John Steinbeck – Of Mice and Men

Hi all!

I’m back with John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”, which turned out to be a really short story, but a very meaningful one. It kind of left me with mixed emotions, but the thing I know for sure is that I liked it. I liked the way it started out very simple, but became more and more deep with every chapter.

The story presents a piece from the lives of George and Lennie, who just received new jobs on a ranch. The two characters are quite different as Lennie is a big, strong guy, but a bit slow mentally, while George is shorter, but quick in thought. We find out gradually that they have been traveling together for a while now, and they take care of each other. We also learn that Lennie likes to touch and pet things that are nice to the touch, and this has lead him into trouble before. Unfortunately, things don’t go all that great on this ranch either.

What I liked about the book was that it gave insight to the lives of these “traveling” workers, who don’t have a farm of their own, but go to where they can get a job. It was really touching how the fact that they really yearned for a place of their own, but knew they will never get it, unraveled in the book. And it was sad at the same time, because they never felt like they’ve belonged anywhere and they knew by their ways that they never will.

The ending of the book was a bit of a shock and it really touched me by the heart. It was even sweet in a really twisted and heartbreakingly sad way. And if I think about what I would’ve done, I honestly have no idea. And even so, understanding the motives, it still feels wrong somehow. And this is what I meant by the mixed feelings before.

Anyway, it’s a great book and it deserves to be read, so I wholeheartedly recommend it. Not many books manage to touch me this much, so that really is in favor of this one.

If you would like to read it online, you can find it here: Of Mice and Men.

That’s all for now, next time I’ll be talking about Audrey Niffenegger’s “The Time Traveler’s Wife”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read!

Mary Shelley – Frankenstein

Hi all!

As my summer holiday has finally begun, I have a lot more time to catch up on my reading. To get me motivated, I’ve entered a monthly challenge at www.goodread.com and have a couple of really interesting picks for July. So I think it’s going to be a fun month reading-wise πŸ™‚

I think I made a good choice to try and read the classics for now, because I found out a few months ago that these are the books that really speak to me. I just love their style and the era they portray. And sometimes I wish I had lived then instead of the world of today which sometimes can be quite disappointing. But enough whining for now and lets look at the book πŸ™‚

I’m pretty sure most people are acquainted with the story of Frankenstein, which is an interesting one from the point of view of the plot and also the idea behind the book.

The book presents the story of Victor Frankenstein, an ambitious young man who, by the study and practice of natural sciences, attempts to create life. He is successful, but the cost of his success proves to be too high. The creature he had given life to realizes his own deformity and monstrous aspect, and, to his utter despair, finds that he shall remain always alone.

To put an end to his solitude, he tries to persuade his creator to make him a companion, by threatening to make Victor as miserable as he is. Victor declines his request and is forced to face the consequences.

The story is a rather touching one, and has many parts that made me think.

An interesting episode is when the beast first encounters the world around him and he is always astound by its beauty. He seems innocent and ambitious to learn about the world, almost like a child would be. His feelings are of wonder, joy and maybe even love, when encounters the little family. But as he realizes that no one would befriend him, due to his hideousness, his feelings soon turn to a more darker shade.

This part seemed interesting because it gave me an insight into what can make man miserable and change a pure heart into one thirsty for blood. And solitude and a life of an outcast could render a heart suitable for dark deeds.

But the idea of the book focuses more on the responsibilities of the creator towards his creation. This is a conflicting issue for the main character, as he is indeed marked by the desolate fate of his own work, but still can not bare himself to create another alike. And I think his fears aren’t without ground despite the promises of the beast. His struggles are definitely an interesting psychological portrayal and it all leads back to the idea that man mustn’t act as a god, because he does not have it in his power to create a being as perfect as himself or to grant happiness for his creations.

I think this book is a really good one, with interesting thoughts behind it, and deserves to be read. If you would like to read it online, you can find it here: Frankenstein.

That’s all for now, and next time I’ll be talking about another Paulo Coelho book, “By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚

Alexandre Dumas – The Count of Monte Cristo

Hi all!

