FEATURED AUTHOR - Melissa Yi could slice your throat and sew it back up again. Legally. Because she's an emergency doctor. In her spare minutes, Melissa writes thrillers about Dr. Hope Sze, a resident doctor bone-deep in a murder, some of which have been finalists for the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award for Best Thriller and the Crime Writers of Canada Award of Excellence. In The Shapes of Wrath, which debuts February 1, 2023, Hope confronts a killer surgeon—and a ghost—in the operating room. Under the… Read more
Recent comments: User reviews
Readers who have studied classical music on any instrument will identify with the unending hours of practice and discipline which Camilla undertook to maintain the excellence of her performances and the admiration of fans. The author never mentions if she married - I suspect she did not. Her violin was her life.
Jennie Gerhardt (published in 1911) typifies Dreiser's depiction of unaccepted aspects of life in that era, such as sexual promiscuity. He was often forced to battle against censorship regarding his novels.
Jennie is a destitute young woman who meets Senator George Brander while she works as a maid in a hotel. He becomes infatuated with her, helps her family and wishes to marry her. Grateful for his benevolence, she has an affair with him, they never marry, she becomes pregnant, and he dies unexpectedly. She gives birth to a daughter, has her mother care for the child, and moves to another city, where she finds employment as a maid for a wealthy society matron. Here she meets Lester Kane, a prosperous manufacturer's son, and they embark on a long term love affair.
The novel dwells at length on the struggles they both have regarding right and wrong, social mores, pressures of family disapproval of their life-style, dis-inheritance of Lester by his wealthy father, the love they have for each other, and Lester's ambivalence about marrying Jennie.
I thought the drama between all these forces and this couple was too drawn out, and somewhat boring. But in 1911, it reflected the prevailing moral code which one did not violate, i.e., an honorable person did not engage in lack of social and religious mores under any condition whatsoever, no matter how well-intentioned he or she may be.
Dreiser's prose is incisive, thoughtful, and moving. He portrays his characters with realism and empathy. This is a book which provokes serious questions about our basic human values, ethics, societal norms, religious beliefs, and one's happiness or absence of it, at what cost?
I was disappointed in this book compared to The Financier which I rated 5 stars. In The Titan Frank Cowperwood continues to build his financial empire, stopping at nothing, including bribery of elected officials to further his goals. He engages in multiple love affairs, discarding women at whim, mindless of the effects his reckless behavior has on his wife and marriage. The financial schemes drone on endlessly. He survives all sorts of plots to demolish him and his riches, and starts life anew with a young wife, after discarding the old Aileen. I was bored and could barely finish this book. Still, it merits a 3 rating for Dreiser's superb writing style, but not for the plot.
Dreiser was an American novelist and journalist who pioneered the "naturalist school" and is known for portraying characters whose value lies not in their moral code, but in their persistence against all obstacles.
As in all his novels, Dreiser employs a unique, magnificent, gripping, gritty style of writing in which his characters confront many forces affecting the human condition - particularly intelligence (or the lack of it), drive, power, love, hate, friendship vs. hypocrisy, unrelenting desire to overcome odds at any cost, self-sacrifice, wealth and prestige. Dreiser hides nothing in his description of good, evil, moral immoral, legal, illegal, true love and a loveless marriage.
The main character in "The Financier" is 34 year old Frank Cowperwood, who through dedication, self-confidence and brilliant strategies, quickly establishes himself as a successful Banker/Broker in Philadelphia. In a short time, through his diligence, astuteness and instinct for business, he becomes a millionaire with a coterie of wealthy clients. He marries, has two children, and builds a very costly mansion with all the accoutrements which his position in high society dictates. He even has a young mistress whom he professes to love more than his wife.
Suddenly, misfortune strikes the Stock Exchange and Banks due to a variety of bad economic circumstances in Chicago and Philadelphia. Frank's political and business enemies set him up with false accusations of mis-managing City funds - he loses all his wealth. He goes on trial and is found guilty of embezzlement and larceny. He is sentenced to prison for 51 months. Read the story to see how Frank emerges from this scandal to re-establish his remarkable career in the business world and find happiness in his personal life.
The next book in this series is "The Titan", which follows Frank's career after prison.
So far I have read Dreiser's "Sister Carrie", "An American Tragedy" (under copyright in USA), and "The Financier". For me they are mesmerizing accounts of real people struggling against all odds for happiness and wealth, and succeeding in some cases, failing in others. I recommend Dreiser's novels without reservation.
I would give him 6 stars if this were possible.
Corelli elaborates at length on astral projection, interactions with angels, and other mystical topics related to her beliefs. In her time, Corelli was a widely read, popular author of fiction. Today, many of her concepts would be considered "New Age Religion".
I had a difficult time wading through her precise, well written, but interminable descriptions of concepts which I simply did not fully understand nor accept as feasible. My rating should be 2 stars, but I'll be generous and give her 3 stars.
To me it is so improbable that K, the main character, a respected, famous surgeon, drops out of his profession at the peak of his career because he loses faith in his abilities. He emerges in "Small Town, America" as a non-entity drifter, working as a clerk. He then proceeds to act like a junior social worker, counseling and trying to "fix" everyone in sight who has mental conflicts, marital problems, un-wanted pregnancies, death in the family, moral issues, and the like. Since I am a Health Care Professional, I simply could not envision his character as portrayed - he lacked the steadfastness, personal strength, intelligence and professionalism that most physicians possess under all sorts of duress. When he finally emerges from his self-imposed exile, he does get Sidney, the woman he loves - but we knew he would from the start.