Saturday, June 23, 2012

The 306 Greatest Books #109 - Carmen

The next up on my reading through the 305 Greatest books is Carmen by Prosper Mérimée. This can be found on the Sybervision Book List.

When I read some of these shorter, free books, on my wife's Kindle, I have a tendency to wonder if this is the actual book that is on the list. Carmen was one of these books because it took me three days to read, so I looked up the plot synopsis on Wikipedia, and lo and behold, yes this was the book on my list. Other than being remarkably short, I rather enjoyed the story. The book is broken up into 4 chapters with chapters 1 and 2 being the background of the narrator and his meeting with the principle character, Don Jose Navarro. Chapter 3 was the main story, and the one that the opera is based on. The final chapter, chapter 4, is a very weird chapter about gypsy life and language, that does not really follow the rest of the book at all. The main story, chapter three, is narrated by Don Jose from prison telling the main narrator about his life from being a good kid to his eventual outlaw ways, all because of the gypsy Carmen. I thought the story read very well and it was actually quite enjoyable, but I don't think it stood out enough for me to be considered a 100 Greatest Book. Usually those stories are pretty memorable and I feel this one will be quickly forgotten. A nice read, but not a must read.

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