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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…     
Janet

Janet's Reading 2012

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Ooh yes, I second the suggestion for The Time Machine. Terrific book :) I think I read it in one sitting, and now I want to read it again :)

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I'm sure I've got it on the shelves somewhere (I need your filing system Janet :smile:) .. I must dig it out. I was disappointed when reading George Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier to find him being quite dismissive of H.G. Wells' writing .. it spoilt my enjoyment of the book a little .. it seemed unnecessarily ungenerous.

Did he? :( I don't remember that. TRTWP is one of my favourite Orwells.

Cracking book Janet. If you liked that, try The Time Machine :smile:

Thanks for the recommendation - I intend to try some more of his - I will definitely look out for TTM. :)

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Did he? :( I don't remember that. TRTWP is one of my favourite Orwells.

In truth he didn't actually fare as badly as some of the other writers mentioned but it still left a bit of a nasty taste. George had been a massive fan of HG Wells as a child but had come to the conclusion that he was now a bit outmoded .. they fell out over it when George wrote in a piece entitled Wells, Hitler and the World State ... "the singleness of mind, the one-sided imagination that made Wells seem like an inspired prophet in the Edwardian age, make him a shallow, inadequate thinker now." Wells, who was then seventy-five, did not appreciate the criticism. He responded by rebuking Orwell in a letter, referring to him as "you sh*t" :D

 

In George's view Aldous Huxley was now the far superior writer. It all seems to be wrapped up with his thoughts on socialism .. he was keen for the country to adopt it but feared they wouldn't for several reasons. People with beards or who wear sandals, vegetarians, nudists etc etc come in for criticism as being the sort of cranks who scare people away from socialism and Wells comes into this equation too because Socialism is inextricably linked with machine production .. and in George's view Wells' writing gave people the wrong idea about machinery and physical science in general. Here are a few quotations from A Road to Wigan Pier ...

 

'And in any book by anyone who feels at home in the machine-world--in any book by H. G. Wells, for instance--you will find passages of the same kind. How often have we not heard it, that glutinously uplifting stuff about 'the machines, our new race of slaves, which will set humanity free'

 

'But in a world in which nothing went wrong, many of the qualities which Mr Wells regards as 'godlike' would be no more valuable than the animal faculty of moving the ears.'

 

'this is Mr Wells's favourite idea--he has used it in goodness knows how many perorations), when you have got this planet of ours perfectly into trim, you start upon the enormous task of reaching and colonizing another.'

 

'It suffers from vast contradictions because of the fact that Wells, as the arch-priest of 'progress', cannot write with any conviction against 'progress'.

 

I don't know why it irked me, he is entitled to his opinion as much .. if not more so .. than anyone else. It's just I hate to read a writer criticising another writer .. I didn't like to read Mark Twains thoughts on Jane Austen or Charlotte Brontes and I didn't like Phillip Pullman laying into CS Lewis either. It just seems mean spirited because you know that criticism from a fellow writer is going to sting more than any other. It was the only part of the book I didn't like (well that and the fact that the chapters on Socialism went on a bit too long) but it hasn't put me off reading more from him because the bits I did like were sensational :smile:

Edited by poppyshake

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Cracking book Janet. If you liked that, try The Time Machine :smile:

Ooh yes, I second the suggestion for The Time Machine. Terrific book :) I think I read it in one sitting, and now I want to read it again :)

Thanks - it's now firmly on my Wish List. :)

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In truth he didn't actually fare as badly as some of the other writers mentioned but it still left a bit of a nasty taste. George had been a massive fan of HG Wells as a child but had come to the conclusion that he was now a bit outmoded .. they fell out over it when George wrote in a piece entitled Wells, Hitler and the World State ... "the singleness of mind, the one-sided imagination that made Wells seem like an inspired prophet in the Edwardian age, make him a shallow, inadequate thinker now." Wells, who was then seventy-five, did not appreciate the criticism. He responded by rebuking Orwell in a letter, referring to him as "you sh*t" :D

 

In George's view Aldous Huxley was now the far superior writer. It all seems to be wrapped up with his thoughts on socialism .. he was keen for the country to adopt it but feared they wouldn't for several reasons. People with beards or who wear sandals, vegetarians, nudists etc etc come in for criticism as being the sort of cranks who scare people away from socialism and Wells comes into this equation too because Socialism is inextricably linked with machine production .. and in George's view Wells' writing gave people the wrong idea about machinery and physical science in general. Here are a few quotations from A Road to Wigan Pier ...

 

'And in any book by anyone who feels at home in the machine-world--in any book by H. G. Wells, for instance--you will find passages of the same kind. How often have we not heard it, that glutinously uplifting stuff about 'the machines, our new race of slaves, which will set humanity free'

 

'But in a world in which nothing went wrong, many of the qualities which Mr Wells regards as 'godlike' would be no more valuable than the animal faculty of moving the ears.'

 

'this is Mr Wells's favourite idea--he has used it in goodness knows how many perorations), when you have got this planet of ours perfectly into trim, you start upon the enormous task of reaching and colonizing another.'

 

'It suffers from vast contradictions because of the fact that Wells, as the arch-priest of 'progress', cannot write with any conviction against 'progress'.

 

I don't know why it irked me, he is entitled to his opinion as much .. if not more so .. than anyone else. It's just I hate to read a writer criticising another writer .. I didn't like to read Mark Twains thoughts on Jane Austen or Charlotte Brontes and I didn't like Phillip Pullman laying into CS Lewis either. It just seems mean spirited because you know that criticism from a fellow writer is going to sting more than any other. It was the only part of the book I didn't like (well that and the fact that the chapters on Socialism went on a bit too long) but it hasn't put me off reading more from him because the bits I did like were sensational :smile:

 

Gosh, you're very knowledgeable about Mr Orwell. :) I really should try a biography to find out more!

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Sorry Janet . .. I should have put my quotes in spoiler tags ... blabbermouth as usual :blush: (I have edited it but it went a bit wrong .. but it doesn't matter because it's included in your post anyway :smile:)

I don't know much about George at all really, I need to read a biog too .. I bet it'd be fascinating.

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I could have sworn I'd replied to your comment - sorry! :blush:

 

Anyway... yes, what I thought I'd said was that I want to read a biography too. I shall have to do some research to see which one is recommended most.

 

What I came in here to add (so I thought!) was that I found a brand-new copy of The Girl from the Fiction Department: A Portrait of Sonia Orwell by Hilary Spurling today for £1 in the Bookbarn today so I snapped it up! I don't know much about her, apart from the fact that people thought she was a gold-digger, and that after his death, she worked tirelessly to look after his estate, so I'm looking forward to find out more about her. :)

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A Rose for Winter by Laurie Lee

 

The ‘blurb’

Andalusia is a passion. Fifteen years after his last visit, Laurie Lee returns.

 

He finds a country broken by the Civil War, but the totems of indestructible Spain survive; the Virgin in agony, the thrilling flamenco wail… the pride in poverty, the gypsy intensity in the grey slums, the glory in the horror of the bullfight, the exultation in death, the humour in hopelessness… the paradoxes deep in the fiery bones of Spain.

 

Laurie Lee writes with a beauty to match his passion.

 

I picked this up mistakenly thinking it was the third part of Lee’s memoirs – it isn’t, but it is actually very similar to part two of those memoirs, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning.

 

‘…Midsummer Morning’ tells of Lee’s travels around Spain from 1935 until the Spanish Civil War started in 1936. In this book, he revisits Spain fifteen years later – this time taking his wife with him – and they travel a circular route in the south of the country, from Algeciras through Seville, Ecija, Granada and Castillo before returning to Algeciras. Everywhere they travel they are overwhelmed by the hospitality they are shown and they quickly become part of any family whose hotel/guest house they choose to stay in.

 

Of course, it’s dated now, although I am sure there must still be parts of Spain where the residents live a simple peasant life, but as with the other books I’ve read by Lee, this is an easy read and also a very entertaining one. Lee writes with such passion and builds up such a vivid picture in the reader’s mind that they feel they are on the journey with him.

