Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Reading is Back on Track!

After struggling with Adam Bede I finally reached  a stage of not being able to put it down.  Hetty did not kill herself, but she does commit an unforgivable crime and is sentenced to death.  Her seducer Arthur Donnithorne is able to obtain a stay of execution at the eleventh hour, but the result is that she is then 'transported'.  Poor Adam is devastated but, as is the human will, he must carry on and in the end he realises that he is in love with Dinah the Methodist (the once object of his brother's love).  But, will she have him?  

Looking back on this novel now I can appreciate it a bit more.  You get to know and like the inhabitants of Hayslope and though it was long winded it was a nice gentle story of rural folks in 1799, with warning overtones of the consequences of flirting outside your station (as in Hardy's Tess of The D'Urbevilles - though the circumstances of her relationship were not so nice).

After finishing Adam Bede I listened to On Beauty by Zadie Smith and I was really disappointed with it.  The story focuses on two families, one is black and the other mixed (the philandering father being white), and centres on their friendships and relationships.  It was described as a comedy but really it was more of a tragedy, I didn't see anything funny in it at all.  However, with all that aside it was well written, and I guess it did like the character of Kiki.

So, now I have started two new books: the gothic novel Melmoth The Wanderer by Charles Maturin and Jules Verne's Around The World in 80 Days.  Melmoth The Wanderer has been a title that has really stuck out on the 1001 list, and the author is quite interesting.  Maturin was actually Ocar Wilde's Great Uncle by marriage and when Wilde moved to Dieppe in France to live out his days he changed his name to Sebastian Melmoth; and I've never read Jules Verne so it's time to start I think.

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