I’ve been silent for a while on the blog, and that is because I’ve been busy at university. But thankfully, now I am on my semester break and am looking forward to relaxing and reading those books I don’t have to read for my course.
However, the books I read this semester for class were ones that wouldn’t have been on my top of the reading list, but I thought I would get back into wrtiing on the blog by firstly writing the book reviews for the six books I read this semester.
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner: (From back book cover, the blurb): Depicting the gradual disintegration of the Compson family through four fractured narratives. The novel explores intense, passionate family relationships where there is no love, only self-centredness. The heart of the novel is about lovelessness.
If you like classics then you have most likely heard of this novel. The style of the novel is hard to read with the objective characters and distortion of chronologic order. However on the bases of the story it is a good read once you get past its difficulties, and it is no wonder it is a classic in American literature.
The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce: (From back book cover, the blurb): Against the backdrop of the nineteenth-century Dublin, a boy becomes a man; his mind testing its powers, obsessions taking hold and loosening again, the bonds of family, tradition, nation and religion transforming from supports into shackles; until the young man devotes himself to the celebration of beauty and reaches for independence and the life of an artist.
The story is a journey of a boy becoming a man in the world, trying to find his place. Splendidly written and particular note of the written style with its the lack of quotation marks.
The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: (From Goodreads): Dark allegory describes the narrator’s journey up the Congo River and his meeting with, and fascination by, Mr. Kurtz, a mysterious personage who dominates the unruly inhabitants of the region. Masterly blend of adventure, character development, psychological penetration. Considered by many Conrad’s finest, most enigmatic story.
An intense plot and a telling frame story narrative that is easy to read that questions the underlying darkness of human nature. A classic read for anyone who enjoys a story surrounding the psychology of human nature and issues of colonisation.
The Crying Lot of 49 by Thomas Pynchon: (From back book cover, the blurb)Oedipa Mass discovers that she has been made executrix of a former lover’s estate. The performance of her duties sets her on a strange trail of detection in which bizarre characters crowd in to help or confuse her. But gradually death, drugs, madness and marriage combine to leave Oedipa in isolation on the threshold of revelation.
The Waves by Virginia Woolf: Woolf writing in a stream of self-consciousness as the narrative traces the lives and interactions of seven friends in an exploratory and sensuous narrative. Anyone could like this novel, as it is not difficult to read or follow the plot. It is written in an engaging experiencing and I really have nothing to dislike about this novel.
Speedboat by Renata Adler: The novel follows the young American journalist, Jen Fain, in the coming age of New York 1970s. In sporadic episodes the narrator reveals bleak observations, in an unconventional writing style, interjecting thoughts and opinions on a range of topics. The only thing that places a damper on reading this novel is there is no set chronology of when the events happen. But, otherwise I found it a great and enjoyable read.