Tag Archives: male authors

The Happy Prince and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde

The Happy Prince and Other StoriesRating:

Wilde’s anthropomorphizing parables are beautifully written, emotionally moving and exquisitely poignant; praising the laudable virtues of the Catholic Church and warning of the shameful outcomes of the seven deadly sins. Themes of friendship and charity feature heavily with Christian overtones, which normally I find off-putting, but I didn’t here. (I’m an athiest.) I think my favourite would have to be The Nightingale and the Rose. I’d definitely give this to children despite the unhappy endings.

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Can I Change Your Mind?: The Craft and Art of Persuasive Writing by Lindsay Camp

Can I Change Your Mind?: The Craft and Art of Persuasive WritingRating:

Answer: Not really.

I’ve wanted to brush up on my persuasive writings skills for a while as it’s something I’ve been using quite a bit in recent months and I always failed that part of my English language studies at school. I picked two books: this one (obtained from the library) and Persuasive Writing: How to Harness the Power of Words (which I bought). I’m glad I made this decision.

Can I Change Your Mind? isn’t as useful as I was hoping, whereas quickly flicking through my other choice saw me finding some very clear and immediately handy tips. Of the four sections, the first is the worst. The layout and formatting didn’t help which is notably better in Persuasive Writing. Camp rambles so I skimmed, proving him right that ‘the reader never reads from start to finish’, but helpfully, someone who’d read this book previously had underlined the key points in pencil. Defacing a book is wrong, but in this case, acceptable.

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Review: Ligeia by Edgar Allan Poe

Ligeia
Rating:

The madness of grief personified.

Passionately in love with Ligeia, his wife, until she dies and he becomes obsessed with every detail of her memory. Later marrying Lady Rowena because he secretly likes that she ‘shunned’ him at every turn and that she’s Ligeia’s opposite in every way, but despite this he hates her because she’s not the one he loved most.

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Review: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisRating: 2 stars

Gifted to me for Christmas 1994 by the Sunday School I temporarily attended – according to the bookplate (below right) – after I’d watched the 80s film adaptation at school, I remember the ungrateful disdain I felt for the novel; feeling I’d already read the book having watched the film. How ignorant I was. Granted, I only 8 years old, but we all know that adaptions are usually inferior to the original.

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Review: The Choice (The Returned, #0.7) by Jason Mott

The Choice (The Returned, #0.7)Rating:

A great idea poorly executed.

On paper, the effect of this Returnee’s reappearance had the potential to be heart-wrenching as a 37-year-old man attempts to solve a life-changing dilemma: to continue with his present life with a wife and child, or leave them for his 17-year-old first love who disappeared, and was presumed dead, 20 years ago.

I really wanted to like it but the writing is rushed and choppy.

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Review: The Sparrow (The Returned, #0.6) by Jason Mott

The Sparrow (The Returned, #0.6)Rating:

The Sparrow is a huge improvement over its predecessor The First. Whereas The First serves as an introduction to a world where the dead suddenly return alive, The Sparrow delves into the moral issues that arise from it. Are the Returned human? Are they still the people they were when they died? How is this possible: Is it magic or can science explain it? And do we sacrifice our humanity in seeking the answers to these questions?

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Review: The First (The Returned, #0.5) by Jason Mott

The First (The Returned, #0.5)Rating:

Realistic portrayals of the bureaucratic response to an unexplainable event and the emotional turmoil experienced if you were to find out a dead loved one was in fact alive, drew me in as the scene was set for the rest of the series.

However, upon finishing, I was left feeling a mild mixture of indifference and curiosity, reminding me of the way short stories in anthologies are written; leaving what comes next, or reasons for what takes place, up to the imaginations of readers. Although the last sentence is ominous, indicating a not-so-happy ending.

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She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith

She Stoops to ConquerRating:

If you’ve never read or seen a comedy of errors or farcical play like those of William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde, then you might find this more entertaining than I did.

Having studied Wilde’s slightly more modern The Importance of Being Earnest in great detail as a teenager and later watching An Ideal Husband, you come to realise this genre is little more than a one-trick pony; if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Besides minimal alterations in events, only the cast and the production values change from play to play, from performance to performance. Originality is harder to come by in these older and somewhat old fashioned, and perhaps less sophisticated, plays. Wilde managed to stand out from the crowd with his tricky witticisms and absurdities. She Stoops to Conquers possesses nothing so unique, as far as I can tell.

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Review: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm
Rating:

It took me by surprise how much I loved this classic and how eerily relevant and applicable it is considering today’s politics, Britain’s in particular. The Arab Spring is also a good example of a modern day Animal Farm.

I highlighted this one to death. In pencil, of course. I’m not a barbarian.

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