The Death of Caesar: The Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination by Barry Strauss (Simon & Schuster, March 2015) examines the traditions of the assassination of Julius Caesar, clearing up the myths (such as Shakespeare’s play) from reality. Analyzing such an historic event from 44 B.C. is not easy since eyewitness accounts are few and far

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“Crime and Punishment,” says Richard Pevear in his introduction, “is a highly unusual mystery novel: the most mystified character in it is the murderer himself.” At first glance, there is no mystery. The answers to “who, what, when, and where” seem self-evident, especially since the murder occurs center stage in the first 80 pages of

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Medea is another ancient Greek play by Euripides, and yet, it is completely different from the other play I read last year. I read the Rex Warner translation in The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces (seventh edition). As I haven’t read any other translations, all I can say is that this one was refreshingly easy

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When I reviewed and analyzed Julius Caesar in depth back in June, I expected that I’d do the same with all the other Shakespeare plays I read while I have had this blog. And yet, I cannot “analyze” Macbeth. While I enjoyed reading Macbeth, it was not a “deep” reading experience for me. I’ve found

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The narrator of Alice Sebold’s first novel, The Lovely Bones, is dead. Meet Susie. Susie Salmon was 14 when she was brutally raped and murdered in a cornfield near her home. Now, as her family recovers and learns to live again, she watches them from her gazebo in her heaven and begins to come to

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