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BookJumper

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  1. Like! Like! LIKE!!! :)

    Glad to hear it! Although, I have just discovered the wonderful uses of Shakespeare concordances & found more beautiful Shakespeare quotes on writing than I would have space to tattoo on my entire body :lol: I'll come back for opinions once I've narrowed it down from the current 3 pages of A4...! Ooops.

  2. Noted this one down as I watched my theatre company rehearse Shakespeare's little performed history King John: "I am a scribbled form, drawn with a pen upon a parchment" - how do we like that for the line of verse up my right arm?


  3. Have just caught up with the last two episodes of Being Human and the latest Glee (I'd gotten my facts mixed up it seems, new Supernatural not out until April it seems), and the verdict is:

    Being Human - beautiful, brilliant, touching, some superb acting all involved, Russell Tovey and Aidan Turner in particular shine even more than usual. BUT, I'm really annoyed with the hinting at an already commissioned Season 4 when they've just

    killed Mitchell,

    it was stunningly done and couldn't have really gone any other way but it should have marked the perfect ending, not some sort of new beginning. I feel like I did at the end of Supernatural Season 5: why does no one have the nerve to leave a series on a high rather than milk it for all it's worth? I'll still watch Being Human Season 4 in the same way I'm still watching Supernatural Season 6 which I know is what they're banking on, but valuing money over artistic integrity is just not cool.

     

    Glee - awwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

    Kurt and Blaine smooch at last and it's adorable, if cut off a bit short. Bless their cotton socks, I'm glad someone finally gives Kurt the warm fuzzies he deserves.

    That is all.


  4. I think this book is an instruction manual for christians. Instead of just writing a book such as "Pitfalls for Christians" CS Lewis has created an entertaining, humorous and non threatening way of conveying his very serious message.
    I don't think a Christian would be at all offended by it but I can see that they might feel a bit daunted... I guess the people it's most suited to are those Lewis wrote it for, those interested in following the Christian faith. I'm not sure that it would encourage them though, although I'm sure it was written for that purpose. Even though the patient avoids the pitfalls and goes to his spiritual reward it seemed a pretty tall task to me...
    I think the book can be interpreted... with the background knowledge that this is a message from an author with some very strong ideas about Christian morals and how to avoid moral traps. In which case the authors voice is pervasive. [i would recommend the book to o]ther Christians. I do find it interesting that people who are not christian enjoyed the book. I am pleased about that as it is an interesting read regardless of your beliefs.
    I find it really interesting that all three of you fairly surely identified Screwtape as a manual / guide / rulebook / pathway / whatchamacallit for (aspiring?) Christians. This may very well be my agnosticicsm projecting onto the text, in which case you may very kindly tell me to shush and stop talking nonsense, but I would have thought that this kind of book - I.e. one where pretty central tenets of Faith are scrutinized for satirical purposes - would not be viewed kindly by the religious majority, the author's own Christianity nonwithstanding.

     

    Having met those who shot down Paradise Lost in flames (poetically appropriate, one might argue) as pretty much heresy, I had thought this would be widely considered the black sheep to the flock of Lewis's more conventional theological works such as Mere Christianity. I am immensely relieved to find that this is not the case, naturally, but I suppose also a little surprised that it's not more controversial than it is. I guess I was expecting that, precisely like Milton's masterpiece, this would be a book written by such a left-field Christian perspective as to be appropiated by successive generations as an atheist manifesto, yet no such hijacking seems to have taken place here, which intrigues me.

     

    Thoughts? Have I actually lost it, or am I actually making sense?

     

    I'm so glad everyone has enjoyed this (so far), apart from me! I was really worried, having nominated it, that nobody would like it. I wish I'd listened to the John Cleese narrated audio-book as I can really hear him doing Screwtape and Wormwood's voices! I might even have enjoyed it then!
    It really didn't get better for you, did it Janet? I'm so sorry to hear that :( can you pinpoint what Lewis might have done differently to secure your appreciation, or is it just such a dreary mess in your view as to be essentially unsalvageable?

     

    ... off to think about ladymacbeth's extremely pertinent question, & hatch furher ones!


  5. As a writer who's been both accused of and praised for her use of long, complex, jolting vocabulary, I'd hazard that - since one cannot possibly please everyone all of the time - most writers will operate a choice in terms of desired readership and go from there, which is why even in modern times you have good authors who write very simply (Richard Bach) and good authors who write very intricately (Jasper Fforde). I personally write from the perspective of someone who loves learning new words and means to communicate with kindred spirits who also love learning new words, but there are many authors who work according to principles of sparingness and concision so there's something out there for every disposition I think :).


