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Everything posted by lunababymoonchild

  1. Critics rate this as his best work. The title was taken from John Donne's Devotions : No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee." But you are right Hemingway is hard to take. I read The Old Man and the Sea and could not see the symbolism at all. FWTBT is supposed to be a fictional account of the Spanish Civil War, in which in real life he drove an ambulance.
  2. This is Collins' second book for adults and she freely admits that it's partly inspired by Herman Hesse's The Glass Bead Game. Since I've never heard of the Glass Bead Game I can't say. Amazon describes it best : At Montverre, an exclusive academy tucked away in the mountains, the best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu: an arcane and mysterious contest. Léo Martin was once a student there, but lost his passion for the grand jeu following a violent tragedy. Now he returns in disgrace, exiled to his old place of learning with his political career in tatters. Montverre has changed since he studied there, even allowing a woman, Claire Dryden, to serve in the grand jeu’s highest office of Magister Ludi. When Léo first sees Claire he senses an odd connection with her, though he’s sure they have never met before. Both Léo and Claire have built their lives on lies. And as the legendary Midsummer Game, the climax of the year, draws closer, secrets are whispering in the walls… It's a good story with a few surprises and well worth reading.
  3. She wore a blackened lead pentagram On a frayed string neck chain, Tattoo of a ouija board on her back, You can see it through the blue kimono, Snakeskin cowboy boots, Fishnets, Shrunken goats head's rattling on a wooden bracelet With an incantation inscription, Thick smoke coming from the stubby, thick candles Placed in an ornate copper holder In the shape of a bony hand, Craftmade by the a blacksmith possessed For Alistair Crowley himself; It did not just fall into her possession, No lucky second-hand shop find The chosen one from the start, Destined But worked hard to get the scars, A virgin But lustful, Pale white with an olive complexion, She sprinkles red wine Upon every point of the Star of David encircled, Falls to her knees And worships. They chant solomnly in Latin, Encouraged by the man in the long gown, Dress up important gear, Never seen outside the vestry without it, Not even when in the saloon, Silver Cross of Jesus on rosary beads, Large hand written book by a young apprentice, Painstakingly accurate to the originals that Hadrian brought, Blood, sweat and muscle cramps, Ten hour days by candlelight beneath the pulpit, Concentration to the maximum, Burnt out before making the grade, Men in red with pointed hats Light bowls of incense, Swinging them on chains of gold, They sip red wine from a chalice Fall to their knees And worship. Pentagram or rosary, Both symbols, False idols??? False idols?, Barry Holland
  4. Hello and welcome to the board. Well done for getting stuck in, we love new opinions
  5. You are welcome. Definitely one for the dark nights.
  6. As the title suggests this is a story about Uncle Silas. Maude is the somewhat cossetted and innocent only child of Austin Ruthyn (wife deceased) who is wealthy beyond compare and brother of Silas Ruthyn who was similarly wealthy but no more, and is suspected of murdering a man in his house - Silas actually occupies property belonging to Austin. Austin dies suddenly and leaves his entire estate to Maude, held in trust until she is 21, she is 19 at the time. He also stipulates that she is to be under the guardianship of her uncle Silas and live with him in her father's property, Bartam Haugh. Silas, of course, is vastly different to Austin and Maude discovers that all is not well at Bartram Haugh fairly quickly. What she finds out is the substance of the story. This is the definitive Victorian, Gothic, psychological thriller and well worth the effort it takes to read it (it is, of course, written in the manner of prose popular in the Victorian era and is, perhaps, a little more challenging than the usual fare of today). It also contains the famous locked room mystery which is resolved at the end of the book. Highly recommended
  7. Tom, The person who does 'Z' chooses the next category, and starts a new list.
  8. I'm still not entirely sure what literary fiction actually is and I aim to be as widely read as possible so read as many different things as I can. I spend my time seeking out books and authors that I've never heard of and in that I'm quite successful. I don't think that there's anything wrong with plot driven books and, when I'm tired, I indulge in those too. As said, I like a wide variety in my reading. That said I do draw the line at some books : Barbara Cartland for example I just can't face and I read the first three paragraphs of George R R Martin's Game of Thrones opening volume and could not continue, ditto with Wilbur Smith. I did manage to get near the end of one of the Marquis De Sade's famous books but could not finish it. So, for me it depends on the individual author rather than genre. However, as the article said, reading too much literary fiction is as bad as not reading enough and, confusingly I thought, the same holds true for contemporary fiction.
