The Old Curiosity Club discussion

Great Expectations
This topic is about Great Expectations
39 views
Great Expectations > Reading Schedule, and General Remarks

Comments Showing 1-50 of 87 (87 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

Tristram Shandy | 4456 comments Mod
My dear Fellow-Revellers in Curiosity,

It is with great pleasure and proud humility that I open our first book thread by proposing this revised reading schedule for Great Expectations!

Each week has two threads, one is opened on Sunday, the other on Wednesday – moderators will change weekly. I have adopted the American style of putting months before days this time but as requested, next time I will do the European style and let somebody else translate it:

01/05 – 01/11: Chp. 01-02 // Chp. 03-04
01/12 – 01/18: Chp. 05 // Chp. 06-07
01/19 – 01/25: Chp. 08 // Chp. 09-10
01/26 – 02/01: no new chapters
02/02 – 02/08: Chp. 11 // Chp. 12-13
02/09 – 02/15: Chp. 14-15 // Chp. 16-17
02/16 – 02/22: Chp. 18 // Chp. 19
02/23 – 03/01: Chp. 20-21 // Chp. 22
03/02 – 03/08: Chp. 23-24 // Chp. 25-26
03/09 – 03/15: Chp. 27-28 // Chp. 29
03/16 – 03/22: Chp. 30-31 // Chp. 32-33
03/23 – 03/29: Chp. 34-35 // Chp. 36-37
03/30 – 04/05: Chp. 38 // Chp. 39
04/06 – 04/12: Chp. 40 // Chp. 41-42
04/13 – 04/19: Chp. 43-44 // Chp. 45-46
04/20 – 04/26: Chp. 47-48 // Chp. 49-50
04/27 – 05/03: Chp. 51-52 // Chp. 53
05/04 – 05/10: Chp. 54 // Chp. 55-56
05/11 – 05/17: Chp. 57 // Chp. 58-59

Should you notice any mistakes, I’d be glad if you let me know.

Setting up that group meant a lot of work for all of us, and so as most of us have probably not read on this week, I didn’t schedule any new chapters for this week. I hope it’s okay. If not, we could have a poll.


message 2: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5700 comments Mod
Thanks fellow mod. I'll start getting things ready.


Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "Setting up that group meant a lot of work for all of us, and so as most of us have probably not read on this week, I didn’t schedule any new chapters for this week. I hope it’s okay."

Suits me. After all, we now have threads up for the first 10 chapters to post in, and if that isn't good enough to hold us for the next few days, then there plenty of beer on tap at the Three Jolly Bargemen to help while away the time while we wait.

As for me, I'm back to re-reading the first chapters to see what I missed first time around.


Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 149 comments Thank you so much, moderators, (and anyone else) for all your AMAZING work! Welcome to our new moderator, Everyman. I feel like singing a round of 'He's a jolly good fellow', well for all of you really. I am impressed! Bouquets of roses all round!


message 5: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5700 comments Mod
I'll get back to posting later - illustrations and such - I have choir practice tonight which requires me to actually play the piano the way it is supposed to be played for everyone to hear their part correctly. It always takes me a lot of practice to get each part perfect. If they would just let me play what I want there would be no problem. So off I go to get those parts down, and I will see you all later, or perhaps tomorrow morning. It depends on how bad they sing tonight. :-)


Peter | 3033 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "My dear Fellow-Revellers in Curiosity,

It is with great pleasure and proud humility that I open our first book thread by proposing this revised reading schedule for Great Expectations!

Each week ..."


Hi Tristram

Would you or Kim like to open our first new chapters for The Old Curiosity Club? While I have them ready, I think the honour of cutting the ribbon, breaking the bottle or whatever the Victorians did should go to Kim or yourself in some manner.

I will be happy to then post the detailed entry for Chapter 12&13. I'm at The Three Jolly Bargemen now. If you can't find me I'm the one with a silly grin on my face sitting with an empty bottle of red wine. I will be sitting alone. Evidently, my singing voice leaves much wanting in contemporary standards. I thought I sounded quite fine.