  6. I hope I haven't put anyone off with my overly Christian view of the Screwtape letters - sorry, it's difficutl to disengage my relgion from this book.

    No no no, don't worry, no putting off involved - if I was that easy to scare I wouldn't have proposed a religious topic in the first place :) I'm just a bad circle leader *slaps wrist* on the dash now as usual but I will be back later tonight to un-pause this marvellous discussion, even if I have to do it at 3 in the morning, by golly! And very good question you pose, I'll be back with a witty & insightful answer for you amongst other things...!

  7. Some very good suggestions from Ninth there. That said, the one I always find myself recommending - surely a good thing, pointing to the quality of the book :D - is the far from cheesy and ridiculous The Book of Flying by Keith Miller. It's not as well known as it should be (there's only one review of it on Amazon UK, and it's mine! I'm copying it below, minus the spoiler, for your ease of reference), which really vexes me as it's an absolutely stunning story written by a man who could make a shopping list read like pure poetry.

     

     

     

    I bought this book on an aesthetical whim: the cover was pretty and was nice and smooth to the touch. It paid off. This is a classic yet innovative fairy-tale which arranges well-known ingredients in a way that is completely its own.

     

    Pico is a gentle, day-dreaming librarian, guardian to old books only he reads; son of winged people yet flukily born wingless, he is in love with a winged girl who forsakes him because he is not fully one of her kind. So he embarks on a perilous journey to the distant morning town, where it is said he may find the book of flying and earn his wings. On the way he meets many enchanting or frightening characters whom I won't spoil here, whose stories interwine with his and change it forever. The book is spell-binding, sweet, beautifully written; and though much of it made me sad or uncomfortable, it all serves the (masterful) storytelling.

     

    Read, read, read this book.


  8. Everyone in my family reads extensively and was influential in my own development of the bookworm bug - books have always been the staple birthday / Christmas present with us, and trips to the library / bookstore the most frequent kind of quality time outing. There's bookshelves in every sigle room of my childhood home, one of which even collapsed at one point under the duress of having books in triple file on every shelf! My Mum and sister in particular are great readers of speculative fiction and classics, these are also my favourite genres so I tend to trust their suggestions pretty much implicitly. All of my older cousins read and I'm proud to see the younger ones do the same as they get old enough.

     

    I think that growing up in this kind of environment has meant that I've always looked for the same passion in potential friends. Not many people read for pleasure while I was at school, so with the few that did we necessarily gravitated towards each other. Since starting at my first uni five years ago just about everyone I met was bookish, which made for a welcome change. I do think that these days I'm probably the one of my everyday circle that reads most fiction, but considering how much time we're (rightly) expected to spend reading for research, I think that's got more to do with how many hours there are in the day rather than anything else!


  9. These Jasper stories make me feel warm and fuzzy as though hearing that he is a good and funny man means something is clearly RIGHT in the universe *big satisfied sigh*
    Awwww :) pretty thought. I approve of & adhere to it.

     

    I'm currently reading The Well of Lost Plots, and enjoying it. However, it can be a bit like reading A Clockwork Orange, half the words are made up! I really liked The Eyre Affair, but I'm not sure I enjoyed the sequels as much, because in a sense, you almost know what to expect... and even though the literary references (both subtle and overt) are a delight to come across, I do sometimes feel like I'm being battered over the head with them.
    I find that the 'Clockwork' effect means I can only read Jasper when I'm fully awake, alert and immersed in undistracted silence, otherwise I just get really confounded by the cleverness of it all :rolleyes: That said, I think the series actually improves from TN1, and what a mean feat that wasn't! Personally, I'm all for knowing what to expect if I like what I know I'm expecting, and in Jasper's case it means I'm expecting a a great heroine I truly care about, fantastically unfathomable plots, awesome plays on words and the books that contain them, hilarious writing, snappy dialogue... what's not to like :)?

     

    Excellent story again, Giulia! I really love reading your Jasper encounters. It sounds like you're getting less nervous each time you meet him. Is that correct? He sounds like such a lovely, funny guy; I hope he comes to Australia one day. And how awesome that you were wearing a custom-make Jurisfiction hoodie. I love it!
    Thank you darling :friends0: I, too, hope for your sake he comes to Australia one day!

     

    Incidentally, you grossly overestimate the evolution of my confidence. I was just as terrified as last time, just this time I kept mentally chanting the mantra 'don'tsayanythingdaft,don'trunaway,don'tsayanythingdaft,don'trunaway' :lol: I'm glad I - quite literally - stood my ground even though I did completely fail to keep my cool... my new friend said she would have nabbed me if I'd made to bolt for the door, I wouldn't have wanted for her to have been put to the test like that *ahem*!

