Glens Falls (NY) Online Book Discussion Group discussion

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ABOUT BOOKS AND READING > What are U reading these days? (PART SIX) (2010)

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message 201: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 06, 2010 04:40PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Jackie wrote: "... Tell me story that interests me, that I understand and is concise, now that's impressive."

Not only that, Jackie, but give me characters I can LIKE, or at least feel that I KNOW. Most of the characters in this book (_The Sea_) seem so distant... something is missing. I don't know what it is. They seem like stick-figures. At least I can relate to the narrator but he keeps the other characters too vague... not fleshed-out.

PS-If it's not plot-driven or character-driven, what is it???


message 202: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4049 comments I love when I connect with a character(s) because then I care what happens to them.


message 203: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 4846 comments I just ditched a Hard Case Crime book, "Fright", because I hated the main character. The guy was such an idiot that he disgusted me.


message 204: by [deleted user] (new)

Jim wrote: "My favorite Arthurian legend is the original trilogy by Mary Stewart. It starts with The Crystal Cave. Years later, she added a 4th book, but I didn't care for it muc..."

Me too Jim, my very favorite. :)

You're talking aboutThe Wicked Day, and yes, I agree with you, didn't care much for it either.

I've actually reread her trilogy many times, just wonderful.


message 205: by [deleted user] (new)

Jackie wrote: "Jim, Mary Stewart's Quadrilogy is on my Keeper Shelf. I love it, all 4 were good IMO. The 4th one deals with Mordred, and everyone hates Mordred, LOL
The Crystal Cave, etc, is wonderfully imagin..."


I think I didn't care for it was because I loved the character of Merlin so much, and he was hardly in it...as I recall.




message 206: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 06, 2010 05:05PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Jim wrote: "I just ditched a Hard Case Crime book, "Fright", because I hated the main character. The guy was such an idiot that he disgusted me."

The Reader's Bill of Rights:
1. The right to not read.
2. The right to skip pages.
3. The right to not finish.
4. The right to reread.
5. The right to read anything.
6. The right to escapism.
7. The right to read anywhere.
8. The right to browse.
9. The right to read out loud.
10. The right not to defend your tastes.
Daniel Pennac, Better Than Life 1996

See the above quoted at the author's page:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/...


message 207: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4049 comments I'm having a hard time getting into Kingdom of the Grail. I think once I found out it was set after Arthur's time, my interest waned. To be fair, I haven't put much time into it at all. I plan on spending the rest of the night reading.


message 208: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Jackie wrote: "I'm having a hard time getting into Kingdom of the Grail. I think once I found out it was set after Arthur's time, my interest waned. To be fair, I haven't put much time into it at all. I plan o..."

Thought I'd add a link for reference:
Kingdom of the Grail by Judith Tarr


message 209: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 4846 comments Good Bill of Rights, Joy. I agree completely. I've defended that position, especially the right to read anything, hard all my life. Even in the face of my mother & grandfather who thought I read 'trash'. If it wasn't for the love of reading that 'trash' gave me & mine, we wouldn't have been nearly as able to read the 'good' books - many of which aren't, IMO.


message 210: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4049 comments As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure.



message 211: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 06, 2010 06:04PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments How do we recognize "a good book"? ===>

"You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." -Paul Sweeney

That about sums it up for me.


message 212: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Well, after all my rants about the book, I finally finished reading Banville's The Sea.
My review is at: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Because of my mixed feelings about the novel, I gave it only 3 stars, but there's no denying the author's talents.

One of the comments I made in my review was:
====================================================
"After I finished reading the story, I read several of the GR member reviews. I was amused by all the contradictory opinions. Some loved the writing; others tore it apart. I'm still mulling over what was said. Most of all, I'm impressed with how articulate the GR readers are in expressing their opinions."
====================================================


message 213: by [deleted user] (new)

Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "Well, after all my rants about the book, I finally finished reading Banville's The Sea.
My review is at: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Because of my mixed feelings abou..."


