Showing posts from September, 2019

A Comment Conundrum

A couple of you brought it to my attention that the embedded comment form was not working for you...  I have changed it to pop-up format to see if that fixes the  issue.  If you have a moment, drop me a comment to let me know it works for you now, or if it doesn't, please send me a note using the Contact Form in the sidebar on the left. On mobile devices, you can pull up the sidebar by clicking the hamburger icon:

Sorry for the inconvenience, by the way!!  I've been debating switching to Wordpress, and this might be the catalyst for that.

Nostromo: The Lighthouse - And Final Thoughts

Part I - The Silver of the MinePart II - The Isabels The situation has reached a boiling point: General Montero's rebel forces have dismantled the government and are sweeping over Costaguana, while the traitor Sotillo, invading Sulaco by steamship, comes to establish a reign of terror.  The citizens flee to the countryside, seeking protection by the once-feared bandit Hernandez.  Everyone believes Nostromo and Martin to be dead, and Dr Monygham fears for the safety of Emilia Gould, who, half-abandoned by her workaholic husband, still remains in the town.  He realizes he must take action to save her, while the rebels and the elusive silver begin to take a corrupting hold over everybody else.

There is much, much more that happens in this third part, but I can't give it away.  It's as well Part III takes up nearly half of the book, because the initially slow plot here picks up with gusto, taking all the world-building from the first two parts and launching an all-o…

Nostromo: The Isabels

Part II of Nostromo introduces a new set of characters: Antonia, the "liberated" yet refined daughter of the statesman Don Jose; Martin Decoud, a young journalist head-over-heels in love with Antonia; Hirsch the German trader; and even the title character himself, so notably absent from Part I, plays a major role in The Isabels.

Things have been heating up politically in Costaguana.  The frail presidency of Ribiera, ally of the mine owner Charles Gould, is threatened by the rebel Monterists, who are trying to take over the country and stage a military coup.  Gould can think of only his silver mine and his workers, putting his own and his wife's safety at risk as he prepares to defend it.  Decoud, finding Antonia hard to win, decides to take up the political torch dropped by her aging father. Decoud's determination, however, is to make their province independent, rather than trying to restore the entirety of the country - he trusts the power of the mine to preserve t…

Autumn Plans

It feels as if my reading has been slipping by the wayside, but that's not really been the case.  Most of the books I've read this summer just haven't blown me away, so it's been a bit of a disappointment.

Reading status update on a few of the better ones:
Tesla biography - I do like this book, a beautiful balance of academic and popular science.  It's very Educational, so it's taking me a while to get through it.20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Reading this for the 3rd or 4th time.  It is my favorite thing to read when I really want an escape.  Nostromo - Still chugging along, now in part 2.  New characters, new goings on.  I'm surprised actually at there being new characters; not sure where Conrad is taking it.Moby-Dick - Still participating in the read-along, but very much behind schedule.Brave New World - Started strong, then realized I needed a break from dystopian.  Will continue shortly.Psalms - Finished them!  Now re-reading Proverbs. There's been…

Nostromo: The Silver of the Mine

As with Lord Jim, I feel compelled to write something about Nostromo at about the 1/3 mark.  Conrad very handily divided the novel into three sections: The Silver of the Mine, The Isabels, and The Lighthouse.  I must get my (spoiler-free) thoughts down on the first part before continuing, otherwise I'm bound to forget them.

This "must" is, in part, due to the rambling style of the book.  I can't remember the last time I read a narrative that was so clear in its purpose yet so murky in its direction.  This first part is all about world-building and character painting, but Conrad doesn't go about it in a conventional, orderly fashion.  In one moment you are in the past, in another you're in the present - in one paragraph, you're standing next to one character, then in the next, you're following another.  Back and forth, all over the place!  I had to check where I was a few times.

It's jumbled, but truly immersive.  I feel I have a deep understandin…