Posts By: Bonnie

Bonnie

Lover of tea. Crazed Bibliophile. Daydreamer.
I have a ridiculous love for the written word. I read anything and everything: Adult fiction, YA, Middle Grade, even the occasional Non-Fiction.

When I'm not reading I'm caring for my step-children, drinking obscene amounts of tea and contemplating what life will be like in the impending apocalypse.

Website Twitter Goodreads

Divider

Book Review – Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer

December 1, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie & Bob MayerAgnes and the Hitman by Bob Mayer, Jennifer Crusie
Published by St. Martin's Press on August 26, 2008
Pages: 430
Genres: Chick-Lit, Funny-ha-ha, Mystery, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

Take one food writer named Cranky Agnes, add a hitman named Shane, mix them together with a Southern mob wedding, a missing necklace, two annoyed flamingos, and a dog named Rhett and you've got a recipe for a sexy, hilarious novel about the disastrous side of true love…

Agnes Crandall's life goes awry when a dognapper invades her kitchen one night, seriously hampering her attempts to put on a wedding that she's staked her entire net worth on. Then a hero climbs through her bedroom window. His name is Shane, no last name, just Shane, and he has his own problems: he's got a big hit scheduled, a rival trying to take him out, and an ex-mobster uncle asking him to protect some little kid named Agnes. When he finds out that Agnes isn't so little, his uncle has forgotten to mention a missing five million bucks he might have lost in Agnes's house, and his last hit was a miss, Shane's life isn't looking so good, either. Then a bunch of lowlifes come looking for the money, a string of hit men show up for Agnes, and some wedding guests gather with intent to throw more than rice. Agnes and Shane have their hands full with greed, florists, treachery, flamingos, mayhem, mothers of the bride, and--most dangerous of all--each other. Agnes and the Hitman is the perfect combination of sugar and spice, sweet and salty--a novel of delicious proportions.

The Storyline
Agnes is not your normal chick-lit heroine. The fact that she’s known as ‘Cranky Agnes’ could give you an idea. The fact that she’s used a frying pan in more ways than just cooking (I’ll give you a hint, one guy now has a metal plate in his head) could also give you another idea. There’s also an incident with a meat fork but I won’t spoil the fun for you. Or maybe it’s the mental conversations she has with her therapist.

”Fuck you,” Agnes said, bent over the edge of the cake.
Angry language, Agnes.
Fuck you, too, Dr. Garvin.

I think it’s a combination of everything, actually.

Agnes leads a quiet, simple, life as a food writer engaged to a quiet, simple man named Taylor. Her quiet, simple life takes a sharp 180° the day that she’s held at gunpoint for her dog. Yes, she’s held at gunpoint because they’re trying to steal her dog. Her life is soon thrown into even more upheaval when a hitman, Shane, is sent to protect her. People keep coming after Agnes, trying to steal her dog, trying to kill her, but who’s sending them? What follows is a rollercoaster ride that’s entirely way too much fun.

“Somebody might be coming to the house who might be dangerous.”
“Really?” Agnes said. “Because that almost never happens here. With advance notice. Should I get my frying pan?”

Final Thoughts
Agnes is going down as one of my favorite book characters of all time, definitely. She’s a single girl, who loves to cook for her friends, she’s preparing to hold a wedding at her house, and she’s a food writer… I mean, at face value she’s just a normal girl. Agnes cannot be taken at face value and that’s what I loved most, the fact that I was completely surprised at how crazy and lovable she was all at the same time.

This book was downright hilarious, was extremely enjoyable, the characters were all amazing (I especially loved Shane), and… why exactly have I never read anything by this author before? Will definitely be correcting this, pronto.

