Manga Review: MacBeth

Manga Classics by Crystal S. Chan
Manga Classics: Macbeth 
by Crystal S. Chan (Adapted by),William ShakespeareJulien Choy (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Despite its popularity, MacBeth has never been one of my favorite Shakespearean plays. Too bloody and gory and gloomy for my taste. But if you like a dismal adventure with plenty of violence and mayhem, MacBeth has plenty of that! And this manga adaptation rings true with the moods and poetry of the original play. I like that the exact dialogue of the play is used in this manga, and the artwork beautifully illustrates all the action and drama. Continue reading

Classics Review: Laughing Cavalier

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The Laughing Cavalier 
by Emmuska Orczy

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Diogenes is a carefree swordsman who lives by his wits, known as the Laughing Cavalier in 1600s Holland. He is hired to kidnap the lovely Gilda Beresteyn, because she has overheard a plot to kill the Prince of Orange, and the assassins, one of whom is her own brother, want her out of the city for a few days so she can’t divulge their evil plans. All goes according to plan, until Diogenes begins to fall in love with the beautiful Gilda, won over by her gentle ways.

I love the sword-fighting, political intrigue, betrayal, secret plans, adventure, and mystery. The plot is almost non-stop action, and every situation seems impossible for the heroes to survive, but somehow, amazingly, incredibly, they pull through. Every plot twist is a surprise! I love the agile writing style, because it keeps the reader interested through every page. Continue reading

Book Review: Little Dorrit

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
Little Dorrit
by Charles Dickens

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

 

Amy Dorrit was born in debtor’s prison, where her father has been incarcerated for so long that he is called the Father of the Marshalsea prison. Arthur Clenham has just returned to England after spending most of his adult life abroad. He investigates a family mystery, believing that his parents have somehow wronged the Dorrit family, but unsure how to make restitution. He befriends Amy, nicknaming her “Little Dorrit”, since she is the youngest of her family.

Typical of Dickens, there are numerous subplots, a complex tapestry of connections between characters, and various plot-lines that intersect and combine. I love the complexity and depth of his plots! There is a lot of wonderful family drama, blackmail, financial ruin and sudden financial gain, romance and despair, and of course, that inimitable Dickens’ charm.
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Book Review: The Battle of Life

The Battle of Life by Charles Dickens
The Battle of Life 
by Charles Dickens

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Grace and Marion are sisters, saying goodbye to their childhood friend, Alfred, who has just come of age after growing up as a ward to the girls’ father, Dr. Jeddler. Alfred promises to come back someday to marry Marion when he has finished medical school and made his fortune. The years pass, but their happy plans take a sorrowful turn, and it will take all their courage to survive the battle of life.
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Classic Review: Martin Chuzzlewit

Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
Martin Chuzzlewit 
by Charles Dickens

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Old Martin Chuzzlewit is disgusted with his greedy relatives who only want his money, so he disinherits everyone, including his grandson, Young Martin, who is named after him. Young Martin falls in love with an orphaned ward, Mary Graham, who acts as Old Martin’s nursemaid. But the two young people are torn apart when the family quarrel causes Young Martin to seek his fortune out in the world.

When he goes to work for a hypocritical architect, Mr. Pecksniff, Young Martin befriends poor Tom Pinch, a lowly clerk with a good and innocent heart. Because of his generosity and humility, Tom is always being taken advantage of and overlooked.

Mr. Pecksniff and his two daughters renew their relationship with their cousin, Jonas Chuzzlewit, a devious man who longs to inherit the family business and be rid of his doddering old father.

This book includes blackmail, murder, hidden identities, and fraud, as well as two sweet romances, hilarious characters, and a compelling redemption story. Continue reading