Thursday, July 8, 2010

The last Turn of the Screw

(I started this post back in mid-June, but didn't complete it, as I was very busy.  I am finishing/posting it now)

Thankfully!  It's over.  The reading of The Turn of the Screw, that is.  Don't get me wrong - it's a very interesting and challenging story, but man! it's a difficult read/listen.  Henry James, a American writer in the Victorian era, appears to have been a challenging writer to read and understand.  I've seen the movie Portrait of a Lady, with Nicole Kidman and John Malkovich, that is based upon James' novel of the same name, and it was sometimes hard to watch and fully understand.  James seems to have used his writing to dig into human nature and the psychology of our behavior.  He was also one for leaving questions unanswered, and for abrupt, startling endings.

After The Turn of the Screw, the CraftLit podcast moved to some American short stories, one of which was by Mark Twain, about learning to ride a bicycle.  Peculiar.  I didn't really get into the stories presented, though, no fault of the lovely Heather Ordover - it seems that most short stories of American life in the late-Victorian era don't really appeal to me.

So then, we moved to England, one hundred years or so previous, to the Charles Dickens classic A Tale of Two Cities.  I must admit, other than reading The Christmas Carol as a teenager, I haven't actually read any Dickens.  I've seen many BBC productions of several of his novels, like The Adventures of Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Little Dorritt, The Old Curiosity Shop, David Copperfield, and Bleak House.

I'm only a little ways into the LibriVox reading of A Tale of Two Cities.  It's a little hard-going in some respects, but then, I likely need to get used to the style and flow of the writing.  Heather does a good job of explaining confusing references from the time though.

And as of this week (July 5th), I'm taking a break from Dickens and CraftLit in favour of listening to Outlander, a novel by Diana Gabaldon.  It's really good, and I am so wrapped up in it.  I'm only eight chapters in, and enjoying every moment.

I still have another blog post to do, so am wrapping up the "what's been in my ears lately" review :-)

Onward and upward!

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