Reading the classics is always on my to-do list, thanks to my parents, who both loved a book that had stood the test of time (my dad and I had so many private jokes about the time he made me fight my way through A Tale of Two Kitties… I mean Cities). This year I read two, and unlike my experience with Dickens, I enjoyed them both.
The years of hype over The Lord of the Rings has finally gotten to me, but I was told I should read The Hobbit first, and so I did. I expected to find it tediously layered writing in the same way I dislike much of C.S. Lewis’s work (but love the man and his life). I truly enjoyed the mystical, fanciful, serious battle between good and several evils in The Hobbit. Next stop – you guessed it – the Rings trilogy.
The Scarlet Pimpernel
First question, why hasn’t Disney done this as a movie? It would be their next big hit! Pimpernel: she married him in love, but a twisted trick in her past in the French Revolution turned him against her, so she finds relief being the fashion queen of England. Now he’s just silly and shallow, but he’s the richest man in England, so of course he amuses everyone. Meanwhile, who is this heroic man-among-men who rescues the ill-fated aristocrats from Madame Guillotine, this so-called “Scarlet Pimpernel”? He must be brave, he must be handsome, he seems to have a thousand lives – but who is he? And how much longer can he continue to evade the committee of the people?
I didn’t actually read this book – I listened to it. If you haven’t yet experienced the free public-domain audiobooks on Librivox, Karen Savage’s expert rendition of The Scarlet Pimpernel would be a great place to start. And so I hear, any book she’s read in its entirety for the site is worth a listen. It accompanied me well on the tedious I-35 trip for ACTFL!