Dear lovely readers of the blog,
Now I have your attention.
I would like to say thank you for coming and reading my little book reviews, but it is time for us to expand to new and exciting horizons not yet met by this here blog!
JOIN THE NEW JOURNEY AT MY NEW WEBSITE!
I will always love the bones of every one of you and well, it's been fun. I hope you understand my requirement to move as it seems blogger is not fulfilling my pursuits to the full.
My website includes the blog posts, don't worry <3
It also includes a bunch of other stuff like:
a page all about me (that is surprisingly short as I'm not that interesting)
And pictures of my lovely books that I would like to share with the world.
Remember: get in contact with me if you wish -
BEFORE WE PART!
Please take the time to participate in my university project by simply visiting a site: BooksForBitches.Wordpress.Com and get in contact with any improvements I could make (it's an assignment, as opposed to 5ft2blog.com which is my little site for all you lovely bookworms x)
This is where I leave you,
I hope to see you over at my website and I can't express how excited I am to have this thing take over my life in the most decadent way possible.
Watch me self-destruct.
But, the party continues at my new website.
I love you.
5ft 2. xxx
Monday, 7 November 2016
Leo Tolstoy's semi-biographical short novel is absolutely brilliant. The creation of identity, the lustre for a better world from this aristocratic dystopia is one to be admired. YES, I'm still on the Russian Fiction binge. There's a certain amount of dread when reading this novel as Tolstoy can get real deep and philosophical from time to time, but I have to say, this one is amazing. It's light for Tolstoy and weens itself away from political allegory - but retains its dark spearing sensation throughout.
Again - here comes the Russian Fiction binge post.
My favourite character was Olenin. He was dark and charismatic a la Byronic Hero - but also had a twisted morality about him. Was he doing good things for his own self-gratifiction or was he just a kind person? Neither, he's somewhat kind and somewhat harsh - which I believe is meant to sustain this hyper-human image of him. A brilliant writing trait I believe is one of Tolstoy's many strengths.
I love the theme of darkness and uncertainty. Something that resides in Tolstoy's fiction often is the sense of uncertainty from the philosophical darkness - and well, it's done really well here. The fact that it's shorter sort of compresses the darkness and uncertainty together and makes it even more fluid. I loved it.
I don't know about the storyline. I liked it, but it wasn't as compelling as Tolstoy's fiction normally is and I blame this on the fact that it was very short. I mean it was VERY short. Shorter than me even. I think the compression of the book was good for the themes but not so much for the story - something I felt could have been more adjusted for reader experience. But, I also figure that Tolstoy knows a lot more about this than I do - even if he is dead, he still knows more than me about this stuff.
I give this book 8/9
100% for characters: Tolstoy's characters are always damaged and enthralling. Dark, deceptive, cunning, ironic and tragic in their own right.
100% for themes: Tolstoy has proved to be one of the greats of not only Russian fiction, but a superpower of darkness and ambiguity.
2/3 for storyline: Yes, I gave it two. Don't hate me, please.
Sunday, 6 November 2016
Again, part of my Russian Fiction binge - this one is by Leo Tolstoy and I was surprised to learn that not many people actually know about it. The characters that are both aristocratic and also of a lower class come through in the narrative voice in extreme amounts. I believe a strength of Tolstoy's is continuity in voice. He creates such strong character voices and it is also evident in "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina" that there is a sense of the rich, but damaged character coming through these cracks in the narrative.
As part of my Russian Fiction binge, I would like to share with you this exciting novel of redemption, prison, sin and glory.
Nekhlyudov is a character that was created by Tolstoy (I believe) to embody that cultural extreme of the rich and damaged. A brutal character with a dark and sinister sin that seeks redemption in helping a maid from imprisonment. There is a sense of foreboding that constantly follows him around like a shadow - and again Tolstoy's strength of character voices is (again, I believe) at one of its strongest points when we look at this mentally injured aristocrat.
The theme of sin was the most explored in this novel. I think that it's fair to say that this is one of Tolstoy's lesser known works as it is overshadowed by "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina" - these epics have included sin and redemption, but don't look at it in as much psychological depth as this novel. I really suggest that if you're just starting with Tolstoy, you pick "Resurrection" - it is just as deep as the epics and it is probably more interesting to read.
By far, my favourite part was when he realises that he has sinned. There's a deep psychological aspect to it that I was interested in. Enthralled throughout the entirety of the book - I seemed to be captured by the use of psychoanalytical language. The words made everything that was light look dark and unhinged - a mental portrait of a damaged man in a damaged society.
I give this book 9.
100% for characters: Tolstoy is amazing at capturing the voices of these characters and giving them an uncanny human element.
100% for themes: There will always be sin and redemption whenever we read Tolstoy, but I think that this novel really put it on a pedestal of majority exploration.
100% for storyline: As is always, the reading experience of Tolstoy gets in very, very deep and meaningful. A societal construct deconstructed by a damaged character.
Saturday, 5 November 2016
This book was fairly short and has themes of imprisonment. Okay, it was freaking awesome as hell! Fyodor Dostoevsky does it again. This time with a semi-authobiographical classic! Russian fiction binges are also too brilliant - please do not hesitate to contact me on twitter @3ftMonster - if you too, are having a Russian Fiction binge at the moment. It's all good - everyone needs a cultural blast once in a while.
I found this book on my travels into Russian fiction and thought I'd seen all there was to see of Dostoevsky - obviously I hadn't.
