Review ~ The End of the Affair by Graham Greene. 

You know, there’s nothing like going back to an old favorite! Make your favourite drink, prepare some favorite snacks, change into your comfortable clothes and sit back and relax into blissful familiarity. 

I’ve read this book multiple times and I still think that this is possibly one of the most complex, and realistic, dissections of human emotion.  Love, hate, confusion, lust and friendship, all play their parts. However, Greene does not do what most writers do and give each emotion it’s own familiar little compartment; love and hate often get mixed together, becoming one and the same, lust is often the focus, with confusion rearing its ugly head at the most inappropriate moments, and friendship arises, and ends, from the most obscure places. 

This is certainly not a plot driven novel. We know that the affair has ended before we even read the first page. We know another important fact as well, before we get even a quarter of the way through. This novel examines reactions, and the consequences of those reactions, whether it be physical or emotional. 

   We read books to escape, I get that. But sometimes it’s nice to realise that those effed up emotions that you feel at the most inappropriate of times, are completely normal, and quite frankly, inevitable. 

Give this classic a go – it’s short, but packs a major punch.

~ Pegasus.  

The End of the Affair

Review: On the Road by Jack Kerouac

2552Okay, confession, I don’t even know what “beat lit” is….and if this is an example, I don’t want to know any more.

If I understood “beat lit” would it make me love this book? Appreciate it more? I don’t think so. I didn’t find it well written. I didn’t find it interesting. I didn’t find it anything except me glad to finish it. I saw lots of sex, some more sex, some sex with adults and minors, some drugs, some thieving, more sex, lies, disregard of promises and responsibilities….rinse and repeat…

Please don’t tell me it was the generation. Please don’t tell me it was a rebellion against society and the government. Please don’t tell me I don’t understand. It might have been different if all of what was portrayed was mutual and done with honesty between both parties…but to me it just stank of the selfishness of some parties on various levels….

If you’re more enlightened than me and you know it, feel free to bask in that knowledge whilst I bask in the knowledge that I didn’t enjoy any of this book…

Call if my own personal rebellion of the “American Classics and Beat Lit”…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Review: Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

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I love it when authors put their own unique twist on classic stories and fairytales.  Bonus points if their version is even more dark and twisted than the original.  This is what you get with the latest from Lisa Maxwell.

We all know the story of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.  The story from my childhood places Peter in the role of hero, saving all who are lost.  And the Neverland I remember was a magical place full of swashbuckling fun with a dash of danger thrown in.

This is not the story we grew up with.  This Neverland is full of deadly secrets at every turn.  There are more beasts than you can keep track of.  And death is a regular occurrence.  Oh and Peter?  He may not be what you remember.  This Peter is more sinister and conniving. And then there’s Captain Hook.  Because what would a Peter Pan story be without a bad guy?  But maybe Hook isn’t really the bad guy.  Or maybe he is.

This is what Gwendolyn has to decide for herself.  Her entire life has been spent moving from place to place.  Just as soon as she gets settled, her mom uproots them yet again.  She has a good reason.  They are running from monsters, after all.  To Gwen, this is just more of her mom’s eccentric behavior.  So when they end up in London, she doesn’t take any of the warnings seriously.  Keep the windows closed, don’t turn off the lights…

And when she doesn’t heed these warnings, bad things happen.  In the form of dark shadowy creatures who swoop in and capture Gwen along with her friend Olivia.  When Gwen wakes up, she finds herself on the ship of the infamous Captain Hook.  She knows the story, so she knows he’s not the good guy.  So she escapes and is rescued by Peter Pan.

Here’s where the story takes even more twists and turns.  Gwen quickly realizes that Pan may not be what he seems.   And it would appear that she holds the key to saving herself and Olivia.  Maybe her mom wasn’t so crazy after all…

This was such a fun book to read.  The author has a way with words and is able to create magical worlds that transport the reader.  While staying close to the original storyline, she still gives us a fantastical alternate version.  Add this one to your list!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Unhooked

Review – Disturbing the Peace, by Richard Yates. 

Whether it is 1000 pages, or 275 pages, don’t you just love it when an author strings together a brilliant, honest, and raw story?  Well look no further than this book!

I know I’ve done a couple of past reviews on other books by Yates, so it is not really surprising that I love this one so much. However, and this is what is so brilliant about Yates, he continues to surprise me. Just when I think I may know what direction he will take, I am proven wrong. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t Yates being sensationalist (we can leave that to James Frey) – no, this is Yates showing us that he can throw a punch in the most subtle of ways.

One of the many elements of this novel that I love is the guessing game: what is real, what is exacerbated and ultimately what is fueled by a sense of denial, hopelessness and frustration.

A common theme with Yates is a realization that no matter your socioeconomic status, your relationship/family life or the comfort blanket of a standard middle class existence, your life can be upended in an instant. The scenarios , the demons, who or what is to “blame”, isn’t always apparent; we are human beings and how we cope with various situations, is never a standard, never the same each time. Life is fragile and yet it can survive a lot of beatings.

Do yourself a favor and experience this 275 pages of pure heart wrenching magic.

 

Pegasus.

Disturbing the Peace

Review: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

18405Reading this novel 20 years after reading it the first time was a bit of a shocker. I won’t lie. Reading it as an adult…well, again, I was shocked in places. I sometimes feel it’s pointless to review a book that has millions of reviews already….however, I would be remiss if I just skipped over this novel and acted like there was no inspiration drawn from it. Even though there is no possible way for me give a review worthy of the book.

Parts of this book made me uncomfortable in my own skin. It’s hard to put into words the hypocrisy and the love that members of the South had for their slaves. Or even the same that the slaves had for the South. Harder still to see so many fight for a way of life that was in many ways just a matter of pride. I think Scarlett was a horrible person in many ways. She lacked intelligence when it came to understanding people and any type of “book sense”, but I think her feelings about the war and the South were often spot on, no matter how many would disagree. There are just so many things in this novel that one could review about…so I give up…a million thoughts are running rampant through my mind right now…it’s impossible to pin one down before another one goes running off in another direction…so I shall stop and leave you with an unfinished review…go read this book. It’s worth the weight of the book in your hands to read. One almost needs to feel the weight to appreciate the weight inside the pages as well….

I only wish to say that when I read this book as a teenager, I wasn’t so completely in love with Melanie as others were, in fact I had little to no patience for her. I had no time for Ashley from the very start, I wasn’t drawn to him in any way, shape of form. I thought Rhett Butler was one of the most honest, handsome, and daring men every. I didn’t know if I loved or hated Scarlett. And finally, I think the ending was one of the most brilliant endings of all time.

20 years later, those feelings haven’t changed a bit….they are probably the only constants I have with this epic novel…..I’m so very glad I made the commitment to revisit this novel…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell