Tag: Books: Translated Texts

Review: First Love

Posted 8 February, 2012 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

First Love
By: Ivan Turgenev

Love can be torture

At the end of a dinner party, the remaining guests smoke cigars and tell stories of their first love. For one of them, it will be a dark journey into his past, reawakening unbearable memories of his obsession with the beautiful Zinaida, and the cruelty and betrayal that followed…

Continuing the theme of love and my mood for some Russian literature, I picked up Ivan Turgenev’s First Love. This is the second work that I’ve picked up by this author, the first being his classic Fathers and Sons which I read for my undergraduate course in 19c Russian History. He’s interesting because he’s a rather accessible Russian author in the nineteenth century context, and he really draws the reader to his stories. Contains some spoilers ahead!

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Review: A Russian Affair

Posted 7 February, 2012 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

A Russian Affair
By: Anton Chekhov

Love can be impossible

When Gurov sees the lady with the little dog on a windswept promenade, he knows he must have her. But she is different from his other flings – he cannot forget her. Chekhov’s stories are of lost love, love at the wrong time and love that can never be.

I recently got around to reading a few of Chekhov’s stories, which were rather enjoyable. Unlike Dostoevsky, who is a genius in expressing core issues in Russian society and creating these complex psychological chaacters, Chekhov is more approachable while still tackling these larger issues (both exterior and interior). This book came to my attention sometime last year after hearing that Penguin released their ‘Great Loves’ series; however, I had put it off for a long time, then afterwards found that I couldn’t purchase it readily in the bookstore. Well, I finally got a hold of a copy, which is great (and in time for that day that shall not be named) =)

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Review: The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun

Posted 1 January, 2012 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Happy New Year again to you all! Well, I’m starting the new year with not one, but two book reviews, having finished two books I had been reading for the past few days xD

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun
By: J.R.R. Tolkien

Many years ago, J.R.R. Tolkien composed his own version of the great legend of Northern antiquity, recounted here in The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún.

In the Lay of the Völsungs is told the ancestry of the great hero Sigurd, the slayer of Fáfnir, most celebrated of dragons; of his awakening of the Valkyrie Brynhild, who slept surrounded by a wall of fire, and of their betrothal; and of his coming to the court of the great princes who were named the Niflungs (or Nibelungs), with whom he entered into blood-brotherhood.

In scenes of dramatic intensity, of confusion of identity, thwarted passion, jealousy, and bitter strife, the tragedy of Sigurd and Brynhild, of Gunnar the Niflung and Gudrún his sister, mounts to its end in the murder of Sigurd, the suicide of Brynhild, and the despair of Gudrún.

The Lay of Gudrún recounts her fate after the death of Sigurd, her marriage against her will to the mighty Atli, ruler of the Huns (the Attila of history), his murder of her brothers, and her hideous revenge.

This is actually the first of a number of books that I will be re-reading from my bookshelf over the course of the year. I mentioned this on GoodReads but Ias in the mood to read something epic so I decided to re-read this book. I also figured that watching ‘Thor’ last week was probably the reason behind my mood for something Scandinavian xD

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Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Posted 25 December, 2011 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
By: Stieg Larsson

Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge—against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.

I got around to reading (at least the first book) the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson last year (you can read my review of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in this post). I didn’t get around to writing a review of the second book but I recently got around to reading the final installment (after realising that they’re never going to be releasing the final volume in the mass bound paperback format). Some spoilers ahead!

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Review: Inquisition

Posted 15 December, 2011 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

By: Alfredo Colitto

Mondino is a university anatomist – a man of science in a land governed by the Catholic Inquisition. But the corpse brought to Mondino’s laboratory one stormy night defies natural law: The victim is a Templar knight, and his heart has been transformed into a block of iron. Is it alchemy? Or the diabolical work of an ingenious killer? Aided by his headstrong student Gerardo – a young man concealing a deadly secret identity – Mondino must outwit both ruthless Inquisitors and vengeful Templars if he’s to stop a murderer who threatens to shake the very foundations of Christendom. Audacious, gripping, and lushly atmospheric, set against the dramatic backdrop of one of history’s most dangerous eras.

I decided to check this book out because I kept on seeing the newly-translated and published copy of the book in the bookstores lately. My copy was actually for my eReader, which was good (read: afforable!) though I admit that the transfer over from book to electronic was not the best; there were symbols missing indicating that I was now following a different character and small issues like those. Of course, that’s just a side issue; my thoughts of the novel is different altogether ^_~ Some spoilers ahead!

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