Recent reading, ratings & reviews

Not having spent much time writing reviews of late, whilst concentrating on writing my own brand of fiction, I’ve read a few books and wanted to give them ratings and very brief reviews:

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a beautifully moral, unyieldingly harsh tale of the creep of modernity confronting the deep roots of tradition in pre-colonial Africa. 4 / 5

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain spawned the buddy, road-trip and kid in the big wide world story genres, and it’s easy to see why Hemingway described it as being where “all modern American literature comes from”. 4.5 / 5

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler seems to be clichéd from start to end with it’s downtrodden, wise-cracking gumshoe Philip Marlowe, operating in between the law and the criminal underworld in grey, smoggy Los Angeles. It’s only when you realise that this book pretty much invented those clichés, that you realise how good and significant it really is. 5 / 5

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a subtle and unsettling read. Honestly, I struggled with it and found it quite hard to relate to any of the characters, which I think is perhaps intentional on Fitzgerald’s part. The turn of phrase is simply sumptuous, and matches the setting to perfection. I intend to re-read it in a few months, and expect my initial rating to be improved upon 3.5 / 5

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