A Conversation for Ask h2g2

(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5021

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

(Sho)
The film is excellent. The book is not Burgess's best. Burgess also wrote a brilliant book about linguistics: 'A Mouthful of Air: A Book About Languages, Mostly English'.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5022

Sho - gainfully employed again

thanks - I'm a little worried about the violence though. I'm a bit girly when it comes to that.

and thanks for the book tip - I'll add that to the must-read list.
smiley - ok


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5023

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

To be honest...the violence is less extreme than much in contemporary cinema. It's not close-up, for instance. Yes - there are shocking moments, but the shock is in the juxtapositions rather than in the explicit detail. Eg the theatre scene where the a rape is portrayed for comic effect as an opera. The (deliberate) shock is in the comedy.

(Mind you - the scene where McDowell's eyes are held clamped open is squeamish viewing. He sustained an injury to his cornea during filming. Kubrick's comment was, "Can we shoot on the other eye?". But it had all been done many years previously by Bunuel.)


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5024

Sho - gainfully employed again

OK, I'll see if I can find a copy and give it a go. Of course, I'll have to read the book again. No big hardship.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5025

Lucky Llareggub - no more cannibals in our village, we ate the last one yesterday..

Now finished 'A Clockwork Orange' which I'd never read before, always thinking I'd never get my head around the Sprache. However, as I was fortuante to get hold of a 'Reclam' edition with its copious footnotes for German students of English, I had a go.
First thing to say, was that after the intitial shock I soon got into the swing of the Lingo and after while it was all plain sailing, or almost. For me, it was in the unputdownable category. I loved the influence of Joyce in the writing, and it all had that sligtly surreal feel which lent itself to the subject. What's it to be then? Well, a top 5 place in LL's Crunchbracken List for starters!

Now starting two books; the slim novelette by Joseph Conrad 'Heart of Darkness' to go in the pocket, and the rather bulkier 'The House of the Dead' from Fyodor Dostoyevsky for my long train journey mid-week.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5026

laconian

Ah, 'Heart of Darkness'! I read it a few months ago, and found it very interesting reading indeed. I failed to find much of the racism which some claim the book is full of. I found some, but not much. Not enough to call it a racist book.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5027

Lucky Llareggub - no more cannibals in our village, we ate the last one yesterday..

Iaconian, Thanks for pointing that out. I had a feeling there might have been a bit of hoo-hah somewhere along the line but I'll finish it before I pass any comment.
I'm from the first generation to read Lady C unexpurgated! We spotty teenagers were all expecting something far worse.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5028

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

I've copped out and am reading another Patrick O'Brian for relaxation: 'The Thirteen Gun salute'.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5029

Sho - gainfully employed again

How's the writing in that? I'm tempted to read his books because I've exhausted Sharpe and Hornblower (in my dreams smiley - drool) and am looking for similar.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5030

Kiwisap - Thrower of Bananas and Master of Pineapples

Just started in Snow from Pamuk, hope it is as good as my mother says it is...


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5031

van-smeiter

'Heart of Darkness' is fantastic but Joseph Conrad always is. I got sucked in by the book and literally felt hot when I read it. I'm not sure how much racism there is but I did read it a few years back (and bear in mind the age in which he wrote it.) His 'The (can't say because of moderation) of the Narcissus' is interesting; I've always felt that the 'message', as it were, was about a lazy crew member putting his shipmates at risk, rather than saying that black people are lazy. I think the character was black because he needed to be dark, brooding and mysterious. Perhaps I've misread it but, given Conrad's life, it seems incongruous that he would have been racist. His story 'Typhoon' is well worth a read.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5032

Ellen

I'm half way through Atonement by Ian McEwan. It's brilliant so far.

I also started Exuberance by Kay Jamison, an interesting read.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5033

Blues Shark - For people who like this sort of thing, then this is just the sort of thing they'll like


I'm not sure you could classify Conrad as a racist as we would think about it now, but I think it's a safe bet to assume that he was of the 'wouldn't let one marry my sister' persuasion. He was a product of his time, after all.

It's a bit like people trying to pretend there isn't a rather nasty anti-semitic streak to 'The Merchant of Venice'. There is, and it shouldn't be a suprise.

smiley - shark


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5034

faithy2

Down and out in paris and london by George Orwell

for the second time

tis that good!

smiley - earth


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5035

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

(How's the writing in O'Brian)

Extremely good! He goes for 'total immersion'. There's lots of confusing nautical detail (I've yet to understand what is happening in any of the naval engagements) and all the dialogue and even narration use formal 19thC modes of address ("Convey my best compliments to the Doctor and advise him that he may care to join me on the upper deck.") There are also complicated plot strands which wax and wane from one book to another. Plus lots of funny bits, extraneous details about food, etc. etc. etc.

WARNING: They're highly addictive.

And not a f-in' elf in sight. smiley - winkeye


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5036

Lucky Llareggub - no more cannibals in our village, we ate the last one yesterday..

Down and Out ... by Orwell is a fine book, I agree. Have you read The Road to Wigan Pier also? I can still see those maggots crawling on the bread. It was very difficult and a painful effort for Orwell to walk to the coal seams bent double as he invariably was, being 6'2" tall or something like that.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5037

Cheerful Dragon

There's another nautical series along the lines of the Hornblower and Jack Aubrey novels. It's the 'Bolitho' books by Alexander Kent. They're not quite as 'total immersion' as O'Brian's books, but they're still pretty good. Kent also puts things from the seamen's point of view instead of just the officers'. He mentions things like the men not getting much sleep during rough weather, and coming down from setting the sails with hands torn and bleeding. He also mentions the food the ordinary men have to eat, and the fact that the purser would often make money by buying rotten food for the men and pocketing the difference.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5038

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

O'Brian often talks of weevils in the food, too. Plus, dolphin sausages. There's an educative moment in 'Desolation Island'. They've had to put in to an island just north of the Antarctic Circle to repair storm damages. A New England whaler has previously passed by, and has planted cabbages for turning into sauerkraut so that they don't get scurvy on the way home.


One of the cook's perks was that he could skim off the fat from the cookpot, store it in a barrel and sell it ashore for a few coppers. This is the origin of the term 'slush fund'.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5039

Lucky Llareggub - no more cannibals in our village, we ate the last one yesterday..

Dostoyevsky is a bit too heavy/serious/despressing to take on my camping holiday tomorrow but as I need a couple of books to read in the tent (if it rains) I've been searching on the shelves and in the boxes in the corners. Finally, as well as the previously mentioned Conrad novelette, I've settled for D H Lawrence's 'Sons and Lovers' and a novel in English translation; Caradog Prichard's autobiographical WWI masterpiece, the story of a young boy in a Welsh slate-quarrying village: 'One Moonlit Night/Un Nos Ola Leuad'.


(The Return of) What book are you reading at this time?

Post 5040

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

I'd have owned a share of the Blaenau Ffestiniog slate quarries, if my foolish great-grandmother hadn't run off and married a sailor.


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