Matilda – Roald Dahl

matilda book coverOnce upon a time, there lived a reader. Her name was Matilda. No, Matilda wasn’t just a common reader. She began reading at the age of three, and at the age of four she devoured all newspapers and magazines she could find laying around her house, along with one cooking book that happened to be the only book in the household. Poor Matilda, being a child so bright in a dreadfully unsupportive family, she had to find her own way to the library, the place where she could find all the books she wanted to read. Voila, after devouring every children’s books in the library’s collection, this magical child managed to read these books before she even turned five years old:

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Tess of D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Gone to Earth by Mary Webb
Kim by Rudyard Kipling
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Good Companions by J.B. Priestley
Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
Animal Farm by George Orwell

Hard to believe, I know. But the story does not end there. We can say that it was Mr. and Mrs Wormwood’s fault that Matilda entered school quite late. They were Matilda’s parents, and they didn’t give a damn about their daughter’s education. So at age five and a half Matilda went to school for the first time. Crunchem Hall, the name of the school, was the place where you can find the biggest, most ridiculous contrast ever between two people. The headmistress of Crunchem Hall was called Miss Trunchbull, and there is only one word that could define her best: a nightmare. She was a gigantic monster, a terror, a menace. She enjoyed punishing children in such a horrifying and unexplainable way that the parents would not believe if their children told them about the headmistress. Meanwhile, the exact opposite of Miss Trunchbull took the form of a Miss Honey, Matilda’s teacher. She was a slim-figured young woman who was mild and quiet. Later on, Miss Honey would recognize the extraordinary talent that Matilda possessed. As their friendship grows, Matilda would learn that Miss Trunchbull was the one who is responsible for Miss Honey’s miserable life. Using her newly found “superpower”, Matilda arranged a plan to take revenge on Miss Trunchbull for what she has done to Miss Honey.

My Thoughts—Spoiler Alert!

For children, this book could be enjoyable since logic won’t spoil the fun. They won’t think about how on earth stupid people like Mr. and Mrs Wormwood could have a daughter as bright as Matilda. And maybe they won’t wonder why the antagonist has a horrible name like Trunchbull and the protagonist has a name so sweet and innocent like Honey. For most people, this book might be an innocent reading, a quick stroll into childhood. I like it that Matilda found comfort in books, when she was feeling depressed living with family who are so different from herself. But in the book I also found some things that I object, especially in the matter of family relationships. Maybe because, thankfully, I grew up in an encouraging and loving family, I never felt what Matilda felt. I just couldn’t get the idea of punishing your parents, no matter how irritating they are. And the ending as well, I just couldn’t get it. I mean okay, Matilda’s finally got her happily-ever-after, but why must the author broke the relationship between her and her family? Couldn’t he make them (Matilda’s family) change instead? Well, maybe I have taken the book a little bit too seriously, but this is what I think of it. On the other hand, this book could be a gentle reminder to ignorant parents. They should be able to see that a child is a human being who deserves their attention, and sometimes children are capable of things beyond older people’s comprehension.

In the end, MAYBE this is the message of Matilda:

Family is people whom you should always go home to if they are good people.
If they are bad people, then you can go home to other people who are nicer to you, form a bond with them, not by blood, but by heart.

P.S.: “MAYBE” means even though I wrote these words, it doesn’t mean that I agree with it.

27th review for The Classics Club Project / 8th review for Books in English Reading Challenge 2013 / 11th review for  What’s in a Name Reading Challenge 2013 / 7th review for New Authors Reading Challenge 2013 / 3rd review for Fun Year with Children’s Literature event

Book details:

Matilda, by Roald Dahl
240 pages, published March 1992 by Heinemann (first published August 1988)
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥


Movie Review:

matilda darls chickens
If you enjoy Home Alone franchise, then you would probably like the 1996 adaptation of Matilda as well. Directed by Danny DeVito, the movie is quite faithful to the original story, and was successful in bringing into life the abominable Miss Trunchbull and also the delicate Miss Honey. Matilda was pictured older than she actually was in the book (and rather gloomier than in the book, I think). One major difference between the book and the movie is that in the movie Matilda still has her powers after the whole business with Miss Trunchbull was over. In the book, she lost her powers—and she was glad about it. I think I prefer the ending in the book than in the movie.

Matilda (1996) on IMDb

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The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

great gatsby

The Great Gatsby portrays the life of thriving generation of 1920s America in high splendor and endless glittering parties. Nick Carraway, the narrator, was a bond man who recently moved to New York and resides in the West Egg district of Long Island, and was neighbor to one young rich man named Jay Gatsby. The story starts when Nick went to East Egg district one night to dine with his cousin, Daisy, and her husband Tom Buchanan. From another girl who was present at the dinner, Jordan Baker, Nick learned about the turbulent marriage of Tom and Daisy and that Tom has a mistress. Myrtle Wilson, Tom’s mistress, lived in the valley of ashes, a gray industrial dumping ground between West Egg and New York City. Nick’s curiosity and fascination about his mysterious neighbor was answered when Gatsby eventually invited Nick to one of his parties. There Nick would learn that Gatsby and Daisy were once sweethearts. A reunion was set between Gatsby and Daisy in Nick’s house, where the two young lovebirds rekindled their romantic relationship. Their affair would soon raise suspicion from Tom, who would not have his wife cheating on him while he was involved in an extramarital affair himself. The confrontation between Tom and Gatsby reached its peak when Tom let Gatsby drove his wife back home to East Egg in his luxurious car, and then an unwanted accident happened. In the aftermath, the corruption, moral decay, carelessness, hypocrisy, and superficiality of the people surrounding him; all came crystal clear before Nick’s eyes.

