Posts Categorized: 40 books before 40

First Lines: Moby Dick

It seemed like a good idea at the time. But with hindsight being 20/20, I would never, in my life, ever, absolutely no way, make the same mistake again. Greater readers and more knowledgeable people than I am will surely disagree, but to me, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, or, The Whale is a slog, a… Read more »

First Lines: Don Quixote

It’s official: I give up. I’ve waded through the first part of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, but after a few chapters of the second part I gave up. I just can’t do this any more. It’s too tedious. You have that hidalgo Don Quixote, who has gone so raving mad from reading too many… Read more »

First Lines: The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo is an epic story, in many senses of the word. It’s a adventurous tale — but not a poem, natch — of a legendary figure, in the heroic manner. Also, reading it might seem like an exceptionally long and arduous task or activity, given its length: the edition… Read more »

First Lines: The Master & Margarita

With Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master & Margarita I waded my first, cautionary steps into the pool of Russian literature. The novel is set in 1920’s Soviet Russia, where three story lines interweave: the one where Satan’s minions wreck havoc in Moscow, the one set in Jerusalem where Pontius Pilate condemns a tree-hugging hippie philosopher to… Read more »

First Lines: Catch-22

A former colleague of mine tried to steer me away me from reading Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. I cannot quite recall the exact wording, but he could not get into it all. But, as a) it is on my list of 40 books to read before I turn 40, and b) I can be quite stubborn… Read more »