It has been a long time since I’ve been here and I can’t even imagine it myself that it took this long to finish “The Count of Monte Cristo”. It is indeed a long book, and I knew that when I started it, but I also knew it would be great. And it was. I have to admit, this was one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. But definitely, this was the worst time to read it, and I guess that is one of the reasons why I finished it so late.

I have a lot on my plate nowadays, balancing work, exams and preparing for my Bachelor’s Degree certification, so all I needed was a good book to keep me focused πŸ˜€

The weird part is that I don’t think I’ve fully understood that it’s over. I keep thinking about reading another chapter in my spare time, but then I remember, there’s no more chapters left. I guess I really got used to the characters, with all the time I’ve spent on them. And I miss them, because each one was a very interesting person, be it in vices and faults, or decency and good will. And the plot itself is very captivating and complex, with turns you don’t anticipate and many threads to present the lives of the many characters, that somehow are still woven together.

The book is actually the story of a young man named Edmond Dantes, who although very young, would soon become captain of a ship and also marry the love of his life, Mercedes. But this perfect future is soon destroyed, as Edmond is accused by Danglars, a fellow official on the ship, and Fernand, a man in love with Mercedes, to be a conspirator. Although innocent, Edmond is still imprisoned, as the king’s attorney tries to save the life of his father.

He stays in prison for fourteen years, during which he befriends the Abbe Faria, who becomes his teacher and father in their despair. When this beloved guardian dies of an unfortunate illness, Edmond finds that he was given once again a chance at freedom, and even wealth.

He returns to his home town, but the life that he left behind was nowhere to be found. The good people he remembered were all driven to misery, while the ones who plotted against him were successful and rich. And so, the plan to avenge himself stirs in the mind of Edmond, naming himself from then on the Count of Monte Cristo. He gradually enters the lives of his former “acquaintances” and by manipulating the threads of destiny, he tries to undo the wrong and bring ease to his years of pain, by punishing those that punished him with the undeserved sufferings at the Chateau d’If .

As I said, the story is a rather complex one, and also presents some very interesting ideas about destiny, about hope and about happiness. Each character is beautifully displayed, and we can almost see into the recesses of their hearts. Every pang of pain, every glitter of joy can be felt by the reader also. And I think one of the saddest episodes of the book was when the count revisited his dungeon and listened to his own story told by the guide. I’m not afraid to confess, it did indeed bring tears to my eyes. And I love when a book can achieve that, because that basically means that I bow before the author for being able to write this. And in case of this book, the bow isn’t only for that particular scene, but for the whole book. It is a masterpiece, no doubt about it.

I guess this is all I’m going to say about it for now, because I feel I could go on and on, but it’s not the time for that πŸ˜€

Anyway, if you would like to read it online, you can find it here: The Count of Monte Cristo.

So, I guess that’s all for now. I’m not really sure when I’ll be back with the next book, probably not that soon, due to causes I’ve already listed. But when I do return, I’ll be reviewing Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read!

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude

Hi all!

I finally finished “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and even though I quite enjoyed it, I have mixed feelings about it in all.

My cousin, who is also a book-maniac like myself, is very fond of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and she said that he is a great author, but still, she didn’t really like this book in particular. And before reading it, I’ve gone through some reviews to know what I’m up against and what I found was that a lot of people liked it, but also a lot hated it. So I didn’t really know what to expect. Also, one person said that the plot of a book seems like a really weird dream from which you just woke up. And I think I agree with him the most.

The story at places is really captivating, for instance the beginning and the ending. I was really fascinated when reading the first chapters and I felt that I’m really going to love this book, but then the plot became more complicated πŸ˜€

Anyway, the book tells the story of the town of Macondo, from its founding until its destruction and presents the life of the Buendia family, one of the founding families, over a period of a hundred years.

At first that town is a really peaceful and magical place, where the gypsies would have fairs and present their mystical merchandise. What I liked most in this part, and I guess throughout the book, was that magic was presented as if it were part of reality and not something supernatural.

But as usual, a place a like Macondo can’t stay in such a perfect state without any consequences, now can it? So the state sent people to become the authorities of the town and organize the election. And because the election didn’t go so smoothly, it ended in a war between the Conservatives and the Liberals.

