Book review: Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald


Save Me the WaltzSave Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first and only book written by Zelda Zaire, aka Zelda Fitzgerald.

The plot is quite autobiographical even if it’s a piece of fiction. The main character, Alabama is a portrait of a wife of a famous artist who struggles to live her own life in the shadow of the success a famous husband. Sometimes, she is quite obsessive in becoming a dancer even if she was not young any longer.

One feels that Zelda wrote this book as an auto-therapeutic way out in order to surpass her mental issues (she was diagnosed with schizophrenia). She lived in a mental hospital and died in an accidental fire in 1947, seven years after Scott’s death.

Perhaps it’s a good time to re-read “Tender is the night”, published in 1934, where Zelda appears as Nicole.

There are other similar books on this subject, such as The Journey Down by Aline Bernstein (over her relationship with Thomas Wolfe); and A Transatlantic Love Affair: Letters to Nelson Algren by Simone de Beauvoir . To be checked.

Book review: Monsignor Quixote by Graham Greene


Monsignor QuixoteMonsignor Quixote by Graham Greene
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From BBC Radio 4 – 15 Minute Drama:
Dramatised by Stephen Wyatt

Graham Greene’s comic ‘entertainment’, set in rural Spain a few years after the death of Franco.
Father Quixote makes a friend of an Italian bishop, with unexpected consequences.

2/10: Father Quixote receives some unwelcome – and very surprising – news from his bishop.

3/10: Newly appointed a Monsignor, Father Quixote and his friend Sancho set off on their quest for purple socks.

4/10: Father Quixote and his friend Sancho arrive in Madrid to buy purple socks – and attract the unwelcome attention of the Guardia Civil.

5/10: Father Quixote and his friend Sancho arrive in Madrid to buy purple socks – and attract the unwelcome attention of the Guardia Civil.

6/10: Monsignor Quixote and Sancho help a robber – and pay an unexpected price.

7/10: Monsignor Quixote wakes from a drugged sleep to discover that he has been kidnapped and taken back to El Toboso.

8/10: Imprisoned in his own house, Father Quixote is at the mercy of his bishop – unless his friend Sancho can pull off a daring rescue.

9/10: Having escaped El Toboso, Monsignor Quixote and Sancho go in search of wine but find themselves in a battle to save the honour of the church.

10/10: Monsignor Quixote and Sancho are taken in by the monks at the monastery of Oseira and their journey comes to an end.

Directed by Marc Beeby.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07mwqfc

3* The Third Man
4* The End of the Affair
4* Our Man in Havana
3* The Captain and the Enemy
3* The Quiet American
4* The Ministry of Fear
4* The Power and the Glory
4* The Honorary Consul
3* Orient Express
4* Monsignor Quixote
TR Brighton Rock
TR Travels With My Aunt
TR The Tenth Man
TR The Heart of the Matter

Book review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #1) by Douglas Adams


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
Arthur Dent is trying to stop his house being demolished to make way for a by-pass. But his friend, Ford Prefect (who hails not from Guildford, but somewhere near Betelgeuse), is more concerned about the imminent destruction of the Earth. Ford is a writer for the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, “the most successful book ever to have come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor” and he may just know how to avoid being evaporated by the Vogons…

The global multi-media success story that is “Hitchhiker’s” started life as a Radio 4 series in March 1978. The original scripts by the late Douglas Adams then went on to spawn a series of novels, a feature film, at least three stage shows, a TV series, a computer game, a collection of comic books – and various towels.

The Guide helpfully informs us that the most obscene expletive in the galaxy is “Belgium”.

Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge and died in 2001 aged 49, after a fatal heart attack in his gym in California.

The answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything is 42.

With Peter Jones, Simon Jones, Geoffrey McGivern and Jo Kendall. Produced by Simon Brett.

First heard on BBC Radio 4 in March 1978.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007jlzj

New ebook available @Project Gutenberg: The Temptation of St. Anthony by Gustave Flaubert, Hearn Lafcadio (Translator), Odilon Redon (Illustrator)


The Temptation of St. AnthonyThe Temptation of St. Anthony by Gustave Flaubert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: The Temptation of St. Anthony

Author: Gustave Flaubert

Release Date: June 4, 2016 [eBook #52225]

Language: English

E-text prepared by Laura N.R. and Marc D’Hooghe (http://www.freeliterature.org) from page images generously made available by the Google Books Library Project (http://books.google.com)
and illustrations generously made available by Bibliothèque nationale de France (http://gallica.bnf.fr)

Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

Gustave Flaubert, best known for his masterpiece Madame Bovary, spent nearly thirty years working on a surreal and largely ‘unreadable’ retelling of the temptation of Saint Anthony. Colin Dickey explores how it was only in the dark and compelling illustrations of Odilon Redon, made years later, that Flaubert’s strangest work finally came to life.

