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aliceanne
08-04-2011, 05:32 PM
:eek: How did a shark get into fresh water?? Was it drunk?

Bull sharks have a high tolerance for fresh water (a 12 footer made it into the Potomac last summer). They like to mate in warm shallow water and are very agressive towards humans. They are the main problem on the East Coast. Apparently they can also survive longer than other sharks when caught in a net (sharks don't have gills and need to keep moving).

aliceanne
08-04-2011, 05:38 PM
Well, I've never heard of Charlotte Bronte being compared to Vonnegut! :lol: I don't think it's a 'total about-face' from Jane Eyre at all; nor is Lucy Snowe a total introvert. She is full of passion and life beneath her quiet exterior, which is the reason she cannot cope with the social isolation when the school breaks up for summer. She loves and needs company, and finds it almost impossible to bear when she has to manage by herself - quite unlike Jane in this respect.

Parts of it are likely to have some autobiographical content, but it would be more true to say that the time abroad was inspired by her own experience, and not a faithful re-telling of it. It's a challenging book and not everyone likes it, but in my mind there's no stream of consciousness in the conventional meaning of the phrase.

Keep reading; for one thing there's a highly unexpected ending (though it took me about a month to recover from it).

It's one of my favourite novels.

I think Lucy Snow likes being around people, I don't think she likes to interact with them. She keeps an awful lot to herself even as a narrator. I don't remember Jane E. every being left completely alone in an empty building the way Lucy was. The main reason Jane E. got involved with Rochester is that she was lonely. Lucy never let anyone get that close to her. Her interactions with M. Paul are confined to books and philosophy.

orientalplane
08-04-2011, 05:50 PM
I don't remember Jane E. every being left completely alone in an empty building the way Lucy was.

Jane actually lived alone for quite a long time after she was estranged from Rochester. First she found the Rivers sisters and St. John and then she became a teacher with her own tiny cottage.


The main reason Jane E. got involved with Rochester is that she was lonely.

No, the only reason she got involved with him was because she was attracted to him and fell in love.


Her interactions with M. Paul are confined to books and philosophy.

It might seem so for a while, but their closeness becomes more and more obvious as the book continues. Surely it's clear that they're in love?

PDilemma
08-04-2011, 06:16 PM
Agree on loving Binchy's older stuff and not so much on the newer books. I didn't even bother with Minding Frankie. Somewhere after Tara Road is I think where Binchy kind of lost her way and her books became more about cutesy characters rather than real stories. When I need a fix, I'll go back and re-read The Glass Lake, Circle of Friends, Echoes, or Light a Penny Candle...I figure it's time better spent than re-reading her new stuff.

Got it and finished it in a day and a half. Quick read. I wish I could read my homework books that fast :P

It is like a mass sequel to everything she has written since Tara Road. Characters reappear from Quentin's, Scarlet Feather, Heart & Soul, Whitethorn Woods, and Evening Class. . And nothing bad happens. If it does, it lasts about 24 hours and then all is well again. And one new character is left with no real resolutions, so I'm sure she's phoning in another with that character and the whole cast as supporting characters. Pretty soon she'll be churning out 2000 page novels just to accommodate the mass of characters she cannot let go of since she adds three or four new ones in every book.

I feel like Binchy is not a risk taker anymore. She likes her characters too much to have any real conflicts take place. Nothing like Firefly Summer or Circle of Friends anymore. Just a bunch of feel good happy happy. Which is all very nice but doesn't make a good novel. And it is kind of sad, because she is still a good writer in terms of creating setting, mood, and even some intriguing characters (aside from the suddenly ever present super efficient miracle working by their mere presence middle aged single women that transform everyone's lives by walking down a street...no idea what that's about, but there is yet another one).

Allen
08-04-2011, 06:38 PM
In that 1000 pages, does anyone get eaten? I'm not wading through 1000 pages if no one gets eaten.


Or at least shot or beheaded or f*cked. Otherwise, what's the point? :lol:

I think someone gets shot, beheaded, or f*cked or all three in every Stephenson novel I've ever read. Snow Crash also has a vagina dentata.