In the following chapters, we see how the war has its way with the Buendia family, how it turns their lives into tragedy even when the war is over. The family members have also an issue with falling in love with other members of the family, which leads to other unlucky events. But the main thing about this family is that almost no one can seem to find happiness and they’re left with their hearts sunken into sadness, grief, envy and most importantly, a devastating solitude.

What was interesting in this book was the way how each family member affected the destiny of the others, and how everything seemed to fall apart gradually from the beautiful beginning of when they arrived in Macondo, lead by the idea of a dream.

What I didn’t like, on the other hand, was that the writing was a bit foggy, and at times I didn’t know what was going on. And the fact that a lot of characters had the same name didn’t help with my confusion. And the style in places was, indeed, a bit boring and a few times I even thought that I am never going to finish this book. But the instant that I did, I felt amazed and I realized that I did like it, because the message did get through somehow. And the fact that the ending was pretty awesome did help with me thinking that πŸ˜€

So I guess I would recommend it, but beware, you will need a lot of patience and it is not an easy read, but worth it, I guess, in the end. I already miss its magic πŸ˜€

Anyway, if you want to read it online, you can find it here: One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Next time I’ll be talking about RejtΕ‘ JenΕ‘’s “The 14-carat Roadster”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚

George Orwell – Animal Farm

Hi all!

Before I start the review on this book, I would like to ask your assistance in one of my school projects. I had to design a website with the theme Vienna, and the goal is to get as many views as I possibly can. So if you could spare a minute to check it out, I would be terribly grateful πŸ™‚ There is also a contact page where you can find my contact info so you can email me with suggestions or questions. Or you can do it here also πŸ˜€ So here it is: Vienna

And now, back to George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”.

When I started reading this book, I couldn’t help thinking about “1984”, another well known book of the author, and I had a feeling that I will see its ideas in this book also. And actually, a few main ideas were indeed there, only in a slightly different way. But it seems to me that the main difference between the two works is actually in the presentation.

The book tells the story of the Manor farm, where, due to the words of the wise pig Major, the animals rebel against their tyrant owner, Mr. Jones, and succeed in exiling him from his own land. After this, the courageous animals, led by the pigs, who were the smartest of the animals, try to run the farm themselves. They succeed in this also, even though the humans were sure of their failure.

But the well-being of the animals suddenly changes when Snowball, one of the leading pigs is chased away from the farm, and Napoleon, the other leading pig slowly becomes the one and only Leader. Things start to go downhill from there, with lesser and lesser food, more and more work, and public massacres of those who are claimed to be traitors by Napoleon. Even so, the animals don’t revolt against him, because they are brainwashed over and over every day by the words of Squealer, Napoleon’s right hand pig. And their ignorance and lack of initiation slowly leads to Napoleon becoming nothing more than a tyrant himself.

The animals, gullible as they are, believe that their hard labor is for their own good and that they are free. Sadly, the case is quite different, and they can feel that something is not right, but naive and not quite intelligent as they are, can’t quite decide where the problem is.

I liked this book, because it is indeed a great example of what a human community can become if the people are led by fear and ignorance, not willing to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. And it is quite amazing how someone with greater intelligence can manipulate a crowd so easily.

It is a good book, so I would recommend it, and it is actually quite short, unlike “1984”. Just to be clear, I really liked that book, but it was a bit too long and sometimes even a bit boring with the descriptions. But thankfully, the message came through.

Anyway, if you would like to read this one online, you can find it here: Animal Farm.

That’s all for now, and next time I’ll be talking about Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚

Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray

Hi all!

