Book Review: Classics (Pre-20th Century)

Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Book Review
4+ out of 5 stars for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a classic novel written in 1876 by Mark Twain. Another book where there are likely tons of reviews, each covering the plot, summary, characters, writing and themes. I’ll try not to do that, but instead a few quick hits on what made me like this one so much. An author’s job is difficult. You undoubtedly have hundreds of ideas and images swimming around inside your head. You may want to try to correct a wrong in society. You could be highlighting all the things that people should be aware of. It might be an opportunity to share a dream or wild imagination with readers. Mark Twain is all of those things tied together with a big, beautiful bow. He understands how to write. He knows how people read. He doesn’t care about either enough to worry what he does in his novels. And I don’t mean that in a critical or accusatory way. I mean that it all just pours out of him regardless of his audience, as he just naturally builds a wonderful story full of memories. With a setting like the Mississippi River, characters like Tom and Huck, messages like “how do you grow up to be a good man” threaded throughout the story, it couldn’t possibly fail. I’m not even covering the themes around slavery and freedom, men and women, skin color, age, relationships… it’s purely a theory on how to live your life so that you know what to expect, when to expect it and how to react. So much more I could say… but the best I could leave you with is… this is the kinda book everyone needs to read as we will all take something very different from it. Sometimes we will be angry that Twain didn’t do enough, considering how brilliant he was, to help support the causes going on at the time he wrote this. Others praise him for shining a light on what was happening. It’s controversial, diverse and thought-provoking. That’s why to read it — to engage in a discourse where you can feel free to share your opinion and understand every else’s feelings, too.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

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Review: The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter Book Review
4 of 5 stars to The Scarlet Letter, a classic romantic period tale written in 1850, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Students are often required to read excerpts from this book, if not the whole book, during school. I was one of those students, but then I read it again in college as part of my American Romanticism course during freshmen year. But I also read it a third time prior to a movie being released, as I liked the actors in the movie, but wanted to be able to compare the literary work against it… and it had been a while since I’d read the story.

It’s a tough work to get into, given the language and style. But once you do, it flourishes. Apart from being one of the most influential works of Puritan belief systems, it also broke ground by truly focusing on a woman who has done something sacrilegious above and beyond any normal broken sins. To lay with a man when you are not married… ugh, let’s throw some stones at that vixen! Phew… not that I got that out of my system…

I love the story. It was necessary at that time to push the envelope. People needed to break away from Puritan traditions of the former century. Minds were starting to open up about what it meant to be in love, to have a child and to be on your own. I may not agree with some of the lessons in the story, nor with the beliefs of all the Puritanical books, but there’s something to be said when this story can transcend time — and become a much copied work of literature. So many modern stories and books reference The Scarlet Letter… show the “A” on a woman’s chest… even down to something like Pretty Little Liars which has nothing to do with this book, but the villain simply goes by “A” in the first few books. Some may think I’m pushing it by connecting those dots, but it all got its start from this book, in my opinion.

Love it. But can’t give it a 5 as the language is difficult, tho I understand it was fine for the times.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

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Review: Othello

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Othello Book Review
4+ of 5 stars to Othello, a tragic play written in 1603, by William Shakespeare. When it comes to writing a thorough review about this Shakespearean work of art, it could take weeks and days to craft perfection; however, I’ve already stumbled upon a few across Goodreads, and the world doesn’t need another interpretation by a middle-aged white guy. Nor does it need my opinion about what this says of a person’s ethnic background, skin color or personality traits. But what the world does need to hear from me… at least if I’m going to post a review… is why I liked it. And I’ll keep it shorts, as we’ve all likely studied this one in high school or college, read it on our own, or watched a TV/Film adaption at some point. If you haven’t, shame on you… stop reading right now, go find one, then come back and let’s chat.

All sarcasm aside, my commentary on Othello is going to purely reflect my thoughts on three characters: Desdemona, Othello and Iago. Your non-classic classic triangle. A battle of good versus evil. Issues of trust in a marriage. All themes that have been explored countless times in literature. What captivates my attention in this play, over 400 years old, is the connection between Desdemona and Othello. A pure love tortured by all the games people play.

Desdemona is an enigma. She is a beautiful woman. A Greek goddess by any other means. She has it all. But she still falls prey to another’s claws. We’ve all been there. None of us are strong enough to resist with 100% force that our lover, partner, significant other or spouse are truly perfect. Doubt will always pervade our minds. Sometimes it’s just a momentary twitch. Others, you stalk the person until you are convinced chastity remains. 🙂

Othello is brilliant. He’s strong and faithful. He is powerful. But he is weak. As are we all. We allow ourselves to get into these positions, all because of experience and hearsay and tunnel vision. He is flawed, but he is every single one of us.

Iago, of course, the villain. Perhaps he simply has his own needs and wants. Maybe he is trying to meet his own objectives in some strange manner. But he is what so many future evil characters are based upon.