Goryanchikov is one of those special characters in the novel that you constantly feel sorry for. He's trapped in a prison camp - and he's a gentleman so he doesn't fit in - and his wife's there too and things can't possibly get any worse for him. They can, and they do. I was really enthralled by his sense of patriotism towards Russia though - he held that Dostoevskyan pessimism inside his patriotism - reflecting on what has become of this Russian change in society.
My favourite theme was probably pessimism. Pessimism is explored not in the Victorian sense, but in more of an enlightening way. For example: Goryanchikov is constantly brooding on what happens in Russia - but then ends up reflecting on change and society and realises that maybe it's not all that nice after all. A brilliant sense of inner-reflection mixed and blended with the urge of a societal uprising inside oneself is something that I haven't seen of Dostoevsky before and well - it worked really bloody well!
I love that this story is semi-autobiographical. It makes one wonder what life was like for Dostoevsky and how he coped with his changing view of Russia. What did he do about it? The reading experience is not the cliché sense of escapism or the idealistic viewpoint of being in the character's shoes - but a more introspective case of making one think about their own viewpoints towards their own homes and how this life is actually pretty tragic any way we look at it.
I give this book 9
100% for characters: Brilliantly executed with some killer qualities. Dostoevsky has made a convincing, yet dark character a la Dmitri from The Brothers Karamazov once again.
100% for themes: New themes that I haven't seen by Dostoevsky before - even though they are still underlined with this hardcore pessimism - it's nice to see.
100% for storyline: Semi-autobiography? Dostoevsky? Yep, I'll be right there!
A bit about the title to this book first. There are some editions that call it "Demons" and some editions that call it "Devils" - I'm calling in "Devils" because that's what it says on my copy (Wordsworth's Classics Edition - 2007). This is a book by the amazingly intense Russian mega-author Fyodor Dostoevsky and is packed to the brim with brilliantly human characters and a storyline that feels like you're reading a book on how to be a nihilist.
I found this book as a part of my Russian Fiction binge, so get ready for Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Tolstoy and many more of this great era of European Literature.
My favourite character was Nikolai. Nikolai is strong, machiavellian (oh god, that name!) and socially aware of his priorities. For example: he knows he has to pretend to be liable, when really he is actually a fox underneath - boosting his own wealthy position. Dostoevsky writes him as a man who is courteous on the outside, but brooding and dark on the inside - not necessarily bad - but not good either. His morals are confused, which makes him a very interesting character to read.
My favourite theme was nihilism. I think that Russian authors in general are probably the best in the world at giving the landscape a sense of nihilistic influence. The language of setting and character do this very well - also the time in which the books are set always give the underlying pessimism in the optimistic value of the text.
The storyline leaves scars. It was a brilliantly brooding and thought-provoking sensation to read. There are parts where certain characters are suspected because of one small act that is blown out of proportion - and then there are other characters who do not have their actions analysed at all. If you're looking at similarities in characters for Dostoevsky - I really suggest reading this alongside "The Brothers Karamazov".
I give this book 9
100% for characters: Do Dostoevsky characters deserve anything lower?
100% for themes: I am a patriot of Russian Fiction - even though I'm not Russian. This mixture of optimism and pessimism is the reason why.
100% for storyline: The reading experience is amazing, intense and darkly satisfying. Dostoevsky is a genius.
Friday, 4 November 2016
Okay, what the fuck did I just read?
What was it?
This book explores the concept of tragicomedy in ways I didn't know were possible. Seriously though, it was funny. But, that doesn't mean completely positive reviews here guys.
I found this book whilst exploring the Man Booker Prize nominees from previous years. This was from 2010.
Okay, so Skippy was the best character and that's only because he died from eating doughnuts in a competition. A doughnut eating competition killed him. Best. Death. Ever.
Dark comedy? Would you call that a theme or not? Well, I do anyway and it was done brilliantly. Some aspects of it, I didn't know whether I was supposed to be laughing at - but it was a funny concept with a not-so-funny sense of humour to it. Very odd.
Some parts of the story had compelling insight. Especially the beginning - that was an amazing opening for a novel. I have to say - The Irish know their novels!
I give this book 8/9
100% for characters: Skippy was a brilliant construction and a great example of the slightly unconventional protagonist that messes with the plot in a psychedelic manner. This sounds like "At Swim-Two-Birds"
2/3 for themes: Could've done a little more to get that 100%.
100% for storyline: That beginning was unbeatable.
Thursday, 3 November 2016
Joe Hill, AKA the son of Stephen King is trying very hard to do what his father does. I understand it's the whole expectation thing - but I thought "Horns" was a little better than this. Not to say that this wasn't any good - just a little underwhelming compared to the other. Vampires, death, killing etc. A cross path between King and Rice in this world that looks like it was written by McCarthy. Violent and strange - it sounds a bit too much like "Joyland" by King, does it not?
Manx was my favourite character purely because he was the most interesting of all. A serial killer, child abductor with a secret that kind of shakes the novel - half expecting it. I wasn't enthralled but I was interested enough to continue reading.
Okay, so my favourite theme here is the supernatural and I will say that Hill writes supernatural a lot like his father does. It's all very surreal and violent. None of it is romanticised because it's not romantic - it's vile and scary and dark and dense....
I wasn't expecting much of a supernatural ride, but that's exactly what I got. I will say that the experience of the novel itself was actually pretty good even though the characters probably need to be scratched up a little. I was really enthralled at the beginning as there is a hospital and a serial killer in question - a child abductor who is searching and hunting. Now, that's a good story.
I give this book 7/9
2/3 for characters: Again, interested but not enthralled.
2/3 for themes: I think it would be better to develop his own voice, he sounds too much like his father in this field
100% for storyline: Pretty good. Well done to the storyline for pulling up the suspense a little.