Parascolaire

  • Unlock the more straightforward side of The Great Gatsby with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the classic American novel about the importance and futility of dreams. It tells the story of Jay Gatsby, whose ability to make his dreams a reality through sheer force of will initially seems boundless. However, this self-made millionaire and embodiment of the American Dream eventually discovers that even love, wealth and ambition are powerless in the face of rigid class boundaries, proving that the myth of the American Dream ultimately rings hollow. Today, The Great Gatsby is considered the quintessential novel about the American Jazz Age, and is widely viewed as F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece.  Fitzgerald drew a great deal of inspiration from his own experiences of the Roaring Twenties in New York to write the novel, and his status as one of the most famous American writers of the 20th century can be largely attributed to The Great Gatsby's enduring success.
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of For Whom the Bell Tolls with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway, one of the author's most famous and widely acclaimed novels. It draws on the author's own experience as a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War, and tells the story of Robert Jordan, a demolitions specialist who is sent to blow up a bridge and unexpectedly finds love, comradeship and a greater understanding of humanity in the three days that follow. For Whom the Bell Tolls was unanimously recommended for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1941, but and after a complaint was lodged over the novel's explicit content, no award was given that year. Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954 and, along with contemporaries such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck, is considered one of the most important writers of the so-called "Lost Generation".
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of Love in the Time of Cholera with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, a classic romance novel which centres on the characters of Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza, whose youthful romance determines the course of the rest of their lives. This masterfully constructed novel constantly alternates between three different timelines while also meditating on the different ways love can manifest itself, the interplay between fact and fiction and the realities of Colombian society in the early 20th century. Gabriel García Márquez was one of the best-known and most-loved Latin American writers of the 20th century, with a career spanning over 50 years. He wrote a series of influential novels, short stories and novellas, including One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chronicle of a Death Foretold and The General in His Labyrinth, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982.
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of The House of the Spirits with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, a sweeping narrative which chronicles the lives of three generations of the Trueba-del Valle family. As the members of this family grow older, fall in love, develop their own political beliefs and come into conflict with each other, their story provides a constant echo of the rise and fall of the ideologies, traditions and systems that shaped Latin America itself. Isabel Allende is a Chilean writer, and is one of the most popular Spanish-language authors in the world. The House of the Spirits was her debut novel, and its popularity with readers catapulted her to widespread fame when it was published in 1982. Allende was awarded the Chilean National Prize for Literature in 2010 in tribute to her long and varied literary career.
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of A Confederacy of Dunces with this concise and insightful summary and analysis !
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, a picaresque novel which follows the life of Ignatius J. Reilly, an eccentric, self-absorbed layabout whose endeavours always seem to be doomed to failure. The novel's comic tone stands in sharp contrast to its bleak portrayal of working-class life, and it has been lauded for its accurate and comprehensive depiction of the dialects of New Orleans. John Kennedy Toole was an American novelist whose work was not published until a decade after his suicide at the age of 31. A Confederacy of Dunces is generally considered his masterpiece, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981.
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of Things Fall Apart with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, which centres on the great warrior and champion wrestler Okonkwo as he deals with the challenges resulting from disagreements in his clan, the arrival of white missionaries in his village and the mounting tension between tradition and modernity. The engaging narrative provides a compelling, immersive portrait of Igbo life in Achebe's native Nigeria and a thoughtful exploration of the impact of colonialism and of themes such as masculinity, honour, pride and disobedience. Chinua Achebe was a Nigerian writer who sought to use his novels, short stories, essays and poetry to examine the struggles facing his country and expand popular conceptions of Africa and its people. He is widely considered to be the founding father of modern African literature.
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of The Unbearable Lightness of Being with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, an intricate, cyclical novel which charts the lives of Tomas, a successful surgeon, his wife Tereza, his lover Sabina, and Sabina's lover Franz. The narrative skilfully blends the characters' experiences of love, political activism and happiness with philosophical musings on the "lightness" of existence, creating an engaging novel which encourages readers to reflect on the meaning of their own lives. Milan Kundera was born in Czechoslovakia, where he had a successful career as a university lecturer and author until the country was invaded by Soviet forces in 1968 following the Prague Spring. His books were banned by the Communist regime, and he moved to France in 1975. He has won a number of prestigious literary awards, including the Jerusalem Prize (1985) and the Czech State Literature Prize (2007).
