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Villette (Oxford World's Classics)
Villette (Oxford World's Classics)
by Charlotte Brontė
Edition: Paperback

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superior work of fiction; intelligent and entertaining, 5 May 2002
In Villette, Charlotte Bronte creates a work of fiction which rivals in complexity with the better known Jane Eyre. In it, the heroine, Lucy Snowe, goes to France to find work and a home, having no friends or relatives to support her,and enroles as a governess in a boarding school. The story follows her through her life and her journey in an unfamiliar world, but never the less one she manages to work in.
Lucy Snowe is a girl who has learnt from a very early age to hide her feelings and - attempts - to control her despairs and desires. On the outside she appears to be a very solemn creature, but one who does not suffer as much as the 'real' Lucy does. She has suffered through her life a series of misfortunes which are only hinted at, particularly the events taking place in her childhood, and the end of the book hints at yet another tragedy - I won't say any more.
I enjoyed this book much more than I did Jane Eyre, probably because the character was, to me at least, more interesting. Lucy was slightly sarcastic, and the illusion she cultivates throughout the book enables her to take the role of observer, drawing us into lives of the people around her and the conflicts which they are quite public about, and the conflicts taking place within herself, which are much more private.
Although this book is quite long, with a huge opportunity for becoming slow and boring, it never becomes dull or loses pace. I loved reading it, the descriptions at the beginning of the book really appealed to me, and I would recommend it to just about anyone.


Crime and Punishment (Penguin Popular Classics)
Crime and Punishment (Penguin Popular Classics)
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars intriguing is right, 30 April 2002
This book was an incredible read. The lead up to, and the arguments surrounding the crime, is particularly interesting. I thought that the interpretation of Raskolnikov's punishment, his acceptance of the murder as a crime, also provided a lot of thought and interesting argument. Dostoyevsky's dialogue, as ever, is extremely convincing. The ending was also brilliant.


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