The Jazz Age party. Image source

The novel took place when the First World War had just ended and America has never been more prosperous, a time called “The Jazz Age”, which later ends in the Great Depression. The problem with these rich people in this time was; they became so consummated in their wealth that they grew careless, superficial and pleasure-seeking. Not one, I repeat, not one of the characters in this novel is likeable to me. Tom Buchanan was a bad-mannered libertine and his wife Daisy a shallow, foolish girl. The cynical Jordan Baker had enough nerve to drive carelessly and taking other people’s safety for granted. Meyer Wolfsheim, the Jewish man who wore human molars as cuff buttons, was cowardly and deceiving. Even Gatsby, he isn’t so “great” as in the title of the novel. Yes, he is “great” in his optimistic spirit to pursue his dream, which is winning Daisy back, but to be able to win Daisy he would have to climb to her social status, and to do that he need to make a fortune in dishonest, fraudulent ways. The only “clean” character was Nick Carraway, who stayed on Gatsby’s side to the very end, when not another soul would come into the marred picture.

This book is probably the most difficult book that I have read that only has less than 150 pages. The narrative was written beautifully—yet I felt the great need to read many passages more than twice, check dictionary and even consult the Internet to attempt to fully comprehend what Fitzgerald was trying to say. And even in the end, I can’t say that I can now fully comprehend The Great Gatsby.  But at least, thanks to Sparknotes and Fanda’s chapter posts, I came to understand some confusing passages and symbols depicted in the novel. In spite of entertaining, this novel would make you think hard. Finally, I think The Great Gatsby is great because it bravely shows the ugly truth of man, and in the end still encourages optimism in the powerful words of the last passage of the novel.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning—
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

 

For the finest novel by The Great Fitzgerald, I gave three stars.

***

* I read this book together with Fanda, Astrid, Dessy, Althesia, Listra, Vaan, Dani, Sulis, and Melissa (Avid Reader) *

26th review for The Classics Club Project / 7th review for Books in English Reading Challenge 2013 / 3rd review for 2013 TBR Pile Challenge / 3rd review for TBRR Pile Reading Challenge: Historical Fiction /6th review for New Authors Reading Challenge 2013

Book details:

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
122 pages, published December 1993 by Wordsworth Classics/Wordsworth Editions Ltd (first published 1925)
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde

earnestBunburying—a term that indicates a double life as an excuse for absence. (Source: Wikipedia)

Have you ever felt the need to escape some certain situations and create a fictitious character as your excuse? John (or “Jack”) Worthing, a landowner in Hertfordshire of twenty nine years of age, presents himself as Ernest Worthing in front of his love interest, Gwendolen Fairfax, her mother Lady Bracknell, and also to Gwendolen’s cousin who’s also Jack’s best friend, Algernon Moncrieff. On other occasions, in front of his ward Cecily Cardew and Miss Prism her guardian; Jack uses the character Ernest as his rebellious and irresponsible younger brother who always gets into trouble and requires Jack’s assistance all the time. Ernest was merely Jack’s tool to run away for a while from his responsibilities. Through one trivial accident, Jack was pushed to confess to Algernon that Ernest is just a product of his imagination. At the same time, Algy confesses to Jack that he also invented a character named Bunbury, who is said to be his invalid friend who has extraordinarily bad health. Algy called this activity of double life as “Bunburying” and that he and Jack were “Bunburyists”.

Jack’s problem continues when Gwendolen and Lady Bracknell came to visit Algy’s flat. Algy has agreed to give time to Jack to speak to Gwendolen by distracting Lady Bracknell’s attention. Jack then used the time to propose to Gwendolen, but then he got taken aback by Gwendolen’s speech that “her ideal has always been to love someone of the name of Ernest.” The proposal was interrupted by Lady Bracknell, who then enquired Jack for the matters of his property and family background.

On the next act, Algernon decided to steal the identity of Ernest and came to the Manor House in Hertforshire and met Jack’s young and beautiful ward, Cecily. At the same time as Algy’s “debut” as Ernest, Jack decided to “kill” his fictitious brother and showed up at the Manor House dressed in mourning clothes. You can imagine the confusion that would soon take place. Cecily and Gwendolen got entangled in confusion too when they met and realized that they both have fallen in love with a man with the name of Ernest. Of course they fell in love with two different men; Gwendolen fell in love with Jack and Cecily with Algernon. The play concludes with the revealing of Jack’s true identity, surprisingly by Lady Bracknell.

Two words that can perfectly describe this play: Funny and Absurd.

What’s funny? The interaction between Jack and Algy, especially when they fought over muffins. Algy’s craving for cucumber sandwiches.

What’s absurd? Gwendolen’s (and also Cecily’s) personal obsession about the name Ernest, Lady Bracknell’s points of view and her interview (or rather interrogation) to Jack regarding his proposal to Gwendolen, Cecily with her imaginative mind and her diary, and also Gwendolen and Cecily’s suspiciously fast growing friendship. One last thing that is absurd is how Jack and Algernon take the act of christening so casually. Interesting how the absurdities in this play are at the same time funny.

I really enjoyed reading this play, because it’s witty and easy to read (unlike Shakespeare plays which need double reading the modern version on NFS). In fact, I only have to look for some unfamiliar words on the dictionary, and voila! I finished reading it in about 3 hours. This play mocks duplicity and hypocrisy as well as Victorian traditions, social customs, and marriage. To modern readers, we may as well admit that we also practice “Bunburying” in some ways—we need not create fictional characters, but we simply tell lies or excuses to keep away from our duties. So it is now our decision whether to continue living as a “Bunburyist” or we can realize the vital importance of being earnest. 😉

5th review for Let’s Read Plays event / 25th review for The Classics Club Project / 6th review for Books in English Reading Challenge 2013

Book details:

The Importance of Being Earnest (as part of The Plays of Oscar Wilde, page 361-418), by Oscar Wilde
58 pages, published April 2000 by Wordsworth Classics/Wordsworth Editions Ltd (first published August 1894)
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


This review is also counted for Books Into Movies Monthly Meme hosted by HobbyBuku’s Classic.

