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Book reviews for "Bloom,_Harold" sorted by average review score:

D H Lawrence's Sons and Lovers (Modern Critical Interpretations)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (February, 1988)
Authors: D. H. Lawrence, Harold Bloom, and William Golding
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a good book
A young man must break away from his mother and her life before he can discover a life of his own.

Like S. Maughm, Lawrence presents a class emerging
I skipped over Lawrence for years. I had heard the tawdry tales of his work and felt a bodice ripper is a bodice ripper no matter what century you put it in. But I was wrong! He is a marvel. As soon as I finished Sons and Lover's I went out and got The Rainbow. S & L, reads very quickly, much like Maughm's On Human Bondage. They are both of the same period and are both loosly based on the perspective authors lives. Tantilizing, they allow us a glimpse into the emerging industrial era. The middle classes and lower middle classes are emerging into the plutocracy but slowly. All around them are the dredges of a past system. The coming of age of Lawrence as he throws off his childhood and his need to throw off his mother is engrossing, since you know it is based on real life and not a campy Sally Jessy Rapahel show. He struggles as we all struggle to make the right choices. What Lawrence does is let us in on the stuff that most novels don't let the reader know. The truth the character gives to the reader is unheard of today. Read this book and follow him from childhood of a mama's boy in a coal town in Norther England that love's, and love's, and looses only to truly love .

Mark Strand (Bloom's Major Poets)
Published in Hardcover by Chelsea House Publishing (January, 2003)
Authors: Harold Bloom and Ping Linghu
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Short but worthwhile
Although Dr. Bloom focuses the entire collection of criticism on two Strand collections, the insight provided therein is stellar. Bloom cuts through the chaff of criticism to get to the morsels of wisdom in all but Nicosia's ending piece--a good choice, for that final essay is excellent as the final word on Dark Harbor.

Long-overdue attention to Strand
This collection of criticism on one of America's three finest living poets is long overdue. While I don't believe all of the criticism contained herein hits the mark in all cases, Jim Nicosia's final piece on Strand's magnificent long-poem Dark Harbor is a gem itself, and is alone worthy of the cost of this book. It is thoughtful and insightful and, as is Strand's poetry, serious yet joyous at the same time. Bravo.

Amy Tan's the Joy Luck Club (Modern Critical Interpretations)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (February, 2002)
Authors: Harold Bloom and Amy Tan
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The Game Of Friendship
The four winds may change direction, and histories may shift at any given moment, but Amy Tan's, 'The Joy Luck Club' remains a captivating tale about four mothers and their four daughters.
The Chinese game Mah-jong works to join the mother's together as they form the club and share the secrets and tragedies of their lives as well as their hopes and dreams for their daughters. The women in this novel struggle to bestow their daughters with the virtues of Chinese traditions and at points seem to go too far-pitting their daughters against each other and sadly living their lives through them.
Tan writes both honestly and sensitively examining the generation gap between mothers and their daughters as well as the struggles migrants face when joining other countries. 'The Joy Luck Club' belongs to a genre which can only be described as realistic with characters which are both three dimensional and relatable.
The story is written through defined chapters-each dedicated to either a mother or a daughter; as they weave their histories and spin their stories.
The novel, through this chapter fragmentation allows each character to develop, with an emphasis on the main narrative- the death of one of the members of the club. The death of Suyuan Woo results in the incorporation of her daughter Jung Mei 'June' Woo into the group. June realises her mother- who died suddenly of a cerebral aneurysm - had unfinished business which leads June to face one of the biggest tragedies in her mother's life. 'The Joy Luck Club' is an inspiring novel which is moving both moving and courageous-a definite pleasure to read.

The Game of Friendship
The four winds may change direction, and histories may shift at any given moment, but Amy Tan's, 'The Joy Luck Club' remains a captivating tale about four mothers and their four daughters.
The Chinese game Mah-jong works to join the mother's together as they form the club and share the secrets and tragedies of their lives as well as their hopes and dreams for their daughters. The women in this novel struggle to bestow their daughters with the virtues of Chinese traditions and at points seem to go too far-pitting their daughters against each other and sadly living their lives through them.
Tan writes both honestly and sensitively examining the generation gap between mothers and their daughters as well as the struggles migrants face when joining other countries. 'The Joy Luck Club' belongs to a genre which can only be described as realistic with characters which are both three dimensional and relatable.
The story is written through defined chapters-each dedicated to either a mother or a daughter; as they weave their histories and spin their stories.
The novel, through this chapter fragmentation, allows each character to develop, with an emphasis on the main narrative- the death of one of the members of the club. The death of Suyuan Woo results in the incorporation of her daughter Jung Mei 'June' Woo into the group. June realises her mother- who died suddenly of a cerebral aneurysm - had unfinished business which leads June to face one of the biggest tragedies in her mother's life. 'The Joy Luck Club' is an inspiring novel which is both moving and courageous-a definite pleasure to read.

