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What are you reading? (2013)
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Castorboy



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1798


Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:15 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Following my usual routine with new authors I have gone back to the first collection of short stories which Owen Marshall published in 1979. The title is Supper Waltz Wilson, christened Stuart, who acquired his nickname because he always managed to get a girl up to dance before supper was served thus providing the opportunity to talk to her. Those were the days of teenage dances where alcohol wasn’t available unless one provided one’s own. Nowadays the dances are a precursor to the parties where the sole aim is to become paralytic with drink. GBS was right when he observed Youth is wasted on the young.


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Ann



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1112


Location: Worcestershire

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just enjoying a reread of Hilary Mantel's Fludd. It was the first book of her's I'd read long ago and I remembered it as very funny which, looking at her later work, seems odd. It is quite hilarious and very subtle. If you like her prose, and have a sense of humour a bit like the late Spike Milligan, you'd love it.


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Green Jay



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1605


Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ann, there always seem to be masses of copies of Fludd around in 2ndhand bookshops etc. I think it was given away free with a magazine at one time. I have got it - or maybe I haven't kept it - but it doesn't call to me!


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Castorboy



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1798


Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am really enjoying the Owen Marshall short stories so much that as soon as one collection is finished I am on to the next. This one has an intriguing title story of The Day Hemingway Died, and a quick look confirms it is Ernest and how his death should be noteworthy according to the opinion of a literature student in 1960s Christchurch.


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2974


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everyone says how wonderful Owen Marshall's work is, but as yet I haven't tried him out.  (I'm not all that keen on short stories so always find something that appeals more.) I think I've got his novel Harlequin Rex among my books though.  I gather his writing has a lot of warmth and while having certain thematic constants is full of variety and confounds expectations and stereotyping.

If anyone here is more interested in his work and prepared to read a rather long article they could check here: http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/writers/marshallo.html


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Joe McWilliams



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 679


Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am reading Love and War in the Apenines, by Eric Newby. Thank you to someone on this forum for recommending it.

One third in, and it appears to be mis-named; it should be 'Love and War in the Po Valley.' I suspect the 'love' part will be the best of this tale. I am already in love with the lovely Wanda, the daughter of a displaced Slovene schoolteacher, whose unflinching assistance to stranded Allied POWs is impressive indeed. Newby is much smitten. This sort of story, if well-told, always gets to me.

Reading this on the heels of Robert Graves' Goodbye To All That provides interesting contrast. Graves is upper class all the way, but wears it easily. Newby isn't, and doesn't. He expends considerable ink describing the annoying behaviour of the 'OK' boys in the Italian prison in which they are cooped up for a year. Also he seems a bit of a show-off, flaunting his esoteric knowledge of this, that and the other thing and forcing me off the couch (bas*ard!) to my reference books.

However, I expect I will forgive him if he actually takes me into the mountains and ends up winning the fair maiden.


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Castorboy



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1798


Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caro wrote:
I gather his writing has a lot of warmth and while having certain thematic constants is full of variety and confounds expectations and stereotyping.

I would agree with that view. I have noticed so far that he is not averse to using the same people and towns in more than one story, and that he has a fondness for the scenery of Central Otago. Aside from Harlequin rex there are another four novels with inevitably one about William Larnach.


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chris-l



Joined: 27 Nov 2008
Posts: 731



PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="



However, I expect I will forgive him if he actually takes me into the mountains and ends up winning the fair maiden.[/quote]


You won't be disappointed, Joe. I promise!


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Joe McWilliams



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 679


Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why are we continuing in the 2013 thread?


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Castorboy



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1798


Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question. To avoid further confusion I'll re-post on the 2014 thread.



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