Bookish Discussions · Reviews

Lud-in-the-Midst: An Enchanting & Whimsical Tale



“… the round towers of the castles looked as if they were so firmly encrusted in the sky that, to get to their other side, one would have to hew out a passage through the celestial marble.”

Rating: 3 stars

Read: 18 December – 22 December, 2018

I had to write a little review of this book for my blog. I first heard about this book on my Twitter feed, after this new edition was printed, and Neil Gaiman was raving about it. It sounded like my kinda story. And it was. It totally was. But it wasn’t my favourite, but we’ll get into that.

It’s a 1920s classics, and is about the influx of a forbidden fairy fruit that has been turning people into violent and uncontrollable nuisances. Master Nathaniel’s son has been one of the victims, and he is packed off to a farm near the borders of Fairyland, but something is amiss.

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Bookish Discussions · Reviews

Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure:


‘People go on marrying because they can’t resist natural forces, although many of them may know perfectly well that they are possibly buying a month’s pleasure with a life’s discomfort’

Rating: 3 stars

Read: 27 November – 5 December, 2018

I can’t quite wrap my head around Thomas Hardy. I come away either really loving his writing or completely questioning everything. Jude the Obscure was an odd mixture of both. Half of the novel was pure brilliance, the other half was a mess. But let’s start with what the novel is about. Here’s the blurb from the Wordsworth Classics because it sums up the story better than I ever will:

Jude Fawley is a rural stone mason with intellectual aspirations. Frustrated by poverty and the indifference of the academic institutions at the University of Christminster, his only chance of fulfilment seems to lie in his relationship with his unconventional cousin, Sue Bridehead. But life as social outcasts proves undermining, and when tragedy occurs, Sue has no resilience and Jude is left in despair.

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Bookish Discussions · Reviews

William Morris’ News From Nowhere:



‘How strange to think that there have been men like ourselves, and living in this beautiful and happy country, who I suppose had feelings and affections like ourselves, who could yet do such dreadful things’

Rating: 3 stars

Read: 16 October – 19 October, 2018


News From Nowhere was my first introduction to William Morris, and it certainly won’t be my last. It’s a lovely utopian story exploring a humane socialist future. Exhausted from a Socialist League meeting, William Guest returns home to sleep. He doesn’t wake to his ordinary 19th century life, though. Instead, he finds himself in a Communist society two decades later. England has been transformed into a socialist society after the revolutionary upheaval of 1952. The story follows his journey across London and up the Thames whilst he learns all about this way of living.

I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by this. I thought the opening of the story utterly brilliant. I was intrigued by how this sort of society worked and, more importantly, how a nineteenth century writer envisioned it. We all know how the Victorian period worked: it was built upon oppression, mistreatment and greed. I thought Morris’ detachment from this society extremely thought-provoking. He dreamt of a society without class, labour, gender politics, and so on. It was a society built upon compassion and fairness. It’s what you want the world to look like.

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