The Joy Luck Club
This novel by Amy Tan wonderfully combines a mother-daughter struggle to understand each other's worlds with the conflict that comes in an American-born child trying to understand her Chinese-born mother. The novel effectively combines the Chinese culture and the American state of mind in a series of short stories on the lives of 4 mothers and 4 daughters. The Chinese proverbs and morals are strong throughout the book. Tan also manages to put little characteristics of herself and her mother in each of the mother-daughter pairs. The mixture of stories, such as a child's mother committing suicide, a 12-year-old girl's arranged marriage, a woman losing everything and still going strong, and a young child getting a wish granted by the Moon Lady, is sure to leave any reader wanting to know more of the Chinese culture. The main difficulty in this book is remembering which of the 8 characters is the main character in each story. The struggle between one mother and daughter is repeatedly compared to a game of chess that the mother always seems to be winning. This book can get tedious towards the middle, because each of the daughters' struggles with their mothers are very similar and appear to be repeating, but the mothers' stories of their lives in China break up the monotony at the end of the book. Anyone interested in a taste of a different culture, or anyone liking a mixture of short stories is sure to like this book.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's the Great Gatsby (Contemporary Literary Views)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (November, 1995)
Authors: Harold Bloom and F. Scott Fitzgerald
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like a fine wine, it gets even better with age
I'm troubled that many young people in these reviews don't seem to appreciate this novel. Even when "forced" to read it in high school, I loved it. I've read it for probably the tenth time recently and I can say that every single time it's better than I remembered it. I was prompted by the character is Haruki Murakami's book Norwegian Wood who carries it with him and reads it to cheer him up. This narrator calls it the most perfect book ever written and says that you cannot find a page that's not perfect. I have to agree -- it's not just the plot, it's the beautiful writing and incredible characters and scenes that stay with you years later. Even after years, who can forget the scene when Gatsby shows Nick all his custom made shirts, or Nick describes his first vision of Daisy by comparing her posture to someone balancing something on his/her chin, or any of Gatsby's parties, or the broken nose -- you get the idea. For some reason, rereading this book reminds me of picking up a relationshp with an old friend. It's so very comforting to read the best prose you can find in English and find that certain passages are almost committed to memory. Don't miss out on this one. If you didn't like it in high school, try it again when your reading tastes mature.

A complex drama filled with passion and tragedy...
This 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, set in the year 1922, is a literary classic and I can well understand why. A mere 205 pages, it's a book that has everything - story, theme, symbolism, moral drama and great characters. No wonder it's stood the test of time.

The early 1920s was a very special time in American history. The Great War was over, and it was a time of celebration. Prohibition was the law of the land and bootleggers and gamblers were making fortunes as everybody partied with illegal booze and speculated in the stock market. In retrospect, we readers know that it all came to a crashing end later, but that was after the book was published and so the book captures the era in its own time.

The narrator is Nick Carraway, a young man who, like Fitzgerald himself, was raised in the mid-west and is working in the stock market in New York City. His own financial circumstances are modest but he rents a house in Long Island next door to the flamboyant and wealthy Jay Gatsby, who throws lavish parties and whose background is shrouded in mystery. As a New Yorker myself I must say I cringed at his geography, but the rest of the book transcends these minor physical details.

Slowly, we learn of Jay Gatsby's obsessive love for the wealthy Daisy, now married to the snobbish Tom Buchanan who is having an affair with a garage owner's wife. Nick is a friend of this cast of characters, participating in their lives but yet standing back and observing. He's a man of his times as well as a person who understands human character and foibles. How the story plays out is a complex drama filled with passion and tragedy and including elements worthy of Shakespeare or classic Greek theater. This is more than just a good story. It's an emotional ride in expensive cars to an era filled with people we can all identify with.

I give this book by highest recommendation. It rises above a mere good read and dwells in the realm of great literature.

