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    • Michelle

      Important Announcement!   07/28/2018

      Dear BCF members,   This forum has been running now for many years, and over that time we have seen many changes. Generalised forums are nowhere near as popular as they once were, and they have been very much taken over by blogs, vlogs and social media discussions. Running a forum well takes money, and a lot of care and attention, as there is so much which goes on behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.   With all of this in mind, and after discussion within the current moderator team, the decision has been made to close this forum in its current format. I know that this will disappoint a lot of our long term members, but I want to reassure you that it's not a decision which has been taken lightly.    The remaining moderator team have agreed that we do not want to lose everything which is special about our home, and so we are starting a brand new facebook group, so that people can stay in touch, and discussions can continue. We can use it for free and should be easier for us to run (it won't need to be updated or hosted). We know not everyone has FaceBook, but we hope that those of you who are interested will join the group. We will share the link, and send invites as soon as we are ready to go. Added: We may as well get this going, find us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/195289821332924/   The forum will close to new registrations, but will remain open for some time, to allow people to collect up any information, reading lists etc they need to, and to ensure they have contact details for those they wish to stay in touch with.    The whole team feel sad to say goodbye, but we also feel that it's perhaps time and that it feels like the right choice. We hope we can stay in touch with all of you through our new FaceBook group.   I personally want to thank everyone who has helped me moderate the forum, both in the past and the present, and I also want to thank every single person who has visited, and shared their love of books.. I'm so proud of everything we've achieved, and the home we built.   Please visit the new section in the Lounge section to discuss this further, ask questions etc.


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About vodkafan

  • Rank
    TBR now out of control
  • Birthday 01/27/1961

Profile Information

  • Reading now?
    The Way We Live Now Anthony Trollope
  • Gender
  • Location:
    Deepest England
  • Interests
    Jack Vance, George Gissing, Sarah Waters, Victorian England, Old sailing ships, anything about Norway, anything about London, sci fi films, what makes women tick, going to the gym, swimming, walking, travelling, art galleries,drawing, buying something really good cheap from a charity shop, theatre, writing my first novel.

Recent Profile Visitors

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  1. The Last Film You Saw - 2018

    I saw The Meg while on holiday! It was a no-brain-required fun flick.
  2. Best vampire stories

    I just read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.
  3. General questions / discussions

    Thanks Michelle , I just joined LT and the group.
  4. General questions / discussions

    Wow I am very sad this had to happen, this has felt like a safe place and a home for a lot of years. I won't be joining the facebook group but I have some time to swap emails with people.
  5. Vodkafan's Reading Blog 2018

    Son Of The Tree 2/5 Jack Vance Thanks to Hayley for alerting me to an early Jack Vance novel that I hadn't read! Situation now rectified. This was a very early one (1951) and although the trademark Vance tropes and world building are there in prototype form they are not as well developed, and his treatment of the main female character and females in general come across as a little chauvinistic if I am to be honest. Thankfully he loses this in his later novels. One thing which struck me strongly is the idea of planet Earth becoming semi mythical as we spread out through the galaxy and it's existence being doubted as a fairy tale, it's exact location lost. It cannot be a coincidence that this is the main premise of the Dumarest Saga series of books by EC Tubb. The two authors were certainly around at the same time, both writing at the same time, although the Dumarest books were written slightly later. Did they know each other ? Did Vance give Tubb permission to have that idea as something he wasn't going to use? I would like to find out.
  6. Vodkafan's Reading Blog 2018

    Under The Eagle 1/5 Simon Scarrow Probably the worst book I have read so far this year! If you want a lad's book with basically a comic-book plot of WW2 soldiers dressed up in sandals and skirts masquerading as Romans of 43 ad, where the author can't even be bothered to use a few common knowledge Latin words (Gladius, Scutum, Pilum) to describe the Legionaries' kit, then this is the book for you!
  7. Vodkafan's Reading Blog 2018

