Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Book Review: Watership Down

Go rabbits!

Even though Richard Adams' superbly written Watership Down is about a group of rabbits this is not a child's whimsical book. It is a serious yet magical novel about a group of rabbits trying on a quest to survive make for a better life for themselves.

The personalities of Adams' rabbits were based upon the personalities of individuals he fought alongside in World War 1 so there is a sense of purpose and gravity to the rabbits' actions. It really brought life to his story. Providing rabbits with back stories, talking about their religion and their concerns as well as their desire to improve their lot really hooks the reader.

Josh Cosham's reading of the audiobook with a British accent added to my enjoyment of Watership Down.

I remembered watching this book in cartoon form back in 1978 with its Hobbit style of art and hoped it would live up to my found memories of it.

It did.

Cartoon trailer:

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Book Review: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (audiobook)

I enjoyed Jules Verne classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas. The key role this novel played in All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony #Doerr motivated me to read this classic tale.
I found it fascinating to read what people imagined the undersea world looked like in the 1870's. The descriptions of sea creatures and underwater formations never seen before but only theorized about showed what an amazing imagination Verne had.  
However, this is also the one drawback I found in his novel.  His descriptions could been overly long especially at the beginning when describing the Nautililus.
And like a classic novel, there are many parts of lengthy introspection where you are exploring the characters' feelings and emotions in depth, compared to modern novels which breeze from action to action or drama to drama.  I’m not saying this is a bad thing, it’s just different.  I really liked that style of prose in A Tale of Two Cities. I find listening to audio books helps me stay engaged with the classics when my attention my start to wander in these longer sequences.
Michael Prichard's excellent reading of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea really brought the story to life, keeping me engaged and helped me believe Professor Aronnax really did take a amazing submarine journey.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Book Review: Invictus

In Simon Scarrow's 15th novel of the Macro and Cato series, Invictus takes us to Roman-held Spain. I really enjoyed yet another exciting adventure. Scarrow's ability to create great scenes so the reader knows where they are is again evident throughout Invictus. And as always, Scarrow makes it easy to understand both the protagonist and antaganoists' point of view. I was surprised by Cato's sudden vicious turn. Being the intellectual of the two main characters, his new attitude did make me pause. 

All in all, Invictus is a good quick read.