Read It Again For The First Time
I haven't read Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' in almost two years. I picked it up again, to-day, though, and realized the truth of the notion that one learns something new each time one returns to a book. 'The Great Gatsby' just is a novel that must be returned to periodically to appreciate it properly.

While the characters in the novel remain ultimately unknowable at their indefinite cores, Fitzgerald does a great job tying his characters to their historical setting. The protagonist of the novel, to my mind, is Nick Carraway, the narrator. The hero of his story, which frames the novel, is the legendary Jay Gatsby - a legend in his own mind. Although Carraway's narration is often heavily biased and unreliable, what emerges are the stories of a set of aimless individuals, thrown together in the summer of 1922. Daisy Buchanan is the pin that holds the novel together - by various means, she ties Nick to Jordan Baker, Tom Buchanan to Jay Gatsby, and Gatsby to the Wilsons.

The novel itself deals with the shallow hypocrisies of fashionable New York society life in the early 1920's. It is almost as though Fitzgerald took the plot of Edith Wharton's 'The Age of Innocence' and updated it - in the process making the characters infinitely more detestable and depriving it of all hope. Extramarital affairs rage on with only the thinnest of veils to disguise them, the nouveau-riche rise on the back of scandal and corruption, and interpersonal relationships rarely signify anything permanent that doesn't reek of conspiracy. The novel's casual allusions to beginnings and histories often cause us to reflect on the novel's historical moment - when the American Dream and Benjamin Franklin's vision of the self-made man seem to coalesce in Jay Gatsby, a Franklinian who read too much Nietzsche.

No matter how you read it, 'The Great Gatsby' is worth re-reading. M.J. Bruccoli's short, but informative preface, and C. Scribner III's afterword are included in this edition, and both set excellent contexts, literary, personal, and historical, for this classic of American literature.

J. D. Salinger's the Catcher in the Rye (Modern Critical Interpretations)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (December, 1999)
Authors: Harold Bloom and J. D. Salinger
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A J.D. Salinger Masterpiece
Although Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, is a popular classic literature novel, it is still enjoyed today by people of all ages. Holden Caulfield demonstrates perfect adolescent behavior through his angry tones, bitter actions, and negative attitudes.
The story begins when Holden is 'given the axe' at his prep school in New York, which leads him to a few days of freedom out on the streets in NYC. Personally, the idea is genius. A sixteen-year old boy struggling with adulthood and responsibilities needs nothing more that time alone to clear his head. This is where J.D. Salinger throws much adventure and excitement into his novel. I wouldn't exactly call it suspense, but I always had to keep reading on into the next chapter because I just had to know what Holden would do next.
Possibly another reason I think so highly of Salinger's novel is because I closely relate myself to Holden. I am a sixteen-year-old kid who is facing adolescence, and I share some of the same characteristics as Holden. When I decided to read a classic, I thought it would bore me to death, but I realized that fifty years ago teens talked and acted much like they do today.
Through Salinger's brilliant ideas, relating characterization, and humor, I was drawn into the fact that Catcher in the Rye is one of the best novels I have read. Even though it was written fifty years ago and is considered a classic, I don't think its popularity will ever fade.

A great book which details the struggles of young men!
Although I have read this book 3 times in earlier years, I found it full of new surprises this time around as I read it for a class. I can identify greatly with the main character, Holden Caulfield, as he roams through the streets of New York, looking for anything to give him some self confidence in his life. You can't help but feel sorry for him as he puts on facades of swearing and acting tough to compensate for yearning and loneliness. He is expelled from his school, and decides to leave several days early and spend some time in New York city before he faces the music of explaining his recent mishaps to his parents. Holden encounters all sorts of situations in the few days before he finally goes home, all of which are detailed in this book. J.D. Salinger writes a wonderful representation of what a teenage boy feels inside many times throughout his life, searching for acceptance, and self realization all in one step. The symbolizm which gives the book its title is masterful and is one of the more analyzed aspects of this American classic novel. I would rate this novel very high on a list for young adults, but would advise against for those under the age of 16 because of the profanity. Pick it up if you havent already and I promise that you wont be able to put it down.

