February 2024

Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Magnificent novel. My favorite character was Oblonsky, so flawed but possessed of so many noble qualities.
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine Review of 3 H.G. Wells novels
Roughly written, but the vision of a dying planet was particularly good.
H.G. Wells, The Invisible Man
Evidence of greater artistry and some interesting narrative technique with regard to point of view, but rather unstable for the most part (much like the invisible man himself). Best section: the invisible man's narration of how he fell into his predicament and what life in this state was like.
H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds
Excellent writing. Particularly effective with regard to there being no hero to save the day. The portrait of London descending into a state of mass panic was quite convincing.
Jeff Vandermeer, Annihilation
Let down by some clumsy writing, but there are some good sections. Evident influence of Lovecraft and somewhat resembled Ballard's The Unlimited Dream Company.
Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto
In terms of tone, closest to The Monk.
William Beckford, Vathek
To follow...

Life Writing
Daniel Paul Schreber, Memoirs of my Nervous Illness
A key text in the field of psychiatry, which Jung and Freud discussed at length. Extraordinary delusions experienced by a German jurist at the turn of the twentieth century.
Enid Starkie, Petrus Borel: The Lycanthrope
This was a well-written biography of Petrus Borel (1809-1859), poet, short story writer, novelist, whose fame lasted for five or so years after the July Revolution of 1830 before he slid back into obscurity and poverty, first leaving Paris for the country, later leaving France for the colonies where he remained for the rest of his life, leading a largely unsatisfactory existence as a colonial inspector.