Books Into Movies Monthly Meme Button 1

Movie Review:

After reading the play I watched the movie adaptation of it, which was released in 2002 and directed by Oliver Parker with Colin Firth as Jack Worthing, Rupert Everett as Algernon Moncrieff, Frances O’Connor as Gwendolen, Reese Witherspoon as Cecily and Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell. Despite of some alterations on the set and timeline, it was quite faithful to the original play. I particularly liked how Judi Dench carried the role of Lady Bracknell perfectly. Well, she has always been amazing. Here are some differences between the play and the adaptation: (1)  Jack Worthing is thirty five in the adaptation, he should be only twenty nine. (2) In the adaptation, Jack is Algy’s younger brother while in the original play he is actually Algy’s older brother. (3) One interesting thing that Gwendolen tattooed the name Ernest on her body.  (4) And the ending is slightly different. Just slighty– if you have watched the movie, then you will get what I mean… Overall, both the play and the adaptation are essentially enjoyable and entertaining. See the trailer below.

The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) on IMDb

The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafón

shadow of the wind“Once, in my father’s bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds a way into his heart.”

Semuanya bermula dari suatu pagi di awal musim panas 1945, ketika luka-luka akibat perang masih segar dan terbuka. Daniel Sempere, bocah berusia sepuluh tahun putra seorang pemilik toko buku, dibawa oleh ayahnya mengunjungi suatu tempat bernama Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Di suatu tempat di Barcelona, terkubur buku-buku yang terlupakan. Buku-buku yang tak lagi mempunyai rumah karena penutupan perpustakaan atau toko buku, semuanya dibawa ke tempat ini. Dan menurut tradisi, setiap orang yang pertama kali mengunjungi Cemetery of Forgotten Books boleh memilih satu buku untuk dimilikinya, untuk seterusnya dijaga agar tidak hilang selamanya. Dan dari ribuan buku yang tersimpan di dalam Cemetery of Forgotten Books, Daniel memilih satu buku berjudul The Shadow of the Wind, karya Julian Carax. Buku tersebut menyentuh hati Daniel sedemikian rupa sehingga, ia memutuskan untuk mencari buku-buku karya Carax yang lain dan berniat membaca semuanya, dan menyelidiki lebih jauh mengenai sang penulis. Betapa kagetnya ia ketika menemukan bahwa karya-karya Carax yang lain telah dibakar dengan sengaja dan satu-satunya kopi The Shadow of the Wind yang masih ada adalah yang dimilikinya. Informasi ini didapat Daniel dari Gustavo Barcelo, seorang penjual buku bekas yang eksentrik. Di rumah Barcelo juga Daniel bertemu dengan Clara, keponakan Barcelo. Gadis ini secantik malaikat, namun pucat dan lemah. Ia juga buta. Dari Clara-lah Daniel kemudian mendapat informasi yang lebih lengkap mengenai Carax, bagaimana buku-buku karyanya hanya dicetak dalam jumlah yang sangat sedikit, dan bagaimana penulis muda itu menemui kematian yang tragis hanya sesaat sebelum pernikahannya. Juga tentang rumor yang beredar bahwa ada seseorang yang mencari karya-karya Carax di setiap perpustakaan dan toko buku, membeli atau mencuri buku-buku tersebut, dan kemudian membakar setiap kopi yang masih ada.

Pada hari ulang tahunnya yang keenam belas, Daniel yang merasa kecewa karena Clara tidak bisa menghadiri pesta ulang tahunnya, lari keluar dari rumah dalam kegelapan malam dan bertemu orang misterius dengan wajah terbakar yang menginginkan novel The Shadow of the Wind yang dimiliki Daniel. Orang ini mengaku bernama Lain Coubert. Nama itu adalah nama iblis dalam novel The Shadow of the Wind. Mungkinkah kisah dalam The Shadow of the Wind sedang terwujud dalam kehidupan Daniel? Daniel bersama rekannya Fermin Romero de Torres kemudian menyusuri Barcelona demi menyelidiki asal-usul Julian Carax. Di antara bangunan-bangunan tua di Barcelona dan juga debu yang menyelimuti buku-buku di Cemetery of Forgotten Books, sedikit demi sedikit kebenaran mengenai jati diri sang penulis misterius Julian Carax tersibak. Dikisahkan bahwa Julian Carax adalah putra seorang pembuat topi, Antony Fortuny dengan seorang wanita berkebangsaan Prancis, Sophie Carax. Julian kemudian jatuh cinta kepada Penelope Aldaya, putri satu-satunya Don Ricardo Aldaya yang kaya raya, yaitu orang yang bermurah hati mensponsori pendidikan Julian. Don Ricardo Aldaya marah besar ketika ia mengetahui hubungan antara Julian dan putrinya dan hendak memisahkan mereka berdua untuk selamanya. Rencana kawin lari yang dirancang oleh sahabat Julian, Miquel Moliner pun harus gagal karena campur tangan Don Ricardo. Julian kemudian pergi ke Paris dan memulai karir sebagai penulis. Namun, kenangan tentang Penelope terus menerus menghantuinya dan akhirnya ia memutuskan kembali ke Barcelona, tempat dimana seorang Julian Carax, disusul oleh buku-bukunya, satu persatu lenyap tanpa jejak.

***

Sebenarnya saya sudah cukup lama mengetahui tentang buku ini dan bahwa buku ini sudah diterjemahkan oleh Barokah Ruziati atau Mbak Uci, namun entah mengapa sampai sekarang versi terjemahannya belum terbit juga. Kalau sudah terbit nanti sepertinya saya akan beli untuk koleksi. 😉 Makasih buat Mbak Astrid yang sudah meminjamkan bukunya sehingga rasa penasaran saya akan buku The Shadow of the Wind bisa terpuaskan.

