How do I write a review about a masterpiece? I am totally unqualified. Suffice it to say that Dreiser has written a magnificent work, holding up a mirror as it were, to so many aspects of life. His characters reflect every human experience imaginable - love, hate, hypocrisy, greed, lust, success, failure, poverty, envy, pride, humility, disappointment, hunger, deprivation of body and soul, the loss of everything one holds dear, the tragedy of unfulfilled dreams, the joys of fame and fortune, the eternal quest for the meaning of life, the search for true love. What more can I say? Don't miss reading this marvelous novel. Dreiser also wrote "An American Tragedy", still in copyright in US, on which the 1951 film "A Place In The Sun" was based, featuring Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor.
Well told adventure story about the search for the fabled "El Dorado" city of gold in Peru. It contains the elements of "can't put this book down" adventure stories as written by Arthur Conan Doyle and H. Rider Haggard such as many narrow escapes from death, discovery of new, huge, frightening beasts eager to devour everyone, long jungle treks without food, water, shelter, savages anxious to kill everyone on the expedition and perhaps eat them, emeralds the size of goose eggs, gigantic, beautiful man-eating flowers, and even romance. Is there a happy ending? I won't spoil the suspense by telling. This is my first Harry Collingwood book, and definitely not my last - he seems to specialize in a variety of adventure stories.
This is a drawn out tale about a 33 year old wealthy San Francisco businessman who marries a 19 year old beautiful woman, Helene, after a ship board romance. She is accompanied by her mother who is very protective and rather vague about their French origins and past. Once married, he begins to suspect something is awry. Is Helene having an affair? Is she a spendthrift? Was her mother once the queen of a bordello in San Francisco? Is Helene her illegitimate daughter? Who can he trust? He hires a private detective to unravel everything. For me this was a lackluster set of characters enacting a dreary plot.
In contrast to other reviewers, I thought this short story failed miserably in conveying dimension in its characters and the mystery, suspense, horror, fear, presence of evil that quality ghost stories possess. To me it was a parody of a ghost story, trite, predictable, childish, and aimed at young readers, if that.
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2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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