Added 4/9/14. This is the story of a secret lifelong romance between the grandfather of Princess Diana and Edith Travis. It was made public by the daug...moreAdded 4/9/14. This is the story of a secret lifelong romance between the grandfather of Princess Diana and Edith Travis. It was made public by the daughter of Edith Travis, Edith Howitt Hodgins.
Princess Diana's grandfather was Maurice Roche aka Lord Fermoy. He was the father of Frances Shand Kydd, Diana's mother.
I learned about this book while listening to an audio book by Tina Brown, entitled The Diana Chronicles. Below is a quote from the book: "Maurice was a terrible bottom pincher." "His incorrigible roving eye was a thorn in the side of the woman he was to marry, Ruth Gill, the daughter of a moralistic Scottish colonel from Aberdeen". Ruth Gill (aka Ruth Roche; Ruth Sylvia Roche, Baroness Fermoy, DCVO, OBE, (née Gill) was "the maternal grandmother of Diana, Princess of Wales." She was also "a friend and confidante of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother". [SEE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Roc... ](less)
Added 4/1/14. See the bio of White at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0925493/bi... "T. H. White was born in India, where his father was a member of the Indi...moreAdded 4/1/14. See the bio of White at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0925493/bi... "T. H. White was born in India, where his father was a member of the Indian Civil Service, and was educated at Cheltenham and Queen's College, Cambridge. He was an English master at Stowe School from 1930 to 1936, and while there, completed his first real critical success, England Have My Bones which was an autobiographical account of his country life.
"He afterward devoted himself exclusively to writing and to studying such obscure subjects as the Arthurian legends, which were to provide the material for his books.
"White was reclusive by nature, often isolating himself for long periods from human society, and spending his time hunting, fishing, and looking after his often strange collection of pets.
He was a novelist, a satirist, and a social historian who probably was best known for his brilliant adaptation of Sir Thomas Malory's 15th-century romance, Morte d'Arthur into the quartet of novels called The Once and Future King.
"He wrote books about hunting and other sports, a detective novel, books of adventure and fantasy, and many short stories and poems. He published a book of poems while still at Cambridge (Loved Helen and Other Poems), and continued to write poetry throughout his life. He died aboard ship in Greece while returning home from his American lecture tour. His last book, America At Last, which was published after his death, records the tour." ===================
ALSO SEE: "Le Morte d'Arthur": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morte_d%... "Le Morte d'Arthur is a compilation by Sir Thomas Malory of Romance tales about the legendary King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, and the Knights of the Round Table. Malory interprets existing French and English stories about these figures and adds original material (the Gareth story).
First published in 1485 by William Caxton [a printer], Le Morte d'Arthur is today perhaps the best-known work of Arthurian literature in English. Many modern Arthurian writers have used Malory as their principal source, including T. H. White in his popular The Once and Future King and Tennyson in The Idylls of the King."
NOTE: THE FOLLOWING ARE THE BOOKS INCLUDED IN "THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING"
(The Once and Future King, #1): The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White
(The Once and Future King, #2): The Witch in the Wood by T.H. White
(The Once and Future King, #3): The Ill-Made Knight by T.H. White
(The Once and Future King, #4: The Candle in the Wind by T.H. White
(The Once and Future King, #5): The Book of Merlyn by T.H. White
Added 3/14/14. I finished listening to this audiobook in March 2014. It's fascinating to hear about all the ways the brain can affect our relationship...moreAdded 3/14/14. I finished listening to this audiobook in March 2014. It's fascinating to hear about all the ways the brain can affect our relationship with music. Mostly, the book concentrates on examples of abnormalities (which sometimes got tedious) but in doing so it gives us revealing insights into the workings of the brain.(less)
Added 3/12/14. I recently listened to an audible.com version of Unsinkable: A Memoir, written and read by Debbie Reynolds. I enjoyed the fact that Debb...moreAdded 3/12/14. I recently listened to an audible.com version of Unsinkable: A Memoir, written and read by Debbie Reynolds. I enjoyed the fact that Debbie Reynolds read her own bio. However, one reviewer commented that Debbie's reading wasn't very good and a different reader would have been better. I disagree. The reading may not have been perfect but Debbie's droll personality shone through the entire reading experience. That made all the difference to me.
