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garysmith

Peter Ackroyd

Hi.....is there any one out there like me and an addict of Peter Ackroyd? I have read just about all of his stuff. My word it is good. I am a fan of Charles Dickens so his biography of the greate man really is my number one book by him. But his "Last Testament of Oscar Wilde" and "Blake" and all the rest.....Yep, I am a fan, any one else? And....any other writers like him around, who can mix eduation and "fun" into there books?
Gary
Caro

I don't seem to have read a lot of Peter Ackroyd.  A while ago I read Dr Dee (it had a longer title than that) and while I admired the huge erudition throughout the book I struggled rather with the concept of the house retaining the spirit of former residents.  (Have forgotten the story rather, but there was a great deal of history impinging on the present, but not in a straightforward style.)

Cheers, Caro.
TheRejectAmidHair

Hello Gary, it’s good to come across another Dickens fan. There are times when I think that amongst novelists, there was Dickens and there was Tolstoy, and then, there were all the others. I’ve tried to put down some of my thoughts on Dickens in this blog post: http://argumentativeoldgit.wordpr...05/29/dickens-and-his-detractors/

I do have Ackroyd’s biography of Dickens (the full, unabridged version), and do intend reading it all. I am not a great reader of biographies – otherwise, I’d already have read it. I do dip into it very often, and it seems a fine book.

There are many Ackroyd books I have enjoyed dipping into – London: A Biography for instance – and I do have good intentions of reading at least some of them in full. Ackroyd is, quite clearly, an extravagantly erudite man, and his range of interests tends quite frequently to correspond to my own. And he writes very clealy and elegantly. All that makes him an ideal companion.

The only book of his I have read from cover to cover is The Lambs of London – a novel about Charles & Mary Lamb and their circle. It was an enjoyable read, but rather slight, I thought. I have been told that it is not one of his best.

I understand that he has recently published a book called The English Ghost, about the various reported hauntings in Britain. This sort of thing seems right up my street, and I think I may get myself a copy for fireside reading (or, at least, radiator-side reading) this Christmas.
garysmith

Hay, if you only have a passing interest in Dickens, you lmust read the full biography by Ackroyd. I am sure you will not be dissapointed. He takes many "flights of fancy" in which Little Nell starts to talk to Dickens, and descriptions of walking from Camden Lock to the Thames for work ages 12 or 13....Must be one of my favourite books ever! Have fun!!
Castorboy

Hi Gary, there are comments and reviews of Ackroyd’s novels on http://bigreaders.myfastforum.org/about297.html which first appeared on a BBC board.
John Q

I haven’t read that much by him myself but did read about a hundred pages of his biography  of Shakespeare and put it down in disgust at the outrageous flights of fancy he was taking with the playwright’s life with no actual positive proof to back them up.  Although you have to be circumspect in this area  as any questioning about the life of the Bard as it is given to us quickly results in the questioner being quickly  corralled into the ‘conspiracy theorist’ department.   I was not impressed with his style,  rather ponderous I thought, but my own personal jury is still out on Ackroyd until I read some more of his work , if I do that is.
garysmith

Thankyou Caster Boy, really interesting. Get this John Q......I have just ordered the Shakespear Bio. I shall let you know what I make of it. His Dickens biography would also go off on artistic tanjents and flight of fantasy that I loved.Made the experience very enjoyable.Many times biography can just be a glorified list.....
Let you know in a couple of weeks,
Gary

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