Reviews by Francis BlueDevil

Bones

by Edgar Wallace

Francis Augustus Tibbetts is an ass and if you don't believe me, ask him, he will be the first to tell you so.

But how so? Well he's a bit pompous, a bit of a bungler, sort of presumptuous and kind of a self flatterer. However, he's always lucky and well looked after so he always getting the long end of the stick, so to speak.

This is a collection of stories about his adventures along an African river and it's a good way to spend a lazy afternoon, or a cold evening by a fire.

Recreational reading at it's best, a little adventure, a little humor, a little nostalgia, not a lot of drama but a good deal of fun.

Reviewed on 2010.06.13

The Wings of the Dove

by Henry James

If you like things black and white, if you like sparse language, if you like fast paced action, don't read this book.

If on the other hand, you can deal with many shades of gray, you can deal with multiple levels of complexity and you are OK with not quite knowing where the exact boundary lies between good and evil, then this book may be for you.

A young lady wants to wed, but her boy friend doesn't have the financial means to win the approval of her Aunt. Enter a bright young American girl, visiting London and they become friends. The American girl, has money but no family and she may be terminally ill? The young lady's boy friend is encouraged to spend time with the charming young American girl, by his future bride.

You can see the potential difficulties, can't you?

Well Mr James takes his time about it, but ever so slowly we are tangled into their web, leaving us eventually with an interesting exercise in moral judgment.

For me it was overly slow and plodding at times but it was also rich in language and thought, so worthwhile.

But, you be the judge, ...as Mr. James intended.

Reviewed on 2010.06.13

Hard Times

by Charles Dickens

Dickens condensed.

This is not my favorite Dickens novel. I prefer those great baggy panted monsters often abhorred by others. I think Dickens is best when he weaves and weaves and weaves his tales. On the other hand, this is a Dickens novel and he is never disappointing, except, maybe in the light of his other works.

Favorite character? Check out Mr. Bounderby, a blustering, hypocritical, whining, deceitful, self aggrandizing, no account Captain of Industry.

Or, in the modern world, something akin to a Senator from South Carolina.

Reviewed on 2010.06.10

The Magnificent Ambersons

by Booth Tarkington

George Amberson Minafer is a small town aristocrat. He comes from a prominent well respected family in a growing mid-west city and he is very proud of his family. In fact, he is very fond of telling everybody just how proud he is, and his mother loves him very much.

He is a man of conviction, who never questions his judgment, because he’s right, because he is an Amberson. He knows a man is measured by who he is and not by what he does. He knows architecture and he knows cars can’t replace horses. He knows his town will always admire and respect its great traditions, and he knows what’s best for his mom.

Only, he’s really always wrong, and he never listens to anyone, and he is always clinging to the past, and he never accepts blame, even if it kills his mom, who he loves very much.

Great story about a guy named George…kind of ironic too

Reviewed on 2009.06.12

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