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LondonVasco

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About LondonVasco

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  1. Hi everyone, I am almost there, although I must admit that I started reading Ulysses about 4 months ago now! I am just entering into Molly's closing monologue (which is about sixty pages long without a full stop!). I will be the first to admit that Ulysses is difficult, but I also know it to be incredibly worthwhile, brilliant (and confounding too). I remember reading an essay written by Proust in which he said that there were passages in Ulysses that were not inferior to those found in the work of Shakespeare, and this statement has actually helped me with Ulysses. Even though there were times that I was totally lost, suddenly I would stumble upon the most beautiful passage and find myself re-engaging with it. In sum, a wonderful reading experience. Oh, and I know of few, if any, authors that could maintain the stream of consciousness monologue as ably as Joyce). Take it easy, LV
  2. Thanks for your post Kimberley! You know, I have never actually seen anyone reading The Moor's Last Sigh. On the Tube to work it is all copies of New Moon or Shantaram... Oh well. I do like his other books as well, but, like you, not as much as the Moor's Last Sigh. I keep trying to work out why I like it so much more than the others, and I think that the reason is simply it is such a beautiful story. LV
  3. I have to get this book included on the list of books of the 20th Century as it is a book I totally love and keep coming back to, even now, some 14 years after I first read it. I found this book - in fact, all Rushdie's books - to be incredibly rich and detailed, but there is something about the sheer joy and motion of the narrative in this particular work that keeps me spellbound, and a real depth to the characters. For me: 10/10 LV
  4. I know this thread hasn't been replied to for some time, but I saw it here and just had to add my 2 cents worth... It amazes me how often I see people reading this book on the Tube, and out of interest I picked it up in Waterstones the other day and noticed that it is on something like its 17th reprint. I have read Shantaram and loved it, to be honest. Yes, I do agree that there are pretensions of literary greatness that are not supported by the quality of the writing (Roberts is certainly no Hemingway), but the story does have a scope which makes it feel epic, and Roberts clearly loves India. That's it really: I would recommend this book as the perfect hoiday read, engaging but not requiring too much concentration! LV
  5. First love: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Most Loved: The Moor's Last Sigh
  6. Hi again everyone, Yes Hilary - Hay on Wye - I have heard incredible things about this town and it is very high up on my list of must do things in the UK. A whole town dedicated to books (and a few pubs of course!)...Just imagine! LV
  7. No rays from the holy heaven come down On the long night-time of that town; But light from out the lurid sea Streams up the turrets silently— Gleams up the pinnacles far and free— Up domes—up spires—up kingly halls— Up fanes—up Babylon-like walls— Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers— Up many and many a marvellous shrine Whose wreathed friezes intertwine The viol, the violet, and the vine. Resignedly beneath the sky The melancholy waters lie. So blend the turrets and shadows there That all seem pendulous in air, While from a proud tower in the town Death looks gigantically down.
  8. I think we are all here (virtually at least!) discussing books on this website for the same reason: we share a love of the written word, and we understand that books are an engine for personal and intellectual growth. I must admit, I have no time for celebrity/media culture, and I find the modern world's obsession with fame and money awful, especially promoted as they are over those things that I find in books, and which require a little more discipline to obtain; structure, substance, (true) beauty, texture, colour, depth, etc etc etc. Superior? No, more grateful that I found reading when I did, and hungry to explore the worlds that have opened up to me because of it...
  9. Thanks ColinJ By the way, I agree, as I have also found Oxfam expensive (although as they do good lwork, I feel guilty for complaining too much!!!)... LV
  10. All I can say is good luck! I have almost finished Ulysses and have found it brilliant and confounding in equal measure! I know that I will have to revisit Ulysses over the course of many years to get a true appreciation of it. I have heard that Finnegans Wake is another step up again (and is generally considered the most difficult novel written in the English Language). If it is any help, I found with Ulysses that it is best to concentrate on the current scene, rather than try to view the novel as a whole (or in terms of any narrative structure traditionally associated with novels (none of which Joyce conformed to anyway!)). There is also more than enough to keep you engaged in any given paragraph, rather than trying to think about plot and structure. I hope you find it a great experience...
  11. Yes, it is I guess. Although for me, my love of books stems from reading The Moor's Last Sigh, and that has brought me into contact with so much more...Ulysses, the Old Man and the Sea, One Hundred Years of Solitude Love i the Time of Cholera, The Island of the Day Before etc etc etc... LV
  12. Hi all, I have not read these books yet, but I have recently finished The Old Man and the Sea and, in terms of plot structure and narrative, thought it was pretty much perfect. A very fitting recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature. I have to say though, that my early attempts to engage with Hemingway's work were thawted by the (deceptive) simplicity of the writing style, and his use of repetition, which I found strange (and now find lyric and beautiful). Thinking about it, I guess that my early difficulties were the result of my early love of magic realism, with its lusher prose and denser narrartive style. It's good to know I may be moving outside the box I constructed for myself! I have included an extract below to try and show hat I have been talking about: "The line rose slowly and steadily and then the surface of the ocean bulged ahead of the boat and the fish came out. He came out unendingly and water poured from his sides. He was bright in the sun and his head and back were dark purple and in the sun the stripes on his side showed wide and a light lavender. His sword was as long as a baseball bat and tapered like a rapier and he rose his full length from the water and then re-entered it. smoothly, like a diver and the old man saw the great scythe-blade of his tail go under and the line commenced to race out." The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway LV
  13. Hi everyone, I live in London, and love the second hand bookstors that I have come across in my travels (especially around Charing Cross, but also generally in travels around this fantastic city). I love secondhand book stores far better than new retail bookstores (especially the big chain stores). So, I thought that it would be great to get your opinion on which secondhand bookstores you think are best, not just in London but all over the world (I love traveling and who knows, one day I might get to visit some of them). I won't start this thread by putting one down myself (I don't want you to think that the purpose of this thread is promotional)....but any suggetsions would be appreciated... LV
  14. Hi Jen, No, I just love his books. I think they are wonderful. LV
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