The world of books is enormous. Reading plays an important role in my life. I read both for pleasure and for information. There are books which have been our great favorites since childhood. We grow up with them and they stay in our memory forever. Thanks to books we can talk to people who lived in different ages and countries. Since childhood I have been enchanted by Pushkin and Gogol, Chekhov was one of the highest authorities to me. I also was delighted with Block and other great poets. Later my heart was won by Ahmatova. My mother enjoys reading biography, documentary, memoirs. I think a book without illustrations is boring to read because a nicely illustrated book adds to better understanding of the characters. I like when a book develops a literary taste, arouses curiosity and admiration, brings pleasure and delight, entertains the reader and appeals to the reader’s interest. There is such practice in the world when popular novels and stories are turned into films and plays. In my opinion the film version of some novels only added to their popularity, for example "Gone with the wind" was published in 1936 and the film version was made in 1939 and it surpassed the book in popularity.
One of my favorite authors is Frank O’Connor. I would like to tell you about Frank O’Connor’s story "The Idealist". I intend to divide my story into four points. Firstly I will dwell on Frank O’Connor’s biography, secondly – on the description of the main heroes, thirdly – on the theme of the story and finally – on my attitude to the heroes. It is useful to start with Frank O’Connor’s biography. Frank O’Connor is a pseudonym of Michael Odonovan, born in Cork, Ireland in 1903. He grew up in an Irish provincial town. His published works include poems, plays, novels, translations, criticism. Frank O’Connor was a real master of the short story. He could draw his readers into Irish life, showing his sense of humour and his compassion for human beings in their loneliness and their confusion. Another point with which I want to deal is the description of the main heroes. As you know a story’s success depends on how heroes are presented in the story. They can be presented through the character’s actions or their speech; through a physical description and through the opinions of other characters. In the "Idealist" the heroes are presented through actions and conversations. I think that each character must have a special quality that makes you remember him for a long time. The main hero – Delany – was truthful, frank, decisive. Gorman, his classmate was mean, dishonest and unpleasant. By the way of contrast the author managed to underline the romantic nature of Delany, who created his own world of things, people and ideas. What impressed me most of all in Melonie, the teacher, it was his cruelty. He punished pupils with a cane. It goes without sign that the theme of the story is the relationships between pupils and a teacher. I think they were awful. Though Delany created his own world thanks to books, the real world turned out to differ from the imaginary one. I shall now elaborate the fourth point of my talk. I sympathize (admire, hate, spoilt my impressions of the book) with the main hero because he didn’t give up reading, he continued reading books. Books broaden our horizons, enrich our mind and wash away from the soul the dust of everyday life. In the author I appreciate such qualities as: an ability to portrait life very truthfully; an ability to depict characters so vividly that people immediately recognize themselves; a sense of humor and a skill with the language. On this note I shall conclude my story.