Strangers on a Train

26 05 2010

Título: Strangers on a Train

Autor: Patricia Highsmith.

Editorial: Penguin

Obra Adaptada: SI.

Nivel: Intermedio.

Reseña: This book is an adaptation from the original book written by Patricia Highsmith. You can also find a film version which was directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1945 that became so well-known. 

´Strangers on a train´ tells a mystery story about Guy Haines, a famous tennis player, who meets Charley Bruno on a train. Charley proposes him a very strange plan `You murder my father and I’ll murder your wife´. From this moment, Guy’s life changes and he goes into a world of madness, lies and death; he cannot escape. 

In my opinion, this adaptation is rather limited and sometimes it is a bit difficult to follow the plot. But in general, it is a type of story from those days which seems interesting to me because it is evolved in an atmosphere of great tension.  I would recommend it as an entertaining book for those who enjoy classical mystery stories.

Valoración: 3/5

Sheila Cidón Brincones 2ºNI



Murder by Art

13 05 2010

IDIOMA: Inglés  

TÍTULO: Murder by Art

AUTORJanet Mcgiffin

EDITORIAL : Cambridge

OBRA ADAPTADA: SI 

NIVEL: Intermedio

RESEÑA: This book, written by Janet Mcgiffin and first published in 2009, is a murder mystery story.

The story takes place in Milwaukee in the USA during the summer. It starts on a hot August summer night when a young artist and a gang leader’s girlfriend are shot in the street, a woman dies mysteriously in the Mercy Hospital emergency room and a famous artist is killed at the opening of an exhibition of his work. Dr Maxine Cassidy and detective Grabowski find the connection between the events and they discover that these facts have not been accidental.

In my opinion, this book is rather interesting and the story is easy to understand. To sum up, if you like good thrillers, you’ll enjoy “Murder by Art” 

VALORACIÓN: 5/5 

Isabel Iglesias Santamarina  2ºNI



The Full Monty

12 05 2010

Título: The Full Monty

Autor: Wendy Holden

Editorial: Penguin Readers

Obra adaptada: Sí

Nivel: Intermedio

Reseña: ´The full Monty´ is a very popular and funny British film and this book is a great adaptation from it. The story mixes a formal language with some colloquial expressions which makes it easy to read it. 

It is about a group of men who don’t have work, so they need to do something to feel fulfilled. The main character is Gaz, who is divorced and needs money to be able to see his soon. He is quite crazy and always has crazy ideas, but he only wants to stay with his son. Gaz encourages the rest of the group to form a stripper’s group. They have several problems in their lives but finally they become close friends. 

It is worth reading because it is amusing and entertaining but at the same time it is a moving story.

Valoración: 4/5

Sheila Cidón Brincones  2ºNI



La Fuga di Bach

11 05 2010

Titolo: La fuga di Bach

Autore: Regina Assini e  Susanna Longo

Editoriale: CIDEB (Imparare leggendo)

Libro adattato: SI

Livello: Basico

Genere: Giallo 

La prima ballerina d’un balletto è trovata morta, il commissario risolve il crimine dopo aver indagato tante piste, ma una fuga di Bach è sempre presente.

È la tipica storia poliziesca, con un assassinio e una protagonista che sembra essere la colpevole.

Secondo me il libro non è cosí interessante dal punto di vista letterario, invece la cosa più interesante è la quantità d’esercizi che troviamo in ogni capitolo, molto utili per imparare bene strutture e regole gammaticali. 

Consiglierei questo libro per questa grande quantità d’esercizi, anche il lessico è semplice e facile da capire, mi sembra molto utile per studenti del livello basico.

Valutazione: 3/5

Aurelio García Fernández  2ºNB



“Los profesores recomiendan”: 1984 (by Emilio)

9 05 2010

1984.gifTítulo: 1984

Autor: George Orwell

Editorial: Penguin Readers

Obra adaptada: SI

Nivel: Intermedio

Reseña:

The book nineteen-eighty four was written by George Orwell, pen name used by Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950), and it was first published in 1949. Initially the book title was  “The Last Man in Europe”. Orwell participated in the Spanish Civil War and this fact made his literary career politically more intransigent.  Orwell is considered as one of the greatest writers of modern literature. With Orwell a new adjective that defines organizations or totalitarian societies was born: “Orwellian”. It is very difficult to define what kind of book this is. Some critics believe that it is a fiction book, but to me -I am not an expert on the subject- it is a political book. The narrator is not involved in the story, which is good from my point of view, because the reader will be able to draw his or her own opinion about the story. Three are the characters that deserve to be highlighted:

Winston Smith, a middle-aged man, is the main character of the story and we know 1984 world through his eyes. He hates the Party, but also he is a frightened and doubtful person. He seems defeated by the present, but when he meets Julia his pessimism starts to decline and he finds the only reason to live, the trust in the defeat of the Party and a free life with Julia but without the Party.