Buku ini menyimpan cerita dalam cerita, tentang misteri, aib, rahasia, dan cinta terlarang. Bertaburan tokoh-tokoh yang tak jauh dengan buku (pecinta buku, pemilik toko buku, kolektor buku, dan sebagainya), dan dengan gaya penceritaan yang memesona, nafas novel gothic, setting Barcelona yang eksotik, dan alur yang mengalir lancar dan menegangkan, buku ini membuat saya mampu menghabiskannya dalam waktu kurang dari seminggu padahal biasanya saya lelet banget kalau harus membaca buku dalam bahasa Inggris. Buku ini bagus, namun ada beberapa kejanggalan dan hal yang saya tidak suka  yang membuat saya terpaksa memberi buku ini empat bintang, dan bukannya lima:

  1. Bab di dalam buku ini dipisahkan secara kronologis. Misalnya bab “Days of the Ashes” berlangsung antara tahun 1945-1949, dan bab “An Empty Plate” pada tahun 1950. Namun yang janggal adalah akhir bab “True to Character” (1951-1953) langsung dilanjutkan di bab “City of Shadows” (1954) pada “hari berikutnya”, anehnya tanpa menyebut bahwa diantara kedua bab itu telah terjadi pergantian tahun. Mungkin hal ini terjadi juga di bab-bab selanjutnya, tapi yang paling saya ingat adalah bab ini.
  2. Karakter Lain Coubert dikisahkan mengalami luka bakar di sekujur tubuhnya. Sungguh aneh bagaimana ia bisa bertahan hidup begitu lama dan beraktivitas selayaknya manusia normal.
  3. Ada beberapa hal yang tidak saya sukai mengenai endingnya. [SPOILER ALERT!] Pertama, bahwa Lain Coubert tetap bertahan hidup sampai di akhir buku. Selain tidak masuk akal bahwa ia mengelak dari maut dua kali, dan bahwa ia hidup dengan kondisi sekujur tubuh terbakar, bagi saya jauh lebih baik jika setelah melalui klimaks, karakter ini akhirnya tiada dalam damai. Yang kedua, saya tidak suka karakter yang terpaksa harus berkeluarga pada usia masih belasan tahun akibat “kecelakaan”, dan tidak dikisahkan segala susah payah yang harusnya mewarnai kehidupan keluarga muda tersebut. Bagi saya itu sama saja dengan mengatakan, “It’s okay to have sex and have children in your young age.”

Di luar ketiga hal diatas, novel The Shadow of the Wind hampir bisa dikatakan sempurna. Dilengkapi juga dengan bagian “A Walk in the Footsteps of The Shadow of the Wind” dengan peta Barcelona dan guide bagi pembaca yang ingin benar-benar menyusuri Barcelona dan melihat setiap tempat yang dijadikan setting dalam novel The Shadow of the Wind. What a brilliant idea. Buku ini juga menyimpan banyak Memorable Quotes yang menawan hati seperti berikut ini:

“Someone once said that the moment you stop to think about whether you love someone, you’ve already stopped loving that person forever.”

 “The nurse knew that those who really love, love in silence, with deeds and not with words.”

“Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.”

(Baca juga Quote mengenai the Cemetery on Forgotten Books di sini.)

5th review for Books in English Reading Challenge 2013 | / 3rd review for TBRR Pile Reading Challenge: Historical Fiction / 6th review for New Authors Reading Challenge 2013

N.B.: Buku ini saya baca dalam bahasa Inggris namun reviewnya ditulis dalam bahasa Indonesia untuk ikut #postingbareng BBI bulan April 2013 tema Buku tentang Buku dan masih dalam rangkaian HUT ke-2 BBI.

Detail buku:

The Shadow of the Wind (judul asli: La sombra del viento), oleh Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Diterjemahkan ke bahasa Inggris oleh Lucia Graves
487 halaman, diterbitkan Januari 2005 oleh Penguin Books (pertama kali diterbitkan tahun 2001)
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas [Re-read]

threemusketeers youngreaders

If you seek for action and adventure in classic literature, then The Three Musketeers might be an excellent choice. Despite the title, The Three Musketeers centers on the journey of the young Gascon, d’Artagnan, to be one of the King’s Musketeers. An incident with a gentleman in Meung made him lost his recommendation letter to M. de Treville, the captain of the Musketeers. When he was running after the abovementioned gentleman, d’Artagnan bumped at one, two, three men and ended up making duel appointments with them, on the same day. The three men were not else than our famous three musketeers; Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Just when they meant to start the duel, Cardinal’s Guards appeared. Then they—the four men—rose their swords together against the Guards. It was the start of the unbreakable friendship between the four men.

In the meantime, France was torn between loyalty to the King or to the Cardinal. Our four heroes were all in the midst of political intrigues, heroic battles, and also amorous adventures. D’Artagnan fell for Madame Bonacieux, who was the queen’s most trusted lady-in-waiting. His romantic inclination towards Mme Bonacieux made him aware of the queen’s secret affairs; he came to recognize a mischievous plan that would be carried out by the Cardinal to humiliate the queen and to start war between France and England. He would make use of Duke of Buckingham’s love to Anne of Austria to carry out his plan. We would see how the four friends fought to save the queen’s honor against Cardinal’s agent, the lovely but deadly Milady de Winter.

musketeers1

This is the second time I read The Three Musketeers, and although the edition I read this time is retold by Clarissa Hutton, I enjoyed it anyway. In fact, my second experience in reading The Three Musketeers is more enjoyable than the first one. It felt funnier in many parts and the story is more engaging. I guess the style of translation affects the sense of the story and the enjoyment in reading, for I first read it in a translated version into Indonesian language and this time I read it in English. I love The Three Musketeers as a work of historical fiction of  17th century France as well as an adventure and romance, and as a story of bravery, loyalty, and friendship. The version I read is a Young Readers’ Edition (of which I thought the vocabulary used is rather unfamiliar for a young reader) with illustrations by Brett Helquist (the illustrator of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events). The illustrations made this book even more collectible. And if you wonder if I would want to reread The Three Musketeers in the words of Alexandre Dumas himself, then my answer is yes.

musketeers2

Favorite Moment:

When Athos saw the need of a private conference between him and his three friends, he made a wager with people at the inn that the four of them would have breakfast at the bastion St. Gervais for at least an hour, no matter what the enemy would do to dislodge them. It was a brilliant and really courageous idea, and they don’t even need to bring their muskets because they would find muskets of the fallen Frenchmen and Rochellais lying around the bastion. Aramis then claimed at the end of the passage; “Oh, Athos! Truly you are a great man.”

