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KlaraZ



Joined: 29 Jun 2010
Posts: 193



PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:08 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Interesting to read a reference to 'Cakes and Ale', a Maugham novel I've never read, but was reminded of recently when reading Claire Tomalin's excellent biography of Thomas Hardy, ' Hardy, The Time-Torn Man'. Apparently there was some controversy over the alleged depiction of Hardy in the novel.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KlaraZ wrote:
Interesting to read a reference to 'Cakes and Ale', a Maugham novel I've never read, but was reminded of recently when reading Claire Tomalin's excellent biography of Thomas Hardy, ' Hardy, The Time-Torn Man'. Apparently there was some controversy over the alleged depiction of Hardy in the novel.


Cakes and Ale is one of the most delightful novels I've read - a curious mixture of the bitchy and the warm-hearted, of malice and generosity. It is also very, very funny. I don't know whether Hardy in his old age really was like Driffield as depicted in the novel - but I hope he was!



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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2960


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
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
.

I'm so pleased you posted this, Castorboy.  Not that I didn't know it was on - my brother-in-law had let us know, but because I had the books muddled.  I had told my husband I didn't like the one I had read, but that has turned out to be Denise Mina I was thinking about, and this is Ann Cleeves.  Silly because a new Ann Cleeves was in our library yesterday and when someone else got it out, I mentioned that I had enjoyed the last one of hers I had read - without somehow realising it was a Vera Stanhope one!  

But I have looked quite a way back on this thread and I can't find what I posted.  The trouble with the yearly threads, I find.  

Cheers, Caro.


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Joe McWilliams



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 672


Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of crime, I'm reading a piece of 'African noire' by Robert Wilson called 'The Big Killing.' It's one of his earlier efforts and - although I've never read Chandler - he seems to be trying pretty hard to be compared with the master. And in case anyone misses it, his publisher has tossed the comparison the cover of both his Bruce Medway books.

He paints a pretty ghastly picture of the underbelly of West African life, but I guess that's the job of the writer in the crime genre. Mere corruption is about as nice as it gets. Brutal inhumanity in plentiful supply. Expatriates all drunk as skunks and cynical as hell; most of the the locals debased to one degree or another.

I'm not doing a very good job of selling this, am I? Anyway, I find it pretty well done and look forward to finding out what happens.


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Castorboy



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1798


Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caro wrote:
Quote:
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 Blethyn playing Vera. It may bring back memories of your visit to the UK last year and the north of England in particular
.

I'm so pleased you posted this, Castorboy.  Not that I didn't know it was on - my brother-in-law had let us know, but because I had the books muddled.  I had told my husband I didn't like the one I had read, but that has turned out to be Denise Mina I was thinking about, and this is Ann Cleeves.  Silly because a new Ann Cleeves was in our library yesterday and when someone else got it out, I mentioned that I had enjoyed the last one of hers I had read - without somehow realising it was a Vera Stanhope one!  

But I have looked quite a way back on this thread and I can't find what I posted.  The trouble with the yearly threads, I find.  Cheers, Caro.

The adaptation of the Ann Cleeves crime novel Hidden Depths on TV kept fairly closely to the main points of the plot. I did find the dialogue was hard to follow at times as the actors seemed to mumble or finish sentences in a clipped manner. There were abrupt changes of scene, one of the characters was introduced briefly and then is discovered dead on a sandbank without any explanation. Maybe some of the confusion was caused by the need to accommodate commercials but for whatever reason it wasn’t as good a programme as I was expecting. I will watch the next episode – I haven’t read the novel which has been adapted so I may not be as critical when I see the TV version.


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2960


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it was the northern accents, Castorboy - we wondered if sub-titles might not have been a good thing!  I had read it too, and I remember saying to my husband that it was confusing enough having read it.  In the book the daughter/sister was angrier and more upset about everything.  And I think we saw more of the murderer's life - his loneliness and I felt slight intellectual backwardness.  (Not the right words, no doubt.)

Vera herself seemed a bit ditzy at times and I did wonder how she got to be chief superintendent.  And I don't believe anyone wouldn't have asked the inspector about the birth of his child.

However, we watch these sort of things fairly uncritically.  And by now the latest Lewis has cast it from my memory.  Tonight we are going to watch We'll Take Manhatten about Jean Shrimpton and David thingie.  

Cheers, Caro.


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Evie
Site Admin


Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the TV series - I don't normally like Brenda Blethyn, but she's great in this - and does, to a 'foreign' ear, a very good Geordie accent, which is notoriously difficult to do.  I haven't read the books, though.


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Green Jay



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1605


Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caro wrote:
Vera herself seemed a bit ditzy at times and I did wonder how she got to be chief superintendent.  


I've seen a couple of these, and was interested in finding one of the books, perhaps to see if they made more sense. There is obviously a lot of Vera's back story, about her dad and the house and more, that I have just not picked up, joining the series part-way in. I like the idea of Vera being an unusual cop, especially for a female one, not slick or hard or careerist, but agree that her senior position is not very convincing; and no one ever seems to be in much of a hurry to get anything done.

Can anyone recommend a good Vera novel to start with?


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Joe McWilliams



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 672


Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm reading Richard North Patterson's The Final Judgment, which I suppose might be described as a legal thriller. Not too thrilling yet, and I have the impression I've taken a step down in quality, compared with my recent reads and that includes the Bruce Medway crime stories by Robert Wilson.

I had read a couple of Patterson novels a decade or more ago and found them quite good - much more sophisticated than your average potboiler. This one is either not very well done or my standards have changed. I suspect the latter is at least a factor, due to all the Dickens, Nabokov, Tolstoy, Hardy and the like I've read over the past few years - due in large part to the influence of this group, by the way.

However, perhaps it'll improve.


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have decided to delay vol. 3 of the Avignon Quintet slightly, and have started Richard Ford's new novel, Canada.  A new RF novel is very exciting!  I love reading hardbacks too.

I will get back to Durrell very soon, though.



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