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The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

 

The ‘blurb’

Strange things are happening on the remote and snowbound archipelago of St. Hauda’s Land. Magical winged creatures flit around the icy bogland, albino animals hide themselves in the snow-glazed woods, and Ida Maclaird is slowly turning into glass. Ida is an outsider in these parts who has only visited the islands once before. Yet during that one fateful visit the glass transformation began to take hold, and now she has returned in search of a cure.

 

Michelle very kindly sent me this book for Christmas because she thought I'd enjoy it - she was right. :)

 

Something odd is happening to Ida – she’s turning into glass from the feet up. It started off in her toes – she noticed they were becoming a pale milky colour, and eventually they turned into pure glass – and now it’s spreading up past her ankles. She is certain that she caught whatever strange disease this is from an island she visited on holiday called St Hauda's Land and so, wearing a pair of sturdy books to protect her fragile feet, she returns there to find the man she thinks caused the problem.

 

Whilst on the island, she meets a young man called Midas, who takes a photograph of her. He’s captured by her beauty and absolutely transfixed by her, despite the fact that he thinks there is something odd about the boots! They meet again, and are immediately attracted, but Ida is reticent to let Midas know what’s wrong with her, and Midas is unable to get close to Ida, even though he’d like to. Whilst she’s asleep he pulls off her boots and is shocked at what he sees. He takes a photograph of her feet. She eventually tells him what is happening and he resolves to help her track down Henry Fuwa – the man she thinks can cure her.

 

St Hauda's Land is a cold place and that coldness comes across so well in the writing, as does the beauty of the place and the strangeness of the wildlife. This is a fairytale and Shaw writes with beauty, but can all fairytales have a happy ending…?

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Glad you loved The Girl with Glass Feet Janet .. I liked it too and so did Alan but he didn't like the ending (but there again he hardly ever likes the ending of any book :D)

 

I read The Girl from the Fiction Department last year ... fascinating stuff.

 

I must read A Rose for Winter .. I love Laurie Lee :smile:

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008-2012-Feb-03-MadameVeronaComesDowntheHill.jpg

 

Madame Verona Comes Down the Hill by Dimitri Verhulst

 

The ‘blurb’

Years ago, Madame Verona and her husband built a home for themselves on a hill in a forest above a small village. There they lived in isolation, practicing their music, and chopping wood to see them through the cold winters. When Mr. Verona died, the locals might have expected that the legendary beauty would return to the village, but Madame Verona had enough wood to keep her warm during the years it would take to make a cello - the instrument her husband loved - and in the meantime she had her dogs for company. Poignant, precise and perfectly structured, this is a story of one woman's tender and enduring love - as a wife, and as a widow.

 

As ever, I’m woefully behind with my reviews, having read this about two months ago! I seem to have rated it 4/5, but I can’t actually remember that much about it – and it was a library book so I can’t even dip into it to remind myself of it - oh dear! I remember that I enjoyed the very poetic writing. Essentially it’s a love story about Madame Verona and her husband – and how she copes after his death. The villagers expect her to become more involved in village life after his death, but she stays isolated, knowing that she has enough wood for the fire to last for the rest of her life. Once that wood runs out Madame Verona will come down the hill, but not until then.

 

It was originally written in Dutch (the author was born in Belgium) but I think the translation must do it justice, because, as I said, I found the writing to be lovely - apart from that I don't have much to add, sadly!

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Glad you loved The Girl with Glass Feet Janet .. I liked it too and so did Alan but he didn't like the ending (but there again he hardly ever likes the ending of any book :D)

 

I read The Girl from the Fiction Department last year ... fascinating stuff.

 

I must read A Rose for Winter .. I love Laurie Lee :smile:

I can see why the ending might not suit everyone. :)

 

I thoroughly enjoyed A Rose for Winter - an easy read but of course so poetical. Rather dated but that doesn't matter a jot! :D

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#10 - finished 10 February

 

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Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden

 

The ‘blurb’

Set in WW2, Carrie and her little brother are evacuated to Wales and billeted at the home of the bullying Mr Evans and his timid sister Lou. Unhappy at home, they love visiting fellow evacuee, Albert, at the farm of Druid's Bottom. Here they meet Hepzibah Green, who knows magical stories, and Mister Johnny, who speaks a language all his own. But then things go wrong and Carrie takes things into her own hands - without guessing the awful consequences.

