Book Review: The Age of Reason

Of all the French existentialist novels that share a title with a hit John Farnham song, this is probably my favourite. It holds extra significance for me as my reading of this book coincided with my fifth attempt at learning French. Although I read an English translation of The Age of Reason, the names of... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Fahrenheit 451

My grandmother gave me this book for Christmas a few years ago. Inside the cover she wrote: Merry Christmas 2016. I look forward to trying one of your cakes! What puzzled me was not how she mistook a dystopian novel for a cookbook (the cover art on this edition was a man in a helmet... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Odyssey

These days, “sequel” has become synonymous with minimum effort and maximum disappointment. When I learned Homer had written a follow-up to his classic Iliad, I assumed it was a lazy cash-grab—not that I blamed him, you have to make hay while the sun shines. But I lowered my expectations unnecessarily; it turns out The Odyssey is... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Jungle Book

I first heard the name Kipling during a grade seven English class. Our teacher had to leave the room for a few minutes to deal with an unexpected situation (Adam Preston had just run outside and spewed over the balcony), so my schoolmates and I were left to talk amongst ourselves. Naturally the topic of... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Ivanhoe

Write what you know, says the old proverb. Well, apparently no one is listening, because everywhere I look there’s an author jabbering on about something clearly beyond their field of expertise. Tolkien’s violent, beer-swilling depiction of dwarves in The Hobbit made me wonder if he had ever actually met a dwarf; William Golding, though never... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Crime and Punishment

There are many rules when it comes to writing, and different authors favour different rules. Hemingway liked the effect of short sentences, Stephen King is big on ditching adverbs, and then there’s what seems to be Fyodor Dostoevsky’s rule of choice: punch the reader in the conscience. Well, old Fyodor is at it again in... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Grapes of Wrath

Perhaps you are like I was. Perhaps your only encounter with John Steinbeck’s work has been Of Mice and Men, and you’ve thought, Wow. That was some top shelf storytelling, impressive writing, and enough shattered hope to knock the stuffing out of the most hard-hearted reader. How could he top that? Well, get ready because... Continue Reading →

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