Julia, like Winston,  is against the Party, but has a different personality. Julia lives of the Party but not to the Party, she lives here and now; she definitely is more pragmatic than Winston. She uses sex to rebel against the Party. Julia’s relationship with Winston begins as a political act against the Party but in the end they fall in love and both of them swear not to betray each one.

O´Brien, has a high position in the Party and is a cool, clever and calculating person. From his role in the novel I think that he could be considered the symbol of the madness of dictatorship. Perhaps he represents the allegorical BIG BROTHER figure.

The story takes places in Oceania, one of the three countries in which the author divides the world, particularly in London in 1984, a year in the future. It is difficult to me to make a short summary of the plot, but I will try. Winston, who works for the Ministry of Truth is in charge of changing the past, he changes the news that is harmful to the Party. One day during an act called “ The Two Minutes Hate”, he sees a man (O´Brien), and he thinks he is a member of a secret society (The Brotherhood) against the Party. In the same act he eventually stumbles on Julia, a woman that he had previously thought to be a member of the Thought Police, and  they fall in love. They rent a room in the Proletariat section of the town (whose owner is an active member of  the Thought Police), to speak and engage in many anti-Party  acts, such as sex, love and other Thought Crimes (sex was prohibited by the Party). In the middle of the story, Winston stumbles on O´Brien and this man invites him and Julia to his house. O´Brien makes them believe that he is an important member of the Brotherhood and gives them a book supposedly written by Goldstein, who is the counterrevolutionary leader (everything is a trap). They are betrayed at once, by the owner of the apartment and by the man who was going to join the Brotherhood. Winston and Julia are sent to the Ministry of Love which is a sort of rehabilitation center for criminals accused of thought crime. There, Winston is separated from Julia and tortured until his beliefs coincide with the Party. Winston is taken to the dreaded Room 101, where each suspect faces his fears, his are the rats. Then he finally shouts “Do it to Julia!”  This is the proof of his recovery, the one his torturers want. 

In my opinion the book, masterfully written, alerts us about the danger of autocratic regimes and the methods that they use to limit the freedom and the thought of people in a sibylline form.  For example, if there are not words like love or crime, you cannot think of them because they do not really exist. The author at the end leaves some doubts: is there a BIG BROTHER?  Is the BROTHERHOOD an invention of the Party? Each community will respond to questions proposed by the author. The novel shows us, in a masterful  way, the painful life of people who live under totalitarian power. 

The book is highly recommended for people with political concerns. It is worth reading and moving, absolutely brilliant. I would also like to recommended another book by George Well “ Animal Farm”. On balance, please teenagers, read this book because your point of view about politics could change.

Valoración: 5/5

Emilio Jiménez Prieto 2ºNI



The Sugar Glider

8 05 2010

IDIOMA: Inglés  

TÍTULO: The Sugar Glider

AUTOR:  Rod Neilsen

EDITORIAL : Cambridge

OBRA ADAPTADA: SI 

NIVEL: Intermedio

RESEÑA: This book was written by Rod Nielsen and first published in 2003. An anonymous narrator tells an adventure story set in Australia where two pilots have to do a strange secret job for the government.

Don Radcliffe returns to Australia hoping to rescue a failed marriage and to spend more time with his daughter, Judy. But first, Paul Copeman, an old friend, offers him a strange routine job in an old DC4 airplane called “The Sugar Glider”. With this job, they will earn enough money to start their dreamed flying school. They have to fly the old DC4 to Melbourne Air Museum, making a stop on the way in a mine to pick some things up for the government. To spend more time with his daughter, Judy joins the trip. When they land near Warrangi Mine in the planned stop, some workers put several boxes and containers in the plane as they fill up the fuel tanks. After that, they continue their trip changing the flight plan crossing the mountains. An hour and a half later, the engines stop working and “The Sugar Glider” crashes into the mountains. The survival characters have to try to return to civilization searching for help, but perhaps, they might have problems with the government’s people… or not. You should read the book to know the end of the story.

In my opinion, the book is worth-reading, thrilling and not boring at all. I would like to recommend this book to everybody. It is easy to follow and entertaining. It’s perfect!

VALORACIÓN: 4/5 

Benedicto Fernández  2ºNI



Rabbit-Proof Fence

10 04 2010

WINNER ofThe Language Learner Literature Award 2007

TITLE: Rabbit-Proof Fence

AUTHOR: Doris Pilkington Garimara

RETOLD by: Jennifer Bassett

PUBLISHING HOUSE: Oxford

LEVEL: Intermediate

REVIEW: It is called Rabbit-Proof Fence and it is written by Doris Pilkington Garimara. It is a true story and the narrator is not present in the story, but she is the daughter of one of the main characters. The story takes place in Western Australia for about three months. The book is about the long journey of three girls who were far away from their desert home. Molly is a brave girl who, with her cousins Gracie and Daisy, escapes and walks back to Jingalong, their home, after being taken away from their families. They were sent to Moore River Native Settlement because they were mixed-race Aborigines and they had to go to the camp to learn how to live like the white man. They finally arrive at Jingalong following the rabbit-proof fence. The main characters are Molly, Gracie and Daisy. Molly is a fourteen-year-old girl who takes care of Gracie and Daisy during the entire trip. Gracie and Daisy are Molly’s cousins and they are younger than her. 