Read online at The Public Domain Review.


“Anthony: What Is the Point of All This? The Devil: There Is No Point!”,

by Odilon Redon from his “The Temptation of Saint Anthony” series

I made the proofreading this book for Free Literature and it will be published by Project Gutenberg.

The original files are provided by Internet Archive.

And they are also available at HathiTrust.

Page 18:

It was in 1845 that an old picture by Breughel, seen at Genoa, first inspired Flaubert to attempt the story of St. Anthony. He sought out an engraving of this conception of Peter the Younger (surnamed “Hell-Breughel” for his fondness for such subjects), hung it on his walls at Croisset, and after three years of brooding upon it began, May 24, 1848, La Tentation de St. Antoine.

Page 19:

“In its primitive and legendary state the temptation of St. Anthony was nothing more than the story of a recluse tempted by the Devil through the flesh, by all the artifices at the Devil’s disposal. In the definite thought of Flaubert the temptation of St. Anthony has become man’s soul tempted by all the illusions of human thought and imagination. St. Anthony to the eyes of the first naive hagiologists is a second Adam, seduced by woman, who was inspired by Satan. St. Anthony conceived by Flaubert is a more thoughtful Faust; a Faust incapable of irony, not a Faust who could play with illusions and with himself–secretly persuaded that he could withdraw when he chose to give himself the trouble to do so–rather a Faust who approached, accosted, caressed all possible forms of universal illusions.”

1999 100 Books of the Century


J. R. Ackerley My Father and Myself (chosen by

Francis King)

W. H. Auden 

Collected Poems

(P. D. James)

J. G. Ballard 

The Atrocity Exhibition (Michael Moorcock)

Gregory Bateson Steps to an Ecology

of Mind 

(Nicholas Mosley)

Samuel Beckett 

Waiting for Godot

(Simon Armitage)

Saul Bellow

Humboldt’s Gift

(Justin Cartwright)

Brigid Brophy

Flesh

(Shena Mackay)

Mikhail Bulgakov 

The Master and

Margarita

(Elaine Feinstein)

Rachel Carson 

Silent Spring

(Artemis Cooper)

C. P. Cavafy

Collected Poems

(Paul Bailey)

Apsley Cherry-Garrard

The Worst Journey in

the World

(Beryl Bainbridge)

John Stewart Collis

The Worm Forgives

the Plough

(Angela Huth)

Cyril Connolly

The Unquiet Grave

(Sybille Bedford)

Jim Corbett 

Man-Eaters of Kumaon

(Martin Booth)

Charles Doughty

Travels in Arabia

Deserta

(Jan Morris)

T. S. Eliot

The Waste Land

(David Lodge)

William Faulkner 

The Sound and the Fury

(Joyce Carol Oates)

F. Scott Fitzgerald 

The Great Gatsby

(Anthony Powell)

Ford Madox Ford

The Good Soldier

(William Trevor)

E. M. Forster

A Passage to India

(Anita Desai)

Robert Frost

Mountain Interval

(Paul Muldoon)

North of Boston

(D. M. Thomas)

Kenneth Grahame

The Wind in the Willows

(John Bayley)

Gabriel García Márquez

Love in the Time of

Cholera

(Mary Wesley)

One Hundred Years

of Solitude

(Rose Tremain)

Henry Green

Pack My Bag: a

Self-Portrait

(Emma Tennant)

Vasily Grossman

Life and Fate

(Antony Beevor)

Thomas Hardy

Collected Poems

(Dan Jacobson)

Ernest Hemingway 

In Our Time

(Allan Massie)

Christopher Hibbert

Cavaliers &

Roundheads

(Barbara Cartland)

Adolf Hitler

Mein Kampf

(Tony Benn)

Gerard Manley Hopkins 

Poems

(Rachel Billington)

