Generosa Rader

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Generosa Rader

Generosa Rader’s book reviews

This is a riveting story not just for the "Young" but for all ages. We follow Finn's life from puppy to adult, related by the author in language which tugs at your heart during Finn's many sad, painful, abused, tormented episodes, and his joyful, loving life with his beloved Master and Mistress of the Kennels. You will be mesmerized and unable to stop reading. HIghly recommended for animal lovers and for anyone who enjoys an excellent story - gripping and wondrous. I rate it 10 stars. There is a sequel "Jan" which I have not yet read.
This biography is about Camilla Urso, the first woman to achieve world-wide fame as a violinist. Through her grit, determination, and extraordinary talents, she was the first female to study at the Conservatory of Paris - at age 7. Though very poor, her family sacrificed and toiled to pay for her expenses. Ultimately, after many hardships, she achieved spectacular fame and wealth.

Readers who have studied classical music on any instrument will identify with the unending hours of practice and discipline which Camilla undertook to maintain the excellence of her performances and the admiration of fans. The author never mentions if she married - I suspect she did not. Her violin was her life.
Dreiser's great theme in his works was the tremendous tensions that can arise among ambition, desire, and social mores. He pioneered the naturalist school and is known for portraying characters whose value lies not in their moral code, but in their persistence against all odds.

Jennie Gerhardt (published in 1911) typifies Dreiser's depiction of unaccepted aspects of life in that era, such as sexual promiscuity. He was often forced to battle against censorship regarding his novels.

Jennie is a destitute young woman who meets Senator George Brander while she works as a maid in a hotel. He becomes infatuated with her, helps her family and wishes to marry her. Grateful for his benevolence, she has an affair with him, they never marry, she becomes pregnant, and he dies unexpectedly. She gives birth to a daughter, has her mother care for the child, and moves to another city, where she finds employment as a maid for a wealthy society matron. Here she meets Lester Kane, a prosperous manufacturer's son, and they embark on a long term love affair.

The novel dwells at length on the struggles they both have regarding right and wrong, social mores, pressures of family disapproval of their life-style, dis-inheritance of Lester by his wealthy father, the love they have for each other, and Lester's ambivalence about marrying Jennie.

I thought the drama between all these forces and this couple was too drawn out, and somewhat boring. But in 1911, it reflected the prevailing moral code which one did not violate, i.e., an honorable person did not engage in lack of social and religious mores under any condition whatsoever, no matter how well-intentioned he or she may be.

Dreiser's prose is incisive, thoughtful, and moving. He portrays his characters with realism and empathy. This is a book which provokes serious questions about our basic human values, ethics, societal norms, religious beliefs, and one's happiness or absence of it, at what cost?

The Titan is the second book in Dreiser's Trilogy of Desire - the first book being The Financier.

I was disappointed in this book compared to The Financier which I rated 5 stars. In The Titan Frank Cowperwood continues to build his financial empire, stopping at nothing, including bribery of elected officials to further his goals. He engages in multiple love affairs, discarding women at whim, mindless of the effects his reckless behavior has on his wife and marriage. The financial schemes drone on endlessly. He survives all sorts of plots to demolish him and his riches, and starts life anew with a young wife, after discarding the old Aileen. I was bored and could barely finish this book. Still, it merits a 3 rating for Dreiser's superb writing style, but not for the plot.
"The Financier" is book 1 of "Trilogy of Desire" - a three-parter based on the remarkable life of the Chicago streetcar tycoon Charles Tyson Yerkes and composed of "The Financier" (1912), "The Titan" (1914), and "The Stoic", which was published posthumously in 1947. The Stoic is still under copyright and not available in the Public Domain.

Dreiser was an American novelist and journalist who pioneered the "naturalist school" and is known for portraying characters whose value lies not in their moral code, but in their persistence against all obstacles.

As in all his novels, Dreiser employs a unique, magnificent, gripping, gritty style of writing in which his characters confront many forces affecting the human condition - particularly intelligence (or the lack of it), drive, power, love, hate, friendship vs. hypocrisy, unrelenting desire to overcome odds at any cost, self-sacrifice, wealth and prestige. Dreiser hides nothing in his description of good, evil, moral immoral, legal, illegal, true love and a loveless marriage.

The main character in "The Financier" is 34 year old Frank Cowperwood, who through dedication, self-confidence and brilliant strategies, quickly establishes himself as a successful Banker/Broker in Philadelphia. In a short time, through his diligence, astuteness and instinct for business, he becomes a millionaire with a coterie of wealthy clients. He marries, has two children, and builds a very costly mansion with all the accoutrements which his position in high society dictates. He even has a young mistress whom he professes to love more than his wife.

Suddenly, misfortune strikes the Stock Exchange and Banks due to a variety of bad economic circumstances in Chicago and Philadelphia. Frank's political and business enemies set him up with false accusations of mis-managing City funds - he loses all his wealth. He goes on trial and is found guilty of embezzlement and larceny. He is sentenced to prison for 51 months. Read the story to see how Frank emerges from this scandal to re-establish his remarkable career in the business world and find happiness in his personal life.

The next book in this series is "The Titan", which follows Frank's career after prison.

So far I have read Dreiser's "Sister Carrie", "An American Tragedy" (under copyright in USA), and "The Financier". For me they are mesmerizing accounts of real people struggling against all odds for happiness and wealth, and succeeding in some cases, failing in others. I recommend Dreiser's novels without reservation.

I would give him 6 stars if this were possible.

This is a most unusual book - Corelli's first novel - which centers on Corelli's beliefs in "The Electric Principles of Christianity", and "The Electric Origin of the Universe", with many references to the Holy Bible. She elaborates on these themes through the experiences of her main character, a young female pianist, who suffers from insomnia, depression and other maladies of mind and spirit - and is cured by a practitioner of "Electric Principles".

Corelli elaborates at length on astral projection, interactions with angels, and other mystical topics related to her beliefs. In her time, Corelli was a widely read, popular author of fiction. Today, many of her concepts would be considered "New Age Religion".

I had a difficult time wading through her precise, well written, but interminable descriptions of concepts which I simply did not fully understand nor accept as feasible. My rating should be 2 stars, but I'll be generous and give her 3 stars.
I agree totally with the prior review. This is an excellent tale full of mystery, suspense, and the supernatural, written by an eminent author. The descriptions of the characters, their surroundings, and the inexplicable phenomena which pursue them, rivet the reader to the last page.
While I agree with some of the comments in the two preceding reviews, in my biased admittedly jaded view, this novel was too long, too predictable, and too ridiculous.
To me it is so improbable that K, the main character, a respected, famous surgeon, drops out of his profession at the peak of his career because he loses faith in his abilities. He emerges in "Small Town, America" as a non-entity drifter, working as a clerk. He then proceeds to act like a junior social worker, counseling and trying to "fix" everyone in sight who has mental conflicts, marital problems, un-wanted pregnancies, death in the family, moral issues, and the like. Since I am a Health Care Professional, I simply could not envision his character as portrayed - he lacked the steadfastness, personal strength, intelligence and professionalism that most physicians possess under all sorts of duress. When he finally emerges from his self-imposed exile, he does get Sidney, the woman he loves - but we knew he would from the start.
Eric Blackburn is an officer/navigator on a British Cruise Ship with hundreds of passengers and crew on board. The ship sinks during a storm at sea and Eric is the sole survivor. This is an exciting story about his resourcefulness and incredible courage as he encounters and successfully deals with many life-threatening events at sea and on the island he finds and inhabits. Recommended for adult and young readers.
I chose to read this book based on its title, which intrigued me, and appears to come from the famous soliloquy in Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1 "...To sleep! perchance to dream:--ay, there's the rub;
 For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
 When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
 must give us pause..." Atherton's theme is based on a ridiculous, unbelievable, interminable struggle with re-encarnation. A young betrothed couple is afflicted with nightmares and flashbacks of their former lives as lovers about four generations past. The depiction of these conflicts and psychic phenomena drones on and on, and ultimately leads to predictable doom for both of them. A colossal waste of reading time unless you can totally suspend your disbelief.