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Category: Book Reviews

Book Review: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

British novelist Evelyn Waugh was what one might call a traditional Catholic and Catholicism is central to his 1945 novel Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder. Waugh was outright despondent following the liturgical transformations of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and felt as though he was losing the church and faith that he embraced after his…

Book Review: Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr.

The rich internal monologues and heavily accented dialogues, giving away the socio-cultural background of these Brooklyn residents, are what make Hubert Selby Jr.’s 1978 novel Requiem for a Dream such compelling reading. The fact that all of this dialogue is fully embedded in paragraphs, one sliding into the other, and that it lacks quotation marks (as well as apostrophes), can make…

Book Review: The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray was Oscar Wilde’s seminal work. And it was also the story which, in the eyes of his scandalized detractors, helped confirm the belief that older gentlemen of influence and financial means, particularly the nobility, often corrupted younger men of lower social standing by making them the targets of their “unnatural” and self-indulgent sexual vices and…

Book Review: The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh was a master of the English language and of dry, witty writing. He certainly proved as much in his 1948 novel The Loved One: An Anglo-American Tragedy. The novel, based in part on Waugh’s observations during a visit to Hollywood, explores the stuffy pretensions of the British expatriate community in Los Angeles and the cultural divide between Britons and Americans.…

Book Review — The Book of a Mormon: The Real Life and Strange Times of an LDS Missionary by Scott D. Miller

Who hasn’t come into contact with Mormon missionaries–the mostly very young, mild-mannered and smiling men dressed conservatively in a suit and tie, who we are to address as elder? Over the years I have read enough about the ascetic and grueling lives of Mormon missionaries to feel quite strongly that they deserve politeness and compassion from the people they approach…

Book review: A Question of Survival by Gene LaLonde

Author Gene LaLonde is a survivalist from upstate New York and it would appear as though Dave and Becky, the two main characters in his book, A Question of Survival, are very much based on himself and his wife. (The latter is acknowledged and thanked for having proofread this self-published novel.) Set in rural Vermont, LaLonde tells the story of…