Books moral and immoral

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Artemis@BC, Sep 6, 2012.

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  1. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    Baby Joubert and baby Amodio are so cute doing their skate dances!

    I can understand that she is using hyperbole and the point is not the technical details of skating. But the inaccuracies are so glaring, albeit entertaining for us, skating fans, that it spoils the mood and defeats the purpose.

    ETA: Going to critique the non-skating aspects of the novel: a bit of laziness, a bit of resting on her laurels. Her characters are usually complex and interesting. Here the mom and dad Rampike are nothing but caricatures. I've read quite a few JCO novels and loved most of them. Blonde is a masterpiece IMO and one of my favorite books. It's a beautiful book. At the very least, her work is always visceral and unforgettable.

    But here I feel she got a bit arrogant in several ways: shallow character development, overly clever, showy literary tricks and last but not least, the unintentionally hilarious depiction of skating. Someone that prolific cannot sustain that level of excellence forever.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  2. Prancer

    Prancer Dysteleological Staff Member

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  3. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    what's a gyre? since she's making this up, it could easily be a gyro
     
  4. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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  5. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Woah! Why does that have so many hits?? I've seen very few videos of the best skaters come anywhere close to that amount! I don't think a single video of Sasha is near it. Sasha's 2006 Oly SP only has like 400,000 views. I am so perplexed.
     
  6. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Prepare to be even more perplexed: the girl skating to Whip My Hair has over 10 million views. Even Rubleva's dress strap can't compete with that.
     
  7. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    I have it on my Nook, but haven't read any of it yet. Let me know what you think when you're done, please. :)
     
  8. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

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    I've read both Divergent and the subsequent Insurgent; the third one isn't out yet. They're OK, good quick reads. Definitely similar to Hunger Games in that they are in a post-apocalyptic setting, but I thought that HG had more of a topical feel with the type of surveillance and control that the Capitol had.
     
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  9. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    I thought it was good, but it ends a little abruptly. I haven't read the second part yet.
     
  10. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I just spent the weekend watching a couple hundred little kids skate and there were no milkmaids, mantillas or showgirls to be seen. There were also no Little Miss categories or scores over 2.5 (which weren't posted anyway, because 6.0 scoring only publishes ordinals, not marks). I don't think I could stand reading JCO's book myself, except as a comedy/

    I have The Kingmaker's Daughter on my TBR pile. It's near the top but I have to wait until I'm in a historical mood. I've just about run through my supply of sappy mysteries.
     
  11. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    I looked it up, it means vortex. So I am thinking a scratch spin? And now I want a gyro.
     
  12. Prancer

    Prancer Dysteleological Staff Member

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    :lol: Until I read IceAlisa's post, I was thinking, "Well, yeah; same basic thing."

    It's the "bleachers" full of perverts and pedophiles, no doubt.

    I've been to a couple of competitions with little kids and think it's all about as sexualized as preschool.
     
  13. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    Went to see Springsteen and was amazed again (but that is for the concert thread)----I picked up Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin (sp?) and I am so glad that Bruce, the band, family, ex-girlfriends and friends felt free to spill the beans. I'd rather read about someone warts and all than get a whitewashed version of a life. It is a good, interesting read.
     
  14. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I thought Divergent was pretty good. It is similar to Hunger Games in that both are dystopias and both are YA, but in terms of style they're very different. I thought some of the characterization in Divergent was better than HG, but the overall plotting and treatment of sophisticated themes in HG is superior. Plus the teen romance stuff in Divergent (and Insurgent) is pretty hard to read if you're not a 14-year-old girl ... whereas the romance stuff in HG is only a small piece, and it actually serves the plot.

    Insurgent (the second book) is pretty bad though. Very ill-conceived all around. It may make more sense once the 3rd book comes out, but I'm not holding my breath.

    From my own perspectives, HG is YA lit that has a lot to please adult readers too, while Divergent etc. is solidly for younger readers.
     
  15. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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  16. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I'm currently reading this Icelandic murder mystery, which I picked up at the library last week. Interesting to get a sense of Icelandic culture. Since the victim was half-Thai, people keep wondering whether the crime was racially motivated before there's any evidence of anything, which by itself tells me something about the culture.

    The prose is a somewhat spare style. Not sure how the mystery will turn out -- so far it's all police conducting interviews.
     
  17. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Just spotted that book #5 in the Flavia de Luce series, Speaking from among the Bones, will be published on Jan 29. My library already has it listed -- I'm #1 in the queue. :cheer:

    After loving book #1 but then being somewhat disappointed with books #2 and 3, I thought #4 was back to the high quality Bradley started with. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
     
  18. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    ita, i only read them because i worry about flavia, but they are easy reads. however, i think i missed # 4 now that i have no book stores.
     
  19. cygnus

    cygnus Liberal Furry

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    I have read a different book by that author (Silence of the Grave). I found it a good read, but very bleak and somewhat depressing. Definitely NOT a cozy!

    I like another Icelandic mystery writers work as well- Yrsa Sigurdardottir. She too has a real sense of place in her books- you do get a real feel for modern Iceland.
     
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  20. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    Still on the JCO mess. Now I am getting really pissed at her and not because of her skating cluelessness. Despite the disclaimer, it is clear that the novel is inspired by the JonBenet Ramsey murder. When it actually happened I didn't pay too much attention to the coverage and really don't recall anything other than the basic facts and suggestions that she was killed by her parents. Please correct me if you remember it better.

    But now I started reading about it because of the book which in turn created a lot of resentment toward the author. From what I read, the finger of blame was immediately pointed at the parents. There was no evidence to tie them to the crime and they were never charged. The media went into overdrive with various public officials saying or implying they believed John Ramsey to be the murderer. Another theory from the police was that Patsy Ramsey killed her in a fit of rage over JonBenet's bed-wetting.

