Flingo 4th January 2006 10:47 PM
I can really relate to this from Chapter 6:
[Cropper] arrived, reasonably satisfied, at Barratt's Hotel, which he had chosen partly for its comfort, but more because American writers, visiting Ash, had stayed there in the past.
I would certainly choose one location over another if I felt it had significant literary connections!
Cathy 7th January 2006 01:49 PM
How about Val saying 'Oh its all very interesting, my menial keyhole observations, make no mistake. Just it doesn't make sense and it leaves me nowehere'
*shiver* too true!
Flingo 3rd March 2006 03:43 PM
I have just seen that in past book groups there has been a poll at the end to guage overall feeling. Although I suspect there will be a resounding "Excellent" I would be interested in seeing how you vote.
(Hope no-one minds me doing this - sorry if I am stepping on your toes).
elfstar 3rd March 2006 04:08 PM
I am glad to see this although I think you are right in how it will be judged. I was nothing like as enthralled by it as I expected to be and have found the other discussions rather intense.
Tess 3rd March 2006 04:36 PM
An 'indifferent' for me. The basis of the story was excellent but I just found it a chore to get through and the poetry nearly finished me off!
Momo 3rd March 2006 09:39 PM
I've already read it three times and my paperback is falling to pieces. So I have decided that I need another copy - something I hardly ever do. Therefore, I am sure you can guess my vote!
Cathy 4th March 2006 08:59 PM
Its so nerve-racking when something you love is up for public debate! But I'm glad some of you liked it and I'm sorry some of you didn't!
Thumbsucker 5th March 2006 09:54 AM
I thought the book was very good. It's one of those where you read in awe of the author. All those subtle links and metaphors. I, like some of you, struggled with the poetry. It wasn't that I found it boring, just that I knew that was so much in it. Perhaps that's why I couldn't give it an excellent. It's no reflection on the novel but more on the sort of reader I am. I fall into the 'so many books so little time, can't possibly reread one' camp. This is a book that needs to be reread and revisited and perhaps if my attitude to reading changes I will come back to it. The story has stayed with me though and I'm glad that it was a group read because I don't think that I would have read it otherwise.
Claire 5th March 2006 08:13 PM
Excellent, without a shadow of a doubt. This is my third or fourth reading, and the first time I've properly read the poetry, rather than skimming it and I'm glad I finally did that, it added an extra layer to the story, which I enjoyed.
MarkC 9th March 2006 11:41 AM
First reading for me. I loved it, although I did skim the poetry as I found that hard going.
Momo 9th March 2006 05:40 PM
I think most of us did that at our first read, there's just too much to think about. But - even though I'm not a great poetry friend, I read and really enjoyed it the second time around.
Seraphina 10th April 2006 12:23 PM
I have just read this, inspired by Cathy's enthusiasm about it and I wasn't disappointed. I have to admit I hit a wall at the beginning of the first set of letters between Christabel and Ash, and actually went off and read something else in the meantime, but once I got on a roll and got through the first part of the letters I ended up really enjoying them as they got more and more personal.
Like others I found the poetry hardgoing, particularly as I was reading it mostly on the tube in dribs and drabs which doesn't really help! I intend on buying my own copy (as I'm sure Cathy will want hers returned!) and giving it a more concentrated reading in perhaps a few months' time.
I loved the way it all linked up together, although I did find the ending a little too 'neat' - however I'm hard to please in that respect as I don't like endings that feel 'unfinished' either! I was getting quite frustrated that
I also liked the way we as the reader know more than the scholars, and so when they feel as if they have everything figured out we can feel almost superior, although i did find it hard to keep track of what we knew and what THEY knew!
belwebb 16th June 2006 05:30 PM
It took some work for me to 'get into' at the beginning, and then at one point I was enjoying the letters, but then, about a third of the way through I just lost interest - just like that. I found it a bit too dense - which is no surprise from Byatt, but then it wasn't something I had personally chosen to read - it was on my Post War Novel module in my second year!
megustaleer 17th June 2006 11:48 AM
Perhaps you'll be tempted to try it again if you read all the enthusiastic comments in these threads
This was on my Top Ten list, and I noticed that it cropped up on a number of other people's lists too.
Why do you love it - if you listed it? Anyone out there hate it - and why?
My guilty secret is that though I love the book, I always say, "This time I read it, I'm really, really going to read all the poems, too" - but I always end up skipping them
I love the way the two time frames are intertwined, and the combination of romance and detective story. I love the two modern day academics grow together, from such an unlikely start. Writing this is making me want to rush off and reread it!
Though I love this, I haven't read much else by A S Byatt - what else is worth a try??