Showing posts from January, 2016

(Review) The Essential Hardy, Selected and with an Introduction by Joseph Brodsky

Publication Date: 1995.
Publisher: Ecco Press.
Genre: Poetry.
Pages: 192.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.

Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996) was a Russian poet and essayist. He wrote the 63 page introduction. The later 117 pages are selected poems from Thomas Hardy (1840-1928.)
There are 101 poems in the book.
Link to read the biography of Joseph Brodsky.
After Thomas Hardy received negative reviews from his last novels, he concentrated on poetry.
The last two novels Hardy wrote were Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891) and Jude the Obscure (1895).
Links to read further information on Thomas Hardy.
Poetry Foundation  
Poem Hunter

My Thoughts:
Reviewing poetry is not something I do often, and I'm never sure exactly where to start.
What I can do is state what I like and don't like, and post lines from the poems that speak to me.
This seems rather elementary, but I hope it will suffice.

The first poem that I like/love and spoke to me (my mi…

(Review) My Brilliant Friend: Book One of the Neapolitan Novels, Childhood, Adolescence by Elena Ferrante

Publication Date: 2012.
Publisher: Europa Editions.
Genre: Fiction,
Pages: 331.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: 3 Stars for good.


My Brilliant Friend is book one in a four part series covering the lives of two girls who grow up best friends. Their names are Lina or Lila, and Elena. They meet in the first grade. They live in a neighborhood in Naples, Italy. The time period is the 1950s. Lila has an older brother. Elena has younger siblings. Lila is a beautiful and delicate looking girl, but with nerves of steal. Elena is an avid reader and intelligent, she easily promotes in school.
Their friendship develops and continues through the trials of: family problems, neighborhood kids, puberty, boys, higher learning or work, and decisions about future lives.
The story is told by the character Elena.

My Thoughts:
This is the second book I've read by Elena Ferrante. The previous book was The Days of Abandonment. 
I've noticed in both books a strong element is emotion; it&…

(Review) Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

Publication Date: 2013.
Publisher: St. Martin's Press.
Genre: Fiction, Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald.
Pages: 384.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: 3 stars for good.


"Look closer and you'll see something extraordinary, mystifying, something real and true. We have never been what we seemed." Page 5.

Zelda Sayre is the youngest child in a respected Montgomery, Alabama family. When the book begins, she is 17. Her mother wears the Edwardian style clothing, but Zelda is apart of the emerging change that came at the end of World War I and progressed into 1920's. The hemlines raised, hairstyles became short and bobbed; and women became more assertive after the right to vote had passed.
Culture and society during the Jazz Age of the 1920's, changed remarkably since the previous Victorian and Edwardian times. From clothing to music, from literature to decorating style, everything reflected the staunch difference.
Zelda met handsome F. Sco…

(Review) Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

Publication Date: 1999. A magazine series in 1894. First published in book form 1895.
Publisher: Signet Classic.
Genre: Classic literature, fiction.
Pages: 448.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.

Amazon .99 cents for the Kindle.

Free @ Project Gutenberg

According to the The Guardian, Jude the Obscure is number 29 on the top 100 list.

Victorian era, 19th century.
Jude Fawley is an eleven year old boy living with his "crusty maiden aunt." They live in (fictional) Marygreen, North Wessex, England. As a youth, Jude is fixated on higher education. He dreams of knowledge and career beyond menial labor in a small town. At age 19, Jude met cold and calculating Arabella Donn. Whereas Jude seeks to escape his common world through education, Arabella seeks to escape her common world through a man. In an unwise decision, Jude become entangled in Arabella's teasing embrace.
Jude the Obscure is not a happy novel. It's a sad view of the destruction of peo…