Mark Twain, by Geoffrey C. Ward: Book Review

mark twainIn my experience, Mark Twain is one of those polarizing authors that people either love or hate.  I have met very few people that, when asked, would say “yeah, he’s okay” or “he’s not my favorite, but he’s fine.”  Being an English major and having taken more than a couple American Literature courses, it’s safe to say that I’ve read some Twain.  But Geoffrey C. Ward’s Mark Twain has given me a new appreciation for him as a writer, as a person, and as one of the founding and most significant contributors to the canon.  Continue reading

The Sleepwalkers: Book Review

How many books are set in Nazi Germany?  A lot, I know.  But The Sleepwalkers, by Paul Grossman, was unlike any of those I have ever read.  The story unfolds from the perspective of a police inspector named Willi, who happens to be Jewish, in the weeks and months before Hitler comes to power.  And he makes some terrifying discoveries that, if revealed, could change the course of history. Continue reading

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter: Book Review

Sometimes you read a book, and the characters are so well developed, so deep, so true, that you forget that they are not real people.  Such was the case with The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.  Each has passions, each has flaws.  Each has dreams and disappointments.  This was a beautiful, character-driven novel, and I fell in love with all of it. Continue reading

Blood Meridian, Chapter Five – “What’s wrong with you is wrong all the way through you.”

Somehow, at the beginning of this chapter, the kid rises like a phoenix from the carnage, unscathed, and resumes his journey, walking through the night.  The next morning, he is climbing out of the plain around some boulders, when someone calls out to him.  And it is another one of these uniquely bizarre characters that could only come from the mind and pen of McCarthy: Continue reading