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Everything posted by vodkafan

  1. The Last Film You Saw - 2017

    Just watched Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them . Enjoyed it.
  2. The Last Film You Saw - 2017

    Saw Arrival yesterday. I liked it.
  3. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    Finished Songs Of The Dying Earth. I must thank Hayley for what has been a magical reading experience I have enjoyed to the fullest. I will review this and a couple of other books Saturday to bring my reviews right up to date.
  4. Good morning everyone

    I agree that his dialogue was good. I really enjoy the language of the time. When you read a book by a modern author set in Victorian times they often get things wrong. His monologues though can be endless, I have to admit. He will just sometimes go off on one and get all philosophical for several pages. But it only usually happens once in a book. Demos was quite clever. A good study on character. That one is set outside London for most of the book. Thyrza has some very touching moments, although the titular character seems a little bit ethereal at times. Will Warburton is a lighter story with comic moments if you are finding Gissing a bit bleak. Our Friend The Charlatan has a wicked streak if you like to see someone get their just desserts
  5. Little Pixie`s Bookshelf 2017

    Very sorry to hear about your Aunt, Little Pixie. Take care of yourself.
  6. Good morning everyone

    That's great! I personally found New Grub Street a bit of a drag, although it is supposed to be one of his best; I think you mean The Netherworld. That was a good one, as was The Odd Women. One of my favourites is In The Year Of Jubilee. I was so impressed with the latter I actually went to Camberwell and looked at the specific streets mentioned in the story to get a feel for it, knowing that Gissing had actually walked the same streets. I have read probably the same biography you have, I had it on kindle attached to one of his books. He was indeed an interesting guy. His own life pops up in his stories.
  7. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    Dead In The Morning 2/5 Margaret Yorke This was a quick read. I will quote the blurb on the back: "If ever there was a candidate for murder, it was old Mrs. Ludlow. Arrogant, cruel, demanding, she dominated every aspect of her children's lives. So when the housekeeper at Pantons was found dead, everyone-including the police-assumed that the fatal dose of drugs had been intended for her employer. Dr Patrick Grant, Oxford don and amateur sleuth, knew that they were wrong. And he could prove it-but only at the risk of incriminating an innocent person..." There is obviously a whole series of these with the same character, and they must have been written in the 50s or 60s because the currency is still shillings and pence, and there are the vestiges of a bygone way of life with housekeepers and cooks. I found the idea of the Oxford don solving crimes a bit unbelievable (which is the main reason for the low rating) but I got drawn in to the lives of the characters instead. Like an Agatha Christie story, they all had a little something to hide and it was fun to try to sort out who might have done the deed. I didn't see the end coming, so I suppose it was a success.
  8. Good morning everyone

    Hi Kevin, welcome! Great to see another Victorian literature fan. Have you read any George Gissing?
  9. The Last Film You Saw - 2017

    I just got back from seeing Ghost In The Shell. DISAPPOINTED!! Oh well I just have to pin my hopes on Luc Besson and Valerian: City of a Thousand Planets in July....
  10. Angury's Reading Diary 2017

    That is shocking about the Head of Psychiatry. Was the time on the placement itself of value? I hope you get through the rest of your stay in India without any more such incidents. Stay safe.
  11. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    We are having new lockers at work. This has had a completely catastrophic effect on my reading! Because they have taken the old lockers away and we don't have the new ones yet, not only do I not have a place to store a stash of books, I cannot take my trusty rucksack to work as there is no place to put it. I am reduced to just taking my lunch in a tiny haversack and there is no room even for a slim paperback. This has forced me to the desperate expedient at break times of picking up the books that are left in a pile in the canteen. I read as much as I can of one and then put it back. Then over the next breaks I will pick up the same book again until it is finished. In this way I have already got through two books and nearly finished a third. The choice is limited. Most of the books are female oriented: young person chicklit and classic Mills and Boon , with a few thick Phillipa Gregory historical novels as well. I did look over the latter but in the end their very doorstep thickness put me off. I mean, a queen sitting on a throne can't get up to enough to fill a huge book like that surely? They must be full of filler and waffle. There is a book about Uther Pendragon and his friend Merlin ( By a male author I was not familiar with) but that is a stupendous huge brick of a book. I was suspicious of that for the same reason as the Phillipa Gregory, it must be full of waffle. So by default I have read so far two old murder mysteries: Dead In The Morning by Margaret Yorke and The Secret of Annexe 3 by Colin Dexter (an Inspector Morse mystery) The book I am reading now is A Gull On The Roof. It is the true story of a high society London couple who bought a broken down 500 year old cottage in Cornwall and became flower growers. It is strangely compulsive reading although no-one has been murdered yet
  12. The Last Film You Saw - 2017

    Sadly you are right about Saturday Night Fever. It's those lapels and bellbottoms!!
  13. Hello, I'm Taylor!

