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Erin
03-09-2012, 09:02 PM
So I am reading Atwood's The Blind Assassin. Just a few pages in but so far I like it.


I loved The Blind Assassin.

I loved it aside from the science fiction story inside the fictional Blind Assassin that the man reads to his lover. (I was trying to figure out how to explain that part and was reduced to "the story within the story within the story" because there it's almost like nested dolls with so many layers of stories within stories.)

Michalle
03-09-2012, 09:16 PM
That's funny, I loved The Blind Assassin except the "outer" story, the part all the other stories fit into. I would have just made the flashback parts the main story, the "present" of the story.

Artemis@BC
03-09-2012, 09:19 PM
I loved it aside from the science fiction story inside the fictional Blind Assassin that the man reads to his lover. (I was trying to figure out how to explain that part and was reduced to "the story within the story within the story" because there it's almost like nested dolls with so many layers of stories within stories.)

There's an interesting aside about that in her recent essay collection, In Other Worlds -- relating to the issue of trying to define/organizer works (hers and others') by genre.

Erin
03-09-2012, 10:32 PM
That's funny, I loved The Blind Assassin except the "outer" story, the part all the other stories fit into. I would have just made the flashback parts the main story, the "present" of the story.

Yeah, I do agree that the flashback parts were by far my favourite parts and I guess technically the only part I would really say I loved. But I didn't mind the "outer" story, nor the other part of the Blind Assassin novel as much as the sci-fi story, which I would sometimes just skip right over.

Michalle
03-09-2012, 10:49 PM
The outer part of the story just seemed sort of unnecessary to me, and diminished the dramatic tension because it meant I knew pretty much how things would turn out in the flashback part. Sometimes that can be very effective and increase the poignancy of the "inner story," but for me, it didn't work that way here. I also found the voice of the "outer" story a bit grouchy for my taste... I haven't read this book in ages though, so it's all a sort of distant memory.

LilJen
03-10-2012, 12:17 AM
I just finished Uglies and Pretties. Is it worth it to read Specials?

I just got Divergent from the library. Pretty excited to start that one. When I have time.

It's worth checking out at the library. It's not bad--for me, the whole premise got kind of tired by that point. I never did get around to #4 (can't recall the title). Is Divergent the next one in the series?

LilJen
03-10-2012, 12:32 AM
I wonder if PrincessLeppard has read this (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7519652-shakespeare-undead), because its zombie-themed sequel (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13004927-zombie-island) is coming out in May.
Ha, Shakespeare Undead. If I can find it cheap or at the library I might go for it. As I love Shakespeare. Although I doubt that has much to do with the book.

I took the Nook back and upgraded to the Nook color. The other one would not connect to my wi-fi at home. I may or may not have just downloaded a ton of free mysteries or $.99 ones that I'll probably never read. :shuffle: :drama:
When dh got me my Kindle he put a bunch of free stuff on it. Including a TON of PG Wodehouse. Which is delightfully light and fluffy and mostly public domain (and therefore free).


In light of various personal issues, I have decided that I need to come to terms with my inevitable mortality, and I've been trying to read Never Say Die: The Myth and Marketing of the New Old Age (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/never-say-die-susan-jacoby/1021859341).

Holy crap, it's depressing. :yikes:
Sounds unfortunately necessary. Why are we such an unrealistic people?


I am rereading my favourite performance anxiety/music book called A Soprano on Her Head: Right-side up reflections of life and other performances by Eloise Ristad. All musicians should read it. It's great.

I meant to read this YEARS ago--thank you for reminding me of it!

Finishing up Death Comes to Pemberley. It's OK. I feel properly trendy now.

Think I posted about The Devil in the White City a while back. Last night we had our book group discussion about it. I woke up at 4am this morning and could NOT get the really gruesome serial killer out of my head. It *really* is a good read but I think I will skip the H.H. Holmes parts when I reread it.

PrincessLeppard
03-10-2012, 12:37 AM
It's worth checking out at the library. It's not bad--for me, the whole premise got kind of tired by that point. I never did get around to #4 (can't recall the title). Is Divergent the next one in the series?

Extras is the fourth one. Divergent is by someone else, but it's still dystopian.


Ha, Shakespeare Undead. If I can find it cheap or at the library I might go for it. As I love Shakespeare. Although I doubt that has much to do with the book.

Actually, there are quite a few inside jokes if you do read a lot of Shakespeare. So I enjoyed that part. :)

Zemgirl
03-11-2012, 08:31 AM
Finishing up Death Comes to Pemberley. It's OK. I feel properly trendy now.
I thought you're supposed to read 50 Shades of Grey (http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/popular-romance-trilogy-el-james-fifty-shades-grey-gets-us-publisher/2012/03/10/gIQA34vZ3R_story.html) to be trendy these days? In which case, I think I'll remain untrendy. :D


Think I posted about The Devil in the White City a while back. Last night we had our book group discussion about it. I woke up at 4am this morning and could NOT get the really gruesome serial killer out of my head. It *really* is a good read but I think I will skip the H.H. Holmes parts when I reread it.

