Friday, March 29, 2013

Super-Review #3

The Island of Dr. Moreau
This was my first H. G. Wells experience--I went in with pretty high expectations, and was impressed with how well these expectations were met. The story, about a man who ends up on the island of a crazed vivisectionist, is rather delightfully creepy. It's a short novel, but one worth reading for fans of science fiction.
My rating: 4/5

Orpheus Descending
Another Tennessee Williams play. I was excited about this play because of the Orpheus-related title. What I got was a play very thin in allusion and myth-layering that was actually kind of dull. The characters seemed flat and I couldn't get myself particularly invested in their story. Not Williams' best work.
My rating: 3/5

Summer and Smoke
Yet another Tennessee Williams play, and this time I was really wowed. My second-favorite of his plays I've read (coming only after A Streetcar Named Desire), this story of love between Alma and John really stirred up some feelings. The characters are vivid and the story engaged me. The ending got to me. What a marvelous work.
My rating: 4.5/5

St. Mawr
Wacky story about a lady who buys a horse and is obsessed with him. My first D. H. Lawrence, and perhaps not his best. The thematic ideas of the text are certainly interesting and worth thinking about, but there is a lot of repetition that aggravated me (enough that I felt okay skimming, something I never condone). Looking forward to try some other Lawrence in the hopes I like it more.
My rating: 3/5

This 1936 Djuna Barnes is another in the string of weird experimental stuff that has been appearing in my super-reviews, and is my least favorite of all of them. I said about Jacob's Room that the plot was kind of hard to follow but that the writing was beautiful; the same is true here, except the plot is impossible. Characters appear and give fifteen or twenty page monologues that are incredibly difficult to follow. If I hadn't gone onto the Wikipedia page to read the plot summary, I would have had no idea what the story was  about. There was nothing to keep me interested. Boo.
My rating: 2/5

La casa de Bernarda Alba
A Spanish play by Federico García Lorca about feminism and societal expectations. I think it may have been a little too short and a little too abrupt to really communicate well with an audience. I would have appreciated  some more meat to the text, certainly. Nonetheless, and interesting look at a bygone society with (another) sad ending.
My rating: 3.5/5

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