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Fiction (1900-1945) > December 2017 - Fiction Polls

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message 1: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Nominate a work of fiction for the group to read in December 2017.

It should have been written in, or set in, the period 1900 to 1945.

If Ally or Jennifer are still not around I will post a poll on 1O Oct 2017


message 2: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 140 comments Nigeyb wrote: "Nominate a work of fiction for the group to read in December 2017.

It should have been written in, or set in, the period 1900 to 1945.

If Ally or Jennifer are still not around I will post a pol..."


Can it be written in the time period but take place "outside of it"?
E.g. written in 1920 but taking place in 1890?


message 3: by Susan (new)

Susan | 774 comments "It should have been written in, or set in, the period 1900 to 1945." I guess that means being written in 1920 is fine.


message 4: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 140 comments Hmm, is there any interest in reading A Dance to the Music of Time: 1st Movement by Anthony Powell? I think you guys read it back in 2014 so perhaps it is too soon for a rerun? It would be intriguing to have a challenge of reading all of the books in the series.... *hint* *hint*

So is this book even a possibility considering the relatively recent read? Ruled out?




message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan | 774 comments Feel free to nominate, Haaze. There is, of course, the long awaited Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time Anthony Powell Dancing to the Music of Time by Hilary Spurling biography out later this week.


message 6: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 140 comments Susan wrote: "Feel free to nominate, Haaze. There is, of course, the long awaited Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time Anthony Powell Dancing to the Music of Time by Hilary Spurling bi..."

True, but that is nonfiction....
Ah, a parallel reading option emerges!!!!


message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan | 774 comments I wasn't nominating it, just mentioning it. I am pretty sure we had a challenge to read all the books a while ago (I didn't keep up, as I just had too much to read at the time).


message 8: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 140 comments Yes, this group is a veteran one that has clearly wandered through (experienced) a lot of great books over the years. It makes it difficult to nominate (at least as I am pondering the task).


message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan | 774 comments Haaze, feel free to nominate the first in the series. I am sure there are lots of members who haven't read it and, if anyone is thinking of the biography, they might want to re-read. I wasn't trying to put you off.


message 10: by Haaze (last edited Oct 03, 2017 11:14PM) (new)

Haaze | 140 comments Oh you didn't Susan :), but there are so many great books on the group's bookshelf (often read). I think that is where I feel a bit disheartened, but, like you said, the group has probably had a lot of turnover since then?


message 11: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Hi Haaze, I'm not quite ready for a reread but am eagerly anticipating the Hilary Spurling biography

Here's the A Question of Upbringing by Anthony Powell BYT discussion...

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

And that inspired me to read the lot and what a wonderful experience it was. Sadly not many were inspired to follow suit but the thread is there should you feel compelled....

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 12: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 140 comments Nigeyb wrote: "Hi Haaze, I'm not quite ready for a reread but am eagerly anticipating the Hilary Spurling biography

Here's the A Question of Upbringing by Anthony Powell BYT discussi..."


You are indeed a voracious reader, Nigey!


message 13: by Susan (new)

Susan | 774 comments I do keep meaning to read them all - I ended up reading Proust that year, as I recall, and I thought I would read that first and now need to get back to Powell.


message 14: by Haaze (last edited Oct 04, 2017 12:28AM) (new)

Haaze | 140 comments Proust would probably make you lose some time.. (ha ha ;).

*Sorry - I couldn't help myself*


message 15: by Nigeyb (last edited Oct 04, 2017 01:41AM) (new)

Nigeyb Anthony Powell is often compared to Proust (and I know you weren't doing that Susan) but, so far as I can discern, it's a lazy comparison. Powell had no appetite for the blind alleys of modernism. The comparison to Proust seems to be based on both having written weighty tomes. One thing I can categorically reassure any prospective readers of A Dance..., you will not find 50 pages of rumination on a cake, or similar. My forays into Proust have been characterised by impatience and once was most certainly enough for me. Powell on the other hand...


message 16: by Susan (new)

Susan | 774 comments I loved Proust. In fact, I think I will always now be a little in love - and very in awe, of him. I can well understand he is not for everyone though. The dinner parties did go on, and on, and on :)


message 17: by Greg (new)

Greg | 330 comments Nigeyb, after a break, I'm back into the Dance with book 7, The Valley of Bones. Very funny. I'm getting a whiff of Sword of Honour here, with over-aged Nick joining the regiment.


message 18: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Greg wrote: "Nigeyb, after a break, I'm back into the Dance with book 7, The Valley of Bones. Very funny. I'm getting a whiff of Sword of Honour here, with over-aged Nick joining the regiment."