Divider

Short and Sweet Review – Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

November 29, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Short and Sweet Review – Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCallUnder the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Published by Tu Books on September 15, 2011
Pages: 225
Genres: Contemporary, Verse
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

When Lupita sees Mami crying over a pesky mesquite growing in her rose garden, she knows something is wrong. Through the kitchen window, she overhears that Mami has cancer. After an operation, things seem to return to normal for Lupita and her family, and they go on with their lives, going back and forth between attending school, working, and living in the United States and visiting family and friends in Mexico. However, when Mami’s cancer returns, Papi doesn’t know whether he should accompany Mami during her long convalescence at an out of town cancer clinic or stay home to care for Lupita and her seven brothers and sisters. Suddenly, being a high school student, dealing with difficult friends, starring in the school play, even writing, become less important to Lupita than doing whatever it takes to save Mami’s life.

‘Under the Mesquite’ tells the story of Lupita and her Mexican American family. Lupita struggles with finding her own identity in a new place after her family moves from Mexico to the United States. To make matters worse she has discovered that her mother has cancer and will undergo surgery to hopefully give her more time on this Earth. Desperate to help in any way she can, Lupita takes care of her 7 younger siblings so that her father can take care of her mother. Unable to handle the stress of the situation, Lupita resorts to writing ‘seeking refuse in the healing power of words.’

I picked this book up after finding out that it’s written in free-verse; I’ve been a sucker for any type of book written in that format recently. Getting a few of these types of books under my belt, I’ve never felt that books have suffered from being written in that format. Unfortunately, this was the case here for me. This was an emotional story that could have been extremely heart-wrenching, but I didn’t feel this emotion come through sufficiently for me. It was an emotional-disconnect for me and it should have been the exact opposite.

Divider

Book Review – The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

November 27, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 2 Comments

Book Review – The Lover’s Dictionary by David LevithanThe Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
on January 21, 2011
Pages: 229
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Every Day, The Lover's Dictionary

five-stars

basis, n.

There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.

If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it—you’re done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face.

How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.

corrode, v.
‘I spent all this time building a relationship. Then one night I left the window open, and it started to rust.’

This was a delightfully unique story of a relationship’s major occurrences told by short entries in dictionary format. I gave major points for the originality of the entire concept of the story; I’ve never read anything like it before. The writing was beautiful and the story bittersweet and poignant.

dispel, v.
‘It was the way you said, “I have something to tell you.” I could feel the magic drain from the room.’

The story was told from the point of view of the male in the relationship who remains unnamed throughout the entire story. It was also an extremely quick story and could easily be read in a single sitting but I ended up reading it bits and pieces at a time. I went into this story thinking that this would be a traditional story that followed a standard timeline; however, it seemed that the dictionary entries flip flopped around in time and you don’t end up getting the ‘bigger picture’ until the end when you can sit back and contemplate the entries. This was troublesome for me at first and I had a hard time understanding it, but by the end I was completely sold; the author’s execution of the story was brilliant.

ineffable, adj.
‘These words will ultimately end up being the barest of reflections, devoid of the sensations words cannot convey. Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there, there will never be enough.’

Divider

Book Review – The Collector by John Fowles

November 23, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 9 Comments

Book Review – The Collector by John FowlesThe Collector by John Fowles
Published by Vintage on October 21st 1998 (first published 1963)
Pages: 305
Genres: Classics, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Mystery
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, the art student Miranda. When he wins the pools he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will grow to love him in time. Alone and desperate, Miranda must struggle to overcome her own prejudices and contempt if she is understand her captor, and so gain her freedom.

’I am one in a row of specimens. It’s when I try to flutter out of line that he hates me. I’m meant to be dead, pinned, always the same, always beautiful. He knows that part of my beauty is being alive, but it’s the dead me he wants. He wants me living-but-dead.’

The Collector is the story of Frederick Clegg, an extremely odd and lonely man who also collects butterflies. He’s obsessed with a middle-class art student named Miranda Grey and as he continues admiring her from a distance a plan slowly starts developing in his mind that he would like to have her; like one of his butterflies. He makes preparations by buying a house out in the country, purchasing assorted objects and things he knows she will need, convinced that if he can only capture her and keep her that she will slowly grow to love him.

