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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:37 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Green Jay, do read Oscar and Lucinda at some point - certainly challenging (though not dauntingly so), and a wonderful novel, I think.  It was a bit of a revelation when I read it - not what I was expecting at all.

I am currently reading The Children's Book by AS Byatt, and absolutely loving it.  My reading rate is still quite slow, for various reasons, but I am 250 pages in, and entranced - the kind of book I can't wait to get back to.


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Joe Mac
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm reading Anthony Doerr's 'Four Seasons in Rome' (or a title very much like that), lent by a friend. It's non-fiction; a whimsical, poetical journal of the writer and his family's stay in the Eternal City on some sort of artistic scholarship.
I like his descriptions of what he sees, hears, smells, feels and so on.


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for this, Rusty - I have looked at this book a couple of times when in Rome, mainly as a possible birthday gift for students I take there - if they have birthdays we like to give them a gift that relates to the places we visit (I take American students on an art history tour every autumn), and books are easy for them to stow in their luggage, and unbreakable!  So it's good to have a report from someone who has read it (or part of it), and likes it.


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Ann



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1111


Location: Worcestershire

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm  reading The Picture of Dorian Grey for my reading group. I had tried this book once before, found the writing very tiresome and gave it up, but I'm hoping to persevere this time. I'm trying to imagine Stephen Fry reading it out loud to me and that helps as I can access the humour a bit more. I think part of my trouble is that it has been extensively quoted from and so it comes across as rather second hand. The writing is descriptive but a bit lush and, of course, I know the story.




Last edited by Ann on Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope you enjoy it this time round, Ann, but - sorry to be so negative about it - I am always puzzled by the high reputation itenjoys. The bon mots of Lord Henry Wotton and others are, as you say, widely quoted, but they are more than that: they are quotations themslves. Oscar was, in many cases, recycling some of his best lines from earlier works - it's his "greatest hits" compilation. I personally find that a little of thsi goes a long way. I love The Importance of Being Earnest, where the one-liners estavlished the comic milieu and helped advance the comic plot, but here, they seem to be there just for their own sake.

The plot is straight-forward enough, but like yourself, I did find it grossly over-written. However, there are many who enjoy this novel far more than I do: do let us know what your impressions are once you've finished.


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Ann



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1111


Location: Worcestershire

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that, Himadri. I will write about how the discussion goes. I hadn't realised Wilde had quoted from previous works; I just assumed that most well known Wildeans must have been taken from this book. I really enjoy The Importance of Being Ernest and I like his childrens' stories (though they are tear jerkers, not to be read in company) but I assumed perhaps he was a better playwrite than novelist. I went to see Lady Windermere's Fan and was slightly underwhelmed but perhaps I didn't get a good performance.
His one liners are deservedly well known but perhaps we know them too well.


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MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2104


Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The trouble I had with Dorian Gray was that I felt there wasn't quite enough substance for a novel in there - and as a consequence it was padded out, resulting in quite a sagging middle. I found the lists and lists of objets d'art and poems and stuff tiresome. Yes, we know he's decadent and artistic, and you're frightfully clever and have exquisite taste - now get on with it man!



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Klara Z



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 173


Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been reading Amanda Craig's new novel, 'Hearts and Minds' which I can highly recommend; set in contemporary London, a real page turner but also a literary novel---and I've also read, and loved, Jill Dawson's novel about Rupert Brooke, 'The Great Lover'.


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Ann



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1111


Location: Worcestershire

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm reading Angelica by Arthur Phillips. The review by the Times on the back says 'Phillips blends wit, erudition and eccentricity' and I would agree with that. A tale, so far, of a Victorian woman with one child who has been warned that if she has another she will probably die. In an age before contraception this means no sex and she and her husband are finding it very very hard: she is terrified he will forget and seduce her and that she will not have the power to resist. There is some lovely phrasology in this book too.


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Castorboy



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1798


Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klara Z wrote:
---and I've also read, and loved, Jill Dawson's novel about Rupert Brooke, 'The Great Lover'.

Jill Dawson has been mentioned on the board so when I saw this in the library I picked it out for my wife to read first. We both like novels with literary allusions so will post her comments when she finishes it. At the moment I am going through a non-fiction phase whch cuts down the number of books read Rolling Eyes



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