Memorable Passages & Quotes:

It was scarcely eleven o’clock, and yet thus morning has already brought him into disgrace with M. de Treville, who could not fail to think the manner in which d’Artagnan had left him a little cavalier. Besides this, he had drawn upon himself duels with two men, each capable of killing three d’Artagnans.

*

“Where can you find love like mine—a love which neither time, nor absence, nor despair can extinguish? It is now three years, madame, since I saw you first, and during those three years I have loved you.” – Duke of Buckingham

*

“Is the king accustomed to give you reasons? No. He says, ‘Gentlemen, go and fight,’ and you go. You need give yourselves no more uneasiness about this.”

“D’Artagnan is right,” said Athos. “Here are our leaves of absence from Monsieur de Treville, and here are pistols from I don’t know where. Let us go and be killed. D’Artagnan, I am ready to follow you.”

*

“Love is a lottery you are very fortunate to have lost, believe me, my dear d’Artagnan.” – Athos

*

“I shall have no more friends,” said the young man. “Nothing but bitter recollections.” And tears rolled down his cheeks.

“You are young,” replied Athos, “and your bitter recollections have time to change themselves into sweet remembrances.”

***

I read this book together with Fanda, Althesia, and Maria.

24th review for The Classics Club Project | 4th review for Books in English Reading Challenge 2013 | 4th review for Back to the Classics 2013 | 3rd review for Books on France 2013 Reading Challenge | 2nd review for 2013 TBR Pile Challenge | 2nd review for TBRR Pile Reading Challenge: Historical Fiction

Book details:

The Three Musketeers (original title: Les Trois Mousquetaires), by Alexandre Dumas
384 pages, published September 2011 by HarperCollins (Illustrated Young Readers’ Edition retold by Clarissa Hutton and illustrated by Brett Helquist) (first published 1844)
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

GE PEL

Mind you—this will be a long review.

Young Pip was a poor orphan, to begin with. He lived in the marsh country with his old sister and her husband, Joe Gargery the blacksmith. One Christmas day, by the tombstone of his father and mother and brothers on the churchyard, he met an escaped convict from a prison-ship. This convict with a forceful threat ordered Pip to get him a file and wittles and some food. Pip was afraid to steal some food from his cruel old sister, but the more he was afraid of the threat of the rough fugitive, and so he granted his wishes. The convict was then captured by the soldiers. Then news came from Uncle Pumblechook that Miss Havisham of Satis House—she was described as an immensely rich and grim lady who lived in a large and dismal house and led a life of seclusion—wanted a boy to go and play at her house. Shortly, Pip was sent to Satis House.

A young, very beautiful girl not very far of age from Pip received him with a scornful air. Pip saw Miss Havisham for the first time in her dressing room, as the strangest lady Pip has ever seen or shall ever see. Miss Havisham looked like a rotten bride, in a withered bridal dress and a long veil like a shroud. She ordered Pip to play cards with Estella, the scornful beautiful girl, and they played. Pip then paid a regular visit to Satis House until at some point Miss Havisham bestowed him with a kindness; she funded Pip’s apprenticeship to Joe. At first it really was Pip’s dream, to be a good blacksmith like Joe, a person he admired with all his heart. But his meeting with Estella changed everything. Pip didn’t want to be a blacksmith anymore; he didn’t want Estella to think that he is common anymore.

"Play!" Pip and Estella play cards. Image source

“Play!” Pip and Estella play cards. Image source

When Pip was older, a lawyer named Mr. Jaggers came to Joe’s house to announce that Pip has a benefactor who wishes Pip to be “immediately removed from his present sphere of life and from this place, and be brought up as a gentleman, in a word, as a young fellow of great expectations.” Before Pip could start living a life of great expectations, there are two requirements he must agreed on. First, that he will always bear the name Pip, and the second, the identity of his benefactor would remain a secret, until the person him or herself chooses to reveal it. Pip must not ask or try to find out who his benefactor was. Pip was sure that his secret benefactor was Miss Havisham, and his bringing up to be a gentleman was intended to match him with Estella. This would lead us to the second stage of Pip’s great expectations, where he would live in London, being brought up to be a gentleman, befriend a cheerful young man Herbert Pocket and a clerk with dual sentiments, Mr. Wemmick, meet the ever more elegant and beautiful Estella on many occasions, and at length fell into debts.

On the second stage the story gets funnier and not as grimly told as in the first stage. Pip would also learn the history of Miss Havisham. He would desperately fall in love with Estella, and would meet a rival of pursuing Estella in form of a Bentley Drummle, an ill-tempered fellow. Pip’s perseverance in loving Estella amazed me; she doesn’t deserve it, frankly saying, as she was heartless, and she was set to wreak Miss Havisham’s revenge on men. Pip came to acknowledge what Estella really was, and still he loved her.

Was this the effect of some sort of spell Miss Havisham uttered to him? “Love her, love her, love her! If she favours you, love her. If she wounds you, love her. If she tears your heart to pieces—and as it gets older and stonger, it will tear deeper—love her, love her, love her!” I gathered a few quotes that could explain Pip’s love for Estella here, and I came to a conclusion that it was Pip’s decision to love Estella, no matter how cruel and heartless she was.

Moving onto the third and last stage of Pip’s great expectations, Pip would learn the true identity of his benefactor, and it was a dangerous truth. It is a stage when Pip’s great expectations turned into great disappointment, great struggle and great misery. There would come a time when Pip regretted meeting his convict and Miss Havisham, and there would be times when Pip makes mistakes. Through the full three stages we will see Pip’s growth, and how he copes with all things happened in his life.

