1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2010
I bought this to give me some impressions of Italy before going there on holiday. I also bought Dickens, Pictures from Italy, for the same reason.
The Henry James book is by far the more detailed and artistically critical (much discussion of paintings and churches) but James' writing style is very complex and sentences go on and on.It is however interesting - more so when re-reading it after my holiday.I would recommmend it with the proviso that one needs to take one's time to read it.
Dickens on the other hand is entertaining and much more easy to read without being trite or boring.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2011
I am struggling with Henry James these days - when I first read Portrait of a Lady I thought it was a marvelous insightful book with richly described characters and an understanding of a young woman's need for freedom of thought and expression - now - when I know a little more about the man himself and how he shrunk from intimacy and female signs of affection I see him more as a spider sitting in the corner just watching life and being afraid to engage with it himself - maybe I should feel sorry for him - this book is a good example of how perceptive the spider was - his descriptions are mellifluous - and to his credit - he genuinely loves Italy - but he does lack passion!