    Jamrach's Menagerie 5/5 Carol Birch Fantastic, dreamy, surreal but visceral and emotionally real. Probably best book I have read so far this year!
  8. I would have to qualify such a sweeping statement . A lot of the explosion of SF writing in the 50s was about the speculative ideas. Sometimes a book could have thought provoking ideas but its writing or plot or characters would be rubbish. So it could still be a good SF novel. Then there were lots of adventure books set in space which were perhaps slickly written but I wouldn't consider SF at all. So I hesitate to list any books really. Why don't you tell us a couple of your favourites and why you liked them?
  9. The Last Film You Saw - 2018

    Keeping up with the Joneses - an American comedy with Isla Fisher and the bearded bloke from The Hangover as a couple who are keen to make friends with their new glamorous neighbours (Gail Gadot and Jon Hamm) who have just moved in. However they become suspicious when the newcomers are just too perfect. This was OK, more amusing than laugh out loud hilarious but had some funny moments.
  10. The...WEDDING

    I watched it the day after (ex wife recorded it for me) . I think in it's dim clumsy way, the Royal Family really tried to push the boat out and make it as inclusive and welcoming as they knew how. So they can be forgiven if they got it a bit wrong. The couple looked happy, I think it is a love marriage. Harry was always the public's sweetheart compared to William, because let's face it most people think he not Prince Charles' kid anyway.
  11. Vodkafan's Reading Blog 2018

    Ready Player One 2/5 Ernest Cline Very poor. A lot of the time just a listing of and nods to stuff from the 80s (which apparently most of was not allowed to be used in the film, so I wonder what the film was about). Whole chunks of pages of the author telling his alternative history to the reader . Hardly any dialogue, no character building. The explicit descriptions of the video game contests bored me. I was being generous giving it a 2.
  12. Vodkafan's Reading Blog 2018

    Hi Willoyd, I do go back and change sometimes but I don't really have a policy on it .
  13. Vodkafan's Reading Blog 2018

    The Way We Live Now 3/5 Anthony Trollope This huge doorstop took me a whole month to read , mainly because I only read it on the bus to work and breaktimes. That is actually a good way to read a book like this because you can digest events and unfamiliar language in small bitesize chunks and retain it. This is only the second Trollope I have read but I shall most likely read more. It is a stand alone novel and not related to any of his linked series. It is now apparently seen as his masterpiece, so all in all probably the best novel of his to read if you only want to read one! I don't want to detail the plot but I will say the plot is overall quite simple. You have to remember that back then in 1875, Victorians thought that society was going to the dogs and values meant nothing (just like today!). To quote a line from one of George Gissing's characters : "Everything is sham and rottenness." (In the year of Jubilee). There are a couple of sub-plots involving minor characters which are interesting in themselves and help to round out the main story. The writing, which is a whole generation on from Jane Austen is fairly modern I would say and will not give any trouble to today's reader who is willing to put in a little effort. The pace is not brisk but on the other hand it never flagged for me. There was always something going on that I wanted to see the outcome of. There is not a great deal of description of the Victorian environment, because Trollope was writing in his own age of contemporary things. The telegraph had been around for decades and this features but letters were still important and readers who like epistolary novels will find plenty of these too. For me the best thing was the well rounded characters and the authentic language . It is always thrilling to me to read a contemporary Victorian novel because we know the language used is exactly how real people spoke. "I know a trick worth two of that!" " I say, draw it mild!" Even the posh characters say the word "ain't" (which I was forever being told off for as a child!) which has sadly now turned into the wretched "innit" today. Some of the minor characters are so funny. Georgiana Longstaffe was a particular favourite; she was wonderfully selfish but I could also completely understand her impulses and actions to try to better her lot in the face of circumstances. She reminds me of an increasingly desperate rat trying to escape a maze. Thinking back I could have perhaps scored it a bit higher.
  14. The Last Film You Saw - 2018

    I am interested how the film went over in Saudi Arabia. Has it been banned?
  15. Vodkafan's Reading Blog 2018

    I am going to review it saturday and give my opinions on it. I will say here I thought it worth the effort. I couldn't help but see the characters in the book as they were portrayed by the actors in the TV version, all except for Shirley Henderson as Marie Melmotte; her voice in the book seemed much younger.