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Sandraseahorse



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1154



PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:45 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Hello, Caro.  My book group did "Nice Work" some time ago and we enjoyed it.

I have just started "Thomas Cromwell" by Tracy Borman.  I went to a talk by her last month and although I hadn't been intending to buy her book as I felt I had rather had my fill of Thomas Cromwell after studying him both for A-level history and at University and then reading "Wolf Hall", she had such an engaging personality that I ended up buying it.

Incidentally, I went to a talk by historian David Starkey about 3 weeks ago and he was rather scathing about "Wolf Hall" and its "superficial" research - but I suppose he would say that, wouldn't he?


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Joe McWilliams



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 679


Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: Wolf Hall, Sandra, I wondered about the historical authenticity while reading it, but upon reflection, who cares? It's a good story, even a great one, and it is, after all, a novel. I don't know what the author may think or claim about the historical accuracy of her depiction, but I don't care about that either. It isn't necessary.

On a related note, I take Joseph Conrad's depiction of the Congo in Heart of Darkness with a grain of salt. He must have been feverish when he wrote it. It certainly comes across feverishly. The horror! I've a feeling I should have slowed down and considered each sentence - even each word - before passing on to the next. But of course I didn't.
Funny, the reputation this book has had me expecting a mighty tome. Imagine my surprise when this skinny little novella arrived. It makes you work, though. I'm afraid I'll have to read the extensive foreword to make sense of it.


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Jen M



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Posts: 596


Location: Middlesex, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caro, Sandra, I read Nice Work years ago, at about the time it was made into a TV series, which I didn't see.  

UK readers will know, but others might not, that Warren Clarke, who was in Nice Work, died recently.  I don't know how well-known he is outside the UK.  He is perhaps best known now as Dalziel in Dalziel and Pascoe.

I am now half way through Gone Girl, which is a real page-turner - thanks for your comments, Sandra, which encouraged me to read it sooner rather than later.  I had guessed at the twist but it is more audacious than I expected.  I didn't especially like either of the main characters and now I like one even less!



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Sandraseahorse



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1154



PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's for reminding me, Jen M. †about "Nice Work". †At the time we read it for my book group, I did try to get a copy of the DVD of the TV adaptation but was unsuccessful.

There was a libel case some years ago over "Nice Work" when David Lodge complained that a Mills and Boon writer had plagiarised his book. †She was dismissed by the publishers but successfully sued Lodge for libel and was able to demonstrate that both writers had quite separately had the idea of doing a modern version of Mrs. Gaskell's "North and South."

PS. †I've just looked on Amazon and "Nice Work" has at last been issued as a DVD.


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Joe McWilliams



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 679


Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ugh....I am struggling with John Banville's The Sea. Supposedly brilliant, lyrical, evocative...blah, blah....but nearly halfway through I am having trouble caring enough to continue.
This a metaphor-fest extraordinaire, with story a distant second, or third, or last behind the author's ambitious stylings, or whatever it may be called. I keep expecting a story to emerge, but all that appears is another eloquent digression. It's all about the mood, I suppose, and I ain't in it.

Banville, writing as Benjamin Black, does a decent crime story. This is something altogether different.


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2974


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes a well-known book is worth persevering with and sometimes it isn't, Joe.  I haven't read this so don't know which category this one might fall into.

As regards David Lodge, I am a little surprised he would care that much  what a Mills and Boons author would write.  I am enjoying Nice Work a lot, though I hope it doesn't descend into something about stalking.  I can't work out whether the academic theoretical stuff is meant to be being satirized or not; some of it reads very arcanely, not to say incomprehensibly.  

I would quibble with his attempts at showing someone is a bit downclass.  He has one character - bright and achieving - but 'common' according to the middle-class, saying "Why doncher try..." 'Doncher" or at least "Donchew" is the normal natural pronounciation of "Don't you". No one, at least not without thinking and enunciating very carefully, pronounces the 't' and then the 'y' separately.  The words like 'reckon' and 'yeah' and 'darl' give the picture well enough.  (Do the middle classes always say a definite "yes"? I doubt it.)


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chris-l



Joined: 27 Nov 2008
Posts: 731



PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe McWilliams wrote:
Ugh....I am struggling with John Banville's The Sea. Supposedly brilliant, lyrical, evocative...blah, blah....but nearly halfway through I am having trouble caring enough to continue.
This a metaphor-fest extraordinaire, with story a distant second, or third, or last behind the author's ambitious stylings, or whatever it may be called. I keep expecting a story to emerge, but all that appears is another eloquent digression. It's all about the mood, I suppose, and I ain't in it.

Banville, writing as Benjamin Black, does a decent crime story. This is something altogether different.



I felt just the same about 'The Sea', Joe. It put me off trying anything else by Banville. I didn't know about his criminal alter ego: maybe I should try something in that genre instead!


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iím currently reading a book Iím sure Mike Harvey knows well Ė Performing Shakespeare by Oliver Ford Davies.

The author obviously lives and breathes Shakespeare. He knows the works intimately, both in the study (he used to be an academic) and also on stage (he is a noted Shskespearean actor). It is a pleasure to be in his erudite and enthusiastic company.

The book is mainly aimed at actors, but itís fascinating also for non-actors such as myself who love these plays to distraction. When I read these plays, I always sound out the words in my inner ear (not having the talent to give voice, even to myself, to what my inner ear hears). One of the great delights in reading and re-reading these plays is that I can, at each re-reading, interpret the words in different ways, simply by varying the phrasing. So, at each re-reading, it becomes a different play. Of course I love seeing these plays performed Ė which lover of Shakespeare doesnít? - but I love also the performances that go on in my head when Iím reading them. Reading this book is giving me some great ideas on what some of my future interpretations may be like!



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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3407


Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm doing a lot of rereading these days, and I've just started The Master and Margarita for the second time, albeit in a different translation. Last time I read the Pevear/Volokhonsky one published by Penguin, this time I'm on the one by Michael Glenny. Next time, another one, I'm sure. What an engrossing book.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a great fan of reading different translations of books that you particularly value. Each translation (unless it is incompetent) will bring into focus some aspect of the original that others don't.

The version I read of The Master and Margarita was the one published by Picador, translated by Diana Lewis Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O'Connor. I could sense the power of the work, but didn't really understand it. I should revisit it: as a fan of Russian novels, I really need to!




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