Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Nearly Finished With 1917

I've finished reading book nine on the list of the top ten best sellers of 1917 - The Definite Object by Jeffery Farnol, and I'm about one quarter of the way through number ten, The Hundredth Chance by Ethel M. Dell.

In an earlier post, when I was just starting The Definite Object, I had high hopes for this novel. It started out with comedic elements, but unfortunately, it soon became a rather boring and trite work. Although published in 1917, the story takes place in 1910. The story reminds me of typical "romantic" comedies in the early days of "talkies". Coming before the advent of sound motion pictures, the book was obviously not influenced by the early movies, but I think it's possible that many of those early romantic movies could have been influenced by the author, Jeffery Farnol. Farnol wrote over 40 romantic novels, with many being very successful.

Dell's The Hundredth Chance was reviewed by at least 5 people and rated by 30 more at Goodreads.com, receiving an average rating of 3.64 out of 5. One reviewer wrote:

"Wikipedia describes Dell's typical novel as containing: 'a very feminine woman, an alpha male, a setting in India, passion galore liberally mixed with some surprisingly shocking violence and religious sentiments sprinkled throughout.' The Hundredth Chance is not set in India, but it does contain every other element in that list, with an emphasis on surprisingly shocking violence. Every other chapter seems to contain a beating or assault: a man beating his twenty-five-year-old step-daughter because he thinks she needs a good spanking (appalling enough on its own, but Dell adds a sexual component to make it even worse); the hero beating various animals and stable workers and threatening others (he takes alpha male to a new level); and long before the invention of roofies, a man slipping a drug into a woman's drink for nefarious purposes. All very disturbing."

That pretty much sums it up.

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