The first part of the novel was told from Frederick’s point of view and it was rather alarming at his thought process. In his mind, there is nothing morally wrong with what he intends to do (and what he actually ends up doing). He recognizes that Miranda is a human being as he takes care of her and provides her everything a human would possibly need, but she’s inevitably nothing more than an object or a collectible item to him. He doesn’t mean to harm her at first; however, it’s evident that as time progresses, he enjoys having power over her and almost finds humor in her attempts to escape.

The second part of the novel was told from Miranda’s point of view through diary entries that she hides underneath her mattress. She writes about G.P. often, a man she met and who ended up having a huge impact on her thoughts and ideals. To Miranda, G.P. was everything she wanted to be and his opinions and thoughts became a set of ‘rules’ for her. At first I had a hard time determining the relevancy of these recollections, but it essentially just became another disturbing piece of the story to see how influential G.P. and his ‘rules’ really were to Miranda.

’He’s made me believe them; it’s the thought of him that makes me feel guilty when I break the rules.’

It was almost expected, however still just as shocking when it becomes glaringly obvious that Miranda slowly begins to take pity on her captor. She starts feeling bad for the harsh things she says to him and she also unconsciously prevents herself from doing him excessive harm during an escape attempt as she feels that if she does she’s descending to his level…It was as if she had simply accepted her situation, and that was the most heartbreaking part.

’And yes, he had more dignity than I did then and I felt small, mean. Always sneering at him, jabbing him, hating him and showing it. It was funny, we sat in silence facing each other and I had a feeling I’ve had once or twice before, of the most peculiar closeness to him—not love or attraction or sympathy in any way. But linked destiny. Like being shipwrecked on an island—a raft—together. In every way not wanting to be together. But together.’

The third and fourth parts of the novel were the most disturbing parts of the entire book. Suffice it to say, it gave me goosebumps. It was not the ending I had anticipated, but I still felt that the author was successful in creating the everlasting effect I believe he intended. Obviously, you understand the severity of Ferdinand’s actions; however, not until the end do you fully understand just how abnormal he really is. This was certainly not a happy book, but one that I’m glad to have read and one that I will likely not forget.

Divider

Book Review – Far From You by Lisa Schroeder

November 21, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Far From You by Lisa SchroederFar from You by Lisa Schroeder
Published by Simon Pulse on December 18, 2008
Pages: 384
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Verse
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-half-stars

Lost and alone...down the rabbit hole.

Years have passed since Alice lost her mother to cancer, but time hasn't quite healed the wound. Alice copes the best she can by writing her music, losing herself in her love for her boyfriend, and distancing herself from her father and his new wife.

But when a deadly snowstorm traps Alice with her stepmother and newborn half sister, she'll face issues she's been avoiding for too long. As Alice looks to the heavens for guidance, she discovers something wonderful.

Perhaps she's not so alone after all....

’Memories fall like snowflakes upon my dreams.’

The Storyline
Alice lost her mother years ago but it changed her deeply despite the fact that everyone else around her has moved on. Her father has remarried a woman named Victoria and they’ve just had their first child; Ivy. Not able to accept this new family of hers, she remains as distant as possible. The two constants in her life are her best friend Claire and her boyfriend Blaze.

On the way home from Victoria’s parent’s house, Alice, Ivy, and Victoria get stuck in a snow bank on the side of the road with very little to survive on. Despite the dreadful situation, it does allow Alice and Victoria to get to know one another and Alice finally begins to realize that there really is happiness still left in the world.

My Thoughts
Finding out that this was written in verse I immediately moved it up in my list. I’m new to discovering this writing style but it’s become an instant favorite of mine. I did enjoy the writing of Lisa Schroeder; it was chalk full of beautiful, vibrant lines.

The story itself was enjoyable despite its predictability, although I did not anticipate it being quite as religious as it ended up being. This was an extremely quick read that still manages to showcase each of the characters nicely and makes them thoroughly relatable. I definitely enjoyed it and will be adding Lisa Schroeder to my list of authors to look out for.