Debbie's life had its ups and downs but she had the fortitude to keep on going. I admire that. She's a talented lady with many talents but her greatest aptitude is her fortitude.
I enjoyed her comments about all the show people she worked with.(less)
I picked up this book free somewhere. I doubt if I will get too far with it. So many other things are on the docket...moreAdded 2/22/14. Billy Bathgate (1989)
I picked up this book free somewhere. I doubt if I will get too far with it. So many other things are on the docket these days. I have read only the first chapter so far.
Doctorow presents details in such a skilled manner that you tend to keep reading in amazement over his masterly use of words. To one who loves words, his prose is a pleasure. I'm not sure I will be able to keep up with his long sentences, but I will try. The brutal crime theme may be a deterrent for me as well.
BTW, here are the words with which the book jacket describes Doctorow's prose: "... prose that astonishes with its lyric intensity".
This book was adapted to film in 1991. See: http://dvd.netflix.com/Search?v1=Bill... "This gangster epic details the rise and fall of mobster Dutch Schultz as seen through the eyes of his protégé, Billy Bathgate. As ambitious Billy is seduced by Dutch's crime world, he finds himself grappling with issues of trust, murder and survival." Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman
Added 2/20/14. I watched "The Dead" via Netflix streaming. It's a film adaptation of one of the short stories in Joyce's book, Dubliners (first publishe...moreAdded 2/20/14. I watched "The Dead" via Netflix streaming. It's a film adaptation of one of the short stories in Joyce's book, Dubliners (first published 1914).
The movie bored me. The last 10 minutes of the film is the most interesting part, even though it was very low-key without much to it except for some touching talk about the past.
Basically, most of the film is simply gatherings of people talking about mundane subjects (e.g., did you like the food; did you like the theater) You have to sit through boring "recitals", musical and vocal. Finally, the last 10 minutes gets to the more interesting part and is related to the title about "the dead". (view spoiler)[After a dinner party, a couple goes home. The wife (Angelica Huston) is very sad and tells her husband that the song sung just before they left the party had made her sad. It reminded her of a young boy she knew when she was young. The boy had died at the age of 17. She tells the story of how he died. The husband realizes that the boy had loved his wife very much and she had thought highly of the boy. The husband does a soliloquy about how we are all just passing through (my interpretation) and about how special it must be to have such a love as the boy did for her. (hide spoiler)] At any rate, the movie bored me even though the ending was something to think about.
INTERESTING COMMENT FROM AN ONLINE ARTICLE: "Gretta is prodded into remembering her long-dead lover. She tearfully reveals to her husband (Donal McCann) that the deceased boy may well have died on her behalf. Her tale of woe bespeaks the sentiment shared by James Joyce: no matter how long in their graves, the dead will always influence the living." FROM: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the-d...
The movie seems to have been a "Huston" project. John Huston directs it. It was his last film. It was released posthumously. His daughter, Anjelica, stars in it. Tony Huston, his son, wrote the screenplay for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. I gave the movie one Netflix star out of 5 because it bored me and dragged on and on.
John Huston won the 1988 Independent Spirit Award for Best Director. Anjelica Huston won the 1988 Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female. See all the awards and nominations for the film here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092843/a...
See the Wiki page about the film at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dead...["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Winter-s... "Mark Helprin's novel provides the basis for this film starring Colin Farrell as a thief who breaks into an ill girl's home and then falls for her. As the action shifts between past and present, the burglar also acquires a flying-horse guardian angel."
