tiranda

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tiranda’s book reviews

I was given an old copy of this at age 8 by a teacher who knew I loved to read. I tried, but I just didn't like the story. I remember I had to look up and so learned the meaning of word "reproach" because Father was always reproaching Fritz. Just about every time he talked to Fritz, it was, "I reproached Fritz." A book with so much reproaching going on just turned me off.
11/03/2010
I read this from the public library and loved it. There is a gentle love story, and a theme of the difference in the lives of people at different ends of the same country--leaving one social class and moving down a bit to another. "Cranford," which was on PBS, was by Elizabeth Gaskell. The characterization in this book is not as full as in that, but the characters are sympathetic, and Gaskell explains the parson's dilemma and how it changes his family's situation, very well. Basically, recommended!
11/03/2010
I second these comments:

"Hanaud is not particularly impressive or likeable as the detective. All the characters are cardboard cutouts and not believable as real people."

". . . what really happened is unveiled only later: a remarkable story which fits perfectly in the esoterism craze of the early 20th century."
11/03/2010
This is an important story for the way it describes contemporary life. Though the story seems racist to some readers, Twain is really just explaining some home truths about the birth and lives of slaves and the value placed on these people by their "owners" or their "family." (There was an afterschool special of this story, with Ken Howard as the lawyer.)
11/03/2010
This little book was published by or for the manufacturers of the famous old-time "female tonic," Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound. The booklet has plain-cooking type recipes, interspersed among a lot of "testimonial" letters. You laugh at the cheery language in those letters when you realize in the early years at least, the medicine contained alcohol (not sure how much, maybe 20%? at one point. I'm sure it was just to "preserve the other ingredients."). Last time I saw it in a drug store, about 20 years ago, it said on the box NO ALCOHOL in about 4 places. An interesting glance at days gone by.
10/25/2010
Not bad, an amusing spoof with subtle and not-so-subtle humor. The narrator (female) trails after her glamorous and beautiful friend Zarla, who is "a siren not a spectacle" and whose great talent is to listen to people. Zarla decides to get a monkey to make up for not being able to trek to the steppes of Asia or similar places (written in 1933, so the far off places were still REALLY far off and exotic). Then her social life picks up as a result. Interesting observations about people of various classes and races, some of which are not as harsh or reactionary as you might suppose from that 1933 copyright date.

I suspect the two lead characters are somewhat inspired by Holmes/Watson, and Zarla sounds like a takeoff on Katharine Hepburn, or the sort of woman Hepburn played in the 30s.
10/25/2010
Heartwarming in a low key way. Patricia is a young girl of her time who wants to take care of people--find a home for a stray dog, run an errand for an elderly neighbor, stop and play with a baby she meets on her walk to school. These interests bring her into conflict with her Aunt Julia's rules, but Patricia complies as best she can. Her doctor father is secretly amused at how she manages it, and both Aunt Julia and her father learn that she breaks rules because of her compassion for others' needs and losses. She seems to mature a bit over the course of the book (though stays pre-teen, I think). It's more like a series of short stories. Warm, loving-family sort of stories. Written in 1910, so be prepared for stereotyping in the character of the maid.
10/22/2010
Post-finishing the book: VERY VERY like Mitford. Unto the very last words!
04/14/2010
Seconding the fun read vote. This is the period when PG Wodehouse got started, so the words read very like his stuff except THIS writer is serious about it. A splash of post WWI politics, man gone wrong redeemed by love of a decent (titled) woman, etc. A few plot holes, but it's all about adventure and romance, so you'll get past those OK. The title is not really accurate but the plot is fun to follow.
04/14/2010
In the first pages, at This reminds me very much of the Mitford books by Jan Karon, with the same sort of goings on, but through the eyes of some unnamed local person who speaks for the majority. The community's mores (morality) and values are much the same. Perhaps a desire to read this sort of gentle book inspired Ms. Karon to write the Mitford stories.
04/02/2010