Thursday, September 15, 2005

The 100 Greatest Books - Book Review #1

Note - This review was originally published on my other site "The Geology P.A.G.E." but due to the content I have moved it here and backdated the post.

Ok I said that I would eventually go over some of the books I have read and what my perception of them was as well as what books I feel other people might enjoy. Oh I also forgot to mention another web site that lays out each of the 4 book lists I listed and he gives his perception on the books as well as the ones he has read. You can find that list here . Ok onto some book descriptions. I figured 3 short descriptions per blog entry will be enough until either I have forgotten what the book was about or I have cataloged all I have read so far. Onto the one I just finished:

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

This book was fantastic. I highly recommend it to anyone especially dog lovers. It is gripping and it is intense, so much so it makes you want to read more and to top it all off, its short. Only about 80 pages. I read it in about 2 days and I did not try to hard. It is about a dog, Buck, who was kidnapped from California I believe and taken to Alaska to be a sled dog. The book is entirely through the dogs perspective but it doesn't do any of the cheesy "dog voices". Not once do you hear what they are saying but you more than get the feel of it, especially among his interactions with other dogs and humans. Again I highly recommend, you won't be disappointed.

The Divine Comedy by Dante

This is a compilation of the trilogy including the Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. The first I read in Humanities in college and I greatly enjoyed. It helps having someone point out the little things going on in the story too. The second two I recently read by myself. Now the Inferno that I read was a school book which was translated in a way to help people understand what was going on. The other two that I read were translated in a way to mimic old English, which I have a hard enough time by myself, so several of the subtleties escaped me. My recommendation is that you have the opportunity to read, go for it by choose a translation that is easier to understand because the book by itself is hard enough to read. But I did enjoy it especially when he meets famous people that I have heard about.

The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer

I read these last year but I can still make comments and even though they are two separate books people always lump them together so I will do the same. The Iliad reminded me of the Bible. It was pretty much a long list of names with most of the people dying between the list of names. Let me give you an example. It goes pretty much but stating. "Now Jeremiah dies by the hands of Joseph, son of Matthew, son of Jacob, son of Ismeal... And so on" Now that line doesn't actually appear but you get my point. And in that regards it is difficult to read at first but after a while it takes some getting used to. Now the kicker is that everyone wants to read about the death of Achilles. This doesn't take place in these books. The Iliad only chronicles the beginning of the Trojan War, not Achilles' death. So that was kind of disappointing. The Odyssey takes place at the end of the war after Achilles death, so again there is a large gap in the middle chronicled by other stories I did not read, nor know the name of. The Odyssey though was much more interesting because things actually happened and he went to places and met people that most people know of. So its kind of like reading a story everyone knows but for the first time. I enjoyed it immensely. I believe the Iliad is included in the book lists just because it accompanies the Odyssey which alone is such a great books, but I'm not sure. Anyway that is my review, take it as you will this is how I feel.

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