One Helluva Great read
Listen - this book has probably gotten more mixed reviews, more shares of both 1's and 10's, than any other novel out there. It's not the messiah of the literary world, but it's not vulgar trash either, so let's put a stop to those theories right now. It's a book that, for some people people (myself included) struck a chord and parallels real life so completely that you feel for Holden as you would for your closest friend. Having reread this book just after finishing my first year at college, and my first year in the dorm life, it holds new meaning and truths that I skipped over (I think) the first few times I read it. It is a treasure trove of wit and truth for people our age, if you're a little cynical with the world, or maybe just think that books can do a bit more than just depict the world in a picture perfect image with no four-letter words, then this book might just click with you. This isn't everyone's book, though - if the language turned you off (as I know it did so many people) then don't toss off Salinger all together: try Franny & Zooey, almost as great a read, with slightly more refined characters and lifestyles. Either way, you'll get the read of a lifetime

Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights
Published in Paperback by Chelsea House Publishing (January, 2000)
Authors: Harold Bloom and Emily Bronte
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A novel of many colors
Emily Bronte is not as well-known as her sister Charlotte who wrote Jane Eyre, that, it must be said, far surpasses Wuthering Heights. I'd like to think that every book has a good, universal element we can relate to. And they do. Wuthering Heights is a story of revenge, passion and metaphysical love. It is a Gothic novel set appropriately in the bleakness of the Moors in England. Emily Bronte brings out a gorgeous narrative. It is confusing because it has the points of views quickly shifting from one personage to another. Nelly tells it for the most part. But the love story is incredible. Heathcliff and Catherine, as selfish and cold characters that they are, share a love that binds them even when they are apart in life and in death. It can be romantic. But the reason they teach this in school is because of the scholarly attention it receives, being a Bronte product. I think Jane Eyre may be of higher calibre but Wuthering Heights has its brilliant moments. It is a classic. I say it has many colors because we can be disgusted by the course actions of Heatchliff as he orchestrates his revenge on the people around him. We can also dislike the snobbish personality of Catherine and her choosing money over true love. But we can also sympathize for the lovers as human beings. This is a drama that can take place anywhere on earth. It is human drama. Bronte is as much in the same line as other universal writers including Dante and Shakespeare. Yes, Emily should be proud of her masterpiece. At times boring but worth reading on your own. I highly recommend this great work. Try to see beyond the boring parts and into the love and universalities !

Interesting depiction of love
I really enjoyed this book. The imagery is great, as the gloomy environment immediately connotes an aura of hopelessness around all the characters involved. It not only reflects upon the characters in the novel, but is a dark depiction of the world we are all thrust into when we are born.

The love between Catherine and Heathcliff also reveals a gloomy view of life. Their love is not one that hopes for a future happiness. Instead, it manifests itself as a need that takes no consideration of the consequences. There is no hope in this story, only the pain that occurs in both being denied a loved one and in having that loved one.

As I read this book, I never found myself wishing for the best for these tragic characters. Instead, I felt like I was watching a course of events that had to reach its eventual conclusion, and no amount of effort could change that. In this world only suffering exists, and the only relief exists in death.

Needless to say, this isn't a cheerful story, but it is nonetheless fascinating.

Monstrously evil book
WARNING: reading this review will spoil some of the plot of WH.

I grinned when Sis, back in high school, told me I reminded her of Heathcliff. I remembered from the (old, old) movie that he was some evil fellow. Then I read the book. And stopped grinning. I'm amazed this book would ever be assigned to high school 'kids.' It's humorless and ultra-realistic. Every page reeks of evil and has selfishly evil (meaning normal) characters. Heathcliff was a tortured being but hardly innocent. Cathy was a solipsistic, driven fool. Even the Cliff Notes booklet for WH is surprisingly short (I read The Notes after burning through the book in a week) as if Cliff's was horrified to study this book! Cliff's good observation about Heathcliff is that his sole emotion is actually pity/affection for Hareton and that his 'love' for Cathy is, in fact, an animal possessive jealous rage. I changed after reading this book. For the better, I don't know. There is a point in the book where Heathcliff's every action evokes disgust and hatred, and a man...I began to feel what he felt. For whatver his faults, I began to connect fully with his insane rage, and that his ideal of 'love' for Catherine--however warped--had been stolen from him forever. I understood his ruthlessness and love for no person or thing after Catherine's death. By the way, not to parrot the critics, but it is true that the marriage of Cathy and Hareton is NOT some kind of full circle, happier ending. It's more like holding hands in Hell. I left this book sadder than when I started it. After reading it, I doubt anyone anywhere is getting 'wiser.'