Bionic Jean (bionicjean) LOL Oh I do love you all :) I must be feeling quite tipsy with my pint of sherry in front of me here, my party hat on, and the kazoo I keep blowing. After all I'm usually a teetotaler :)

I'm refreshing the chapters in my mind too. Will comment in due course. Amazing job all :)


Tristram Shandy | 4456 comments Mod
I just got a message from Kim, who told me that she isn't feeling too well at the moment and has to lay down. She would like to do the illustrations, though, since she enjoys them very much, and therefore asks you to wait for her to do them. This will be tomorrow or tonight.


Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "I just got a message from Kim, who told me that she isn't feeling too well at the moment and has to lay down. She would like to do the illustrations, though, since she enjoys them very much, and th..."

I think we'll gladly wait for Kim, she does such a fantastic job of them.


message 10: by Bionic Jean (last edited Feb 03, 2017 11:16AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Oh no! Poor Kim :( I hope it wasn't too much time on the computer made her migraines start.

Tristram - Rather than me send a separate message for her to have to squint at, please could you suggest that she gives herself plenty of time, and if she needs longer than she thought, then just to type "save" or something in each comment slot she'll need (eg if she has 10 pics then she types it in the next 10 comment spaces). Then she can insert them at her leisure without impeding the discussion. I often "reserve" slots like this, and it might give her a break!

Of course we'll gladly wait, but knowing Kim, she might still feel pressured to do it in the next few days.


Peter | 3033 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "I just got a message from Kim, who told me that she isn't feeling too well at the moment and has to lay down. She would like to do the illustrations, though, since she enjoys them very much, and th..."

Tristram

Thanks for your reply. I, too, am sorry to hear that Kim is not feeling well. I will most certainly wait until Kim is ready to do the illustrations for us before I post the commentary for chapters 12&13.

Just let me know and I'll be there for you guys.


Tristram Shandy | 4456 comments Mod
Strictly speaking, according to our revised reading schedule, your post would not be due before next Wednesday, anyway, but in the light of recent events we might be ready for it in the course of the weekend, and then get back to a more regular way of doing things next Thursday ;-)


message 13: by Bionic Jean (last edited Feb 04, 2017 03:19AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Hi Tristram,

I'm not sure if you would like us to hold back now from posting comments in all the threads in this folder, until Kim has reserved some slots (or even managed to post the illustrations). I think she used to post them "as and when", so think I may be a bit confused here. I'm happy to wait of course :)


Tristram Shandy | 4456 comments Mod
No, of course you are invited to post from now on!


Bionic Jean (bionicjean) OK fine, thanks :)


Bionic Jean (bionicjean)

By popular demand ... Here is the title page to "Classics Illustrated" 1.


Peter | 3033 comments Mod
Oh, this is incredible. What would Boz say?


Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I'm not sure he'd appreciate the dulcet prose, but I reckon he'd appreciate the principle of the enterprise, and maybe giggle a little along with us too :D


message 19: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5700 comments Mod
I have this one - somewhere - in my computer. I hadn't used it yet because some of the characters hadn't come into the story yet, but now I can't find it at all.


Tristram Shandy | 4456 comments Mod
I don't know but to me, Herbert looks like a very shifty character in that illustration ;-)


message 21: by Bionic Jean (last edited Feb 26, 2017 05:28AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Oh, sorry Kim! I checked for spoilers but thought it was OK ... Shall I put it under a spoiler tag?

I can imagine Dickens doing this sort of thing, in the same way as with the earlier novels he used to tell us at the beginning of each chapter what was going to happen - without really telling us! And some of the frontispieces include bits from the stories too :)

But on the other hand he might have hated it LOL!


message 22: by Kim (last edited Feb 26, 2017 08:41AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5700 comments Mod
That's Ok. I'm not sure what I was thinking at the time, I must have had an awful headache. I do spend a lot of time making sure I don't give anything away - in all illustrations, but I didn't mean you must do it, or that anyone even notices.

