PDA

View Full Version : Libro filum--the book thread



Pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 [12] 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67

Erin
03-23-2012, 10:34 PM
I am here to rant about The Blind Assassin. I am about half-way done and can't help but notice the similarities with her The Edible Woman. TEW is Atwood's early work and one of my favorites but the ideas and devices are considerably less fresh in TBA

Interesting. I don't think I've read The Edible Woman, so I didn't have anything to compare The Blind Assassin to, which may be why I didn't have the same issues with it.

I just got back from vacation and did a lot of reading. After all the recommendations here (and the publicity from the HBO movie), I started with Game Change, which was still very interesting from a completely apolitical Canuck. I agree with the up-thread comment that it's more about human nature than politics.

Next on the list was Nicholas and Alexandra...very detailed explanation of the Russian Revolution and fall of the Imperial family, which left me a little lost at times, but generally quite well written. I'm not sure that I fully followed the author's thesis that the fall of the Russian Imperial family would not have happened if Alexei Romanov hadn't been a hemophiliac - he basically attributed the fall to Rasputin's influence (which would have never happened without Alexei's hemophilia), which is thought-provoking, but not fully supported. It was an interesting companion book to two of my other recent reads - Victoria's Daughters, which contained many of the same characters from a different angle and depth level, and The Lost Crown, which was basically a fictionalized version of the same events. I actually went back afterward and re-read The Lost Crown, which was even more enjoyable having some additional background and history on many of the characters.

Finally, after I liked Prep so much, I tried Curtis Sittenfeld's other two books...liked the first two-thirds of American Wife but found the last third dragged a lot. And maybe I'm a prude, but it seems like some of the really explicit sex is gratuitous. Only a couple of chapters into Man of My Dreams and it's a bit too early to figure out how much I like it yet. I do feel a lot of similarity in the main characters in all of her novels though, and wish there was a bit more variety. She's also got a bit of the plagiarizing herself going on I guess.

IceAlisa
03-25-2012, 09:26 PM
Interesting. I don't think I've read The Edible Woman, so I didn't have anything to compare The Blind Assassin to, which may be why I didn't have the same issues with it.


Sometimes I prefer a writer's early, less celebrated works and this is certainly the case with Atwood and Henry James.

I recommend The Edible Woman for its subtlety and obliqueness. There is also an impression of effortlessness that I didn't get reading TBA, which seemed labored and overwrought.

I did enjoy the SiFi element of TBA but not the love story itself. The structure of the novel was creative, meaningful and enjoyable. If someone were to teach this book in women's studies or lit, I could see a zillion essay topics a mile away. So I guess if there's a lot to say about a book, it's a good thing, one way or another.

pair mom
03-26-2012, 02:46 AM
Seem to be on a real "trilogy" kick...Millenium, Jennifer Donnelly's Rose Trilogy and am now considering EL James' Fifty Shades of Grey....comments on it? Also wondering if you history geeks (like me) have read Donnelly's Revolution?

Spinner
03-26-2012, 04:40 AM
am now considering EL James' Fifty Shades of Grey....comments on it?

DON'T DO IT. I converse with several well-versed book bloggers on Twitter and a few of them read it just to see what the buzz was all about. In case you're wondering, the trilogy spawned from fan fiction of the Twilight books. Yes, Twilight. She changed the names from Twilight characters to Anastasia and Christian (yes, Anastasia :rolleyes: ). It's basically graphic bondage erotica and, according to aformentioned bloggers, poorly written and edited. We get about 5-6 requests a day for it in my bookstore and a little piece of me dies each time. ;)

If you want sexy dreck, there are other books out there that a more worth your dollars.

Zemgirl
03-26-2012, 09:00 AM
Seem to be on a real "trilogy" kick...Millenium, Jennifer Donnelly's Rose Trilogy and am now considering EL James' Fifty Shades of Grey....comments on it? Also wondering if you history geeks (like me) have read Donnelly's Revolution?
I loved Donnelly's Revolution, but actually preferred the contemporary story to the historical sections - probably because I found Andi a much more compelling character than Alexandrine.

I have come across quite a range of opinions about 50 Shades, but have not read it myself - took a look at the sample, was unimpressed, and moved on. I'm also not too happy about the ethical implication of publishing fanfic with the serial numbers filed off. I've been told by people who did like the books that this review (http://www.readreactreview.com/2012/01/30/50-things-about-50-shades-of-grey/#.T0_HCcy4BaU), though not particularly positive, is pretty fair. Contrary to what Spinner wrote, the consensus in most of the reviews/comments I've seen is that it's pretty vanilla for what purports to be a BDSM book.

