Howard McEwen

Novelist — Beekeeper — Cocktails — Book Reviews

Howard McEwen header image 4

Entries Tagged as 'Book Review'

Done with Dickens

November 24th, 2017 · No Comments

I’m feeling a bit done with Dickens so I’m calling my 2017 reading project complete. I was feeling like I was coming up short then I did a bit word count math. Great Expectations, 186,339 words The Old Curiosity Shop 327,727 words David Cooperfield 357,489 words Oliver Twist 158,631 words Tale of Two Cities 137,000 […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Book Review

My thoughts: Great Expectations

November 16th, 2017 · No Comments

The beginning of the passage on Dickens in Clifton Fadiman’s “A Lifetime Reading Plan” begins by just reciting Dicken’s characters. The names bring to mind images and scearios and plots unlike any other authors. Likewise, I don’t think I’ll ever forget Pip or Uncle Joe or Estella or the convict or – mostly – Miss […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Book Review

Reading The Old Curiosity Shop

August 31st, 2017 · No Comments

Like most of Dickens that I’ve read this year, the characters are now as real as people in my past to me. The guy could write. And naming a character Dick Swivveler is awesome. But I grew angry at the book. The central villain is supposed to be Quilp. And he’s awful and wonderful to […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Book Review

Thoughts on David Cooperfield

July 28th, 2017 · No Comments

I enjoyed almost all of the 357,000 or so words of David Cooperfield. Overly long? Possibly. In places. Possibly it’s just immersive. I was sad when I finished it and regretted never having read it before. I wondered if maybe I wasn’t mature enough to read it. Or patient enough. Usually, I stick with short, […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Book Review

Thoughts on Oliver Twist

March 28th, 2017 · No Comments

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film adaptation of Oliver Twist. So I assumed it was about a poor orphan making good int he work. But I was wrong. What Oliver Twist, the novel, is is a crime novel. Oliver Twist, the character, just serves as the McGuffin for the story of the London […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Book Review

Thoughts on A Tale of Two Cities

February 15th, 2017 · No Comments

So I have been fearful of Dickens. At some point I tried him and became intimidated. Then a couple Christmases again I read the Carol and this year decided that if I could do Tolkien and Austen, I could do Dickens. Am was pleasantly surprised. I started A Tale in December thinking I’d just wet […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Book Review

Thoughts on Northanger Abbey

December 30th, 2016 · No Comments

By the time I started Northanger Abbey, I was done with Austen. Having read five novels in 2016, her insular, unimaginative world was reaching claustophobic proportions for me. That’s why I was surprised that Northanger Abbey became one of my favorite novels. Supposedly written before the others maybe it was youthful energy that drive me […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Book Review

Thoughts on Jane Austen’s Persuasion

November 18th, 2016 · No Comments

I’m having a heck of a time giving a good gosh darn about any of her characters. Austen wrote about what she knew, I guess. But what she knew is just so boring. Didn’t she desire to know more? Like her servant’s names? She also seems to lack anything close to empathy for anyone other […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Book Review

Thoughts on Emma

October 6th, 2016 · No Comments

At least I finished Emma. There were times when I had doubts if I would. As the novel crossed the 100,000 word mark and I still had 50,000 to go, I really had to buckle down. Emma is a busybody who disrupts people’s lives but rarely her own. After those 150,000 words, the 20-year old […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Book Review

Thoughts on Pride and Prejudice

April 12th, 2016 · No Comments

I’ll admit to having trouble with this one. While S&S seems to be about two likable people overcoming their nature to find love. Their nature being common traits of youth or…just common. P&P’s main characters don’t seem all that likable. It’s the story of a pain in the neck chick and a emotionally detached (is […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Book Review