The Last Day of a Condemned Man

I haven’t done one of these in a while. Quite honestly, that’s because the only books I’ve been reading lately is those I needed for my literature exam. Wuthering Heights… Doctor Faustus… The Bloody Chamber… Over and over again. I can’t deny that I really enjoyed them but it was nice to read something just because I wanted to again.

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Now it’s time for my second confession: the only reason I picked up this book is because I am hopelessly in love with les miserables at the moment. I had never seen it before I was dragged to the cinema. I wasn’t expecting much but I absolutely loved it. The soundtrack has been blasting from my laptop on a pretty frequent basis this last couple of weeks. And Eddie! Dear Eddie Redmayne – how could you not like him and his perfectly chiselled cheekbones?! But the prospect of reading the formidable novel by Victor Hugo remains rather daunting. I’m sure I’ll get round to it one day but it might have to wait a while.

I thought I was picking an easy solution by buying The Last Day of a Condemned Man but although it isn’t very long, it is far more thought provoking than I had anticipated. Saying that, it is brilliantly written so I didn’t really mind that it wasn’t quite the light hearted and easy read I had thought. Then again it was rather naive of me to think the mind that brought us the heart-wrenching tale of Jean Valjean would create a simple, happy narrative. At the very least, the title should have been a clue.

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But with gems like this, I can easily forgive Hugo. It is a fabulous novel and raises some crucial philosophical issues while maintaining some beautifully poetic commentaries on prison and death.

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I’ve also been slowly working my way through this bad boy that my parents bought me for Christmas. I’ve read a couple already and am really enjoying them – some lovely Sherlock-esque short stories- but I doubt I will finish any time soon ! I might just have to make it my challenge for the year.

I’m not entirely sure what will be next, although I have just starting reading The Handmaid’s Tale for English – any suggestions?

Kelly x

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