A Review On “The Three Musketeers”

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

I find the title of this book a little deceiving; it should really be called “D’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers”, because the story is actually about a young Gascon man named D’Artagnan. The Musketeers are only his friends. They are certainly very amusing friends. Anyone who has read this book will never forget Arimis, Porthos, and Athos, their unique personalities, or the scrapes they all get each other in and out of. The two downsides to this book I found was that it started out rather slow (but then again, most old books do), and that there are places where one plot ends and you wonder where the next one will begin? This made more sense when I learned that this, like many books of it’s time, started out as installments in a newspaper. The characters’ way of looking at women and their relationships with them also caught me off guard; this story takes place in a time where marriage was not regarded as much. In fact, it seems that if one fell in love with a married woman it only made the romance more exciting! Of course, because this is a comedy first and foremost, nothing serious or objectionable ever happens. All they do is visit each other in the middle of the night and exchange handkerchiefs. Despite these things, however, I ended up loving this book. Adventure after adventure, characters that become your best friends… you can’t get much better. It’s huge; it took me a long time, it sometimes made me roll my eyes, but it also made me laugh, sometimes even out loud, and it made me hold my breath in suspense; especially at the end. I would definitely recommend this book for high-school students, though it would be too much for most middle-schoolers. My favorite character would have to be Athos; I will forever remember the picnic in the fort tower. But you will have to read the book to figure out what I’m talking about! Then you can come back here and tell me who your favorite character is!

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Third Term Books

Here they are, a little later than planned:

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Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen

The Godless Constitution by Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore

Are You Liberal? Conservative? or Confused? by Richard J. Maybury (an “Uncle Eric” book)

Basic American Government by Clarence B. Carson

My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Paradise Lost by John Milton

Emma by Jane Austen

The Best Loved Poems of the American People selected by Hazel Felleman

Now, I didn’t read all of these the whole term. Some of them i finished only a few weeks in, others I started halfway through. But they were all on my schedule at one time or another during my third term. I finished the last of them this week. I am officially done. I hardly know what to do with myself.

Reviews coming next week.

End of Term Two

It’s end of term break, hooray! Now I’ve got to write reviews on all the books I just finished… seems like I just caught up with term one! Well, here’s the first two:

Money, Possessions, and Eternity by Randy Alcorn

This book was given to me for economics, to teach a healthy view on money. It does that very well, but after the first few chapters, I got bored. The first few chapters were awesome! They present some very good ideas that got me excited! After that however, it seemed to carry on, simply going into the ideas presented in the first few chapters to the minutest detail. I began to wonder how many reasons this guy thinks people need to give. Some chapters would be more applicable for adults, but with the length of the book and especially with the length of the chapters, the book came off to me as long-winded. I had to drag myself through chapters that were so long they took me an hour. I ended up skimming. So… good information, but too much information.

Silas Marner by George Elliot

My sister didn’t really like this book. She thought it was boring until it got to the end. It is a slow book, progressing at the pace of the little country village it takes place in. I did like it, though. It was like a leisurely walk through the fields. Things are happening, however; there is a plot, a mystery, even. Now I did have the advantage of my sister warning me that the little girl on the cover and in the description doesn’t come into play until the end. She’s the center of the description because she’s paramount to the story, but she’s not the main theme of the story. So let you also be warned, so you’re not wondering the whole book through when she’s going to come in, because that was probably what frustrated my sister. On the other hand, it wasn’t what I would call a great book. My friend and I were just discussing this the other day, how though it was a good book and we liked in when we read it, it didn’t stick in our thoughts. when we think of it, we’re not sure what to recall. Nothing about it stuck out. I’m not sure why that is, though I’ve tried very hard to figure it out. So would I recommend it? I’m not sure. If you like leisurely books, this is for you. Perhaps you can find something in it we couldn’t.

So… that’s that. Now I need to get to work on Inheritance – I started it, oh, probably November, and I’m only two thirds of the way done. It is ginormous, people, and when I’m done reading school books for the day, more reading usually isn’t on the top of my list of things to do. But this week! I shall at least try.

Hello Again

I haven’t been around in awhile, have I? Been busy with The Three MusketeersBasic American Government, and Money, Possessions, and Eternity. Big thick books with long chapters.

