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tiranda’s book reviews

this is a project gutenberg book about sculpture without any of the illustrations (says illustration unavailable). I suppose you will get some benefit from reading the text without them.
This book is also in Google books with the illustrations, in black and white, starting on page 175 and running through the end of the book (suggest using the grid view to see them all and scroll down; click on one to see it.)
284 pages in PDF, 672 pages viewed in the online reader, published 1899.
Basis of the 2016 movie Love and Friendship. I enjoyed it.
This was a pretty good read. I downloaded it to read while commuting and after a couple of trips, wound up finishing it at home that evening instead of TV.

Kind of like reading the story inside a video game, once you really get into the story.
I believe this was written for the author's son's new publishing firm back in the early 1900's. There is some humor in it, the mystery is indeed rather Hardy-Boys-like; I think the atmosphere is the big thing. Rinehart was later satirized by Ogden Nash as the writer of "Had I but known" stories: "I wouldn't have bought it had I but known/It was filled with "had I but knowns."

Skip the librivox audiobook; at least one of the narrators, along about the 16th and some of the following chapters, is very hard to follow. Her first language does not uses articles as English does; for example, she says, "Chapter Sixteen, Circular Staircase," and otherwise leaves out all the "the's." Her words are audible, her tone agreeable, but many many words are just not intelligible--including part of her name.
Read about 3/4 so far, enjoyable as description of aristocratic/diplomatic life in early 20th century. Not much detail, a certain level of understanding of "how things are done" is presumed.
If you've read some Dorothy L. Sayers or Margery Allingham mysteries set in the English countryside, or Ngaio Marsh's English country life mysteries, you will be reminded of some of the scenes with locals. Some of it went over my head, but a lot of it was humorous, mostly in a gentle tweaking way.

On or about page 55, there is a short "Wessex novel" which is a satire on Thomas Hardy's work. If you recall any of them from school, you will enjoy this more. When you find out the main character's name--very funny. And it spoofs Hardy's LONG descriptions as in a scene where the young heroine looks out over the land and sees "a procession making their way over the parched fields (two pages of field description omitted--Editor).'

"To say this book was overly verbose would be an understatement."

Ah. Welcome to the writing of Henry James. They call his style "figure in the carpet" writing because he would describe EVERYTHING in the setting all the way down to the figure woven into the carpet on the floor.
I second:

"It is extremely funny; the story of a self-respecting clerk who manages to constantly humiliate himself at home and at work. His son is hilarious."

I ran across it in a college library and wondered why it was there; the explanation about the author might explain it. I started to read it and got halfway through, just standing by the shelf chuckling, before I reluctantly gave it up to get back to my textbooks. Glad to know it's here.