For the Try Something New Mini-Challenge as part of the Dewey’s Books Challenge, Jackie from Farm Lane Books and I teamed up to read something a little bit out of our comfort zone. We chose to read science fiction, a genre neither of us is completely comfortable with. Our choice was Isaac Asimov’s Foundation. (more…)
Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan was one of the first modern novels when it was published in 1679 and 1685 because it uses dialogue as a main tool to drive the story. As an allegory, Pilgrim’s Progress plainly tells the story of each Christian’s lifelong quest from a sinful life to eternal life using the example of a physical quest of a pilgrim named, appropriately, Christian.
I certainly appreciate the impact of Pilgrim’s Progress on the history of literature and I am very glad I read it. It is a pillar in Christian history and a milestone in western literature. Yet, reading Pilgrim’s Progress was challenging. Since it was written in the 1600s, it was a difficult writing style that didn’t “flow” as modern writing does. I would not have been so frustrated with this unfamiliar writing style had not the allegory been so poorly “veiled.” Pilgrim’s Progress was painfully didactic and instructional. In the end, it may have met the needs for the times in which it was written but it doesn’t touch me today. (more…)
Most people have heard of A Christmas Carol, but few are familiar with Charles Dickens’ other Christmas novellas. I read his other four this season. Some were more interesting than others. The superiority of A Christmas Carol makes it clear to me why it has lasted as a “classic” through the years, and while most of these have not. (more…)