Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Remember a while back when I got all excited over the books that Yann Martel was sending to the Prime Minister?  Remember how I said that I just couldn't resist reading lists?  Well, I have been going through the list for a few months now and decided to write my impressions of the books.  The first one on the list was by Tolstoy.  The Death of Ivan Ilych is about just that - Ivan Ilych's death.  I have always been a huge Tolstoy fan, but hadn't even heard of this book.  Quite short, very readable, incredibly illuminating.  It deals with how a person deceives himself throughout his life and can only see clearly when it is all done.  Very interesting.  Two thumbs way up.

Number two on the list: Orwell's Animal Farm.  I was looking forward to this book.  If you can believe it, I have never read anything by Orwell.  Unfortunately, I really hated it!  Not entertaining but depressing.  I know, it's a classic.  I'm supposed to see the value in it and all that bunk, but I didn't.  Communism among farm animals.  It didn't tell me anything I didn't already know.  Power corrupts absolutely.  Man is bad.  Ideals get
 smashed in the face of ego.  Blah, blah, blah.  I almost quit reading halfway through, but soldiered on in hopes that the end would make up for it.  It didn't.  About as disappointing as The Catcher in the Rye.  Which I also hated.  Why do people think existentialism makes a book an instant classic?  Where is the rule that hopelessness in literature is smart?  I really want to know.  If you liked Animal Farm, please comment and tell me why.  I truly want to know.


Heather said...

I have to agree with you on both counts. Animal Farm and Catcher in the Rye both left me wondering what the hype was about. I think I feel the same way when scholars over analyze the life out of a simple, lovely poem.
I am about to read To Kill a Mockingbird again. I love this list!

Faith & Mark said...

Carmen I have to confess that neither of those books interst me. I just can't seem to get that deep with my reading. But good for to to delve into the book list and try new stuff. i look forward to finding out what else your reading. - Faith