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Reviews of books on the subject of literature.

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    A solid depiction of contrasts between belonging and not

    From the horrors of sixteenth century Italian castles to twenty-first century plagues, from the French Revolution to the liberation of Libya, Tyler R. Tichelaar takes readers on far more than a journey through literary history. "The Gothic Wanderer" is an exploration of man’s deepest fears, his efforts to rise above them for the last two centuries, and how he may be on the brink finally of succeeding. Whether it’s seeking immortal life, the fabulous philosopher’s stone that will change lead into gold, or human blood as a vampire, or coping with more common “transgressions” like being a woman in a patriarchal society, being a Jew in a Christian land, or simply being addicted to gambling, the Gothic wanderer’s journey toward damnation or redemption is never dull and always enlightening. Tichelaar examines the figure of the Gothic wanderer in such well-known Gothic novels as "The Mysteries of Udolpho," "Frankenstein, and Dracula," as well as lesser known works like Fanny Burney’s "The Wanderer," Mary Shelley’s "The Last Man," and Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s "Zanoni." He also finds surprising Gothic elements in classics like Dickens’ "A Tale of Two Cities" and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ "Tarzan of the Apes." From Matthew Lewis’ "The Monk" to Stephenie Meyer’s "Twilight," Tichelaar explores a literary tradition whose characters reflect our greatest fears and deepest hopes. Readers will find here the revelation that not only are we all Gothic wanderers—but we are so only by our own choosing.

    "The Cottage" is a self-standing sequel to Alan Austin's novel "The Adagio," in that the protagonist, Jack Duncan, is the same--an impulsive documentary filmmaker whose instincts tend to lead him deeper into the labyrinth, arousing ever more beasts as he goes. In "The Cottage" he becomes mesmerized by the etherial Terri Osborne and abruptly proposes to her. She equally abruptly disappears. Omaha police suspect Duncan. But suspect him of doing what? And to whom? They can find no record of Terri's past

    Elmo Piggins and Reginald Dexter served as foils to Ishmael O’Donnell, the main character in Derald Hamilton’s first novel, "The Call," which told the unconventional tale of a group of seminarians. Now Elmo and Reginald return in two prequel novellas that shed additional light upon their backgrounds prior to their call to enter the seminary. Hamilton also includes three stories on similar themes about individual conflict with institutions and the transformations that may result. As with "The Call," "Twice Upon a Prequel" is being praised for its character development and themes. The Pacific Book Review states that the book is “poignant and relevant” and “not a mindless read; be prepared to have to think about the concepts and relationships that are being presented.”

    Jane Eyre : Readable Classics

    Jane Eyre in all of its original splendor has been brought to readable classics. The original version has been adapted only to update the language to make it easier for the modern reader of today to understand. This classic beloved tale of the orphan Jane Eyre will captivate you and keep you reading until the end. Jane Eyre, a orphan who is taken into custody by her uncle after her parents death, and ten years after his death sent away to school by her unloving, unkind aunt is everything the original manuscript is. Jane thrives and learns at school. She becomes a teacher and then a governess under her master Mr. Rochester and falls in love only to learn his shattering secret. Her life takes a turn and later reconnects to her past. She finds true happiness where she belongs. I loved every minute of this book. Though I have read Jane Eyre multiple times before, I was able to see this novel in a new light, due to the let down of a language barrier. Our vocabulary does not consist of the formalities in 1847. We do not converse on the same level, more so we discuss more freely and openly today. The novel in its new form is everything Charlotte Bronte gave to her 1847 readers, but updated for ease in understanding for today’s reader. This is a must read! I am a firm believer that you should read the original at some point in your life. However, if you have ever read Jane Eyre or if you have had trouble understanding the original this readable classic will draw you in and keep you spell bound to the end. I highly suggest this book to any reader. It is a wonderful classic novel. I look forward to reading and expanding my library to include other readable classics.

    The answer to the 'age-old' question

    Review of the book "30 Isn't Old" by Colette Petersen

    A great idea poorly conceived

    A review of the book "The Test" by, Patricia Gussin

    Diane Jones, an African-American 18-year old honors student takes a job as a nanny to a prestigious white family, Jerry and Ann Shaw, before entering college. It’s the late 1970s in California and while racial issues are coming to the forefront, Diane comes face to face with those issues. She quickly becomes a respected friend and member of their blended family, paying special attention to their eight-year old son, Chad, Ann’s son from a previous marriage. The Shaw’s eldest son, David returns home for the summer and an immediate attraction sparks between Diane and David. They began a secretive love affair. Can Diane’s proud, traditional family accept a white man as Diane’s love interest? Will the Shaw family value her as David’s potential partner? As their love affair blossoms, Diane and David make their relationship public. "Checkered Fences" by author Alma Hudson is a novel of remarkable insight and a tribute to our world’s changing social and political climate.

    Book Review 30 Isn't Old Author: Colette Petersen Publisher: Outskirts Press ISBN: 978-1-4327-3264-6

    A telling tale

    Curse of the Tahiera tells a story like no other. Wendy Gillissen tells us a tale of vast lands and incredible creatures to convey a grand coming of age narrative. While told against a backdrop fantastical surroundings, it is one of loss and redemption, and one we all can relate to.

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