     

    And indeed, Paula - Jasper Fforde IS the dude.


  10. I think that if it had been written just from the perspective of the good guys, it would have much more limited appeal, and would perhaps mostly have been read by those who are Christians already. I'm not quite sure why Mr Pescke felt that Heaven should reply to Screwtape, unless he felt that Screwtape's letters were much too much like fun and needed to be dulled down with a good dollop of boring and worthy! I'm a Christian myself, but C S Lewis' book is making me think about things from a different angle and much more deeply than most theological books; I think it was an inspired idea.
    I also think it was a good idea, because the lack lack of restraint implicit in the notion of evil tends to make for, quite simply, much more relatable and entertaining fiction.

     

    While most people may want to live well, most readers don't seem to want to read about characters with spotless consciences, since spotless consciences are usually the hallmark very dull fiction. The Screwtape letters, I feel, appeals to readers because stories from the dark side always have, from Marlowe's Dr Faustus via Milton's Paradise Lost to Pratchett's and Gaiman's Good Omens. I'm not sure I would necessarily call the idea inspired as the concept is not particularly groundbreaking in and of itself; I would, on the other hand, call it exceptionally executed.

     

    I do, however, think that it is a shame that the flipside never appears to come into its own in the fictional sense, and would love to read a book written from the side of the "goodies" which was also not dull as ditchwater.

     

    I've finished this, will be back tomorrow to post my thoughts, once I've had a chance to think about the questions
    Yay :) can't wait to hear your thoughts!

     

    I was looking at reviews for this yesterday and the word 'Christianity' kept jumping out at me over and over, which is a little offputting for me. Is it overly religious in tone? Am I likely to feel like I'm being preached to?
    I would be surprised if you found it preachy, Kylie, it is written with lots of humour and is all about an older devil teaching his nephew how to make sure humans stay off the straight and narrow, so if anything I find it the reverse of preachy!
    Further to Ooshie's excellent point :) the framework is obviously a Christian one presupposing the existence of heaven, hell & the like because otherwise the concept would not function correctly. That said, I'm a reluctant agnostic interested in discussing questions of faith from all angles to see if I can regain some... the last book I would want to read at this point is one that would make me feel like I'm being spoken down to from way up on a soapbox. I think it's safe to say you're in no danger of feeling preached to - join us, you know you want to!

  11. I'm not normally one to care for hype, but to be honest all I needed to want to go & see this was seeing the poster - I mean, all that talent in one place? I would have paid to see them read shopping lists. I'm happy to report I was not disappointed, everyone was on top form - a simple, beautifully self-contained joy from start to finish.


  12. Were the World Mine - an absolute stunner of a film, and one I can't believe I'd never heard of. I mean, a musical re-imagining of Midsummer's Night Dream? Where's this movie been all my life?! Though it was originally presented at indie LGBT festivals, I'd say this is one of the very best films I've ever seen, period, and should blow away anyone of any gender and persuasion. I've been listening to the title track (actual Shakespearean text put to magnificent music and sung as if by angels) for the best part of the night. A-ma-zing. Watch it yesterday. I did and, stroppy and disillusioned as I felt then, I now wear a big happy grin.


  13. So, me and my idol Jasper were reunited at last on Monday...!

     

    The talk was fantastic, I don't know the last time I've laughed this consistently for over an hour straight. He's priceless and because he is, this time I made myself ask a question even though I was quaking with ill-repressed admiration. It was a question very close too my hear too, I.e. given that he has included a fantasy-ish map in the new book, how did he feel towards being labelled as a fantasy author and does the stigma associated to the genre annoy him? His answer was very wise and one which I should probably heed, I.e. that he writes for fun and is therefore supremely unconcerned with labels of any kind.

     

    *goes away and thinks about this really hard*

    *returns to continue the story*

     

    When he signed my copies of TN6 and The Last Dragonslayer, I told him he'd made me cringe at myself (he'd gone on a tangent about literature PhD students earlier, and I must admit he had the idiosyncracies of my kind down to a T) and daftly reminded him - he'd forgotten - about my fleeing from him at the launch of SoG. Mercifully, he then recognised me as the one who'd been sent books with her name spelt wrong and needed them replaced, so I reckon that let me off the hook of embarrassment a little. Of course, I couldn't leave until I embarrassed myself again, so after I'd taken a picture* with him I actually stuck around to show him something cool I'd noticed, namely that having been apart from my camera for a year, the last picture on it was the one I'd taken with him at the SoG launch. I think he may have thought of me as a stalker by this point, but he was charming about it nonetheless and asked me whether that was my special camera just for taking pictures of him. Bless his cotton socks, I told him that it was. It was all over sooner than I wanted it to, and on a bizzarre bantery note too: he asked me what I thought of Dragonslayer, I told him I loved it enough to want to have kids just so I could read it to them, and he said he wouldn't pay for the offspring in question :D!

