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Ms. L. M. Smith "turquoise_floyd" (Suffolk, UK)

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The House of Mirth (Wordsworth Classics)
The House of Mirth (Wordsworth Classics)
by Edith Wharton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.50

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Survive The Savage Society, 9 Feb. 2003
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Set in 1890's New York, we follow the life of Miss Lily Bart, a dazzling socialite, sharp-witted and beautiful as she whirls amongst the parties and events in the endless social calendar of the fashionable hierarchy. But fortune does not favour Lily; despite her much-admired beauty, she is an impoverished spinster who struggles to keep up with the tremendous expense of living the lifestyle of the exclusive rich set.
Lily's descent into poverty is terribly compelling to witness; scandal follows scandal, as Lily's circle of former acquaintance turns it back on her and leaves only a few caring true friends. Your heart sinks with every step down the social ladder for Lily, and the close of the novel is tragic and moving. Despite her flaws, you are still rooting for Lily to regain her rightful status in genteel society, and this is evidence enough that Edith Wharton was a masterful storyteller. I have yet to see the film of the novel, starring Gillian Anderson as Lily, but if it remains true to the novel, then it must be worth seeing.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 5, 2008 1:01 PM GMT

Earth Abides (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Earth Abides (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
by George.R. Stewart
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simpler Times?, 9 Feb. 2003
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Imagine waking from a fever and discovering that you are suddenly alone on this earth. This is what happens to Isherwood Williams, and in "Earth Abides" we follow his journey through the world without human clutter; where almost the entire population has been struck down by a lethal supervirus and the Earth is taking back the concrete jungles.
Reminiscent of the 1970's BBC TV series "The Survivors"? Why yes, there are definite parallels, and if you loved that series, you will love this. This novel is quite rightly collected into the cannon of the "SF Masterworks" series, as it is masterfully told and discusses the many matters of a society without lawgivers, from basic survival needs like food gathering to social issues such as the education of children.
Read it!

1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four
1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four
by George Orwell
Edition: School & Library Binding
Price: £16.18

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Vision of a Wretched Nightmare, 8 Feb. 2003
1984 is one of those novels that everyone should read. The sinister shadow of the faceless Big Brother and his Socialist misinforming Party falls heavily across the reader. The powers that be in this wretched nightmare have full and rigid control of the country of Oceania (not to be confused with the countries of modern Australasia), and have been at war with either of the other two countries forever. The populace sweats and suffers under Orwell’s grim and terrible vision of a world ruled with the tightest of iron grips by the select few. It breeds a wretched sense of hopelessness and powerlessness in the reader, but as with all the very best of novels, you find yourself examining your own values and perceptions of the world and what is important in your own life. Shades of turn-of-the-century Blair’s Britain? You’ll be unpleasantly surprised by the parallels. Read it.

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