LOL The character analysis is what I love about his writing, for the most part...well aside from the gorgeous prose.
I'm not surprised at the opposite reactions of readers, I suspect he is one that tends to polarize readers to some extent.




message 214: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 07, 2010 04:47PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Katherine wrote: "... The character analysis is what I love about his writing, for the most part...well aside from the gorgeous prose. ...

Katherine, did Banville really do that much character analysis (in The Sea) ? I didn't catch it. I felt as if he didn't do enough, especially with the women and also the twins. For example, why did the twins do what they did? As for his wife, I never felt as if I knew her. On the other hand, the descriptions of the Colonel and his habits were amusing although I wouldn't call that character analysis.

I guess we could say the there was a sort of analysis of the narrator, Max, himself, as we listened to him talk about himself, his observations, and his feelings. At times I felt as if he were almost confessing.


message 215: by [deleted user] (new)

Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "Pontalba wrote: "... The character analysis is what I love about his writing, for the most part...well aside from the gorgeous prose. ...

Pontalba, did Banville really do that much character analy..."

Ahh, the twins. That was truly a strange relationship. It's been over a year since I read it, so I'm fuzzy on details.
I liked Max and felt the same, as though it was done in a confessional manner, and he was shriven by his analytical "confession". I felt I knew the wife through Max's speaking of her though, although as I say, details are gone. Banville did use broad strokes with the other characters, seeing them through Max's eyes, leaving the reader to fill in somewhat on their own. I like that though. Too much detail can be tedious.

Also, we had to know how Max perceived his fellow characters, after all it's how they affected him that counted.


message 216: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Ooops, Pontalba, did you change your profile name to Katherine? Now we have 2 Katherines in the group. I was confused there for a second.

Anyway, you are right in saying that we saw how narrator Max perceived his fellow characters. Perhaps he didn't know them that well either. So he couldn't tell us much about them.

The narrator gave more descriptive detail to THINGS than he did to people. I found that tedious after a while.


message 217: by [deleted user] (new)

Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "Ooops, Pontalba, did you change your profile name to Katherine? Now we have 2 Katherines in the group. I was confused there for a second.

Anyway, you are right in saying that we saw how narrator ..."


LOL, yes, Katherine is my given name, maybe I ought to put an initial afterwards, to differentiate.





message 218: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Thanks, Katherine M!


message 219: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Totten (Katherine42) | 199 comments FROM THE OTHER KATHERINE:
I just finished Leila Meacham's "Roses". After a slow start, the novel picked up and held my interest to the final page.
The underlying story of the roses and their meaning to the families serves as a tapestry that weaves the time periods together.
One event in the book brought tears to my eyes. I won't say what that was. I don't want to spoil the story for anyone.
If you read the book, please let me know what you think.


message 220: by [deleted user] (new)

Katherine wrote: "FROM THE OTHER KATHERINE:
I just finished Leila Meacham's "Roses". After a slow start, the novel picked up and held my interest to the final page.
The underlying story of the roses and their meanin..."


LOL I thought I was the "other Katherine...". /grinning/
maybe at the front of my posts, I should type in something to the effect of....."the poster formally known as pontalba..."
heh.


message 221: by Nina (new)

Nina | 3970 comments Just for anyone who is interested I thought I would post the titles of the books my book club are reading this year; plus, Jan and Feb of next. Maybe some here are ones you might like to try. We feel they sound quite interesting:

Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan
The Help by Kathryn Stockett( I know we have discussed this one and some of you have read it)
South of Broad by Pat Conroy
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
The Moonflower Vine by etta CArleton
Harriet Jacobs, A LIfe by Jean Fagan Yellin(originally written in the 1800's about a slave)
The Cave by Jose Saramago
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow
Love and Summer by William Trevor


message 222: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Katherine wrote: "FROM THE OTHER KATHERINE:
I just finished Leila Meacham's "Roses". After a slow start, the novel picked up and held my interest to the final page.
The underlying story of the roses and their meanin..."