***

From the very first time of my acquaintance to the story of Great Expectations, I have always thought it is some kind of a Cinderella story, with a rather unusual fairy godmother. I have watched and written a review of the 2011 BBC miniseries here (in Indonesian language). Well, this is the very first Dickens novel I have read in unabridged version and original language. Written as an autobiography of Pip, this work is a bildungsroman as well as a work of mystery, gothic fiction and social criticism in Victorian England. Dickens’s writing is amazing as usual, although I had a hard time understanding some dialogues of the characters, mostly parts of Joe and Magwitch. I think that you will need extra patience to read Dickens, as his works are mostly slowly narrated and could strike you to boredom if you cannot bear it. And still as usual, in Great Expectations Dickens made a wonderful story consists of colorful characters. From Pip we could learn perseverance, undying love, and the willingness to forgive, from Herbert optimism and cheerfulness, from Joe kindness and fatherly love, from Mr. Jaggers professionalism, from Miss Havisham the choice she made to avenge her ghastly fate. Can I say that human nature from its best to its worst can be found in Dickens’s works? If it’s true, then it will be my reason to love this book, along with its extraordinary story.

[A Little Thought About the Ending – Spoiler Alert!]

 

Not that I hate it, but it’s still hanging. I wouldn’t call it perfect like some Dickensians would. The re-marriage of Estella was mentioned, but with no further explanation. Has she been happy? Surely after eleven years, Estella has been through many things that could have shaped her into a more “humanly” figure. She said it herself on the final words of the novel (“I have been bent and broken, but—I hope—into a better shape.”) Could it be that there is an invisible happy ending for Pip and Estella? Call me mainstream for wanting happy endings, but I believe in second chances, and I believe even an Estella deserves a second chance. Or maybe it is my greatest desire to see a happy ending for Pip after all the trials and sufferings he has been through.

23rd review for The Classics Club Project | 3rd review for Books in English Reading Challenge 2013 | 1st review for Read Big! A Hefty Challenge for a Knight Reader

Book details:

Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
592 pages, published April 2012 by Penguin Classics, a Penguin English Library edition (first published 1860)
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

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Fahrenheit 451 – the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and burns…

In the time where Guy Montag lives, the job of a fireman is not to stop a building to be caught in fire, but to start the fire. It was Montag’s job, along with all firemen, to burn houses that kept books inside. Montag was a man who lived the official firemen slogan to the fullest: “Monday burn Millay, Wednesday burn Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn ‘em to ashes, then burn the ashes.” Well, Montag was a good fireman for ten years, until he met Clarisse McClellan, a weird seventeen-year-old girl whose family recently moved next door. An odd short rendezvous with Clarisse got Montag thinking, that a long time ago there was different time when books are not forbidden, people were not afraid and firemen had a different mission than what he does at present time. One simple question from Clarisse, “Are you happy?” led the reader to what kind of life Montag was having; empty, cold and dead. Love has withered. The human relationships have vanished. Nobody cares about each other anymore. “Family” was the television screens people installed in parlor walls of their houses. Human beings were merely empty heads and empty souls.

“Last night I thought about all the kerosene I’ve used in the past ten years. And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up. A man had to take a long time to put them down on paper. And I’d never even thought that thought before.” He got out of bed.

“It took some man a lifetime maybe to put some of his thoughts down, looking around at the world and life, and then I come along in two minutes and boom! It’s all over.” – p. 51-52

Out of desperation, Montag decided to do something completely mad: steal a book from a fire and then search for an old acquaintance: a retired professor named Faber. Together they made up an impossible plan to relive the vanished books. Needless to say that Montag’s little game with fire made him caught the fire. Captain Beatty the chief fireman has been sniffing the strange conduct of Montag and arranged to burn Montag’s house and to chase him down. Montag ran away to the river and came to a dark land in the wilderness. There he met a few people who kept the books like Plato’s Republic and Gulliver’s Travels and books by Charles Darwin and Einstein and Schopenhauer and Albert Schweitzer and many others, not in print and papers but in their heads. It was in their hands the answer to the question: Is there any future for books?

***

I had one question before I start reading this book. It was: what is this book trying to tell the reader? And then after I finished reading it, that one question exploded to many; I was puzzled and confused. One great mystery for me is who Captain Beatty really was. I mean, his mind was obviously well-fed with books, and he talked like he loved books, but yet he burned them. And then what become of Clarisse? Her character was so much like a light in the dark that I longed to see her again throughout the book, but she never showed up. And then the ending. I felt like I want to shout, “Is that it?” In short, I cannot fully understand this book, with its lack of background details and such a weird style of writing (at least for me). But this book got some very good lines that we should never forget.

Faber sniffed the book. “Do you know that books smell like nutmeg or some spice from a foreign land? I loved to smell them when I was a boy. Lord, there were a lot of lovely books once, before we let them go.” – p. 81

“Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.” – p. 82-83

“Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You’d find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion. The more pores, the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you can get on a sheet of paper, the more ‘literary’ you are. That’s my definition, anyway. Telling detail. Fresh detail. The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.” – p. 83

What to conclude from those passages? I can only take a personal conclusion. Someone said to me once, “Read good books.” Henry David Thoreau once said, “Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” Thanks, Mr. Bradbury, for reminding me about that.

Special thanks to Astrid for lending me this book. 😉

***

22nd review for The Classics Club Project | 3rd review for New Authors Reading Challenge 2013 | 2nd review for Books in English Reading Challenge 2013 | 3rd review for Back to the Classics 2013

Book details:

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
190 pages, published 2003 by Del Rey Books (Random House Publishing Group), first published on 1953
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

Our Town – Thornton Wilder

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Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? – every, every minute?

*

The play I chose for LRP event this month presents the events of everyday life in a way that underscores their value and their importance. We tend to hurry up with our lives: get this and that done, and suddenly day after day passes with little meaning or none at all. Hardly ever we take time to enjoy life as it is; to cherish every moment no matter how small that moment is, moments with those we love. Therefore the playwright Thornton Wilder wrote Our Town to remind us to be aware with the smallest events of our lives. He knew that those events, little and often ignored they are, sometimes have a meaning that surpass the “big” events. He knew that those are the things we would miss having.

