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Sophie's Choice Book Review

  • Jun 11, 2010

What was your emotional reaction as you read? Why?
I was really emotional while reading this book. There are many twists and turns, and although the wording is sometimes a little excessive, the author does a great job of drawing readers into the heart of the story.

Who would you recommend this reading to and why?
Anyone who has an interest in history. I am a big history buff myself, and I feel as though this book gives another insight into a different side of the Holocaust. Maybe some things we don't often realize were happening. This is also a good read for those who like to make an attachment to the characters.

Consider the setting.
The setting is mainly in late 40s early 50s Brooklyn,. New York. It also takes on settings of various Polish cities, as well as parts of the American South in the heart of Jim Crowe. 

Consider the story/plot.
The plot is the roller coaster love affair that develops between three unlikely friends: a vivacious, outgoing biologist, a Polish survivor of Auschwitz, and our narrator: a Southern writer who moves to Brooklyn to pursue his career. As the three grow closer, the narrator skillfully intertwines and unwinds each of their stories. 

Consider character development.
There are three main characters who are all shrouded in mystery as the story begins to unfold. As the tale progresses, the characters become like friends to us, just as they form a bond of friendship between themselves. The characters are what keep the reader coming back. They are likable and unlikable in the same sense. 

Consider themes and motifs.
The reoccurring motif is that of the strength of friendship. The three characters in the book go through a lot together in the short time they know one another, yet they still seem to have an immense power that brings them together, that comes to be seen as friendship.

Consider literary elements used, such as metaphors
The most prevalent literary elements used are foreshadowing and cliffhanging. The author foreshadows up-coming events slyly, but still implements cliff hangers at the end of each chapter to insist that the read progress.

What was the message/purpose of the writing?
I feel that the message of the writing was of the power of friendship, and how important loyalty to our loved ones truly is. 

Compare and contrast reading with other book types
The writing is rather wordy at times, and could really be more concise, but the author has more of a style of his own. It could be compared to Wolfe or Faulkner, however, with its Southern literary hints.

Compare and contrast reading to movie adaptations.
I have not seen the movie, and I don't believe I would care to. There are just some books that tell the tale better than any movie could, and I feel that this is one such novel. 

Describe the illustrations (if applicable).
Not applicable. 

Reflect on the author.
I have not read any of the author's other works, so I am not sure if his writing style is consistent. I did enjoy his story, but I could have used a bit less wordiness. 

Nonfiction: Describe the facts and research.
There are parts of the book that are based on non-fiction events and places, and the research was conducted efficiently, as the facts are relatively correct and close to other information I have read. 

Non-book: How topic is related to "books?"
Not applicable.

Non-book: If e-reader, evaluate pros and cons.
Not applicable.

Non-book: Describe value & usability of website.
Not applicable.

Non-book: Why users should try new reading gadget.
Not applicable. 

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More Sophie's Choice reviews
Quick Tip by . June 28, 2010
Both the novel and the movie are excellet, if depressing.
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Heartbreaking! Meryl Streep at her best.
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
really heartbreaking
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
Very long,but ultimately worth it. The book is even better than the movie.
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2010
Should be a book youths are required to read. Speaks the truth about a haunting Holocaust survivor and how she continued her life after the storm.
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2010
So very sad but wonderful movie and book.
review by . September 27, 2009
Sophie's Choice - Great movie, great book
The Polish immigrant Sophie is struck by an Emily Dickinson poem read by the teacher one evening in her English language class:   “Ample make this Bed – Make this Bed with Awe – In it wait till Judgment break Excellent and Fair.   Be its Mattress straight – Be its Pillow round – Let no Sunrise’ yellow noise Interrupt this Ground –   Meryl Streep won an Oscar (Best Actress) for her portrayal of the Polish immigrant Zofia Zawistowski in the …
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Heather Roling ()
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Sophie's Choice is a novel by William Styron published in 1979. It concerns a young American Southerner, an aspiring writer, who befriends the Jewish Nathan Landau and his beautiful lover Sophie, a Polish (but non-Jewish) survivor of the Nazi concentration camps. An immediate bestseller and the basis of a successful film, the novel is often considered both Styron's best work and a major novel of the twentieth century. The difficult decision that shapes the character Sophie is sometimes used as an idiom. A "Sophie's Choice" is a tragic choice between two unbearable options.

Sophie's Choice won the National Book Award for fiction in 1980.

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Drama Movies, Movie, Cafe Libri, Film, Drama, Novel, Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Alan Pakula, William Styron


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