Monday, June 08, 2009

The Wisdom of Satan and other Stories

Since I acquired my new fangled listening device I have had those kind LibriVox people read me the following books,

  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • The Mysterious Stranger and Other Tales by Mark Twain (Paine version)

And I am currently listening to The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame. That is a re-read but it's always enjoyable. I was reminded of a thought that I had when I read it first, and it was this - how come Ratty and Toad and Badger and the rest of them get to eat interesting food, go on caravan holidays and have houses and cars and furniture and stuff while other animals, such as the old grey horse has to drag Toad's canary-coloured cart, only gets to eat grass and lives in a paddock? Maybe that's where Orwell got his idea for 'All animals are equal...' Or maybe not.

I finished 'The Mysterious Stranger' yesterday. I was hanging out the washing when Satan was opining thus,

In five or six thousand years five or six high civilizations have risen, flourished, commanded the wonder of the world, then faded out and disappeared; and not one of them except the latest ever invented any sweeping and adequate way to kill people.

Satan was speaking in the late 16th century, Twain writing at the turn of the twentieth. How we have moved on since then.


evilganome said...

"The Wind in the Willows" was my favorite book as a child and in a lot of ways, it still is.

I'm happy you are enjoying Mr. Twain. I remember being introduced to his essays when I was in high school. It gave me a completely different perspective on him. And on the world when it comes to that.

Nelly said...

I'm looking forward to having Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn read to me too. I read them when I was younger, much younger, and I expect to get a lot more out of them now.

I'm also really relishing my Dickens. There are writers, such as Twain & Dickens, who still sound fresh even after the passage of a century.

The great thing about listening is that I can do it while I'm doing tedious things like laundry and cleaning. The only downside is that I'm a bit off limits as to domestic conversation and Bert says I look like Joe 90 with my earphones on.