The Turn of the Screw by Henry James Summary The narrator is a young governess, sent off to a country house to take charge of two orphaned children. She finds a pleasant house and a comfortable housekeeper, while the children are beautiful and charming. But she soon begins to feel the presence of intense evil. My […]
Vile Bodies Synopsis : The Bright Young Things of 1920s Mayfair, with their paradoxical mix of innocence and sophistication, exercise their inventive minds and vile bodies in every kind of capricious escapade, whether it is promiscuity, dancing, cocktail parties, or sports cars. A vivid assortment of characters, among them the struggling writer Adam Fenwick-Symes and the glamorous, […]
Farabeuf or, The Chronicle of an Instant Synopsis : A ’60s Mexican cult masterpiece, Farabeuf is an enigmatic vision of the French surgeon L.H. Farabeuf’s curious existence, from his morbidly erotic obsessions to his life as an inventor of grisly surgical instruments, an amateur photographer, and possibly even a spy in occupied Beijing during the Boxer Rebellion. With […]
The Canterville Ghost Synopsis : A terrifying ghost is haunting the ancient mansion of Canterville Chase, complete with creaking floorboards, clanking chains and gruesome disguises – but the new occupants seem strangely undisturbed by his presence. Deftly contrasting the conventional gothic ghost story with the pragmatism of the modern world, Wilde creates a gently comic fable of […]
Lady Windermere’s Fan Synopsis: Oscar Wilde’s first play confronts the hypocrisy of public “morality” compared with genuine, private kindness. When it opened in 1892, Lady Windermere’s Fan was an instant success and now, more than a century later, it continues to be revived frequently. The reasons for its popularity are not difficult to identify: the play’s […]
Well, there is no use beating around the bush – I failed in my attempt to read lots more classics during 2012, despite signing up to November Autumns’ A Classics Challenge. The challenge goal was to read at least 7 classics during 2012 and respond to the question/discussion held at Katherine’s blog on the 4th […]
The Importance of Being Earnest Synopsis This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, “that name which inspires absolute confidence.” Wilde’s […]
A Room With A View Synopsis Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance. Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England, personified in her terminally […]
Participation in the Classics Challenge hosted by November’s Autumn involves responding to a series of questions posted each month in respect to the particular classic you are reading at the time. I am currently reading my first classic title for the year, A Room With A View by E M Forster. A full review will be published upon […]
Having just finished reading Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair, a very fun novel about the protection of the classics, I am inspired to find more time this year to read classics. To help me achieve this goal I am signing up to the 2012 A Classics Challenge hosted by Katherine @ November’s Autumn. The challenge goal […]
Rand’s Anthem is a short but moving exploration of the power of the words ‘we’ and ‘I’. It shows how taken to the extreme on mass each of these words can evoke singlemindness leading to oppression that could prove disastrous to mankind.
Santiago’s search for hidden treasure is presented as a metaphor for life.
Coelho introduces the concept of one’s Personal Legend, or destiny. Appealingly though, this destiny is not presented as something that will simply fall into one’s lap, but something one needs to strive for. Too often in this inspirational genre readers are given the impression that if we simply wish for something long enough with the purest of intentions, then that wish will come into being. This simple tale reminds us that anything worth having must be worked for and that one does not gain in life without first risking loss. We are also reminded that treasures can come in the form of both material objects and experiences.