Lord of the Flies (Modern Critical Interpretations)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (September, 1998)
Authors: Harold Bloom and William Golding
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reminds me of the TV series "Survivor"
I read this book in 9th grade. I am 26 years old now and still think about the morality and symbolism of human nature I discovered in "Lord of the Flies". I decided to write this review all these years later after watching the first installment of the TV show "Survivior". I saw a lot of similarities. In "Lord of the Flies" we are given a sort of scenario...what if a group of young adolescent boys were left abandoned on a deserted island. This is what happens...and as I describe some of the scenes from the book, compare them to that of a real life TV show a lot of us watch. Maybe like me, you'll see a more animal, evil side to these "real-life" strategy survival shows. On this deserted island a natural leader is born, Ralph. He is kind, and understanding of the fears his fellow students face. He accepts responsibility and delegates "chores" for the other boys to do. They must tend a rescue fire. They must hunt for food. They must tend to the wounded pilot. Ralph chooses the path a responsible adult might. Soon some of the boys become lazy. They do not follow Ralph's rules. These unruly boys are headed by another natural leader. The more "wild" and fun-seeking Jack. Jack and Ralph argue. To maintain control the boys find a large shell ....the conch....and whoever holds it has the right to speak. This attempt at order works for a little while but soon Jack dismisses the control the conch holds. He and his pig-hunting, lazy friends split from the original group and leave to another part of the island. They want to "do their own thing". They defy rules and organization which Ralph feels is the key to survival. Meanwhiile Ralph and his friend Piggy struggle to keep their small group in order. It becomes increasingly difficult to maintain adult responsibility. For the youngest who fear Jack and his clan, Ralph becomes almost their savior, their security on an island of unknown. Soon Ralph's pack decides they too are tired of rules, and one by one leave to join Jack's ideas of senseless fun. Jack represents abandonment of control, living purely through pleasures. This is where you can form a million metaphors between the two clans of boys. Jack and his bandits become so wild and animal-like near the "end" that they actually start hunting Ralph in the manner of a real pig-hunt. They have forgotten society, basic humanity, and most of all..they have forgotten they were once all friends. This kind of behavior echoed alot of the back-stabbing things I see on TV and in the government, religion, everywhere in real life. Read this book and never let yourself abandon what you truly beleive to be good in your heart...Let us compare this book of instinct and leaders and followers to our own lives....On a personal note....Jack always kind of reminded me of Adolph Hitler and his control over his followers during the war. I would love to hear some other thoughts via e-mail. If you are reading this book for school, like I did once, really try to think about some real-life comparisons you find between the pages of Golding's work of art.

A look at human nature
I read this book many years ago in high school, and found it very philosophical. It isn't conforting in any sense of the word, but it gives a powerful message regarding the nature of humans. The whole conflict between Jack and Ralph is petty, but that was the point. Written during the horrors of WWII, W. Golding wanted to show the readers that the only difference between human beings and beasts is that we are governed by laws and civilization, without which we do become savages. Disturbing, extremely, but that doesn't mean it isn't a good book. Someone once told me the purpose of art and literature is to make an audience think through its powerful messages, not to be comfortable to place in a "hospital" setting. Lord of the Flies does exactly that. Through vivid descriptions and masterful symbolism, this book conveys a powerful message regarding human nature. A previous reader claimed, due to the Columbine shootings, this book should not be read in high schools, I couldn't disagree more. It is because of such atrocious acts that the message this book contains is needed more than ever.

truly scary
William Golding addresses what happens to society if the norms are broken down and anarchy takes its place. Golding uses English school boys stranded on a remote desert isle for his study of society. At first, the boys agree to work together with Ralph trying to maintain order by assigning various chores such as food gathering and keeping a signal fire for search and rescue attempts. Not long afterward, Jack challenges Ralph and lures the boys away to live like savages hunting wild pigs and running around in paint. As jack gains power among the boys, Ralph finds himself suddenly being hunted by his former friends.

Lord of the Flies is an intense look at larger society if the norms are ever overturned. At first it is fun acting any way one wants when there are no adults to oversee. However, the mundane chores stop being done and order breaks down. The young children that were being looked after, just disappear without reason and nobody seems to mind or notice. The savage group reacts alomost with casual abandon when one of the group is accidentally killed by the rest. When order is tried to be reinstated, chaos reacts swiftly and harshly. Lord of the Flies is both a great read and a very important book.

