epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

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Book Reviews: The Grass Crown + Fortune’s Favourites + various 1980s Teen Novels

The Glass Crown by Colleen McCullough
This 2nd book in the ‘Masters of Rome’ saga is padded out and full of nattering. It is dull and far from captivating. Friends turned rivals, Gaius Marius and Sulla, continue their bad life choices for maximum dramatic effect.

Loads and loads of characters do ill-advised things and Gaius Marius becomes deeply fearful of the ambitions of a young Caesar and plans to bring him to order. There are chapters upon chapters of dangerous statements by worthless idiots, massive sexism, fake moralism, ideological programming and the ugly fallout of the moral problems of Rome.

Slaves are ignored, the Roman religion is ignored, Sulla’s particularly disturbing behaviour is ignored and people speak of each other in tones of condemnation. Precocious brat kids tantrum and tattletale. Things go counter intention to young Caesar’s dreams and purpose. This was way too long and dull and one doesn’t care about the identity formation of young Caesar or see why Gaius Marius feels threatened by this snotty kid. This 1991 book was lame.

Best Lines:
“Consider yourself divorced as of this moment!”

“Find another home. You don’t belong in mine.”

“He doesn’t know what he wants. Or perhaps he does know, but dare not be it and want it.”

“This divorce. His cruelty to you. It isn’t being received well.”

“You will never leave this house again for any purpose whatsoever.”

“No Roman army has ever marched upon Rome.”
“No Roman army was ever so provoked.”

“Muttering prayers in a language none of us understands anymore.”

Fortune’s Favourites by Colleen McCullough
This 1993 novel is the 3rd in the ‘Masters of Rome’ saga. Caesar, Pompey and Crassus begin to form their interoperable Triumvirate. Meanwhile the very young Brutus and Mark Antony make cameos. Also the wretched, degenerate Sulla unleashes his last vile acts. The doomed Spartacus leads his revolt and this was another long, turgid tale of loads and loads of characters. Caesar is wonderful, perfect and a prince among men. This was not good.

Best Lines:
“This creature of no significance.”

“You’re not good enough for me.”

“She was important to no one.”

“My little plate-licker.”

Recall the ‘Make Me A Star’ series. There were 6 books and I read 4: ‘Prime Time’, ‘Take Two...And Rolling!’, ‘Wanting It All’ and ‘On The Move’. They were okay.

Then there were the ‘Pratt Twins’ books. I read 2: ‘The Banana Split Affair’ and ‘The Hot Fudge Sunday Affair’. They were forgettable

Read 6 books of the 18 ‘Sisters’ books: ‘Threes A Crowd’, ‘Too Late For Love’, ‘The Kiss’, ‘Secrets At Seventeen’, ‘Always A Pair’ and ‘On Thin Ice’. They were okay.

I recall the ‘Bad News Ballet’ aka ‘Scrambled Legs’ books. I read 6 of 10: ‘The Terrible Tryouts’, ‘Battle of the Bunheads’, ‘Stupid Cupids’, ‘Who Framed Mary Bubnick?’, ‘Blubberina’ and ‘Save D.A.D’. They were terrible.

I also read one of the many ‘Couples’ books: ‘Fire And Ice’. It was okay.
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