Book Review: The Iliad

Few people have reached such heights of greatness as to be remembered by their first name alone—people like Elvis, Moses, Cleopatra and Santa. So I figured there must be something remarkable about the ancient Greek poet known through the ages simply as Homer. I was right. Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad, tells of the warriors... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tale of decadence and obsession is one the most famous books in western literature. It is a regular top-five entry in “greatest novel” lists, continues to sell over half a million copies a year (besides being read by countless high school students in their English classes), and has also been adapted to... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Inferno

In Part One of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, Dante is lost in a forest and confronted by three vicious beasts. Unable to pass them, he retreats and finds himself in frightening darkness. Seeing a shadowy figure, he calls for help. The mystery person reveals himself to be the poet Virgil, sent to guide Dante on... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Godfather

It is almost fifty years since Mario Puzo’s classic tale of a fictional New York crime family hit bookstores, and it remains as popular today as it was then. It’s not hard to see why.  Early in the story we are brought to a wedding scene. The bride is Connie Corleone, daughter of the crafty... Continue Reading →

Book Review: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

James Joyce’s loosely autobiographical novel spans several years in the life of young Stephen Dedalus. Observing him mainly in a school and university setting, the book focuses on significant events and stages in his development. These points are merely markers in the story, while the substance is Stephen’s inner struggle: his emotions, questions, doubts, fears,... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Sun Also Rises

In the state art gallery I saw a painting that consisted of three huge orange swirls across a giant white canvas. It would have taken all of thirty seconds to paint. I imagine art critics raved about the piece’s “importance”, and discussed the great meaning it conveyed. Meanwhile, the humble art gallery patron was left... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Charlotte’s Web

For decades children and adults alike have adored E. B. White’s tale of a cute little pig named Wilbur. It begins with a girl, Fern Arable, convincing her father to spare Wilbur, the runt of a litter. The reader is left to speculate as to Mr Arable’s intended method of killing the pig; was it... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Catch-22

If you’ve ever felt that the world is going down the drain and everyone is a big jerk, then Catch-22 will let you know you’re not alone. Set in World War II, on the Mediterranean island of Pianosa, this is a story of a disillusioned bombardier, Yossarian, trying to survive and make it home. Avoiding... Continue Reading →

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