At the end of the table, the secretary was reading the decision in some case, but in such a mournful and monotonous voice, that the condemned man himself would have fallen asleep while listening to it. The judge, no doubt, would have been the first of all to do so, had he not entered into an engrossing conversation while it was going on.
The Confessions of Catherine de Medici is a dramatic, epic novel of an all-too-human woman whose strength and passion propelled her into the center of grand events. Meticulously-researched, this engrossing novel offers a fresh portrait of a queen who has too often been portrayed as a villain. Bravo Mr. Gortner!
I am strongly drawn to the simple life and am often oppressed by the feeling that I am engrossing an unnecessary amount of the labour of my fellow men. I regard class differences as contrary to justice and, in the last resort, based on force. I also consider that plain living is good for everybody, physically and mentally.
A psychologically engrossing novel about the homes we make-in our houses, in our neighborhoods, and in the hearts of our loved ones. Laken takes on that great unspoken American subject-class-and does so with frankness, acuity and surpassing feeling. DREAM HOUSE is a memorable debut novel from a fully mature talent.
Peter Ho Davies
I was fifteen when I first met Sherlock Holmes, fifteen years old with my nose in a book as I walked the Sussex Downs, and nearly stepped on him. In my defense I must say it was an engrossing book, and it was very rare to come across another person in that particular part of the world in that war year of 1915.
Laurie R. King
The documentary 'Certifiably Jonathan' has engrossing moments in it. How can it not? It's got a great subject - the extraordinarily voluble comedian Jonathan Winters, whose constant rush of words can be like a blizzard: beautiful, maddening, exhausting, and finally beautiful again. But it's not a great film.
The Green Shore is an engrossing novel about political oppression, played out on an intimate family scale. Bakopoulos charts the subtle, gnawing pressures of life under the Greek junta""the steady drip of daily coercion""with an exacting empathy. In particular, her depiction of love under tyranny""by turns hesitant, furtive and liberating""is as astute as it is moving,
Peter Ho Davies
Our conflict is not likely to cease so soon as every good man would wish. The measure of iniquity is not yet filled; and unless we can return a little more to first principles, and act a little more upon patriotic ground, I do not know when it will-or-what may be the issue of the contest. Speculation-peculation-engrossing-forestalling-with all their concomitants, afford too many melancholy proofs of the decay of public virtue; and too glaring instances of its being the interest and desire of too many, who would wish to be thought friends, to continue the war.
About twenty pages into Luke B. Goebel's Fourteen Stories, None of Them Are Yours, I realized I was reading with one hand holding my forehead and one balled at my waist, kind of clenched, and gazing down into the paper like a man soon to be converged upon. Goebel's testimony comes on like that: engrossing, fanatical, full of private grief, and yet, at the same time, charismatic, tender, and intrepid, aglow with more spirit than most Americans have the right to wield.
Pirate Hunters is a fantastic book, an utterly engrossing and satisfying read. It tells the story of the hunt for the rare wreck of a pirate ship, which had been captained by one of the most remarkable pirates in history. This is a real-life Treasure Island, complete with swashbuckling, half-crazy treasure hunters and vivid Caribbean settings-a story for the ages.
I watched as Humphrey Bogart's character used beans as a metaphor for the relative unimportance in the wider world of his relationship with Ingrid Bergman's character, and chose logic and decency ahead of his selfish emotional desires. The quandary and resulting decision made for an engrossing film. But this was not what people cried about. They were in love and could not be together. I repeated this statement to myself, trying to force an emotional reaction. I couldn't. I didn't care. I had enough problems of my own.
Saigon, U.S.A. aptly documents the birth of a new American community, uprooted in the aftermath of war and forever torn apart by the wounds of the past, yet one capable of healing against all odds. An engrossing yet succinct film that captures not only a major incident in Vietnamese American life, but also an important chapter of American history. A profound film that manages to confront us with the deepest sorrow while allowing us to be hopeful about what it means to be human.
Nguyen Qui Duc
People in books were always so charming, and all their thoughts and actions so comprehensible. They all invariably had a clear, well-defined object in life, and strove through a few hundred engrossing pages to attain this object. They were all noble and generous, and their lives were bright and beautiful. What interesting and delightful moments Irene had passed in their society! They had made her laugh and cry and suffer and rejoice, and had entertained her with the brilliancy of their wit. How dull and colourless real people had appeared beside these heroes and heroines of fiction.
Perhaps this is what Henry James meant when he talked about the 'irresponsibility' of characters. Characters are irresponsible, art is irresponsible when compared to life, because it is first and foremost important that a character be real, and as readers or watchers we tend to applaud any effort made towards the construction of that reality. We do not, of course, indulge actual people in the world this way at all. In real life, the fact that something seems real to someone is not enough to interest us, or to convince us that that reality is interesting. But the self-reality of fictional characters is deeply engrossing, which is why villains are lovable in literature in ways that they are not in life.