Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Three Little Book Reviews

I know I'm behind in my book reviews. So to catch up, I'm doing the last three months in one post (hopefully I can remember what I thought of these books).

Watership Down by Richard Adams
Some consider this a classic advanced children's novel. Children's part I get since it's a story about rabbits. Not quite sure why it's such a beloved book though. Sure the story had a lot of political undercurrent that it can appeal to adults too. And I was definitely involved with the story at the end during the war with the other warren, but on the whole I wasn't that impressed with it. I'm certainly glad I read this book but don't think I'll be reading it again.

The Human Stain by Philip Roth
I had such a difficult time getting through this book. Roth is very verbose and his writing is very dense. Sentences last for many lines and paragraphs take up pages. And it is clear through his writing that Roth is very angry and bitter at the world and most likely a misogynist. The story itself is sort of disjointed and angry and the most fascinating character (at least for me) doesn't appear until the end of the book and only for a handful of pages. If you're a fan of Roth, you might like this book. But if you're looking for a lighter read, this is not it.

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
This book reminded me a lot of The Memory Keeper's Daughter. A young woman is put away in an insane asylum because she doesn't fit into the stereotype for women at the time. And the only reason why she's released is because the asylum is closing. Her great-niece takes responsibility for her and while she learns about her aunt she has her own issues of love and relationships to deal with. If The Human Stain is too much for you, this book would probably be more of a fit. While this story would probably make a better Lifetime movie than a book, it is an interesting depiction of social norms and the proper way to live.

1 comment:

Regan said...

I can see not getting into "Watership Down" as adult. I read it in 5th grade, at which time I suppose the political stuff was a bit more subtle to me. Now, it might just seem - eh. I think he set it with rabbits so that he could make it as violent as he did, and still aim it at children. We were cool with the circle of life. Our parents may not have been so agreeable had the characters been human. Anyway, I think, looking back, that it was an interesting first foray into everyone's political leanings. When a teacher discusses the current Presidential race, kids tend to parrot their parents' opinions. However, cloak a hot topic like war in a story about bunnies and just have some literature circles. See what type of discussion you turn up! 5th graders have some pretty deep, pretty original thoughts.

But that's just my