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of The Handmaid's Tale with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, which follows a young woman named Offred (the Handmaid of the title), who lives in the repressive Republic of Gilead and whose sole role is to conceive children for the powerful Commander she has been assigned to. Thanks to her friend Ofglen, she is introduced to the underground resistance movement, but soon discovers that escaping her position will not be easy. The Handmaid's Tale was nominated for the 1986 Man Booker Prize (Atwood has been nominated for the award on numerous occasions, and won it for her 2000 novel The Blind Assassin), and has recently been adapted into a critically acclaimed television series.
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    This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you:
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of The Bell Jar with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, a semi-autobiographical novel which follows Esther Greenwood, a young woman who is undertaking an internship in New York when her mental health begins to decline, leading to stays in a series of psychiatric institutions. The novel is semi-autobiographical: Plath's own struggles with depression are well-documented, and she underwent electroconvulsive therapy as part of her "treatment". The Bell Jar is widely admired for its unsparing depiction of the paranoia, stifling conformism and gender inequality that characterised America during the 1950s, and its popularity has not waned in the decades since it was first published. Sylvia Plath was an American novelist and poet. Her best-known works are The Bell Jar and the poetry collection Ariel, which was published posthumously in 1965 (Plath committed suicide in 1963).
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of Wide Sargasso Sea with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, which was inspired by Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre and tells the story of the most frequently overlooked character in that novel: Bertha Mason, the infamous "madwoman in the attic". Rhys's novel takes the reader back to Bertha's childhood in the Caribbean, when she was known by the name Antoinette Cosway, and explores how her status as an outcast, her unhappy marriage and the pernicious influence of rumour and slander eventually transform her from a quiet child into the deranged character from Brontë's novel. Wide Sargasso Sea was the last novel published by Jean Rhys prior to her death in 1979, and is generally considered her masterpiece. It was also partially influenced by Rhys's own childhood in the Caribbean.
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of Beloved with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of Beloved by Toni Morrison, which tells the story of Sethe, a former slave who was prepared to commit a horrific crime rather than be forced back into slavery with her children. The novel explores the aftermath of her actions, and starkly illustrates the devastation wreaked by the institution of slavery and the legacy of trauma it left for African-American families. Toni Morrison is one of America's most acclaimed living writers, having received awards including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Nobel Prize in Literature in the course of her decades-long career.
    /> Find out everything you need to know about Beloved in a fraction of the time!
    This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you:
    oA complete plot summary
    oCharacter studies
    oKey themes and symbols
    oQuestions for further reflection
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of Song of Solomon with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, which tells the story of Macon "Milkman" Dead III and his extended family as they navigate the challenges facing African-Americans in the USA of the 20th century. As he travels from his home in the North to the South, where his ancestors are originally from, Milkman comes to understand his own identity and develops a stronger, more compassionate relationship with his family and community. Toni Morrison is one of America's most acclaimed living writers, having received awards including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Nobel Prize in Literature in the course of her decades-long career.
    Find out everything you need to know about Song of Solomon in a fraction of the time!
    This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you:
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of Their Eyes Were Watching God with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, which follows the beautiful, intelligent Janie as she attempts to find love and freedom in the Southern USA of the early 20th century. Her first two marriages, to the much older and determinedly unromantic Logan Killicks and the ambitious but self-centred and hyper-critical Joe Starks, both fail to bring her happiness. It is not until she meets Tea Cake, a much younger man with little money to his name, that she finally finds true love with a man who cares about and truly values her. Zora Neale Hurston was one of the most significant African-American writers of the 20th century, and her writing has inspired numerous later authors, including Alice Walker and Toni Morrison.
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    This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you:
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of The God of Small Things with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, an intensely moving portrait of life and love in modern-day India. It tells the story of a pair of twins who were separated during childhood after a series of traumatic events that range from sexual assault to the death of their cousin. However, the true horrors of the novel are rooted in the oppressive laws that govern relationships in Indian society and keep individuals of different social classes apart. The God of Small Things is Arundhati Roy's debut novel. It remained her only published work of fiction for 20 years, until the publication of her second novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness in 2017.
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    This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you:
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of The Book Thief with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, which follows nine-year-old Liesel as she leaves her mother forever to go and live with her new foster parents. On the way to her new home, she steals a book from the graveyard where her younger brother is buried; this marks the beginning of her discovery of the power of words to connect people and resist oppression. This is particularly significant given the period during which the work is set: Germany during the Second World War, which means that the Nazi Party is regularly burning books and the foster family protects a Jew by hiding him in their basement. The Book Thief is Markus Zusak's best-known work; he is also the author of The Messenger and Bridge of Clay.
