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About KEV67

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    Settling In
  • Birthday 06/18/1967

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    Reading, UK
  • Interests
    Victorian fiction, science fiction, economics, sustainability

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  1. I liked Wuthering Heights a lot more than Jane Eyre, although my opinion of Jane Eyre is coloured by having to study it for O level at school. WH is very different and original. It's very poetic writing. I did not have too much trouble with Joseph because I've read the James Herriot books. Sadly, I don't think too many people speak like that any more.
  2. Anyway, regarding HG Wells' early science fiction: they must have been startling at the time. The late C19th seems to have been a period of change literature wise. All the great old Victorian authors were dead. The old triple decker novels were falling out of fashion. Arthur Conan Doyle was writing his detective books. Rudyard Kipling was writing his Empire and animal books. Science was advancing, yet technology was still in a half and half state. When Wells was writing in the Victorian era, we did not have radio, but we did have the telegraph. We did not have cars, so we still relied on horse power, but we did have trains. We did not really have much electricity, but we did have gas. Wells' books must have seemed explosive back then - short but totally original.
  3. I don't remember that at all. Was that from a film?
  4. Frankenstein does not actually have an awful lot of science in it. Frankenstein won't say how he made the monster, although it seemed to entail digging up body parts from the graveyard and torturing animals. Frankenstein said he made the monster very large because it was an easier scale to work with, not so fiddly. So, does that he made all the body parts from scratch? Where would you find bones and parts for a man that big.
  5. Interesting, I knew Arthur Conan Doyle wrote The Lost World, but not the others. Does he discuss any science in them? H.G. Wells like to include a bit. For example, in The Invisible Man, the abrasive anti-hero says he made himself invisible by changing the refractive index of his body tissue.
  6. Yes, I've given him a go, but there is a reason why he is not read much any more. I read The Napoleon of Notting Hill, which I seem to remember had some odd religiosity too, but not as much as The Man Who Was Thursday. Although NoNH was set in 1984, it could not really be called science fiction. I read his Father Brown stories, which are rather like Sherlock Holmes, but not quite as engaging. It struck me that these days he would be in great demand writing TV plots for series like Dr Who, only he didn't write women at all; he almost entirely ignored them. I think one or two of his poems are quite good. I may well ask for the Rolling English Road to be read at my funeral.
  7. I agree with you there. It did get rather weird.
  8. I am currently reading Our Mutual Friend (Charles Dickens), which has a pub called The Six Jolly Fellowships, which made me think about this. I always thought Keith Talent's favourite pub, The Black Cross, in London Fields (Martin Amis) had an appropriate name. George Elliot often had pubs in her books. There were four in Middlemarch, including The Tankard and The Green Dragon, I think. My favourite pub name of hers was The Hand and Banner in Daniel Deronda. Sadly there is no Hand and Banner pub in Britain at the moment. I've noticed that The Wetherspoons chain sometimes uses literary pub names, for example, there is now a Moon Under Water in Milton Keynes, which was George Orwell's ideal pub.
  9. E. M. Forster wrote a book called The Machine Stops in 1909. According the the Goodreads blurb, it predicted instant messaging and the internet. I would not have thought E. M. Forster wrote science fiction.
  10. I am working through H.G. Wells' science fiction books. I wondered who Well's sci-fi contemporaries were. The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton is not exactly science fiction, but it has its steampunk chapters. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a little bit science fiction.
  11. Another interesting theory is that The Wizard of Oz was a commentary on the American monetary system. I watched an hour long video about it. Dorothy wore silver shoes in the book. The yellow brick road looks rather like gold. There you have the bi-metallic US currency system. The Emerald City represent Greenbacks, which I believe was a type of money not tied to gold or silver and not created by debt either, just issued by the treasury. The straw man represented the farmers. The tin man represented industry. The lion represented a particular politician who was trying to do something with the US currency system around the time L. Frank Baum wrote the book.
  12. What are your favourite book theories? I am looking for things hidden in the text, that the author may or may not have intended. My favourite theory is about Daniel Derona by George Elliot. There is a theory that one of the two principle character, Gwendolen Harleth, was sexually abused by her stepfather, Captain Davilow, and that she was frigid as a result. Given that the book was written in the C19th, that would be quite a bold thing to write about. None of the reviewers from the time seemed to have picked up on it. Captain Davilow was dead before the book started. Nevertheless, the theory would explain a lot.
  13. It has been a while since I read it, and I was a bit confused by the final third, but didn't Humbert Humbert eventually track down the fellow paedophile who took Lolita away from him, after months of searching, and shoot him dead? I thought that was rather unlikely. It was very much not in his self interest. Humbert Humbert was very cynical. Although it was no doubt very annoying to him to have had Lolita lured away from him, she maybe only had one good year left. I would have thought he would start looking for another twelve-year-old. I thought Humbert Humbert was bad because he appeared to have no conscience. He never struggles with his conscience although he sometimes justifies himself. I seem to remember near the beginning of the book that Humbert Humbert was married. He beat his wife if that was the easiest way to control her. He is prepared to use violence if that is the easiest way to get what he wants, but if not, he uses other methods. He is in control of himself. There was an entertaining passage where he says neither shy boys nor self-sufficient rapists with hotrods held any interest for Lolita because she was so sexually experienced already. Timid boys and self-sufficient rapists are morally equivalent to him. It does not bother him that Lolita felt like she did.
  14. Which are the best stream-of-consciousness novels. I have only read two: Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. I think Trainspotting was stream-of-consciousness. It has been a long time since I read it.
  15. I like looking around bookshops, and I buy physical books not ebooks. One thing I find annoying is when someone takes a book off the shelf, opens it up and creases the flipping cover before putting it back. When I buy a new book, I want it to be in pristine condition, not creased. I wonder how much loss bookshops suffer because customers will not buy creased books. When I pick up a book to look at it, I take care not to bend anything.