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      Summer Supporter Giveaway   08/31/2020

      Going on a Summer Holiday (Sort Of...)     The summer giveaway for Patreon supporters is finally here and this time we're doing something a little bit different. I want supporters to tell me where you would go on holiday, if you could go anywhere. The winner will receive a bookish prize based on their answer!   Terms and conditions are as usual. Patreon supporters will be automatically entered into the giveaway and selected at random. As we're a little late this year the draw will be held on the second weekend of September. If you aren't currently a supporter but want to be involved in the giveaway you can sign up to support us here:   https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum  
willoyd

London fiction

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No not at all Pont .. you do have to get your head around walking (and talking) broken umbrellas though .. and that's just the tip of the iceberg. It's a weird sort of place full of London's discarded things .. only, they've come to life (and quite a lot of them are evil :D)

LOL  Thanks poppyshake. :) I'll def look it up.

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I knew of the Sinclair (I agree about him personally being an acquired taste - mainly because I haven't acquired it yet!), but the Whitehead and White book is new to me and sounds interesting. I presume that's the same Jerry White who wrote the trilogy of London in the Xth century books?

Yes, that's the same Jerry White.  Among his many talents (and I know that's probably not the right description!), he's also been the Local Government Ombudsman.  

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Yes, that's the same Jerry White.  Among his many talents (and I know that's probably not the right description!), he's also been the Local Government Ombudsman.  

 

Ordered day before yesterday and just arrived from Amazon.  Already dipping in, and being thoroughly entertained.  Thanks Roland!

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Another book you may like - and one that I'm currently dipping in and out of - is London You're Beautiful by the artist David Gentleman.  It's a month-by month collection of his sketches of the capital throughout the year, along with his commentary.  It's a beautiful book, although quite expensive (like me, try dropping birthday hints, perhaps).  Definitely one that you can cherish and go back to time and time again.

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I've just finished The Journal of Dora Damage by Belinda Starling which is set in London. I haven't written a review for it yet because I hardly know where to begin :blush2:  I'll put the synopsis up ...

 

Synopsis:  This work is set in Lambeth, London, in the year 1859. By the time Dora Damage discovers that there is something wrong with her husband, Peter, it is too late. His arthritic hands are crippled, putting his book-binding business into huge debt and his family in danger of entering the poorhouse. Summoning her courage, Dora proves that she is more than just a housewife and mother. Taking to the streets, she resolves to rescue her family at any price - and finds herself illegally binding expensive volumes of pornography commissioned by aristocrats.Then, when a mysterious fugitive slave arrives at her door, Dora realises she's entangled in a web of sex, money, deceit and the law. Now the very family she fought so hard for is under threat from a host of new, more dangerous foes. Belinda Starling's debut novel is a startling vision of Victorian London, juxtaposing its filth and poverty with its affluence. In 'Dora Damage' we meet a daring young heroine, struggling in a very modern way against the constraints of the day, and whose resourcefulness and bravery have us rooting for her all the way.

 

Now when it says pornography, I feel I'd better point out that the content is more than pornographic .. it gets progressively darker, sicker and more twisted. Belinda Starling is (or I should say was .. she sadly died just after completion of this novel) a great storyteller and by the time I got to the stuff that I really didn't want to read about at any price .. I was hooked and couldn't have put it down if I had wanted to. A bit stomach churning though all the same .. and what's more a shock .. because I had no idea that's where it was going. I loved the characters (apart from the perverts of course) and the London setting is brilliantly described.

 

 

 

 

 

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I've just finished The Journal of Dora Damage by Belinda Starling which is set in London. I haven't written a review for it yet because I hardly know where to begin :blush2:  I'll put the synopsis up ...

 

Synopsis:  This work is set in Lambeth, London, in the year 1859. By the time Dora Damage discovers that there is something wrong with her husband, Peter, it is too late. His arthritic hands are crippled, putting his book-binding business into huge debt and his family in danger of entering the poorhouse. Summoning her courage, Dora proves that she is more than just a housewife and mother. Taking to the streets, she resolves to rescue her family at any price - and finds herself illegally binding expensive volumes of pornography commissioned by aristocrats.Then, when a mysterious fugitive slave arrives at her door, Dora realises she's entangled in a web of sex, money, deceit and the law. Now the very family she fought so hard for is under threat from a host of new, more dangerous foes. Belinda Starling's debut novel is a startling vision of Victorian London, juxtaposing its filth and poverty with its affluence. In 'Dora Damage' we meet a daring young heroine, struggling in a very modern way against the constraints of the day, and whose resourcefulness and bravery have us rooting for her all the way.

