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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

Lord Jim - Joseph Conrad, J.H. Stape, Allan H. Simmons Read as audiobook. This relatively short novel was stretched to almost 14 hours.At its heart, this is a novel about attempting to overcome one's own haemartia, or tragic flaw. While the Greek audiences of Aristotle's time found the hero sympathetic because of his important error. Setting aside the complexities of the term itself, it would seem that by the time in which Marlow narrates Jim's tale, the tone is a combination of horror, amused contempt, and pity. Were Jim not "one of us," an often-repeated sentiment, I assume there would have been more Schadenfreude than pity. If the story and highly predictable plot about seeking first escape from, then redemption for, one's misdeeds are set aside, the more interesting aspect of the novel is the question of "one of us" versus one of them and how identification or rejection of commonality affects Marlow's storytelling. Since Marlow's narration is the frame for several of Conrad's novels (including Heart of Darkness), it would be interesting to compare his reasons for and degree of relationship to the people whose stories he animates. In some ways "one of us" is a theme for Conrad's The Secret Agent as well.