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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them. The blog, however, will continue, and if you've got a good first line to share for TwitterLit please do so here.



  
From a random review:

  

« Pedersen, Laura: Beginner's Luck | Main | Javitt, Jonathan: Capitol Reflections »

Meyer, Stephenie: Breaking Dawn

  

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Little, Brown © 2008, 754 pages
5 stars

The publication of Breaking Dawn, the fourth book in Stephenie Meyer's vampire saga, was met with a firestorm of protest in some quarters. Disgruntled readers, unhappy with the direction the story takes in book four, tried to organize a campaign against the book, urging others who were unhappy with the novel after reading it to return it. The strategy would effectively rob Meyer and her publisher of royalties that they had earned legitimately from the book's sale. The response, a bit of childish foot-stamping, is ridiculous: readers aren't guaranteed a plot that pleases them or their money back. And the protesters' desire to punish Meyer--an author who had presumably pleased them over the course of the series' first 1800-odd pages--is mean-spirited and distasteful.

The response is also difficult to understand. Breaking Dawn offers the most exciting plot of the tetralogy, and it ties the story together nicely. The book's conclusion is both satisfying and sensible. And the book is at least as well-written as previous installments in the series: that is, if readers didn't enjoy Meyer's prose in the first place, they shouldn't have made it as far as book four to complain about it.

In some ways, the relationships in the book evolve along old-fashioned lines. A soap opera's worth of modern-day issues are addressed in the midst of a vampire's coven, but in the end life is defended against darkness; love and the conventions of marriage triumph; and familial bonds are strengthened. It's just that the family that forms in these pages is an untraditional one. This is all very vague, as summaries go, but I don't want to give anything away. In short, I think Breaking Dawn is the best book in Meyer's series. Don't let the fringe lunatics dissuade you from giving it a shot.

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Comments

1.

I completely agree with you - I enjoyed the book very much, and the protest just baffled me.

2.

Thanks for this, Carrie!

3.

I totally agree, Debra. With the exception of Renesme, which, just sheesh, is horrible, I thought she brought everything to a satisfying close. No loose threads, no lurking dangers, everyone gets what they should have.

I think the problem is that whenever you have rabid fans, it doesn't take a whole lot for them to turn on you.

4.

Thanks, jm. The only thing I minded about Renesme was her name. What a terrible name! I joked that if it were a boy they should name it Charlisle. :)

A crazy person commented on my review on Amazon, complaining that the book is "raw" and the publisher shouldn't have released it. I don't see that at all. As you say, all the loose ends are tied up, etc. It worked, I think.

5.

I thought the book was great. This isn't high literature, nor is it meant to be, it's escapist fun which some days is worth more than it's weight in gold, to analyze it as anything more is silly. I wrote about my week engrossed in all things Twilight on my blog (the post does contain spoilers) and found most readers and people I talked with enjoyed the last book as much as all of the others. I agree about the name, can't even begin to pronounce it.

6.

Thanks, Kim. Someone's replying to my review at Amazon and trying to make the case that returning the book to the store is appropriate because it's akin to damaged property. Crazy, but I don't feel like responding. I'll check out your blog.

7.

I'm glad to see someone else has liked this book too! I too was amazed at some readers' response (bothered by the happy ending, by the fact that all the characters got what they wanted -- why?? )

Renesmee middle name actually is Carlie (yes _Car_lisle and Char_lie_) so you weren't very far off with that :) I tend to agree with the author when she said that such an extraordinary creature couldn't have had an ordinary name, which is why she (the author) invented Renesmee.

8.

I meant to say, of course, "Renesmee's middle name"

9.

Thanks for your comments, Kay! It's nice to hear from people who aren't on the attack. Happily, folks have stopped commenting nastily on my review over at Amazon.

I don't get the logic of some of the arguments, either. It's not unusual for books to end happily for the principal characters.




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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.