A. E. HousmanLast Poems

(Penelope Fitzgerald)

Aldous Huxley

Brave New World

(J. G. Ballard)

Henry James

The Golden Bowl

(Grey Gowrie)

Sebastian Junger

The Perfect Storm

(Patrick O’Brian)

James Joyce

Ulysses

(Salman Rushdie)

Franz Kafka 

The Trial

(Mordecai Richler)

Jack Kerouac

On the Road

(Richard Holmes)

J. M. Keynes 

The General Theory of

Employment,

Interest and Money

(Roy Jenkins)

Rudyard Kipling

Kim

(Barbara Trapido)

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

The Leopard

(Peter Vansittart and William Waldegrave)

D. H. Lawrence

Sons and Lovers

(Claire Tomalin)

Halldór Laxness Independent People

(Fay Weldon)

Munro Leaf

The Story of Ferdinand

(Victoria Glendinning)

Primo Levi

If This Is a Man

(Marina Warner)

Sinclair Lewis

Babbitt

(Jeremy Lewis)

Wyndham Lewis

Blasting and

Bombadiering: an

Autobiography

1914-1926

(George Walden)

Hendrik Willem Van Loon

Van Loon’s Lives

(Bernard Levin)

Rose Macaulay

The Towers of

Trebizond

(Joanna Trollope)

Robert McAlmon and Kay Boyle

Being Geniuses Together: 1920-1930

(Carmen Callil)

Claudio Magris

Danube

(Nicholas

Shakespeare)

William Manchester

The Last Lion:

Winston Spencer Churchill – Alone

1932-1940

(George V. Higgins)

Thomas Mann

Joseph and His Brothers

(David Malouf)

Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca

(Patrick Gale)

Michael Moorcock

Jerusalem Commands

(Iain Sinclair)

Vladimir Nabokov

Pale Fire

(William Boyd)

Speak, Memory

(Penelope Lively)

Lolita

(Auberon Waugh)

Flann O’Brien

The Third Policeman

(A. L. Kennedy)

F. S. Oliver

The Endless Adventure

(W. F. Deedes)

George Orwell

Animal Farm

(Ruth Rendell)

Homage to Catalonia(Michael Shelden)

Nineteen Eighty-four

(Alan Judd and

Jane Gardam)

Frances Partridge 

Good Company: Diaries

(Susan Hill)

Boris Pasternak

Doctor Zhivago

(Clare Francis)

Anthony Powell

A Dance to the Music of Time

(Hilary Spurling)

John Cowper Powys

A Glastonbury Romance

(Margaret Drabble)

Marcel Proust

A la recherche du temps perdu

(Muriel Spark,

Anita Brookner and Doris Lessing)

Erich Maria Remarque

All Quiet on the Western Front

(Dirk Bogarde)

Henry Handel Richardson

The Getting of Wisdom

(Germaine Greer)

Salman Rushdie

Midnight’s Children

(Malcolm Bradbury)

Bertrand Russell 

The Problems of Philosophy

(Francis Partridge)

History of Western Philosophy

(John Cole)

J. D. Salinger 

The Catcher in the Rye

(Christopher Hope)

André Schwarz-Bart

The Last of the Just

(Bernice Rubens)

W. C. Sellar and R. J. Yeatman

1066 and All That

(Philip Ziegler)

Vikram Seth

A Suitable Boy

(Gerald Kaufman)

Mikhail Sholokov

Quiet Flows the Don

(Hilary Mantel)

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The Gulag Archipelago

(Brian Aldiss)

W. Olaf Stapledon

Last and First Men

(Arthur C. Clarke)

Edward Thomas

Poems

(Andrew Motion)

William Trevor

The Collected Stories

(David Profumo)

Barbara Tuchman

The Proud Tower

(John le Carré)

John Updike

Pigeon Feathers

(Carol Shields)

Kurt Vonnegut 

Breakfast of Champions

(Maggie Gee)

Sylvia Townsend Warner

Mr Fortune’s Maggot

(Michael Holroyd)

Evelyn Waugh 

The Loved One

(Alice Thomas Ellis)

H. G. Wells

The History of Mr Polly

(Michael Foot)

Geoffrey Willans 

Down with Skool

(Wendy Cope)

Tennessee Williams

A Streetcar Named Desire

(Christopher Bigsby)

Chester Wilmot

The Struggle for Europe

(John Keegan)

Ludwig Wittgenstein 

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

(David Sylvester)

P. G. Wodehouse

The Inimitable Jeeves

(John Mortimer)

Virginia Woolf

The Diary of Virginia Woolf

(Isabel Colegate)

W. B. Yeats

The Tower

(Barry Unsworth)

Book review: Rogue Herries by Hugh Walpole


Rogue HerriesRogue Herries by Hugh Walpole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From BBC radio 4 Extra:
A 18th century family saga about the wild and tormented Francis Herries, who starts a new life in Cumberland.

