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    Wales UK
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    Reading, Travel, Family & friends
  • Current Book
    This Must be the Place -Maggie O'Farrell.

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  1. The Secret History by Sebastian Barry
  2. I kept my comments short because I was sure I had previously posted something more detailed about this under my former, pre-crash name. Thanks to megustaleer I found them and here they are:- 17th November 2006 06:23 PM I have just come across this thread - with only a few pages to go before The Accidental will be the Book of the Month at the next meeting of our local Book Group. I have really struggled with it and almost abandoned it after only a few pages, but remembered it was my turn to lead the discussion. Post-modern or a contemporary version of our old allegorical friend - the uninvited guest? Haven't we met Michael before - in Disgrace and elsewhere? As for "innovative, creative writing" I thought stream of consciousness had been around for a very long time ! Sexy, erotic or pornographic - the edges certainly blur in this book. Many allusions resonate with themes from films of the 1960's - cf. confusion between illusion/reality in Blow Up (Losey 1966); or:- young woman, not as innocent as she seems, enters, uninvited, the home of a University lecturer undergoing mid-life crisis -Accident (Losey 1967). Other example lurk in the text. The book seems to be about people seeing/hearing or not seeing/hearing only what they choose ; it portrays a society distracted from the reality of the times they live in by random sex , the pursuit of success and "happiness". References to the grim realities of the world they/we live in, like war, the ill-treatment and murder of children may be an attempt to counter balance the prevailing denial and detachment of people from real life, from politics. But readers are free to draw their own conclusions. Although I have not quite finished the book I know I have not enjoyed reading it and am staggered by the hyperbole of the Critics. A case of Emperors New Clothes to my mind!
  3. The Reading Group I belong to recently tackled The Accidental by Ali Smith after reading rave reviews from the international press. It is the only book that came close to vying with Paul Theroux's Millroy the Magician for the title of Most Disliked Book. We are a diverse group of women, eclectic in our choice of books. Did we have our minds switched off and fail to grasp the signs of greatness so clear to the critics - including the Judges of the Whitbread Novel Prize 2005. Or was this a case of reviewer's hype and the Emperor's New Clothes? Has any member of this BGO read either of them? Views from other readers would be welcome.
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