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I Can’t Go On

Please tell Tom Clancy that technical details about weaponry and submarine mechanics is not story telling. I’m 200 pages in and half of what I’ve read amounts to military tech porn. This novel had potential. A Soviet submarine captain goes rouge, defecting to America, after an incompetent, communist (I repeat myself) doctor kills his wifeContinue reading “I Can’t Go On”


Daily Life In Ancient Rome

When studying ancient Rome, it is useful to pay particular attention to the first and second century A.D., a time when Roman wealth and influence reached its height. Historians are lucky that this generation of the Empire has bestowed us with the most comprehensive of records detailing Roman life.  Daily Life In Ancient Rome by theContinue reading “Daily Life In Ancient Rome”

5 Classic Novels I Didn’t Enjoy

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Painfully inferior to it’s older brother,  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I read Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn one after the other. The difference in quality is striking. Huck Finn lacks the insight, humor and compelling story of Tom Sawyer. Twain’s trademark erudite voice is lost. Instead we get aContinue reading “5 Classic Novels I Didn’t Enjoy”

The Greatest Elucidation On Death Ever Written

Thanatopsis alone should place Bryant next to the best of American poets. An incredible bit of trivia concerning this piece is that Bryant is said to have begun writing it at the age of seventeen. Thanatopsis By William Cullen Bryant To him who in the love of Nature holds   Communion with her visible forms, she speaks   A variousContinue reading “The Greatest Elucidation On Death Ever Written”

The Haunted Palace

I’ve read nearly the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe, but I have no memory of this wonderful poem, The Haunted Palace.  The world of Poe’s writing is always tragic and vivid. His poems, especially, combine a sense of loss and regret with the experience of inhabiting a dreamy, mysterious and beautiful place unbound toContinue reading “The Haunted Palace”

On “Genre Fiction”

“Genre Fiction” was once called literature. At some point, briskly-paced, suspenseful novels with high entertainment value where branded with the pejorative slur of “Genre Fiction”. What critics and academics mean by “Genre Fiction” is that the fun and straightforward page turners preferred over more “challenging”, PHD-approved texts are not real literature. They’re dumbed-down fast foodContinue reading “On “Genre Fiction””

Great Artists Steal

I remember reading Don Quixote and thinking about what a great writer Cervantes was when I came to this passage: “Nevertheless,” said the traveller, “if I remember rightly, I think I have read that Don Galaor, the brother of the valiant Amadis of Gaul, never had any special lady to whom he might commend himself,Continue reading “Great Artists Steal”