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What are you reading in 2011?
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Green Jay



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1605


Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:53 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Chibiabos83 wrote:
If the novel Green Jay refers to is In a Land of Plenty, then I had the same experience - enjoyed the TV series, embarked on the book, gave up. I had less staying power then; I think I would make it through if I tried it again today. The only problem is, the impulse has gone.


That was the one.   Smile  The reading experience has totally put me off this writer whom I was expecting to love.


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Green Jay



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1605


Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Castorboy wrote:
Green Jay wrote:
I've started The Moon & Sixpence by W Somerset Maugham, but it is quite slow-going to start with. One of those books that begins with a chap telling a long-winded story about some other chap he once knew. I will return to it,


I believe Maugham was inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin and his escape to Tahiti.


That was why I picked it - but I just wish he would get on with it.


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MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2104


Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know he has some big fans on here, but my reaction to "The Moon and Sixpence" was "so what?". For me it didn't really get under the skin of the Strickland character enough. I have to admit, it was a long time ago that I read it and I was only about 17, so I might have quite a different reaction now.



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KlaraZ



Joined: 29 Jun 2010
Posts: 193



PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry to say I'm not a great fan of Somerset Maugham, accomplished writer though he is. I read a lot of his short stories in my teens, and recently read 'Of Human Bondage' and 'The Painted Veil', both absorbing reads, but both somehow falling short of greatness.  I found it almost impossible to sympathise with the protagonist of 'Of Human Bondage' (I'm sure the character is autobiographical). If I do have a favourite Somerset Maugham, it's probably 'Liza of Lambeth', an early novel, social realism with a tragic ending, that  somehow lacks the bitter, ironic heartlessness that I find in Maugham, perhaps unfairly.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, Maugham at his best was a considerable writer, but he wasn't always at hiS best, and much of his stUff has dated badly. Many of his short stories still stand up well, and Cakes and ale is a delight.



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Mikeharvey



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 3338


Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just read a couple of chapters in THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP which were most appropriate for Christmas Eve - a description of people enjoying a holiday. On pay-day Christopher Nubbles, his mother plus Jacob and baby, plus the maid Barbara, plus her mother, go to Astley's Theatre (marvellously described) and then feast on oysters, bread and butter and beer.  A delightful chapter. Dickens is always good at describing people enjoying themselves.


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blackberrycottage



Joined: 23 Nov 2008
Posts: 240


Location: Barnsley Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have started Dickens' Mugby Junction.


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Green Jay



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1605


Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheRejectAmidHair wrote:
For me, Maugham at his best was a considerable writer, but he wasn't always at hiS best, and much of his stUff has dated badly. Many of his short stories still stand up well, and Cakes and ale is a delight.


I honestly can't remember if I have read any Maugham before - if I have it was so long ago that it has disappeared into the mists of my reading past. It may well be the stories, but I often have trouble matching titles with content and then with author after a while when it comes to short stories. I've seen a play of his that really did not stand the test of time; again can't recall which book it was based on or if it was an original play. I think we have Cakes & Ale so I will look that one out.


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Green Jay



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1605


Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikeharvey wrote:
Dickens is always good at describing people enjoying themselves.


This is so unusual - rather like the maxim that it is much harder to depict happy love than unhappy love.


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Castorboy



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1798


Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caro wrote:
I read and enjoyed that recently, Castorboy, and mean to look out for more in the series.  She's written another series too set in the Shetlands that looks quite interesting. Cheers, Caro.

Caro, you may have noticed that the Vera Stanhope crime series is starting on Friday on TV1. I havn't checked but I think it is the novel called Hidden Depths with Brenda Blythen playing Vera. It may bring back memories of your visit to the UK last year and the north of England in particular.



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