Cast: Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, Will Smith, Jennifer Connelly, Matt Bomer, William Hurt, Jessica Brown Findlay, Eva Marie Saint, Lucy Griffiths
Footnote: This novel is not related to the play, "The Winter's Tale" by William Shakespeare.(less)
This is a wonderful suspense story. This particular film version is very lush in scenery and dress. Beautiful Kristin Scott Thomas draws you in and you can't stop watching. Forget reading the summaries. Just start watching and let the story unfold. That's the best way to watch it. It starts out in a benign manner and then slowly draws you in.
Wiki says: "In the film, subplots were added to expand the material to feature film length, which reviewers and cinemagoers criticised." I saw no problem with any subplots. In fact, I didn't even notice them as such.
An online description of the book says: "Erotic, haunting, and maddeningly suspenseful, Up at the Villa is a masterful tale of temptation and the capricious nature of fate." I agree! Those words are at: https://play.google.com/store/books/d... You can read a sample via the link above.(less)
Added 2/17/14. RE: The World Of O. Henry (Collected Short Stories by O. Henry) I listened to a good number of stories from this collection via an audio-...moreAdded 2/17/14. RE: The World Of O. Henry (Collected Short Stories by O. Henry) I listened to a good number of stories from this collection via an audio-tape. I didn't enjoy them at all. There didn't seem to be a smooth flow of plot. I found most of the stories difficult to follow. Too many names and uninteresting details. Many of the stories are told with annoying "country" speech patterns.
Most of the GR reviews are positive but I found the following negative reviews:
_The Gift of the Magi and Other Short Stories_ by O. Henry Robin's review - Oct 03, 08 - 2 of 5 stars "I was not all that impressed. Some of the short stories were good but on the whole I found the author to be a bit over descriptive and wordy. I had to look up the meanings of several words and didn't care for the story interuptions from the author." FROM: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
_The Complete Works of O. Henry_ by O. Henry Michael C's review - Sep 13, 12 - 2 of 5 stars "Well written, but very monotonous, and over-reliant on the twist ending gimmick. If you've read "The Gift of The Magi", then you get the idea." FROM: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
_Complete Works of O. Henry Volume I_ by O. Henry An Odd1's review - Jul 11, 12 - 2 of 5 stars "Nigh on a foreign language from centuries gone. Often first person, related about a pal, a girl, a romance gone wrong, from his real life observations, about hombre, outlaw, drunk, drifter, grifter, shopgirl, in slang western, hobo, massah, obfuscatory, sometimes incomprehensible to those ignorant of train hop, horse, carriage, side gun, hat, and separate collar." FROM: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
NOTE: Definition of "obfuscatory": Tending to obfuscate; intended to conceal the truth by confusion
Added 2/14/14. RE: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe I listened to the unabridged audio version of this book, read by John Lee. I had always wondered what...moreAdded 2/14/14. RE: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe I listened to the unabridged audio version of this book, read by John Lee. I had always wondered what the book was like. Now I know. It's 11 hours long but it keeps your attention. At times it's a bit long-winded but, considering that, it's well-paced. Each time you think that there just couldn't be another phase to the story, Robinson Crusoe, who is the narrator, manages to come up with a new phase to his adventures. I liked the way Daniel Defoe made Robinson Crusoe's story seem very up close and personal. Four Netflix stars.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND ABOUT THIS BOOK:
"Robinson Crusoe marked the beginning of realistic fiction as a literary genre." -Wiki
"Written nearly 300 years ago [pub. 1719], it deserves every merit it can receive." -From a GR member comment(less)
Added 2/13/14 This book is a series of interesting sketches about the famous people Frank Langella has known. I listened to the audio version which is...moreAdded 2/13/14 This book is a series of interesting sketches about the famous people Frank Langella has known. I listened to the audio version which is read by the author himself. Langella is very frank and open. His personal evaluations and observations are very compelling. He's good with words. Recommended for people who are interested in interesting people.(less)