I've been thinking - it's about time I started doing book reviews!
Without further ado...
Book review #1, Crime and Punishment:
Now to be perfectly honest, I haven't completely finished this one yet. I'm on page 31, however, so I think, ha, I've got "the gist" of it, and then some.
Crime and Punishment is the final installment of the series that includes Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility (also known as the "And Trilogy"). The careful reader, however, will notice that this one is not by The Bard, Jane Eyre, but a much lesser known Russian scribe by the name of Destroyefsky. It is, in fact, translated from Russian, which is made distractingly obvious by the presence of dozens of Russian words and names that the translator apparently missed. Pretty amateurish for a supposed "classic," but, then again, I'm no book reviewer. Oh, wait, I AM.
It very quickly becomes apparent that what we have here is a basic retelling of the Robin Hood legend. Some have argued this point, but the original date of publication places it solidly after the western Robin Hood, so we won't get far by quibbling; this is not an original, it is a "re-imagining." This, on it's own, shouldn't damn the book - I am a great fan of creative retelling and rehashing, and I believe there is much to be gained, intellectually, from riffing off the work of a genius, from the spectacular DiCaprio "Romeo + Juliet," to Jimi Hendrix's version of "My Country 'Tis of Thee" ("riffing" indeed!)
Crime + Punushment, lamentably, is simply too straight-forward a retelling. The sassy Roskolnikoff is Robin Hood down to the green tights, and his sister Dunya is a russian Maid Marrian. Throw in the landlady as The Sherrif of Nottingham, and you know the rest. The swordplay is decent, but it's nothing we haven't all seen better done in RH: Prince of Thieves.
So, if you've got plenty of time to kill, you might pick this flacid arrow up, otherwise just do yourself a favor and rent the original.