Thursday, May 7, 2009

Two great books!

Of all the marvellous literature I've read this year the following two novels absolutely stand out: The Book Thief by young Australian author Marcus Zusak, and Revolutionary Road by American author Richard Yates.

The Book Thief is an absorbing story of a young German girl coming to terms with life in Nazi Germany in the 30's. It's a book of enormous power and is immensely emotionally satisfying. It was published in 2005 and has been an international bestseller, and no wonder. I highly recommend it.

I missed the recent film, Revolutionary Road, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, which from all accounts was excellent, so decided to read the novel, first published in 1961. I was absolutely blown away by it. It's magnificent.

And this raises a question. Where has this novel been? Why hadn't I heard of it? Why does Jane Austen and her ilk dominate our secondary and tertiary curricula but not powerful, compelling, challenging, complex, very unsettling stuff like this?

Buy these two and read them. Your soul will grow larger and warmer, and you will become a far better person.

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