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helenoftroy

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Everything posted by helenoftroy

  1. I can't say I was too thrilled by it to be honest, but it's the first in the series, and am quite happy to give it another go. Almost if only for Nick and Margaret though! I think they have to do their silly 'I'm the best, etc, etc' pieces, and I believe that they are picked because they will make interesting viewing, not necessarily because they're great people, or great business people. It's just like any 'reality' TV show, they are picked because they'll make an interesting mix, and probably because they are likely to fight with one another, and not get along. I suppose the idea is that if they were actually all decent people, who got along, it would be rather boring to watch. Personally though, I'd like to see something go really well for once.
  2. Huge apologies if this isn't the right area of the forum! I'm a big fan of reading literature from other countries and cultures. But I don't even have a basic knowledge of French, or any other foreign language, so of course I have to read translations. Some people believe that you should not bother reading a book unless you can read it in the language that the author wrote it in, as you will not necessarily be reaidng it as the author intended, and messages, language and imagery can to a certain extent be lost in translation. Anyone agree with this point of view? I can definitely see where it's coming from, but personally don't want to miss out on what I can get from a translated book, because I don't have time (or necessarily the inclination!) to learn Russian for instance. Anyone got any views for or against only reading literature in languages you can understand?
  3. I stumbled across this book in the library a few weeks ago, and have been hooked ever since! Described as 'encapsulation in luxurious detail the phenomenon of consumer society', this is a brilliant book, with stunning imagery and descriptions. It is about Denise, a young woman who moves to Paris with her two younger brothers, orphaned and seeking work, from the provinces, and how her fate becomes embroiled with that of the 'Bonheur des Dames', a clothing shop and haberdashery. May not sound thrilling, but you can have my word that I've so far found this book to be really exciting, insightful and thoroughly interesting, I'd recommend it to anyone, particularly of course anyone interested in that era, or 'consumerism'. I'd read quite a bit about Emile Zola before, but mostly only biographical, about his friendship with Cezanne, and this is the first book of his I've read (there are loads more which I intend to read also, having read this one). I'm finding that he completely lives us to his reputation as the 'foremost representative of the Naturalist school'.
  4. Sounds random, and I have to say it's not a type of book I've ever bought before. But I do have an odd obsession with NZ, and am interested in modern NZ music at the least. Would you think it's something that would interest me, or would I have to have a knowledge of the musicians included?
  5. I've been an avid reader pretty much since I grasped the concept (apparently it took a while!). And I've read lots through my teenager years, which technically I'm still in. I agree that one of the reasons you don't see so many youngsters in bookshops is because they don't have much disposable cash. We've got a huge number of books in my house, and I can still find loads of things I haven't read yet but want to, so in that sense I don't really need to go looking for books. If there's something specific I want, I'll look in the library, and THEN I'll go to the bookshop if they don't have it. Especially with modern books, because I tend to have no idea how much I like them, so I'm not willing to spend my hard earned 'pocket money' on them. But if it's something I know I'll really like the bookshop is the first choice (recently treated myself to Alan Bennett's 'Telling Tales'). But, all that said, I do hang round in bookshops a lot still!
  6. A film?! That could go terribly wrong. Oh dear. I always liked the original black and white one myself. Oh well, we can only hope they get it right! Do you know who's cast in it yet?
  7. First started hearing about this book after I learnt Paramore did a song for the soundtrack to the movie. So I've learnt about it in a kind of random way, but so many people have been praising it I was wondering if I should give it a go. To be honest, I tend to steer clear of most teenage fiction, I tend to find that the quality of the writing is a bit lacking, and gets on my nerves. Having said that, I was addicted to the Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix. So maybe, despite the fact that it doesn't seem to have got a glowing report on here, I might try reading it. Only if it's in the library though, I couldn't be bothered to buy it!
  8. I'm exactly the same, Minxminnie, I have a bit of a fascination with them as well. They're just such an interesting family, I personally would like to know more about Tom as well, who apparently was very close to Diana. I'd love to read their letters, particularly those of Nancy and Evelyn Waugh. Such a witty bunch.