From my point of view, the book is rather entertaining and absolutely worth-reading. The most exciting part of the book is the last one, when they arrive home. I found this last chapter quite interesting; it’s very touching. It was really easy to understand and follow because the vocabulary is not too difficult.  

On balance, the book is highly recommendable to those who enjoy touching stories with a bit of adventure. Furthermore, you can see the film  based on the book if you liked it.

RATING: 5/5 

Ana Borrás Cernuda  2ºNI



Treasure Island

8 04 2010

IDIOMA: Inglés  

TÍTULO: Treasure Island 

AUTOR: Robert Louis Stevenson 

EDITORIAL : Vicens Vives 

OBRA ADAPTADA: SI 

NIVEL: Básico

RESEÑA: The story is about Jim Hawkins, who is the main character, and his friends on board the Hispaniola for an exciting voyage to Treasure Island. 

I invite people to read “The Pirates” where you can find out all about the fascinating world of buccaneers. I loved it and I recommend it because it is an adventure easy to read that I enjoyed a lot. 

VALORACIÓN: 5/5 

Mª Benedicta Vegas Platón  2ºNB



The Prisioner of Zenda

7 04 2010

Título: The Prisioner of Zenda

Autor: Anthony Hope

Editorial: Pearson

Obra adaptada: SI

Nivel: Intermedio

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Review:  Today’s book is “The Prisoner of Zenda”, an adventure novel by Anthony Hope, first published back in 1894.

The main character is Rudolf Rassendyll, an English gentleman, who travels to Ruritania to see the King’s coronation. During the journey to Ruritania he meets Rudolf the Fifth, who is going to be crowned King the next day. That night Rudolf ’s brother, Duke Michael, drugs him so that he can’t assist to his coronation. Colonel Sapt, an old soldier in the service of the new King, urges Rudolf Rasendyll to act like Rudolf the Fifth, given the physical resemblance that exists between them, to save the kingdom from his evil brother Duke Michael.

The most amusing part of the book is when the trick is done and Rudolf Rassendyll must act as if he was Rudolf the Fifth.

The book is quite enjoyable and moving but a little bit predictable. I would recommend it to anyone because it is short and easy to read, with only just a few difficult words.

Valoración: 3.5/5

Pablo Aller San Juan  2ºNI



Frankenstein

6 04 2010

Título: Frankenstein

Autor: Mary Shelley

Editorial: Heinle Cengage learning

Obra adaptada: Sí

Nivel: Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate + Audio CD

It was written by Mary Shelley in 1816. It is a graphic novel adaptation of a literary classic about a scientist who discovers the creation of life and he succeeds.The story is told by the creator of the monster: Victor Frankenstein, who is obsessed with the idea and builds a man using old body parts. Once the monster has life he escapes and later a series of tragic events happen around Victor. To finish with it,  Victor tries to kill the monster.

This is a book with a moral about the danger and responsibility of knowledge.  A classic comic that is very easy and enjoyable to read. A modern English version of the original script with reduced, simplified dialogues for faster reading. It has two audio CDs to follow the conversations that you can easily understand, even the monster! 

If you want to get deep into the theme, as a suggestion I recommend you to see the film “Young Frankenstein”  by Mel Brooks.

Valoración: 3/5

Alfredo Fernández Fernández



La fuga di Bach

31 03 2010

Titolo: La fuga di Bach

Autore: Regina Assini e  Susanna Longo

Editoriale: CIDEB (Imparare leggendo)

Libro adattato: SI

Genere: Giallo 

La prima ballerina, Irene Pavlovich,  è assente. Eleonora la sostituisce ed è il giorno più felice della sua vita. Ma subito questo essere in paradiso diventa un inferno.  La Pavlovich è morta ed Eleonora è sospettata dell’assassinio. Tutti a Milano sanno che c’è una gran rivalità fra le due donne a causa di Boris, il primo ballerino.

Il commissario Bonardi conduce l’indagine e pensa che Eleonora sia colpevole ma ci sono altri due sospetti ed inoltre qualcuno, non si sa chi,  perseguita Bonardi  con le note della Fuga di Bach.

Il libro ha una struttura semplice nell’ argomento ma ho trovato particolarmente interessanti gli esercizi alla fine dei capitoli perché fanno pensare abbastanza alla struttura grammaticale e alle frasi usate.

Lo raccomando!

Voti:   4/5

Margarita Bermejo 2ºNB