I start my final year of University on Monday and for my module on Postcolonial Writing, I have had to read Mating Birds by Lewis Nkosi. It’s not something I would usually read (I like crime/detective, science-fiction and fantasy mostly) - it covers a serious topic and doesn’t completely fit a specific genre.
It was when I started writing down answers to some questions in preparation for my first lesson that I realised that there are multiple messages in the novel. I’m not going to mention any of them now; I always find that when I’m told what a story is about, it makes the story harder to get through because I’d be waiting for specific things to happen.
It is definitely worth a read, though it is currently out of print (I had to buy it second-hand online).
I study English Literature at university and for one of my modules I have to read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.
First thing I noticed about the book: there are no songs.
I’ve wanted to read this book and any other books by Dickens since I watched Matilda when I was young.
Last year I had to read Great Expectations. I think that if I hadn’t read it in order to analyse it, it would have probably been an interesting book but I really didn’t enjoy it.
The thing I didn’t like was how Dickens seemed to use more words than he needed to explain something simple and since I also study Creative Writing, it really annoyed me as we are taught not to do this.
So when I picked up Oliver Twist I tried to be open minded. After reading the first paragraph, I had no idea what was going on and thought that this was going to be Great Expectations all over again. But I carried on reading and found that it wasn’t.
I haven’t read a lot of it, I’m only on chapter four at the moment. But the writing in this book is completely different to Great Expectations. I can understand more of it and rather than over-explaining things, Dickens seems to have used a lot of sarcasm. I don’t know if that’s just my interpretation.
The sarcasm is making it a little more enjoyable to read, though sometimes it seems a bit over the top.
I’m hoping that all of Dickens’ books have a different voice because I’m planning on reading David Copperfield at some point.