Brooklyn: 22 November 1855

[from] An Oneida Journal.

  Sunday, Nov. 18.—We like to have a lively book for our reading in the bag-bees—something entertaining rather than didactic or abstruse; and as one of our itinerants had brought home the 'Lamplighter,' we concluded to take up that. None of us has read it, but several recollected at the time it appeared, two or three years ago, it was the subject of many a newspaper notice, and was puffed to the highest degree. It was represented as almost equal to Uncle Tom's Cabin, and the authoress, quite a young lady, was classed with Mrs. Stowe, as another brilliant specimen of American female talent. We commenced the book with favorable anticipations. The reading had gone on quietly for several days, but today an involuntary criticism burst out. It was excited, not so much by the book itself perhaps, as by the recollected puffs, which now appeared so disproportioned to the merit of the performance. The book is good enough as to its sentimental intention, but deficient decidedly in pith and interest. We should not criticise it as a bad book, but never should praise it as a book of thrilling interest or artistic power. There is a great deal of talk in it—comparatively little incident and adventure; the talk is common talk 'drawn out' as one of our blacksmiths phrases it, to a wonderful thinness and insipidity. We are sick of newspaper advertisements of books, and shall expect to be disappointed if we taken them for half what they say.