As there is always some difficulty in finding good books, I took counsel with myself and, being a bookworm of the most voracious variety, I now offer these book reviews to you, the reader. Not all of these books are new; in fact, some are out of print, and only available on e-readers. (I’ll note that at the beginning of the review)
My aim is simply to suggest good books to read, to people of all ages- from young children to adults. With this in mind, I begin with Edmond Rostand’s inimitable classic play, Cyrano de Bergerac.
I personally recommend the Brian Hooker translation, having merely glanced at two other, and inferior, translations. Cyrano de Bergerac being a play in verse, the fact that this particular translation is more fluid and lyrical is paramount.
The play is described as an heroic comedy, (that is, in my copy, from Bantam Classics) is about two hundred and thirty pages long, and is really not that hard to read, though it is a play. I won’t spoil it, but I can safely say that the really good parts are evenly scattered throughout the play.
As for the story itself, you might say there is something for everyone; swordplay, poetry, romance, and of course, humor. Without spoiling anything else I can tell you that D’Artagnan, from The Three Musketeers, makes a brief cameo. I can also tell you that the stage directions are sufficient in the stead of the background description in novels. The words are great, fine, noble, memorable, and eminently quotable, and the poetry flows smoothly off the page. (It also improves every time you read it– I’ve read it five times– it’s that good.)
You can probably find Cyrano de Bergerac at the library, a used bookstore, and definitely at Barnes & Noble, (they have their own translation). The last time I checked you can also get it for free on the Kindle, in French or in English, but not the Brian Hooker translation. I hope you enjoy Cyrano as much as I did!