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Reviews by John

The Rise of Silas Lapham

by William Dean Howells

I'm writing only in the hope of counteracting the effect of the only other review of this American classic. The Rise of Silas Lapham is one of my favorite American novels. It is rich in characterization; the motives and idiosyncrasies of members of the Lapham and Corey families are carefully and deeply drawn. It is also a novel about relationships within families, relationships based on love and mutual respect, if not always wisdom. It exposes the divide--the reasons for it and its consequences--between old Boston aristocracy and the newly wealthy. The friction between the two classes is specific to the setting in time and place but universal in its application. This is also a meta-novel: Howells dramatizes the negative effects, as he sees them, of romanticizing in popular novels, and he shows us a world in which the realism he espoused is the truth. But it\'s the characters, their attempt to navigate a life fraught with danger and suffering, who will stay with you.
Highly recommended

Reviewed on 2014.10.16

Don Quijote

by Miguel de Cervantes

I could never really understand what is so great about this book.
when I was a grown up kid I have read it, and thought it was boring. I have retried reading it as an adult, with many years of reading behind me, with a full version, and could not stand the tempo and the so many very small stories wome of which so similar to each other.
The only positive aspect of this book as faras I am concerned is that it had ispired the great contemporary south Americal author Borches to write an excelent short masterpiece about a man who wanted to write again the book Don Quijote...

Reviewed on 2012.01.19

Soldiers of the Queen

by Harold Avery

Exciting, humorous, sensitive, moving and poignant.

This book is a really outstanding read and although intended as a book for boys well deserves to be enjoyed by a wider audience. I still have my father's well thumbed copy with which he was awarded at his school prizegiving early in the last century and which has now reached the third generation! A real classic.

Reviewed on 2011.05.04

Rice Tea

by Julien McArdle

Riveting story that is quite educational and believable, about the extent of disruption to which modern hackers are capable of.

Reviewed on 2010.12.23

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