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About KEV67

  • Rank
    Settling In
  • Birthday 06/18/1967

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  • Gender
  • Location:
    Reading, UK
  • Interests
    Victorian fiction, science fiction, economics, sustainability

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  1. The best short novel of all-time ?

    I agree with some of the previous posters, in particular about Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Time Machine. I would also like to add The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
  2. US classics

    I just finished the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which I thought was very good. It was funny and entertaining, and historically interesting.
  3. I liked Wuthering Heights. Odd sort of book, but poetic. I actually liked The Tenant of Wildfell Hall on the whole. I think AB must have really witnessed behaviour like that to describe it so vividly. Chicks really love Jane Eyre, but I am prejudiced against it because I had to study it for O level. I read Shirley as well, but I was disappointed with that. I thought it was going to be a factory novel like North and South, Mary Barton and Hard Times, but it just was not very good.
  4. Trial scenes

    I have recently finished The Brothers Karamazov, which had a long trial scene. It bored me tbh. I don't know what C19th Russian trials were like, but it surprised me how speculative the defence and prosecuting lawyers were allowed to be. That made me wonder about other famous books with trials. Personally I thought the trial in To Kill a Mockingbird was rather weak. The trial in the book In Cold Blood surprised me a little bit because both the prosecution and defence used biblical quotes and references to scripture. They should keep God out of it, other than swearing on the Bible, and maybe they should not do that. There was a trial in Mary Barton. I was surprised by how rushed it was. I don't know whether the trial was realistic or not. The only other trial I can remember offhand was Fagin's in Oliver Twist, and during that Fagin was rather in a daze.
  5. US classics

    No Moby Dick, no Lolita?
  6. Things in books that annoy you

    I do not like very unlikely coincidences in books, which are used to push the plot along. For instance, I thought it was very weak in Jane Eyre when she left Thornfield Hall in a random direction, was set down when her fare ran out, wandered around the countryside for a couple of days and then ended up at her cousins' door. If there had been some reason for her going towards a certain place, like the town name had a familar ring to it, that would have been better. I thought The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope was fairly realistic, except the plot depended on two characters not knowing each other, but known to someone else, independently going to live in the same house in London.
  7. Do you memorize poems ?

    I went through a period when I tried to memorize some poems. For most of my life the only verse I could remember was the Lord's Prayer and how to say grace, both from primary and middle school. Some of the poems I attempted to memorize were: Ozymandius Invictus If Let Me to the Marriage of True Minds... Partes Quies I Am The Rolling English Road Dulce et Decorum Est The King's Breakfast Leisure Blue Remembered Hills Psalm 23 Ode to a Mouse I suppose I should check if I can still remember them.
  8. Britain's all time top five authors

    I am still struggling to think of a fifth writer I would have in my top 5. I refuse to include Virginia Woolf. Having watched those Comoron Strike adapations on the BBC, I don't think I place J.K. Rowling on it. I quite enjoyed the TV adaptions but I did not think the plots were great. I am still considering my criteria: How long have they been read? (although I also want to pick something written 20th or 21st century) How influential have they been on society? How much great work did they produce? How often are their worked adapted for plays, radio, television, films? How many formats did they work in: novels, plays, poems, short stories, journalism, essays, biographies, philisophical or religious works, etc? How innovative were they? How many people actually read and enjoy their stuff? It might have to be Chaucer because I cannot think of anyone in the 20th or 21st century that stands out above the others (except Orwell). My own favourite 20th century author was George MacDonald Fraser of the Flashman books, but great as he was, he's not going to make it on the list. Robert Graves perhaps, but he just didn't write enough.
  9. Pubs in books

    There was a pub called The Ragged Trousers in Tumbridge Wells. I wondered whether this was a reference to The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. When I was walking from Liverpool St Station to Kings Cross Station one Sunday, I passed a pub called the Betsy Trotwood, who is David Copperfield's aunt. There is a pub in my home town of Reading called Great Expectations. It used to be a Mechanics Institute in Victorian times. Charles Dickens did a reading there once, but it was from A Christmas Carol.
  10. Science Fiction Masterworks

    I read quite a few of Frank Herbert's book, but I found the The White Plague rather nasty and stopped reading it.
  11. Science Fiction Masterworks

    I've only read these out of the list, and not all as SF Masterworks editions. I don't think they do include all the best science fiction titles. For example The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula Le Guin) is not there. Neither is The Mote in God's Eye by Jerry Pournell and Larry Niven. I am sure The Gods Themselves by Issac Asimov was in a SF Mastwerorks edition, but I do not see it in the OP's list. I thought that was pretty good. CAT’S CRADLE Kurt Vonnegut DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP Philip K. Dick DUNE Frank Herbert FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON Daniel Keyes FRANKENSTEIN Mary Shelley RINGWORLD Larry Niven TAU ZERO Poul Anderson THE CITY AND THE STARS Arthur C. Clarke THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY Douglas Adams THE INVISIBLE MAN H.G. Wells THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU H.G. Wells THE TIME MACHINE H. G. Wells THE WAR OF THE WORLDS H.G. Wells
  12. I am reading Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu. It's reminds me an awful lot of those Hammer House of Horror films from the early 70s. Vampire stories go back a long way. Which are the best?
  13. Things in books that annoy you

    In science fiction it annoys me if the SF aspect is only there to set up either a) some sort of alternative historical Earth with castles and what-not, or b) some sort of fantasy world with people resembling elves, dwarfs, etc. In both cases civiliation is recovering from nuclear war which set the date back to year zero. In the case of b) mutations caused by radioactive fall out led to the pointy ears and the short stature. Postmodern books that do not have beginnings, middles and ends in the correct order, and which have parallel stories that do not go anywhere annoy me. Surprisingly to me, since I am a bit of a reactionary and not a feminist, I don't like reading very macho characters in books. I really did not like How Green Was My Valley, and I disliked a SF book I read recently whihc had a rather domineering security officer.
  14. You're a Gissing enthusiast. Peter Ackroyd's book, Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golum has been made into a film and it's scheduled to be released in September. One of the characters is George Gissing!

  15. That's a bit different. Those people weren't named characters on the whole. There was the curate and one or two scientific types at the start. Otherwise the victims were just part of an anonymous mass.