Cynthia's Reviews > Middlemarch

Middlemarch by George Eliot
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's review
Mar 07, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-read-in-2010


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Reading Progress

March 7, 2010 – Started Reading
March 7, 2010 – Shelved
March 23, 2010 –
page 275
March 27, 2010 –
page 500
March 30, 2010 –
page 600
March 31, 2010 –
page 670
April 1, 2010 –
page 800
April 2, 2010 – Finished Reading
April 3, 2010 – Shelved as: books-read-in-2010

Comments (showing 1-32 of 32) (32 new)

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Maria Cynthia, is this a first read? Whatever, let me know how you feel about this.

Cynthia This will be about the 4th time I started it. Since I have it on audible maybe I can finish it this time :(.

Lisa One of the very best books I've ever read. I think I've read it three times, and will read it again now it's on my Kindle.

Cynthia It's pretty transcendent.

·Karen· It is superb. And if you want to see why Marian Evans called herself George there's a wondefrfully scathing piece by her on Silly Novels by Lady Novelists:

message 6: by Mag (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mag Congratulations!!

Cynthia Thanks Mag. 4th times the charm. Now send your good thoughts for Les Miz though this is only my 3rd try on that.

message 8: by Mag (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mag Really? Les Miz sucked me in right away on the first try. I have never read it, tried to read it, watched a movie, or gone to see the musical ever before.
I haven't read or tried to read Middlemarch ever before, either, but it is on my list.

Cynthia That's great Mag. The whole religion thing stalls me :(.

message 10: by Mag (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mag What religion thing??

Cynthia Mag maybe I'm lost here but Dumas really hits religion HARD at least what I've read so far. Cathlosism, who is good and who isn't, that being poor is a good thing, etc.

message 12: by Mag (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mag You mean Hugo. Ok- religion is there all right, but it's not aggressive at all. The first chapter of the Miz is The Upright Man, which is about a bishop, that's true, but it's about him being a do-gooder much more than about anything else. No preaching involved. Hugo does seem to believe in a personal God, but I would even say it's a God more akin to the gods of the ancient world (that may punish you for your hubris, for example). He even ventures to say that an atheist can be a good man. No, no, nothing to worry about. I would be the first person who would be allergic to stuff like that. It's wonderfully humanistic so far.

message 13: by Mag (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mag You made me wonder, and here is what I found. It's consistent with what I see in Les Miserables:
"Victor Hugo and religion
Born into an atheistic family, Victor Hugo came close to Catholicism after his marriage with Adele Foucher, perhaps to be in conformity with the literary circle in which he lived. He was a deep believer, sometimes even a mystical one. After the events of 1848, he changed faced with the Catholics' indifference to the misery of mankind, and did not trust any more religions.

Like Voltaire, Victor Hugo was therefore a deist, i.e. a believer without religion. Sensitive to the mysteries of world, he tried to reconcile his spiritual vision of universe to a rationalist and optimistic idea of the history of humanity. With the passing years, Victor Hugo became fundamentally anticlerical and denounced obscurantism with strength. He was also a defender of freethinking, word he was one of the first to use."

message 14: by Mag (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mag And, to being poor. The whole book is about how to change the world so that there are no more poor people around...

Cynthia Thanks for sharing that info Mag. Until I got to the old man dying I had zero interest in the book. Discussing who is good and how they're good didn't catch my attention. This is one reason I feel frustrated with some of the 'classics'. There's apparently something wrong with me since so many people *love certain works which is how they got to be classics. I'm hoping I can hang in long enough this time so I can get to the WOW of this book.

Maria Re Middlemarch, I don't believe I've ever read an all-around better writer, perhaps with very few exceptions. Re V Hugo, I was in thrall to him with the first Les Mis page, so hang in even if it takes longer! He's so personal, he's so confiding, he's so disarmingly charming and full of really interesting observations about everything, filtered through his world. His writing is so immediate & his god so personal we don't mind the too-constant mention. I think it's more as Mag says, deism, without my knowing anything about his background. Did you read Hunchback of ND? give it a while & you'll get the rhythm and the humor and the extraordinariness of him & it will be worth it.

message 17: by Mag (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mag Agree with Maria. It will really become WOW around page 80 when you meet Jean Valjean, and in between the death of the old man was the best bit for me. Hang in there- it will be worth it!
Re Middlemarch- was it a good audio copy? It looks like I will have to get it from Audible because my library doesn't have an audio copy available.

Cynthia Thanks Maria. I got to book 2 with Valjean and things have picked up. That priest wore me OUT.

message 19: by Maria (last edited Apr 07, 2010 11:05AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maria Hahahahaha! I'm still LOL as I type this, b ecause despite my adoration of this wonderful priest I was getting antsy myself, and then finally met JV! The amazing thing is that even he won't matter that much after a while; it's the weaving in of the OTHER stuff, oh so inscouciantly (sp?), if that's a word.

Mag, I have a problematic memory or no memory, sometimes, and can't focus on audio at all, so I've never tried it. Eventually, I'll get a kindle, I guess.

message 20: by Mag (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mag Oh sorry! The question about audio was to Cynthia and about Middlemarch. I am not sure what discussion I am following anymore... I am glad that things have improved re Hugo.

Cynthia Mag wrote: "Oh sorry! The question about audio was to Cynthia and about Middlemarch. I am not sure what discussion I am following anymore... I am glad that things have improved re Hugo."

Mag sorry I missed your question. The recording for MM was servicable. Or maybe the story was just so good it didn't matter who was telling it. I should go back to audible and rate it. I'm finding the narrator for Les Miz much better.

Cynthia Maria wrote: "The amazing thing is that even he won't matter that much after a while; it's the weaving in of the OTHER stuff, oh so inscouciantly (sp?), if that's a word. "i>

That's what others have said so I'm counting on that. I don't mind some philosophizing but when it goes on for 50+ pages!!!!!

message 23: by Mag (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mag Who was narrator? There are at least three unabridged recordings of Middlemarch there...

Cynthia I'll check when I get home and let you know.

Cynthia Mag I'm sorry I forgot last night to check in my MM audio narrator. I'll try and get that to you in the next few days.

message 26: by Mag (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mag Not to worry. I forgot 'the' in front of the 'narrator' :) I started eating up little words. I hope it's not the early stages of Alzheimer's...

Cynthia AHHHHHHHHH. Don't say that. I started taking some tips from a book called Brain Power Game Plan because of my fear of that. It said to eat berries, 3 cups of caffein a day, brocolli and cauliflower, nuts, plenty of water, fatty fish (salmon) and or omega three, 2-6 alcohol beverages a week. They also have other exercises in the book but I'm thinking our extensive reading can take the place of those.

Cynthia Mag the narrator is Gabriel Woolfe.

message 29: by Mag (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mag That diet sounds good to me! Thanks for the narrator!

Cynthia Mag wrote: "That diet sounds good to me! Thanks for the narrator!"

I think I forgot to list avocados. I can't object to any of the other stuff either especially the berries.....yummy.

Cynthia Mag I ran across this MM version while shopping their half price sale. It has a better rating than the one I heard:

message 32: by Mag (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mag Thanks! That's the one I am getting, actually :) I liked it most of all the samples I listened to.

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