Reading this story in play format would be hard by today’s standards. But Shakespeare made it glisten during his time, and for me, it does so now, as well.

I love this story for all the hidden gems. It has more complexities than most of his other works, though many would argue it’s a basic story of love, betrayal, revenge and confusion. At first glance, yes. But when you dig deeper, you’ll find all the treasures.

I promised short… I’ve gone overboard. But hopefully your eyes are tearing from boredom. Read it please. And let’s converse, friends.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

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Review: The Pit and the Pendulum

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The Pit and the Pendulum Book Review
3+ of 5 stars to The Pit and the Pendulum, a short story written in 1842, by Edgar Allan Poe. As in the tradition of Poe’s other Gothic and gory tales, this one takes the fear of death to new heights. Poe tells the story of a man facing punishment during the Spanish Inquisition, a death like no other. At first, he’s strapped to a wooden table while a pendulum swings from above with a saw, getting lower and lower until it’s nearly about to start ripping into his flesh. But the victim finds a way out… in a somewhat ingenious manner. But when he’s saved, he falls into the pit as the walls begin to close in on him. Once again, before he perishes, he is saved when the Inquisition is over.

On the outskirts, it’s just a Gothic tale of a man afraid to die. Two horrific options nearly take his life, all the way messing with this mental state. Neither are a quick and painless death. Both will shock his body and render his mind afraid of life… in a permanent state… just as he enters the after-life. Poe’s saying a lot more here than what you read upon an initial viewing of this story. As expected, the story takes you on the ride of your life. It’s a careful executed imagination that can find the right words and the perfect background to constantly jiggle the paranoia we all feel at some point in our lives.

Certainly not the best of his short stories, it is a good one… something all beginning thriller fans should read.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

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Review: The Purloined Letter

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The Purloined LetterBook Review
3+ of 5 stars to The Purloined Letter, a short story written in 1844, by Edgar Allan Poe. One of the most interesting facts about this story is that it involves Poe’s detective Dupin, who also appear in The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Unlike the Rue Morgue, this mystery contains not gore or horror; it’s pure mystery without the overall Gothic depths Poe usually goes to in his literary works. At its core, the story is about a letter that’s gone missing, possibly stolen, having changed hands a number of times. Poe’s narrator discussed with Dupin all the potential suspects, ruling out everyone but the obvious one. And so, Dupin sets up a test to prove it. As you delve deeper into the story, you begin to question your own view of thievery and the moral codes of “teaching someone a lesson.” Many believe the mystery remains unsolved at the end of this one… and while I would tend to agree, it’s still a very artful approach to telling the story. It also helped push the mystery genre into more analytical thinking as opposed to true action-based, cut-and-dry physical tracking down of clues. Definite short read for any fans of this genre. And good to compare to other of Poe’s works to see the real meaning of the Gothic style of writing.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

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Review: The Cask of Amontillado

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The Cask of Amontillado Book Review
4+ of 5 stars to The Cask of Amontillado, a Gothic short story written in 1846, by Edgar Allan Poe. Perhaps one of my favorite of all Poe’s works, this literary genius stimulates one of everyone’s deepest and scariest fears: to be buried alive. Though there are several macabre options to consider, in this fantastic tale set in Italy, a man is buried alive behind a brick wall. Poe goes to great lengths to describe the process, the emotions and the setting. As a reader, you are entranced in the action, caring little about the characters or the reasons why it’s happening. You read each line in fear, wondering how it will all end.

What I love about Poe’s work is his ability to draw readers into a darkness that permeates all our senses. As you read the story, all five of your physical senses react to the vengeance plot he’s fabricated… from the damp and dank smell of the dirt to the scraping of the mortar against the bricks, your body will twist and turn at the thought of what lengths mankind will when they are angry and hurt.

Take a chance on this one… it’ll give you a great sense of who Poe was both as a writer and as a villain.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

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Review: The Fall of the House of Usher

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The Fall of the House of Usher3.5 of 5 stars to The Fall of the House of Usher, a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, written in 1839. I found myself a slight bit bored the first time I read it. It seemed to only be about some guy that went to go visit an old school buddy. When he arrives, some type of curse or disastrous mood hangs over his house and looms until the man is a bit fearful. Then, his best friend is dying of some odd disease. They watch his wife die, but only when the man is about to die himself does he reveal that he buried the woman alive. She is still down there breathing. It was powerful imagery of the heart still beating and her breaths. It was unlike in “The Tell-Tale Heart” when the heart wasn’t really beating, a figment of his imagination. This time, it was real. Fast forward a few years later, I read the story again at the end of my college years, as a look on mystery and the Gothic origins. And the story is really vivid. It’s not Poe’s best, but you really get a sense of his imagery and his talent for describing things in a most unique way.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures.

View all my reviews