Sunday, March 27, 2011

'Sunday Snippet'

I will be sad to finish 'The Maltese Falcon'. It's so deliciously complex and has so many twists and turns, that it's like being taken on a journey through a rabbit hole. I'm definitely going to be seeking out more 'Noir' novels in the future. Here's this week's 'snippet.'

Page 153 'When he withdrew the hand presently it came out smeared with blood.'

'The Maltese Falcon' by Dashiell Hammett

Enjoy the rest of the weekend. This morning I'm a bit disorientated, due to the clocks going forward. At least summer is on its way!

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Snippet

I'm not much of a crime reader. I love Kate Atkinson's take on the crime genre, but I don't think that her novels could be called strictly 'crime', and I have also only read one Agatha Christie novel. So it makes a refreshing change to be reading 'The Maltese Falcon', a classic crime novel from the 30's. Here's the 'snippet'.

Page 87 'Beginning day had reduced night to a thin smokiness when Spade sat up.'

'The Maltese Falcon'-Dashiell Hammett

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

'Short Stories' by Edith Wharton

Publisher: Dover Publications

ISBN: 0-486-28235-X

Length: 124 Pages

What the Blurb says: 'Described by literary critic Robert Morss Lovett as "a novelist of civilization, absorbed in the somewhat mechanical operations of culture, preoccupied with the upper ('and inner') class," Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton (1862-1937) also wrote superbly crafted works of short fiction. The seven stories in this excellent collection demonstrate the author's ability to create memorable tales on themes of love and marriage, divorce, the experience of the artist, high society and its workings and other topics.'

Opening Line: " I can never," said Mrs. Fetherel, " hear the bell ring without a shudder."

What's good about this novel?

Well, basically all of the things that the 'blurb' at the back of this book describes. I love the way in which Wharton plays with the conventions of marriage, divorces and the place of men and women in society. In the era she was writing, particularly in the 20's and 30's, I would imagine that Edith Wharton must have been something of a controversial writer, for daring to perceive life as something which goes against the pretense of status in society at that time.

Her writing style is extremely witty, her descriptions are clever and almost poetic in her choice of words. I enjoyed all of the stories contained within this collection of short stories. However, my favourite stories are 'Xingu', 'Expiation' and 'The Muse's Tragedy'.

The reasons why I liked these stories, were because Edith Wharton is able to demonstrate the complexities of the human nature, in a realistic, sensitive and amusing way. Her observations of people are brilliant and I could recognise myself in stories such as 'Xingu' and 'Expiation', because of the way that they deal with the life of a writer and the difficulty with social groups.

What's wrong with this?

There isn't a lot wrong with this novel. Being a fan of novels, I think that I would have passed this book of short stories by. Whilst I'm probably not going to become a short story reader, I'm glad that this book was recommended to me.

Is this worth a read?

Yes I do think this is worth a read, even if you're not much of a short story reader. Not only is Edith Wharton a good writer and her stories are entertaining, but also she provides an interesting insight, into broader, social matters.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

'Sunday Snippet'

I finished reading Edith Wharton's 'Short Stories' last night (a review will appear on the blog in the next few days). Now, I am reading 'The Maltese Falcon' by Dashiell Hammett. I remember watching the film version of this when I was doing Media Studies at college, so I think it would be interesting to revisit the story but in book form.

Here's this week's snippet:

Page 30: 'Miss Wonderly, in a belted green crêpe silk dress, opened the door of apartment 1001 at the Coronet.'

'The Maltese Falcon' by Dashiell Hammett

Whatever you're doing, enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

'Sunday Snippet'

I don't generally read short stories. However, I have recently enjoyed reading Edith Wharton's charming collection of 'Short stories'. I've nearly finished, having uncharacteristically read the stories at random order. At the moment, I'm reading 'Souls Belated'. Here's a snippet:

Page 73- 'Whatever effect this combined action may have had upon the Lintons, it did not at least have that of driving them away.'

I will put a review of this collection on the blog over the next few days; it's about time I put a review on the here.

The sun is shining, although I suspect that it is cold outside. I'm going to be spending the day going out for Sunday lunch, then watching a fancy dress parade in town later. Whatever you are doing, enjoy what's left of the weekend.

Happy Sunday!