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Typhoon, a novella by Joseph Conrad (book review and recommendation)

Published in 1902, Typhoon is a novella that, for all that we know, might have been based on a real life experience. Joseph Conrad used his own personal seaman experiences in many of his works, so why should this novella be an exception? At an rate, Typhoon can be classified as one of Conrad's a seaman's books. The novella itself focused on Captain MacWhirr's (notice the name) decision to sail through a typhoon as well the consequences of that decision. As in most (if not all) Conrad's stories, the dire circumstances serve as a tool to examine the psychological states of the characters. Conrad always digs deep and this novella is no exception. Captain MacWhirr makes for an interesting protagonist and the other characters are just as fascinating.  



I would describe Typhoon as another extraordinary novella from the pen of a man who wrote about the sea like no other. Beautiful writing combined with an intense and exciting story is more than enough to satisfy me as a reade…
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The Awakening, a novel by Kate Chopin (book review and recommendation)

Quite possibly Kate Chopin's best known work, The Awakening is certainly an important novel. Published in 1899, this novel was a forerunner in many ways. It is a well known fact that Chopin crafted one of the early works of feminism, when she wrote the story of Edna, a young woman experiencing ‘awakening’ while searching for her personal identity.  By creating a literary heroine who is undergoing spiritual, psychological, emotional and sexual awakening, Chopin challenged not only the social views of her time, but social identity as such. Moreover, I do believe that The Awakening is neither reserved for one (female) gender, nor a strictly feminist book, for it can be read as an individual search for personal identity and freedom. It is a novel that has aged well and still holds many valuable lessons. I’m not disputing its rightful place in the early feminist cannon, I’m just saying that I think there is something quite timeless about it. By that I mean that I would encourage even t…

The Bonesetter's Daughter, a novel by Amy Tan (book review and recommendation)

Published in 2001, The Bonesetter's daughter is Amy Tan's fourth novel. It was my third novel by this author. Having already read two novels by Amy Tam, I was pretty certain that I knew what I was getting myself into. What did I expect? Well, basically a story about an estranged (Chinese) mother and a (Chinese American) daughter trying to fix their relationship, all narrated from a strictly feminine point of view. Surely enough, the opening chapter titled ‘truth’ delivered what I was expecting. It was written from a perspective of LuLing Liu Young, mother to Luyi Young (her American name is Ruth) and a widow to Kai Jing and Edwin Young. The second chapter introduced the character of daughter Luyi/Ruth Young. The writer while introducing us with Ruth’s  life, reveals to the reader that this introductory chapter is actually a beginning of  long letter of sort (this long letter can also be seen as an autobiography, a retelling of her mother’s life in her own words) directed to h…

The Lagoon, a short story by Joseph Conrad (book review and recommendation)

Published in 1987, this story is one of the shortest works by Joseph Conrad. Like many of Conrad's other works, The Lagoon is a framed narrative. Before I continue this review, and explain what the book is about, there is something I need to comment on. Most publishers and sites I've come across describe Lagoon as a story about a white man called Tuan, but I personally can't agree with that description. 
This short story doesopen up with a white man, but the story is really, for most part, about the man's Malaysian friend Arsat. Perhaps the most accurate thing to say is that the story is about both of them.  Another thing worth noting is that we never do learn the name of the white man. Tuan is just a word that means 'sir' in the native language of the inhabitans. When other characters address the narrator as Tuan, they are calling him 'mister' or 'sir'.




The opening lines of The Lagoon are quite descriptive, not only setting the tone but introduc…

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a novel by Stephen Chbosky ( Book review) +Strange things about The Perks of Being a Wallflower that people don't seem to notice

I hate this novel with passion. There I said it. Before, I even got into reviewing it, I said it. I can't find a single thing I liked about this novel. So, before you continue reading this review, consider yourself warned. Paradoxically, I shot some rather nice photographs of this novel but make no mistake I was more than happy to return to the library. I should have trusted my gut feeling and given up after those first opening sentences, instead of going on to waste several hours of my life on something that is as best a poor excuse for a novel. I wish I have. I'm not going to say that I don't understand how some people can like this book because I do. I understand that some might find a message (perhaps even messages) in it or that some can find it touching because of the themes it deals with. I personally think that the author included those themes to emotionally blackmail readers into liking this book, but hey maybe that’s just me. If someone found The Perks of Being …