Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mini-Reviews: An Eclectic Mix of Fiction

Wigalois by Wirnt von Grafenberg (13th cent.)
trans. J.W. Thomas, 1977
Surprisingly, I haven't been all that thrilled about my readings for Arthurian Lit this semester. Wigalois was a welcome change from that! The story seemed like one of the most cohesive and best-written for the works we've read in class, and I found myself finally enjoying just reading the assigned text. The only annoying bit was how much Christian moralizing is included.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959)
I was surprised at how different this was from We Have Always Lived in the Castle. I found most of the characters irritating, some quite comically so. Such comic relief was odd, but very entertaining, against the otherwise really creepy storyline. I enjoyed this novel a good deal and thought the resolution, as well as the explanations of events, was much better than that of We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Brownsville: Stories by Oscar Casares (2003)
I'm terrible at reviewing short story collections. Maybe because of the "short" part, I can never develop enough feelings and words to explain much about what I thought. I enjoyed reading this collection. It's contemporary fiction set around Brownsville, Texas, and the experiences described are fairly everyday occurrences. Casares has a nice writing style that makes interesting these rather mundane subjects, but there weren't any stories that particularly stuck out to me.

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