Jump to content


What are you reading?


  • Please log in to reply
396 replies to this topic

#346 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,516 posts

Posted 26 November 2008 - 03:12 PM

sandik--I'm still not finished with it, maybe another 150 pages, but it is definitely phenomenal in terms of giving 4-8 pages for even the minor Hollywood films (much more for 'Metropolis' and 'M' and 'Siegfried').


It sounds quite juicy, but I'll have to look out for it -- my local library doesn't have it yet.

I did see, though, while I was searching their catalog, that he wrote a book on the blacklist -- looks interesting as well!

#347 Rosa

Rosa

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 422 posts

Posted 22 January 2009 - 12:18 PM

Just finished Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White. A finely crafted novel with the narratives more engaging and the characterizations stronger IMO compared to The Moonstone, I can understand why this is considered Collins' best novel. I really connected with the characters and I often swung between despair and faint hope as each character related their part of the story.

This was an excellent and suspenseful read. The Moonstone is still my personal favorite. :wub:

#348 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,213 posts

Posted 22 January 2009 - 12:51 PM

Just finished Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White. A finely crafted novel with the narratives more engaging and the characterizations stronger IMO compared to The Moonstone, I can understand why this is considered Collins' best novel. I really connected with the characters and I often swung between despair and faint hope as each character related their part of the story.

This was an excellent and suspenseful read. The Moonstone is still my personal favorite. :wub:


Thanks for posting, Rosa. I really enjoyed The Moonstone back in the day but never got around to The Woman in White. Would be curious to know what Collins' other works are like.

I'm currently reading A Coffin for King Charles by C.V. Wedgwood, which is about guess what.

#349 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 22 January 2009 - 01:26 PM

dirac, it's great to learn that C.Vv. Wedgwood (of the pottery family) is still in print. Her books on 17th-century British (and French, Dutch, etc.) history are a nice combination of (a) super-readability and (b) serious research. I have The King's Peace and the King's War on my shelf and will now have to get them down, dust them off, and spend some time living through the English Civil War. I asaume That it's Charles the First whose "Coffin" you are now reading about?

Just finished Durrell's Alexandria Quartet (Justine, Baltazar, Mountolive, and Clea) which I pick up every 10 years or so. I still love it, though I can see its flaws better than I could when I was 20 and imagined that living in Egypt in the 1930s and 40s was infinitely preferable to living in Massachusetts in the 1960s.

Next up: a Thomas Mann I've never read, Dr. Faustus, in a new translation by John E. Woods. I decided to do this more for the reason "It's Good for You" than out of any expectation I'd actually enjoy it. But, after the first few chapters, I'm getting hooked. Fascinating topic set in a very scarey time.

#350 Quiggin

Quiggin

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 837 posts

Posted 23 January 2009 - 12:23 PM

Like Bart I read the Alexandria Quartet more than once. The first time was in college where a group of us passed around copies (the shiny Signets with red or gold page edges). We each identified with a character--Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive, Clea, Pursewarden (there was also Darley and the hilarious Scobie). We also speculated what character the others of us were like--without them knowing who we had picked. I liked the books a lot, but even for me the overripe adjective--like fruits that grew only in Alexandria--were a bit of a problem, especially during the second reading.

Later I was happy to learn that the great cookbook writer Elizabeth David was in Alexandria at the same time as Lawrence Durrell. I imagined that she somehow had an influence on, or a been part of, the Quartet (though her lean prose style certainly wasn’t). Also it seemed to me that Durrell owed a lot of the tone of the book to the real life Constantine Cavafy, the unnamed Old Poet in the book, who lived in Alexandria from 1890 to 1940 or so.

Anyway, the parts I liked are pretty the same ones Michael Wood (who could never figure out whether AQ was a patchy masterpiece or simply unreadable) cited in a recent London Review article. This from his review (“Sink or Skim” LRB, 1/1/2009) gives a sense of the goings on:

Among the considerable achievements of the Quartet are the large set-pieces: the duck shoot on Lake Mareotis at the end of Justine; the carnival at the end of Balthazar; the ecstatic Coptic wake at the end of Mountolive. All of these scenes are patiently, lovingly described, for their own sake rather than for any symbolism they may deliver – the prose is rich but not richer than the material. And yet each of these scenes contains a twist or a mystery. In the first a body is discovered and identified – wrongly. In the second the wrong person gets killed. In the third the wrong person is killed too, but not by mistake.



#351 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,516 posts

Posted 23 January 2009 - 02:58 PM

Thanks for posting, Rosa. I really enjoyed The Moonstone back in the day but never got around to The Woman in White. Would be curious to know what Collins' other works are like.

I'm currently reading A Coffin for King Charles by C.V. Wedgwood, which is about guess what.



I love both of those books, but I have to confess -- I originally read them because Dorothy Sayers mentions them in her Peter Wimsey books!

#352 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,213 posts

Posted 23 January 2009 - 03:38 PM

I tried Durrell in college and all I can say is that I didn't make it to the good stuff. Maybe I'll try again one of these years.

#353 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 23 January 2009 - 04:22 PM

I tried Durrell in college and all I can say is that I didn't make it to the good stuff.

