So only today I have had to present a presentation on this book, which thankfully, went pretty well! So, I thought I would give you a little review on what I thought about it! This novel is included in the reading for the Gothic module I am taking so I already knew it would be of a gothic nature. I will be discussing plot details so if you want to skip the spoilers, just pan down to where I’ve put *SPOILERS END*
So What’s it About?
Perfume by Patrick Süskind was originally published in 1985 in German and thereafter has been translated into 25 languages and been made into a film. Perfume, or Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, follows the life of the protagonist Jean-Baptiste Grenouille who is left to die by his mother in the streets of impoverished France. subsequently, his cry gets him rescued as well as his mother executed for her crime, and thus begins his journey.
Like many mums out there I had a dream, my dream has always been to write books and see my name in print. I didn’t really go for it when I was younger, more because I was busy studying, partying with friends, reading, playing the Sims amongst other video games, learning to drive and living life. I was young, I didn’t think trying to aim for my dream goal back then was the thing to do, I wouldn’t have been seen as cool. Now I look back and wish I had started writing when I was younger because although I worked full time and was studying alongside it, I had energy… And lots of it. I could pull nearly all-nighters playing video games or chatting to friends and then vanish to work in the morning. If I had concentrated then using my time wisely instead of for fun I could have written more and given the chance again I would have studied English and Creative writing instead of Hairdressing like I opted for but back then to me being pretty and having friends was the main life goal.
Then I met my husband and had my children, the most perfect things to ever happen in my life and all I wanted for them was the best. Whilst on maternity leave my husband told me to try it, to write and see what happens, “What have you got to lose?” He would tell me and I began to write but I didn’t amount it to much due to low self-esteem but after leaving my job at the hairdressers when there was not enough work to go round for all the stylists (The lovely thing called the Recession) I took the plunge and Self-Published my first book Via Createspace with Amazon. Now I’m not going to say, “Hey I’m a best seller, I earn thousands”. Because that’s not true, I don’t. In fact at the moment I’m lucky to make back the money I spend buying my books to sell but whilst one day I would like it to be the thing that makes my family comfortable I am doing it to keep me sane, the characters just don’t shhh it sometimes. At the moment I am trying hard to build up my author platform, gain solid readership and promote my work like there is no tomorrow.
The main thing I have learned during my writing journey is… It takes time and patience really is a virtue…
This week for Book Review Wednesday I am focusing on a classic, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Oliver Twist is one of those books that will probably have cropped up in your life in one or another, it’s basically everywhere! And for good reason!
Who? What? Why?
So as you would imagine the novel centres around a young boy called Oliver Twist. Set in the 1830’s little Oliver grows up in an orphanage and a number of things happen leading him to run away to the big smoke, London. Here he gets in with a rather unsavory crowd whilst slowly the truth behind his parentage is revealed. Oliver Twist has so many elements to it, from class conflict to feminism, urban life versus country life and even religious and political connotations.
As well as its plot elements, its characters also have depth and complexity. Debatably the flimsiest character is probably our protagonist, Oliver. Fagin, Nancy, Sikes and Dodger all seem to have interesting attributes and real human elements we can sympathise with, or not as the case may be.
So for this weeks Book Review Wednesday’s I’m going to be talking about one of my all time favourite books! This book will suit you if you love romance, historical drama and hard hitting realism. It’s gritty, its fascinating and as well as highlighting the horrific experiences of soldiers on the western front, it also addresses the personal lives of those left behind.
Gritty, Fascinating and Hard Hitting
BirdSong by Sebastian Faulks was initially introduced to me through watching the 2012 BBC two-part adaptation featuring the amazing Eddie Redmayne. I loved, and still do, all things WW1 so decided to watch it. It really struck a cord with me. I fell in love with the story and went straight out and bought the book to read!
I soon learnt, after reading the book, that the adaptation leaves out the last section of the book, so make sure you read the book first! This book strike’s a cord with me for its psychological exploration of the human mind at war and in love. The novel deals with a very real event, a horrific one, and what happens when relationships are embroiled up in this. However, this is no normal war love affair, its deep and complicated and real. Happy endings do not always happen in real life.
This is my first book review on this site and the lucky book is Evelyn Waugh’s 1930’s novel A Handful of Dust.
Like many of the books I read at the moment, this one was on my reading list for uni which is not always good for the book, as it means sometimes I have to rush it and thus not thoroughly enjoy it. However, I really enjoyed THIS book!
It tells the tale of an affair between a married woman and a social parasitic mummy’s boy that doesn’t end well for either party. Although if you stand back from this novel it does seem all doom and gloom, it is a level of disillusionment that is laughable at times.
A Handful of Dust is nicely compact novel which is easy to get through and not overly taxing on the brain. It’s an interesting take on genteel, middle class society, post war, complete with their money and very little else! If you like satirical novels, you’ll certain like A Handful of Dust, it mixes tragedy and comedy excellently and the ending is successfully satisfying.
If you are interested in reading A Handful of Dust you can find it on Amazon here
If you’ve read A Handful of Dust, leave a comment and tell me what you liked/loved/hated about it!
Peace & Love