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Tony Grist

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Book Chat [Mar. 5th, 2015|09:47 am]
Tony Grist
I used not to re-read novels. Now I do.

In the case of Hilary Mantell's Beyond Black I gobbled it down so hungrily first time round I was afraid I hadn't done it justice. And I'm finding that's true. It's not an easy book- in terms of who, when and where- and on this second reading I'm getting all that straight in my mind. It's a tremendous book- full of grief and pity and a deep dark misanthropy I find wonderfully soothing. Very funny too. One of the great books of our age; I'm sure of it.

Otherwise, I feel as if I've read all the books I want to read- except, of course, for the new Iziguro. I'm sure that's not really true- and there will be authors out there whom I haven't met yet and whose company I'll enjoy- but right now I'm not aware of any. I tried reading  a" new" author the other day- new to me I mean- and- apologies to any fans of Anya Seton who may come across this but Green Darkness is unbelievably bad.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-03-05 11:40 am (UTC)
Anya Seton is someone I read as a schoolgirl, which I suspect was the right time to do it. The book I remember is Katherine, about Katherine Swynford, because of its bearing on the Wars of the Roses, a period which interested me. But I think there were other titles circulating among my contemporaries.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-03-05 06:31 pm (UTC)
I can imagine enjoying it as a teen. I read a number of equally bad books at the time.
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[User Picture]From: ingenious76
2015-03-05 04:19 pm (UTC)
Green Darkness is bad. But Foxfire and Katherine are very good. Try them.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-03-05 06:33 pm (UTC)
It was just so clumsily written. I might pick up those other titles if they came my way- but I'm not motivated to seek them out.
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From: athenais
2015-03-05 08:01 pm (UTC)
There are so many better writers to try! Forget Anya Seton.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-03-06 08:14 pm (UTC)
That's rather what I think. Life is too short.
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[User Picture]From: faunhaert
2015-03-05 10:17 pm (UTC)
if I need to take notes
to keep track of people sometimes its a good sign.

i do find the really interesting books
need more than one read
there's so much missed

tolkein's book were like that

been ages since i read Anya Seton
can't remember any of it
but think it was high school
try to remember less of then too
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-03-06 08:17 pm (UTC)
The best books are often quite difficult- or at least demand that we pay close attention to them.
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[User Picture]From: rosamicula
2015-03-06 08:11 pm (UTC)
I liked the first half of Beyond Black much better than the first.

I've just bought a dozen Jean Plaidy novels for tuppence. I loved her historical romances in my early teens and later discovered that her historical reserach was excellent. I am a little wary of ready one now; I might be horribly disappointed.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-03-06 08:23 pm (UTC)
There are quite a few books I enjoyed as a kid and prefer not to revisit.

I went back to Rider Haggard's She a few years back and found it was really quite shoddy.

I was going to say that Mantell diminishes the "fiends" by explaining them- but then I thought that that's rather the point. The more Alison understands who they are- and what they did- the less power they have over her.
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