Manny's Reviews > Middlemarch

Middlemarch by George Eliot
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bookshelves: older-men-younger-women, the-goodreads-experience

Since it's still Stalker Week here on Goodreads, I decided to create a new shelf, which I've called older-men-younger-women. I hope that's neutral enough that I won't get flagged. My criterion is simple: a relationship between a man and a much younger woman needs to play an important part in the story.

Well, as I was saying to Meredith, I knew ahead of time that Twilight and Lolita would be there. I trust we've already absorbed all the lessons that can usefully be drawn from these books, so I won't dwell on them. My list also contains a considerable number of volumes from the wonderfully trashy Brigade Mondaine series. If you look at these, you'll get rather more offbeat advice: for example, don't get involved with an older man if he's investigating your twin sister for a grisly murder, or don't get involved with an older man if he's just using you to help get his regular girlfriend back from a gang of Chinese criminals who are threatening her with death by poisonous sea-snake. (Note: it's okay if poisonous sea-snakes aren't involved).

But it was the classic novels that surprised me most. I'd quite forgotten that some of them belonged to this category, and Middlemarch is the star example. Girls, don't get involved with elderly academics. They'll try and get you to do things you really don't want to do. Disgusting things. I'm having trouble even saying this, but they'll... they'll... they'll try to make you promise to edit their papers posthumously. They will. It's true. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to shock you, but it was necessary. Just say no. And run.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 1, 1994 – Finished Reading
March 24, 2009 – Shelved
October 6, 2010 – Shelved as: older-men-younger-women
February 28, 2011 – Shelved as: the-goodreads-experience

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)

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The Crimson Fucker makes me miss the good ol' days when all the stalking was being done in Myspace =( now that the stalkers moved to good reads it's getting hard to get the goodreads freaks to get kinky =(


message 2: by Natalie (last edited Oct 07, 2010 01:37PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Natalie What about Lolita? Maybe it should be put BACK on HS and college reading lists so that everyone has an example in front of them of May-December obsession? The politically correct seem to have erased it from the canon and then a generation or so later we've gone on to repeat its characters' every sin -virtually if not always physically? Sinners and Saints all be we? esp on FB etc?


Manny Sigh. Lolita is one of the most moral books I know. If it has a failing, it's that it's almost too moral. But maybe these PC types also disapprove of Crime and Punishment because it encourages people to hack old ladies to death with axes.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Lolita should be on college reading lists for an entirely different reason if you ask me...


message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica hmmm....I would like to start a shelf titled "older women, younger men." Send me your suggestions. I have a feeling they all end badly--


message 6: by Jessica (new)

Jessica no....that's in a different category (and I love that book). These must be amorous affairs...


message 7: by Jessica (new)

Jessica I actually haven't read it...must I?

Is the movie better?


message 8: by Jessica (new)

Jessica okay, I should read it, I think.


message 9: by Michael (new)

Michael A lot of John Irving's books deal with older-women younger-men relationships, and that's really the focal point of A Widow For One Year. And it doesn't end badly at all, surprisingly. I would definitely recommend it.

That's the only one I can think of right now, but I may be back after another cup of coffee.


message 10: by Jessica (last edited Oct 08, 2010 12:52PM) (new)

Jessica thanks for that rec.


anyone read Lydia Davis's novel, "End of the Story"?
Qualifies, I believe. I have it but haven't read it yet.


Manny People interested in older women and younger men: if you haven't already seen it, you might want to check out my review of She.


Traveller How did this review pop up again? Anyway, I like it. Simply can't have older people slobbering all over young 'uns without making separate shelves for those.


Moira Russell Girls, don't get involved with elderly academics. They'll try and get you to do things you really don't want to do. Disgusting things. I'm having trouble even saying this, but they'll... they'll... they'll try to make you promise to edit their papers posthumously. They will. It's true. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to shock you, but it was necessary.

No hating on Middlemarch! >:-(


Manny This isn't hating on Middlemarch, just on elderly academics.


Traveller Bird Brian wrote: "You should read it, because it's cool, but my suggestion to put it on your "older woman/younger man" shelf was not meant seriously; the "amorous affair" is a grotesque hallucination. The movie is d..."

The BBC series isn't all that different from the book, you know. (I haven't seen any other movie, only the BBC series) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108858/


Moira, you really always need to take Manny with a pinch of salt. :)


message 16: by BlackOxford (new)

BlackOxford As an older academic, I can only endorse the advice to run.


Manny Michael, I appreciate your candour. Out of curiosity, how many innocent young girls have you done this to?


message 18: by Leni (new) - rated it 5 stars

Leni Iversen How come you don't have any Jane Austen on your list? I'd think Emma would qualify if not Sense and Sensibility.

But you absolutely and definitely should read Lady Audley's Secret. That's a tale of caution if I ever read one, both for older men and for the younger women!


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