:) dirac, I suspect you DID make it to the "good stuff," such as it is. It's just that the good stuff isn't really good enough. Or to everyone's taste. But the subject matter, locale, and the world depicted can be fascinating, though it may require being in an escapist mode. This time around, I found that Google Images and Google Maps were wonderful help in exploring Alexandria, while I read.

Re Wilkie Collins. Rosa, I confess that my experience has been limited to (a) a Classics Comic Book in the case of Moonstone, and (b) a British tv miniseries in the case of Woman in White. I loved both but have never attempted to read the actual works, possibly because my local library's edition of Moonstone had (or so it seemed) several thousand words crammed on to each page with very little white space. Based on what you say -- and my elusive memories -- I am tempted to try Woman in White. Is this a good place to begin with Collins?

#354 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,213 posts

Posted 23 January 2009 - 04:40 PM

dirac, I suspect you DID make it to the "good stuff," such as it is. It's just that the good stuff isn't really good enough.


No, I don't think I made a genuine effort. I certainly hope I can spot a superb set piece if I see one.... :)

I originally read them because Dorothy Sayers mentions them in her Peter Wimsey books!


Wilkie Collins did get the detective story ball rolling. Sayers is another writer I never really 'got.' But then I tend to prefer my detectives boiled a little harder, although I used to read a lot of Agatha Christie.

#355 vicarious

vicarious

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 23 January 2009 - 05:41 PM

"The Christmas Sweater" by Glen Beck. Very depressing. I've stopped half way, PTSD

#356 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,244 posts

Posted 23 January 2009 - 06:00 PM

Irina Baronova's autobiography. Beautiful writing, plenty of details. So far she has been a Principal Dancer for three years, traveled half of the world starring in Balanchine's, Massine's and Nijinska's ballets and got married...all that while still being 16...
(What happened to "Les Presages"...?)

#357 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,213 posts

Posted 23 January 2009 - 07:40 PM

cubanmiamiboy, there's a quite long thread on Baronova's book here. You might want to revive it and add your comments!

#358 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,244 posts

Posted 23 January 2009 - 08:21 PM

:thanks: dirac... Will do! :)

#359 Rosa

Rosa

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 422 posts

Posted 24 January 2009 - 07:33 PM

I love both of those books, but I have to confess -- I originally read them because Dorothy Sayers mentions them in her Peter Wimsey books!


:wink: Your comment made me chuckle, sandik! I ended up reading the books when I discovered my library had BBC miniseries of them which sounded interesting -- I'm one who 98% of the time reads the book first before viewing the film/TV adaptation.

Re Wilkie Collins. Rosa, I confess that my experience has been limited to (a) a Classics Comic Book in the case of Moonstone, and (b) a British tv miniseries in the case of Woman in White. I loved both but have never attempted to read the actual works, possibly because my local library's edition of Moonstone had (or so it seemed) several thousand words crammed on to each page with very little white space. Based on what you say -- and my elusive memories -- I am tempted to try Woman in White. Is this a good place to begin with Collins?


Wow, a Classics Comic Book of The Moonstone, bart? I had no idea the classics had received that sort of treatment! Very interesting...

I've seen two miniseries of The Moonstone which were very good, but not The Woman in White yet.

Either The Moonstone or The Woman in White (both!) would be a good place to start with Collins. Both books have very good plots, lots of suspense, twists and turns, and are uniquely told from several first-person points-of-view. I would recommend trying the former first; as I said above, The Woman in White is a better crafted work, and may be enjoyed more if read after The Moonstone. But that is just my suggestion.

#360 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 25 January 2009 - 08:55 AM

Wow, a Classics Comic Book of The Moonstone, bart? I had no idea the classics had received that sort of treatment! Very interesting...

This was in the 60s, I think. The imprint goes back to at least the 40s.

I distinctly remember some frames with an mysterious Indian fellow wandering around the English countryside. I'm looking right now at the list printed on the back cover of my edition of Typee, first issued in 1947. It includes many classics, as defined in the earlier 20th century, a number of which would probably not be considered essential reading by educated people today: Lorna Doone, The Man in the Iron Mask, Silas Marner, Lord Jim, Lady in the Lake, Green Mansions, Crime and Punishment, Kim, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet (very atmospheric, I recall), Adventures of Tom Sawyer, House of Seven Gables, The Time Machine.

Here, for example, is the list of the first 10 in the series:

1) Three Musketeers
2) Ivanhoe
3) Count of Monte Cristo
4) Last of the Mohicans
5) Moby Dick
6) Tale of Two Cities
7) Robin Hood
(8-9) not listed, apparently out of print
10) Robinson Crusoe.

It was a remarkable introduction to serious (if rather adventure-oriented) literature from times and places far from my own narrow suburban world. Moonstone fits the focus on stories involving mystery, suspense and/or adventure.

I think we had a thread on Classics Comics a few years ago. It stimulated me to locate some at a local comic book store, and to order others on line. They are now, I gather, "collectibles," repackaged in clear plastic (and, in a few cases, cellophane) jackets. The imprint is still available, though the format is smaller, the list much smaller (with most of those old adventure books now gone), and the look of the illustrations oddly updated.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):