Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Classic Catch-Up

So, I've been doing relatively well with keeping up on my fiction, non-fiction, classic rotation...except for the non-fiction part.  But, we won't focus on that in this post... 

The three books I'll review for you today are all being quite old, one a little older than me, and the third being a modern classic.

First, Madame Bovary.  The quite old classic.

Ugh...I cannot even tell you how much I disliked this woman!  I know that you weren't supposed to and that you're supposed to focus on the writing style on this one...but, I just couldn't get over it.  I, literally, wanted to throttle Madame Bovary multiple times throughout this book.  I kept calling her a twit, which is an understatement.  And to top it all off, this book has a horribly sad ending.  Two stars from me...sorry, the writing style just didn't make up for the storyline.

Next, a modern day classic, The Historian.  This book is on every to-read list concocted within the past ten years.  So, I thought I'd give it a go.  It's only been sitting in my book club borrowed pile for about a year.

My sentiment?  Eh.  Do you remember my review about The Swan Thieves?  I kinda felt the same way about The Historian that I did about it.  In other words, it's OK...but, when I'm going to read a huuuge book like this, I want to LOVE it at the end.  And that didn't happen.  It was good, just not fantastic and worthy of all the hoopla.

Lastly, a Judy Blume classic from the 1970s...Blubber.  This one is also a favorite on the most controversial and banned books lists.

I'll be honest and say that I haven't read a lot of Judy Blume.  This might be only my second or third.  And when Becky and I went to Kansas City to meet Maggie Steifvater, this was one of the books we listened to on the way.  Wow...have you seen the movie Mean Girls?  This is like that, only grade school.  Those girls were mean, including the narrator!  This is not a feel good YA by any stretch.  Becky and I discussed it and both of us agreed that the bullies didn't even really feel bad about what they did in the real closure. 

When the book was done, thankfully, there was a commentary with the author at the end.  And Blume explained why she wrote this book.  Back in 1974 when this book was originally published, bullying wasn't the headline news story on the evening news like it can be today.  So, her point with this book was to open the door for conversations about bullying.  I'm glad I learned this before rating the book, because I was fully prepared to give it somewhere between one and two stars...but, knowing that, I went ahead and gave it three.  Because this book would be an excellent way to kick-start that conversation with your kid(s).

So...what classics have you read lately?

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