Author Topic: an apology  (Read 10243 times)

Re: an apology
« Reply #200 on: July 03, 2013, 09:26:21 pm »
I have just finished Inferno.  It does not improve towards the end.
Never tell me the odds.

Mrs Pingu

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Re: an apology
« Reply #201 on: July 03, 2013, 09:54:06 pm »
Just say 'no' to foot high frosting, kids.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: an apology
« Reply #202 on: July 03, 2013, 10:07:57 pm »
I like Captain Corelli's Mandolin.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


LindaG

Re: an apology
« Reply #203 on: July 03, 2013, 10:10:20 pm »
I like Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

So do I.  The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman is good too.

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: an apology
« Reply #204 on: July 03, 2013, 10:16:54 pm »
And the other ones - The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts and Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


LindaG

Re: an apology
« Reply #205 on: July 03, 2013, 10:18:25 pm »
And the other ones - The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts and Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord.

I haven't read those. Are they funny?

Pingu

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Re: an apology
« Reply #206 on: July 03, 2013, 10:21:48 pm »
And the other ones - The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts and Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord.

I haven't read those. Are they funny?

Yes & no  :thumbsup:

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: an apology
« Reply #207 on: July 03, 2013, 10:32:41 pm »
And the other ones - The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts and Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord.

I haven't read those. Are they funny?

Yes & no  :thumbsup:
In the same way as Cardinal Guzman is and isn't funny. Bits of Senor Vivo are very horrible and sad though. But the same characters pop up in all the books, so if you like the people in Cardinal Guzman, the other two books will tell you how they got there.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


citoyen

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Re: an apology
« Reply #208 on: July 03, 2013, 10:56:53 pm »
Ah, Captain Corelli... I read it a long, long time ago...

Its status as a Famously Bad Book seems slightly odd to me. The main reasons for its reputation are, as far as I can see:
a) it was too damn popular (there was a time when if you'd tried to count the number of copies you saw being read on the Tube, you'd run out of fingers before you got from Covent Garden to Leicester Square); b) it was made into a truly appalling film starring Nicolas fucking Cage; and c) its mildly nauseating mix of irritating whimsy and mawkish sentimentality.

Of these, only the last seems to me a justifiable reason for taking against it, though I seem to remember liking it enough at the time to actually recommend it to other people. If I read it again now, I might feel differently about it. I might not.

I certainly don't remember the writing being Dan Brown/EL James levels of awful. In fact, I recall it being very readable for the most part.

Eccentrica Gallumbits

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Re: an apology
« Reply #209 on: July 04, 2013, 08:07:58 am »
The other thing about Captain Corelli is the ending, which is the most irritating, heartbreaking, futile ending in the history of the world.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


citoyen

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Re: an apology
« Reply #210 on: July 04, 2013, 08:47:51 am »
I don't remember the ending. Probably for the best.

ian

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Re: an apology
« Reply #211 on: July 04, 2013, 08:58:50 am »
c) its mildly nauseating mix of irritating whimsy and mawkish sentimentality.


This is what I recall. Particularly whimsy. It starts with those titles and by a page 50 that overbearing, enforced quaintness has you locked in the cellar with a sticky cake knife at your throat and forced to wear a suit made entirely out of sticky doilies. And there's sugar in my tea.

I didn't actually know it was a famously bad book. Anyway, if anyone is in Shepherd's Bush, there's a copy behind the hedge of the house at the end of Frith St. I doubt even the mildew has managed to finish it.

The EL James phenomenon had passed me by, other than the disconcerting experience of once sitting next to an oldster on a plane, and glancing over at his Kindle and seeing a passage rendered there in the largest font size supported, which meant my nosiness was rewarded with the following few, almost billboard scale, words: her hand tightened around his erection. Now, I'll be honest, my idea of fun isn't spending several hours sharing a confined space with a potentially aroused geriatric. Still, my attention was snared. It didn't get any better. A lady apparently detonated a few pages further on. Presumably to escape. It was only afterwards, when describing it to a friend, she pointed out that it was that book.
!nataS pihsroW

clarion

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Re: an apology
« Reply #212 on: July 04, 2013, 09:12:31 am »
c.

I admit: I didn't finish it.  It may have been redeemed by some brilliant writing and exposition in the last 50 pages or whatever.  But I didn't feel it was worth taking what was, quite frankly, a very slim chance.
Getting there...