Since you're into trilogies and historical fiction, have you read The Bronze Horseman books? (does WW2 count as historical fiction?)

pair mom
03-26-2012, 02:17 PM
DON'T DO IT. I converse with several well-versed book bloggers on Twitter and a few of them read it just to see what the buzz was all about. In case you're wondering, the trilogy spawned from fan fiction of the Twilight books. Yes, Twilight. She changed the names from Twilight characters to Anastasia and Christian (yes, Anastasia :rolleyes: ). It's basically graphic bondage erotica and, according to aformentioned bloggers, poorly written and edited. We get about 5-6 requests a day for it in my bookstore and a little piece of me dies each time. ;)

If you want sexy dreck, there are other books out there that a more worth your dollars.

THANKS Spinner.... I was NOT expecting that! I most certainly am not a fan of vampires genre and while I have not read the Twilight series, I was pretty disappointed with the lack of depth in the dialog of one of the movies recently on TV. Dreck indeed! ;) Thanks for saving me some money and I'll have to take a look at The Bronze Horsemen series! :)

Evilynn
03-26-2012, 03:33 PM
I am here to rant about The Blind Assassin. I am about half-way done and can't help but notice the similarities with her The Edible Woman. TEW is Atwood's early work and one of my favorites but the ideas and devices are considerably less fresh in TBA.

The theme of the woman being objectified, not having a voice (literally not having a tongue this time around), not owning self (referring to self in third person) are worthwhile subjects but she's done this before in almost exactly same way. Another thing is this compulsive and symbolic inability to eat meat, to consume. Done before and done better in TEW.

I do appreciate the novel within the novel within the novel idea but her love story is stilted and doesn't come naturally to her--as I've said, may be there's a reason for it since I haven't yet finished.

So I like some of it and don't like other parts. I feel like she is plagiarizing herself.

I think I read TBA before TEW, but I do remember TBA being unusually slow going for an Atwood book. I know it's the one that she got the Booker for, but it's not my favourite of hers. I should reread it and see if it was because I was stressed out of my mind in the final stages of getting my MSc. I think I'd also gotten spoiled on the mystery bit before reading it, which might've contributed as well.


. She changed the names from Twilight characters to Anastasia and Christian (yes, Anastasia :rolleyes: ).

I have nothing worthwhile to add, but the (probably unintentional?) Tori Amos-ness made me smile. :) (Yes, Anastasia (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYF-pL2cTTU))

I'm reading some more UF off my unread shelves while enjoying Guy Gavriel Kay's Under Heaven (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7113498-under-heaven). Unfortunately I have the hardcover version of it, so I can't bring it with me to Nice (yes, I will read during zamboni breaks ;)).

Wyliefan
03-26-2012, 03:35 PM
DON'T DO IT. I converse with several well-versed book bloggers on Twitter and a few of them read it just to see what the buzz was all about. In case you're wondering, the trilogy spawned from fan fiction of the Twilight books. Yes, Twilight. She changed the names from Twilight characters to Anastasia and Christian (yes, Anastasia :rolleyes: ). It's basically graphic bondage erotica and, according to aformentioned bloggers, poorly written and edited. We get about 5-6 requests a day for it in my bookstore and a little piece of me dies each time. ;)

If you want sexy dreck, there are other books out there that a more worth your dollars.

Yeah, I saw someone tweeting bits of that the other day. Too funny. :lol:

rfisher
03-26-2012, 04:03 PM
. We get about 5-6 requests a day for it in my bookstore and a little piece of me dies each time. ;)
.

Must get back to writing sexy dreck for publication. Who cares if it's good if it sells? :lol:

I discovered a new author with a library audio book. Taylor Steven's The Innocent. It was good enough I went looking for other books by her as I knew this was part of a series. The Informationist is the first. Totally engrossing. I was even happy that I was able to instantly get it on my Nook since I figured the local Books a Million wouldn't have it. The author was born into a religious cult. The 2nd book (The Innocent) explores those roots, particularly the exploitation of children. Vanessa Michael Munroe is now my favorite flawed :kickass: heroine.

IceAlisa
03-26-2012, 05:13 PM
I think I read TBA before TEW, but I do remember TBA being unusually slow going for an Atwood book. I know it's the one that she got the Booker for, but it's not my favourite of hers. I should reread it and see if it was because I was stressed out of my mind in the final stages of getting my MSc. I think I'd also gotten spoiled on the mystery bit before reading it, which might've contributed as well.

