January 30, 2005

Archer, Hardy & Kafka

I’ve read a few books recently — Jeffery Archer’s A Quiver Full of Arrows, Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native and Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

Reading A Quiver full of Arrows was among the few times I’ve enjoyed short stories. A few stories are really good, especially the last one (Old Love). The only reason I don’t like Archer much is that he keeps writing about politics, so this book was a refreshing change. And I’ve realized that short stories are more fun when read while commuting.

Buying The Metamorphosis was a impulse decision — one that I’m regretting. A book over 150 pages, where the story barely goes on for the first 50 pages. The rest is just analysis of the story & literary essays (ugh). I knew it was a short story, but thought the whole book was the story. Should have read the book’s cover more thoroughly. And the worst thing is that the story’s not that good. I don’t get why it’s considered so important.

I really liked most parts of The Return of the Native. Hardy’s description of the location (Edgon Heath) is especially brilliant. I liked all the characters of the book, except the main character (Eustacia Vye). The book’s supposed to be about her, and at the initial stages it was really fun to read about her. But near mid-way, and especially near the end, I hated every time the action switched over to her. Enough of the melodrama already. The worst female lead I’ve read so far — and the book would have been great otherwise.

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