Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Dead Lake and Other Tales, Paul Heyse

Paul Heyse (1830-1914)Paul Heyse: Image via WikipediaThe Dead Lake and Other Tales is a series of novellas in a single book by Paul Heyse. This is the second of his works that I have read. The first being quite good, I was optimistic that there would be more like At the Ghost Hour: The House of the Unbelieving Thomas, which I found quite good and enjoyable.

The first tale is "A Fortnight at the Dead Lake." The first part of the novella is quite fine: a man who becomes a doctor does not come in time to save his beloved foster sister. What's worse, is that he contradicted the advice of another doctor, which had he not, she might not have died. He was slow in returning to the home to rectify his error and found the girl dead.

As a result, he feels tremendous guilt over the loss of his sister. After trying to treat another patient, he sees the ghost of his little sister. As a result, he believes that the ghost is telling him that he ought not to help others while he did not spare the required time to save his sister. He swears off doctoring, and goes on a melancholic wanderlust. He decides to end his life at the dead lake.

Paul Heyse fotografiert von Dezember 1878Image via WikipediaHowever, another young girl is sick, and there being no doctor available to help her and the reaction of those around her perhaps resulting in her death, so he steps in and saves her. The mother and girl, not to mention the doctor, fall in love with each other. The romantic part of the tale is greater than the horror part of it. I'm not sure I'd recommend reading this story.

As promising a title as "Doomed" was, it too was a romance. As was "Beatrice" and "Beginning, and End." If you like romantic books, then I certainly recommend this book. However, if you're looking for another little horror like in the first story I reviewed, you'll find it sadly lacking.  For my tastes, I don't recommend this book at all. If there's another good horror tale from this author, I would be happy to hear about it and read it. As such, he seems to be deeply involved with romantic stories. Even the one horror story tended to spend too much time with the romance. The romances tend to be rather prolonged with too much drama.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone

P Harry PotterImage via WikipediaOK, this is not a Magic Book book review. The Harry Potter books are not available electronically (at least not legally). However, this month I finally got around to reading it.

I am sure that there are a million Harry Potter reviews out there, so I am not going to ramble on much about my experience with it.

I can see the appeal to the book. It has a certain juvenile quality to it (in the best sense). It's about a boy who goes into a magical world and a magical school. It's easy for the reader to slip into the shoes of Harry Potter and enjoy his special adventure.

As a moderately well read person, I can say that there was not much new here. However, that's not necessary for children. Since they lack being well read, everything under the sun is new. That's a great place to start, I think. That said, the book moves along quickly and easily.
Tolkien in 1916, wearing his British Army unif...Image via Wikipedia
It is no where near the same level as Tolkien's LOTR series. But I can't help but think it's a nice way to get started in the genre that he created. The Lord of the Rings is a great epic, whereas JK Rowling's Potter series is more like a saga. I had only read Tolkien's books when I was around 19. I think it is a more mature read. Potter, on the other hand, would have been easily accessible to me around the age of 10.

I'm not sure if I will move on to the next book in the series. The library from which I got the first book does not seem to have the second book.

I also find myself remembering a crazy religious lady that happened to be the grandmother to my wife's friend's child. How quickly she put down the series for its use of magic as a major theme. She spat venom, and it really made me scratch my head at the fanaticism of some of the religious nut-jobs that exist in the world.

Enhanced by Zemanta