All I knew about this book going in was that there was a guy who didn't age because his portrait did instead. So I was a little confused when the first half of the book read as a typical Victorian novel. It could have been Dickens or Trollope that I was reading, not a creepy Oscar Wilde story. But the second half got weirder and creepier, and I was quite glad to finish the book. It was a well-told tale and would not have been out of place around a campfire with a flashlight shining on your face. I can't say I exactly enjoyed it, because creepy stories are really not my thing, but I am glad I had the experience of reading it.
I wanted my Classics Club list to branch out from the standard canon (although I could easily read Victorian novels all year long). So I added a couple modern "classics" - and I'll admit right up front that the only reason Howl made the list was because that was the book that Jess stole from Rory's room and returned with margin notes in Gilmore Girls. (Really, who can resist a boy who does that, even if we don't like writing in our margins??) The version of Howl that my library had was actually a graphic novel, with the illustrations coming from a movie based on the poem that was made in 2010. I know I got a lot more out of the poem by reading it this way (although because of the rather mature nature of the poem, sometimes I got more than I bargained for). I don't know a lot about the Beat movement, but Howl gave me some insight into the thoughts and feelings of those who lived that life.
How have I never read Treasure Island before? My only experience with this story is through Muppet Treasure Island, which is by far my favorite of all of the Muppet movies. But the book is quite a bit different. There's a lot more killing, for one thing (and fewer funny moments). It's actually quite violent on the island as the two factions are battling it out. But it's not terribly graphic, either, so I still wouldn't hesitate to hand this book to a eleven-year-old boy. There seems to be something about pirates that is endlessly fascinating to us (let us all witness the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which apparently never ends), and Treasure Island probably played a large part in why this is so. It's a fabulously adventurous tale, and I look forward to sharing it with my little boy in the future.
My name is Julie, and I own a lot of books. As in, they are stacked on the floor because I've run out of room on the shelves. And those shelves? There are so many books on them that they smile -- not sag; smile. This blog will cover book reviews and all manner of other bookish things.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.