Sunday, August 26, 2012

Solitary Thoughts

Solitary Thoughts is a hard book to review because the opinions expressed in the various essays are unique to the author.  William Goff has very strong opinions about today's society, that of corporate greed and mass consumerism, amongst a number of other subjects addressed.

I agree that we live in a world that has gone mad, and which is greedy and selfish.  Human beings have this innate ability to over consume, be it food, cars, houses, or technology.  We seem to think that this will buy us happiness but it comes at a cost - heavy debt, declining health, and stress.  Over consumerism has resulted in mass production of products which lack any true style or craftsmanship and are soon outdated causing us to live in a disposable society.

The essays in Solitary Thoughts focus on the author's feelings about these various subjects. The presentation of the book is excellent, the cover is very tasteful and each essay is not too long; but there is negativity surrounding each one so I found that reading just one or two at a time every couple of days was enough.  I did find the essays rather verbose and I needed to read each one a couple of times to fully comprehend what the author was actually trying to convey.

My favourites were "The Dancer" which is the most optimistic of the essays, and I really liked "Theatre of the Mind" as its structure is reminiscent of my favourite short story (Midnight Express by Alfred Noyes).   

The essays are not light reading, nor are they uplifting, but each one does contain something profound which makes it worthwhile taking a look at this independently published book.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Which Literary Character are You in Love With?

Sergeant George (Hugo Speer)
Are you like me? Do you find yourself attracted to a character in a book and then fantasise about them?  I've done it for years since having a crush on Julian in Enid Blyton's Famous Five story books.  You'd think I'd have grown out of it by now but, alas, I seem to be getting worse as I get older.

My latest 'crush' is Sergeant George from Dickens’ Bleak House.  Now, I really liked the character when I read the novel but I've just watched the BBC's mini series and, for me, Hugo Speer as Sergeant George - well what can I say? He's the one!! I'm absolutely besotted.

There have been others in the past like Nick Andros from Stephen King's The Stand (purely the fictional character not a re-imagined version for the screen), and Roland Deschain from King's Dark Tower Series (I can't even begin to imagine who could play him and do him justice).  When Nick died in The Stand I could barely read any more, I actually went into mourning for him. 

Murray Jacob (Richard Roxburgh)
There was Murray Jacob from Tim Winton's In The Winter Dark - a very moody character with a secret (though all the characters had a secret in that novel) – and the screen version played by Richard Roxburgh was not a bad choice at all. 

George Eliot's strong and dependable Adam Bede had me going there for a while and so did John Thornton from Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South. I did dabble with David Copperfield but he was too nice, and Heathcliffe but he was way too much Catherine's to ever hope that he could be mine; it got too hard so I had to let him go LOL!  On the whole I prefer the gallant 19th Century character, a gentleman or a working man, they must be noble and kind, but not prissy (like Nicholas Nickley).

Sergeant George is perfect.  He is a strong and true friend, he may have crippling money problems but he is a good man with a big .. um .. heart, and those whiskers just set my heart fluttering!

So, who is your literary fantasy?