I'm a GoodReads user testing new waters after the serious website changes. I mostly read fiction, usually Anglophone classics/ modern classics; I like nonfiction (mostly social and cultural history), good fantasy and graphic novels. For guilty pleasure, I read advice and how-to books. I made at least two reading resolutions recently; 1. read less, live more; 2. read books which give me more pleasure. I have poor filters, and books I find stylistically pleasing tend to be depressing, so I need to do something about that; if you think you know a book that is very well written, but won't make me weep, please drop me a line.

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge - Ambrose Bierce (I forgot how short it was; it turns out half of my text was the full Project Gutenberg license, which took me by surprise).

I liked it, probably because Bierce didn't try to stretch it out (cough-[b:Oblomov|254308|Oblomov|Ivan Goncharov||1192093]-cough). Parts of it, especially detailed descriptions of the soldiers' placement in the beginning, felt laborious, some parts, like the one below, were ominous, atmospheric, and beautiful.
By nightfall ... he found a road which led him in what he knew to be the right direction. It was as wide and straight as a city street, yet it seemed untraveled. No fields bordered it, no dwelling anywhere. Not so much as the barking of a dog suggested human habitation. The black bodies of the trees formed a straight wall on both sides, terminating on the horizon in a point, like a diagram in a lesson in perspective. Overhead, as he looked up through this rift in the wood, shone great garden stars looking unfamiliar and grouped in strange constellations. He was sure they were arranged in some order which had a secret and malign significance. The wood on either side was full of singular noises, among which--once, twice, and again--he distinctly heard whispers in an unknown tongue.

His neck was in pain and lifting his hand to it found it horribly swollen. He knew that it had a circle of black where the rope had bruised it. His eyes felt congested; he could no longer close them. His tongue was swollen with thirst; he relieved its fever by thrusting it forward from between his teeth into the cold air. How softly the turf had carpeted the untraveled avenue--he could no longer feel the roadway beneath his feet!
What a way to signal/ foreshadow death by hanging!Still, once read, this story does not pack a punch - I remember terrifying [b:Chickamauga|6516855|Chickamauga|Ambrose Bierce||6708684] impressed me much more on first reading, and I think it stands the test of second reading far better that this one.

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