Also, I find that most of us have already read this, even though you all were NOT supposed to until this group got to this one (my reading it twice doesn't count). :-) Even if you read it before we had the group, you should have realized that someday we would. :-)

Oh, and yes, Dickens would have confused everyone with his title pages putting every - almost every - person on the page. I never thought of that before.


Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Honestly Kim, if you wanted me to remove it completely I'd be quite happy to! But if you can't find it now, the spoilers might be more useful.

I love how everybody is so scrupulous in not "spilling the beans", even though most threads are only a couple of chapters, so I'd hate to be the one who makes a boob!

Maybe Dickens and Phiz intended readers to keep going back to have a look?


message 24: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5700 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "Honestly Kim, if you wanted me to remove it completely I'd be quite happy to! But if you can't find it now, the spoilers might be more useful.

I love how everybody is so scrupulous in not "spillin..."


I've gotten so used to not spilling the beans, or trying to, I guess it is so much of a habit I couldn't think of any other way to post them. But it is Ok, really. A lot of the illustrations come with a commentary, a very interesting thing to read, however, these commentators are all assuming that we have all read the book - any book we have - because they don't mind telling us all about what is coming next. They will start with something like:

Our main character, a boy from a high privileged family, with all the wealth he could want, upon meeting a clerk in a baker's shop - I don't know if bakers have clerks, but you get the idea - and both men eventually, come to poverty and must travel to France to once again come back to prosperity and even find love when they meet two wealthy sisters living in Paris. This illustration, while showing our hero in his home surrounded by all he could want, also tells you of what is to come, you can see the empty bird cage over his shoulder telling us he also will have to leave his surroundings. "

Ok, I made all that up, but that is what the commentaries do, so I read through them and take out the things that shouldn't be mentioned so soon in the first place. Anyway, I guess it has become so much of a habit when I see an illustration, I immediately am searching for the spoilers. But you shouldn't worry about my mental problems. :-) I'm not too dangerous at the moment. Now if anyone starts picking on Christmas it may change my mood.........


Bionic Jean (bionicjean) LOL I love your synopsis of a possible Dickens novel!


Peter | 3033 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "Jean wrote: "Honestly Kim, if you wanted me to remove it completely I'd be quite happy to! But if you can't find it now, the spoilers might be more useful.

I love how everybody is so scrupulous in..."


Kim

Thank you for including a reference to a bird cage. :-)


message 27: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5700 comments Mod
Peter wrote: "Kim wrote: "Jean wrote: "Honestly Kim, if you wanted me to remove it completely I'd be quite happy to! But if you can't find it now, the spoilers might be more useful.

I love how everybody is so s..."


It was just for you. :-)


Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "Ok, I made all that up, but that is what the commentaries do..."

That just made me realize that there are writers who write sequels or prequels or borrow characters from many other classic English authors -- Austen, Conan Doyle, others -- but I don't know anybody who has tried to write a Dickens sequel or prequel or otherwise tried to imitate Dickens. Are they not there, or have I just not seen them?


message 29: by Mary Lou (last edited Feb 26, 2017 06:18PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mary Lou | 2311 comments Everyman wrote: "That just made me realize that there are writers who write sequels or prequels or borrow characters from many other cla..."

I read a sequel to "A Christmas Carol" this past year. I'm afraid I wrote a rather uncharitable review of it. Okay, it was a scathing review...

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

PS Another reviewer of the book who shared my opinion recommended another ACC sequel - F. William Bennett's "Jacob T. Marley". I've added it to my to-read list.


Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Mary Lou wrote: "
I read a sequel to "A Christmas Carol" this past year.."


Well, a Christmas Carol, of course. That's so bad it deserves some attempts to make it readable.


Mary Lou | 2311 comments Everyman wrote: "Well, a Christmas Carol, of course. That's so bad it deserves some attempts to make it readable."

We'll have to agree to disagree on that one. :-)


Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Everyman - there are 12 on Goodreads:

link here

I've heard good things about Havisham by Ronald Frame and Jack Dawkins by Charlton Daines.


message 33: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5700 comments Mod
Everyman wrote: "Mary Lou wrote: "
I read a sequel to "A Christmas Carol" this past year.."

