Reviews about historical, literary, classic, and other fiction. Miscellaneous book things.
"In a new study conducted by American University linguistics professor Naomi Baron, researchers have found that an overwhelming majority of students prefer physical books — you know, with covers and paper — over e-books for serious reading."
"Contagion, poison and trigger. The idea that books are dangerous has a long history, and holds a kernel of truth."
"You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different worlds on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write."
"Historical fiction is not a secondary form – I was condescended to by a conservative historian who cannot see that he too constructs stories"
If these are the best short stories America has to offer, then there's something wrong with fiction writers in this country.
"'Devices are not dangerous for literature,' [László] Krasznahorkai said. 'People can be dangerous for literature. People, for example, who do not read.'"
I get the premise, but it was just so repetitive. I wasn't really interested enough to keep reading, especially with writing that felt very flat and kept getting in the way.
Everyone in this book is broken, and none of them were interesting enough to stick with the constant perspective jumps.
This was a difficult read, not just due to some slower passages, but because the main character is so unsympathetic. Not only is he a opinionated and close-minded, but he sees himself as a victim, mainly of the class system and society. He goes on like this, despite contradictions to his worldview, never giving other people a chance to prove him wrong, and it's difficult to see this unfold. The other people he encounters are a little more sympathetic, but not by much.
As with other Gissing novels, this also deal with several heavier topics, like whether religion can survive in a science-oriented world, and whether women should be educated and "emancipated."
After all the drama, I sort of felt like the ending was almost deserved.