I finished reading this book rather late last night, but I couldn’t bare to put it down. Yeah, I know how that sounds, but actually, I think I have found my favorite book of all time πŸ˜€

I wanted to get my hands on the book ever since I saw the movie (which I loved btw :D) and learned that it is based on a book. But, of course, as it always happens when you see the movie first and read the book later, you are influenced by the movie and have certain expectations. But the book didn’t fail me. Actually, it turned out to be one of the most fascinating things I have ever read. And I want to make something clear, because at a point Dorian points out in the book, that if you are fascinated by something, that doesn’t necessarily mean you also like it. But I liked it. Well, loved it, actually πŸ˜€

The book presents the story of Dorian Gray, a young man whose exquisite beauty charms everyone who sees him. A painter, Basil Hallward, is stricken by his angel-like face and wonderful soul, and they become close friends. But when Basil finishes his masterpiece, a full sized painting of this dear friend, Dorian finally sees for his own the effect of his beauty and in a moment of despair, brought on by the words of Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian wishes that he would remain always as young and beautiful as he is now and that instead, the painting would grow old. Little does he know that his prayer has been answered.

Dorian and Lord Henry soon become good friends, and the young man is highly influenced by his companion’s views and theories about the world and he seems to discover himself in them. He changes, slowly but surely, form a pure young boy into a man with a bad reputation. But his beauty never leaves him. And all the harm he does to his soul has not a mark on him. But is has on the painting, as it gradually morphs into something hideous and evil.

Dorian is frightened at first, because he does not understand what is happening. But as he destroys his soul more and more, he feels a kind of joy to look at the portrait growing uglier and him being forever beautiful. But his conscience catches up with him as he commits his cruelest deed and fails to do a good one. He realizes that he is tired of the life he’s lead and the terrors the portrait beholds. The only question now is, how can he get out of the deal?

As I said, this is one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. It is a marvelous psychological study, because, as I see it, it somehow comes down to man’s search for happiness. Dorian sees happiness, influenced by the words of Lord Henry, in beauty and the fulfillment of the senses. He searches always for new experiences, so he can experience life.

Lord Henry’s views, on the other hand, have a sort of philosophical demeanor in a way. And what he claims is not all that bad, at least in my opinion. Some of his theories stirred something in me also and I feel that now I may understand myself a little better. And I love it when a book does this. Actually, quite a few books have made me really think of various topics and I loved them for that, but this is the first book that ever made me think about myself. It made me see life in another way, something I didn’t really see before.

Another thing I loved about the book is its time setting. Actually, I love all British classics that take place in that era, because they have a certain air that I truly love, and it always makes me think that I’ve been born in the wrong time πŸ˜€

So anyway, I would recommend this book to anyone, especially to those who like the classics πŸ™‚ If you would like to read it online, you can find it here: The Picture of Dorian Gray. You can even download it from there if you’d like.

So that’s all for now and next time I’ll be presenting George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. (I miss this book already :D)

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚

Stephen King – The Eyes of the Dragon

Hi all!

As promised, I’m back with Stephen King’s “The Eyes of the Dragon” and I have to say, this story was quite a surprise for me.

When I think of Stephen King (and I’m sure it’s not just me), I think of horror stories. So you can imagine my surprise, when I read what this story was about. But it sounded interesting nonetheless and it did turn out quite captivating.

When I was small, I always enjoyed stories with kings and queens, dragons and wizards, and I had a kind of nostalgic feeling when I started reading this story. But as it turns out, it’s a bit more than just your ordinary fairytale.

The story presents the kingdom of Delain, ruled by king Roland, along with his right hand man, the wizard Flagg. But Flagg’s concern isn’t to help the kingdom, but rather to destroy it. And of course, the king doesn’t have a clue.

Roland, at a very late age, finally gets married and has two sons, Peter and Thomas, who grow up to be very different personalities. Peter is talented in everything he does and loved by the people of Delain. And Thomas… Well, you can imagine how he turns out, living in Peter’s shadow.

The story gets more interesting when Flagg discovers that if Peter will be king (and he eventually will), there will be no place for his evil doings in Delain. So he comes up with an evil plan to get rid of not only the old Roland, but also the young heir. His plan succeeds, but sadly for him, this isn’t the last he will hear of Peter.

The plot of the story is, as I said before, really captivating and the author pays much attention to detail, not only in the actions, but also in the psychological presentation of the characters. And considering this, I have to say that this story seems rather complex.