The story of Our Town narrates the story of two families living in a small town, Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. There is Dr. Frank Gibbs, the town doctor, with his wife Julia and two children: George and Rebecca. Then there is the newspaper editor Mr. Charles Webb, with his wife Myrtle and two children: Wally and Emily. We will learn a lot about Grover’s Corners and how everyday life in the year 1901 was lead there in the first act. George and Emily were both sixteen in the first act. Emily, who was the brightest girl in her class, was helping George to do his math homework while Julia Gibbs talked to her husband about getting a vacation abroad. She was about to receive a considerable amount of money and she said, It seems to me that once in your life before you die you ought to see a country where they don’t talk in English and don’t even want to.” Sadly, she never got the vacation she wanted.

Here we move on to the second act. The time was July 7, 1904. The day was George and Emily’s wedding day. Yes, they got closer to each other; we saw a hint of it on the first act. We will see a little bit of flashback on the second act; when George was about to leave for college, Emily showed her worries about him and after a heart-to-heart conversation they confessed that they were in love with each other. Some wedding jitters, some nervousness, some reminiscence of Frank and Julia’s wedding day years before, and then George and Emily were married.

The third and last act is the critical part of the play. The time was 1913 and the scene was the burial of Emily, who died of childbirth. When the living was mourning, the dead took seats on a part of the stage: Julia Gibbs has been dead for some years now, along with a supporting character, Mr. Stimson who was a choir director of the town’s church and a drunk. The dead conversed about how little the living notice each other and the happiness they feel in the company of loved ones. Their eyes were open while the eyes of the living were shut. Living people are blind.

“That’s what it was to be alive. To move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those . . . of those about you. To spend and waste time as though you had a million years. To be always at the mercy of one self-centered passion, or another. Now you know – that’s the happy existence you wanted to go back to. Ignorance and blindness.” (Mr. Stimson, Act III, p.109)

“We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even the stars . . . everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings. All the grandest people ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you’d be surprised how people are always losing hold of it. There’s something way down deep that’s eternal about every human being.” (Stage Manager, Act III, p.87-88)

*

So that was it. Act I tells about Daily Life. Act II about Love and Marriage. And Act III about Death. All three happens to every living human being, except marriage. I was surprised when I finished reading this play. I mean, I  love The Bridge of San Luis Rey, which was a Pulitzer-winning novel from the author. So I shouldn’t be surprised if I happen to like this play, but again Mr. Wilder got me thinking and contemplating on my own life after reading his work. I’d like to say, “Mr. Wilder, you did it again!” I am really in love with the works of an author who won three Pulitzer Prizes in his life; for The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927, fiction), Our Town (1938, play/drama), and The Skin of Our Teeth (1942, play/drama). I’m so glad that this play is the very first book I read in 2013 and I will be reading The Skin of Our Teeth for LRP event next July.

Our Town was short, simple, familiar. But it moves me in a way that I know I should read this play over and over again. When life gets too hectic and I need to “stop” for a while. I don’t want to be blind; I want to see the beauty of things, the beauty of every moment. That way I can give thanks to the Lord every minute of every day.

3rd review for Let’s Read Plays event| 19th review for The Classics Club Project| 1st review for Books in English Reading Challenge 2013

#bacabareng BBI bulan Januari 2013 tema pemenang Pulitzer

Book details:

Our Town, by Thornton Wilder
103 pages e-book (first published 1938)
My rating : ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Books in English Reading Challenge 2012 – Wrap-Up!

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Happy New Year 2013, semuanya! Wish you more good things and good books in this year!

Tanggal 10 Februari 2012 yang lalu, saya memulai sebuah reading challenge bertajuk Books in English Reading Challenge 2012. Sebenarnya ini proyek pribadi sih, supaya dalam sebulan setidaknya ada satu buku berbahasa Inggris yang saya baca. Sasaran dibikinnya reading challenge ini sebenarnya buat mereka-mereka yang belum terbiasa membaca buku berbahasa Inggris, namun ingin mulai membiasakan diri. Terima kasih buat teman-teman yang sudah berpartisipasi dalam reading challenge ini. Awalnya saya mau bikin reading challenge yang sama untuk tahun 2013, tapi kalau dipikir-pikir lagi, tahun ini saya pasti akan membaca minimal satu buku berbahasa Inggris setiap bulan (thanks to LRP event!), jadi udah gak berasa self-challenge lagi deh. Kalau ada yang mau mengadopsi reading challenge ini, silakan. Mungkin bisa dibuat lebih detail dan ditambahkan variasi supaya nggak “STD” kayak yang saya buat, hehehe.

Dan, dibawah ini adalah daftar buku berbahasa Inggris yang sudah saya baca dan review selama bulan Februari (karena saya memulai reading challenge ini bulan Februari 2012) hingga Desember 2012. Kebanyakan masih buku-buku berbahasa Inggris yang tipis-tipis dan ringan, maklumlah saya kan newbie! 😛

Februari 2012: Bleak House (simplified version), by Charles Dickens

Maret 2012: The Tale of Desperaux, by Kate DiCamillo

April 2012: The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder

Mei 2012: The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows (bacaan bulan Mei yang baru direview bulan Juni)

Juni 2012: Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen

Juli 2012: Little Lord Fauntleroy, by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Agustus 2012: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon

September 2012: The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak (bacaan September yang baru direview di bulan Oktober)

Oktober 2012: Gitanjali (Song Offerings), by Rabindranath Tagore

November 2012: Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare

Desember 2012: Twelfth Night (Or What You Will), by William Shakespeare, dan A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

Kalau kamu sudah bikin wrap-up post untuk reading challenge ini atau sekadar ingin ngasih tahu perkembangan kamu dengan reading challenge ini, tinggalkan komentar di bawah ya! Saya juga pengen tahu gimana pengalaman kamu dalam membaca buku berbahasa Inggris sepanjang tahun 2012 yang lalu!