Ernest Hemingway's the Old Man and the Sea (Bloom's Notes)
Published in Paperback by Chelsea House Publishing (May, 1996)
Authors: Harold Bloom and William Golding
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A great, short adventure novel!
When the old man set out on his daily routine he experiences more than he has expected. He has found his dream fish and now has the task of reeling it in.
Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899 in a small village in Illinois. After he graduated from high school he started to report for the Kansas City Star where he learned to get to the point in direct, simple sentences. After going to WWI and being injured he fell in love with his nurse. These events inspired his first novel, which led to his amazing career as an author.
In my opinion "The Old Man and the Sea" was a great adventure and accomplishment book. In the book the old man is so dedicated to his goal that he endures pain and hardships to achieve this goal. I also think that the book is well written in the aspect of how easy it is to read. The book is easy enough for a younger reader to follow yet it is still interesting and in depth enough for the more average reader to enjoy. So if I had to rate this book on a scale of one to five I would probably give it a four because sometimes the book gets a little too detailed and boring.

Why Read?
Santiago, an old Cuban fisherman, has the battle of his life with a ferocious marlin in the book, The Old Man and the Sea. He is a very poor man and is very unlucky with fishing but with the help of the little boy, Manolin, he gets through the days of his life. Santiago's adventure with the giant fish begins eighty five days after his last catch. The Old Man and the Sea is an appealing and an enjoyable book because Ernest Hemingway is an excellent writer.

The events and actions of this book create interest for the readers. For example, Santiago was not angry with the other fishermen when they made fun of him. He is a good man and is so wise that being made fun of does not bother him. A good protagonist is always a good character to read about. Moreover, the characters and their actions can be related to real life situations. For instance, the old man ignores all the laughing made by the younger fishermen because he cannot catch any fish. This is like a student dealing with bullies and humiliation at school. These are some points that Ernest Hemingway made to arouse interest to readers.

Hemingway has a very unique writing style. For example, in the book it says, "Most of the boats were silent except for the dip of the oars." He has a very soothing way of writing. This is also easy enough for kids to understand. Also, Hemingway does not use clutter in his sentences which makes him different from the rest. For instance, he writes sentences like, "Only I have no luck anymore;" which is very direct. Many writers tend to use clutter to sound professional or important. Hemingway's style and voice is calming and intense in all the right places.

I think The Old Man and the Sea is a great book to read. My favorite part of the book was the climax when Santiago defeats the antagonist. If I could change something in this book, I would change some of the rising action so it is more gripping. I would recommend this book to adults and teenagers. Although a grade school student could read and understand this book, they would not value the moral of the story. Hemingway's original style and the characters in this book make it an interesting and wonderful book to read.

A hero of Hemingway
I read this book in Chinese,and I plan to read it in English again.(Maybe something that I am writting is not good translation from Chinese to English)I think the best way to understand a novel is to read it in its original language.Hemingway is one of my favorite authors.I like his style."Less is more."He uses the words that are not hard for me to understand,and they express his thoughts as well as the big words.In The Old Man and the Sea,Hemingway tells us a story about an old fisherman's experience on the sea.The part I like best is after the old man's way home after he finally catches the big fish,but he doesn't have enough strength to protect his victory from the sharks.He is all tried thirsty and hungry.Unfortunately,the sharks eat his fish bit by bit.So when he gets home,the fresh of the fish is gone,only the bone left there.Hemingway uses symbols a lot.For example,the old man's dreams of lions play on the beach represent the old man's youth and power.The old man is a hero that Hemingway creates successfully.

Toni Morrison's the Bluest Eye (Modern Critical Interpretations)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (April, 1999)
Authors: Harold Bloom and Toni Morrison
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A powerful novel
'The bluest eye' was Toni Morrison's debut novel, and it was first published in 1970.

'The bluest eye' is a tragic, heartbreaking story. We meet the 11-year-old black girl Pecola Breedlove, and her world - filled with hatred and racism. Her story is not a happy one - her brothers have run away from home, and her drunkard father has sexually abused her. Pecola believes that if she only had blonde hair and blue eyes, all her other problems will go away'

The characters are all very well developed, and one has to care deeply for them. The symbolism is easy to understand, and Morrison's prose is beautiful, subtle, and unique.

This is a novel that leaves you thinking, wondering about the world we live in.

Toni Morrison has quite rightfully won both the Pulitzer and the Nobel Prize. 'The bluest eye', was the third novel I read by Toni Morrison. Honestly, 'The bluest eye' is not her masterpiece (I think that the book 'Song of Solomon' is her best novel) but it is certainly worth reading!

