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      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     
chesilbeach

Somerset - Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore

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SOMERSET
 
Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore
 
Synopsis:
First published in 1869, Lorna Doone is the story of John Ridd, a farmer who finds love amid the religious and social turmoil of seventeenth-century England. He is just a boy when his father is slain by the Doones, a lawless clan inhabiting wild Exmoor on the border of Somerset and Devon. Seized by curiosity and a sense of adventure, he makes his way to the valley of the Doones, where he is discovered by the beautiful Lorna. In time their childish fantasies blossom into mature love—a bond that will inspire John to rescue his beloved from the ravages of a stormy winter, rekindling a conflict with his archrival, Carver Doone, that climaxes in heartrending violence. Beloved for its portrait of star-crossed lovers and its surpassing descriptions of the English countryside, Lorna Doone is R. D. Blackmore’s enduring masterpiece.
 
 
Other Somerset books:
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding
Far Distant Oxus by Arthur Ransome

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Thread resurrection! 

 

I saw this one mentioned by a booktuber and she said it was one of her favourite books read in 2016. I have not heard of it  before but it sounds like something I would read. However... It is 750 pages long, meaning quite a time investment. Is it any good? Anything similar and more popular that it could be compared with, so I might get an idea if I'd like it?  

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I read this quite a while ago but once I got past the rather sluggish beginning I loved it - I did find the writing a bit flowery but enjoyed the story, plus I'd not long visited many of the places mentioned in the book, which helped with getting a strong sense of location whilst reading.  I started with a children's version which was heavily abridged, and then read the adult version a few years later, mind you I don't think my copy is over 700 pages long!

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I wouldn't be surprised if it was over 700 pages long as I started listening to the audiobook today, and it's almost 26 hours in total.  I'm going to use Whispersync and alternate between listening and reading, but it's off to a good start so far.

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A big read that, whilst not perfect, was ultimately satisfying, and proved a very worthy book to represent Somerset.  Review here.

Edited by willoyd

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I have to say, I'm halfway through and I'm finding it a bit laborious in places.  I desperately don't want to skim read it because it's an English Counties book, so I've put it aside for now, and will try and come back to it after a break to see if I can persevere with it at a later time.  The story itself is enjoyable, but it does seem overly long in places.

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I finished this one a while back, but only just getting around to writing a review.  My view hasn't changed much from the comments above, it was an enjoyable story, recounting the relationship between John Ridd and Lorna Doone, and starts in the time before their first meeting. It's written in the first person from John's point of view, and as I mostly listened to this on audiobook, the Somerset accent used by the narrator helped make this the perfect fit for the county. However, the story does drag at times, and I felt at times that I wanted the story to move on rather than dwelling on the same aspect of the time.

 

I don't really have much more to say, it was entertaining for the most part, but I would personally have preferred a more modern cut down style of writing, without the overlong spells that made me put it aside and take a break regularly, but definitely a book worthy of the challenge and gives a good flavour of the  coast and land that Somerset is (as I know, since it's my home county! :D).

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I agree about Lorna Doone, I did find some of the language a bit flowery and it took ages for the story to get going, although once it did I really enjoyed it.  It also helped that I'd recently visited a lot of the places mentioned in the book, which gives it a great sense of "place".

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Looks like we're pretty much in agreement on this one. Certainly, I found myself nodding at your review Claire.

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