Speaking of Villette, I took a summer class in graduate school on the Bronte sister, which was actually fascinating. I was already over Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre at the point, but I loved Villette. I didn't find it to be a complete about face from Jane Eyre, but I can see that it would definitely be seen as very different. Now, like Vonnegut...I don't know.

The biggest about face I've ever seen in an author is Louisa May Alcott. She wrote the Little Women series to make money since she was essentially having to support her father as well. I had to read her novella "Behind the Mask in an undergrad course and I couldn't believe how different it was from her other work. I HATE Little Women, but I love Behind the Mask and how lurid and twisted it is.

aliceanne
08-04-2011, 09:43 PM
Jane actually lived alone for quite a long time after she was estranged from Rochester. First she found the Rivers sisters and St. John and then she became a teacher with her own tiny cottage.



No, the only reason she got involved with him was because she was attracted to him and fell in love.



It might seem so for a while, but their closeness becomes more and more obvious as the book continues. Surely it's clear that they're in love?

My interpretation was that Jane was more a loner by circumstance. As practical as she was she might have avoided Rochester if she had had other options ...or not. She had Bessie and Helen growing up, and Adele and Mrs. Fairfax at Thornfield. Lucy was always around people but she was passive. I'm not saying an introvert doesn't have feelings, but she was unusually reluctant to express them, she literally bottled them up and buried them in the garden. I found it pretty bizarre that she recognized John Bretton as an adult but didn't say anything for months (she even left the reader in the dark). She blames him for not recognizing her, and dwells on the fact that he once described her as a shadow, but we find out from him later that he did notice her, but she always avoided eye contact so he could never strike up a conversation. Yet she goes nearly insane from lack of human companionship.

I read an interesting theory on the subject on someone's blog. Their theory was that Jane Eyre loved her reader and trusted her reader to care about her story so she always got straight to the point ("Reader, I married him"). While Lucy on the other hand dislikes the reader because she thinks you don't care. She witholds from you the fact that she knew John, that Paulina used to seek her out as child, and she doesn't even tell you whether she married M. Paul in the end or he died at sea. She hates being regarded as a shadow but she never gives anyone a chance to know her. The Brettons and the Bassompierre's certainly reached out to her. The reader doesn't even know anything about her past, her family, or how she came to know the Brettons and why she is so alone in the world.

I can't believe I'm going back and forth between Villette and Jaws in the same thread!

aliceanne
08-04-2011, 09:54 PM
I think someone gets shot, beheaded, or f*cked or all three in every Stephenson novel I've ever read. Snow Crash also has a vagina dentata.

Speaking of Villette, I took a summer class in graduate school on the Bronte sister, which was actually fascinating. I was already over Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre at the point, but I loved Villette. I didn't find it to be a complete about face from Jane Eyre, but I can see that it would definitely be seen as very different. Now, like Vonnegut...I don't know.

The biggest about face I've ever seen in an author is Louisa May Alcott. She wrote the Little Women series to make money since she was essentially having to support her father as well. I had to read her novella "Behind the Mask in an undergrad course and I couldn't believe how different it was from her other work. I HATE Little Women, but I love Behind the Mask and how lurid and twisted it is.

Read "A Long Fatal Love Chase" by Louisa May Alcott. It didn't get published until 1995. It wasn't considered appropriate in it's day. It was written under another pen name for money. It's about a lover who becomes a stalker.

To me Jane Eyre is plot driven and straightforward. Villette is all over the place with long rants about foreigners and religion which don't forward the plot, but let someone vent. There really isn't much of a plot. They are both about a solitary woman of a certain class, but for me that is about all they have in common. Jane was written by someone who was optimistic and believed in dreams, Villette by someone who is just existing.

Villette is interesting because it gives you a window into the mind of a woman of a different era, but sometimes I put it down and wonder, "What have I just read?".

orientalplane
08-04-2011, 10:22 PM
She blames him for not recognizing her, and dwells on the fact that he once described her as a shadow, but we find out from him later that he did notice her, but she always avoided eye contact so he could never strike up a conversation. Yet she goes nearly insane from lack of human companionship.

