Discussing UK law. Links: swarb.co.uk | law-index | Acts | Members Image galleries

Book Club

A place to sit about and chat between more important things.

Re: Book Club

Postby atticus » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:07 pm

I did that a few years ago. I bought the books from an Oxfam shop - sometimes had to wait a while for the next one to come in. I gave the books back when I'd read them.
User avatar
atticus
 
Posts: 19701
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:27 pm
Location: E&W

Re: Book Club

Postby dls » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:45 pm

I did that a few years ago. I bought the books from an Oxfam shop - sometimes had to wait a while for the next one to come in. I gave the books back when I'd read them.


Been there, done it.
David Swarbrick (Admin) dswarb@gmail.com - 0795 457 9992
User avatar
dls
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12195
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:35 pm
Location: Brighouse, West Yorkshire

Re: Book Club

Postby shootist » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:16 pm

Currently re-reading pertinent chapters of the Lyman Black Powder Handbook & Loading Manual, with particular reference to my reproduction 1861 Artillery Carbine muzzle loading rifle, and wondering about loading 45/70 cartridges with black powder also. Possibly a bit messy on the reproduction Marlin 1895 45/70 lever action which are a bit complicated to clean.

I will next be reading again, Col. Jeff Cooper's "To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth.
"I do not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death my right to be offended by it."
User avatar
shootist
 
Posts: 3539
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: Book Club

Postby atticus » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:39 pm

How did you get on with Atonement?
User avatar
atticus
 
Posts: 19701
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:27 pm
Location: E&W

Re: Book Club

Postby shootist » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:52 am

atticus wrote:How did you get on with Atonement?


I haven't yet, but I suppose I'll have to sooner or later just so I can ask you how you got on with Starship Troopers.
"I do not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death my right to be offended by it."
User avatar
shootist
 
Posts: 3539
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: Book Club

Postby atticus » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:57 am

Whatever motivates you to read that excellent book ...
User avatar
atticus
 
Posts: 19701
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:27 pm
Location: E&W

Re: Book Club

Postby shootist » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:04 pm

atticus wrote:How did you get on with Atonement?


The deed is done, the book is read. At risk of spoiling the suspense I thought it had a worthy plot that was entirely spoiled by the author's love of his own writing (perhaps a possibly unintended basis for the character of Briony). Part one of the book is of the situation that developed into Briony's 'crime'. It is the first half of the book, some 187 pages that would have reasonably been well managed at a hundred pages less. Time and again, the narrative sidetracks into descriptions of events and people that seem to serve no other purpose than to increase the number of words written as if payment depended upon their quantity. That they were well written, in a literary sense, is probably certain, for I may not be any sort of literary judge. I would have preferred to if those hundred pages had contained some of the drama at the court perhaps. I certainly feel they could have been better used.

Part two concerns, at the start, Robbie's journey to Dunkirk, and here the writing does get better. A more descriptive and straightforward narrative but of somewhat uncertain closure, for a purpose that becomes clear later. Part three might at first be thought of as Bryony's coming face to face with reality, a subject she has avoided, it would seem, for most of her life, but no. The closing part is pretty much as the film. She is confirmed, as suspected all along, as a person I would view with utter contempt, playing at imaginary happy endings to the last, favouring her own spiritual comfort zone over the truth of what she did, and giving the lie to what really happened to the two lovers who's lives she wrecked. The closing few pages in which the Bryony character, in her dotage, seem to try and give some noble dream to what I find the most contemptible lie of all, that by some pretence, in a novel, that the two lovers lived happily ever after, was somehow an atonement for the wrong done seems to me to be far to clever to have been intended on the part of the author to show that lie and is rather a hypocritical attempt at closing the book with a warm fuzzy glow of schmaltz.

In short, I found what might have been a worthy tale ruined by overly details, unnecessary, and florid back stories. The author seemed more intent upon his own personal pleasure of writing prose for it's own sake than hooking the reader in spite of himself. I found the book all to easy to put down and would have left it down quite early on but for the sake of a challenge that might have been worthwhile but turned out not to be.

So, that's how I got on with 'Atonement'.
"I do not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death my right to be offended by it."
User avatar
shootist
 
Posts: 3539
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: Book Club

Postby atticus » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:35 pm

Well done - both for making the effort to read wht I suspect (I may be wrong) is not the type of book you would usually read, and also for writing your review. I hope I do not patronise by saying you wrote well.

I shall now keep an eye open in the charity shops for Mr Heinlein's novel.
User avatar
atticus
 
Posts: 19701
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:27 pm
Location: E&W

Re: Book Club

Postby shootist » Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:22 pm

Thank you for your kind words. you are correct in as much that 'Atonement' is not a book I might ordinarily read.

A few words about Heinlein's Starship Troopers. It makes no pretence at possessing any great literary merit. It is one of Heinlein's many books aimed at a more junior audience with the primary intention of provoking thought, which is usually the primary object of most of his writings. I suspect you would zip through it in an afternoon. Some of these books have been massively misunderstood, for Heinlein is a pretty clever bloke, sometimes too much for his own good. One of his books, Farnham's Freehold, is notorious for appearing to be racist to an incredible degree, whereas a discerning reader will see the same sort of reverse example as the "Till Death Us Do Part." highlighting the bigotry of Alf Garnett. He proposes scenarios for consideration and not as suggested improvements and one of his most successful books, 'Stranger in a Strange Land', upset him greatly when it was adopted by free love hippies as some sort of bible. Either way, I hope you enjoy what you find.
"I do not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death my right to be offended by it."
User avatar
shootist
 
Posts: 3539
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:40 pm

Previous

Return to The Robing Room

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron