9 March 2010

Life's Little Ironies - Thomas Hardy

thardy I read this book throughout February in snatches - partly because I was busy and partly because it is by no means a single read. In spite of it being a collection of short stories and the fact that I can read most fiction books in one go. So why?
a) the language - rich yes, but absolutely mind-numbing at times. Fine, call me an ignoramus but I really think the language does nothing to help the stories or the reader
b) talking of stories - Well, I know the theme is irony and all, but please, each character is a bigger loser than the other. Some situations are  actually interesting - one can almost personally feel the if-only's and the could-have-been's, but what could a reader possibly gain by reading 1200 such situations? (alright! some 15 of them)
c) the publisher - a cheap popular classics version (disclaimer: not the one whose cover page I have used in this post) with terrible illustrations that just made the whole experience a highly forgettable one for me
I was very hesitant to write about this book at all, especially since its Thomas Hardy and its possibly text book material for English language or something; or that I may sound incredibly naive and shallow. But what the heck! I didn't like it at all. And the only use for this book I can think of is, as a part of the curriculum in Non-detail or English Paper II as we call it. You will find a treasure of words to be used for the synonyms and antonyms sections. One of the stories starts like this:
'Whether the utilitarian or the intuitive theory of moral sense be upheld it is beyond question that there are a few subtle-souled persons with whom the absolute gratuitousness of an act of reparation is an inducement to perform it; while exhortation as to its necessity would breed excuses for leaving it undone'.
Impressive but surely not my cup of tea! same goes for the book...

1 comment:

  1. hey... wondering how i can join in n be a part of the community n give my own book reviews...do leme know at sakshi.57@gmail.com