Thursday, 27 October 2011

Three Classics for the Price of One

Hello. Have you missed me?
Apologies for the fact that I have been off radar. Almost 2 weeks since my last post? Bad Girl. I’ve been majorly snowed under at work recently and my crafty Gantt Chart, whilst good at keeping me organised has also meant that my nose has been to the grindstone and there’s been no time for anything else. Plus there was a wee jaunt to Belfast thrown in for good measure.
Anyway I’m coming back with possibly the worst post ever because it’s going to be about books and we all know that you hate the book reviews but it’s ok, this is going to be quick and snappy and bright and breezy because I have three Classics to review and rather than do them all in separate posts and lose the few readers I have left I thought I would squizz you through them nice and quickly.
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Oh how my hopes were high. I mean this guy is up there with all those books that you feel everyone has read but you. Well I’m here to tell you not to feel bad about not having read it.
I think it’s a case of hype. The Classics I’ve most enjoyed on this jaunt have been the ones I’ve known little about, the big guns have done very little for me and this was no exception. I’m inclined to blame myself and just say that I’m not smart enough, I’m not getting the big major themes out of it, I’m not attuned into the symbolism. Maybe it’s just that I’m not American and living in the 1920s so it doesn’t feel like a big deal? I don’t know but it didn’t do much for me.
That said, it’s not a bad book at all, I would say to read it but try and drive all expectations out of your head. This book was in my Penguin Banned Books Collection because it was apparently banned in the US for obscenity. I must have missed it....
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – Winifred Watson
A while ago when I asked for you guys to recommend some Classics to me, a couple of people mentioned this book. When I went to Persephone Books on my recent trip to London I knew I had to pick up a copy.
This is immensely readable and lovable. All the characters are warm and everyone is wrapped up nicely with a bow at the end. It won’t change your life, it won’t tax your brain, but it will make you a slightly happier person by the end of it.
It is incredibly funny in some places and there is absolutely 100% no way you could not read this book and end up loving Miss Pettigrew by the end and cheering like a mad woman inside your head for everything to turn out ok for her.
And the best thing about this book? It’s set over one day so obviously isn’t going to take you much time to read at all. (Ooh just like One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – although a little more lighthearted.)
The Dud Avocado – Elaine Dundy
I feel there should be some kind of English essay I should be writing where I compare and contrast the heroine of this book, Sally Jay, with Miss Pettigrew. But I’d never make my brain work that hard. I had picked up a copy of this book a while ago because it’s been released by Virago in their Modern Classics range with a spiffy little cover. I couldn’t afford it at the time so imagine how pleased I was when I discovered this copy being given away at work. Bonus.
Sally Jay is an American living in Paris in the 1950s, she’s been sent there for 2 years by her Uncle on the proviso that she go out and find herself. She is exasperatingly naive at times, flighty and actually quite difficult to like. But she’s impossible not to love and as you follow her life through Paris in an almost non-existent plot that chops and changes as she floats from adventure to (mis)adventure you are left simply shaking your head at her antics.
See? That didn’t hurt too much did it.
Guess what?
The Dud Avocado would be the 12th Classic that I’ve read this year.
Oooh I can hear the tick of a pen against a list....


  1. I love books but sadly none of these would do anything for seen this senior from Norn Iron needs a little bit of romance to make it worth reading....good to have you back!!

  2. Oh dear, then everyone must hate my blog as that's largely what I do on it nowadays! I like your book reviews! I really like the Great Gatsby but it was a little strange!

  3. Toots!

    You're back.... I've been waiting for you with Reese's crumbs around my mouth.... Reading the book you sent me little by little... I do love Geraldine. I always immediately drop into her books... except March, I never finished that one.

    And for the squillionth time, READ YEAR OF WONDERS! xxx

  4. I totally agree with your opinions on The Great Gatsby. One of my friends goes on and on about it, saying it's his favourite book and he re-reads it over and over again, however I found it dull and uninteresting! Apparently F. Scott Fitzgerald has written better books so maybe I won't give up on him just yet and I will try another one...


  5. I like your book posts, it's great to hear someone else's view of the books I have read

  6. I need to read more...I need to stop watching so much US TV...but my housemates lives by it and it sucks me in...I could barely get a moment's peace tonight to blog what with tele and him chatting so I've escaped to my room now for a bit so I can catch up!

    I liked The Great Gatsby but yeah I agree - it was no biggie- it can't have been as I can barely remember it and I need to read it again! xxx


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