Thursday, April 26, 2018

Mini Reviews: Starlings & Lear

Starlings is a collection of short stories, some hardly more than extended jokes, all with a sci-fi/fantasy bent. Some were entertaining, others confused me. I enjoyed the longer sci-fi story best.

Most of the shorter works had an ironic twist a la' Twilight Zone, including a letter from Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra, waylaid and delivered to the Greek myth Cassandra, who writes back to Jane.

I did not feel propelled to read these selections and I lost access to the ebook before finishing it.

I don't think they are 'my thing.'

But what a great cover!!!

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
*****


I read Shakespeare's King Lear in high school, and in two college courses, and I taught it to my son while homeschooling. It is my favorite tragedy. So when I saw NetGalley had Harold Bloom's Lear: The Great Image of Authority I thought, cool! A chance to revisit my favorite tragedy!

And it was wonderful to read those familiar lines again. But I am sad to say...I did not enjoy Bloom's interjected comments about the play. I was lifted by Shakespeare's words then dunked in cold water, trudging through commentary until I got back to the Bard.

Not to say that Bloom did not offer ideas or insights or connections new to me. And he communicates his personal responses and joy. 

I am shocked that I did not enjoy this. What can I say?  But this presentation may work in a classroom lecture with students who had read the complete play and come ready to dissect it did not work for me. 

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Lear: The Great Image of Authority
by Harold Bloom
Scribner
Pub Date 24 Apr 2018
Hardcover $24.00
ISBN: 9781501164194

"King Lear is perhaps the most poignant character in literature. The aged, abused monarch—a man in his eighties, like Harold Bloom himself—is at once the consummate figure of authority and the classic example of the fall from majesty. He is widely agreed to be William Shakespeare’s most moving, tragic hero.
Award-winning writer and beloved professor Harold Bloom writes about Lear with wisdom, joy, exuberance, and compassion. He also explores his own personal relationship to the character."  from the publisher