     

    * in case you're wondering, my custom-made hoodie reads "Jurisfiction: ever wanted to be in books?" and, at the back, "Spec-Ops 27: wordage is our business, grammar is our game." In my daftness, I might have forgotten to take my blazer off to show it to Jasper, but nevermind.

     

    Also, I think I made a friend :) I like it when I strike up conversations and they fall on like-minded ears. As Jasper himself was saying while promoting the Fforde Fiesta, people in the same room because they love the same books are likely to have even more to talk about. Which kinda reminded me of here :hug:.

    post-5082-096900000 1299356783_thumb.jpg


  14. Back at home, with it being the 50th anniversary of the death of adventure writer Emilio Salgari (a legend in the genre now, but villainously underappreciated and underpaid in his own time bless him), his two best-loved series are coming out with the morning paper in pretty hardback editions reprinted from the illustrated originals. I have the best Mum in the world, and the first three (Il Corsaro Nero, I Pirati della Malesia and Le Tigri di Mompracem) await me across the waters :D want it to be Easter even more now!


  15. 23.39pm philosophising:

     

    13) In my exploration around Screwtape, I have come across a sequel of sorts by Jim Peschke, titled The Michael Letters: Heaven's Answer to Screwtape. While I haven't read it, the book's very existence made me ponder a question. As a Christian trying to make a point, wouldn't it have been easier / have apparently made more sense to write this exploration of human morality and divine law from the perspective of the good guys? With this question at the back of your minds, what do you make of Lewis's decision to tell this parable from the devils' side instead?

     

    Discuss.


  16. I believe I'll skip our version, BookJumper! Thanks for the warning. Everything you described that our version of Being Human isn't, is exactly why I love the original version. Mitchell, George and Annie struggle with their 'afflictions' constantly and convey them expertly. Plus, I love the comedy! With George especially. Along with that, I've been in tears whilst watching it, like with the episode when Gilbert (another ghost) realizes who he loves and has to walk through the door. I can't wait to see the next 4 episodes and then season 2!

    *phew* glad to have saved you the trouble & heartache, Peacefield! And... OMG, Gilbert! Isn't he the most adorable thing ever? I love the way he throws that branch away in dismay when she goes, "Are we actually having Gilbert fun yet?" :lol: bless him! Alex Price's vocal work is really impressive too, I mean he had me fooled as a Northener and I've lived in Liverpool for three years, yet when I saw and interview with him he actually speaks nothing like that in real life... skillz, pure and simplez.

  17. Right you've sold it, I'm starting as soon as possible. Will note down Supernatural also, seen as though I have complete confident in your taste of books, film, etc. In other news I'm currently watching How I Met Your Mother Season 6 Episode 18, entitled A Change of Heart; the latest episode to air. I absolutely love this show, gets better and better.
    Glad to hear all of the above :cool:Dexter rocks, Supernatural rules, and HIMYM is indeed continuously self-improving genius.

     

    Actually, I thought you must have been watching DVDs.

    Ahem. Forget I breathed :D.

     

    They just started an American version of [Being Human] over here but it's on cable so I haven't seen it.

    I don't know how else to put this: don't bother. I watched the first episode just because you can't knock what you haven't seen, and it was so unbelievably awful I actually had to watch it in 5 minute spurts with entire half hours in between to clear my mind and soul, I felt so tainted. They took a brilliantly scripted, wonderfully acted, touching, funny, charming, utterly bewitching series and managed to turn it to something I can't print here.

     

    The new people can't act, they don't emote, they don't have chemistry, and to be honest don't make me care about their characters - they could all have met their ultimate ends at the end of the first episode and I wouldn't have cared. Aidan (I still can't believe they called their vampire like the lad who plays Mitchell, what's up with that?) is particularly frightful, I don't for one second buy he is conflicted about his bloodlust. Mitchell you want to cuddle and tell everything will be alright; Aidan you would quite gladly see rot in hell. Also Josh (George) has to tell us he's an OCD sufferer, because clearly he lacks the skill to convey it with mannerisms. As for Sally (Annie) she is slightly less atrocious, but not something to write home about by any stretch of the imagination. Sam Pellegrino (Herrick) is the only actor amongst them worthy of the term, and sadly one good baddie can't salvage a mess of a remake.

     

    In better news, I've just watched the last episode of Supernatural (S06.E15), and I'm pleased to announce the following: following the magnificent Season 5 and the so-far-lukewarm beginning of Season 6, SUPERNATURAL IS GOOD AGAIN!!!!!

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