Posted 06 July 2004 - 03:57 PM
I loved Les Miserable but it is at least 1,000 pages. I also love Balzac's novels, mayeb Cousin Bette?
This summer, DD is reading In the Name of the Rose byt Umberto Ecco, set in the middle ages but written in the 80s.
Posted 07 July 2004 - 08:00 PM
My own vote, Jacqueline, is probably for TOTC as well although if she were just a tad older, I'd likely recommend "Good King Harry" by Denise Giardina. It's about King Henry V. It's pretty graphic, in warfare descriptions and sexuality so I'm not so sure about a 15 year old reading it. My kiddo's 19 and just finished the book last week. So far everyone I know who's ever read it (I've given it to them all) has loved GKH. It's my 24 year old son's favorite book, one of my favorite's as well as my husband's, and now that daughter and her boyfriend have both read it, they feel the same way. My book club group also felt the same way.
This book is a great one for launching discussions about ethics, with many parallels to today's present world. It's also a darn good love story (had my gruff son with tears in his eyes).
Methinks "Les Miserable" is miserable to wade through. I did it once and have to say that I like the movie very much!
Another great historical novel that's also fairly short is "Darkness at Noon" by Arthur Koestler. I read it in high school and it set me off on a quest to read all the great Russian writers. Come to think of it, "Dr. Zhivago" by Pasternak is yet another one that's worth the read by a high school kid. As is so often the case, the book is so much more multi-faceted than the film.
Posted 08 July 2004 - 01:51 AM
Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove is a gorgeous book. Just because it's about the Big Trail doesn't make it any less respectable IMO.
I'm hoping to reread it later this summer, and write a piece about it, since there's a Dutch translation coming.
Balzac's Cousine Bette is a wonderful book; I wouldn't call it a historical novel, thoug. In that case Portnoy's Complaint would be one, too, since Roth wasn't living with his parents anymore when he wrote the book.
Posted 08 July 2004 - 07:55 AM
Posted 08 July 2004 - 08:18 AM
A caveat -- if someone looks for these you need to find early editions (1950's) -- I found a reprint from the 1960's that had excised all mention of drinking and alcohol. The edits were very clumsily done, and there is no mention on the title page that the work was expurgated. Very curious.
Posted 08 July 2004 - 08:19 AM
Posted 28 September 2004 - 08:34 PM
Posted 29 September 2004 - 10:52 AM
Forever Amber is a very bad book, but I enjoyed it anyway. There’s a certain basic credibility in the story – the heroine has great beauty, great ambition, a sort of low animal cunning, and absolute ruthlessness – she doesn’t shirk from murder – and as it happens those qualities are just what she needs to get ahead in that time and place (the Restoration -- Charles II has just come back, and Amber spends most of the book plotting her way into his bed). Kathleen Winsor is not much of a writer, and she lards her dialogue with expressions that might be from the 17th century (“Odsfish!”) and others that are definitely not. The sex scenes were a big deal in its day, but no longer.
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