I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it, even for nostalgia’s sake πŸ˜› And now that I’m finished with it, I kinda feel sad because it’s over. But I guess it’s always like this when I finish a good book πŸ™‚

I don’t really know where you can read this one online, but if you want to download the ebook, you can do it here: The Eyes of the Dragon

I guess that’s all for now, and next time I’ll be talking about something a bit different: Meg Cabot’s first book from the 1-800-Where-R-You series, “When Lightning Strikes”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚

Edgar Allan Poe Shortstories Part VII

Hi all!

I’m back with Part 7 of the Poe stories and it seems that this series is getting larger than I expected. But the “good” news is that I’m definitely done with at least half of them, so I guess pretty soon you’ll be able to read about something else πŸ™‚

That reminds me, if anyone knows any good books that are really worth reading don’t hesitate to say so πŸ™‚ I currently have a pretty huge to-read list, but that doesn’t mean I’m not open to suggestions πŸ˜€ Besides this, if you would like some information about a certain book or novel or what ever and I’ve already read it, let me know and I’ll post a review πŸ™‚ And if I haven’t read it, be sure it will get on my list πŸ˜€

So let’s get back to what this post is about πŸ™‚ I’ll be presenting 5 works again and as before, the titles are links to where you can read them online πŸ™‚

The Spectacles

The first story this time starts out as a love story, but ends unexpectedly as a comedy. Even though it’s a bit long, it’s actually a fun read and gets really funny by the end πŸ˜€

The story is about the narrator, a Mr. Napoleon Bonaparte Simpson (previously Froissart), who falls in love with a beautiful woman at the theater. He claims it to be love at first sight and does everything he can to meet the wonderful woman.

He tries to convince her, with words dripping of passion (which seems really funny btw :D), to marry him. She agrees, but with one condition: from the day that they are officially husband and wife, he must wear a spectacle.

The happy day finally comes and the narrator fulfills the wish of his beloved. But what he witnesses through the glasses makes him regret his decision of marrying her. But how will he get out of it? Well, maybe there’s more to the story than we originally thought πŸ˜‰

The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether

This is again an interesting story, and maybe one of the most amusing ones yet πŸ™‚ This, too, is a bit longer than the usual stories, but definitely worth reading πŸ˜€

The story presents the narrator who wishes to visit a private insane asylum that he has heard of from his friends, because at this asylum a new method, called “system of soothing” is applied. He is received by the superintendent, Monsieur Maillard, who invites him to diner, attended by an unusual party.

The night grows stranger and louder, and the narrator learns about the works of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether, and he is ashamed to admit that he hasn’t heard of them. But as he starts to see what is really going on inside the asylum, something unexpected happens.

I loved this one, because I expected it to be scary with the asylum and all, but it wasn’t so much scary as in really interesting. This is another thing I think some people (myself included) find interesting, because I find the mind of a mad man to be quite fascinating and unexplainable, thus object of many speculation πŸ™‚ (Just to be clear, I don’t agree with the methods used in old days of “curing” the mentally ill.)

The Tell-Tale Heart

This story is a short one, but very interesting from a psychological point of view.

The narrator presents his perfect plan to kill an old man, whom he didn’t really have a problem with, but could not stand the gaze of his vulture-eye. He tries to prove throughout the story that he is not insane, but the more he mentions it, the more you know the opposite is true.

We follow in his footsteps as he commits the deed, but witness how his conscience eats him up and makes him hear the pounding of the heart of the killed man. This of course causes him to do what he would have never done otherwise.

William Wilson

One of my friends, also a Poe-lover, said that this is one of her favorites. And I can understand why πŸ™‚ Although it is indeed a bit long, it’s very interesting with a twist at the end πŸ™‚

The story presents the life of the narrator, William Wilson, starting from when he was in school. There he meets a fellow student, who not only has the same name, but is very similar to himself.

The story goes on, presenting the not really healthy lifestyle of the narrator and his many vices in later years. He is seemingly followed by his “twin”, always interfering when he is about to do something wrong. The narrator grows more and more angry with his unpleasant shadow, and decides to settle the score with him once and for all.

