9 August 2012

Our Challenge: Books 15 - 20

So it's been a while since I've done one of these, and I'm quite a way behind where I should be, however I thought it was high time I posted a summary of the reviews I've written since my last of these posts. 

As always click the links for my full reviews, which are on the  Challenge Blog , and for more information on why we're doing this see  this post.

Casino RoyaleBook 15: Casino Royale - Ian Fleming

Casino Royale was a fairly sexist novel, a fact which didn't render void the pace and thrill which it evoked. It wouldn't be my first choice of book and I'm not sure I'd read it again, but I am glad that I read it the one time. In parts it seemed excessively unrealistic and I'm unsure how the hero is alive at the end of the book, and not because of the dangers of his profession!

   Book 16: Agnes Grey - Anne Bronte

Agnes Grey is a wonderful example of the writing of it's period. It's a pleasure to read although by no means filled with fluff, and once you get going with it you find it really moves with pace. The character telling the story has high moral standards and the book itself strives to teach you these. She falls victim to so many trials in her short life that you can't help but rejoice with and for her when she finds happiness in the end.

Book 17: London Fields - Martin Amis

I found London Fields to be slow without much happening through most of the novel, and it's long, so that's a lot of not a lot happening! I found myself bribing myself with chores in order to get through this tedious volume. However the ending picks up, and if only it had been significantly reduced I can't help but think I would have enjoyed it more. I appreciated the twist, although it felt somewhat stilted and I did have sympathy for some of the characters, although I think I probably placed it wrongly.

Book 18: For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway

For Whom the Bell Tolls evoked many emotions in me, and I can thoroughly understand why so many people love it. However it and I just didn't click, due entirely to the language which was used in writing it, which I found stilted. I also found the romance in it a little rushed, but it was a true romance with a heartbreaking ending and while it lasted it brought happiness but it's ending brought true sadness. A note in the favour of this book is that it's over a brief time period, meaning that it never really stops in flow.

Book 19: Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

Brideshead Revisited is one of the best books this year, despite the fact that it doesn't tie in how I'd expect with the cover image. It takes place over three distinct time periods and follows the various infatuations of Charles with the Marchmain family, with his affection moving from Brother to Mother to Sister. When he is eventually, brutally pushed from this family you have to take part in the heartbreak and you feel his pain colouring all the reminiscence which he imparts. If you get the chance I would definitely recommend you read this.

Book 20: Orlando - Virginia Woolf

It's been a while since I finished this and yet I still feel that weird is the only word which either describes or does justice to this book. It features a character who isn't bound by the normal passage of time, and is only 30 after some 400 years, and who is able to change sex at will. A character who gets married but who's husband is never again heard of, and who may or may not have had a child. This is another one I found myself bribing my way through.

Thank you if you've actually taken the time to read all of these :P and if you want more information then the title links will take you to the full post.

Linking up to Speed Date Night @ The Book Swarm.



  1. You know, as much as I adore the Bond movies, I've never read one of the books. I really think I'll have to do that, just to compare (though I'll definitely be ready for the ever-present sexism!). Cheers!

    1. I've read two, and despite the fact they make me angry and they're really sexist I do still enjoy them, I guess it's a bit of a guilty pleasure!