 

A childhood favourite! The BBC did a great adaptation of this in 1974 and more recently there has been a version with the excellent Alun Armstrong playing Mr Evans and Pauline Quirke as Hepzibah, which was such a good adaptation! I think the ‘blurb’ says as much as needs to be said about this because I don’t want to give away the storyline, but I think that although written in the 1970s it doesn’t feel dated at all (maybe that’s a silly thing to say seeing as the book is set during WW2, but I know what I mean!) and it’s such a great story that if you haven’t read it and you like children’s/YA novels then give it a go – it’s a quick read and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

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#11 - finished 17 February

 

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Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

 

The ‘blurb’

My name is Peter Grant, and I used to be a probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service, and to everyone else as the Filth.

 

My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - We do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to. Then one night I tried to take a witness statement from a man who was already dead but still disturbingly voluble… and that led me to Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. And that, as they say, is where the story really starts.

 

There’s something festering in the heart of the city I love, a malicious, vengeful spirit that’s taking ordinary Londoners and twisting them into something awful; mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.

 

The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it’s falling on me to bring order out of chaos – or to die trying.

 

I don’t ‘do’ fantasy as a rule, so I wasn’t sure what to think when this book was chosen for my book club. However, the fantastically easy writing style and the humour of it drew me in from the first page!

 

Probationer Peter Grant is woken up by his Super one night and sent to stand guard at a crime scene in London with another probationary constable, Lesley. Lesley goes off to fetch a cup of coffee for the pair of them, and whilst she’s away, Peter chats to a witness, Nicholas Wallpenny, who has been dead for over a hundred years!

 

Peter is destined to end up at the Case Progression Unit, but news of this chat with Wallpenny changes things, and suddenly he finds himself assigned to Inspector Nightingale - a wizard who investigates supernatural crimes. The everyday mixes with the mystical - ghosts, vampires, spirits and the like - as the pair try to discover why ordinary people are suddenly turning into killers, and sort out a disagreement between two river Gods – so not your typical policing then!

 

I really enjoyed this book – it’s fun and quirky with a great storyline. I definitely think I will re-read this at some stage. I can imagine it being made into a TV series (or a film) at some stage. Aaronovitch has written for some TV series (including two episodes of Doctor Who) and this book reads partly as though it’s written with adaptation in mind. That doesn’t detract from the writing at all though – in fact it may even add to it - and I do hope it is eventually adapted!

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This is on my wish list J - can't remember why, but it may have been you mentioning it elsewhere! I enjoyed your review, and given I don't normally 'do' fantasy either, comforting! I must make efforts to transfer it from the wish list to the TBR pile :)

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This is on my wish list J - can't remember why, but it may have been you mentioning it elsewhere! I enjoyed your review, and given I don't normally 'do' fantasy either, comforting! I must make efforts to transfer it from the wish list to the TBR pile :)

I do hope you enjoy it if you do read it - I always feel a bit concerned raving about a book in case someone gets it on my recommendation and hates it! :giggle2: Still, wouldn't do if we were all the same. It's a good fun read - although obviously it's better to be able to suspend disbelief when reading! :)

 

Carries War sounds good, I've added it to my wishlist, thanks for putting it on my radar :)

No problem - it's a lovely story - I hope you enjoy it. :)

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Book #12 Was Oscar and the Lady in Pink by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt - I gave it 3/5 when I read it, but I can't remember *anything* about it now - oh dear! :blush:

 

Book #13 isn't anything to be proud of either!!

 

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Wedding at King’s Convenience by Maureen Child - Warning, Mills & Boon read as part of a challenge! :P

 

The ‘blurb’

In one unforgettable night, Jefferson King, movie mogul, had made Maura Donohue pregnant. Worse, he’d been avoiding her phone calls. Naturally he’d give the expectant mother a wedding worthy of a King’s bride. But Maura wouldn’t marry without love…

 

Mills and Boon books. They’re the type of book that nobody (well few people) admit to buying, aren’t they?! And yet they sell in their 1000s! I’ve only read one M&B book in my life – and that was only because my son bought it for me from the school fete when he was about 8 because “you like reading, Mummy” – awww!