But John completely misunderstands Lucy, once saying in surprise (something like), "Your quiet nature is becoming quite excitable!", when the reality is that she is far more passionate than he is. However, it's true that Lucy is certainly full of contradictions, and does a number of things that are not to her benefit.


she doesn't even tell you whether she married M. Paul in the end or he died at sea.


I don't know how anyone could think that she married him when she'd previously said of his three years away, "They were the happiest years of my life." The ending may not be spelled out precisely, but it always seemed pretty obvious to me.


She hates being regarded as a shadow but she never gives anyone a chance to know her. The Brettons and the Bassompierre's certainly reached out to her. The reader doesn't even know anything about her past, her family, or how she came to know the Brettons and why she is so alone in the world.

Yes, she is certainly something of an enigma. That's part of her appeal. I never once had the feeling she disliked the reader.

aliceanne
08-04-2011, 10:50 PM
But John completely misunderstands Lucy, once saying in surprise (something like), "Your quiet nature is becoming quite excitable!", when the reality is that she is far more passionate than he is. However, it's true that Lucy is certainly full of contradictions, and does a number of things that are not to her benefit.



I don't know how anyone could think that she married him when she'd previously said of his three years away, "They were the happiest years of my life." The ending may not be spelled out precisely, but it always seemed pretty obvious to me.

Yes, she is certainly something of an enigma. That's part of her appeal. I never once had the feeling she disliked the reader.



I think what makes Villette compelling is that Lucy seems more like a real person than a character in a novel. In real life we only see what people choose to reveal to us (unless you go snooping like Madame Beck). Jane has qualities that I can identify with, but at the end of the day she and Rochester are characters in a novel, larger than life. Jane Eyre is a book you read straight through to find out what happens. With Villette you have to read a few chapters and then put it aside for awhile because you need time to digest all of the different interpretations and meanings.

Spinner
08-05-2011, 12:25 AM
I finished Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11250053-the-snow-child) the other day. SO SO glad I found a way to get an advanced copy (it comes out in February). Such a marvelously well-written adaptation of an old Russian children's folk tale. I guarantee this one will be a hit once published. Here's my Goodreads.com review (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/184659412).

oleada
08-05-2011, 12:56 AM
I finished Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11250053-the-snow-child) the other day. SO SO glad I found a way to get an advanced copy (it comes out in February). Such a marvelously well-written adaptation of an old Russian children's folk tale. I guarantee this one will be a hit once published. Here's my Goodreads.com review (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/184659412).

I've added it to my to-read list :)

Spinner
08-05-2011, 01:08 AM
I've added it to my to-read list :)

:D

A couple people asked why it's not coming out for 6 more months. Her publisher's response? It's a winter book. Well duh... :duh:

Nomad
08-05-2011, 02:52 AM
....
The biggest about face I've ever seen in an author is Louisa May Alcott. She wrote the Little Women series to make money since she was essentially having to support her father as well. I had to read her novella "Behind the Mask in an undergrad course and I couldn't believe how different it was from her other work. I HATE Little Women, but I love Behind the Mask and how lurid and twisted it is.

I really liked A Modern Mephistopheles, which, if I remember correctly, hinted more than a little at homoeroticism and drug use. When she said "I am tired of writing moral pap for the young" she wasn't kidding.

Another Villette fan here. I also really liked The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne, even though the heroine was a bit of a pill.

gkelly
08-05-2011, 03:02 AM
Another Villette fan here. I also really liked The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne, even though the heroine was a bit of a pill.

Any fans of Shirley?

Nomad
08-05-2011, 04:30 AM
Any fans of Shirley?

I liked Shirley. "...Something real, cool and solid lies before you; something unromantic as Monday morning, when all who have work wake with the consciousness that they must rise and betake themselves thereto..." Apparently Shirley was based on Emily and Caroline was based on Anne.