Free download available at Faded Page.

The first book in the Herries Chronicles series, which comprises Rogue Herries, Judith Paris, The Fortress, Vanessa. Two later Herries books were The Bright Pavilions and Katherine Christian.

As historical background, the Jacobite rising of 1745: it was the attempt by Charles Edward Stuart to regain the British throne for the exiled House of Stuart. The rising occurred during the War of the Austrian Succession when most of the British Army was on the European continent. Charles Edward Stuart, commonly known as “Bonnie Prince Charlie” or “the Young Pretender”, sailed to Scotland and raised the Jacobite standard at Glenfinnan in the Scottish Highlands, where he was supported by a gathering of Highland clansmen. The march south began with an initial victory at Prestonpans near Edinburgh. The Jacobite army, now in bold spirits, marched onwards to Carlisle, over the border in England. When it reached Derby, some British divisions were recalled from the Continent and the Jacobite army retreated north to Inverness where the last battle on Scottish soil took place on a nearby moor at Culloden. The Battle of Culloden ended with the final defeat of the Jacobite cause, and with Charles Edward Stuart fleeing with a price on his head, before finally sailing to France.

An important fact to be mentioned about Hugh Walpole’s as a writer: from FadedPage: he was one of the most popular authors of his times, until his literary reputation was destroyed by Somerset Maugham.

Herries Chronicles series:
5* Rogue Herries
TR Judith Paris
TR The Fortress
TR Vanessa
TR The Bright Pavilions
TR Katherine Christian

Rising City series:
TR The Duchess of Wrexe
TR The Green Mirror
TR The Captives

Book review: The Honorary Consul by Graham Greene


The Honorary ConsulThe Honorary Consul by Graham Greene
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From BBC radio 4 – Drama :(31/01/2016)
In a conversation with Nicholas Shakespeare, Graham Greene once named ‘The Honorary Consul’ as his favourite among all his novels, “..because the characters change and that is very difficult to do.”

In this superbly tense story of political kidnap and sexual betrayal set at the beginning of Argentina’s Dirty War in early 1970s, Greene’s characters find themselves on a switchback ride of love, sacrifice and violence.

Isolated Dr Eduardo Plarr, son of a missing political prisoner, is lured into collaborating with a defrocked priest in a kidnap plot, only to find the lives of two people he doesn’t care for, suddenly in his hands.

Meanwhile Charles Fortnum, the elderly and drunken Honorary Consul in a one-horse town near the Paraguayan border, faces his own terrors, and the loss of the young prostitute he has fallen in love with.

Greene added: “For me the sinner and the saint can meet; there is no discontinuity, no rupture… The basic element I admire in Christianity is its sense of moral failure. That is its very foundation. For once you’re conscious of personal failure, then perhaps in future you become a little less fallible. In ‘The Honorary Consul’ I did suggest this idea, through the guerrilla priest, that God and the devil were actually one and the same person – God had a day-time and a night-time face, but that He evolved, as Christ tended to prove, towards His day-time face – absolute goodness – thanks to each positive act of men.”

In this concluding episode, Plarr’s attempts to help Charley get him death threats from the police. Not only is the state closing in on Plarr, but his own past too.

Produced and directed by Jonquil Panting.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06z1zf4

A movie was made based on this book: Beyond the Limit (1983) with Michael Caine, Richard Gere, Bob Hoskins.

3* The Third Man
4* The End of the Affair
4* Our Man in Havana
3* The Captain and the Enemy
3* The Quiet American
4* The Ministry of Fear
4* The Power and the Glory
4* TR The Honorary Consul
TR Brighton Rock
TR Travels With My Aunt
TR The Tenth Man
TR Monsignor Quixote
TR The Heart of the Matter
TR Orient Express