An enjoyable read!

A First of Its Kind First Novel
The Bluest Eye was one of the best novels I have ever read. But the fact that it was written in the 1960s, well before Alice Walker and other writers told similar stories, made it particularly noteworthy. Morrison dealt with a number of subjects that were rarely discussed in novels, but have since become more common themes:

·The inner lives of black people, particularly black girls

·The class struggle among blacks

·Child rape (almost uniquely portrayed from the perpetrator's point of view)

Perhaps Morrison was just years ahead of her time, because the book has been almost constantly in print during the '80s and '90s. Morrison made abusive parents sympathetic by introducing the reader to their inner lives, to their needs, wants, and cares. While it was not a simple task, Morrison accomplished it to great effect by telling each character's story in turn.

The Bluest Eye is a thrifty and evocative novel, shifting from the world as presented by a standard primary reader, to the world as seen by a number of black girls in the poor Cleveland suburb of Lorain, Ohio in 1940. But even if Claudia and Frieda's family are black and do not have much money, they were not at the bottom of the social ladder. That position went to their friend Pecora, and her family, who "...did not live in a storefront because they were having temporary difficulty adjusting to the cutbacks at the plant. They lived there because they were poor and black and they stayed there because they believed they were ugly. Although their poverty was traditional and stultifying, it was not unique..."

Pecora had only one desire in life - to have blue eyes. The popular culture in the 1930s, as represented from candy bar wrapers to primary readers, used little round-cheeked white girls as the supermodels of the day. Since the culture promoted the "Shirley Temple look" as the ideal for little girls, black girls in America could not help but to have felt left out. Nowhere was black called beautiful, except by millions of internal, quiet voices.

Claudia and Frieda did not buy in to the belief that they were ugly because they were black; Claudia rebelled against it by destroying her white baby dolls one Christmas. Claudia and Frieda were both tough enough to survive living in a bigoted, sexist world. They even helped to rescue Pecora when some boys were taunting her. But they could not rescue her from the violence in her own family, and, ultimately, Claudia felt guilty about it.

The quiet, particular madness of a girl who wanted blue eyes to blot out the misery of her life was striking. Pecora's life became so impossible that the only thing that mattered was this dream of blue eyes. Ultimately, Morrison's novel presents the tragedy of racism and abuse as mirrored in the downcast black eyes of a poor young girl.

Haunting and painful, yet all too true.
I had never read Morrison until I accepted a challenge to read more books by women and by minority or third-world authors. This was just one of the books I agreed to read -- and I'm very pleased that I did.

The tragic existence (can one really call it a "life"?) of Pecola Breedlove is a disturbing slice of reality. Morrison has shown even me, a white American male, the horror of growing up a poor black girl among a people who could not recognize her precious value. Convinced that the bitter, ugly world would be changed if could see and be seen with blue eyes, Pecola's tragedy is felt by the reader, who can see the emptiness of her hopeless wishes.

Since reading "The Bluest Eye," I have read other books by Morrison and had similar moving experiences. As I mentioned -- it took the challenge of a friend to introduce me to this book -- thanks, Kristine!

Beloved (Modern Critical Interpretations)
Published in Library Binding by Chelsea House Pub (Library) (November, 1998)
Authors: Harold Bloom and Toni Morrison
Amazon base price: $37.95
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Average review score:

Awesome in every way imaginable...
Although I have not yet finished the book, I had to write a review. I am in high school and doing a project on Toni Morrison, and specifically 'Beloved' (although I'll add some things about her other works.) I have only read the reviews on this website, and quite frankly have been helped. I hope you all don't mind if I use a form of what you said. i just hope I don't misinterpret the info. Anyway, this book is astounding. I have never been so drawn into a book yet so appaled by it. I find a struggle within myself before picking it up again to read. The book is confusing to start, but once you get into the flow its easier. I won't say a cinch, but easier.

In any case, you can easily understand what Toni Morrison is trying to write about. A woman's life. Plain and simple. She just happens to be a slave woman trying to escape everything that's happened in her life and also accept it. Baby Suggs telling her to 'let go' and the way she acts around Beloved. I have also noticed that you start reading and you really do feel comfortable and have no idea what you are getting yourself into. Then you start to really understand what is happening and you are just so taken aback by it. I've found that I've had to read things over several times before I actually think about what I've just read, or before I can understand it. Sethe's(and the other characters') thoughts are written so bluntly, you almost HAVE to read it again to know that you have just read about the death of her(Sethe's) child. This story is unnerving, yet I also feel that people should read this book to learn about things that you really can't learn from history books. Oh, and if you don't like the content matter, don't read the book.