The end of the story may not be all that unexpected, at least it wasn’t for me, but it is interesting from a psychological point of view in the analysis of the relationship between the two William Wilsons πŸ™‚

The Business Man

The last story this time is a funny one, once you realize what it’s about πŸ˜€

It presents the narrator and his vision about method in the business world. He shares his thoughts about geniuses, and how he did everything he could to not become one.

He tells us about some of his businesses, each described in a very formal and serious manner, which only adds to the comedy, when you understand what the actual business is πŸ˜€

It’s a pretty good story, but not my favorite. But of course this doesn’t mean that you can’t read it or like it, for that matter πŸ˜›

So I guess that’s all for now and stay tuned for Part VIII of the Poe series πŸ™‚

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚

Edgar Allan Poe Shortstories Part VI

Hi all!

This is Part 6 of the Poe stories and this time, I’ll be presenting 5 works again. I thought about this being the last part in the series for now, finishing it later and reading something else. It’s not that I don’t like the short-stories, because I do. It’s just that it seems reading short-stories online is more tiresome than novels. But I guess, I won’t do that after all, because I have a tendency to not finish what I started, so I’m kinda in self-motivation mode right now πŸ™‚

Anyway, here are the stories, and you can read them online by clicking the title πŸ™‚

The Pit and the Pendulum

This story is a very interesting one, as it presents the sufferings of the narrator in the torture chamber of the Inquisition. As I read the story, many images of scenes I read in books popped into my head, and even the song “The Poet and the Pendulum” from Nightwish. I guess this really added to the effect, but in all it was a great story.

Poe did a good job in portraying the terrors the man faces, and it is really fascinating from a psychological point of view. I’m sure many people have wondered, what they would do in situations like these. How would they react, how would they face the danger. This story really makes you wonder, and it’s actually pretty fascinating when you try to picture something you don’t really want to experience.

The pit in the story is said to contain something so terrible that the man cries out: “any death but that of the pit!”. This made me think of the end of the book 1984 By George Orwell. And I guess that was the point, that’s why the narrator didn’t tell us what was in the pit. Because everyone has their own version of Hell.

The Premature Burial

This story has as theme the fact that in many cases throughout history, people have been buried alive, because they had some sort of disease, making their doctors believe they were indeed dead.

The narrator of the story suffers of such an illness, and is in constant terror that he will be buried alive, because of his seemingly dead state. He, therefore makes arrangements, so that he could easily escape his tomb and be immediately noticed, if this shall occur.

But as he finds himself in a narrow, coffin-like place, with the smell of wet earth in his nose, he fears the worst. The realization of what is, in fact, going on has a changing effect on him.

This story contains a lesson for all of us, because we are the ones who decide how and in what circumstances do we wish to live.

The Purloined Letter

This is another detective story, in which me meet M. Dupin again as he, yet again, solves a case the Parisian police could not.

This time the case involves a letter stolen from a woman of high rank, and the thief, Minister D, is known. But the problem is that the letter, even though the police knows it is with the minister, can not seem to be found.

M. Dupin, with his amazing talent at observation, inspects the premises of the minister’s home and makes an interesting discovery, thus solving the odd, yet so simple case πŸ˜€

This was an interesting story and it was nice to see recurring characters, especially if it’s M. Dupin, who I quite like πŸ™‚

Silence – A Fable

This is an interesting and beautiful story. Well, not a story exactly, because it doesn’t really have a plot.

It is actually the monologue of a demon, visiting the narrator. The demon speaks of a hauntingly beautiful place, ruled by desolation. The demon watches the figure of a man, sitting on a rock, and apparently contemplating on something.

The surroundings are beautifully described, and the atmosphere of the story is fascinating. The style itself is also very interesting, with the repetitions.

Some Words With a Mummy

This is another interesting story, because it is, again, different. This is actually the first story of Poe that I read, in which he shares his thoughts about the society and age he lives in.

The story presents the narrator, with a few companions, who are given permission to inspect a mummy. Upon applying electricity, they encounter a shocking result: the mummy is in fact alive!