Well, a Christmas Carol, of course. That's so bad it deserves some attempts to make it readable."


One of these days........................

I'll snap.


Tristram Shandy | 4456 comments Mod
Well, I don't know, but writing spin-off literature from Dickens is quite presumptuous, isn't it? Somebody who actually loves Dickens would expect a spin-off writer to write like Dickens, and I don't think it's so easy to do this. I once read a book called "Quincunx" or something like that, and it somehow reminded me of Dickens because it created a vast portrait of Victorian life, but the author did not attempt to dabble in Dickens's kind of humour. Luckily. After all, Dickens is not called the Inimitable for nothing.


message 35: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5700 comments Mod
Does finishing "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" count? I cannot wait to read this one:

"In 1873, a young Vermont printer, Thomas James, published a version which he claimed had been literally 'ghost-written' by him channeling Dickens's spirit. A sensation was created, with several critics, including Arthur Conan Doyle, a spiritualist himself, praising this version, calling it similar in style to Dickens's work; and for several decades the James version of Edwin Drood was common in America. Other Drood scholars disagree. John C. Walters "dismiss[ed it] with contempt", stating that the work "is self-condemned by its futility, illiteracy, and hideous American mannerisms; the mystery itself becomes a nightmare, and the solution only deepens the obscurity."


Tristram Shandy | 4456 comments Mod
I read one of those novels that finished the Mystery of Edwin Drood; it was written by two Italian writers, but I can't really remember anything about the story any more. So it can't have been too impressive.


message 37: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5700 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "I read one of those novels that finished the Mystery of Edwin Drood; it was written by two Italian writers, but I can't really remember anything about the story any more. So it can't have been too ..."

According to Wikipedia:

Three of the most recent of the posthumous collaborations are The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Leon Garfield (1980), The Decoding of Edwin Drood (1980) by Charles Forsyte and The Mystery of Edwin Drood by David Madden (2011). There was also a humorous continuation by the Italian duo Fruttero & Lucentini entitled The D Case.


Tristram Shandy | 4456 comments Mod
It was the last title that I read, and all I remember is that it had all sorts of detectives from literature come together and try to solve the case. But I no longer remember the solution.


message 39: by Xan (new) - added it

Xan  Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 867 comments Tristram wrote: "Well, I don't know, but writing spin-off literature from Dickens is quite presumptuous, isn't it? Somebody who actually loves Dickens would expect a spin-off writer to write like Dickens, and I don..."

I read Quincunx too, and I agree. Boy, was that one dark. Whew! It was a descent into Hell. Now there's an unreliable narrator.

Attempting to emulate Dickens is a near impossible task. I would still like to read GE from Estella's point of view though, but perhaps asking for a Dickensian novel is asking for too much. I'll settle for a well-written, thoughtful attempt at seeing GE through Estella' eyes.


message 40: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5700 comments Mod


In a novel that is at once intense, beautiful, and fablelike, Lloyd Jones weaves a transcendent story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the power of narrative to transform our lives.

On a copper-rich tropical island shattered by war, where the teachers have fled with most everyone else, only one white man chooses to stay behind: the eccentric Mr. Watts, object of much curiosity and scorn, who sweeps out the ruined schoolhouse and begins to read to the children each day from Charles Dickens’s classic Great Expectations.

So begins this rare, original story about the abiding strength that imagination, once ignited, can provide. As artillery echoes in the mountains, thirteen-year-old Matilda and her peers are riveted by the adventures of a young orphan named Pip in a city called London, a city whose contours soon become more real than their own blighted landscape. As Mr. Watts says, “A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe.” Soon come the rest of the villagers, initially threatened, finally inspired to share tales of their own that bring alive the rich mythology of their past. But in a ravaged place where even children are forced to live by their wits and daily survival is the only objective, imagination can be a dangerous thing.



message 41: by Mary Lou (last edited Feb 27, 2017 09:27AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mary Lou | 2311 comments Kim wrote: "In a novel that is at once intense, beautiful, and fablelike, Lloyd Jones weaves a transcendent story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the power of narrative to transform our ..."

