S.A. S.A.'s Comments (member since Dec 07, 2008)

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Apr 07, 2009 03:02AM

7646 An anecdote. In Rome there is a memorial to Caesar - can't remember now but I think it marks the spot where he was murdered.

When I visited it in 2006, there were fresh flowers on it. That's the power of the myth the man built around himself.
Apr 06, 2009 03:59AM

7646 John has created a fictional series based on the Commentaries. Highly readable!!
Apr 06, 2009 03:05AM

7646 Can I put in a word for a fellow independent author, John Timbers. His historical series based on Caesar's Commentaries is excellent reading. Books 1- 3 Caesar's Tribune/Master of Gaul/Albion Ablaze are out now through http://www.Authorsonline.co.uk and two more are planned.

Feb 20, 2009 01:10PM

7646 IMHO Ben Elton writes tales that are intelligent, funny, moving, and pacy. Just what I want when I need something I can sit down, read cover to cover in a fairly short space of time and come away with a smile on my face.

7646 Jackie wrote: "Yes, Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta Jones starred in two Zorro movies. Both were enjoyable."

I second Jackie's opinion of the movies. Good fun. I do like a nice bit of swashbuckling.

And watching Antonio Banderas is always nice...

7646 My husband and I went up to London to see the stage show Zorro in the West End.

It was terrific! Wonderfully romantic swashbuckling entertainment. Great music by The Gipsy Kings, great dancing, full of energy. Great night out. Thanks, Grant!
7646 Sue

(Interesting how even this thread gets diverted onto a chat about books and films!!!)
7646 Jim,

I hope you come through it all intact - thinking of you and the real weather from a simply damp and chilly England.

7646 I feel like I want to say "congratulations, America - it's a President!"

I fear the view from this side of the Atlantic is that you haven't really had one for a few years.... Hope I haven't offended anyone, but I feel such a sense of relief every time I see Barack's face on the TV instead of George W.

Great speech.


Jan 18, 2009 01:45PM

7646 LOL! Joy, I'm quoting my husband, who always refers to the Bard as Will Waggadagga...just our barmy sense of humour.

Jan 18, 2009 11:12AM

7646 Certainly sounds like Ruth knows what she's talking about! "To hang an inferior book on the bones of Hamlet does not make it a better book." - an excellent way of putting it.

Ol' Will Waggadagga was a genius, and every time you study his work you discover new reasons why he was a genius.

If you want Hamlet, go read Hamlet (or go see the play). You read Mr. Sawtelle's book to find out what he has to say.

Which is another reason I often don't finish books these days. If the author has nothing new to say, I'm not really interested.


Jan 18, 2009 10:18AM

7646 Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "Sue wrote: "What is this Sawtelle book?"

Sue, the book is: [b:The Story of Edgar Sawtelle A Novel|2731276|The Story of Edgar Sawtelle A Novel|David Wroblewski|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images..."

Looks like I'll need to be feeling strong to read this one! I must admit, the first thing I thought on reading the blurb was "Hamlet" - which I studied at school, loved passionately, and still know pretty much inside out so I'm not sure how I'll get on with a American Hamlet containing anthropomorphised dogs. I guess like the reviewers I'll either love it or hate it and there's only one way to find out... But if I don't like it, I won't read it all. One gets to an age where life is just too short for books you don't like!

Shakespeare, of course, is dealing with Elizabethan politics and ideas of kingship, not family.

Jan 18, 2009 09:26AM

7646 I don't think there's many random acts of violence in real life. There's always a reason - in the mind of the perpetrator, anyway, even if (as Joy says) it makes no sense to the rest of us. Fiction allows us to explore some of these reasons in safety (and we can always disagree with the author's view of things!). A character so convincingly threatening he makes you feel uncomfortable to read about him may be disturbing, but it's terrific writing! What is this Sawtelle book?


Jan 18, 2009 08:17AM

7646 I love the proverb!!! And I have friends with a little boy it was written for...mind you, his mother is a drummer!
Jan 18, 2009 05:39AM

7646 Evil is a purely human concept. Other animals are guided by all sorts of instincts, but "good" and "evil" don't come into it. That's why the idea of "pure evil" makes no sense to me and - like Jim - I don't "get" stories that feature villains who are evil for the sake of being evil. This is far too simplistic a view of the world for me - it's ALWAYS much more complicated than that!!! (And I'm always so much more interested in why the villain is being evil....)

Characters you love to hate are much more fun. "Serves him right" is such a satisfying reaction to have to a plot - not least because you can so rarely achieve it in real life! That's the appeal of James Bond etc. - sometimes you just need some real escapism.

