Tag: Subject

John Steinbeck – The Pearl and Burning Bright | Review

Title: The Pearl and Burning Bright

Author: John Steinbeck

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 160

Rating: 3.75/5

This isn’t the best Steinbeck that I’ve read, but then it’s up against Of Mice and Men and a couple of his short stories, so that’s hardly surprising. That doesn’t make it any less of a worthwhile read though, and I’m happy to have been able to add this one to my list of completed books.

The Pearl reminded me of The Old Man and the Sea, although that’s not necessarily a good thing because I didn’t particularly like that. Luckily, I thought that The Pearl was a lot better, mainly because it looked at the gritty subject of the way that people take advantage of people as opposed to having a more philosophical bent.

Burning Bright was great too, but I have a self-imposed word count to stick to, so I’ll leave you hanging. Sorry.

Learn more about The Pearl and Burning Bright.

 


Thomas Harris – Black Sunday | Review

Title: Black Sunday

Author: Thomas Harris

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 320

Rating: 2.75/5

I was expecting good things from this, purely because I’ve read the Hannibal novels and so it had a lot to live up to. In fact, as far as I’m aware, this was the only Thomas Harris novel that I hadn’t read other than his most recent one.

This one was actually published way back in 1975 when Harris was in his thirties, and I have to say that it shows. He attempted to write a sort of fast-paced political thriller, but it doesn’t really work so well when you compare it to some of the newer novels to have hit the market in the last twenty years.

There’s also the fact that this deals with terrorism but was written over a quarter of a century before 9/11. Some of the stuff that he wrote is still relevant, but a lot of it has been superseded by events, and it definitely feels like a product of its time. The writing isn’t particularly good either, and nor is the plotting. In fact, it just comes across as a pretty generic book, something pretty forgettable as far as I’m concerned.

There is a saving grace though, and that’s the complex antagonist with his Vietnam flashbacks and his plot to blow up the Superbowl using an explosive-laden blimp. In fact, I’m kind of surprised that it was so dull considering the subject matter. It could have been awesome. It just wasn’t.

I’m not sure that I’d say that it’s a bad novel either, I just think that it’s very much a product of the time it was written and published in. I think it would have been good enough at the time, but I don’t think there’s much point reading it now. I would have given up if I hadn’t already read Harris’ other stuff.

Learn more about Black Sunday.