”…it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

Divider

Book Review – Crank (Crank, #1) by Ellen Hopkins

November 21, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Crank (Crank, #1) by Ellen HopkinsCrank by Ellen Hopkins
Series: Crank #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on June 15, 2010
Pages: 544
Genres: Realistic YA Fiction, Verse
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Triangles, Burned, Fallout

four-stars

This is a story about a monster. Not a dragon or a mythological beast, but a very real, very destructive monster--crystal meth--that takes hold of seventeen-year-old Kristina Snow and transforms her into her reckless alter-ego Bree. Based on her own daughter's addiction to crystal meth, Ellen Hopkins' novel-in-verse is a vivid, transfixing look into teenage drug use. Told in Kristina's voice, it provides a realistic portrayal of the tortured logic of an addict.

Crank, you see
isn’t any ordinary
monster. It’s like a
giant octopus,
weaving
its tentacles not
just around you,
but through you,
squeezing
not hard enough to
kill you, but enough
to keep you from
reeling
until you try to get
away.

The Storyline
Kristina is a high school junior who’s your typical normal kid who brings home good grades and has never done anything to disappoint her mom. Kristina though, isn’t always Kristina. Sometimes she becomes Bree, the girl she’s always wanted to be. The girl who tells it like it is, the confident one, the one who’s nothing like Kristina.

When Kristina goes to Albuquerque, New Mexico to visit her dad she meets the neighbor boy Adam and her life begins the slow roll downhill.

His voice dripped
Honey and cream,
Irresistible poison.

He was poison and he introduced her to another irresistible poison: the monster. Just trying it once and her life was forever changed.

My Thoughts
This is my third foray into the works of Ellen Hopkins and I have yet to be disappointed. These are hard books and I can see why people either love them or hate them. They wrestle the difficult subjects that normal authors refuse to touch in order to avoid controversy or dispute. I can understand this; however, that makes me love this author that much more because she does wrestle these tough subjects. She tackles them to the ground and does it with gusto.

All of Ellen Hopkins books tell a brutally honest tale and you’re not likely to get a happy ending either so don’t be surprised if you’re left beaten and bruised by her stories and not given your fairy tale ending. Her books just simply are take it or leave it. Personally, I can’t get enough of them; I find them incredibly hard to put down once I’ve started and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one.

Divider

Short Story Review – Countdown (Newsflesh 0.5) by Mira Grant

November 17, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 2 Comments

Short Story Review – Countdown (Newsflesh 0.5) by Mira GrantCountdown: A Newsflesh Novella by Mira Grant
Series: Newsflesh #0.5
Published by Orbit on August 1st 2011
Pages: 85
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Feed, Deadline, Parasite

five-stars

The year is 2014, the year everything changed. We cured cancer. We cured the common cold. We died.

This is the story of how we rose.

When will you rise?

Countdown is a novella set in the world of Feed.

 

’There is nothing so patient, in this world or any other, as a virus searching for a host.’

Countdown is a must-read for fans of the Newsflesh novels. Countdown takes you back before the virus was spread, before the zombies came alive, when the world was still as vivid and vibrant as it is today. This is a super short story and left me wanting much much more, but it was still an extremely informative piece of writing that I felt was essential to truly understanding the Newsflesh world. You don’t get to read anything about Shaun or George or even Buffy, but you do get a glimpse into the life of Amanda Amberlee, the creator of the cure Dr. Alexander Kellis, and of the group responsible for unleashing it onto the world, ‘The Mayday Army’.

Once again I’m astonished at the ability that Mira Grant has in world building. Even with a short story, she does a phenomenal job at pulling you right in. She makes you feel as if her world truly does exist and that you need to remember to grab your shotgun before leaving the house to protect yourself from the zombies waiting outside. This short story made me love the first two Newsflesh books even more and also made me just a tad bit crazier over my desire to read Blackout. (As if that was possible).

Mira Grant? You’re amazing.

’When will you Rise?
And the world gave itself an answer:
Now.
Welcome to the aftermath.’

