The Reading Marathon

19 Feb

Relating to the post I made on 20th January (https://franceselizabethclarke.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/the-reading-marathon-begins-again/) here is an update!

So, the reread of Frankenstein, as I read it a few years back too, was enlightening. There is so much in this book that I would recommend going back to, in order to fully appreciate the dark intricacies of this astounding classic piece of fiction. The pure horror of this novel comes not from the obvious, but from the terrifying truth about mankind that Shelley reveals.

Then there was Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman in all its absurd glory. Never have I experienced a novel which raised so many more questions than it answers! Although there is excellent humour, especially running through the dialogue, in this novel, the dark and sinister twists give a razor sharp edge to O’Brien’s writing. The main source of humour for me came from the moments when I would find myself happily accepting the notion that men can become bicycles and that you can reach eternity in a lift. Wacky but exceedingly enjoyable.

Augusta Webster is an unsung genius. I have undeniably fallen in love with her dramatic monologues which speak so passionately about the everyday toils of Victorian women. By the Looking GlassA Castaway and Faded are particular favourites. A Castaway abruptly deals with the difficulties facing a prostitute and the unfairness of a society with no understandable moral code. Easy to grasp and straight to the point, Webster makes her point clear and with eloquence.

Bohumil Hrabal’s novel, I Served the King of England, is certainly one that grew on me. A naive busboy, with dreams only of money and status, is eventually swept into the turmoil of politics in Nazi Germany. It was the ending of this book which finally gave me some satisfaction as Ditie (the protagonist) admits the ridiculousness of his past values, but he has to learn this under extremely difficult circumstances. A fantastic read, deeply evoking with ingenious wit at its centre.

Have you read any of these works? What did you think?

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