All the philosophy of a big drink and a foghorn

Long Day’s Journey into Night by Eugene O’Neilllong-days-journey

The story

Firstly, let’s raise the tone. This play is lively, witty and has some of the snappiest comebacks in theatre (if you can survive the Americanisms).

Now I shall drop the bass.

Mundanity. Shame. Bitterness. Can we keep our spirits and our spirits (preferably whiskey) up when beneath the surface we feel so much more than our light-hearted jokes can say? What we get to see in O’Neill’s most personal work is a play that takes place in an American family summer house over the course of a day. Two parents; two sons, and something has been corrupted in each one.

Why should you read Long Day’s Journey into Night? Because the demons we face are sometimes in our head, and sometimes in our loved ones. There has never been such an apt study of this fact.

The back of the book informs us:

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I thought it was a book about coffee

Too Black, Too Strong by Benjamin Zephaniah

My book

You can tell that there’s something… different about a book when even its publisher’s logo (BLOODAXE BOOKS) flags up warning signs. This 2001 poetry book is only 87 pages long, but packs a rather lethal punch. When I first picked it up, the title, and the stains on the cover, mislead me into thinking that it was a book about coffee. Trust me, it’s not.

I was perhaps a bit disappointed with this paperback I ordered. Unused to buying poetry anthologies, as previously I either got massive compilations or read modern poetry online, it seemed so thin. I’d bought it because I needed at least a couple of poetry books to analyse to within an inch of their lives for my AS levels. Too Black, Too Strong is perfect in that respect, as though it has been written for the simplicity of analysing it. As for my taste in poetry however…

You may wonder why such a controversial and stereotypical book, which we must all agree it is, has appeared on my blog of classics. My answer is simple: it’s a classic because it’s stereotypical. We need a book of angry zesty poetry on this blog. I’m going into my A level year so you’ll need this little break from ancient hardcore poetry that will be steadily appearing.

The story

Here I will simply quote one paragraph from the blurb, and leave up to your judgement the rest:

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Just when you thought you couldn’t hate Hitler more

Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

My book

I bought Anne Frank’s diary as something to read during any lull on my work experience placement. I’m not sure now about how wise my decision was, since my placement was at a primary school and the young kids there kept asking why I kept crying on my book.

My decision stood, nevertheless, and I’ll never regret reading it. I picked it out mainly because I was studying the Second World War in History and I thought it would be more interesting than reading the textbook that I was meant to.

Published 1947, Diary of a Young Girl is 287 pages long. If you get a copy, get it complete and unabridged. There’s a certain wholeness to having the entire thing there and I wouldn’t be able to pick out a bit which was more or less necessary than the rest.

The story

My God, it’s real! It’s all true, ignoring the fact that this is subjectively written and therefore exclusively from the narrow view of a teenage girl. The blurb comments: Continue reading