  9. This article popped up in my FB page and, having read it, thought I'd offer it up for discussion. Reading literary versus popular fiction I'd say managing to understand what they're talking about is a major achievement! Love to hear opinions though
  10. A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking, e-book
  11. This is a factual book about a lady called Alma Fielding. Alma and the haunting of isn't actually that interesting. What is interesting is the beliefs of the time period. Taking place between the two world wars, belief in Spiritualism was widespread because a lot of people had lost men as a result of the first world war. Eventually the conclusion reached by investigating Alma was : pretty much what happened to her was faked by her, at first unconsciously and then deliberately. That something very traumatic had happened to her in childhood that manifested itself in what looked at first like a poltergeist. It was found, through studying other alleged paranormal (they called it supernormal) activity that the sufferers had been sexually abused as children and through the fullness of time without any therapeutic services such as counselling etc this manifested itself in so-called hauntings/poltergeists etc. Alma wasn't terribly happy in her marriage and she had lost a baby at 18 months or so. She claimed that she was visited by a male demon and believed it had sexual intercourse with her as she slept (known as an incubus. A succubus is the female equivalent) which, according to research at the time, was a sure sign of childhood sexual abuse (Alma never admitted to this). Alma stopped being investigated when she was told that she had been caught out as fraudulent and not long after this the second world war started and the Institute which was doing the investigating changed beyond all recognition and paranormal investigation pretty much stopped. This book is very well written and very well researched, as is all Kate Summerscale's books, I just didn't find Alma herself, or what happened to her, terribly interesting. The history of belief in haunting and seances I did find interesting, so I'm glad that I read the book.
  12. It is weird but I hope that you are now enjoying it.
  13. Uncle Silas: A Tale of Bartram-Haugh, J Sheridan Le Fanu. I do like my Victorian Gothic and boy, is it Victorian Gothic!
  14. The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing, Mary Paulson-Ellis
  15. I find American politics totally confusing. I might understand it if I tried harder but have other things on my plate, at the moment. Binker, I see that Thanksgiving is coming up and know that it's your favourite holiday. I hope that you can celebrate it in safety the way you want to this year.
  16. I’m normally a social girl I love to meet my mates But lately with the virus here We can’t go out the gates. You see, we are the ‘oldies’ now We need to stay inside If they haven’t seen us for a while They’ll think we’ve upped and died. They’ll never know the things we did Before we got this old There wasn’t any Facebook So not everything was told. We may seem sweet old ladies Who would never be uncouth But we grew up in the 60s – If you only knew the truth! There was sex and drugs and rock ‘n roll The pill and miniskirts We smoked, we drank, we partied And were quite outrageous flirts. Then we settled down, got married And turned into someone’s mum, Somebody’s wife, then nana, Who on earth did we become? We didn’t mind the change of pace Because our lives were full But to bury us before we’re dead Is like red rag to a bull! So here you find me stuck inside For 4 weeks, maybe more I finally found myself again Then I had to close the door! It didn’t really bother me I’d while away the hour I’d bake for all the family But I’ve got no bloody flour! Now Netflix is just wonderful I like a gutsy thriller I’m swooning over Idris Or some random sexy killer. At least I’ve got a stash of booze For when I’m being idle There’s wine and whiskey, even gin If I’m feeling suicidal! So let’s all drink to lockdown To recovery and health And hope this bloody virus Doesn’t decimate our wealth. We’ll all get through the crisis And be back to join our mates Just hoping I’m not far too wide To fit through the flaming gates! Let’s all drink to lockdown, Jan Beaumont
  17. It's good to see you Binker. I'm sorry you feel the need to have a gun, I'm sure that wasn't an easy decision for you to make. I'm fed up with the election and will be grateful when it's over. As for Coronavirus : England has just been put into full lockdown to last until 2 December and we wait to see if our leader will follow suit. I predicted full lockdown a fortnight ago and everybody here in Blighty is suitably alarmed and insecure. We in Scotland are a little better off because our leader is clearer about what she's doing and why. As a result there's less confusion but in Glasgow, I'm sad to say, there are many illegal house parties being broken up by police as much as possible. On a personal level I have had my influenza immunisation, my brother had his - he doesn't normally, I do - but my father hasn't had his and I'm a touch worried about this as he is in the vulnerable age group. We don't go out much or very far so I comfort myself with that. Piranesi is the fiftieth book I've read this year and I have spent an astonishing 176 hours playing with my jigsaw app, I'm still crocheting and our house is cleaner than it ever has been. The weather is atrocious and TV rubbish , as is usual about now. My father's health has improved since I talked him into keeping himself hydrated but the three of us have gone overboard with over-eating, so something serious will have to be done. Thank goodness for internet and TV (however atrocious).
  18. The Haunting of Alma Fielding, Kate Summerscale
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