It seems to me that someone recently told me that this was made into a film. Did I hear that here? I also seem to remember that whoever had seen it didn't care much for it. But there was a big name in the lead role. Shoot - now I have to go look it up....

Here we go - it was Hugh Laurie. Here's the imdb page:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1485749/

I just reserved it at the library - will try to watch it this weekend and give you a review. :-)

PS Just realized I don't own a movie adaptation of GE! How is that possible? I've got Dombey, Rudge, several versions of Twist and Copperfield, etc. but somehow GE hasn't made it to my shelf. Huh.


message 42: by Bionic Jean (last edited Feb 27, 2017 10:28AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I read Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones before joining Goodreads, but it was more about a civil war than Dickens. Powerful but unpleasant stuff.

A real-life friend (a writer) regards The Quincunx by Charles Palliser very highly. Chris though got bored and thought it was "rather a lame pastiche of a Victorian novel" so you takes your pick!

Since we're talking about books about the characters and worlds Dickens invented, there's always Death and Mr. Pickwick: A Novel by Stephen Jarvis, as he kept reminding us all in that other place ... I forget its name ... ;)


message 43: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5700 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "there's always Death and Mr. Pickwick: A Novel by Stephen Jarvis, as he kept reminding us all in that other place ... I forget its name ... "

That put a smile on my face. :-)


Peter | 3033 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "In a novel that is at once intense, beautiful, and fablelike, Lloyd Jones weaves a transcendent story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the power of narrative to transform our ..."

I read this shortly after it came out and before I joined Goodreads. Not bad actually, as I recall it. Another Dickens inspired novel is Jack Maggs but I was not overly excited by it.


Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "Everyman - there are 12 on Goodreads:

link here"


Oh well. I guess it was too good to be true. Thanks for popping my happy bubble! [g]


Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "Does finishing "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" count? I cannot wait to read this one:."

As a matter of principle, I don't read spin-offs, prequels, sequels, character theft, etc.

If an author isn't creative enough to create their own characters and plot, but has to steal from another author, I figure they aren't worth reading.


Mary Lou | 2311 comments Everyman wrote: "As a matter of principle, I don't read spin-offs, prequels, sequels, character theft, etc. If an ..."

I tend to agree with you, Everyman, though I obviously haven't made it a hard and fast rule. But I can't remember an instance where I've been glad to have done it. I get really frustrated when I think I'm reading an author I like, but it just doesn't sound like their voice, only to find that they died and the estate hired a ghost writer. Pure greed, that.


Tristram Shandy | 4456 comments Mod
Mary Lou wrote: "Kim wrote: "In a novel that is at once intense, beautiful, and fablelike, Lloyd Jones weaves a transcendent story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the power of narrative to tr..."

I have got one single version of GE on my movie shelves but I have to admit that generally I am not a very avid collector of film versions of Victorian novels because they usually disappoint me. Especially when it comes to Dickens, whose larger-than-life characters cannot be put on the screen in a way that makes them meet my expectations. However, I bought that version because none other but the great Jean Simmons is starring as Miss Havisham. I just love Jean Simmons, and she does not disappoint here. It's from the early 90s.


Tristram Shandy | 4456 comments Mod
Everyman wrote: "Kim wrote: "Does finishing "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" count? I cannot wait to read this one:."

As a matter of principle, I don't read spin-offs, prequels, sequels, character theft, etc.

If an ..."


I half more than half a mind to agree with you here, Everyman. In fact, I cannot really remember an instance of my liking a spin-off novel. I came across a very disappointing Sherlock Holmes spin-off two or three years ago, and since then I have given those spin-offs a wide berth.


Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I read somewhere that she really wanted to do that, because as a child she was the quintessential child-Estelle in David Lean's film. Nice!


« previous 1
back to top