  9. I'd have liked to read it for GCSE, (I did To Kill A Mockingbird, not Lord of the Flies, and am now doing Wuthering Heights for English Lit.), but Lord of the Flies is great too!
  10. Hmm, don't think so, it might still be edited a bit but I have definitely read Lilliput and Brobdingnag, as well as the Houyhnhnms part. I remember it being a rather appealing idea, being a horse lover. Will go back and read it some time, I think I'd probably notice more this time round.
  11. I read this book a while ago after finding it in the library. It's a really fascinating read. It charts the life of Diana Mitford (later Mosley), one of the six famous (or infamous) Mitford sisters, including her friendship with Hitler and her marriage to the Fascist leader Oswald Mosley. I knew of her before I read the book, and knew a reasonable about Oswald Mosley, and indeed the friendship of Diana and her sister Unity to Hitler, but I still felt I gained an aweful lot from this book. It manages to be objective well, and tells a lot about the less well known periods of her life. Dalley also provides good background, she tells us about the Mitford family and some of their history, and also gives us indepth detail about Oswald Mosley and his campaign, in fact at some points it seems to be more about him than her. The book was written after talks with Diana herself, and I believe she did not want it to be published before her death. I would recommend it to any one who wants to know more about the period, and particularly Diana.
  12. When will they learn that good books shoudl just be left alone?! I too didn't much like GT to start off with, and abandoned. But a while later I picked it up again and really got into it. It seems to be one that I would get more out of again if I re-read it. However, I was reading the Penguin Childrens' Classics edition, is this a bad one to go with?
  13. In which Sam Neill also had a role. Haven't seen it.
  14. Really random way of coming to like them, but I did after hearing their one of their albums which was given away free in the Sunday Times. New they existed, but didn't know much of their stuff before then, but now I really like it, and want to hear more.
  15. Yeah, I wouldn't recommend men to imagine that we're all easily fitted into either a Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, or Charlotte, but I don't actually know any men that watch it, so I think we're safe. I love the series, only got into it recently. I treat it the same way as I treat a good chick flick, it's basically mostly silly, and some of Carrie's 'And I got to thinking' moments make me laugh out loud, but it's mostly just harmless fun. Completely agree about Cynthia Nixon, she's brilliant. Didn't see Law and Order, but did see her in Amadeus. Yeah, she's blonde in reality.
  16. Hurrah! Dorian lovers! I first got round to reading this book a while after I saw the B&W film, which I loved. Read the book quite quickly, and absolutely loved it. I love the descriptions, and the way that Wilde manages to describe grotesque things as well as he does beauty. I would really recommend reading this if/after you've read any biographies of Wilde, as I think he's really drawing on his life in this, with the grotesqueness of some of it, and particularly on the book that Dorian reads, which is generally accepted to be based on, or simply to be Joris Karl Huysmans' The Damned, which had a big effect on Wilde when he read it. I think it wouldn't be too far from the truth to say that Dorian is almost semi-autobiographical. I stumbled across another book by J.K. Huysmans in the library, and he's really interesting as well, so I'd recommend reading anything by him, especially having read this. Really, really interesting book, and one I look forward to reading again. Really sorry, but I don't know how to spoiler things, and I'm thinking that the above paragraph is probably a bit of a spoiler. Sorry!
  17. I haven't read it, alas, but going by your review I think it's one I'll definitely be on the look out for. I do have a bit of a soft-spot for that era in books, especially recently, when I've been studying for exams in Modern History, it's really interesting to see how different authors deal with the human side of things. Sounds like an interesting premise, and I'll be interested to see how annoying the writing style is, as I have in the past abandoned books because the author's style has annoyed be too much. Will look for it in the library!
  18. I read this book after reading 'Tortilla Flat', one of his less well known books, although I'd still recommend it. I hadn't actually heard anything about OMAM, other than the title obviously, so didn't really know what to expect. Especially after Tortilla Flat, because, although that book has a similar bleakness to it, and delves into the human mind in a similar way, it is not as heavy, it's actually quite comedic in places. So OMAM was a bit of a surprise really, but I'm so glad I read it. Not much I can say about what it made me feel that others haven't said already, it was really sad, and the relationship between George and Lennie was heartbreaking, that sort of relationship always gets me, way too easy to make me cry with them. But I did find it really inspirational, to be able to sum up so many emotions in such a short space is amazing, and it really made me think about the sort of things I want to be writing myself. Almost the perfect novella I think.
