Reviews by M Sly Parker

A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens

This review`s for newcomers to Dickens. 1st, a Christmas Carol is a novella, so you are picking the right story to acquaint yourselves. DICKENS WAS A MASTER OF TWISTING STORY-LINES TOGETHER, HOWEVER, IN THIS STORY SCENES WILL OVERLAP: FOR INSTANCE, SOME OF THE FINAL SCENES ARE CONNECTED BY A GROUP OF THEIVES. HIS WRITING OCCASIONALLY GETS SO DRIVEN WITH PLOT AND EMOTION THAT HE SKIPS IMPORTANT SEGWAYS THAT WOULD HAVE HELPED THE READER. FOR INSTANCE, IN HIS FAMOUS "Best of Times ... WORST OF Times" intro to A Tale of Two Cities. IN A Christmas Carol, you will notice some of this in the vagueness of the aforementioned scene with the theives.

There are some well-used lines in this book, popular to many productions including the CGI Robert Zemekis version with Jim Carey, and the Muppet Version with Michael Caine. "Bah Humbug" is one. Another is Tiny Tim`s near the end.

It has a related theme to the Christian message: We`re here on Earth to serve each other.

The best part of this novella of cours

Reviewed on 2011.12.20

Notre-Dame de Paris

by Victor Hugo

LOVE IT! *However* -Every other chapter covers the histories of the buildings of France. I recommend skipping those parts. The story reminds me of a film version I saw as a kid, and the story itself is very much demented from the Disney: very much in the ways that The Little Mermaid was "fancified" by "magic trust and pixie dust". Thanks Walt!

I like the real version exactly as much as Disney's.

Another interesting note on this novel, is that it was written before Hugo's conversion to Christianity. After this book, very great in its right, he took on what I suppose is another magnum opus: Les Miserables. Spoiler Alert: The two are equally vivid, however there is life in one and death in the other.

Reviewed on 2011.12.05

A Journey to the Interior of the Earth

by Jules Verne

Imaginative. I read it years ago, when I was stuck on the outskirts of reality in "Genre-land". Since my Associates in English, I remember there being subterranean monsters and laugh. How absurd! And yet, Verne was, if you saw his list of works, very versed in so many parts of the world. And in science too. I suppose that, after all, if one digs deep enough but not too deep, he or she will find the remains of ancient monsters after all . . . And beneath flood-gates what else would one find but er- . . . water.

Spoiler Alert: And finally, which science could foresee the comical ending? I suppose then much of the magic is in the story-telling as much as in the science.

It was turned into what was one of my favorite films as a kid. In summary though, some of its science is more comparable to that in the Back-to-the Future trilogy: ironically, in which work the sons of Doc Brown (played by Christopher Lloyd) are named Jules and Verne.

Reviewed on 2011.12.05

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