My Rating: 5 Stars
I was very excited to read the original tales of the Grimm Brothers' and it didn't disappoint!
These fairytales and their "live happily ever after" are dripping with blood, poetic justice and a lot of bad karma. The stories keep the morals that I got to know through the modern and softer versions of these tales but in a way that would turn the most rebellious child into the nicest, honest and compliant figure. The crude reality of these stories should how the real world looks like and the real consequences of talking to strangers, trusting someone too quickly, being greedy and price of vanity.
Absolutely loves all the stories. It's a book that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime.
I chose this particular edition because it's magnificent and it really is like the fairytale book that we all dreamed of having. I definitely recommend that you buy this beautiful edition by Taschen! Here is a glimpse of that's inside:
My Rating: 5 Stars
A powerful and fantastic play by William Shakespeare.
In the story of Macbeth, ambition, obsession and lust for power are the main themes. It's also about trying to escape fate and in the end making it happen exactly as it was predicted. Macbeth, the main character, is the villain of this story. For me, I could never consider him a hero since he was only loyal to the king in hopes to get a higher position. After receiving the warning of the three witches of the prophecy that was to fall on him, Macbeth is drawn to a dark plot and fatal ending in an attempt to fulfil his thirst for power and escape death.
Along side Macbeth, there is the main female character, his wife, Lady Macbeth, a powerful and manipulative woman that shares the same ambitious as her husband. In truth, it was her that implements the seed of the plan that would, in the end, condemn her and her husband. She knows no bounds but in the end, it's the only character that shows remorse.
Highly recommend it!
My Rating: 3 Stars
I'm a fan of Shakespeare and I have been since I read Hamlet when I was 18 years old.
But this story, even though it's a very famous one, both for the book and the several movies made of it, it just doesn't work for me. Even so, I gave it 3 stars for the writing style (a masterpiece).
In the end, I thought that the story is not just about love and the consequences of falling hard in love, too quickly and too young. It's also about the restrictions that came with a title in the 16th century England. It was a period that the poor plebe had more freedom of choice than the nobility.
I also noticed a lesson that parents are still faced with nowadays: the more you tell a child or a teenager not to do something, that's exactly what she/he will do.
My Rating: 5 Stars
The long fight of Victor Hugo against the death penalty is put into the pages his short novel that will move any reader.
This book tells the story of an unnamed condemned man a few days before he is executed for an unknown crime. It describes in detail the torment, the emotion, the general state of mind of a man. A man, because when someone is condemned to death, they become something else, something less important and less human. The torture that this man goes through knowing that time is against him and for some reason, it seems to escape through his fingers. And of course, the most human question, if it's going to hurt.
It's a very moving novel that serves has a reminder that even in the last minutes of a condemned man, there is always hope to be forgiven and the desperate wait for the inevitable ending.
In the end, the message is: no matter what we do, how many mistakes we make, we are all human.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Definitely one of the greatest American novel of all time and one of my all-time favourites.
It's a book that explores the lack of morality of the high-class, the vanity and shallowness of the people that are incapable of thinking of anyone but themselves. It explores the reality, that dreams don't always come true and that pretending to be someone else in order to achieve the high-expectations that others have of us comes with a price.
(SPOILER ALERT!) On the other hand, Fitzgerald creates a character that, in my opinion, has the end he deserved, in a sense where death is better than having to live with the disappointment and betrayal of the only woman he loved and that he tried so hard to prove his love. The discovery would have killed him in more ways than one, it would be destroyed his innocence and naivety that something good might happen if you have the patience to wait. He died believing in her, thinking that she loved him, and even if it's a lie, for him it was enough.
My Rating: 5 stars
The ideal book, from an ideal author. Not one of the most famous books for Sir Oscar Wilde but it definitely should be. The sense of humour, the sarcasm and the description of society is absolutely perfect, nothing short of the greatness of the writing of Oscar Wilde.
“An Ideal Husband” pictures a young man in society, whose past comes back to haunt him, in a setting where appearances, the titles and obligations are everything. In the public setting, Robert Chilton is a respectable member of society, a respected politician and a public figure known for his integrity a whose whole persona is based on integrity. In a private setting, Robert shows admiration and utter love for his wife, which is completely returned, and a great friend to his well-known bachelor friend Lord Goring. Everything quickly falls apart though and when the truth is about to be revealed, Robert confesses his past to his wife and asks for her help.
In the end, Robert wears the mask of arrogance, power and what could be considered the “ideal” situation in life only to reveal that not everything is what it seems and everyone has something they are ashamed of.
Moral of the story: Be Always honest to your wife and trust your crazy friend to come up with a solution to your problem.
My favourite character is without a shadow of a doubt, Lord Goring. It's hard not laugh with phrases like “I love talking about nothing, father. It is the only thing I know anything about.” or “For so well-dressed a woman, Mrs Cheveley, you have moments of admirable common sense.”
It's the type of book that no matter how many times you read it, it always makes you laugh.
My Rating: 5 stars
Another brilliant play by William Shakespeare, this time focusing on the destructive power of jealousy, lack of communication, suspicion, insecurity and the grave repercussions of it all. A villain with a great power of manipulation, using that power to fuel jealousy in Othello to get that his revenge.
On the contrary of what I was expecting from the main character, Othello revealed himself to be a petty and very insecure man that didn't really understand the meaning of trust. His insecurity reveals itself to be fatal when Iago starts to poison his mind against his wife, motivated by jealousy of his friend's life, status and his marriage. Unfortunately for Othello, he misinterprets every move of his faithful wife as a sign of treason and understands too late his fatal mistake, that his unreasonable suspicion fell on the wrong person.
I must say that my favourite character his Iago in this play. He is a complex character and I did enjoy that he won in the end, proving that good doesn't always triumph over evil and that there are consequences when we act on the influence of others.
My Rating: 5 Stars
I had the pleasure of reading this incredible novel and it earned its place on my Top 10.
I'll start by saying that the language is simply breathtaking. It was like music to my ears, eloquent and very rich and never disappointing. While using this beautiful language, however, Oscar Wilde describes hypocrisy of high society, the vices, the envies and most of all, the importance of appearances.
I'm sure almost all of you know or heard of the story of Dorian Gray, but if you haven't here it is. The starts with the introduction of young, beautiful and innocent Dorian Gray. His friend and painter Basil Hallward becomes obsessed with his beauty and draws a portrait of young Gray. At the same time, Dorian is introduced to Lord Henry Wotton, a representation of the views of society and a firm believer that life is all about beauty and the satisfaction of temptations and desires. The story then follows the fall of young Dorian from grace and his discovery and adventures in the dark side of English life at the time, from opium to prostitutes.
The novel goes around between this three characters, Basil for his obsession for beauty and his love for Dorian Gray; Lord Henry Wotton a gentleman that envies the beauty of young Gray and takes the main lead role in guiding him to his destruction; and Dorian Gray, that starts as an innocent young boy with an innocent vision of world only to influenced by Lord Wotton into vices and temptations while becoming obsessed with beauty as well.
The phrase that marked me in this first reading was:
How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June. . . . If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young and the picture that was to grow old! For that-for that-I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!
The highest rating for this masterpiece with the highest recommendation off reading!
My Rating: 5 Stars
This was the first play I read from Shakespeare and to this day, it's my absolute favourite. For me, this is play is one of the most brilliant.
The characters are very complex even we the reader thinks he was everyone figured out. In Hamlet, we have the tragic hero trying to deal with his beloved father's death and the marriage of his recently-widowed mother to his uncle, Claudius. When he's confronted by the ghost of his father, Hamlet's struggles with his duty: to avenge his father by killing his uncle. The way I analysed it, Hamlet knows that killing his father's killer is part of his responsibility as the heir of the king and his honour demands it, but at the same time, he knows that his soul will be condemned to hell if he goes through with it. Being so deeply involved in his inner turmoil, Hamlet fails to notice the growing depressive state of his once beloved Ophelia, daughter of Polonius and sister of Laertes.
Claudius is the villain of this plot and is driven by the need to be the centre of attention. The way I see it, the murder he committed wasn't just for power, but also to stop being the shadow of his brother. It might be my interpretation but I would say Claudius was already in love with Hamlet's mother, Gertrude, motivating his actions even more.
Hamlet's mother is the picture of the naive and unaware woman that doesn't grasp the gravity of the situation and refuses to see her new husband for that he is. I think that she is in deep denial and the fact that she married so soon is a sign that didn't really deal with her first husband's death. She is determined to move on, even if it costs the relationship with her son. Gertrude clearly favours Claudius and at some point even considers Hamlet to be mad.
In the end, Hamlet's tragedy sets in motion the tragedies of the other characters, including Laertes, who plays a key role in the end of the play.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.