 

Now when it says pornography, I feel I'd better point out that the content is more than pornographic .. it gets progressively darker, sicker and more twisted. Belinda Starling is (or I should say was .. she sadly died just after completion of this novel) a great storyteller and by the time I got to the stuff that I really didn't want to read about at any price .. I was hooked and couldn't have put it down if I had wanted to. A bit stomach churning though all the same .. and what's more a shock .. because I had no idea that's where it was going. I loved the characters (apart from the perverts of course) and the London setting is brilliantly described.

 

I read this book last year and I feel exactly the same way. Belinda Starling was definitely a talented writer and I was left feeling sad for her and her family, but also sad because there'd never be another book by her. The story was entertaining and unique, but near the end it go so absurd and confusing and I wish those events hadn't taken place. It went to a really weird place, but like you, I was so invested by then that I couldn't put it down.

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I read The Journal of Dora Damage at the same time as Kay, and I feel exactly the same!  Some very disturbing images are either described or alluded too and I had no idea that was where the story was going either, but it was a definite page turner, stomach churning at times, and I'm not sure how to review it either.

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I've had this on my Amazon wish list for ages.  I must confess that I thought it was a young adult novel!  :lol:

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Just came to check the thread for the Counties Challenge alternatives & see you have Smith by Leon Garfield, i remember reading it in English at high school such a good book & i'm sure i bought a copy for the children, i must dig it out & reread it  :D

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I have just got five books by George Gissing on kindle all for free. I believe that they are all set in London:

In The Year Of Jubilee

The Nether World

New Grub Street

The Unclassed

The Odd Women

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There's Kate Griffin's A Madness of Angels.

 

 

It's an urban fantasy about a dead man who came back to life.  This man doesn't know who he is, who killed him or why.

Edited by Kreader

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Just came to check the thread for the Counties Challenge alternatives & see you have Smith by Leon Garfield, i remember reading it in English at high school such a good book & i'm sure i bought a copy for the children, i must dig it out & reread it  :D

 

I've recently bought a rather good looking Folio Society edition in one of their sales.  On my list to read in the near future.

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Although not really London fiction, I thought this might be a nice place to post a link to an article on the BBC news website which is part of their marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the first world war, and is The map that saved the London Underground and has a fantastic zoomable map for you to explore.

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A little off topic but I've always found it fascinating how Londoners (well, England for that matter) can track down a person's roots by their dialect. What I mean is, not just north or south but even local regions, East London, West London, etc. With so many different dialects, how is it possible? I only ever saw it done as a science in novels by Henry Dolittle and Sherlock Holmes!

 

It boggles the mind to think of the number of people you'd have to come in contact with to learn them all.

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 Hi Virginia, well we grew up hearing the different dialects, and as Britain is not that big and people travel so you get to hear them quite a lot so we can quite easily identify roughly where someone is from ....and as for the local dialect of where one  lives  your ear gets very attuned to it so you can easily  tell if someone is from only a few miles away....I am sure South Carolina has dialects too and you could probably tell someone from one end of the state apart from someone at the other end?

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We have larger regional dialects and mostly its the words we use that will give a general idea of where a person is from. We can easily tell whose from the North, South, East and West Coast but folks tend to say or sound the same within that state, except for groups like the Geechie and Gullah. The Gullah are from African descent that have their truly own distinct language.

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What's so amazing about the UK is that the accents can change so markedly in a very short distance. I can understand why that occurred in earlier times, when people tended to live in the same area all their lives, but with people so much more mobile now, you wouldn't think it would be so pronounced. How much do you think accents and dialects are changing because of this?

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I read an article that said a huge number of dialects and even languages are disappearing at a very fast rate.

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I guess language is always evolving and changing everywhere. Certainly in NZ, our accent has changed quite markedly from the 50s and 60s. Its especially noticeable in our newsreaders who used to (and were required to) speak with a very British accent (sorry if I'm going off topic, but accents fascinate me :blush2:).

Edited by poppy

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A New Zealand accent is pretty cool... :friends3:  Coming back to the topic of London Fiction I just finished The Unclassed by George Gissing....it was great and the whole story set in London.

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I guess language is always evolving and changing everywhere. Certainly in NZ, our accent has changed quite markedly from the 50s and 60s. Its especially noticeable in our newsreaders who used to (and were required to) speak with a very British accent (sorry if I'm going off topic, but accents fascinate me :blush2:).

I believe that's called received pronunciation (RP) - our newsreaders used to have to have that accent too.  I'm glad things have moved on!

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I believe that's called received pronunciation (RP) - our newsreaders used to have to have that accent too.  I'm glad things have moved on!

One of my uni professors told us that when he was growing up (he's Scottish), the teacher made them speak in RP and they were punished if they didn't. I don't remember which grade or level of education he was in when this happened. Pretty traumatizing, I would think!

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