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Book review: Swann's Way: In Search Of Lost Time - Volume 1 by Marcel Proust


the cover of the book

If this was sent to a publisher this morning it probably wouldn't get bought. Let's face it. "-and you say this is one-seventh of the actual book, son?"

Book review: Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh


the cover of the book

If this was a dance, it would be the Charleston.

Book review: Poe: Illustrated Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allen Poe


the cover of the book

This volume brings together thirteen of Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories and poems and couples them with the visual art of thirteen talented and engaging artists.

Book review: Tom Jones by Henry Fielding



So you know those old penguin paperbacks? Y’know, the doorstopper-like novels of the Austens of the nineteenth century world? The Brontes with their page on page of women in bourdoirs waiting for suitors to marry them, so excited by the “suitability” of the match that they are constantly “ejaculating?” (Seriously, all Austen heroines ejaculate an average of 74 times throughout any novel!)

Book review: Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll



I very much doubt that when Lewis Carroll (aka the reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) rowed down the Thames with the Liddle girls in 1865 and happened to make up a story about Alice to keep them occupied he could possibly have imagined the profound impact his story would still be having on the world, over one hundred years later. Still very much in print, and still being adapted for screen, Alice In Wonderland really has staying power.

Book review: The Sign Of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle



The second of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novellas, The Sign Of Four (originally published in 1890), is less with the long-winded-Sherlock-Holmes-single-minded-genius and more with the getting-to-know-the-many-facets-of-Sherlock-Holmes, beginning with his penchant for injecting cocaine to relieve boredom and smattered with his airy ability to quote philosophers in a multitude of languages (happily ignoring the fact that in the previous story, Holmes had no interest in philosophy). The new Sherlock Holmes is certainly an improvement, though.

Book review: Anne Of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery



Anne Of Green Gables may well be falling by the wayside these days, being bypassed for more current reading materials for young girls. When I was about ten, I loved everything Anne Of Green Gables, but I have no idea how I found out about her and whether or not many people are still discovering her. I do know that anyone who grew up with the Anne series will rave about her. To do this review I did go back and re-read Anne Of Green Gables, to take a more grown-up look at her. But whether it’s that I used to love her so much, or that it is just a really great book, I still really enjoyed it.

Book review: A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle



A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was originally published in 1887, and it's still around, reprinted as recently as 2004. Sherlock Holmes sure has stood the test of time, and A Study In Scarlet is one of his most well known stories - probably because it's the world's introduction to the illustrious Sherlock Holmes, and documents his meeting with Watson and their first mystery together, and also because it's a bit longer and more detailed than Doyle's later stories.

Book review: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte



If this was a sofa, it would be a pleasant-looking but dated design with ebony framework hand-carved with a slightly intimidating attention to detail. You wouldn’t put it in your lounge room in front of the TV, but perhaps keep it in your bedroom because, despite appearances, it would in fact be almost shockingly ergonomically satisfying.

Book review: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien



This book—or to be more precise, this trilogy—is number two in Angus and Robertson’s top one hundred, having been cheated out of the top spot by that appalling Da Vinci Code business. And, while I wouldn’t say J.R.R Tolkien’s meandering and fairly time-intensive classics are the best books in the world, they sure have stood the test of time. The fact that they are referred to pretty much undisputedly as “classics” gives that away. The publisher on this lot is Harper Collins, and if I’d snapped up this baby as a publisher I’d be laughing all the way to the bank! I don’t think there are many people in the developed world who haven’t heard of The Lord of the Rings, be it movies, books, cartoons, other references... and you have to respect Tolkien for that.

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