Splendid news Greg. I replied more fulsomely over here on the Hot Reads thread...

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 19: by Haaze (last edited Oct 04, 2017 06:31AM) (new)

Haaze | 140 comments I would like to nominate Frederic Manning's The Middle Parts of Fortune: Somme and Ancre, 1916.



"“The finest and noblest book of men at war” Ernest Hemingway

The classic novel of the Great War, set during the battle of the Somme.

Her Privates We follows the story of Private Bourne, an ordinary soldier dealing with extraordinary circumstances.

As well as conveying the camaraderie and heroism of the trenches, the novel explores the terror and monotony of being a soldier. A cloud of fatalism hangs over the narrative, which is brightened up through friendships, a shared, grim sense of humour and colourful conversations between the privates.

Bourne and his comrades must fight their demons within, as well as the enemy across No Man's Land. Men die, but still a sense of duty endures.

Her Privates We is as much a triumph of realism as it is of the imagination. Readers of both military history, and literary fiction, will continue to be haunted by its prose and insights.

“The book of books so far as the British army is concerned” T.E Lawrence

“Psychological acuteness marks this book out as both a precious document of the First World War and an imperishable modernist masterpiece.” David Evans (Independent)

Frederic Manning was an Australian born poet and novelist who moved to England at the age of 21. Much of his writing was inspired by his experiences in the infantry during the Great War. Her Privates We remains his most enduring work on the subject."



message 20: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments Haaze wrote: "Hmm, is there any interest in reading A Dance to the Music of Time: 1st Movement by Anthony Powell? I think you guys read it back in 2014 so perhaps it is too soon for a ..."

I'm still reading ... off and on. I think it was shortly after I purchased it (after trying the preview) that I discovered that I wasn't crazy about it. So it is really dragging for me.


message 21: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments Haaze wrote: "I would like to nominate Frederic Manning's The Middle Parts of Fortune: Somme and Ancre, 1916.

"“The finest and noblest book of men at war” Ernest Hemingway

The cla..."


I was going to suggest if you wouldn't rather nominate his Her Privates We when I discovered that they are one and the same book.


message 22: by Haaze (last edited Oct 04, 2017 06:48PM) (new)

Haaze | 140 comments Yes, it is kind of odd, isn't it? I think one version is "censored"?


message 23: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments I don't know if one is censored and the other isn't. It looks like it is Often books published in America have different titles for the same book in Britain. A number of Agatha Christie's have different titles.


message 24: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments I don't know if we're ready to try Willa Cather again or not. I think The Song of the Lark had mixed reviews. But I just came across one that I have on my Kindle, One of Ours, written in 1922, which won the Pulitzer Prize for 1923.

It tells the story of the life of Claude Wheeler, a Nebraska native around the turn of the 20th century. The son of a successful farmer and an intensely pious mother, he is guaranteed a comfortable livelihood. Nevertheless, Wheeler views himself as a victim of his father's success and his own inexplicable malaise.

For Claude, she apparently combined parts of her own character and that of her cousin, Grosvenor. He was killed during WWI and once she had heard of his death, he was in her mind and she couldn't write about other things until she had written about him. She just hated that this would be seen as yet another war novel.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_of_...)


message 25: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Any more nominations? I'll get a poll up on Monday so that gives everyone the rest of the weekend to add any more final nominations.

Here's hoping our BYT moderators return soon.


message 26: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 140 comments I think you should nominate books in both the fiction and nonfiction categories as well, Nigey! You seemingly have excellent "taste" for books linked to this period.


message 27: by Val (new)

Val Jan C wrote: "I don't know if one is censored and the other isn't. It looks like it is Often books published in America have different titles for the same book in Britain."
A lot of the ordinary soldiers remarks have been removed for Her Privates We, which does seem to be the version published in the US. The publishers may have thought there would be a problem with the dialect as much as the swearing. I thought the soldiers' language added authenticity when I read First World War Classic: THE MIDDLE PARTS OF FORTUNE, but I don't think it makes so much difference to the book that anyone need worry about which version to read.


message 28: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments Val wrote: "Jan C wrote: "I don't know if one is censored and the other isn't. It looks like it is Often books published in America have different titles for the same book in Britain."
A lot of the ordinary so..."


I'm not worried, but the book in my possession is Her Privates We.


message 29: by Nigeyb (last edited Oct 07, 2017 06:48AM) (new)

Nigeyb Nigeyb wrote: "Any more nominations? I'll get a poll up on Monday so that gives everyone the rest of the weekend to add any more final nominations.

Here's hoping our BYT moderators return soon."


Nominations so far (note some earlier ones have now been withdrawn)...

Haaze: The Middle Parts of Fortune: Somme and Ancre, 1916 by Frederic Manning

Jan: One of Ours by Willa Cather

I'll get a poll up on Monday so that gives everyone the rest of the weekend to add any more final nominations


message 30: by Val (new)

Val I think we need a choice of more than two, so I will nominate one which came second back in April this year:
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

"Brave New World" is a novel written in 1931 and published in 1932.
Set in London in the year AD 2540 (632 A.F.—"After Ford"—in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation, and classical conditioning that are combined to make a profound change in society.
Huxley said that "Brave New World" was inspired by the utopian novels of H. G. Wells; Wells' hopeful vision of the future's possibilities gave Huxley the idea to begin writing a parody and this was the result.


message 31: by Susan (new)

Susan | 774 comments Currently 99p as a kindle deal of the day, Val!


message 32: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments Nigeyb wrote: "Nigeyb wrote: "Any more nominations? I'll get a poll up on Monday so that gives everyone the rest of the weekend to add any more final nominations.

Here's hoping our BYT moderators return soon."
..."


Why don't you put in a nomination, too, Nigeyb? I think we need a wider choice. At least four.


message 33: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Ok Jan. Second time for this one.


'Curtain Call' (2015) by Anthony Quinn

Quinn's novel plays out against the rise of homegrown fascists such as Oswald Mosley. There is something of Waugh in the acute observation, of Maugham in the sophistication of the world, a dash of John Buchan in the pace and action, and the comedy is a delight. This book is utterly pleasing from the first page to the last.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...

Here’s what it’s about...

On a sultry afternoon in the summer of 1936 a woman accidentally interrupts an attempted murder in a London hotel room. Nina Land, a West End actress, faces a dilemma: she’s not supposed to be at the hotel in the first place, and certainly not with a married man. But once it becomes apparent that she may have seen the face of the man the newspapers have dubbed ‘the Tie-Pin Killer’ she realises that another woman's life could be at stake.

Jimmy Erskine is the raffish doyen of theatre critics who fears that his star is fading: age and drink are catching up with him, and in his late-night escapades with young men he walks a tightrope that may snap at any moment. He has depended for years on his loyal and longsuffering secretary Tom, who has a secret of his own to protect. Tom’s chance encounter with Madeleine Farewell, a lost young woman haunted by premonitions of catastrophe, closes the circle: it was Madeleine who narrowly escaped the killer’s stranglehold that afternoon, and now walks the streets in terror of his finding her again.

Curtain Call is a comedy of manners, and a tragedy of mistaken intentions. From the glittering murk of Soho’s demi-monde to the grease paint and ghost-lights of theatreland, the story plunges on through smoky clubrooms, tawdry hotels and drag balls towards a denouement in which two women are stalked by the same killer. As bracing as a cold Martini and as bright as a new tie-pin, it is a poignant and gripping story about love and death and a society dancing towards the abyss.




'Curtain Call' (2015) by Anthony Quinn


message 34: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 140 comments It looks like we have a winner...?


message 35: by Nigeyb (last edited Nov 03, 2017 05:50AM) (new)

Nigeyb We have a winner for December 2017....


Nigeyb wrote: "'Curtain Call' (2015) by Anthony Quinn"


message 36: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 140 comments Oh, Nigey, the deadline for filing a sabbatical was last week. You will have to wait until next October to file the application. ; -)


message 37: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 140 comments Looking forward to Curtain Call. Was its sequel as good/interesting? Freya


message 38: by Nigeyb (last edited Oct 19, 2017 08:27AM) (new)

Nigeyb Haaze wrote: "Looking forward to Curtain Call. Was its sequel as good/interesting? Freya"


There are actually three books Haaze in Anthony Quinn’s loose 20th century trilogy:

(1) ’Curtain Call',
(2) 'Freya' and
(3) 'Eureka'.

I have recently read and enjoyed all of them

I can't pretend any of them are works of literary genius however they are all very engrossing and enormous fun and, crucially for me, all have a credible sense of time and place

I rated both 'Curtain Call' and 'Freya' five stars and yet, if anything, 'Eureka' was my favourite of the three books.

Although each of the three books stands alone, and can be read without reference to the other two, I strongly recommend anyone considering reading all three to work their way through sequentially.

I've reviewed each one...

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

In short, I loved them all, and look forward to reading more books by Anthony Quinn

Haaze wrote: "Oh, Nigey, the deadline for filing a sabbatical was last week. You will have to wait until next October to file the application. ; -)"

:-))


message 39: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 140 comments Nigeyb wrote: "Haaze wrote: "Looking forward to Curtain Call. Was its sequel as good/interesting? Freya"


There are actually three books Haaze in Anthony Quinn’s ..."


So there is a certain chance that we may get engulfed in a Quinn reading frenzy?


message 40: by Nigeyb (last edited Oct 19, 2017 10:23AM) (new)

Nigeyb Haaze wrote: "So there is a certain chance that we may get engulfed in a Quinn reading frenzy?"

I was smitten by Curtain Call and just wanted to continue with the other two books. Hard to say how typical that reaction might be but, either way, I very much look forward to discovering what other BYTers make of it.

From my perspective (and quoting from my review), 'Curtain Call' is a delight from start to finish. Although the activities of a serial killer hold the narrative together 'Curtain Call' is not a crime novel. The Tie-Pin Killer is merely the strand that connects a disparate group of Londoners, and it is as a character study and a period piece that the book really succeeds. Indeed the era is so vividly evoked that it felt as though it was written in the 1930s. There are no hints of modern dialogue or other jarring intrusions. 'Curtain Call' summons a world of nightclubs, boarding houses, pubs, and Lyons Corner House cafes and weaves in quite a bit of contemporaneous history. The clandestine London gay scene features and, along with the looming threat of war, is another memorable aspect of a really satisfying novel.


message 41: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 140 comments Sounds like a BYT novel to me..... :)


message 42: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb I’m poised to leave BYT.

I would have just quietly slipped away but it was my nomination (Curtain Call) which won the December 2017 fiction poll, and consequently I feel a sense of responsibility for the discussion. I thought I should add this post so everyone is aware that I will not be around to start the discussion.

If the moderators do not re-emerge, and you are keen to discuss Curtain Call, you could set up a discussion thread yourself when December rolls around.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being a member of this group and have discovered some wonderful books as a consequence.

If we’re not friends, and you want to stay in touch, then please send me a request.

I'm also very active at these two GoodReads groups…

Reading The Twentieth Century

The Patrick Hamilton Appreciation Society

Coincidentally, both those groups have discussion threads about Anthony Quinn (author of Curtain Call) so you could also discuss the book on these threads.

See you around and about.

Yours in reading.


message 43: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 140 comments Thanks for the gracious note, Nigey. Not exactly unexpected.

So, this probably means that BYT (due to lack of moderator involvement) is going through a slow trickling end stage as a reading group at this point in time?


message 44: by Roisin (new)

Roisin | 729 comments Blimey???


message 45: by Susan (new)

Susan | 774 comments Must say, I feel much the same as Nigeyb. I have set up a thread for the book I nominated, out of a sense of responsibility, but really it is hard to summon up any enthusiasm when the members are setting up the threads. I will also opt out after this month.


message 46: by Connie (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 162 comments I just wanted to say that I've enjoyed reading with this group as one of the newer members, and becoming GR friends with a few of you. I'm dealing with health issues with an older relative now so my amount of reading has fallen off, and I have not voted in the polls lately.


message 47: by Susan (new)

Susan | 774 comments Sorry to hear that you have a lot to deal with at the moment, Connie. I am not sure there will be further polls in this group, unless a member decides to set up a nominations thread and gets it going. However, I have also enjoyed reading along with you and my other fellow BYT's. Please feel free to 'friend' me everyone and happy reading in the future!


message 48: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Seconded Connie. All the best to you and your relative.

I've always enjoyed your contributions and hope to read more of them in the future.


message 49: by Connie (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 162 comments Thanks, Susan and Nigeyb.


message 50: by Bronwyn (new)

Bronwyn (nzfriend) | 651 comments I'm sad this group is withering away, but it is hard for me to get the books and so I don't participate as much as I'd like. I'm glad for the group's having introduced me to a lot of great authors and books, though. I'll probably pop in now and again to see if it's reviving, but I've joined the Reading the 20th Century group and it's filling the gap this group used to.


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