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vodkafan

Advanced Member
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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
    Male
  • 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.

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  1. 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!
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Vodkafan's Reading Blog 2018

    Hi Willoyd, I do go back and change sometimes but I don't really have a policy on it .
  7. 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.
  8. The Last Film You Saw - 2018

    I am interested how the film went over in Saudi Arabia. Has it been banned?
  9. 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.
  10. Vodkafan's Reading Blog 2018

    You are welcome to my copy if you want one to make notes in etc, as it was just going to be left on the book table at work...
  11. Vodkafan's Reading Blog 2018

    I just finished The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope. It was a doorstop! It took me a month to get through mainly because I only read it on the bus to work. I will do a full review soon.
  12. Quiet pub for meetings

    I would go for a Wetherspoons pub, as their policy is not to have music, and the food is reasonably priced, even in London. The Afrika House in Holborn is pretty central, or Wetherspoons Victoria at Victoria Station, which is above WH Smith! I have another specific pub in mind (not Wetherspoons) that is run by some young Americans, I have ate there with my kids several times , it would completely suit your purposes, I am trying to remember the name! Watch this space.
  13. Hayley's Reading in 2018

    Oh wow hope you enjoy Lyonesse Hayley. It would be great to obtain another convert to Jack Vance! (or even one to be honest-you would be the first) Yes there is a third book.
  14. The Last Film You Saw - 2018

    I never went to watch it in the end. I read a review which said the metaphysical elements were almost completely ignored and it was just a standard teen romance.
  15. The Last Film You Saw - 2018

    I got to that stage about a decade ago!
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