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    This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you:
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of Gone Girl with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, a high-tension novel about Nick Dunne and his wife Amy, who disappears in suspicious circumstances on their fifth wedding anniversary. As the story moves between Nick's perspective and Amy's increasingly fearful diary entries in the lead-up to the day she disappeared, the evidence all seems to point toward Nick being guilty, and he is quickly caught up in a veritable media storm. However, all is not as it seems, and it eventually becomes clear that the true culprit is the last person anyone would ever have suspected... Gone Girl was one of the top-selling novels of 2012, and was adapted into a film of the same name starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck two years later.
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of Wolf Hall with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, which follows Thomas Cromwell as he rises from humble beginnings as a blacksmith's son to a position of virtually unmatched influence at the court of Henry VIII. Intrigue and scheming abound as Henry struggles to secure an annulment to his marriage to Katharine of Aragon and wed her lady-in-waiting Anne Boleyn, radically transforming religion in England in the process. Wolf Hall won the Man Booker Prize in 2009, with its sequel Bring Up the Bodies receiving the honour in 2012, making Mantel the first living British writer and the first woman to be awarded the prestigious prize on two occasions.
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    This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you:
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of The Hate U Give with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which follows 16-year-old Starr Carter as she deals with her trauma after witnessing the shooting of her unarmed friend Khalil by a policeman. Tensions begin to simmer in her neighbourhood, erupting into riots after the policeman is acquitted of the murder, and Starr is forced to choose between staying silent or speaking out in the name of justice. Angie Thomas is a contemporary author whose novels focus on the experiences of young African-American women in modern-day America. She primarily writes in the young adult genre.
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    This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you:
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of Infinite Jest with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, a vast, sweeping novel which takes in a tennis academy for gifted young players, a halfway house for recovering addicts and an "entertainment" rumoured to be so compelling that it will kill whoever watches it. The novel's scope, humour and complexity mean that it is widely recognised as the author's masterpiece and as one of the greatest novels of recent years. David Foster Wallace was an American writer, and is one of the most influential authors of recent years. Besides Infinite Jest, he is also known for the short story collection Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and the essay collections A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again and Consider the Lobster.
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    This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you:
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of All the Light We Cannot See with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which centres around Marie-Laure, a blind French girl who has been raised by her devoted father, and Werner, a young German who grew up in poverty before catching the attention of the Nazi military elite. Both characters try to see the good in the world and do the right thing, but are forced to make painful choices by the war that rages around them and the Nazi occupation of France. All the Light We Cannot See is Anthony Doerr's best-known work. It spent 130 consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Andrew Carnegie Medal in 2015.
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, the first part of the author's seven-volume autobiography, which recounts her life up to the age of 17, shortly after the birth of her son. Her early life was marked by adversity: her parents were largely absent, racism and discrimination were rife across America, and she endured a traumatic sexual assault at the hands of her mother's boyfriend. However, in spite of these hardships, Angelou found joy in literature and in her relationship with her beloved brother Bailey, resulting in an undercurrent of optimism throughout her memoir. Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, actress, singer and activist. She is remembered in particular for her autobiographical writings and her poems, including "Still I Rise" and "On the Pulse of Morning", which she recited at President Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993.
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of Homegoing with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, which tells the story of two branches of the same family across several generations. Although Effia and Esi are sisters, they never meet, and their paths are irrevocably forced apart when Esi is sold into slavery and transported to America while Effia remains in their native Ghana. The effects of the slave trade reverberate through the generations as we are introduced to each of their descendants in turn and witness the ways that colonialism and racism shape their lives. Homegoing is Yaa Gyasi's debut novel. It quickly became an international bestseller and won the National Book Critics' Circle John Leonard Prize for best first book.
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    This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you:
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of Exit West with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, which imagines a world where doors can instantly transport people across the globe. The novel focuses on Saeed and Nadia, who are fleeing civil war in their native country and use the doors to travel to new countries, where the inhabitants' responses range from violent nativist riots to official clampdowns to acceptance and integration. Mohsin Hamid is a Pakistani writer and brand consultant. He is known in particular for his novels The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which was shortlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize, and Exit West, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize and was named one of the New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2017.
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    This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you:
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  • Unlock the more straightforward side of My Brilliant Friend with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!
    This engaging summary presents an analysis of My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, which follows two bright young girls, Elena Greco and Lila Cerullo, as they navigate their childhood and teenage years in post-war Italy. In spite of Lila's brilliance, her gender and her family's poverty mean that, unlike Elena, she is denied the opportunity of an education and must marry at a young age. The novel is a stunning portrait of Italian society and female friendship, with all its tensions and complexities. It is the first of Elena Ferrante's acclaimed Neapolitan novels, which trace Elena and Lila's lives until Lila's unexplained disappearance when the two women are in their sixties. 
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    This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you:
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