 

However, we got chatting on an online forum I use, and what started out as a joke turned into “the Mills & Boon challenge” – we would each pick a different M&B book to read and then report back - and this book was the result! This was free to download onto the Kindle from Amazon – those of us who were quick enough snapped up a freebie, but others had to pay as much as, oooh, £2.12 for their books as they didn’t get in quickly enough! Some poor souls had to get them out of the library, and therefore will have the rest of their lives (or at least, as long as their library keep records for) blighted with this one withdrawal! Needless to say I deleted my browsing history from Amazon and told them not to use this title for recommendations!

 

So, where to begin? Well, the story was, as might be expected, predictable. Here are some choice similes for you…

 

”Her blue eyes glittered as she turned them up to him and Jefferson’s body stirred like a hungry dog on a short leash.”

 

And

 

”The overhead lights were harsh and bright and cast unforgiving shadows over his face until he looked like some pirate with danger on his mind.”

 

And now for some examples of the classy writing!

 

”I thought perhaps we might end up back here tonight and I wanted to see the look on your face when I took off the sweater.”

“And was it worth it?” he managed to ask.

“Aye, it was.” She reached up, hooked one hand behind his head and threaded her fingers through his hair. “I’ve been wanting you, Jefferson.”

 

Maybe a teensy bit risqué – although I don’t think anyone would be offended by it, but I’ll put it under a spoiler just in case. :)

 

 

His body jumped into overdrive, his erection painfully pushing against his slacks. “Have you?”

 

 

and

 

"His mouth covered hers as she sighed into him, parting her lips eagerly, hungrily. She matched his need and as their tongues twisted and danced together, the flames they built erupted into an inferno.”

 

and

 

”Oh, you’ve a smooth tongue on you, Jefferson King.” And her knees wobbled even more as she thought of the many uses that smooth tongue of his could be put to.”

 

Thank goodness it was a freebie, eh?! :giggle2:

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I don't think I've ever read a Mills & Boon, but I may have read one when I was a teenager possibly? Regardless, although I'm not interested in reading one now, I have watched a couple of fascinating documentaries about them. I think one was part of the Daisy Goodwin documentary series about romantic fiction called Reader, I Married Him which dedicated a significant chunk of one of the programmes to them. The other was about an established author (although I can't remember who it was now :irked:) who looked at what it takes to write a book for Mills & Boon, and did a variety of things, including going on a course for writers, talking to the publisher, and finding out the "formula" for the plots of the books. It was really interesting to have a look into that part of the book world, even if I don't venture into it myself.

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Don't worry, I won't blame you if I hate it ;) we seem to have reasonably similar tastes in that we seem to loathe the same things! I've also downloaded an H G Wells you recommended - that also ticks off a 1001 book and was free so seems very low risk!

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Lol just reading that made me do the sort of squirming I haven't done since I was fifteen and watching love scenes on TV with my parents in the room. It reminds me too of when they read out the sexy bits from Edwina Currie's book on 'Not the Nine 0' Clock News' .. I shuddered for about half an hour afterwards. I don't know why but that sort of talk is more likely to get me laughing than going :D .. 'a hungry dog on a short leash' lol .. you couldn't make it up could you? .. well you could obviously .. they have :D

I have read some M&B in the past .. I used to have a lodger who read nothing but them but they were so formulaic that once you'd read about four you had the plotlines covered :D

I'm too cynical to read that kind of thing .. perhaps when younger I might have enjoyed the romance of it all but really .... 'the flames they built erupted into an inferno' :giggle2: ... hope they had a fire extinguisher handy :D

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Claire, Alex and Kay - I will reply later but I'm off to work ridiculously early! :sleeping-smiley-009:)

 

 

# 15

 

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The Cruise of the Snark by Jack London

 

The ‘blurb’

In April 1907 Jack London set out to sail around the world in the 45-foot ship The Snark, accompanied by his wife and a small crew. Although suffering from seasickness and tropical disease, London wrote prolifically, including a series of entertaining sketches of the voyage itself. These were later collected as The Cruise of the Snark, a remarkable record of adventure and love among the islands of the South Pacific.

 

London and his wife build a yacht called ‘The Snark’ (after the Lewis Carroll poem) and after some delays they set off with a small crew to sail across the south Pacific, setting out from San Francisco in April 1907. This account charts their voyage and the adventures and mishaps they had along the way.