By the way, the only reason the book only gets 4 stars is because I haven't finished it yet.

Ms. Morrison pulled it off! A story of pain and suffering integrated with the supernatural - just as if the supernatural was a "natural" everyday occurrence. For many, the supernatural is a natural part of life. In many a poor person's life, especially one who has suffered as Sethe has, there is terrible loneliness, a horrible sadness, and a heightened sense of the presence of those we have loved and lost in death. You cannot hold them, you cannot hug them, nor caress them. Our "beloveds" are just there - beyond our physical reach. I saw TRUE supernatural events as experienced by my mother, father, aunts and uncles, as part of my family history, (and yes, as experienced by my own person) come to life within this book. No one has ever captured this experience as Ms. Morrison has, and many, including myself, will testify that the experience is real. The red light filled with confusion and sadness...walking through it...feeling the sadness and confusion. This is an added twist to love being stronger than the grave. I read this book a few years ago, and it still haunts me. TEN STARS!!

You either Love it, Hate it, or simply get conFuSed by it!
Beloved is one of the most complex albeit rewarding and satisfying novels I have ever read about American history, especially that regarding the treatment of blacks at the hands of the racist whites at the time.
I got introduced to the novel Beloved this year in my literature class, and i am really disappointed that many people my age (16 years) or a bit older do not appreciate aspects of Beloved...
Yes, it is a hard and confusing novel, but it is unique and that is what caught my attention...
Many people complain that the ghost aspect of the story puts them off the novel. What they fail to realise is that the Africans of that time believed and accepted spiritual occurrences and so the ghosts were part of everyday life..

Beloved is packed with symbolism and metaphors. This is what makes it such a challenging read because the reader can never let their guard down, or else they might miss out on valuable and subtle clues about the characters' pasts.
One example of the use of symbolism by Morrison is the house 124. To all the characters, it did not feel like just a house or a structure to live in. It was a person by its own right and meant different things to different characters. 'Denver approached the house, regarding it, as she always did, as a person rather than a structure. A person that wept, sighed trembled and fell into fits.' (Page 29)
To many runaway slaves, 124 was their first taste of freedom after a life full of the horrors of slavery. To townsfolk, it was a place not only of childhood memories, but also of the murder of "Beloved" and Sethe's craziness.
To Baby Suggs, it was her first house that came at a hard price. It was a place where no one was allowed to come from the back door. Everyone was welcome to come and stay. It was the first place in which she was truly free, where she could block memories of slavery. (Slaves were forced to come from the backdoor of a white person's house, which is why Baby Suggs blocked the backdoor)
To Sethe, it was two things. She believed it was her freedom. By shutting the front door, which had remained open to outsiders and the neighbourhood when 124 was at its hey-day, she had shut herself away from the world. It was her first ever house and that was significant to her. I think Sethe's the kind of person who needs something to show milestones in her life. For example, when she married Halle, she really wanted a proper marriage and as that was not possible, she made a dress on the sly. It was important to her that there was something to affirm this marriage. Similarly, I think that as the dress was important to her, the house must have been too, which might be one of the reasons that she was so adamant that she wouldn't leave it. It was her first taste of freedom and the first time she was able to feel secure, away from white people.
124 was a form of repression for Denver, who yearned to be loved and enjoy the companies of people outside of the house.
As you can see, there is more to the house than meets the eye, and this is just one of many examples of how Morrison uses symbolism to get her message across and to help you form your opinion about the characters. You just have to have the patience and the time.
Who do i recommend this book to? It is not an easy book, so i do not have an easy answer. Mainly, i would recommend that this novel be discussed in a group, because sometimes you might miss out on an important detail that another person might have picked up..
I would not recommend this to anyone looking for a quick read or anyone who does not want to learn the truth about slavery. It IS grotesque in many places and touches many tabboo subjects.
However, I would recommend it to mature readers who like a challenge and who are willing to be immersed in a novel.
So I really hope that you read it because it rewards you in the end. It is a captivating novel if you allow it to be.. Take your time and let the novel speak for itself.

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