Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Colour by Rose Tremain

Interesting, well-written novel based upon the New Zealand Gold Rush of the 1860's. Insightful. Interesting, rich characters. Warning: sexually explicit, including some homosexuality.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

I am disappointed that I did not read this book when I was younger. It truly is a classic! I was especially fascinated by Crusoe's personal experience with religion and his discovery of God on his own as he lives his solitary life on the island. Great messages and truths to be found in this novel, especially of God's personal love and concern for each one of us. My complaint against the novel is that I do not understand why Defoe did not end the novel shortly after Crusoe's rescue from the island. The other adventures seemed to distract from the story. I suppose that Defoe was writing before the time when it was in vogue to write sequels to your novels.

Candide by Voltaire

I have read parts of this book in English classes in college, but never read the whole thing. I am certain that much of the humor in the story was better understood by people contemporary with Voltaire because it is clear that some of his jabs had to do with issues and people of the times. Would people 200 years from now understand what you are talking about with references to Watergate, etc.? It is clear that there are many jabs at government and governments, religions (and specifically the Catholic Church), and contemporary figureheads. I appreciated that so much of it was funny to me, knowing that I was not fully in on all of the jokes. I found his commentary on philosophers and philosophies the most humorous part.