The Scarlet Pimpernel
One of the few times I prefer the book over the movie…
This book is about the French Revolution and an Englishman’s mission to save as many aristocrats from the guillotine as possible. He is known only as the Scarlet Pimpernel, and is a genius at what he does.
This is historical fiction, so there’s a lot of inaccuracies but that kind of stuff can be forgiven. Perhaps it’s the fact that this was written in 1900 (published in 1905) and that kind of humor is lost on my millennial senses. Or perhaps Baroness Orczy is just quite long-winded.
With that said, it wasn’t a terrible book. It presented some clever writing and some honest characters that you want to get to know. There are simply moments when it goes on about essentially nothing that helps further the plot.
I would whole-heartedly recommend the TV movie with Anthony Andrews and Sir Ian McKellan. And if you’re into long-winded historical fiction, perhaps this book is for you.
pic thanks to Christian Book
This is Where it Ends
I thought I would try to challenge Schindler’s List on being the hardest book I’ve read this year. Well, Schindler’s List of course won but this is a close second.
This book is about four people’s perspectives during a school shooting. This is fictionalized, and is not about a past, actual shooting.
As much as I appreciated having different perspectives of four people intimately tied with the shooter, there were often times when I was confused as to whose perspective we were seeing now. A different font, perhaps, for each narrator might have helped.
When it comes to this book, there is a realistic approach and the emotional approach. Realistically, this could not have happened. A lone teenage boy couldn’t have deserted the school the way he did during an assembly, only because there are always people not at assemblies. Like the front office people. Or teachers on their planning period. Or the cafeteria workers. Or seniors who would rather skip for a smoke break. Anyway, realistically this fashion of tragedy could not happen.
However, emotionally, I felt a lot. Emotions ran high, obviously, and I was so connected with the characters that I actually read this full book in one sitting, in one night. But fair warning, I was emotionally comatose for days after reading this. It’s not a fantastic book to read if you have anxieties or panic disorders or other highly emotional mental disorders (as I do).
But even still, I do recommend this book.
pic thanks to Amazon
Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally
By far, the hardest book I’ve read this year so far.
A look into the man, Oskar Schindler, and his work that saved 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust, this work offers as many historical facts as possible with very little fiction. Because of such writing, the book seems long-winded and took quite a while to reach a point of interest. The main antagonist (besides Hitler, obviously) was a man named Goeth, who was not introduced until halfway through the book. And the list in which serves as the title of the book does not come into play until about 2/3, 3/4 of the book.
I understand the need to understand the man and how he got to the point of the list, however I do believe it could’ve used more editing. I did enjoy pieces of the book, but not together as a whole.
Also, I watched the movie for the first time after I completed the book. I do think this was definitely a better story as a visual representation than literary representation. But both works have a place in the world of film and literature, as it should be.
pic thanks to Amazon