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About nonsuch

  • Rank
  • Birthday 18/03/1932


  • Biography
    reader, editor, reviewer
  • Location
    sutton, surrey
  • Interests
    novels, tennis, writing
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  1. I tried to watch the first episode of Vanity Fair on ITV last week, knowing I would have to endure commercial intrusions. Who else tried it? I can just about manage to endure the commercials on Sky Sport (cricket, and selected football) but VF last week was hopeless.
  2. Liked All that Man IS and His Bloody Project. Hated the ranting The Sellout.
  3. I don't think one needs to like the protagonist to like the book. Nabokov's Lolita, for instance, is a fascinating read (I've recently re-read it and enjoyed seeing the world through Humbert -Humbert's eyes). As for Wuthering Heights, certainly Heathcliff is at times unpleasant and vicious, but he is in a sense a force of nature and he is the book's centre. I like him when he gets angry and says to Edgar Linton, 'You're not worth knocking down.' I like him when he gets hold of Hindley Earnshaw and takes his revenge for the former's cruelty to him as a child. Yes, I do sympathise with Heat
  4. It looks as if, Hux, if you follow all the advice, you've got your work cut out for the next 4-5 years. If you opt for self-publishing you have a mountain to climb, competing with hacks and people who take themselves seriously and watch their ratings. I would say concentrate on writing rather than trying to 'build a platform' that'll likely collapse. First try the traditional publisher. Send out 50 or more well-constructed letters and meanwhile be writing your 2nd or 3rd book/novella.
  5. Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary It took Flaubert five years to write the book, coming after he gave up his law studies and his travels through the Middle East (1849-51). When it first appeared in parts, published in the Revue de Paris, the content shocked so many readers that the government brought the author to trial. But he was acquitted and the storm established his reputation and the book was finally published in 1857. He could be said to have opened the floodgates to the progress of the genre as far as subject matter and treatment are concerned. The cool acceptance of Emma’s adu
  6. Stay in! We are no longer able to stand alone and should be content to be little British. Culturally and geographically we are (almost) linked. Travel and health services are another link.
  7. DJ Taylor. The Prose Factory: Literary Life in England Since 1918 Although the title of DJ Taylor’s monumental study of writing and publishing is misleading (prose overwhelms other forms, but Auden, Eliot and Spender are pre-eminently poets) this is a thoroughly entertaining and informative account. Until Taylor reaches the contemporary publishing scene, he shows a magisterial grasp of trends in attitude towards literature, his writing peppered with interesting asides, such as that at some point in their careers James Joyce, Viginia Woolf and Joseph Conrad each submitted work to Tit Bit
  8. The Trial is a haunting story of a near-nameless man struggling to come to terms with bureaucracy. He seems to have no friends, no confidants, and is forced into writing, drawing the reader into his every thought.
  9. I'd be willing to read 10 pages for a free book.
  10. Of course you can always try 'Poetry Please' or whatever its new name is on Sunday afternoon, Radio 4.
  11. Hartley, LP. The Go-Between A hot summer in 1900 and Leo Colston, aged 14, is invited to spend it at his friend Marcus’s house at Brandham Hall, a splendid country house replete with 14 bedrooms, servants, guests galore and for Leo the most ravishing girl, Marian. It should be a happy time and in a way it is, for everyone is excessively polite and concerned for the boy’s welfare, but sadly love enters his consciousness, a growing awareness of the mystery of adult passion, concealed and for the boy wicked and puzzling, and ultimately scarring the boy for life. The book was first published in 1
  12. Dawkkins is a little heavy-handed, although we agree with almost all he says. Must read sam harris now.
  13. Marks, Kathy. Trouble in Paradise This meticulously detailed account of Kathy Marks’s six weeks on the Pitcairn island in 2004 is as she says in her Prologue to the book ‘a cautionary tale.’ She first read about the investigation in 2000, when as Asia-Pacific Correspondent for The Independent she read about about the 13 men charged with 96 offences dating back to the 1960s. She was accepted for membership of the media team reporting on the trials that followed, reporting ‘on one of the most bizarre court cases imaginable.’ The Pitcairners themselves were almost universally hostile to t
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