Category: General

Jan 13 2009

Death on the Installment Plan by Louis-Ferdinand Celine

Celine has a way of writing about perfectly horrible experiences in a way that makes you laugh out loud. This book is a work of genius, although not quite as good as *Journey to the End of Night*. It’s too bad he didn’t write more. He has an uncanny way of finding humor in all …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2009/01/13/death-on-the-installment-plan-by-louis-ferdinand-celine/

Nov 14 2008

The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare

When I took Shakespeare in college the professor dismissed this play as silly, but he can’t have been reading the same play. The love story is touching, not just the romantic courtship between the gentlemen and the ladies, but also the friendship between the two gentlemen, and the play is only saved from being a …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2008/11/14/the-two-gentlemen-of-verona-by-william-shakespeare/

Nov 12 2008

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

This is a wonderful work of imagination on Wells’ part, but it is interesting to me for two reasons that are tangential to the story. The first is that it was written before the close of the nineteenth century, when Britain was thought of as the most powerful nation on earth, so it made sense …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2008/11/12/the-war-of-the-worlds-by-h-g-wells/

Sep 06 2008

Caesar: Politician and Statesman by Matthias Gelzer

An excellent study of the crisis of the late Roman Republic, the Gallic and Civil Wars, and Julius Caesar’s personal genius. To put it as mildly as possible, Caesar was a man of remarkable ability, not the least of which was his extraordinary knack for never missing an opportunity, and he was born at the …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2008/09/06/caesar-politician-and-statesman-by-matthias-gelzer/

Apr 09 2008

Napoleon Bonaparte by Alan Schom

This is a well written and well researched book, but it is the most anti-Napoleon book I have ever read. The author gives the devil his due, acknowledging Napoleon’s outstanding abilities as a battlefield commander, but other than that, he has nothing nice to say about the great man. And he takes the peculiar position …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2008/04/09/napoleon-bonaparte-by-alan-schom/

Dec 30 2007

The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler by Robert Payne

I have read this book many times, and it never fails to fascinate. Hitler’s later career is well known to history; the really interesting part of this book deals with his youth. He appeares to have been an isolated dreamer, alienated from others but not totally devoid of human feeling. For much of his young …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2007/12/30/the-life-and-death-of-adolf-hitler-by-robert-payne/

Feb 09 2007

The Food of the Gods by H.G. Wells

Technically this book is science fiction, but in reality it is a brilliant social allegory, much in the same vein as *Gulliver’s Travels*. The Food of the Gods is a newly discovered chemical compound that makes animals and humans grow to huge proportions. But the subject of this book is not really bigness and big …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2007/02/09/the-food-of-the-gods-by-h-g-wells/

Dec 18 2005

Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single quotation on the cover of a book is not a reliable guide to its contents. Nevertheless, when the quotation clearly comes from a review, and the review comes from a reasonably reputable newspaper, for such I imagine the Independent to be, some credence could be allowed.… …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/12/18/terence-this-is-stupid-stuff-2/