Top 100 Novel Review: To Kill A Mockingbird (1960)

So. Much. To. Like.

An endless recess of things to discuss, turtles all the way down. 

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My Rating: cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

There is something just perfect about “To Kill a Mockingbird.” No matter the specific element, it dually can augment the whole or brightly stand alone. This gives meaning to every point in the novel, leaving no page to waste.

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Top 100 Novel Review: Falconer by John Cheever (1977)

The Point Eludes Me.

Too many competing thoughts drown out the powerful writing of John Cheever. 

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My Rating: cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

I’m glad I read this book, though. Using his short-story prowess, Cheever puts lots of vignettes in this novella via the individual characters and there are a few powerful ones to be found here. They just don’t coalesce into a solid message or theme, and with many of the outcomes seemingly contradictory, I’m left not knowing what to feel about this novel.

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Top 100 Novel Review: Red Harvest, Danshiell Hammet (1929)

Hardboiled Pulp.

Popularizer of the genre, Hammett’s detective story is a  solid mystery with plenty of quick wit.

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My Rating: cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff.

I love mysteries, and even more, I love detective mysteries that are set pre-1960s. I grew up on Earl Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason, another pulp fiction mystery series. Where Red Harvest is different is there is more grit to it — everything is or will be corrupted in this book, even the main character.

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Top 100 Book Review: The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway (1926)

Resignation, Cynicism and Meh.

Heralded for being interesting due to its lack of traditional story-telling and relying on the craft of writing — I just don’t see it. 

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My Rating: smooth-star

This was one of those books that had me running to the internet to reconcile my experience. What did I miss?

The answer that I found was nothing: my interpretation of the book was on solid ground as it was supposed to lack conflict, background, and intrigue. Hemingway was ushering in this new style of writing, a representation of the “Lost Generation” complete with the cynicism that their dreams would never be realized. His grand accomplishment was to eschew traditional story elements while still fulfilling the reader’s desire to continue to read.

I can’t help but think this is another example of avant-garde projection, propping up a frail and barebones narrative, ecstatically claiming how unique it is.

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