Wednesday, 21 April 2010

25. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

This is one of the books that I knew I had to read. Regardless of whether I fully complete this list, this is a book I knew was a must-read. And I'm glad I read it.

The book is absurd beyond belief. It's far-fetched, over the top, and downright silly but it's also an awful lot of fun. I've heard that you either love Douglas Adams, or hate him and after this book I fall into the first category.

Sci-Fi is not a genre I'm a fan of, but this is such a cliche that it comes full circle and you really enjoy it.

If British humour is your thing, and you find Python hilarious then pick it up. I want to keep reading the 'trilogy'.


Monday, 12 April 2010

24. The Maltese Falcon

One of the great things about the list is reading books from genres that I wouldn't usually go near. Crime is one of those areas that I've never really had an interest in. I've read a few of the more modern crime books but not anything in the noir style.

My book promised that is was "one of the best crime novels ever written". Sadly I probably don't agree. I wasn't a fan of Hammett's style, and the book suffered from being overly confusing. So much double-crossing that I found it hard to follow at times. The characters-other than Sam Spade the chain-smoking, tough-talking detective- are pretty one-dimensional and I didn't feel like the story built up to as good a climax as I was expecting.

However, Hammett does have a way with words. His descriptions are great, and the dialogue is wonderfully authentic.

I wouldn't be in a rush to read another Hammett, but I'm glad I came across it.


Thursday, 1 April 2010

Tess of the D'urbervilles

My goodness this book was depressing. Although I was familiar with the general story of Tess, I wasn't aware of just how tragic her life was.

It is an interesting book, and it covers some important and sensitive topics, but at times it is just too bleak for it's own good. Hardy has such a wordy flowery style that at times just seemed rather repetitive. The book is quite choppy and didn't flow in a way that made me want to continue reading it. It wasn't a difficult book to read but I did find it far too long.

I never found myself rooting for Tess, she's so passive that it isn't until the end that I really find myself feeling anything toward her that isn't apathy.

I think it'll be a while before I read another Hardy. I have The Mayor of Casterbridge at home but I think I'll leave it for a bit.