Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Latest Reads

I left Sydney's "Walk" information up for about a month so I wasn't able to post my reviews of my latest reads so here they are.

The Pillars of the Earth The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett



My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a good book (despite its 1000 page length) with very interesting characters. The author writes through an omniscient narrator as well as going back and forth through the eyes of several main characters. He created great heroes and heroines but some of his main characters are also great villains. In many books I read, it is apparent the author has become as attached to his/her characters as the audience gets. It seems that they do not want bad things to happen to the good people so they minimize the destruction and deaths their villains can generate. Ken Follett, the author of The Pillars of the Earth, allows terrible things to happen to some of the favorite characters as well as to the flat characters of the novel. This proves to be both frustrating and interesting; because of this, the reader never knows what will happen but it is hard watching characters you've grown to love die off at the hands of a clear and evil villain.

The major plot of the book is the people of Kingsbridge building a new cathedral. They go through many setbacks but keep on persevering. The time frame of the book is from 1132 to around 1175.

My biggest complaint about the novel is the descriptions. It gets tiresome in places. He is too descriptive in 3 areas. The first is the intimate scenes. I had to skip over most of them because I never have cared to read the trashy parts of books. The novel would have still been great without all the descriptive sex. The second is the descriptions of the monk’s rituals along with the rituals of the church in general. I could follow the novel just fine without knowing the words for all the prayers and services and holidays but it was just annoying. The third thing is the description of the cathedral! My goodness reading it got tedious. I just kind of brushed through these parts because I don’t know a thing about cathedral building so I couldn’t follow what parts they were looking at or building.

Even with skipping over the love scenes, not knowing the religious rituals and hurrying through the confusing cathedral descriptions, I still found this a good novel with a good message. God's will shall always triumph. It may not happen the way or in the time frame we want it too, but it will overcome the obstacles. I am looking forward to reading the sequel.

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World Without End World Without End by Ken Follett



My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars
Great book! I really liked the first book and I think, in some ways, I enjoyed this book more (even thought it pushed past 1000 pages.) Ken Follett creates deeper, richer characters in this novel. Follett does a phenomenal job showing life for people in the 14th century. I don't have a lot of critique for this novel. The love scenes were not quite as descriptive as in the first book, which I appreciated, although there were still some that were too graphic for my tastes. At the end of the novel I really felt that Follett rushed too quickly. I wish he had spent more time with the letter Merthin dug up and how it was the key to get Philemon out of Kingsbridge. I would love to have that part developed instead of passed over but overall, great book!

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Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History
MAUS I: My Father Bleeds History

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a true story about the author's father as a Jew during WWII. He was a POW in Auschwitz. The author's approach for writing this story is quite innovative. He creates a very memorable story in a new and interesting way. Unless you have read this book before, I am pretty sure you will not have encountered anything about WWII like this before. It is a quick read but will leave you feeling for the characters in the story. Be sure to look at the pictures because they also tell a great deal of the story. This book, as well as it's sequel, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.


Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the sequel to Maus I: My Father Bleeds History. This story tells more of the father's experience during the camps. It will give you a new perspective on this war. It was also a winner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize. It is worth anyone's time to read. Just like the first book, be sure to look at the pictures because they also tell a great deal of the story.

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2 comments:

Adam & Tara said...

Im glad that you remember me! Yes, I am the same age as Malory, How is she doing? She is pregnant isn't she? Thanks for the compliments on our boys! Life is wonderful, we are living in Twin Falls now and are so happy! Blog hopping truly is fun! I have become so addicted to the blogosphere! Anyway, I hope you dont mind me adding you to my friend list! It's great to catch up with you! where are you living now? What do you do for a career?

Lost in a Secret Garden said...

Hummm...gonna have to check some of those books out - thanks for the summaries. Ok, if I still haven't grasped the different points of views after my exam on Wednesday I may be asking you some questions since it seems you have a good grasp on the concept. Blagh... :)