Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Two Books.

Looking for something to read, I downloaded a copy of Mark Twain's  The Innocents Abroad  for the Kindle app on my Android.

The wikipedia article on the book says it was the best-selling of Twain's works during his lifetime.

I don't know why.

I've read nearly half the book, and I can see that it's going to be difficult finishing it. I'll try. I don't want to leave it unfinished, but I find the book a great disappointment. The humorous and witty sections aren't and Twain comes across as simply snotty in the unfunny parts.

I'm aware that America was the home of a good deal of anti-Catholic bigotry during Twain's time, but I was shocked by the amount of vitriol coming from Twain regarding the Catholic Church. My opinion of him has dropped considerably.

Another difficulty in finishing The Innocents Abroad  is that I am also reading another novel on J.P.'s Kindle - Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage . I had read the book thirty odd years ago and became interested in reading again after watching the 1934 film adaptation (with Leslie Howard & Bette Davis) on Netflix. It's a given that films can be very different from the novels on which they're based, but I couldn't recall anything of what I'd read so long ago while watching the movie.

After downloading the book,and reading it, I'm tempted to believe that my memory of having read this book to be a false memory. None of the events in the book are recognizable to me.

In addition to Of Human Bondage , I've downloaded three other novels by Maugham as well as works by two authors mentioned by Maugham - Henry Murger and William Morris.

I'm enjoying Maugham's book more than Twain's and I will probably finish reading it first. I'm not quite sure what I'll start on next, but I feel like I should wait until I'm finished with The Innocents Abroad before starting on something new.

There are so many novels available for Kindle that are in the public domain, it's difficult choosing what to read next. I wish the Internet had been around when I was younger.

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