That creepy hotel of his and what went on there certainly isn't something I want to dwell upon, but yes, it is a very good read.

Ajax
03-12-2012, 07:56 PM
I've not had good luck with the two books I checked out from the library recently. Both had come highly recommended but I didn't enjoy either. The first was The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I love the TV series Doctor Who, about time travel and aliens, and this book was said to be in the same vein. It does have a ton of great ideas in it but the execution is abysmal. It's poorly written, badly in need of an editor, with a plot that meanders into tons of pointless digressions, no humor at all, concepts that seem shoehorned in just so the author can show off how clever he is, an Alternate Universe that is set up poorly, and a villain and heroine who were boring as hell and had no characterization. I read the whole thing waiting for it to start delivering on its promise, and it never did.

The second novel, which I stopped reading halfway through, is Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers, a mystery set in early twentieth century Oxford. This is much better written than The Eyre Affair, but again the main character isn't all that likeable, the central mystery is not compelling and the pace is too slow and rambling, with loooong digressions into feminism, the role of women in academia in the 1930s etc coming at the expense of developing the mystery itself. The language is too ornate. There are too many characters, that the author refers to alternately with their names and their titles within Oxford, and it becomes really hard to keep track of who everyone is. The main character is in love with an aristocratic detective who is so perfect that he becomes a Gary Stu, and she keeps rejecting his marriage proposals for no reason that I can see.

Before I was disappointed with these two novels, I had read for the second time the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman. Now THAT is a fab book, with great characters, a kick ass plot, and a very thought-provoking examination of organized religion.

Grannyfan
03-12-2012, 08:02 PM
Think I posted about The Devil in the White City a while back. Last night we had our book group discussion about it. I woke up at 4am this morning and could NOT get the really gruesome serial killer out of my head. It *really* is a good read but I think I will skip the H.H. Holmes parts when I reread it.

I enjoyed the World's Fair parts a lot more than the killer parts anyway. You should give his other books a look: Thunderstruck, Isaac's Storm, and In the Garden of Beasts. All fascinating.

flyingsit
03-12-2012, 08:09 PM
I enjoyed the World's Fair parts a lot more than the killer parts anyway. You should give his other books a look: Thunderstruck, Isaac's Storm, and In the Garden of Beasts. All fascinating.

Putting the World's Fair and the Holmes pieces together seemed sort of ... random. They overlapped in time but really weren't related at all.

Artemis@BC
03-12-2012, 08:17 PM
The second novel, which I stopped reading halfway through, is Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers, a mystery set in early twentieth century Oxford. This is much better written than The Eyre Affair, but again the main character isn't all that likeable, the central mystery is not compelling and the pace is too slow and rambling, with loooong digressions into feminism, the role of women in academia in the 1930s etc coming at the expense of developing the mystery itself. The language is too ornate. There are too many characters, that the author refers to alternately with their names and their titles within Oxford, and it becomes really hard to keep track of who everyone is. The main character is in love with an aristocratic detective who is so perfect that he becomes a Gary Stu, and she keeps rejecting his marriage proposals for no reason that I can see.

I read all the Lord Peter Wimsey books about a hundred years ago, when I first started getting into the mystery genre. At the time, the only comparisons I had were with Conan Doyle and Christie -- and I though Sayers was considerably better than either of them. But if I re-read her now, I'm not sure she'd stand up to comparison with all the other wonderful mystery writers I've read in the interim.

emason
03-12-2012, 09:13 PM
The second novel, which I stopped reading halfway through, is Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers, a mystery set in early twentieth century Oxford. This is much better written than The Eyre Affair, but again the main character isn't all that likeable, the central mystery is not compelling and the pace is too slow and rambling, with loooong digressions into feminism, the role of women in academia in the 1930s etc coming at the expense of developing the mystery itself. The language is too ornate. There are too many characters, that the author refers to alternately with their names and their titles within Oxford, and it becomes really hard to keep track of who everyone is. The main character is in love with an aristocratic detective who is so perfect that he becomes a Gary Stu, and she keeps rejecting his marriage proposals for no reason that I can see.



I happen to love Sayers and love this book (although my personal favorite is The Nine Tailors), but reading it as a stand alone and out of sequence with the rest does it no favors I would think.

If you had made it to the end, you would have seen that Harriet Vane accepts his proposal at the end.

LilJen
03-13-2012, 02:06 AM
Agreed, emason. And it's much richer if you read all the other Harriet Vane books first--you understand more of the history of her (and why she's so apparently unlikeable) and of their relationship. (1: Strong Poison, 2: Have His Carcase, and THEN Gaudy Night). Then there's Busman's Honeymoon, after they're married.

I only wish I understood half the literary references made by Harriet and Peter. And I don't know Latin either. Still, they're fun even if you *don't* get all the references :)