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About DJgib

  • Birthday 09/09/1980


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    Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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  1. Just wondering what you think of Charles' method of 'convincing' Heartley to leave her husband for him. I was extremely annoyed about how he went about it. I felt he didn't give her enough time, forcing himself on her and saying things like 'you belong to me now'. He never listened to what she had to say, when she said he didn't understand he talked over it and he ignored her saying she wanted to return to Ben. It seems to me that this behaviour is an illustration of Charles' arrogance. He may truly love Heartley, but he is also driven by a desire for power and to get what he wants. If he loved Heartley in a true, altruistic way, he would allow her to follow her own course. On the other hand it may be argued (as Charles does himself) that Heartley would never leave Ben if she was only shown the door, she had to be dragged through it if she was ever going to leave.
  2. I agree that marriage is a strong theme in the book, but the three women are to obviously different not to be a motif themselves. I don't agree with you that Hartley is free. She's in an unhappy marriage with an almost tyrannical husband, and having been in that situation for so long she cannot imagine being in another situation. She is not free to choose, because she has no concept of another option. There is only her marriage. She certainly doesn't seek freedom. Lizzie is difficult for me. On balance she is probably not free because she is a victim of her desire to belong to somebody, although she does not seem to have much trouble transferring her affections. I remember her being described as something like 'one of those sweet girls that men cannot help falling in love with'. I know people like that, and the sweetness is inherent, but also a product of wanting to ingratiate oneself so that there is always someone to love you. Lizzie needs love to feel whole, and as such is not free. Rosina I'll have to think about. The question about whether Murdoch handles the women differently from the men is a tough one. I think she does. The women seem to be clearer characters and very fixed, you always know how they will react (well, apart from Rosina, but unpredictability is inherent to her character). The men on the other hand are more mysterious, and do unexpected things. Phew, you're not making things easy, are you? I wonder what others have to say, and whether what I'm saying makes any sense at all
  3. I'm ready and waiting to discuss this book, but take it all in your own time. In the discussions of the other two books, we're starting new threads to discuss particular aspects of the books. That way you can see at a glance what is being discussed. I invite you to do the same when you get a bit further. Looking forward to reading your views!
  4. I was just wondering if people were ready to name their suggestions for the second book selection. I won't be naming any of my own, as my selections were chosen for the first round. I thought if people can name selections for, say, two weeks, and then we have a week's vote, we can start reading in three weeks. Is that enough time for people to finish their current choice(s)? Just a ponder.
  5. I have to say I didn't find Charles particularly unlikeable (in the pre-history, I've already got a bit further). He seemed intelligent and with true feeling, and I can understand his desire to get away from things. I can imagine that women were attracted to him, because he probably always remained friendly at some level, though not enough to be really accessible, which can be attractive to certain women. I did get very annoyed with him in the first few pages, when he was umming and ah-ing about starting his journal/book, and how to do it. I almost found myself yelling 'get on with it!'. The style was somewhat dithery, and took me some time to get used to. So far unfortunately I'm not enjoying the book as much as you two. There is so much detail which is detracting from the narrative (though it does get better later on, I'm getting into it now). I guess it's just not my kind of thing, I can certainly see why others have loved it.
  6. For reading all those biographies of scientists and picking out the interesting bits. Scientifically, this book is not telling me anything new, but I know very little about the people who did all the work and also, I've discovered, little about what was discovered when. So I'm pleased that I have a book to tell me all that. I'm astounded to discover in how many cases the wrong person has got the credit for a big breakthrough.
  7. I very much like they language F. Scott Fitzgerald uses in the book, particularly in the first few chapters. He uses his words very economically, yet is able to convey a very detailed picture of a situation. For example in this snippet: 'It was lonely for a day or so until one morning some man, more recently arrived than I, stopped me on the road. "How do you get to West Egg village?" he asked helplessly. I told him. And as I walked on I was lonely no longer. I was a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler. He had casually conferred on me the freedom of the neighbourhood.' In only a few sentences, you get quite a clear picture of how lonely Nick was at first, and the elation when he finally sees the neighbourhood as his own. I particularly like the last sentence, it contains so much. Through this style, at no point in the book did I think that it was overlong. Unfortunately, in the description of the main characters and their dealings, quite a lot seems to have been lost. Although the story is tragic, I did not have sympathy for any of the characters (apart from a very fleeting sympathy for Gatsby himself), and I can be a very emotional reader. I can't quite put my finger on what is wrong, but I guess I feel I didn't know them well enough, and I assume that comes from too fleeting descriptions. Am I making any sense?
  8. That's actually quite an interesting comment, I hadn't thought of that. Throughout the book Nick keeps saying that Gatsby is not his type of person, to put it quite mildly. Yet increasingly, he does quite a lot to help him out, and in doing that shows a lot of sympathy. I guess that's expounding on the theme that you shouldn't judge books by their cover. Indeed, in the beginning Gatsby is a very weird person (in my opinion), but when the history of him and Daisy comes out, he shows true depth of feeling. I really felt for him at that moment, the only time I felt for any of the characters. Tom is also a character that works in that way. Towards the end he shows true feeling to both Daisy and Myrtle, while in the beginning he seems very cold and stiff. I guess if the book was written from the point of view of Daisy, you'd never see those two sides of the men, you'd only see her fixed idea of each. Thanks Claire, you seem to have cleared that one up for me
  9. Watership Down - Richard Adams Character - Ferdinand Bordewijk Crime and Punishmen - Fyodor Dostoyevski The Day of the Jackal - Frederick Forsyth The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett The Chronicles of Narnia (series) - C.S. Lewis The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde Dead Famous - Ben Elton Girl With a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier Sleepers - Lorenzo Carcaterra With deepest apologies to Charles Dickens, George Orwell, John Fowles, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Roald Dahl, Umberto Eco, Mark Haddon, Arthur Golden, Margaret Atwood, Stephen Fry, Sebastian Faulks, Emily Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, A.A. Milne, Leon Uris, Jules Verne, Anna Sewell and many Dutch authors who also wrote absolutely stunning books.
  10. I was totally thrown when I started this book. I had read the blurb about 'girl loves guy-guy goes to fight war-girl marries other guy-first guy comes back-trouble starts', and naturally thought the story would be told from the point of view of one of these characters. And then in the first pages I was terribly confused, until I discovered it was someone else completely. I actually think the book would have been better written from the point of view of Daisy. I still have large question marks about her true feelings for both Gatsby and Tom, and wonder why she acted the way she did at the end. It would have been enlightening to know her thoughts. I can't see much would be lost if Nick's perspective was not there, unless it be that you can be more objective about the three characters involved in the triangle. Look forward to your thoughts on this.
  11. I was thinking whoever feels the need to discuss a particular aspect of the book can start a thread that has that aspect as a title (i.e. characterization, plot, language, that silly remark on page 33, etc.). Then all the comments don't get mixed up in one thread, making it a bit of a mess, and people who drop in later can easily see if there is already a discussion on a topic that they have something to say about. I would also suggest posting a warning in the title if you are revealing surprise twists that other people may not have read yet. A remark like 'I thought George became a more vague towards the end' would not constitute a spoiler, but 'wow, what a surprise when Jenny turned out to be his sister, huh!' would be a bit of a shame. But I imagine that people here are sensitive and smart enough to handle this well. I think, winterwren, you made suggestions along these lines in the 'The Sea, the Sea' thread, so I assume you're on board. If anyone else has other ideas I'd be glad to hear. (You'll have to be quick though, I plan to start discussing in about five hours )
  12. Well, you have to make allowances for other people, I suppose. Shame though, it would have been nice to see you in the discussions. I hope you'll come and give your 2 cents if and when the copy does arrive, our comments will still be here after all.
  13. I plan to go shopping on Saturday, but in any case it'll be the last of the three I read (I've pretty much decided to read it as long as I don't suddenly get covered in bookrings). I expect to start it towards the end of next week, so as far as I'm concerned, you lot start and I'll jump in when I'm ready.
  14. As I posted elsewhere, I don't much like obligations so I'm against the idea of having to finish a section by a certain time. Especially since, if I'm going to read this book, it's going to be after the other two so I'll be starting late anyway. Furthermore, I'm more of a 'discuss as I go' sort of person. The downside of that, of course, is that I may post spoilers, but I'll watch for that. Any exciting twists will be left out until other people reach that point, and until then I'll discuss characterization or so. Thanks for taking charge by the way winterwren. I was just thinking how difficult it would be to get the discussions started, as everyone is still finding their feet, so it's good that you've started up!
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