Wednesday, November 8

Classics Mini Reviews featuring Books By Daniel Defoe and Shirley Jackson

‘I grew as impudent a Thief, and as dexterous as ever Moll Cut-Purse was’ Born and abandoned in Newgate Prison, Moll Flanders is forced to make her own way in life. She duly embarks on a career that includes husband-hunting, incest, bigamy, prostitution and pick-pocketing, until her crimes eventually catch up with her. One of the earliest and most vivid female narrators in the history of the English novel, Moll recounts her adventures with irresistible wit and candour—and enough guile that the reader is left uncertain whether she is ultimately a redeemed sinner or a successful opportunist. Based on the first edition of 1722, this volume includes a chronology, notes on currency and maps of London and Virginia in the late seventeenth century.

Goodreads

Honestly, Moll Flanders was so very bad lmfao. We had a totally unconventional female lead here, who 1) tricks men into marrying her despite her being poor, 2) doesn't give a shit about the rules, and 3) becomes a criminal. Umm, does that not sound great??? Welp, I thought so, but, unfortunately, from the very first page, Moll Flanders was a tremendous disappointment. 



Small list of dislikes: 

๐Ÿ“š Moll could not possibly have been more unlikable than she was. Even for me, someone who loves unlikable female characters, she was just too much. Oftentimes stupid, nearly always annoying and all the fucking time materialistic and self-serving, that is Moll in a few words. Oh, and the way she ALWAYS put the blame on others made me shake my head so much it fell off. #truestory

๐Ÿ“š THE WRITING WAS SO HARD TO READ. Why start like 30% of the words with capital letters!? I get when an author uses capital letters for a few important words, but when it's SO MANY words starting with a capital letter the whole thing loses its meaning. 

๐Ÿ“š The fuck was that ending!? Are you seriously telling me that this woman, who had little love for her own kids, or herself, to be honest, ended up repenting? I call bullshit on that.

Overall:

To be fair, this IS a story one can discuss for a lengthy period of time for sure, because it does have layers, but it is not something that was interesting, exciting or even enjoyable to read FOR ME. And that's the key here, folks! I didn't like this, but you might! 2 stars.


                                                                


Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods—until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiosity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.








I've wanted to read We Have Always Lived in the Castle for THE LONGEST TIME, but never quite was in the mood for it. To tell you the truth, I was really scared it wouldn't work for me. However, Clare from Dual Reads read it, and her loving it so much pushed me to finally pick it up this Halloween. AND I DID NOT REGRET IT!

Small list of likes: 

๐Ÿ“š SO DARK! From the very first page the atmosphere is incredibly heavy, gloomy and you can feel that trouble is coming. As more and more characters are introduced - like the villagers - and as cousin Charles arrives the atmosphere turns decidedly sinister. 

๐Ÿ“š The characters are weird and intriguing. Especially the narrator, Merricat had me on the edge of my seat, because she was SUCH AN unreliable narrator. I never knew for sure if she was telling the actual truth, or just her version of the truth.

๐Ÿ“š The whole arsenic mystery had me so curious! For a good chunk of the story we have NO IDEA who poisoned the whole family, and that was such a bonus, as well.

Overall: 

THIS WAS FANTASTIC. One of the top books of October, and of the whole year, to be honest. Delicious writing, darkness, mystery and incredible characters await you in We Have Always Lived in the Castle, SO PICK IT UP ALREADY! 5 stars easily.


Let's chat! 

Have you read either of these books? Perhaps something else by the authors? What was your favorite October read? Do you have a favorite classic?

2 comments:

  1. I hated, I hated, I hated Moll Flanders with a passion! I kinda understood that at the time novels weren't really a thing and the writing style is weird compared to know but god help me, I wanted to destroy that book and I was so happy when I was done with it so that I could forget all about it for the rest of my life.
    I haven't read anything by Shirley Jackson yet, but I want to. It's just that my TBR is already huge and I'm getting anxious about it LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree about Moll Flanders, utterly bad and made me NOT want to read anything else by Defoe. OOh, you totally should give Jackson a chance! I can't wait to read more by her, because this was so well-written, atmospheric, unique and DARK.

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