I was spoiled too but I enjoy seeing her work at the mystery. I like watching the little wheels grind away. :P

I do have to say that one thing that peeved me most was that she deliberately (she admits it) made Richard a one dimensional character. Same with Winifred. Fairy tale villains, with Winifred being Cruella De Ville. That kind of writing doesn't interest me. Also, the character, Iris seems to blame a lot on the money (family has too much money, spoiled by too much money). That's a whole other can of worms but at the very least, this is quite simplistic thinking. Then she makes a remark that unearned income makes people idle and lazy. That can have varied political interpretations. :shuffle:

I didn't think it was slow but that it didn't flow naturally. As mentioned, it was overwrought and not organic, if you know what I mean. The structure was fine, it was interesting but the whole is more than a sum of its parts. I felt she really failed at the love story, in terms of writing. Not her most comfortable turf. Throughout her writing when it comes to love scenes, the characters, the women usually are pre-occupied with the blankets, sheets, tiles, light fixtures, anything but the business at hand. I understand when the sex is with someone they are not interested in but even here with the mystery rich girl and Alex, it's all about chenille covers and sheets and what she wore and what he wore but nothing, not even a hint at the actual passion. She never thought of Alex' body for instance, it was always about Alex clothed, his v-neck shirt, his smile but nothing rated R.

Perhaps, Atwood wants to be authentic as women at that time wouldn't know how to write about sex or sexual longing and if they did, they wouldn't consider it appropriate. But her romance remains unconvincing. It's more about the drudge of getting there, remarking on the shabbiness of the surroundings contrasted ad nauseum with the rich girl's fine clothes (yes, we get it, alright??!!), listening to Alex tell his tales, watch him smoke and not much else.

Anyway, lots of faults and some good points too. Definitely good for women's studies if not for literary value. Certainly don't get the Booker.

Zemgirl
03-26-2012, 05:40 PM
Must get back to writing sexy dreck for publication. Who cares if it's good if it sells? :lol:
Ha. If it were that easy, everyone would do it! :D

I have to say that my impression has been that both in the fanfic community and the romance community, there are a lot of people who are none too happy about the success of 50 Shades. Fanfic writers are concerned that more authors might try to block people from writing fanfic, and romance/erotica readers and writers feel that there are a lot of better written books that don't enjoy that sort of crossover success. The real brilliance, IMO, is that it wasn't packaged like most romance/erotica titles (something Jessica also refers to in the review I linked upthread).

I try not to be too much of a snob about it, though. I don't read the kind of stuff that's considered good for you in literary circles, so who am I to criticize others for enjoying what they consider a sexy, fun read?

orientalplane
03-26-2012, 05:52 PM
I am here to rant about The Blind Assassin. I am about half-way done and can't help but notice the similarities with her The Edible Woman. TEW is Atwood's early work and one of my favorites but the ideas and devices are considerably less fresh in TBA.

The theme of the woman being objectified, not having a voice (literally not having a tongue this time around), not owning self (referring to self in third person) are worthwhile subjects but she's done this before in almost exactly same way. Another thing is this compulsive and symbolic inability to eat meat, to consume. Done before and done better in TEW.

I do appreciate the novel within the novel within the novel idea but her love story is stilted and doesn't come naturally to her--as I've said, may be there's a reason for it since I haven't yet finished.

So I like some of it and don't like other parts. I feel like she is plagiarizing herself.

I've always thought that all of Atwood's books are similar. I don't read them any more. The only parts of her work I thought were truly impressive were the bullying scenes in Cat's Eye.

Artistic Skaters
03-26-2012, 06:10 PM
Currently reading and enjoying: Cakewalk - A memoir by Kate Moses about learning to bake while growing up in a dysfunctional family. 60's nostalgia with recipes!

IceAlisa
03-26-2012, 08:43 PM
I've always thought that all of Atwood's books are similar. I don't read them any more. The only parts of her work I thought were truly impressive were the bullying scenes in Cat's Eye.

Haven't read Cat's Eye but before TBA I hadn't realized just how similar they are. Same devices didn't work as well for me second (at least!) time around.

modern_muslimah
03-26-2012, 11:20 PM
A funny video:

B*tches in Bookshops (based on Jay Z and Kanye West's N*ggas in Paris) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQiEJk-o5WA&feature=youtube_gdata_player)

The Blind Assassin makes an appearance in the video. :)