Divider

Book Review – Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

November 12, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Tipping the Velvet by Sarah WatersTipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
Published by Riverhead on May 24, 1999
Pages: 472
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-half-stars

"Lavishly crammed with the songs, smells, and costumes of late Victorian England" (The Daily Telegraph), this delicious, steamy debut novel chronicles the adventures of Nan King, who begins life as an oyster girl in the provincial seaside town of Whitstable and whose fortunes are forever changed when she falls in love with a cross-dressing music-hall singer named Miss Kitty Butler.

When Kitty is called up to London for an engagement on "Grease Paint Avenue", Nan follows as her dresser and secret lover, and, soon after, dons trousers herself and joins the act.In time, Kitty breaks her heart, and Nan assumes the guise of butch roue to commence her own thrilling and varied sexual education - a sort of Moll Flanders in drag - finally finding friendship and true love in the most unexpected places.

Drawing comparison to the work of Jeanette Winterson, Sarah Waters's novel is a feast for the senses - an erotic, lushly detailed historical novel that bursts with life and dazzlingly casts the turn of the century in a different light.

Sarah Water’s debut novel set in 1890s London is a delightfully shocking tale of exploring the boundaries of gender roles in the Victorian era. It’s about finding out who you really are and being comfortable in your own skin and about overcoming heartache and finding love again.

’And was there at her side a slender, white-faced, unremarkable-looking girl, with the sleeves of her dress rolled up to her elbows, and a lock of lank and colourless hair forever falling into her eye, and her lips continually moving to the words of some street-singer’s or music-hall song?

That was me.’

Nancy is an oyster girl who works quite dutifully in her parent’s restaurant. It’s not until she goes with her sister Alice to Palace, an old-fashioned music hall, that her life is changed forever when she sets eyes on Kitty and sees her performance for the first time.

’Piercing the shadows of the naked stage was a single shaft of rosy limelight, and in the centre of this there was a girl: the most marvelous girl – I knew it at once! – that I had ever seen.’

When Nancy becomes intent on catching Kitty’s eye and having her notice her she begins going back to the Palace every night just to see her again and again. When Kitty throws a flower to Nancy in the crowd the two finally meet afterwards and a friendship is cultivated that slowly becomes much much more. Nancy becomes Kitty’s dresser and when she is offered a job in London Nancy decides she simply must go with her.

The story continues to develop and as time progresses the two become even closer and eventually become lovers as the two eventually team up together on stage.

’The act, I knew, was still all hers. When we sang, it was really she who sang, while I provided a light, easy second. When we danced, it was she who did the tricky steps: I only strolled or shuffled at her side. I was her foil, her echo; I was the shadow which, in all her brilliance, she cast across the stage. But, like a shadow, I lent her the edge, the depth, the crucial definition, that she lacked before.

What follows is simply the beginning of Nancy’s story and it’s quite a memorable one. I must admit there were parts that were quite shocking that I wasn’t expecting (like when I found out what Tipping the Velvet really meant… haha!), but that was the beauty of the story, the beauty of Nancy’s story. The writing was honest, the characters were vibrant, and I loved each and every page. Sarah Waters is an absolutely gorgeous writer. Her words will intrigue you, they will astound you, and you won’t be able to get them out of your head. I can’t wait to get my hands on more from her.

Divider

Book Review – The King Maker by Susan Frances

November 12, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The King Maker by Susan FrancesThe King Maker by Susan Frances
Published by Champagne Books on November 7, 2011
Pages: 222
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

When American pilot, Steve McKenna is murdered, he takes with him secrets about an international crime ring. Secrets that he only reveals to his friend, Cullen Danes.

An investigator for the British Aviation Ministry, Cullen is determined to find his friend’s killer, but his life is in danger when the crime ring’s operatives learn he knows secrets that can expose them. Cullen’s rescuer is a woman whom he meets at the International Aviation Convention, Nina Holt. She proves to save his life in more ways than one and together, they uncover a labyrinth of illicit activities that involves government officials, bank executives and global industrialists.

