Saturday, August 18, 2012

Book# 27, 28, and 29!

Yes, I finished three books in one week. The reason I didn't write about them was that I had more interesting things going on in my life, like a vacation.
Book number 27 was Pride and Prejudice. I had to read this for summer reading. Considering that the Pittsburgh Public Schools have to read Old Man and the Sea (please, kill me now) and Out of this Furnace, I got off really really lucky.
Overall, I liked it (4 stars), though I did think that the second half was much better than the first. The first half was made more interesting with the comparisons of it to the Lizzy Bennet Diaries, which I have talked about, and if you haven't seen it, you should go watch The second half got much more interesting with all of the action/love triangles. I didn't think at all that Lydia would marry George Wickham. And then the ending with Darcy, and the best part of the most well known love story of all time came together as the two protagonists realized each other's affections one another, and it was wonderful. I haven't seen the BBC TV adaption, but I can say that I am very excited to see Colin Firth (I'm excited to see him any day) as Darcy. That, will be a marvelous experience.
Book number 28 was Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I had wanted to read this book for a really long time. After I found out that the whole story was more or less the thickness of my mattress, I decided that I would listen to the audiobook. What I didn't know was that I had ordered the abridged version from the library. At least I think it was abridged. I don't think a person could read 1200+ pages in five and a half hours.
Anyway, the version that I did read was amazing. I loved it. I loved Jean Valjean most of all and how he changed throughout the novel from being a wretched man who just escaped from prison, to a loving and kind father to Cosette. I also liked the character of Thenardier (by the way, his name is not pronounced like it is spelled, just like everything else French), and how he lived basically only through tricking others into giving money to him. Overall, I think that the plot had continuous action, which was kind of surprising for a book that was published in the 1800s, and the characters were really well developed. The one complaint I have isn't really Hugo's fault, but every word in French ends in u, and it's very confusing to a person who is listening to the audiobook. It's all spoken fast, and it all sounds the comprendo!
The last book, book number 29, another summer reading book, was All Quiet on the Western Front. It was ok. I just didn't think that I was able to imagine everything that was happening, because the author was too vague. A lot of the book took place in the protagonist's head, and I think that yes, it was just too vague. This is one book where I would have liked a little more description. There was so much of "oh, war makes a man old" and "woe to me" and it was just so repetitive. I also don't think the characters developed at all. 3 stars. And I think I'm being generous.

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