Anyway, let’s talk about some books I’ve finished. I’ll do two reviews in one this time since I haven’t a whole lot to say about either of my subjects. So here we go.

In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon

This book, which is a fictional story about challenging Christians to really live in a Christ-like manner, was good at first, and got me thinking. I like thinking. It was when it stopped making me think that it got boring. After a while, it seemed like the author ran out of things to say; he even introduced new characters, and still there was this feeling of sameness. I don’t know, there just doesn’t seem to be much of a plot arc. The intensity is at the beginning, not the end. So, where as I would recommend it because of the ideas it represents, I wouldn’t recommend it as a very well built or entertaining story.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

I may cause some controversy here. I know one person who reads this book every year. Though not so extreme, I know several who speak highly of it, and one who even told me that I would like it better than Pride and Prejudice. Well, P & P came out on top.

The truth is, I liked it, but I found it rather… dark. I enjoyed reading it; I have certain books on my list that get put off till the end of the week, and this was rarely, if ever one, of them. My issues are these: I would have liked Jane better if she had stayed the fiery child she was in the beginning. As it was, she became rather emotionless to me when she grew older. Not completely, mind you, but just a bit too quite in her thoughts for my liking. As the story is told in first person, that effects a lot. Secondly, her love interest scared me. He really did. And don’t laugh. Finally, I don’t ever like books where I’m holding fast onto the good moments because I have no idea when the author will turn everything ill and I and the character will be in the swamps of depression. I’m not sure how anyone could enjoy that. Not my kind of roller coaster. I did like the fairytale-ness of it, the old English lore that would creep in. It was partly that that made it dark, but that was the part of the darkness I liked. And the end was perfect. I wasn’t sure how she was going to get there, but she did, so I was satisfied. So, it kept me interested, yes, and it was a good book, yes, but I have hit another one of those times when I honestly don’t know what people are carrying on about. Sorry, die hard fans, I just can’t.

So… there you have it. Two reviews in one. Does that make up for not posting in so long? Maybe just a little bit?

A Review on “To Kill A Mockingbird”

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I am sure others have said it more eloquently than I can hope to accomplish, but when I love a book this much I can not help but try to say why. Everyone loves different books for different reasons, and I loved this one because of the way it places you in a child’s mind. A child who’s mind is being stretched by the things going on around her, a mind that is struggling to make sense of the world. How on earth does Harper Lee capture us with a story about a lazy small town? How does she fascinate us with the everyday? I think that the voice that tells her story is the magic key. Scout doesn’t have any prejudices yet; she is being molded by those around her. She argues with them and puzzles about them and finally makes up her mind about them. She carefully watches all that is happening, and though she only discerns half of it, the older reader can pick up on all the rest. Sometimes, though, Scout is the wiser. She reaches straight through to ways of seeing things we would have never found, and says things we never would have dared to say, because we understand all the implications, but she does not.

I was reluctant to read this book, I must admit. I mean, the title doesn’t sound all that appealing, even if you know it isn’t really about killing mockingbirds. In fact, I think that made it even worse, because then I asked, “Well then, what is it about?” and the back of the book (I have the Warner Books edition) didn’t tell me much, and all my Mom said was, “It’s about prejudices in the south.” Well, I felt I had already read enough about that, but the more books I read with that all-encompassing description, the more I find that there is more to that topic than I ever imagined. We are a very diverse people, on this planet, and we all seem to have a different way of looking at things, a different way of saying things, a different community of thought that shapes us. For another thing, this book is about more than one kind of prejudice, so even if, after that, you still feel that you have read plenty of material on black discrimination, that’s still no excuse to not read this book. History books tell you the story from the point of politicians. This tells you the story from the point of the people who lived during that time in their own small town, only distantly affected by those all-important matters. It tells you what people thought back then, which is every bit as important, I believe, as the events themselves.

I can understand the vague descriptions on the book covers. I’m not sure that I could do better. I also understand why everyone says you should read it, and I heartily agree with them. You really should not miss out on this one. I don’t think you need a big study guide to accompany it; if the author thought it needed that, she would have written one herself. Just sit down in a comfortable spot and read it. That’s what Lee intended. That’s how you’ll enjoy it the most. When you’re done, see if your view of things hasn’t changed just a little bit. Maybe you’ll smile every time you see a mockingbird. Maybe you’ll stop and think every time too. That’s what I do. I hope you do too.