  19. I'm afraid I'm a victim of the library with these books, I've read Hitchiker's, and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, and the stupid library has all the others, except Life, the Universe and Everything. And I'm awful in that I can't remember enough about what happens in the two books I have read, definitely ones for re-reading, but I do remember that I really loved them, and I think are exactly the kind of more light-hearted science fiction that I'm in to.
  20. It has to be said I had no clue who Frank Miller was until the film of Sin City a few years ago (which I have still failed to watch), but the whole style of what he does really interests me. I'm guessing it'd be a good idea to read Volume 1 first, right?
  21. It looks like this is going to have to join my ever-increasing TBR list, I haven't read anything he's written, don't get the Guardian, but I was a huge fan of Screen Wipe, and this book sounds hillarious.
  22. I loved this book. Just struck me as being really sweet, and I actually cared for the characters. Didn't really know what to expect when I started it, I just wanted to see what Stephen Fry's novels were like, having read his auto-bio. I think it's a really clever concept, and it actually held me in suspense. I think it's written in an unusual style, the way it flips from the past, (e.g. the sections with Hitler's mother), to the present, and then randomly into film script is a bit odd, but once I'd read a bit of it I settled into it. Maybe Fry was just trying to write in a less traditional fashion, maybe he saw the film script as a way of quickly advancing through a section of the book that would not have been so easy if he were to write it in full prose?
  23. It must have been two or three years ago I read this book now, and I'd really like to re-read it. I found it really hard to put down. All the cultural information was really interesting, and I was also really interested in the characters. It was really sad at times, and to be honest, books don't often have that effect on me. I think I should definitely re-read it in fact, going by what everyone else has been saying here. Just wish I had my own copy, I borrowed it from a friend. I also saw Geisha in the library the other day, and was sorely tempted, so will go and look for that again sometime. With regards to the end, (and this is where I think I need to read it again!), I'm not quite sure whether or not I think that it was really necessary. On the one hand, I can see how she thought it was necessary, and you can tell she is not flippant about it in any way. But then on the other hand you wonder if she would have even considered this option if she had seen such a situation from her old perspective.
  24. I just finished reading this book the day before yesterday, and was a bit disappointed. It seems I really need to read High Fidelity, and Fever Pitch, as the only other Hornby I've read is About A Boy and Slam (his first book for teenagers). My impressions of him have been mixed, I wasn't so keen on Slam, but blamed that on it being written for teenagers. So I wasn't expecting too much from this book. And I'm glad I wasn't. I can't quite really sum up for this book, I can see what he was doing, looking into the bleakness of an unhappy marriage, but I think the thing that narked me most was that it sort of seemed to drift into an ending. I was expecting it to resolve a bit more, GoodNews seemed to just go out of the picture in what felt like a page, and there was no feeling that this made any difference to anyone. And I agree about the last line, I was so looking forward to something that made me feel it was worthwhile reading it, but it was a bit bad. I agree that I couldn't really make myself like Katie (maybe that's what he was aiming for?), and I wish there'd been a bit more about her brother towards the end. I guess it sort of felt like a first draft, I felt things could have been developed a bit more, and the issues he deals with worked out a bit better. All in all, if this was the first book of his I'd read, it wouldn't make me want to read more.
  25. I really like P.G.W. I started off watching the television series (am a huge fan of both Fry and Laurie, especially together), and agree that they seem to really have it down to a T. I've only read 'Carry On, Jeeves' of the Jeeves and Wooster books, but I'm in the middle of reading 'Plum Pie' a collection of shorter stories featuring various different selections of his characters, and, interestingly, sections called 'Our Man In America', which are basically him musing on things he's read in the newspaper, current American trends, amusing little anecdotes really. I'd like to read more of his more substantial works, but this is a really fun way of getting to know a bit about the breadth of his work I think.
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