Tag: Parodies

Cressida Cowell – How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse | Review

Title: How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse

Author: Cressida Cowell

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 240

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Cressida Cowell - How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse

Cressida Cowell – How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse

 

This book was pretty cute, but then all of the How to Train Your Dragon books are and so there’s no surprise there. This was actually probably my least favourite of the three that I’ve read, but it was still enjoyable enough and I liked the fact that much of it focused on a quest to reclaim a mythical potato.

I also like the little twist towards the end, although I’m not going to spoil it for you by telling you what it was. Suffice to say that Hiccup and the gang are subjected to a test of friendship (as they usually are), and that there are all sorts of subtle parodies of our own world and the inimitable sense of humour that makes Cowell’s books a hit with kids and adults alike.

What I will say about this one is that the adventure felt a little less fleshed out, somehow shorter than some of the other books. There was too much time on the setup and not enough on the heart of the story, but that’s okay. It was still a good read, and I don’t regret picking it up. I just want to hurry up and get to the rest of the series, so I’ll have to scour the charity shops.

 

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell

 

Click here to buy¬†How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse.

 


Daphne du Maurier – Rebecca | Review

Title: Rebecca

Author: Daphne du Maurier

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 432

Rating: 4*/5

 

Daphne du Maurier - Rebecca

Daphne du Maurier – Rebecca

 

First off, whatever you do, don’t read the Virago Modern Classics edition. The front cover is a spoiler for the last page and the introductory essay is a spoiler for the other 431 of them. I already knew a little bit about the story line of Rebecca because of its parodies in popular culture, and particularly Mitchell and Webb which ruined the scene with the dress from the portrait, and what I didn’t know was spoiled by Sally Beauman’s introductory essay. And from what I understand, that was only there in the first place to try to get you to buy her “award-winning Rebecca’s Tale, authorised by the du Maurier estate.” Yeah, I won’t be reading that.

Because of all that, this entire read felt more like a re-read, even though it’s the first time I’ve ever picked it up. And that’s a shame, because it took a lot of the enjoyment out of it for me. Sure, it was good to read it to see how du Maurier told the story, but none of it took me by surprise, as I imagine it would have if I’d read it in 1938. I’ve also never read Jane Eyre, which apparently it’s based on, so maybe I would have got more from it if I’d read that.

The unnamed narrator is bland and boring, at least for the majority of the book, but that’s a deliberate ploy on du Maurier’s part. Still, it was kind of irritating to have to read her whittering on about stuff, especially when you already know what’s going to happen and that it’ll make most of what she’s even going on about completely redundant. Maxim de Winter and Mrs Danvers were much more interesting.

 

Daphne du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier

 

I also found it entertaining because I didn’t trust Rebecca and then it turned out that I’d sussed her character out when everyone else in the book was taken in by her. But that wasn’t outright spelled out or spoiled for me and so even though I called it, at least I called it myself. I was also taken by surprise by a twist towards the end when they called upon Rebecca’s former doctor, but I also thought it was a little too convenient.

Overall, based on my reading experience, Rebecca just scrapes a 4/5, and only because I’m generous and based on the strength of du Maurier’s writing. Without being spoiled, it would have been an easy 5* and a contender for my book of the year. Oh well.

 

Daphne du Maurier - The Breakthrough

Daphne du Maurier – The Breakthrough

 

Click here to buy Rebecca.