Paull Kalli Kalli itibaren Patons Rock 7182, Yeni Zelanda
Though the first chapter is frustrating because of the wrap-around plot, this truly lives up to the "classic" category.
This is actually the third in the series by this author and it is a wonderful fantasy/romance novel. I really loved her writing and imagery and character development. I felt for the characters a great deal. I liked it. You might too.
People always talk about books that change the way you think. Usually thats a bunch of pretentious bullshit but this book, at the time I read it, really made me examine my activities, my thought processes (and why they are what they are), and a lot of things I just never noticed or took for granted. Yeah, thats kind of pretentious bullshit, too, but its true. I've bought 10 copies of this book and still don't own one for myself.
Totally rewritten and expanded from the original short and succinct review in the light of some personally derogatory comments concerning my even daring to mention Wilde's anti-semitism. Nov. 18th, 2011 I've always liked Oscar Wilde's prose, if not his drama, but I thought this was an exercise in hypocrisy, or perhaps it was just Oscar Wilde, locked out of the gates of the wealthy aristocracy, just venting his spleen on them. You would think a man who lost everything because of the prejudice against his homosexuality might just not drop casual anti-semitism into what purports to be a children's story, wouldn't you? But perhaps he was so angry and bitter against Society that he could only see things from that viewpoint. That, like all underdogs, he was always looking for an even lower cur to kick. As it turns out, despite being able to recite that old chestnut, "some of my best friends are Jewish", Wilde was deeply anti-semitic, a couple of quotes: 'It's unnecessary to debate with Jews. When you overrun them today, they come tomorrow with the same arguments. When you overrun those arguments, they come the day after with the same arguments as the day before.' [De Profundis]. This is just one from the many in the (wonderful) Picture of Dorian Grey, 'A hideous Jew, in the most amazing waistcoat I ever beheld in my life, was smoking a vile cigar. He had greasy ringlets, and an enormous diamond blazed in the center of a soiled shirt. Have a box, my Lord?' he said, when he saw me, and he took off his hat with an air of gorgeous servility. There was something about him that amused me. He was such a monster.' At the same time he was being persecuted for his homosexuality and writing his Ballad of Reading Gaol detailing the terrible conditions and cruelty he suffered by imprisonment, he betrayed his best friend's plan for a small group of people to free Dreyfuss from his wrongful imprisonment and clear his name, and went further, befriending Dreyfus's persecutor, Esterhazy. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreyfus_...). Wilde lost his best friend, Blacker, over this and seemed never to truly understand why. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/articl... The troll (is there another word for one who writes negative and rude personal comments about a reviewer?) seeks to justify his remarks by saying he is a Christian which really hasn't got anything to do with it, as apart from anything else, many anti-semites and their sympathisers have identified as Christians, but also by saying that it was part of the times. There is some truth in that statement. Racism in all its forms seems to be part of every time. And it was part of that time especially in those who considered themselves wealthy aristocrats, but it wasn't a majority feeling. Disraeli, who was a Christian convert (he considered Christianity 'completed Judaism') had been elected Prime Minister by a majority vote. The Dreyfus Affair was a major topic in Britain and sympathisers with Esterhazy, Wilde included, were not on the winning side. Emile Zola's The Dreyfus Affair: "J`accuse" and Other Writings was massively popular both in France and, in translation, the UK. Wilde was out there in a minority, characterising Jews as 'hideous', 'horrid' 'greasy' and 'vile', seeing Jews as a race (as do all anti-semites) rather than a religion, so that conversion would make no difference to him. So the casual anti-semitism of The Happy Prince is maybe just a little jibe, a little way perhaps of influencing the childen to whom the book was addressed to his own way of thinking. Originally this review, a short one-paragraph review, had just one sentence directed at the casual anti-semitic remark made by Wilde, but in the light of the derogatory comments left on the review, I decided to expand it. However, knowing all of Wilde's history, my appreciation, or otherwise, of Wilde's work hasn't changed, I still love his prose, don't like his plays all that much, think his witty epithets among the best of quotes and one of them has always been a favourite of mine, "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."