Book Selection For The Year
(Book Summaries from Amazon.Com)
Guy Montag is a book-burning fireman
undergoing a crisis of faith. His wife spends all day with her television
"family." Their dull, empty life sharply contrasts with that of his
next-door neighbor Clarisse, a young girl thrilled by the ideas in books.
When Clarisse disappears mysteriously, Montag is moved and starts hiding
books in his home. Eventually, his wife turns him in, and after fleeing to
avoid arrest, Montag winds up joining an outlaw band of scholars who keep
the contents of books in their heads, waiting for the time society will once
again need the wisdom of literature.
In a terrifying country,
where Big Brother is always Watching You and the Thought Police can
practically read your mind, Winston is a man in grave danger for the simple
reason that his memory still functions. He knows the Party controls the
people by feeding them lies and narrowing their imaginations through a
process of bewilderment that alienates each individual and
deprives him of every liberating human pursuit from reasoned inquiry to
sexual passion. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the
courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood,
dedicated to the destruction of the Party.
Julius Caesar is the most powerful man in
Rome, but his power threatens the republic’s very existence. A conspiracy is
hatched, one that will have fatal consequences not only for Caesar and the
conspirators, but also for the future history of the Ancient World. At its
heart is the noble Brutus, caught in the tragic conflict between private
affection and public duty.
Huck, in flight from his murderous father,
and Nigger Jim, in flight from slavery, pilot their raft thrillingly through
treacherous waters, surviving a crash with a steamboat, betrayal by rogues,
and the final threat from the bourgeoisie. Informing all this is the
presence of the River, described in palpable detail by Mark Twain, the
former steamboat pilot, who transforms it into a richly metaphoric entity.
Richie Perry, Lobel, Johnson, Brunner, and
Peewee are all in Vietnam. They came there for different reasons, but now
they share a single dream -- getting out alive.
A story of two
fathers and two sons and the pressures on all of them to pursue the religion
they share in the way that is best suited to each. And as the boys grow into
young men, they discover in the other a lost spiritual brother, and a link
to an unexplored world that neither had ever considered before. In effect,
they exchange places, and find the peace that neither will ever retreat from
Frankenstein tells the story of committed
science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering, the cause of
generation and life, and, bestowing animation upon lifeless matter,
Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon
bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness.
Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to
evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator,
Tortilla Flat follows the exploits of Danny
and his paisano friends, who live in squalid poverty and blissful idleness
near Monterey, California. McDonough does not overact, and his gentle touch
is well suited to the story. His accents and voices, however, are strangely
inconsistent, as if he eventually tires of giving each character his own.
Nonetheless, McDonough makes it work by bringing out the novel's humor and
poignancy in all the right places.