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens, and The Classics Club’s December meme

Christmas Books by Charles Dickens

[Review in Bahasa Indonesia and English (plus the answer to The Classics Club’s December meme question!)]

A Christmas Carol mungkin adalah cerita Natal yang paling diingat sepanjang masa, kecuali kisah tentang kelahiran Juruselamat itu sendiri. Ebenezer Scrooge adalah seorang pria tua yang hidup di London di era Victoria. Satu fakta mencengangkan mengenai Mr. Scrooge selain bahwa ia luar biasa kikir, adalah bahwa ia membenci Natal. Berikut adalah petikan percakapan Scrooge dengan sang keponakan Fred:

“A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!” cried a cheerful voice. It was the voice of Scrooge’s nephew, who came upon him so quickly as this was the first intimation he had of his approach.

“Bah!” said Scrooge. “Humbug!”

“Christmas a humbug, uncle!” said Scrooge’s nephew. “You don’t mean that, I am sure?”

“I do,” said Scrooge. “Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.”

“Come then,” returned the nephew gaily. “What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough.”

Malam itu, di Malam Natal, hantu Marley menampakkan diri kepada Scrooge. Marley adalah partner kerja Scrooge yang telah meninggal dunia. Hantu Marley memperingatkan bahwa Scrooge akan didatangi oleh tiga sosok hantu; Hantu Natal Masa Lalu (Ghost of Christmas Past), Hantu Natal Masa Kini (Ghost of Christmas Present), dan Hantu Natal Masa Depan (Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come). Setiap hantu akan membawa Scrooge dalam perjalanan menembus waktu dan tempat, di mana ia akan memperoleh pelajaran untuk mengubah dirinya, bagaimana ia bersikap terhadap orang lain, dan bagaimana ia menggunakan uang yang dimilikinya untuk membantu mereka yang miskin. Cerita yang pendek, mudah ditebak (kurang lebih karena kita sudah mendengarnya disampaikan dalam berbagai versi yang lebih mudah dicerna) dan ditulis dalam gaya cerita khas Dickens yang kadang memusingkan (saya membacanya dalam bahasa Inggris), namun A Christmas Carol tetaplah sebuah cerita yang tidak bisa didepak dari memori saya.

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”

Sekedar info, perkenalan pertama saya dengan A Christmas Carol adalah melalui sebuah buku anak-anak dengan tokoh-tokoh Disney yaitu Miki Tikus dan kawan-kawan. Gober Bebek sebagai Ebenezer Scrooge, Miki sebagai Bob Crachit, Donal tentu saja jadi Fred sang keponakan, dan Hantu Marley adalah Gufi #brbngakakdulu XD Sayangnya saya tidak bisa menemukan buku yang berjudul asli Disney’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol ini di rak buku keluarga. Sepertinya sih sudah diwariskan ke salah satu keponakan saya.

christmas_carol movie

Versi adaptasi A Christmas Carol yang paling terkenal adalah film animasi yang dirilis tahun 2009 besutan Robert Zemeckis. Tidak kurang dari tiga nama beken ada dalam daftar pengisi suara. Yang pertama tidak lain adalah Jim Carrey sang aktor serba bisa, yang dalam film ini mengisi suara Scrooge (termasuk Scrooge kecil, Scrooge muda dan Scrooge tua) dan ketiga hantu (walaupun hantu ketiga rasanya nggak ngomong apa-apa). Kemudian Gary Oldman yang menyuarakan karakter karyawan Scrooge yang miskin tapi punya keluarga besar, Bob Crachit. Tidak hanya itu, pemeran Sirius Black di seri Harry Potter ini juga mengisi suara Marley dan Tiny Tim. Yang terakhir adalah Colin Firth yang mengisi suara keponakan Scrooge, Fred. Menurut saya film ini adalah adaptasi yang bagus, apalagi dialog-dialognya banyak yang sama persis dengan di buku. Entah kenapa rating film ini di IMDb hanya 6.8…?

Saya sebenarnya membaca A Christmas Carol sebagai bagian dari The Christmas Books yang memuat tiga cerita pendek bertema Natal karya Charles Dickens. Dua cerita lainnya berjudul The Chimes dan The Cricket on the Hearth. Namun saya masih malas baca dua cerita yang lain, jadi setor review untuk A Christmas Carol saja dulu yah. Empat bintang buat kisah pertobatan Scrooge! 🙂


Review in English + The Classics Club’s December meme:

A Christmas Carol is, no doubt, the most remembered story about Christmas other than the nativity story itself. Set in Victorian England, the story tells us about the old miser Ebenezer Scrooge, a stingy man who hated Christmas. Then at Christmas Eve, his late work partner Marley came to him in a shape of a ghost to warn him of the coming of three ghosts of Christmas: Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present, and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. They would take Scrooge in a journey beyond time and space, a journey to self redemption.

I love the animated adaptation of A Christmas Carol (2009) directed by Robert Zemeckis, with Jim Carrey as Scrooge. I think that this adaptation is good because the dialogues hadn’t been changed much from the book. However, I don’t know why the rating for this movie on IMDb is only 6.8.

My first acquaintance with A Christmas Carol was with a children book called Disney’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol, in which Scrooge McDuck was Ebenezer Scrooge (of course), Mickey Mouse was Bob Crachit, and Goofy was the ghost of Marley (sorry, I have to laugh at this. Hahahaha.) The book was given to me as a child. Unfortunately, I can’t find the book on the family’s bookshelves now, probably it has been given to one of my nephews and nieces. And this, to answer The Classics Club’s December meme question, was my favorite memory about A Christmas Carol.

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A scene from Disney’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol

Now, after reading the original story, though it was written in sometimes confusing Victorian style, made my love for it even bigger. Four stars for a Christmas story that will always remain in my memory.

Book details:

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, first published 1843
Read as a part of The Christmas Books, 234 pages, published 2007 by Penguin Popular Classics
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

18th review for The Classics Club Project


This post is also a late entry for the event Dickens in December. (Button below)

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