Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Man for All Seasons

Greetings, fellow geeks! I have recently finished re-reading one of my favorite plays, Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons. This is one of the two non-Shakespeare plays that I actually like. It is interesting to note that the author was not a Catholic or even a Christian; he was an agnostic, which is a wimpy athiest. However, he is still able to portray Catholicism accurately and fairly.
The play's setting is probably familiar to most of you. It is sixteenth century England, and King Henry VIII wants a divorce from his wife, which the Vatican refuses to allow. This sets the stage for Thomas More's epic struggle with Cromwell and the King, who try to get him to go along with the divorce. More is ultimately martyred for his refusal. Through this struggle, Bolt portrays More as the ultimate man of conscience, who remains true to his beliefs and to himself no matter what the circumstances.
The play is incredibly entertaining, with vivid characters and an efficient narrative. There are no boring parts in this play. Most of you should be able to get through it in maybe two or three days.
If you want to see a movie version, there's a great one from 1966 that won the Academy Award.

3/5 Recommended.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Ok, so according to our rating system, I would say that this book is "Highly Recommended". What is so great about Fabiola anyway? I really can't put my finger on it, except to say that it is a really powerful story about love, revenge, faith, treachery, friendship and sacrifice. Sounds pretty well rounded, doesn't it? Since this book is not very well known, I will give a bit of a background.

The story is set during the time of the Holy Roman Empire under the reign of Diocletian. The title character is a typical Roman noble woman; proud, selfish, vain, pagan and beautiful. The story tells not only of her pagan life before her slow conversion to Christianity, but also gives a thrilling account of the lives and martyrdoms of Sts. Sebastian, Cecilia, Agnes, Tarcisius, and so many others. The ending is truly triumphant and satisfying. I don't want to give away too much of the story, so I guess you will just have to read it to find out exactly what happens!!

Now for some critique!

Although this book has many real people as characters, several of the characters' actions are not historically correct. Several of the deaths happen differently than how they really occured. I found that the way the "deaths" were written suited the story perfectly, and I wouldn't change them at all. Also, there are no documents that state that the real people who are mentioned even knew each other, or lived within the same years. But who really wants to work out historical details anyway? If you are a history freak who would just go nuts because this isn't perfect, then maybe you shouldn't read it. Usually, I am seriously particular about history, but this did not seem to bother me. The storyline bounces back and forth between Fabiola and the other characters very well. All of the seperate plots are masterfully entertwined by the end of the story, and it will make you wish that there was a sequal! I just love how peacefully and lovingly the martyrs accept their fates. I wish I was that brave! In my opinion, this story has just the right amount of love, comedy, tragedy, and all out heroism. I think everybody should definitely give this book a try, even if ancient Rome is not your forte.

Everybody, please read this book and tell me what you thought!

~Lord Anthony Dewhurst

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Let's Implement a Ratings Sytem, Shall We?

Ok guys, when you write a post, how about you rate the book on a scale of one to five. And don't just rate everything five, either. I know you'll probably only post about books that you like, but be critical. Here's how the scale should be:

1: Not recommended. As in none of us will like it.
2: Recommended only if it's particularly your up your alley.
3: Recommended.
4: Highly recommended.
5: Frickin' awesome and if you don't read it ninjas will invade your house in the middle of the night.

Make sense?

Also, make sure you tag your posts. Put the author and any other tags that you deem necessary. You do this at the bottom of the post thing where it says "Labels for this post:". You just separate the words with a comma.


Here it goes...

I just finished reading Romeo and Juliet!! (by W. Shakespeare) Wow. I just loved it! What I really like about W.S. is that he can put what everyone else is thinking into beautiful words. He explains peoples' thoughts perfectly. He has the power to do that. Every line seems so well thought out.
As for the story itself, it was incredible. It's so annoying how usually whenever someone thinks about Romeo & Juliet, they think, "Ewww...mushy love thanks!" Now, of course it had romance. However, that does not mean there wasn't also excitement and drama! There was, and quite a bit. And it was so tragic! Hence the last lines of the whole book,...
"Never was there a story of more woe,
Than that of Juliet and her Romeo."

My favorite line in the whole play is when Tybalt says, "Have at thee, coward!" while in a fight at the very beginning.
You all probably know the story line, so I won't try and explain that. It was fantastic though, and I highly recommend it. Especially if you like tragic romances...
I am awed, and you will be too!
Thanks for reading.
~Lady Arwen