21 November 2007

A Tale of Two Cities -- Charles Dickens

One of those classics that I have always meant to read but just never did. Well, I finally did and I am only slightly sad that it took me so long. I have always loved the history of the French revolution and I did not realize how well this book portrayed this period of history. I highly recommend this book to anyone. The story is very engaging, with many interesting characters and a sufficiently interesting plot. The fact that this could be entirely true adds to the luster although it invariable is fiction. What I mean is that many of the events that seem so unlikely and implausible are but tame versions of the truth. Truly, history is stranger than fiction, but Dickens does a great job of mixing the history of this turbulent time with a brilliantly executed love story.

12 November 2007

Lieutenant Hornblower -- C.S. Forester

The second installment of the Horatio Hornblower series. I read the first one nearly 3 years ago and for some reason waited to read the next one. I really liked the first one but just never seemed to get around to reading the rest of the books in the series. This one did not disappoint either. It is a very quick read and quite simple in terms of language. The only difficulty comes from the use of 18th century nautical terms, however that is what makes it an interesting read. This book introduces the other character that I have heard is a recurring persona throughout the series, this is Lieutenant Bush.

I forgot how much I liked Horatio's character and personality. The contrast with Bush really brings this out. We see that Bush does not really want much responsibility and is much more content taking care of the mundane tasks that he has been ordered to do. On the other hand, Hornblower is ambitious and capable. I highly recommend this book along with all of the other Hornblower books. I have only read the first one, but I plan to finish the series at some point. Hopefully it just doesn't take another 3 years before I pick up number 3.