Austen, Greene & Isherwood

January 15, 2016 § Leave a comment

theorientexpressI can see why Greene considered this as one of his less serious works; one of his “entertainment” novels. It’s an enjoyable read but his attempts to add depth to the story and characters felt a little strained. Not quite as rewarding a read as The Power & the Glory.

What Stamboul Train does have going for it is a diverse range of characters thrown into close quarters on board a train journey from Ostend to Istanbul; setting the stage for intrigue, suspense, romance, betrayal, and a glimpse into the prevailing attitides of the 30’s.

Stamboul Train by Graham Greene

It’s quite seldom that a book/author leaves me perplexed and feeling ambivalent. I can appreciate the issues that Austen raises: that we should choose wisely when it comes to a spouse; they should complement us but at the P&Psame time encourage us to develop and mature. The issue of money is constantly raised in Austen’s books, and so is marriage, for the simple reason that it matters. Austen doesn’t advocate a life of opulence and luxury, but of us having the means to live a comfortable and modest life.

Austen’s writing clearly harkens to a time when words and sentences were meant to be savoured rather than gulped down. My tendency is towards short, tightly constructed sentences not long winded, rambling ones. And it is this that I find so galling about Austen’s works.

 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

a single man

A wonderful novel that is somewhat reminiscent of “One Day…” by Solzhenitsyn, albeit minus the utter despair of the gulags. A Single Man is a poignant story that delves into the life of George Falconer, a middle aged professor trying to come to terms with his lover’s death. Moving, insightful and humourous, Isherwood’s novel concludes with Falconer coming to grips with his predicament and accepting that all there remains for him to do is to continue living. A look into the everyday aspect of struggling against a universal grief: the loss of a loved one.

A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood


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