Sorry guys. With the combination of a busy personal life and a boring book, this post is long overdue. Lets get to it anyways.
Yes, another Henry James novel. I was just upset as you are. I truly don’t understand why three of his novels made it this high on the list of the 100 greatest novels. His characters are unlikable, his stories are boring, his writing is annoying and difficult to read. Separately, any of those wouldn’t kill a book but all together is deadly.
Oh, right, The Golden Bowl. There’s this married couple, a rich American girl and a poor Italian prince (I guess if you’re going to be poor, at least be an Italian prince). The girl loves her father. The prince loves the girl’s friend. The girl’s friend marries the girl’s father. Some talking happens. A golden bowl is almost bought, is bought, then broken. Yeah, that’s about it. I wouldn’t recommend reading this. The end.
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
I finally get to stop being negative about books! This is the second novel by Dreiser to make the list (The first was An American Tragedy) and I enjoyed this one just as much as the first. The motivation behind the characters weren’t as fleshed out as An American Tragedy but the story was very enjoyable and the main character was likable (hear that, Henry James!).
The novel follows Carrie, a young, pretty woman, as she moves to Chicago to start her life away from her small hometown. She works her way through different jobs, living situations, and male counterpoints as she constantly desires and dream after riches and glory. The novel shows you the destruction of some characters, the stagnation of others, and the rise of one but at the end, I wasn’t really sure which one was better off. The novel really questions the “American dream” right at the turn of the century and you get to see both sides of the coin. Writing was great, story was good, characters were relatable; I’d recommend this book.
Well, onwards we go. Next up is A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh.