The Old Curiosity Club discussion

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Our Mutual Friend > Reading Schedule, and General Observations

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message 1: by Tristram (last edited May 28, 2017 01:52AM) (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4365 comments Mod
Hello friends,

We are going to start our next major Dickens novel in a couple of weeks, and this is the reading schedule in the European version (Kim also made one in the American way, which she is probably going to post here):

01/06/2017 – 07/06/2017: I, Chp. 01-04
08/06/2017 – 14/06/2017: I, Chp. 05-07
15/06/2017 – 21/06/2017: I, Chp. 08-10
22/06/2017 – 28/06/2017: I, Chp. 11-13
29/06/2017 – 05/07/2017: I, Chp. 14-17

06/07/2017 – 12/07/2017: II, Chp. 01-03
13/07/2017 – 19/07/2017: II, Chp. 04-06
20/07/2017 – 26/07/2017: II, Chp. 07-10
27/07/2017 – 02/08/2017: II, Chp. 11-13
03/08/2017 – 09/08/2017: II, Chp. 14-16

10/08/2017 – 16/08/2017: III, Chp. 01-04
17/08/2017 – 23/08/2017: III, Chp. 05-07
24/08/2017 – 30/08/2017: III, Chp. 08-10
31/08/2017 – 06/09/2017: III, Chp. 11-14
07/09/2017 – 13/09/2017: III, Chp. 15-17

14/09/2017 – 20/09/2017: IV, Chp. 01-04
21/09/2017 – 27/09/2017: IV, Chp. 05-07
28/09/2017 – 04/10/2017: IV, Chp. 08-11
05/10/2017 – 11/10/2017: IV, Chp. 12-17


Our Mutual Friend is at least as grim and as dark as Great Expectations but there are even more side characters and sub-plots, as it’s the last big novel Dickens finished. It also happens to be one of my favourite Dickens novels, and I hope you are also going to enjoy it 😊


message 2: by Peter (new)

Peter | 2941 comments Mod
It has been, well, decades since I last read OMF. I am looking forward to it.


message 3: by Kim (last edited May 30, 2017 06:09PM) (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
6/1 - 6/7: I, Chap. 01-04
6/8 - 6/14: I, Chap. 05-07
6/15 - 6/21: I, Chap. 08-10
6/22 - 6/28: I, Chap. 11-13
6/29 - 7/5: I, Chap. 14-17

7/6 - 7/12: II, Chap. 01-03
7/13 - 7/19: II, Chap. 04-06
7/20 - 7/26: II, Chap. 07-10
7/27 - 8/2: II, Chap. 11-13
8/3 - 8/9: II, Chap. 14-16

8/10 - 8/16: III, Chap. 01-04
8/17 - 8/23: III, Chap. 04-07
8/24 - 8/30: III, Chap. 08-10
8/31 - 9/6: III, Chap. 11-14
9/7 - 9/13: III, Chap. 15-17

9/14 - 9/20: IV, Chap. 01-04
9/21 - 9/27: IV, Chap. 05-07
9/29 - 10/4: IV, Chap. 08-11
10/5 - 10/11 : IV, Chap. 12-17


Look at that, month, day, month, day, it just makes it so much easier. Just in case you don't know which year it is, it is this one. :-)


message 4: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Well I for one am glad that the right way is in comment 1, Kim LOL!

Seriously, I am looking forward to this too, though I'm afraid I may be a couple of weeks late starting.


message 5: by Linda (new)

Linda | 362 comments I purchased my Penguin copy of the book today, hoping to sneak back into the group once again at the beginning of a read. Sorry I've been terrible at commenting lately!


message 6: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 17 comments This will be my first read with the group, looking forward to it!


message 7: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2237 comments Dianne wrote: "This will be my first read with the group, looking forward to it!"

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much richer your reading experience will be when you do it with this group! So many great observations and insights. :-)


message 8: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 17 comments I suspect you are right Mary Lou! :)


message 9: by LindaH (new)

LindaH | 124 comments Kim wrote: "6/1 - 6/7: I, Chap. 01-04
6/8 - 6/14: I, Chap. 05-07
6/15 - 6/21: I, Chap. 08-10
6/22 - 6/28: I, Chap. 11-13
6/29 - 7/5: I, Chap. 14-17

7/6 - 7/12: II, Chap. 01-03
7/13 - 7/19: II, Chap. 04-06
7/2..."


Whew! This schedule looks so much more doable to my eyes. :))


message 10: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "I purchased my Penguin copy of the book today, hoping to sneak back into the group once again at the beginning of a read. Sorry I've been terrible at commenting lately!"

Well, as long as you redeem yourself with a multitude of insightful posts on OMF every week, we'll forgive you. [g]


message 11: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Dianne wrote: "This will be my first read with the group, looking forward to it!"

It's like the first time you tasted truly decadent chocolate ice cream. There's just something magical about it!


message 12: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (bibliohound) Dianne wrote: "This will be my first read with the group, looking forward to it!"

Mine too Dianne, can't wait to get started!


message 13: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4365 comments Mod
It's great that some of you are looking forward to OMF so much that they can't wait to get started reading because actually, after finishing the reading schedule, I noticed that if we start on 1 June, we will not have time for a second week of Sketches. In other words, we won't be reading "The Tuggs's of Ramsgate" this week but start with OMF. I shied from re-arranging the reading schedule because I was glad enough to have it had worked out in the first place. Since so many of you are impatient to start with the novel, this further plays into my hand, and we might really start reading on Wednesday.

As usual, we will post a new thread every Sunday, i.e. in mid-term. Unlike with GE, we will start only one new thread per week then. Apart from that, everything else will stay the way it was. As to the Tuggs's, we might cover them after we finished the novel, to make matters easier. I hope this is okay with you?


message 14: by Peter (new)

Peter | 2941 comments Mod
It's all good Tristram.


message 15: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4365 comments Mod
Thanks, Peter!


message 16: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I'm sure I'll catch up, so whatever suits you all best is fine :)


message 17: by Linda (new)

Linda | 362 comments Everyman wrote: "Well, as long as you redeem yourself with a multitude of insightful posts on OMF every week, we'll forgive you. [g]"

Oh no, the pressure! ;)


message 18: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 149 comments Ach, Linda, we shall put our heads together and come up with some deep ideas! :p. First time read for me and I can't wait! :-)


message 19: by Ami (new)

Ami | 371 comments Tristram wrote: "Hello friends,

We are going to start our next major Dickens novel in a couple of weeks, and this is the reading schedule in the European version (Kim also made one in the American way, which she i..."


Lovely!

Our Mutual Friend is at least as grim and as dark as Great Expectations ...
Tristram, funny you should say this because I read something similar in my modern library edition stating it's Dickens's most somber and savage novel. Honestly, I can't imagine anything darker than "GE," being so very heinous at times. I'm still carrying the weight of the narrative with me even now.


message 20: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4365 comments Mod
Hilary wrote: "Ach, Linda, we shall put our heads together and come up with some deep ideas! :p. First time read for me and I can't wait! :-)"

Ach, Hilary - do they use the ch-sound in Ireland, too? It's one of the few things I miss in the English language (apart from, maybe more irregular verbs, like "holpen" instead of "helped") because it helps to clear one's throat. Plus, "ach" is also one of my favourite German words, so full of melancholy and yet so relaxing.


message 21: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4365 comments Mod
Ami wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Hello friends,

We are going to start our next major Dickens novel in a couple of weeks, and this is the reading schedule in the European version (Kim also made one in the American..."


I think that Bleak House, too, could lay claim to being the most sombre of Dickens's novels, what with Captain Hawdon's miserable death, the lot of Lady Dedlock, Krook's rather quaint way of saying Good-bye to it all and Richard's decline. But there is also a lot in OMF that will make for a dark atmosphere. In fact, a colleague of mine does not like Dickens at all - apart from that, she is a sane and nice person - because, as she says, he is so depressing to read. I wonder what she'd say about Hardy.


message 22: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I remember watching a miniseries of Our Mutual Friend, and the opening scenes of dredging the river, and the reasons why, were grim indeed. But as so often, the opening scenes in Dickens did not necessarily set the mood for the entire piece. We did not stay on the marshes in Great Expectations.


message 23: by Ami (new)

Ami | 371 comments Tristram wrote: "Ami wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Hello friends,

We are going to start our next major Dickens novel in a couple of weeks, and this is the reading schedule in the European version (Kim also made one in ..."


Does his divorce from a +/-20 year marriage coincide with the writing and publication of this novel? There may have been mention of it in the GE discussion, if I recall correctly? I'll have to look ...


message 24: by Linda (new)

Linda | 362 comments Hilary wrote: "Ach, Linda, we shall put our heads together and come up with some deep ideas! :p. First time read for me and I can't wait! :-)"

Lol Hilary! I think that would be a great idea. I fear I do not come up with many deep ideas on my own very easily. :)


message 25: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) | 149 comments Indeed, Tristram, the German throats-clearing 'ch' is a sound that we cherish in Ireland - particularly towards the North coast where the Scottish influence is stronger. :-). There certainly is something comforting about it :p

Hee hee, Linda, we all know that you are a little clever-clogs! :D. Mind you, if we all put our heads together Einstein wouldn't have a look-in!


message 26: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "I think that Bleak House, too, could lay claim to being the most sombre of Dickens's novels,"

A Tale of Two Cities.


message 27: by Peter (new)

Peter | 2941 comments Mod
Ami wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Ami wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Hello friends,

We are going to start our next major Dickens novel in a couple of weeks, and this is the reading schedule in the European version (Kim ..."


Hi Ami

The Dickens's separation occurred in May of 1858. The novel A Tale of Two Cities was wrapping up. Ellen Ternan was on the scene so his life at that time was really a tale of two women.


message 28: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
Peter wrote: "Ami wrote: "Tristram wrote: "so his life at that time was really a tale of two women. "

That sounds depressing.


message 29: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Newton | 59 comments I've never read OMF before, so it's doubly exciting to have it as my first read with this group! Really looking forward to it.


message 30: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
OMF begins today. I'm champing at the bit waiting for the first chapters to be posted!


message 31: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4365 comments Mod
I'll post them on Sunday when I've got the recaps ready. But I might already give you the first chapter because that one I've already prepared. So, I'll post it as a kind of appetizer ...


message 32: by Kim (last edited Jun 02, 2017 10:03AM) (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "I'll post them on Sunday when I've got the recaps ready. But I might already give you the first chapter because that one I've already prepared. So, I'll post it as a kind of appetizer ..."

You can ignore my message T, I should have thought to read this first. :-) I'm just glad I don't need my illustrations yet. I've found them, but haven't quite got them all where I want them yet.


message 33: by Francis (new)

Francis | 27 comments I am a relative newbie to this group so please be gentle. I read a couple of Dickens but with difficulty. I began OMF hoping y'all were going to read it next. Yahoo when i saw you were.

I am really enjoying OMF so far and look forward to generous discussions.


message 34: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2237 comments Francis wrote: "I am a relative newbie to this group so please be gentle. I read a couple of Dickens but with difficulty. I began OMF hoping y'all were going to read it next. Yahoo when i saw you were.

I am reall..."


Fear not, Francis - this is a very gentle and generous group, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much the discussions will enhance your enjoyment. You'll be an unrepentant Dickensphile by the time we're through with OMF!

Be advised however, that a strictly non-interventionist policy is probably best when the subjects of Little Nell or Christmas come up in conversation. They bring out strong opinions among some in the group. :-)


message 35: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Francis wrote: "I am a relative newbie to this group so please be gentle.."

As gentle as Palmolive dishwashing soap!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzmTt...


message 36: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4365 comments Mod
Francis,

Some of the members can be really tough and rough, but I am gentleness incarnate. Show me a person gentler than I, and I'll take them by the neck ... and embrace them, all in a spirit of pure gentleness.

All in all, I'm so very gentle, as long as you don't praise Little Nell as a literary creation ;-)


message 37: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "Francis,

Some of the members can be really tough and rough, but I am gentleness incarnate."


You're about as mentally gentle as Achilles was physically gentle! [g]

Francis, you should ask his students how gentle he is. You would get an earful!

But fortunately, the rest of us are gentle enough to cushion Tristram and save you from him when needed.

(And in case it escaped you, I both admire and love Tristram, and fortunately he knows it. But such banter is a key element of the Old Curiosity Club, so you might as well get used to it early on.)


message 38: by Linda (new)

Linda | 362 comments Tristram is gentle until you use one (or five or six) too many exclamation points, then watch out! ;)


message 39: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "Tristram is gentle until you use one (or five or six) too many exclamation points, then watch out! ;)"

You're right, Linda!! Watch out is the Watchword!!!!!!!!!!!


message 40: by Dianne (last edited Jun 03, 2017 08:26PM) (new)

Dianne | 17 comments hmmm I haven't been an active member of this group yet, but this thread is making Tristram sound like a sweet little lamb until you cross him by inadvertent Nell references or grammar foibles and then he may be, in fact, not gentle, but perhaps a raving lunatic to be feared.

Hopefully I'm wrong and you all are making Tristram out to be much scarier than he could actually ever be, even if taunted mercilessly with Nell praises in a sea of exclamation points.

I happen to know Francis from another group, and would like to convey to him that all of this bantering is all in good sport and that you will be just fine. I'm starting new with this group just as you are, and don't be intimidated by the fact that this crew knows Dickens to an extreme degree, and perhaps many (most?) have read most of his books already. In my view, the better to capitalize from their scholarship!


message 41: by Linda (new)

Linda | 362 comments Dianne wrote: "and don't be intimidated by the fact that this crew knows Dickens to an extreme degree, and perhaps many (most?) have read most of his books already."

My first time reading every Dickens book, except one, has been and will continue to be with this group. And I do not know Dickens in the extreme at all (like some others here), but I sure am having a grand time in my journey experiencing each of his works with this fun crew. :)


message 42: by Linda (new)

Linda | 362 comments Dianne wrote: "hmmm I haven't been an active member of this group yet..."

Dianne, you changed your photo!! I didn't realize you were my Dianne until I just looked at my update feed. :D


message 43: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4365 comments Mod
Dianne wrote: "even if taunted mercilessly with Nell praises in a sea of exclamation points. ."

This is, indeed, a perfect metaphor for Hell, Dianne. It somehow reminds me of another film I like, "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid", where the protagonist, due to some childhood trauma, flies off the handle whenever he hears a certain word:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w23oP...


message 44: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 17 comments Linda wrote: "Dianne wrote: "hmmm I haven't been an active member of this group yet..."

Dianne, you changed your photo!! I didn't realize you were my Dianne until I just looked at my update feed. :D"


ha yep! work made me take a picture for a webinar I'm doing. But I think I'll change it again to a picture of a latte at some point ;)


message 45: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 17 comments Tristram wrote: "Dianne wrote: "even if taunted mercilessly with Nell praises in a sea of exclamation points. ."

This is, indeed, a perfect metaphor for Hell, Dianne. It somehow reminds me of another film I like, ..."


YIKES! While I suspect you are more bark than bite, we'll just keep you in the safe realm of internet friends ;)

Steve Martin is so hilarious!


message 46: by Francis (new)

Francis | 27 comments Are you following me? I like your new picture by the way.


message 47: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 17 comments Of course! And thanks :)


message 48: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4365 comments Mod
Dianne wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Dianne wrote: "even if taunted mercilessly with Nell praises in a sea of exclamation points. ."

This is, indeed, a perfect metaphor for Hell, Dianne. It somehow reminds me of anot..."


I really like the film because of how cleverly it works with scenes from real films noirs and has actors like Burt Lancaster, Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck and others appear. Plus, it's a really crazy story ;-)


message 49: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
Dianne wrote: "hmmm I haven't been an active member of this group yet, but this thread is making Tristram sound like a sweet little lamb until you cross him by inadvertent Nell references or grammar foibles and t..."

He's just awful. You'll get used to him after awhile, but it takes some time to get used to how grumpy he can become. I would have been shocked at his grumpiness, thinking it was just something wrong with him, but then I realized another person in here was just as grumpy! It seems they are having (with me as the judge) a contest on which one can be the grumpiest of the two. One of them has an unreasonable dislike of poor, poor, poor Little Nell, a character everyone else on earth must find an absolute wonder, and the other, for reasons I can't imagine, he seems to have some grumpiness towards Christmas, oh, just thinking of it puts Everyman ahead of Tristram in the race once again. (Since you're new here I'll tell you in secret that I adore those two just the way they are. Sort of. :-) We can't let know that though.)

Oh, I almost forgot the exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


message 50: by Tristram (last edited Jun 06, 2017 11:35PM) (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4365 comments Mod
All this actually makes me look forward to reading The Old Curiosity Shop with the group. "Wot larks!"


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