As booksellers, we often overhear customers lamenting that they've always meant to read “that other Jane Austen novel,” or Graham Greene, or Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but just never found the time. We've tried to remedy that with our Classics I Forgot to Read Book Club by providing motivation and a welcoming space to share your thoughts.

In choosing our ‘classics’ over the past few years, we've tried to select titles that had some visibility among readers, but were not necessarily included in the standard high school English class. We've also sampled a range of genres, from mystery (The Long Goodbye) to comedy (Cold Comfort Farm) to stream-of-consciousness (To the Lighthouse). So, whether our picks are already gathering dust on your bookshelves or this is your first encounter with the literary canon, we encourage you to join us on the last Wednesday evening of every month for conversation about the classics.

Monday, March 10, 2008

February 2008--The Secret Agent

by Joseph Conrad

With a character that walks around wearing a bomb ready to detonate any moment, I expected Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent to be primarily a political drama. And while Conrad assembles a group of so-called anarchists led by his main protagonist, Verloc, in 1890s London, they are the sorriest bunch of radicals one is likely to meet. We follow Verloc as he attempts to prove his mettle as a double agent, but it is his wife, Winnie, and her mentally handicapped brother, Stevie, who become the heart of the story. When Stevie is unwittingly drawn into Verloc’s terrorist plot, Winnie’s safe, domestic world is shattered. Conrad’s only novel set in London, it is laced with enough irony and plot turns to keep the reader curious until the final page.


1 comment:

Tom said...

One of the gloomiest books I've ever read. But it was very satisfying when Winnie finally did get around to killing Verloc. If only Conrad had let her get away with it...