Although I thoroughly enjoyed this book and thought it was beautifully written, it didn’t really leave me with much of an opinion. It’s hard to say whether this is because of the writing or the very succinct writing of the plot and story. Many times the books that leave me wanting more are the books that I desperately cling to because I don’t know the happily ever after.
In this book you get everything and it’s great, but the author wrapped the story up in a perfect finite package with only a hint of a what’s next, which was great at the end, but not enough to leave me wowed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really glad I read it and can’t believe it took me this long to jump on the band wagon and I would recommend it to everyone, I’m just sort of lackadaisical about it. There were two great things that stood out for me, the minor characters (and animals) and the juxtaposition of the old Jacob and the young Jacob.
WordPress decided to move this post to the trash bin and I, assuming it was duplicate draft, permanently deleted it. The first three paragraphs are verbatim as I was able to recover them via caching, however after that is a poor substitute of what I spoke about previously.
I had to add this to my Classics Club list because of its reference in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. I wish I would’ve spaced things to read Northanger Abbey immediately before or after, but I didn’t and I’m sure I will enjoy it just as much when I next read it.
The Mysteries of Udolpho counts for every challenge I’m currently participating in. It is first and foremost the 20th book in my Classics Club list and signifies my 1/5th completion (right at the year mark, so keep an eye out for a longer post later this week)! In addition it counts for my Mount TBR Reading Challenge, Back to the Classics Challenge and through a bit of questionable math as a bonus book for my Tea and Books Reading Challenge (the physical copies average out to 666 pages).
This book is definitely a reader’s book, or maybe a writer’s book? I’m never really sure what the difference is, but either way it’s a tome that really pushes you to focus on what you’re reading as there are quite a few heavy philosophical arguments and references within the novel, and it pushes you to question what is and isn’t real with the protagonist acknowledging that he’s had previous stints in a mental institution and the varying ‘ghosts’ to which the title refers.
I bought this book in 2011 at the Boston Book Festival and it’s just sat on my shelf since. I’m glad I read it, but at the same time I’m not sure why I bought it at the time as I’m terrified of ghost stories, but you’ll have to read on to find out how this one affected me. Since it’s been on my shelf for almost two years it counts for my Mount TBR ‘extra’ challenge. It took nearly two weeks to read and that’s from the denseness of the book. seriously, scroll down and read the first line—it’s a PARAGRAPH—or any of the quotes for that matter!
I received a digital galley of The Reluctant Assassin from NetGalley and this is my honest review and I received no form of compensation. (Clearly, who would pay for my ramblings, but thank you to whoever approved it, I’m not sure I should have been approved because of the reader preferences on the publisher’s page!)
Although the story starts off slow, I feel this is a great beginning to a new series! I didn’t have an issue with the slowness in this story, but it was the one detraction. As with any first novel introducing new characters and concepts, there will be some pacing difficulties. How much action should there be? How much back story do you reveal? There were a few times where it seemed Colfer struggled, but it wasn’t enough to deter me, because the story is sound and engaging and the cast of characters are definitely interesting and keep you on your toes!
WARNING and APOLOGY: this post starts with a rather long tangent about literature, art and people. (Sorry! Probably should be two posts, but I’m lazy.) If you don’t really want to read it (but you should there are a few great quotes) skip to after the third block quote. And to get it out-of-the-way, The Picture of Dorian Gray is the January read for my books into movies book group at the local library and conveniently appears on my Mount TBR (extended) list and my Classics Club list!
Now for my tangent, I’ve noticed as I read a wider variety of literature that the authors I’m drawn to have a lot to say about books, reading and writing. I have a lot of respect for authors who are able to reflect on writing, books, and literature within their own books and stories. In his forward to The Portrait of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde writes the below quote.
“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.” (4)
And I can’t help but appreciate how incredibly insightful and powerful this is. Imagine if all the people threatened by books, who’ve burned books, who attempt to ban books, and those who just refuse to read certain books actually understood this. I love this quote so much it’s my new email signature and I’ve added it to the great book quotes on my sidebar (only the third)!