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The Wild Irish Girl (Oxford World's Classics)
The Wild Irish Girl (Oxford World's Classics)
by Lady Morgan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.09

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid, avoid, avoid. Dull, dead flowery prose. The Wild Irish Weed., 29 Jan 2014
Beyond awful. By far the worst book I've ever read. Essentially an extended exercise in purple prose, sentimentality (and not of the excusable Dickensian type). The only reason this thing is still in print is because a few feminist literary critics have tried to place it within a context of 19th century women's writing and a few other deluded critics have attempted to assert its importance as a social document, consequently putting it on undergraduate reading lists. Granted, it was immensely popular in its day, but so were the works of Dickens, which, by and large, are still very readable today.I commend Owenson's immense knowledge of Ireland and her diligent research but the sheer volume of footnotes throughout the book ruin any semblance of a fluid reading experience. Letter V of this epistolary novel is particularly excruciating. And later, at the grand climax,, the 'Conclusion' chapter, 'A convulsive shriek burst from the lips of Glorvina. She raised her eyes to heaven, then fixed them on her unfortunate lover, and dropped lifeless into his arms-a pause of indescribable emotions succeeded. The priest, aghast, gazed on the hapless pair; thus seemingly entwined in the embrace of death. The priest transfixed with pity and amazement let fall the sacred volume from his hands. Emotions of an indescribable nature mingled in the countenance of the bridegroom.'
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 19, 2014 7:39 PM BST


Castle Rackrent (Oxford World's Classics)
Castle Rackrent (Oxford World's Classics)
by Maria Edgeworth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Dull., 28 Jan 2014
Dull. For one thing, Edgeworth has tried to do too much at the beginning, and it simply doesn't work. Had to read this for a 19th century Irish Literature class. And it's not funny. At all. There are many writers of the 19th century-Dickens, the Brontes and Austen, for instance, who are still wonderfully readable today and deftly explore the social concerns of their day in an entertaining, well-written and humorous style. This novel fails on all three counts. Best avoided.


Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Dig out your soul and let it soar with the High Flying Birds, 24 Feb 2012
Without a doubt, this is the best studio album that Noel Gallagher has created since Be Here Now (I stand by my belief that the aforementioned album is great). 'If I had a gun,' is a beautiful love-song, snapping at the heels of Definitely Maybe's Slide Away. 'Everybody's on the run' is epic in terms of ambition and marvelously executed-Noel's strong vocals agreeing harmoniously with a string arrangement. 'Stranded on the wrong beach' echoes the delightful menace of some Oasis songs such as 'Falling Down' and is a stand-out track. 'A.K.A. Broken Arrow' is likewise brilliant-like 'Wonderwall' crossed with Neil Young. Overall, an utterly brilliant album-no surprise from Noel Gallagher, the man who has had nine number-one albums and received the 'Godlike-Genius' award from N.M.E recently, as well as winning a Q Award last year. The other tracks are all fantastic and mind-blowing in arenas-as I found out recently. Definitely worth buying, dig out your soul and let it soar with the High Flying Birds! This album is Noel Gallagher at the pinnacle of his genius.


The Bell Jar
The Bell Jar
by Sylvia Plath
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, brilliant and utterly original!, 28 July 2011
This review is from: The Bell Jar (Paperback)
'The Bell Jar' is a work of dark art, tempered by the wonderful humour.The novel bubbles over with Esther's hilarious thoughts and observations, which are fused with Plath's breathtaking command of language. The many similes are quirky and amusing, as are the vibrant and (often disturbing) images.
Yet these traits of the book are often overshadowed by its study of depression.
However, Esther's slough of despond is utterly realistic, (when one considers the historical and cultural era of the novel-Cold War America during which Mc Carthyism was rampant and women's independence was restrained). Her apathy and indifference are introduced gradually and insidiously work their way into our minds. Yet despite her depression, the novel never loses its clever turns-of-phrase and witticisms.
To conclude, I would highly recommend this book to absolutely anyone-male or female, young or old. It is so well-written and the language is exquisite-reminiscent of Plath's powerful poetry in 'Ariel'.


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Wordsworth Classics)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Wordsworth Classics)
by James Joyce
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The easy 'Ulysses'., 25 Jun 2011
This book is superbly well written. The wonderful language foreshadows the linguistic brilliance of 'Ulysses' and is nearly as enjoyable. From Stephen's private poetical musings to the description of hell to the everyday banter of Dublin, Joyce's command of English is breathtaking.
The book also has a more definite, concrete plot than its bigger brother, which makes the book more readable. Furthermore, Joyce fuses the language with the plot; when Stephen is young, the language is simple and evocative of children's thoughts, yet as he grows older , so too the language grows. This helps to make the book come alive for the reader.
There is very little wrong with this book, apart from Stephen's lengthy conversations during his university days which are, to be honest, a bit boring.
To conclude, Joyce preserves in these pages the overbearing influence of Catholic Ireland years ago, yet also provides an interesting and original semi-autobiographical account of his own youth.


Ulysses (Wordsworth Classics)
Ulysses (Wordsworth Classics)
by James Joyce
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would I? Yes. Funniest book ever written., 25 Jun 2011
Firstly, it's better to read 'A portrait of the artist' before 'Ulysses', just to prepare for the sheer linguistic brilliance that encompasses 'Ulysses'. The language is, by turns; beautiful, funny and powerfully evocative of everyday experiences.
If you love language,(and not just the English language) then 'Ulysses' is for you. Joyce describes Leopold Bloom's cooking in such a realistic yet evocative style that it's hard not to be sucked in. Furthermore, Stephen's musing walk along the beach is equally stimulating, combining Joyce's revolutionary stream-of-consciousness technique with linguistic virtuosity. These are only two examples of the delightful word power used by Joyce.
Secondly, people complain that 'there's no plot' in'Ulysses'. If you want your conventional plot, read a supermarket book and get your fix. The 'plot' stems from the wanderings of Bloom and Dedalus around Dublin, as well as the innermost thoughts of minor characters. As a result, the realism is breathtaking, as Joyce renders in minute detail every thought and action of his creations. From defecating to discoursing at length on 'Hamlet', Joyce shirks from nothing. And no, a map of Dublin is not necessary nor is a biblical knowledge. It would perhaps, be useful to have a knowledge of 'Hamlet', yet again; it is not necessary.And of course, even if you don't intend on reading the entire thing, certain passages are wonderful, especially the closing forty pages-Marion (Molly) Bloom's soliloquy, for instance.
However, after the first 200 pages or so, the going does, admittedly, get tough. Of course, the whole book is peppered with erudite sentences that will mostly bypass the ordinary reader, and cause extreme frustration, yet for all this, 'Ulysses is still an astounding read. And if you really can't make it past 'Ineluctable modality of the visible', read the very last episode, 'Penelope'. At least that if no more.


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