This, of course, causes great amazement, and the gentlemen begin to question the many thousand years old mummy about the time he lived and the advancements in many fields of that age. With the answers of the mummy we actually hear Poe’s own vision of his age, and it’s not a pleased one.

In the last paragraph he actually states his views, not minding to slumber himself for a couple of hundred years. I guess, I wouldn’t either πŸ˜€

Well, it seems that’s all for now and I’ll be back shortly with Part VII πŸ™‚

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ˜€

Edgar Allan Poe Shortstories Part III

Hi all πŸ™‚

I as mentioned a couple of times, I really like Poe πŸ˜› But as I read more of his stories, I seem to like him more and more, because as it turns out, he doesn’t have a great talent only to write horror stories and such. In fact, he touches a larger variety of themes, and it’s really nice to see when someone has this wide range of knowledge. So this is another good point in the ever growing list of “why I like Poe” πŸ™‚

Anyway, this time I’ll be talking about 4 works again, and as before, you can read them by clicking on the title πŸ™‚ So here they are:

The Fall of the House of Usher

I have heard of this story from a friend, who said it was really interesting and really Poe-ish πŸ™‚ And she was right πŸ™‚ This is again a great example of Poe’s talent in describing scenes.

The story is about a childhood friend of the narrator, whom the narrator visits because of a letter. The house and its surroundings speak of desolation and of a certain melancholic decay. And, as expected, the image of the inhabitants of the house, a Mr. Roderick Usher and his sister, Madeline, mirror their surroundings. Roderick is as thin as a skeleton, not to mention his mental illness, and Madeline is soon found dead.

The story gets really creepy by the end and only in the last paragraph do we find the meaning of the title. But of course, we can view the title in more figurative ways also πŸ™‚

This story reminded me of a little movie that I once saw, called “Vincent”. Actually the movie contains more references to Poe and it’s really very interesting. So if you want to see it, you can find it here (it’s only a few minutes long): Vincent.

The Gold Bug

I really loved this story, because it is really different from anything I’ve read of Poe so far. And it seems he never ceases to amaze me πŸ™‚

In this story, we go on a treasure hunt with the narrator, his friend, William Legrand and Legrand’s servant, Jupiter. But of course, we don’t realize that it is in fact a treasure hunt at the beginning. What we do see is Legrand, acting very strange on finding an interesting bug and drawing a picture of it on a piece of paper.

Later we find out that it is no ordinary paper, but a parchment once belonging to Captain Kidd, containing an encrypted message. So the hunt begins and the hunters eventually stumble upon something unexpected and intriguing.

I liked this story for more reasons, the main one probably being my nerdy love for cryptography πŸ˜› But it is also very well written, and despite being quite longer than the ones I’ve read so far, it keeps the reader interested in what’s going to happen next πŸ™‚

Hop-Frog

This is another interesting and slightly different story about a court jester who takes revenge upon the king and his counselors for their malice.

At the beginning of the story we learn the sad fate of the jester Hop-Frog, who is a dwarf and a cripple, and his friend, Trippetta. Because of his appearance, Hop-Frog is frequently laughed at by the joke-loving king and his court. But Hop-Frog endures this somehow, wanting revenge only after the king humiliates Trippetta.

He disguises his grim plans of revenge as a practical joke the king and his eight counselors could play on the guests of the coming masquerade ball. And the unsuspecting king and his men fall right into his trap.

This story is interesting, but not really my favorite, but it’s worth reading as it touches themes like cruelty to the more unfortunate and the revenge of the oppressed.

The Imp of the Perverse

This story is again a bit different, as it ventures into analyzing human nature in one of its interesting features. This is, namely, the fact that many times we do things we shouldn’t, just because we aren’t supposed to.

In the first part of the story, the narrator contemplates upon this fact, and in the second part, we find out more about the narrator himself.

He has committed murder, thus inheriting a fortune. He lived happily for a while, knowing he won’t be caught, but at the end he is betrayed by this inexplicable feature of his nature.

I found it an interesting story because I really like reading stories/books on psychology or that touch the subject. So if you do to, then this story’s for you πŸ™‚

Well, I guess that’s all for now. Stay tuned for Part IV of the series πŸ™‚

And until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