Nina and Cullen’s true test comes when he asks her to take a leap of faith. Torn between jumping into the unknown or remaining with her family, Nina has to decide whether to take the biggest risk of her life. That is if the King Maker does not have them killed.

Steve McKenna, an American pilot, is found with two bullets in his back at Faversham Airport in England. He and his family resided in Northampton, Massachusetts; however, his job as a staff pilot at Bloomfield Airport often brought him to England. Authorities are left with no leads as to his killer could possibly be except for some stolen credit cards that were found in McKenna’s locker at Faversham Airport.

Questioned by authorities, McKenna’s friend of 5 years, Cullen Danes refuses to accept that his friend could have ever been involved in any sort of criminal activity and decides to assist in any way he can in the investigation. After meeting Nina Holt at the International Aviation Convention, she ends up assisting him and being quite the life saver after he unavoidably becomes a target by the same individuals responsible for the death of his longtime friend. As the romance between these two grows, the danger and risk involved continues to grow as well.

This was quite a detailed and intricate storyline, The King Maker surprised me with how much I ended up enjoying it. You’ve got an international crime ring, a murder mystery, and a romance to boot. What more could you ask for?

I think the author did quite well in not making a storyline with multiple characters too hard to follow; each character was an integral part in the overall storyline and didn’t end up getting lost in the shuffle. The storyline ended leaving a continuation a possible option and I look forward to reading more from future Susan Frances books.

Divider

Short Story Review – The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

November 11, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 0 Comments

Short Story Review – The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan PoeThe Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
Published by Public Domain on September 1839
Pages: 28
Genres: Classics, Poetry
Format: eBook
Source: Freebie
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Raven, Tales of the Macabre

three-stars

Roderick Usher is ill, but not due to any normal causes. When the narrator of the story arrives at the House of Usher, he finds that all is not well in the old ancestral home. The house itself appears to be almost alive, and the illness of Madeline, Roderick's sister, is not all it seems.

The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe is a classic short story first in 1839, and was memorably adapted for film by Roger Corman in 1960.

This unique edition includes an original essay on the ‘Curious Quirks in the Early Life of Edgar Allan Poe’ by J. S. Williams.

The Fall of the House of Usher is in the opinion of many scholars Poe's most famous work of prose.This unsettling macabre work is viewed as a masterpiece of American Gothic literature. Indeed, as in many of his tales, Poe borrows much from the Gothic tradition. Still, as G. R. Thomson writes in his Introduction to Great Short Works of Edgar Allan Poe: "the tale has long been hailed as a masterpiece of Gothic horror; it is also a masterpiece of dramatic irony and structural symbolism."

The Fall of the House of Usher has also been criticized for being too formulaic. Poe was criticized for following his own patterns established in works like Morella and Ligeia using stock characters in stock scenes and situations. Repetitive themes like an unidentifiable disease, madness, and resurrection are also criticized. However, there is speculation that Poe used a real-life incident as the basis for his story: the entombment of two lovers at Usher House in Boston, whose bodies were discovered when the house was demolished in 1800.

Scholars speculate that Poe, who was an influence on Herman Melville, inspired the character of Ahab in Melville's novel Moby-Dick. John McAleer maintained that the idea for "objectifying Ahab's flawed character" came from the "evocative force" of Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher. In both Ahab and the house of Usher, the appearance of fundamental soundness is visibly flawed — by Ahab's livid scar, and by the fissure in the masonry of Usher.

And the award for the longest run-on sentence that still manages to somewhat make sense goes to… yes, you, Edgar. You, my friend, know how to use those punctuation’s to their fullest potential and then some. You even manage to use dashes like it’s nobody’s business.

And now for the winning sentence…
*deep breathe*

“It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression; and, acting upon this idea, I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of blank and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled luster by the dwelling, and gazed down — but with a shudder even more thrilling than before — upon the remodeled and inverted images of the gray sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows.”

*gasp*

Holy criminy.

Overall an odd story that requires much interpretation because at face value it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. Yet… I’m oddly intrigued at his writing style and will definitely be seeking out more of his work in the future.

Divider