Hi Katherine. Thanks for the report about Roses. I see that you gave it four stars. It's on my To-Read shelf. When I read it, I'll post about it here.


message 223: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Katherine M wrote: "Katherine wrote:
"FROM THE OTHER KATHERINE...
...LOL I thought I was the "other Katherine...". /grinning/ "


Will the OTHER KATHERINE please stand up? LOL


message 224: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 08, 2010 06:09PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Nina wrote: "Just for anyone who is interested I thought I would post the titles of the books my book club are reading this year; plus, Jan and Feb of next. Maybe some here are ones you might like to try. We fe..."

Nina, thank you for listing your group's reading list. I've read only two of the books on your list: The Help and Olive Kitteridge. They were both good reads, but I enjoyed The Help more. I gave it five stars. I gave Olive four stars.

Harriet Jacobs: A Life sounds as if it would be very interesting. The GR description says:
=====================================================
"The most widely read woman's slave narrative of all time, Harriet Jacob's 1861 Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself recounts a harrowing existence. In this biography, Jean Fagan Yellin takes us beyond that slender volume to offer the first full picture of the world that inspired Incidents..."
=====================================================


message 225: by Nina (new)

Nina | 3970 comments Katherine M wrote: "Jim wrote: "My favorite Arthurian legend is the original trilogy by Mary Stewart. It starts with The Crystal Cave. Years later, she added a 4th book, but I didn't car..."I don't remember The Crystal Cave, except liking it. I had forgotten it was a trilogy. I really did like stories with Merlin involved. What a characater he was! nina




message 226: by Nina (new)

Nina | 3970 comments Katherine wrote: "FROM THE OTHER KATHERINE:
I just finished Leila Meacham's "Roses". After a slow start, the novel picked up and held my interest to the final page.
The underlying story of the roses and their meanin..."
Sound like a book I would like to read. nina




message 227: by Jackie (last edited Feb 09, 2010 02:13PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4049 comments Nina, Merlin is a major draw for me too. He's quite remarkable, a very interesting character.

It's slow going for me with Kingdom of the Grail but it's not the book's fault. I'm loving it! I've made the unwise decision to do a marathon of Battlestar Galactica which has occupied all my time. A 3 hour pilot and 13 episodes. 3 days, but I just finished season one. I plan on waiting a week, if I can, to start on season two. Interesting how many clues were there right from the start. Ah, you know what they say about hindsight, LOL


message 228: by [deleted user] (new)

Jackie wrote: "Nina, Merlin is a major draw for me too. He's quite remarkable, a very interesting character.

It's slow going for me with Kingdom of the Grail but it's not the book's fault. I'm ..."


I especially liked the way Mary Stewart drew Merlin. Very realistic, but with a believably magical touch.




message 229: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Totten (Katherine42) | 199 comments I am currently reading "House Divided" By Ben Ames Williams. Although written in 1947, the novel is easy to read and not too prosy. The back cover says " 'House Divided' follows an American family, the Currains, through four generations. It moves with the slow engrossing pace of life itself. To read it is to have prolonged your life for a hundred years and to bring back not a knowledge of history, but an experience of great human emotions, a knowledge of great ambitions and great sacrifices that continue and mount today".
And here I thought I was getting a multi-generational Civil War novel of close to 1400 pages, which I hope I finish before the book is due.
My library got if from Richards Library in Warrensburg, NY, if anyone would like to read it later...maybe much later.


message 230: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1977 comments Katherine, we have a copy of that book in the library where I work! I've never read it, or anything else by Williams except for one short story, "They Grind Exceeding Small;" but I really liked that one.


message 231: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Jackie wrote: "... I've made the unwise decision to do a marathon of Battlestar Galactica which has occupied all my time. A 3 hour pilot and 13 episodes. 3 days, but I just finished season one. ...

Jackie, I've never watched "Battlestar Galactica" but here is the Netflix page:
http://www.netflix.com/Search?v1=Batt...
"Join Adama (Edward James Olmos) and Laura (Mary McDonnell) as they lead a ragtag fleet of human survivors (from the destroyed colonies of Kobol) in search of a mythical planet called Earth."

When I saw the word "Kobol", it reminded me of the "kobolds" in Terry Brooks' Landover Series. So I went to Wiki to learn more about kobolds.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobolds
"The kobold (or kobolt) is a sprite of German folklore."

While browsing around Wiki, I also learned that Landover "takes its name from a humorous reference to The Wizard of Oz, particularly its 'land over the rainbow.' " (from the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow")
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Ki...

Who knew!!! Just shows how we can go from one thing to the other on the Internet! :)


message 232: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 10, 2010 04:20AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Katherine wrote: "I am currently reading "House Divided" By Ben Ames Williams. Although written in 1947, the novel is easy to read and not too prosy. The back cover says " 'House Divided' follows an American family,..."

Katherine, I admire your ambition in reading Ben Ames Williams'sHouse Divided. Such a long book! The GR description says: "First published in 1947, this bestselling historical novel is cherished and remembered as one of the finest retellings of the Civil War saga—America's own War and Peace."

Interesting that you found the book at the Warrensburg Library. I love that little community.

I notice that Ben Ames Williams also wrote a book which became a movie: Leave Her to Heaven. See the movie page at:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037865/

BTW, I wasn't notified about your post and Jackie's and Katherine M's posts. I only found them when I received the notification about Werner's latest post here. Strange.


message 233: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 10, 2010 04:30AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Werner wrote: "Katherine, we have a copy of that book in the library where I work! I've never read it, or anything else by Williams except for one short story, "They Grind Exceeding Small;" but I really liked liked that one."

Werner, I looked up Ben Ames Williams at Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_ames...
It says:
====================================================
"Ben Ames Williams (7 March 1889 – 4 February 1953) American writer who published over thirty novels, including All the Brothers Were Valiant (1919), The Strange Woman (1945), House Divided (1947), Leave Her to Heaven (1944), and Come Spring (1940).

His writing traversed a wide range of genres and evinced considerable expertise in a number of divergent fields. Williams achieved his greatest popularity when three of his books were adapted to film: Leave Her to Heaven (1945), The Strange Woman (1946), and All the Brothers Were Valiant (1953).

Other films based on the writing of Williams are Jubilo, Jr (1927), Small Town Girl (1936), Adventure's End (1937), and Too Good to Be True (1988)."
=====================================================

Who knew!!! :)


message 234: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Totten (Katherine42) | 199 comments Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "Katherine wrote: "I am currently reading "House Divided" By Ben Ames Williams. Although written in 1947, the novel is easy to read and not too prosy. The back cover says " 'House Divided' follows a..."
"Leave Her to Heaven" is one of my favorite all time movies. After seeing the movie on The Late Show, (not the Johnny Carson one) many years ago, I read the book. Loved that also. There is a death in the story. I have seen the same details in another movie and a TV series. "Imatation being the most sincere form of flattery", I guess.




message 235: by Jackie (last edited Feb 10, 2010 07:45AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4049 comments Joy, Battlestar Galactica (BSG) is a fantastic series. Once I start I become obsessed. Well written intense storylines, amazing characters, a television phenomemon that held my interest (and every scifi geek on the planet) all the way through til the very end. Kept us fans guessing right to the last episode.
I'm already thinking about Season 2 but I'm going to try not to start it for at least a week. Wish me luck on that, haha

Kingdom of the Grail just keeps getting better and better. Good story and the characters are fantastic. I really owe it to the author to put some time into it. That's my plan for this afternoon.



message 236: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Katherine wrote: "... "Leave Her to Heaven" is one of my favorite all time movies. ..."

Katherine, I can't remember if I saw the movie. According to IMDb trivia, The title, "Leave Her to Heaven" is taken from a line from William Shakespeare's "Hamlet". I'm wondering how the title applies to the story. I often wonder that about many of the books I read. When I come across the explanation in the story, I have an "Ah" moment.


message 237: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Jackie wrote: "Joy, Battlestar Galactica (BSG) is a fantastic series. Once I start I become obsessed. Well written intense storylines, amazing characters, a television phenomemon that held my interest (and every..."

Jackie, I should try watching a bit BSG on a Netflix DVD. Maybe I will, one of these days. I've put it on my queue.

