Monday, August 14, 2017

100 Best Novels Roundup, Vol. 6

This is it! I've completed the 100 Best Novels challenge! Every day this week, I'll be back with more thoughts on the challenge as a whole. Today, however, I have the final individual book reviews:
Point Counter Point

Title: Point Counter Point
Author: Aldous Huxley
Publication Date: 1928
Pages: 432
Genre: Classic / Historical / Fiction
How I Found It: 100 Best Novels
Date Completed: 7/5/17

What I Thought: I didn't dislike this book, but it wasn't what I was expecting at all. After reading Huxley's most famous novel, Brave New World, I was expecting something similar in genre. This is totally different, though certainly not bad. Overall, it was definitely enjoyable. I think, though, I would have gotten much more out of this had I lived in the era in which it was published. Huxley famously based many of the characters in the novel on real people in his social circle. Since those personalities are no longer well known to the general public, or even someone like myself who makes a habit of reading historical classics, I felt I lost a lot of the intended experience. The book is still good if you don't know who the characters are meant to be, but I continually got the feeling it would have been better if I had known more of the backstory. 

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Maybe

Title: A Dance to the Music of Time
Author: Anthony Powell
Publication Date: 1951 / 1964 / 1970 / 1975
Pages: 718 / 722 / 715 / 793 (2,948 total)
Genre: Classic / Historical / Fiction
How I Found It: 100 Best Novels
Date Completed: 2017: June 29 / July 11 / July 21 / July 24

What I Thought: This quartet of books was easily the hardest to get my hands on. It's no wonder it ended up as my very last item on the venerable list. I ended up paying $20+ for a set from Amazon. Sigh.

For that price, I certainly did not feel they lived up to their worth. I did not dislike them, but I did not particularly like them, either. I really liked Powell's effort to create a contiguous story across decades. I liked that. It was good. I liked seeing the same characters, mostly, travels decades. Overall, though, this series felt bland to me.

I enjoyed the final book the most. It is set post-WWII and everything about it felt like an entrance into the more modern era. The language, the plot, everything. I appreciated that. It's no easy task to follow characters across such a long span of history and Powell did do it well, despite my overall fatigue.

I recognize that I'm at the end of this challenge (coming Wednesday: my retrospective on this whole endeavor) and so I am worn out of this type of novel. Still, it was hard for me to find this particularly brilliant or worthy of being on such a list. These books were good, not great. 

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Doubtful


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