    But the Ramseys were never charged. They did hire several attorneys and filed several libel lawsuits (can't recall if they won) against some of the tabloids that screamed their guilt. They'd spend their considerable fortune (John Ramsey started computer business in his garage which he later sold to a major company) fighting the accusation. I understand that Patsy Ramsey had died of ovarian cancer in 2006. At the time of the murder, the family was living together in their custom-built home in Boulder, Colorado. I also found a picture of the Ramsey children together, JonBenet and her older brother Burke. No doubt that picture and the differences between the siblings' level of comfort in front the camera inspired JCO to write the book from the older brother's point of view. She actually describes this picture where the brother looks awkward and in his own mind "freaky" next to the cute JonBenet. He is portrayed as a neglected, overly medicated and extremely unhappy child. This was not what the lengthy interviews with Burke revealed. Yes, I know, consider the source, the embittered, forgotten, neglected and at times falsely accused brother. Still, I consider the narrative to be in large part the authorial voice.

    But that's not what made me :mad:. In the book the Ramsey parents are absolute monsters with no redeeming qualities. Daddy Ramsey is a soulless racist corporate climber with every repulsive quality imaginable. And Mummy Ramsey is even worse, living out her dream and insecurity through her daughter. JCO reveals the murderer in the end although IRL the case remains unresolved. Daddy lives with the family on and off, always has a mistress, is a sexist of the worst kind and is basically and overgrown frat brother.

    SPOILER!

    In the book, the mummy did it. In a fit of rage of an abandoned wife, she used a scarf that she and Daddy Rampike (Rampike--Ramsey) used to play with along with other sex toys during their happier days as a couple. She wrote the infamous ransom note and also told Daddy Rampike who was living in a hotel during his off times from the family, that brother Skyler (Burke IRL) did it but that they have to cover it up to save their only surviving child. She confesses this to her son Skyler a decade later, before she dies not from ovarian cancer but a liposuction gone wrong. The cover story of cancer was leaked to the media in an attempt to hide the embarrassing truth.

    But imagine for a second that the Ramsey parents didn't to it--there is some evidence that they did not. There is some evidence of intrusion into the house per a documentary and a few articles I've read. If the Ramseys are indeed innocent, a possibility, imagine the hell they went through. I am not a fan of toddlers in tiaras but that doesn't mean such parents are murderers. Yes, yes I know what JCO is doing, she does it in every book, the exploitation of women by the society via sexualization, objectification, etc.

    However, it's probably a lucky thing Patsy Ramsey is dead so she can't read this book, copyrighted in 2008. Or perhaps, JCO felt free to write it since Patsy died. But John and Burke Ramsey are alive somewhere and are likely aware of this book's contents. JCO decries the media circus around the murder, but isn't she herself a willing, an extremely active and profiteering participant?

    HuffPo weighs in on the murder.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  21. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    It's been a long time since I've thought about the murder of JonBenet, but I did read a book about it (also a long time ago). I think the main evidence against the parents was the ransom note was in Patsy's handwriting (or they were nearly certain it was) and where JonBenet was found in the house could only be accessed by someone who knew the house well.

    I always thought it was the brother, personally. But I have no evidence upon which to base that.
     
  22. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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  23. Evilynn

    Evilynn ((Swedish skating dudes))

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    I finished Sharp Objects last night, and I have to say I saw both twists coming a mile away, so that was a little disappointing. The writing was also a little sloppy and disjointed in places, so not as good as Gone Girl.

    I've moved on to Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (finally :shuffle:) and I'm reading Towers of Midnight on the subway, because Oranges is a borrowed book.
     
  24. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Don't beat yourself up: I still haven't read that one, and I've been meaning to ever since I saw the movie 20 years ago. :shuffle:
     
  25. Spinner

    Spinner Where's my book?

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    Anyone ever read any Annie Dillard? I have a fellow booknerd who raves about her.
     
  26. Prancer

    Prancer Dysteleological Staff Member

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    I've read quite a bit of Annie Dillard because her work is often included in writing textbooks, usually as examples of fine essay writing (or as advice for essay writing). She won a Pultizer in the 1970s. I've never read her poetry or fiction, just her nonfiction essays. She writes in a conversational, easy style that is very student-friendly (although some of them complain that she--gasp!--curses in her writing) but is also insightful.
     
  27. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Nothing about Dillard ... I just wanted to :cheer: at your used of "booknerd" as a closed compound. :D
     
  28. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Aww, sad news: just heard that Bryce Courtenay died, of stomach cancer. He was 79.

    I haven't read everything he wrote, but what I have read I enjoyed very much.

    RIP, Bryce.
     
  29. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    Thanks, I was never really interested in this particular child murder more than others until this book. Will check it out.
     
  30. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    I read it--I know nothing about police protocol but am not sure if this was proper not to secure the whole house vs. just the JonBenet's bedroom. I also think it's unusual to find the body in the house with the time of death being estimated to be so much earlier. And the ransom note--it was determined that it wasn't John Ramsey who wrote it and that his wife Patsy was a candidate but was not definitively ruled in. I've also read something about a pubic hair found on JonBenet's blanket that didn't belong to a family member. And then there are those stun gun marks which may not be stun gun marks. And the DNA on the panties is that of a male not belonging to the family but then it could be just someone who packaged the panties at the manufacturing site (were the panties brand new straight out of packaging or did they go through several washing/drying cycles, in which case would that DNA sample survive?) Still not sure what happened. What would the Ramsey's motive be? Was there evidence of prior abuse, physical or sexual?
     
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