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Thursday, April 7, 2016

3-2-1 Chapter Review for The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas

3-2-1 Chapter Review for The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas.

The story of Cornelius van Baerle, a simple member of the Dutch gentry whose only passion is to grow the perfect specimen of a black tulip.  Set in 17th Century Holland, Cornelius is the closest thing they had to a geek.  He gets caught up in his godfather’s political minefield and ends up being sentenced to death.  It is while he’s in prison that Rosa, the jailor’s daughter, winds up holding the key to his survival and the fulfilment of his desire.  In spite of time’s transition I found The Black Tulip a very exciting, insightful and humorous read.  Here’s my 3-2-1 Chapter One Review.

The Good – Dumas built the tension extremely well with a magnificent comic timing.

The Good – Count Tilly, the Captain of the mounted troops, was my favourite character and loved his gentle taunting of the angry crowds.

The Good – The first chapter (and proceeding) is written with such an easy style you feel like you’ve been friends forever and he’s filling you in on a rather exciting day.

The Bad – Even though he explains it’s necessary to give the history I think the main protagonist should have been introduced in the first chapter as well as Rosa.

The Bad – The brothers are portrayed as perfect in every way, which is hardly possible.  I suppose their naivety could be counted as a failing.

The Beautiful – ‘Whereupon the jailer, a sort of bear, trained to lock and unlock the gates of the prison…’

Saturday, September 19, 2015

3-2-1 Chapter Review for The Dinner by Herman Koch

3-2-1 Chapter Review for The Dinner by Herman Koch.

Two couples go to dinner and it unfolds that together their respective teenage sons committed a violent crime, though their identities have yet to be discovered by anyone else besides the parents.

I joined a newly formed book club at work and this was the first on the list.  Although, I enjoyed it as a whole it didn’t match the hype in my opinion. Perhaps it was lost in translation. Nevertheless, my 3-2-1 Chapter One Review.

The Good – The first chapter has a quite delicate cynicism which was easy to read, particularly the part about how historians could measure this society by articles about the ‘top’ restaurants.

The Good – The imagery of Serge Lohman (the main character’s politician brother) walking into a restaurant with an air of ‘please carry on, don’t mind me’ was quite humorous and entertained me.

The Good – Using what the narrator found negative to give us an idea of what this person’s character was cleverly done.

The Bad – I found the opening writing a tad jerky. Again this could be down to the translation from Dutch to English.

The Bad – Again with the restaurants! After a point I got fed up with listening to the character’s gripes about pretentious restaurants and I just wanted to get on with the story.  The first chapter is admittedly short, but the complaining continues pretty much throughout the book.

The Beautiful - 'I won’t say which restaurant, because next time it might be full of people who’ve come to see whether we’re there.'