 

I read this as part of my ‘decades’ challenge, but I’m afraid for me it really didn’t live up to expectations. I found the bit about the leper colony in Molokai to be very interesting, but I also found large parts of it rather dull and it took me a while to read as it was one of those books that became a chore – I’m certain I would have given up if it wasn’t for the challenge. It did improve towards the end, but overall it wasn’t the best reading experience for me – but if I haven’t put you off it is free to download online in various formats!

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003-2012-Jan-17-GulliversTravels.jpg

 

I enjoyed the first two sections but for me the book went downhill after then. I wouldn’t say I hated the last two sections but I was rather glad to get to the end of the book! I was amused that there was quite a lot of ‘toilet humour’ in the book, considering when it was first published. Overall quite an enjoyable read but it didn’t really live up to expectations.

 

I'm happy to see you read the book and managed til the end. Too bad it wasn't as good as one would hope :( I'm delighted that there is toilet humour in the book :lol: That will make me less intimidated to start reading the book some day :giggle:

 

I've just finished The War of the Worlds by H G Wells - what a cracking book - and I don't even "do" sci-fi!!

 

Wow! That gives hope to the rest of us who don't usually do sci-fi but who wish to read the book or at least feel like they ought to read the book. Thanks for that :smile2:

 

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I have this book on my wishlist, I read willoyd's review on it and felt compelled to add it to the list. Then poppyshake read it too, and now you... I must definitely acquire a copy at some point :) Thanks!

 

Edit: I believe there's a series of these books, do you think you will venture to read the others?

Edited by frankie

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It was really interesting to have a look into that part of the book world, even if I don't venture into it myself.

It sounds interesting. :) I don't know whether you've every had that thing happen to you where you see something once and think "I haven't noticed that before" and then all of a sudden that thing is everywhere? It happens to me with all sorts of things, including cars (for example, when my Mum and Dad got their Kia Picanto I'd never even heard of the car, but now I see them all over the place) - well, since I read it I see them all over the place - I knew they were popular, but I didn't realise how popular - and there are always loads in charity shops!!

 

Don't worry, I won't blame you if I hate it ;) we seem to have reasonably similar tastes in that we seem to loathe the same things! I've also downloaded an H G Wells you recommended - that also ticks off a 1001 book and was free so seems very low risk!

I love War of the Worlds from start to finish! I guess it helps knowing the musical inside out (I love it!) even if there are some differences from the book. I'm sure you'll love that one. :)

 

Lol just reading that made me do the sort of squirming I haven't done since I was fifteen and watching love scenes on TV with my parents in the room. It reminds me too of when they read out the sexy bits from Edwina Currie's book on 'Not the Nine 0' Clock News' .. I shuddered for about half an hour afterwards. I don't know why but that sort of talk is more likely to get me laughing than going :D .. 'a hungry dog on a short leash' lol .. you couldn't make it up could you? .. well you could obviously .. they have :D

I have read some M&B in the past .. I used to have a lodger who read nothing but them but they were so formulaic that once you'd read about four you had the plotlines covered :D

I'm too cynical to read that kind of thing .. perhaps when younger I might have enjoyed the romance of it all but really .... 'the flames they built erupted into an inferno' :giggle2: ... hope they had a fire extinguisher handy :D

:giggle2: I just chucked at the whole of your post. I remember the Edwina Currie book too - not that I've ever read it. I never saw John Major in the same light after that (although I always seem him as the grey puppet from Spitting Image!). :giggle:

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It sounds interesting. :) I don't know whether you've every had that thing happen to you where you see something once and think "I haven't noticed that before" and then all of a sudden that thing is everywhere? It happens to me with all sorts of things, including cars (for example, when my Mum and Dad got their Kia Picanto I'd never even heard of the car, but now I see them all over the place) - well, since I read it I see them all over the place - I knew they were popular, but I didn't realise how popular - and there are always loads in charity shops!!

That sort of thing happens to me all the time! :lol: You wouldn't believe how popular they are, even more than the ones you've seen around - they have their own call centre to deal with the phone/web/mail order requests!

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