Some Books Wot I Read in June and July | Hamlet, The Great Gatsby, The Importance of Being Earnest, Bonjour Tristesse

Hey there!  I have read four books since last we spoke.  Here are four, (very) short little book reviews.

Hamlet – William Shakespeare

Basically, a Danish prince called Hamlet is told to get revenge on his uncle by the ghost of his dead father, also called Hamlet.  Hamlet Sr. is understandably upset because he was murdered by his brother, who then married his wife.  As I am sure you can imagine, this is a pretty dark play.  It’s definitely not my favourite Shakespeare play.  I wonder if to understand, I need to see the play or have someone go through it with me.  If you are very familiar with Shakespeare’s style, barrel ahead with reading Hamlet.  Otherwise, maybe start with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet.  My mother would like to make it known that she completely disagrees and that Hamlet is her favourite.

My mother would like to make it known that she completely disagrees and that Hamlet is her favourite Shakespeare play.

6/10

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

This story is narrated by Nick Carraway, who tells us about his millionaire friend, Jay Gatsby.  The main catalyst in this book is Gatsby’s near psychotic obsession with Daisy Buchanan.  There is, of course much more to the story than that, but I don’t want to spoil anything.  The book is a wonderful snapshot of the Roaring Twenties in America, exploring all of the wonderful elements of the period.  It also serves as a commentary of the malevolence bred by the lifestyle of the elite at the time. I am ashamed to say that, after several attempts to start it, this is the first time I have read this book all the way to the end.  I loved both of the films, but I had never been engaged by the book.  This time was different and I ended up loving it.  I would really recommend

I am ashamed to say that, after several attempts to start it, this is the first time I have read this book all the way to the end.  I loved both of the films, but I had never found the book as engaging.  This time was different and I ended up loving it.  I would really recommend you persevere with the book if you are struggling a bit.

8/10

The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde

May I preface this review by saying that I am a huge Wilde fan and that I have read and seen this play more times than I have flossed.  The protagonist of the play, Jack Worthing, lives a double life as Ernest to maintain the facade of responsibility in front of his ward, Cecily, who lives in the countryside.  In using an alias, he dissociates himself from his less upright lifestyle in London.  I won’t tell you anything else about the play but, of course, farcical hilarity ensues.  I love The Importance of Being Earnest.  Definitely, read or see this play if you have the opportunities.  The Gate in Dublin always puts on amazing productions of The Importance of Being Earnest!

10/10

Bonjour Tristesse – Francoise Sagan

This is a book about Cecile.  A French girl who is very content living with her father and his lover, Elsa.  This carefree lifestyle is put into jeopardy when her father leaves Elsa and decides to marry Anne, a cold, prude and principled woman.  Cecile does everything she can to break up their relationship while struggling with romantic difficulties herself.

I read this in French and would suggest it to anyone who wants a straightforward plot with rich vocabulary to improve their French.  I found the book had a bit of a lull in the middle, but other than that I really enjoyed it.  There is a very surprising twist at the end which really adds an awful lot of depth to what could have been a vacuous book.  Bear in mind this was written when the author was 18!

8/10

Have you read any of these?  Let me know what you thought or if you have any recommendations yourself!

Chloe 🙂

 

 

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