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Dare I Say This??

A place to debate issues or to rant about what's on your mind. In addition to discussions about historical fiction, books, the publishing industry, and history, discussions about current political, social, and religious issues and other topics are allowed, so those who are easily offended by certain topics may want to avoid such threads. Members are expected to keep the discussions friendly and polite and to avoid personal attacks on other members. The moderators reserve the right to shut down a thread without warning if they believe it necessary.
Ash
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Post by Ash » Sat December 6th, 2008, 2:36 pm

I agree with Telnor - just because you dislike a book many like, doesn't mean you should hide your feelings about it. Gushing praise over an author or book without any disagreement means very boring discussions. I find different points of view fascinating (tho I do admit getting a little defensive when someone criticizes my favorites - but I also know sometimes, many times, that criticism makes me see something in a different light) No one should apologize for not liking a book (or for liking one that everyone abhors), as long as comments are civil and do not attack other readers (which no one does here, I am thrilled to say!)

I loved Pride and Prejudice, but haven't read much else of hers. There are a couple of authors who have been compared to her who I like much better: Emily Eden's The Semi-Attached Couple and the Semi-Detached House are two books that do to the social mores just what Austen did, but with tongue and cheek humor, and less soap opera. And Eliz Von Arnim's books also hit social mores, esp The Pastor's Wife and Vera, and are also very timely as well. If you don't like Austen, try those two.


'Classics' are not all they are cracked up to be. Some Dickens is wonderful: Oliver Twist, Tale of Two Cities are my favs, but he does sometimes go on. Never read Hardy, was forced to read James with disastrous consequences, and I have tried to read Moby Dick several times and not only couldn't finish it, but couldn't see what the big deal is. I think my biggest problem is that the 1800s don't really interest me all that much, so the authors of that time are rather 'eh'. Major exception: Mark Twain.

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Sat December 6th, 2008, 3:00 pm

[quote=""EC2""]I cannot stand Jane Austen either. I recognise that it is a case of not getting on with her voice rather than the content or quality of her work. To me she twitters like a high-pitched annoying little bird. Tweety, tweety, tweety. On and on and on. It's one of the reasons I'm not a fan of Georgette Heyer. She has Tweety-itis too - I guess that's a back-handed compliment to Heyer. :) . I am better able to watch Austen in film and TV. I recently watched the Kiera Knightly version of P&P and quite enjoyed it. Just don't give me Austen novels to read![/quote]

Oh, thats a good explination of it! Yes I agree 100%.
I did enjoy the miniseries. It was fun for historical drama, but man reading P&P was like torture!

And frankly I've never felt guilty about disliking her! :D
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Christina
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Post by Christina » Sat December 6th, 2008, 11:31 pm

Oh good!! Lots of people share my inability to enjoy Austen!! :-)

EC2 that 'tweety' post just sums it up to the max!! It's like Maive Binchey's 'lipperty-clipperty' (but that's another story!).

Dickens' moralising can be a little irksome (particularly considering his views on hyposcrisy and how, at the same time, he never told his family about his impoverished past because he was ashamed of it) but I do find him very funny. The wonderful descriptions of Betsey Trotwood in "David Copperfield" make me laugh out loud.

I was compelled to read Jane Austen for 'O' Level (the English exams that were taken in England at the age of 16) and my teacher adored her...and I was bored stiff...Yes, indeed, what we're brought up with affects our later view!
Last edited by Christina on Sat December 6th, 2008, 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: a stray apostrophe - yikes!!!

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Susan
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Post by Susan » Sat December 6th, 2008, 11:46 pm

I somewhat surprised that some people managed to escape school without reading any Dickens, Bronte or Austen. In high school, I had to read Dickens' Great Expectations and David Copperfield, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, and Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Sun December 7th, 2008, 12:10 am

[quote=""Susan""]I somewhat surprised that some people managed to escape school without reading any Dickens, Bronte or Austen. In high school, I had to read Dickens' Great Expectations and David Copperfield, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, and Austen's Pride and Prejudice.[/quote]

I never read any of these authors in high school. Maybe that's why I like them so much today--there wasn't the force feeding that turns off some people.
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diamondlil
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Post by diamondlil » Sun December 7th, 2008, 12:46 am

We didn't read any of those in high school. Not sure why.
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Ash
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Post by Ash » Sun December 7th, 2008, 12:58 am

I know we read Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Huck Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Lord of the Flies, oh and that awful book that the musical Le Mis (sp?) is based on. Then I took a wonderful AP English class on Utopian and Dysutopian lit: 1984, Animal Farm, Walden, Utopia, She, The Green Child, Brave New World and several others that got me started on my sci/fi fantasy 24/7 stage.

I do think those of us in AP English got a much better variety of reads or at least more options. Really it should have been the other way around, those with more difficulty in reading get books that are more interesting and timely.
Last edited by Ash on Sun December 7th, 2008, 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Susan
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Post by Susan » Sun December 7th, 2008, 1:44 am

[quote=""boswellbaxter""]I never read any of these authors in high school. Maybe that's why I like them so much today--there wasn't the force feeding that turns off some people.[/quote]

The only book I read in high school which I did not like was Silas Marner by George Elliot, which was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans. Two other classics we read were The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Last edited by Susan on Sun December 7th, 2008, 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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SonjaMarie
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Post by SonjaMarie » Sun December 7th, 2008, 1:50 am

I read things like "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", "To Kill A Mockingbird", "Night" by Elie Wiesel, "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison, "Black Like Me" by John Howard Griffin, "Julius Caesar" by Shakespeare, "The Body" by Stephan King and others I can't recall.

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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Sun December 7th, 2008, 2:05 am

[quote=""Susan""]The only book I read in high school which I did not like was Silas Marner by George Elliot, which was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans. Two other classics we read were The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.[/quote]

We hardly read any full-length novels in high school for our core curriculum--I think the school was going through an experimental phase at the time. We spent a semester reading the textbook, which was mostly poetry and short stories and an occasional play, and then we got to pick a themed course for the second semester, which was good in a way because we got to read something that interested us and bad in a way because we missed out on reading a lot of books that people in other high schools read. In my "elective" semester I did manage to stumble upon some pretty good books, though--The Great Gatsby, for one.
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