Today I watched the film of Madea's Family Reunion (2006).
http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Madea_s_...
The presentation was very different from the stage-play version which I watched last week, although the idea was the same. I understood the story better this time around. It's a good story.

The film is more of a drama than a comedy, although Madea's character adds the humor. In fact, one of the reviews calls it a "mangled combination of genres".
http://www.filmcritic.com/misc/empori...

The Village Voice review says:
=====================================================
"Tyler Perry's gospel comedies are crude and stagy; as moralizing, they're earnest and exploitative in ways that can't be disentangled. But for pure schizophrenia—a bone-jarring collision of slapstick, problem drama, wish-fulfillment fantasy, and come-to-Jesus sermonizing—they're a more honest expression of the nation's inner tumult than a lot of better movies."
http://www.villagevoice.com/2006-02-2...
=====================================================
As you have suggested, one can't help but like the characters which Tyler Perry plays. I enjoyed the other performers too. Boris Kodjoe sure is handsome!
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0462673/


message 238: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4049 comments I think they're all talented actors.
The reviews weren't favorable. I read Tyler Perry in response to reviews where he says "I know my audience, and I know what they like." I"m inclined to believe him.


message 239: by Nina (last edited Feb 10, 2010 05:26PM) (new)

Nina | 3970 comments An aside concerning Merlin: My daughter loved The Crystal Cave so much she named her first horse, MERLIN. Interesting thing is, after the stable and grounds where she kept him boarded were sold to a developer, the development was called, CAMELOT. nina


message 240: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 10, 2010 05:34PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Nina wrote: "An aside concerning Merlin: My daughter loved The Crystal Cave so much she named her first horse, MERLIN. Interesting thing is, after the stable and grounds ... were sold to a developer, the development was called, CAMELOT."

Interesting coincidence, Nina! Lovely too.


message 241: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 12, 2010 02:54PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments NOTE: This message has been copied and pasted from the movie thread (Message #200), where I accidentally misplaced it during a senior moment.
====================================================
A day or so ago, I saw a comment somewhere which was written by Jim. In it he said he was uncomfortable with something about the book, something he couldn't accept (even though he thought it was a pretty good book). I'm not sure if it was something about the author or not. In any case, today I came across a similar situation in one of my past handwritten comments.

In my comment, I complained that the main character was a woman (speaking in the first person, "I") but the author of the book was a man. It didn't sit right with me. The author was Nick Hornby and the book was How to Be Good. The story was about a marriage that almost falls apart. They stay together but not too happily.

How do you feel about an author of one gender writing a story using the voice of the other gender? (i.e., a man writing in the voice of a woman, or vice versa.) As for me, I don't think a man can express things from a woman's point of view and be believed, i.e., how can we be sure that a man would really know how a woman would think about certain things?

I've read other books by Nick Hornby which I liked, but there were several things about How To Be Good which bothered me besides the aspect mentioned above, e.g., a weak plot; too much meandering with silly ideas and characters.

I DO recommend Nick Horby's A Long Way Down.


message 242: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1977 comments Since I haven't read any of Hornby's work, I can't comment on it specifically. But in some of her multi-generational historical fiction (like the Town House trilogy, and Bless the House), where she covers a wide sweep of English history using successive first- person narrators, British novelist Norah Lofts utilizes male narrators as freely as female ones; and of course Jim Burden, the narrator of Willa Cather's My Antonia, is male. In his vampire story, "Passages from the Diary of a Young Girl," Robert Aickmann's narrator-protagonist is female. In all of these cases, it never occurred to me to question the author's use of an opposite-gender narrator; and to my perception, the character's voice rang just as true psychologically as that of other narrators created by same-gender authors. It's not much different than using an opposite-gender viewpoint character in third person, something I've done myself.

The more different a character is from the author, the more challenging it is to understand him/her and write convincingly from that point of view (and that applies to other differences as well as gender). And as Somerset Maugham famously said, "Only God could understand a person perfectly" (or words to that effect.) But I don't believe that it's hopelessly impossible for us to understand "the other" (in any sense) at all --in fact, I believe helping us to do that is one thing that language, and literature, is for. The more gifted a writer is in empathy and observation, the better he/she can do that. Anyway, that's my opinion, for whatever it's worth!


message 243: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 11, 2010 11:27AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Werner, thanks for the interesting info re past novels in which the author is a different gender from his narrating character. I had no knowledge of all that.

What you say makes a lot of sense intellectually. I can appreciate your point of view. My only problem is that emotionally I have trouble knowing that an author is one gender and his narrator the opposite gender. It's a feeling I have while I'm reading. My only defense is that we all know that feelings are very often far from logical.

Come to think of it, I think I appreciate male detectives more than I appreciate female detectives. Perhaps it's a reflection of the era I grew up in when women were often expected to be wives, mothers, teachers, nurses or secretaries. Nowadays I am getting used to seeing women on the road as construction workers. But I remember how shocked I was when years ago I saw my first female school bus driver.

As an aside, I once saw a truck with the company name on the side which said: "John Smith and Daughters, Inc." :)

PS-I have read Norah Lofts's books, but never noticed the opposite genders. Next time, I will make a point of it. These are the books of hers which I read:
Madselin, Requiem for Idols, Lady Living Alone, The Lute Player, Pargeters
Hmmm, I suppose the lute player was a male!
And the GR description of Lady Living Alone says that it was originally published under a male nom de plume!
I guess I'm getting fussy in my old age. :)


message 244: by Nina (new)

Nina | 3970 comments About one gender writing for another gender...I thought Harper Lee did a great job with Atticus. nina


message 245: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 11, 2010 01:02PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Nina wrote: "About one gender writing for another gender...I thought Harper Lee did a great job with Atticus. nina"

Was Atticus the narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird? I can't remember.

P.S. - Answer:
"The story is narrated by a young girl named Jean Louise Finch, who is almost always called by her nickname, Scout."
See: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/mocking...

Nina, in my original post I was referring to a narrator of a different gender from the author, not just any character.


message 246: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 4846 comments No, "To Kill A Mockingbird" was told from Scout's POV, the young girl. Still, Lee did a FANTASTIC job on that book.


message 247: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Jim wrote: "No, "To Kill A Mockingbird" was told from Scout's POV, the young girl. Still, Lee did a FANTASTIC job on that book."

Thank, Jim.


message 248: by Nina (new)

Nina | 3970 comments I had forgotten that Scout was the narrator but didn't Harper Lee protray Atticus in a most believable way? I guess i was just thinking that she as a woman really got into his character in a marvelous way. But, like you mentioned she did have the narrator as the same gender as she, the author. I think you have raised a very thought provoking question as I am now going to try to think of books I've read with the different genders and books to come. I am also going to ask my book club members if they feel as you do. I will let you know. nina ps How do you feel about biographies that are written by the opposite sex from the subject?


message 249: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 12, 2010 03:00PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14012 comments Nina wrote: "I had forgotten that Scout was the narrator but didn't Harper Lee protray Atticus in a most believable way? ... How do you feel about biographies that are written by the opposite sex from the subject?"

Nina, I have no problem with biographers who write about persons of the opposite gender. In that case there is no first-person narrator. A non-fiction biography is usually narrated in the third person.

PS-When you talk to your book club members, be sure to stress that we're talking about first-person narrators (i.e., they use the word "I" when telling their story).


message 250: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1977 comments Another famous historical instance of an opposite-sex narrator that comes to mind is the eponymous narrator of Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders. Of course, I can't comment on how well the device works in that case, since I haven't read the book! (Though I've often thought that the premise is intriguing. :-)) And I know that in Bleak House, Dickens intertwines a third person narrative with the first person one of a female character, Esther Summerson. Maybe someone who's read either or both of those can comment on whether or not the male writer comes across convincingly in the female narrative voice?


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Joe Haldeman (other topics)
Charlaine Harris (other topics)
Lyn Hamilton (other topics)
Steven Saylor (other topics)
Tatiana de Rosnay (other topics)
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