    I am shocked. You don't have any friends who like to read? That's just so wrong.......
  14. The Last Film You Saw - 2017

    I watched Beauty and The Beast with the kids at the cinema. No worries about revealing spoilers, everybody alive must have seen the cartoon. There were good points and bad points. At the very beginning I liked the direction and energy of the opening song but Emily Watson was strangely the weakest link in it, when she should have been the brightest part. But later on she did grow on me and I think she did a good job as Belle. The actor who played Gaston was excellent. Kevin Kline as Maurice was oddly restrained and quiet, I think he could have been more manic as he usually is in his comedy films. Most of the other songs of dancing crockery and bits of furniture seemed interminable though and I was bored silly by those. I only liked the bits of the film with live actors in.
  15. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    Getting near the end of Songs Of The Dying Earth... just been reading one or two stories a week to make the book last.
  16. Hi I'm Matt from England

    Welcome Matt. (pun intended- always wanted to say that ) I enjoyed the Millenium trilogy. Also read one called Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow or something similar but can't remember the author.
  17. I can recommend the Lyonesse trilogy by Jack Vance.
  18. Foreign Films

    You know, you have made me want to watch Amelie right now! I think I will!
  19. Reading fan here! Hi all x

    Hello, good luck with your writing, have you written anything yet?
  20. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    Space Opera 3/5 Jack Vance Another Vance book that was new to me. Roger Wool's slightly batty Aunt Isabel is determined to export the musical culture of Earth to the rest of the galaxy. So she assembles a worthy opera company of the best classical musicians and opera singers on the planet and buys a spaceship to do an operatic tour of alien worlds. Facing the unpleasant prospect of having to take a job, Roger decides to accompany the tour when he meets the mysterious Welsh girl Madoc. The space ship is captained by the equally mysterious Adulph Gondar, the only person who knows the location of a planet which Dame Isabel is particularly interested in. So these two mystery characters drive the slim plot, which is filled in with performances on various strange worlds that only Vance could imagine. The book is quite short- less than 200 pages- and although I enjoyed it, none of the characters are very deeply fleshed out. In it's own way this is quite clever, as if Vance is actually having fun and laughing at the Space Opera genre itself by making the book actually about a space opera company! It was a fun one-day read , but not of his best.
  21. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    Night Lamp 5/5 Jack Vance This Vance novel was previously unknown to me, so I was very excited to be reading something "new" by my favourite author. It did not disappoint. Like many of his stories, this one takes the form of a Bildungsroman which follows the young protagonist growing up. A kindly scholarly couple doing fieldwork on a backward planet come across a small boy who is being beaten to death by ruffians. They save him from his fate, but it appears that he has previously undergone some even more terrible ordeal, the memory of which is tormenting him. In order to save his life the couple have his memory erased. Only his name Jaro remains. He is taken to the home planet of the couple and adopted as their own, but Jaro is determined one day to find out about his origins. There is much danger and mystery and romance and a few surprises along the way, and it is possible to completely forget the outside world when reading this and get immersed in the story. Some of Vance's novels are quite short, but at 400 pages this one is nice and fat and satisfying.
  22. Vodkafan's 2017 reading experience

    I am in Jack Vance Nirvana at the moment, as I have a clutch of "new" Vance SF stories and also the huge tribute anthology Songs Of The Dying Earth which is a satisfying doorstop sized tome given to me by Hayley.
  23. The Last Film You Saw - 2017

    I have decided NOT to waste a day off watching John Wick 2. My friend has already seen it and said it was not good. And he is really easy to please when it comes to this sort of film, so if he said it's bad it must be a complete stinker.
  24. The Last Film You Saw - 2017

    I am sure I would find Batman V Superman way way way too long even without the benefit of autism