Re: an apology
« Reply #213 on: July 05, 2013, 06:29:27 am »
T be fair to her, EL James isn't trying to produce literature, whereas Louis de Bearnaise Sauce is.
Never tell me the odds.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: an apology
« Reply #214 on: July 05, 2013, 08:19:35 am »
T be fair to her, EL James isn't trying to produce literature, whereas Louis de Bearnaise Sauce is.

Spurious distinction. If you bring the writer's motivation into an evaluation of the quality of their output, you'll very quickly find yourself tied in structuralist knots.

Besides, it's that line of reasoning that leaves you open to accusations of snobbery from the likes of Ben T.

Re: an apology
« Reply #215 on: July 17, 2013, 10:55:04 am »
Ah, so that's who E L James is. I'd managed to avoid knowing until now.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Eccentrica Gallumbits

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Re: an apology
« Reply #216 on: August 21, 2013, 06:01:38 pm »
For those who find the book too taxing, the film is on Ch5 tonight.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


clarion

  • Tyke
Re: an apology
« Reply #217 on: August 21, 2013, 06:06:58 pm »
Ah, so that's who E L James is. I'd managed to avoid knowing until now.

Nee Wisty
Getting there...

Re: an apology
« Reply #218 on: August 22, 2013, 01:06:42 pm »
The other thing about Captain Corelli is the ending, which is the most irritating, heartbreaking, futile ending in the history of the world.

The main problem is, we're supposed to believe John Hurt sired Penelope Cruz! I'm in Kefalonia now, it was a dark day for the Italians, imagine, you're an occupying army and your government declares an amnesty. The Italians stationed here were on a sticky wicket, they argued amongst themselves and decided to stay, the Germans rolled into town and killed 5000 Italians.

HTFB

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Re: an apology
« Reply #219 on: September 03, 2013, 01:36:58 pm »
Not something I know anything about, but do I infer correctly that "on a sticky wicket" is a charming period euphemism for "abandoned and then murdered"?

Re: an apology
« Reply #220 on: September 03, 2013, 01:42:28 pm »
Not something I know anything about, but do I infer correctly that "on a sticky wicket" is a charming period euphemism for "abandoned and then murdered"?

Among other variations on being hip-deep in the brown smelly stuff... ;)
Hell is empty, and all of the devils are here.

HTFB

  • The Monkey and the Plywood Violin (RIP)
Re: an apology
« Reply #221 on: September 03, 2013, 02:06:06 pm »
Is "being hip-deep in the brown smelly stuff" a charming period euphemism for "having a couple of weeks to await death with all your friends, before all being murdered"?

To the extent that this thread is about clarity of writing I'm not sure that your version is better than the previous one.

[Does anybody have a ladder? I can't reach the ground from these stirrups.]

Re: an apology
« Reply #222 on: September 03, 2013, 02:14:29 pm »
By "sticky wicket" I meant their choice when they heard of the amnesty. They had three. They chose poorly but they had no idea what was coming. Those that escaped being shot were loaded onto boats, which the Germans then sank. It was a war crime (only Katyn was worse in sheer numbers) but the senior German got off scot free because he lied about what orders he'd received.   

citoyen

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Re: an apology
« Reply #223 on: September 03, 2013, 05:03:52 pm »
Is "being hip-deep in the brown smelly stuff" a charming period euphemism for "having a couple of weeks to await death with all your friends, before all being murdered"?

To the extent that this thread is about clarity of writing I'm not sure that your version is better than the previous one.

Describing that situation as "being on a sticky wicket" sounds like the sort of thing PG Wodehouse might write. And it's a familiar idiomatic phrase, so I don't think there's any problem in respect of clarity of meaning. Rhetorically speaking, it's a good example of litotes. The only difficulty with it is that it's a kind of in-joke that assumes the reader knows the pertinent facts already. But this is often the case with Wodehouse (loads of gags that work on the assumption that the reader, like the author, received an Edwardian British public school education) and it rarely, if ever, spoils my enjoyment of his work.

"Being hip-deep in the brown smelly stuff" may not be a set phrase, but I think its meaning is equally clear.

HTFB

  • The Monkey and the Plywood Violin (RIP)
Re: an apology
« Reply #224 on: September 12, 2013, 10:44:09 am »
Easy to find copies - the charity shops are stuffed with Dan Brown.
They're not, you know... [long rant]
The same phenomenon now occurs with 50 Shades: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/10289912/Charity-shops-stuck-with-thousands-of-copies-of-50-Shades-of-Grey.html

"We have thousands of copies of all the Fifty Shades books but we've stopped selling them because no one was buying them."