, why are these dystopian novels so popular now? Perhaps we're all just a little nervous that George Orwell and all the other writers might have really had it right, all along. Or, maybe, we just need to read about the worst possible realities of the future, so we can work to protect our freedoms and prevent those dystopian fictions from becoming a reality.
Here's one famous quote from 1984, George Orwell wrote: "People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word."
Are dystopian novels still too, far-fetched for you? What are your fears? Your hopes?
Cover Art © HarperCollins.
In his review of Jane Eyre, John Thornton writes: "There is something more going on in Jane Eyre than mere charm, true, something authentically powerful--if, as will be see, brief. But the power of Jane Eyre has less to do with the conflict of great forces that typifies great works of literature, and more to do with the subtle irritation of a delayed resolution to its most important episode."
In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte once wrote: "It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it."
Read more about Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte.
Cover Art © Scholastic, Inc.
Today is June 16, the day on which James Joyce had his first date with Nora Barnacle, who would later become his wife. June 16th is also the day on which the infamous novel, Ulysses (buy direct), is set.
Read more about James Joyce and his infamous works--on Bloomsday!
What are you doing this Bloomsday?!?