Jan 17, 2009 03:26PM

7646 Joy,

The book I'm reading is Birth of a Nation by Julian Rathbone, published by Abacus ISBN 9780349118956. Hey, does this mean I've beaten Wikipedia???


I was given this book when I went to a writers conference in Winchester (UK) last autumn. I gather there's a whole series of them - not sure I like it enough to read all the rest, but it suits my reading habits - a few chapters a month!!! (You see why my to read pile never goes down!)


Jan 17, 2009 10:33AM

7646 Very interested in your chat about what's worth reading, what makes a good book etc.

I couldn't get on with Moby Dick, but my husband reckons it's great. He can't abide John Steinbeck; I enjoyed the Grapes of Wrath, though I wouldn't put it among my favourites.

There are classics I love, and classics I've read, and classics I've given up on (and classics I've enjoyed that I know I would have hated if I'd been forced to read them at school!). Books are books, imho, read the ones you like and don't bother with the ones that do nothing for you. Because I've always tinkered about writing my own stuff, to me a good book is like a good meal in a restaurant - you know you couldn't have rustled up the same (or better) experience in your own kitchen! A book that takes you somewhere new, makes you think, smile, or cry is a good book. One that does all the above is a great book.

And one man's meat is another man's poison.... ! (said with feeling, as I've just had some very negative feedback on my book to offset the enthusiasm of Jim and Jackie et al. It's very difficult to tell who's going to like it and who isn't - which takes us back to the beginning of this discussion - what makes a book "good" or "bad" ? Why is it one person can find something highly readable and another finds it dry and tedious?)

Note to self - I must progress my "to read" pile to the point where I can get to the Zelazny that was sitting near the top of it until my husband stole it....but I do want to finish Birth of a Nation first, it's an intriguing and entertaining romp around Anglo/American 19th century history.

Dec 23, 2008 06:13PM

7646 Merry Yule from the Merry Rule!

Best wishes for the midwinter feast, everyone in Glen Falls.

I'm just home from a Christmas gig with my folk group Pig's Ear. Cracking good evening (but the pub ran out of beer!!)

Dec 13, 2008 04:04AM

7646 I think you defintely know when a horse is a willing partner or a conscript! My kids had a pony called Dillon, small, tough, and full of native cunning. He was a real character. Because the girls were quite young ( and we don't have much money or land!) I used to ride him too.

I trusted him absolutely with the kids when they were riding over the fields - he never did anything he thought would be dangerous. But he would play up something dreadful in the indoor school: because he was bored!!! He was a terror. But he lalways loved jumping, and as soon as we put up a jump he tank off round the school and leap over it.

Once, he did this with my daughter at such speed he slipped going round the school and went down on his side. Fortunately my daughter was thrown clear and neither pony nor rider were hurt. But Dillon didn't half learn a lesson! He never did that again.

I also had a Connemara/Thoroughbred cross who was the complete opposite of our beloved Dillon. The most accident prone horse I've ever come across. Stubbornness of a Connemara and the brains of a Thoroughbred.

Hope you enjoy the book. Being a "fake history" it does have elements of the saga in it so - having noted your comments about casts of thousands - I'll be interested to see how you get on with it.

Dec 13, 2008 02:56AM

7646 Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "Last year I met a lady who owned a horse. She took me to the stable where she boarded him. It was a whole new world for me. I've often wondered how horses compare to dogs as pets. Dogs react immedi..."

Joy, As a dog lover from he age of four ("Mummy mummy pleeeze can we have a dog!!") I have had a lot of good friendships with dogs. I always wanted to develop a similar relationship with a horse. It never quite came off (though I have, several times). I think because I'm always still a bit frightened of horses, although I've ridden since my teenage years, owned and showed horses. They're big and strong and you're sitting on their back! And as the horse itself is a prey species, it's built into its mentality to be scared. Not a good combination.

On the brief occasions I achieved a real partnership with a horse - one particular occasion when I rode a round of small jumps - it was enough to show me how brilliant it can be. He was enjoying himself and so was I and we were both doing our level best to achieve something. Together.

I love the work Monty Roberts does. To have the patience, empathy and knowledge to develop that kind of relationship with a horse is absolutely fantastic. Watching him at work really is like watching a magician.

Jim will understand the reference! (Can't post to Good Reads without a plug for Cloak of Magic....)

By the way, I would have to say that one of my favourite books of all time is Black Beauty. Especially when you think when it was written, it is an outstanding work of imagination. I read it again recently, and still remember sitting in bed when I was about 13 with tears pouring down my face when Ginger died....

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