Tag: Absorbed

Charles Dickens – Hard Times | Review

Title: Hard Times

Author: Charles Dickens

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 248

Rating: 3.5/5

I’ve had this book for a while now but I’d been putting it off because it has tiny print and because it’s Dickens, and so I knew it wasn’t exactly going to be easy going. The good news is that once I got into it, I got pretty absorbed in the story line and I had to keep on reading to see what happened next. The characters were just a nice little added bonus.

I think this book quite often gets overshadowed by Dickens’ other work, but what I learned from this is that he was just a pretty badass writer in general. His work still holds up today, and so too do the issues that he wrote about. Dickens is great at covering class differences, and while the specific classes might have changed, the general idea has not.

Still, I have to admit that the main feeling that I’ve been left with after completing this is a sense of relief. It’s been on my TBR for literally years and I’ve been meaning to get to it, but I was putting it off. I think I left it for just the right amount of time, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend racing out to get yourself a copy immediately.

The good news is that it’s out of copyright and so you can read it for free all over the place. Enjoy.

Learn more about Hard Times.

 


Haruki Murakami – Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World | Review

Title: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Author: Haruki Murakami

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 404

Rating: 3.5/5

 

 

This one’s a difficult one to review because it’s so bizarre, and indeed that’s something of a barrier-to-entry to begin with. It took me a hundred pages or so to get absorbed in the story, and I actually started it out as a bedtime book because I wasn’t too excited about it. But then I got hooked, and by the end of it I was enjoying it, although I still didn’t really know what was going on.

That’s kind of a good thing though, because it means you could pick it up for a second and a third time and find something new every time. But at the same time, it was also pretty good just on the initial read, and it almost reminded me of Stephen King’s Dark Tower books, although King’s series is a lot better.

Part of the problem here might be the translation, which in this instance was done by Alfred Birnbaum. I’ve never heard of the guy before, but you could definitely tell the difference between Birnbaum’s voice as a translator and Jay Rubin’s voice, who I’m more familiar with. There were even a couple of typos here and there, which I quite frankly wasn’t expecting from a book published by Vintage.

 

 

The story itself is basically a magical realism story, and it’s a genre that I’ve not had much love for historically. To be honest, I don’t think this one has changed my mind, but that’s probably not a bad thing. Some genres you love and others you don’t, and it just sucks for me that Murakami wrote so much in a genre that I don’t care for when you consider that I’m hoping to slowly work my way through all of his stuff.

And so I guess that brings me up to the end of this review, and I’m just sorry that I don’t have more to say about it. I can also see why this is a popular book amongst Murakami’s fans, and I wouldn’t rule out re-reading it again in the future. But in the meantime, I need to work my way through the rest of his stuff, and so re-reads are out for now. Wish me luck, there’s more to come.

 

 

Click here to buy Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.