Book Review: Return to the Classics
This book review was written by Marissa Mattson, marketing and event coordinator at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore and first appeared in the Steamboat Pilot.
This book is dense, but oh so worth the time it takes to read it. Spanning many years, this beautiful and evocative novel paints a fully elaborate portrait of 19th century France, and all of the social and economical struggles the country faced at that time. The plot follows many characters through the decades: Jean Valjean, an ex-convict determined to redeem himself, no matter the cost; Inspector Javert, who is fanatical about his pursuit to capture Valjean; Fantine, a single mother who will do anything for the sake of her child; Cosette, the young orphan adopted by Valjean who struggles to grow up in hiding; and so many more.
Each and every character will captivate your heart, and each one is more realistic and fleshed-out than the last. It covers a wide range of topics from justice, moral philosophy, and religion, to politics, war, and the many types of love. I will say again: This book is dense, and it is tough to get through. But for those that make it to the end of this story, you will not regret it, and you will never forget it.
This was the only novel written by poet and playwright Oscar Wilde. The tale of Dorian Gray is one of timeless beauty. Dorian makes a deal to sell his soul in exchange for eternal youth — and instead, it is a portrait of young Dorian that begins to age and show the physical consequences of a hedonistic lifestyle. But what will happen to Dorian when this deal inevitably comes to bite him in the end? This is a story of moral integrity and self-preservation, and it is one of my absolute favorites.
Whenever someone asks me for a book recommendation for an adult that doesn't really enjoy reading, I recommend “The Princess Bride.” It is the ultimate adult fairytale that people of all ages and all reading levels will love. And, the movie is an exact adaptation of the novel. This book is just as entertaining and classic as the film. It will have you laughing and crying along the entire journey.