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Group Reads > Daniel Deronda by George Eliot

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message 1: by Wolf (new)

Wolf Ostheeren (hazelwolf) | 70 comments So, we have a home now. I'll be ready to start some time next week, but feel free to jump in without me, I'll catch up soon. :)

I'm going to read the ready made kindle edition, btw. If I could scrape together money for books I'd rather put it somewhere else. So far my experiences with the free kindle editions have been mostly good, anyway.


message 2: by Susan (new)

Susan Chapek | 204 comments I was able to grab a nice, floppy paperback at the library, and I've read 3 chapters. It's the Penguin edition, and it has good notes at the end.

I'm enjoying it, but I'll hold off on specific comments, though I already have a few.


message 3: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4353 comments Mod
Katie wrote: "I won't spoil anything, but looking forward to seeing what people think :)"

Usually for buddy reads we don't create two threads, one with and one without spoilers. However in case you want to write something that might be a potential spoiler you can always hide it.
Here is how:
How to mark Spoilers
< spoiler>text goes here< /spoiler>

- Make sure to remove the spaces between the brackets and you get: (view spoiler)


message 4: by Michele (new)

Michele | 520 comments Fun! I shall jump in and see if I can catch up.


message 5: by Molly (new)

Molly Ringle (molly_ringle) | 27 comments I read this one many years ago and quite liked it! Dense going sometimes, but it went some really interesting places that most books of that era didn't. Eliot had one awesome mind.

Also, the BBC adaptation with Hugh Dancy and Romola Garai was quite good!


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan Chapek | 204 comments I always forget how much more modern she reads than Dickens. And there is a kind of slanted, observing-from-the-sidelines POV that always reminds me of Austen and Trollope.


message 7: by Wolf (new)

Wolf Ostheeren (hazelwolf) | 70 comments I'm so glad we ar doing this! If I hadn't told you, I'd start last week, I would have put it off again (let's call it the doorstopper effect....) and read something else. As things are, I read the first chapter last night and two more this morning. In the beginning I was a little annoyed because Eliot is slowing me down. At my normal reading speed, I can't make sense of some of her complicated sentences and have to go back. But actually, that's a good thing, I'd been craving a novel that would last for more than three days and this one definitely will.

Gwendolen... I really wonder why I don't hate her. She's pretty horrible, isn't she? But somehow, Eliot explains so well why she is the way she is that I sympathize even though I would hate her described any other way. I was especially startled how she (view spoiler) Stupid, selfcentred girl. I actually think that's pretty close to Dickens, this semi-satirical description of her that makes her at once a real person and one you can smilingly shake your head at. But it IS more subtle and so I think I can still agree with you about the "more realistic", Katie.


message 8: by Michele (new)

Michele | 520 comments Wolf wrote: "In the beginning I was a little annoyed because Eliot is slowing me down. At my normal reading speed, I can't make sense of some of her complicated sentences and have to go back. But actually, that's a good thing,..."

I know, I feel the same way about Dickens. Some authors force you to slow down and take your time due to the complexity and craft of their writing, which I find quite refreshing. It's like a workout for the language centers of your brain. So much stuff today seems to be written so as to be read as fast as possible (presumably so you can rush out and buy the author's next page-turner).

A "page-turner" this is not lol


message 9: by Molly (new)

Molly Ringle (molly_ringle) | 27 comments Again, it's been a while since I read this, but something that's stuck with me all this time was a remark by someone (probably whoever wrote the introduction in my edition) who observed that the relationship between Gwendolyn and Daniel sometimes resembles that of patient and therapist. When I looked at it like that, it completely fit, and is just another example of how ahead of her time Eliot was! This book does go some deeper places than I expected. Quite a mind on that writer.


message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan Chapek | 204 comments Katie said, "Eliot is interesting because she's realistic, but, unlike Hardy, she seems able to do realism without being really bleak."

You nailed it! I think part of it is because Eliot understands the complexities and frailties of her characters, and wants us to do the same.


message 11: by Wolf (last edited Mar 17, 2016 11:34AM) (new)

Wolf Ostheeren (hazelwolf) | 70 comments I took a little break because of library due dates and wanting to read something by a mystery author to whose reading I went the day before yesterday. But I kept thinking about Gwendolen nonetheless. As much as I think her a spoiled brat, I'm fascinated by the fact that it was possible to write a female character like that in those times. And I actually don't want her to be "tamed" or educated or treated (as Daniel as therapist above implies) or "broken", as you'd say about the spirited filly I sometimes see her as in my mind. And somehow I don't see that happen, I trust Eliot to keep her that way. Or let her die rather than change. Hopeful thinking, maybe. -- But writing this made me want to pick the book up again and that's a good thing. I love Daniel, by the way. I was so relieved that my impression of him was closer to home than Gwendolen's.

Michele: Once I had gotten used to the style, it actually turned into a little of a pageturner on me. I wanted to know how things would develop. And: There were horses! ;)


message 12: by Susan (new)

Susan Chapek | 204 comments I'm reading slowly, for a variety of really legitimate reasons that I won't however bore you with.

So I'm only at chapter 9. But should begin to move faster now.

I am enjoying the characters so much.


message 13: by Phair (new)

Phair (sphair) | 34 comments Have not read this book but noticed a recent novel which Is sort of a retelling Gwendolen Gwendolen by Diana Souhami


message 14: by Michele (new)

Michele | 520 comments Wolf wrote: "And: There were horses! ;) "

Always a good thing!


message 15: by Susan (new)

Susan Chapek | 204 comments Phair wrote: "Have not read this book but noticed a recent novel which Is sort of a retelling Gwendolen Gwendolen by Diana Souhami"

How interesting!

In other news, I'm just starting Book 2, and making swifter progress now, with other reading obligations out of the way.

So far, I feel one difference between this book and Middlemarch that matters a lot to me--in Middlemarch we had several secondary characters whose plots run parallel to what we understand to be the central arc (Dorothea's), while in Daniel Derondawe seem to be always following Gwendolen's story (we hear about other characters only insofar as they're with Gwendolen or thinking about Gwendolen).

Now as I say, I'm only beginning Book 2, so perhaps I'm speaking too soon--Eliot may be about to branch out a bit more.


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