My Penguin English Library Collection II

It’s so satisfying to look at the colourful and stripy spines of the Penguin English Library classics lined on my shelves that I’m always eager to add more copies to my collection. I obviously have to be interested in the story as well. I don’t buy them solely for the covers and overall design by Coralie Bickford-Smith.

Since I revealed the classics that I had in these editions almost four years ago, I bought a few more. I have now sixteen in total. Most of my latest acquisitions were written by Charles Dickens, but there are other authors amongst the seven books mentioned in this post.

 

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Despite being full of unpleasant characters, Wuthering Heights is a gripping and convincing novel, which explores obsession and revenge in a believable way. Mr Earnshaw found Heathcliff on the streets of Liverpool when he was just a boy and took him to Wuthering Heights to live with him and his children. While he was looked down on by Hindley, he grew very close to Catherine. His unhealthy fascination with her led him to seek revenge. Continue reading

‘At the Mountains of Madness’ by H.P. Lovecraft

My rating: 3 stars

A novella that mixes sci-fi with horror, At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft is at first unnerving and even suspenseful. However, after the discovery made by the characters is revealed (early on), the book becomes far less eerie and more tedious. The narrator repeats many times that he wishes no one ever to return to the place that he has been to in Antarctica, but the author failed to convey the importance of that warning by genuinely unsettling readers.

The narrator was part of an expedition to Antarctica. Being a geologist, he hoped to collect various samples of rock and soil. He wasn’t at all prepared for the discovery that the first group that went to the dubbed ‘Mountains of Madness’ made. Not only did they locate one of the world’s greatest mountains, but they also discovered within them, frozen in a cave, an unknown species that they at first believed to be a mix between the animal and vegetable classes. When the narrator got the news from his colleagues’ discovery, he eagerly decided to join them. But what he witnessed there made him want to prevent people from setting foot in there again.

The place they discovered is painstakingly depicted. The descriptions of the mountains are detailed (albeit too verbose), make it easy to visualise them, and in a way serve as a symbol of the terror that the characters felt. Continue reading