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The Mists of Avalon (Avalon, #1)
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Archive [Retired Buddy Reads] > Bradley - The Mists of Avalon [Sep 6, 2019]

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message 1: by Jenna, I'd be free if not for Temper & Edgewalker (new)

Jenna Kathleen (jennakathleen) | 4606 comments Mod
The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Mists of Avalon (Avalon, #1) by Marion Zimmer Bradley
September 6, 2019.
Requested by Shaitarn and Zaara.

Shaitarn | 1887 comments Thank you, Jenna! Apologies for the last minute-ness of the request!

message 3: by Shaitarn (last edited Sep 08, 2019 11:51AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Shaitarn | 1887 comments 200 pages in, and I have to be honest - I'm not loving it. And chapter 15 - hell, no! No one should be doing that kind of stuff!

message 4: by Jenna, I'd be free if not for Temper & Edgewalker (new)

Jenna Kathleen (jennakathleen) | 4606 comments Mod
Shaitarn wrote: "Thank you, Jenna! Apologies for the last minute-ness of the request!"

It's all good. :) enjoy!

message 5: by Zaara (new) - added it

Zaara | 4193 comments Jenna wrote: "Requested by Shaitarn and Zaara."

Thanks Jenna. I love the Canterbury Tales too vm.
For Shaitarn and you….
(view spoiler)

message 6: by Zaara (last edited Sep 09, 2019 06:50AM) (new) - added it

Zaara | 4193 comments Thru Chapter 7…
Prologue and Ch 1
(view spoiler)

message 7: by Zaara (last edited Sep 09, 2019 06:52AM) (new) - added it

Zaara | 4193 comments CH 3-5

(view spoiler)

(view spoiler)

message 8: by Zaara (new) - added it

Zaara | 4193 comments CHAPTERS 3/6

(view spoiler)

message 9: by Zaara (last edited Sep 09, 2019 07:20AM) (new) - added it

Zaara | 4193 comments CHAPTER 7
Did not like this chapter.

(view spoiler)

message 10: by Zaara (new) - added it

Zaara | 4193 comments O shit! Saw your comment...jsut now...urrrkh. Shit. Oooop. I just logged a bunch. Spent all day typing painstakingly and now I don’t want to delete it. So I will leave it there, luckily it is all spoilered. And why are you not liking it?

Is it because…the characters (Igraine) or the writing because I too have things to complain about but as you can see, I got very involved with this book….!!!!
I hope you find osmething in all that wall of text to think about + DON’T KILL ME>>>>>>I promise I won’t share my entire reading log from now on. Sorry if you felt bombed. I’ve been writing to you all morning dammit, and ignoring my actual work. But you’re not new to my book essays, no? I remember I posted like this on Deerskin too.

In any case my sked is going to become highly erratic for the next ten days, so I deliberately WANTED and TRIED to leave enough posts for you on the thread to think about/discuss in terms of the broad thematic points I found so far.
And Shae has promised she will come and chat, share some of that cider with you. HAHA I never leave anyone without plennnnnnty of snacks n ALL things for the road and I will have some needs for this too. It is a long trip I am making, Shaitarn. Won’t be an easy one either.
Frodo would need some lembas bread and mithril for this one, I think.
Ok bye I go now.

Shaitarn | 1887 comments Zaara, it's all cool, really. I think all my recent buddy reads have been pretty quiet, so it's nice to have someone who's really reading the book and forcing me to do the same! *sharpens knives reading skills*

I shall return and make some (hopefully) eloquent and intelligent points later until you damn my loquacity! (I didn't get much reading done yesterday as I had a humdinger of a headache for most of the afternoon and when I'm ill I can't do much except lie around like a Victorian lady having an attack of the vapours.)

Frank | 669 comments Coincidentally, I started this book on my own about two weeks ago.
With that I will not make any comments until everyone is further in.

Shaitarn | 1887 comments I'm struggling to work out what it is I don't like about this book and I think it's the, for want of a better term, the soap opera-ness of it all. I've read various novels about Arthur, from pseudo-historical to full out knights-in-plate-armour nonsense, and I have certain expectations of battle and love and tragedy; I think I'm kind of frustrated that we seem to be skipping on the first leg of that triad here. And yes, I get that that's because we have no male PoV character, but still it's annoying to me.

Also, the setting seems slightly 'off' as though MZB couldn't decide whether she wanted to be as close to pseudo-history as possible or a bit 'myths and legends-y'. I mean, that bit in book 2 (view spoiler)

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Zaara | 4193 comments Frank wrote: "Coincidentally, I started this book on my own about two weeks ago.
With that I will not make any comments until everyone is further in."

*slight blush*
No no @Frank please post A LOT so I feel a bit less like a piece of cheese/like I'm the only one talking.

See...the background is that SHsaitarn and I had made plans long ago to read this book + a bunch of other pulpy Roman smut and when those plans were revived recently on the Invites thread, I wasn't able to immediately find the other books.

So to compensate her (in the "mood setting") I tried to make this thread kinda smutty...since it were just us girls 😅 weren't too read those early chapters where it's all luuuurvelooorn in the sexual tension and in any case pagan fantasy is always very earthy...

But please do post, honestly...don't hold back it will be great to have a guy's POV on all this + Shaitarn reads faster, is ahead of me and is prolly close to where you've reached in the book. And I will open your spoilers when I get there + we love opening spoilers.

message 15: by Zaara (new) - added it

Zaara | 4193 comments @Shai...haven't opened any of your spoilers yet...just about to get to Chapter 15 I get to unclose one soon.

Frank | 669 comments Zaara wrote: "Frank wrote: "Coincidentally, I started this book on my own about two weeks ago.
With that I will not make any comments until everyone is further in."

*slight blush*
No no @Frank please post A LOT..."

Well to start off, in Book 1, (view spoiler)

Shaitarn | 1887 comments Book 1, part 1: (probably up to about chapter 7, I guess)

The pagan/Christian divide: I personally have no religious beliefs and I think every religion should be up for scrutiny, questioning, and criticism. If your religion can’t take even the slightest amount of criticism, then I question what sort of religion it is.

While good depictions of pagan/Wiccan religions make me go weak at the knees (have you read Dark Cathedral, Zaara? That is an awesome book – I wanted to run off and be a pagan living in a house with colourful gypsy trappings after reading that in my teens!), this one is kind of turning me off a little bit.

My problem is that later on (view spoiler)

Gorlois: (view spoiler)

Uther (view spoiler)

The dream(view spoiler)

Well Zaara, we did say we wanted cheese, did we not? Cheese we have! Please post your log – I love reading your thoughts!

message 18: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa | 1264 comments Hey there guys, I just wanted to say I wish I could join in the discussion here with you guys, to hear all the good and bad, because regardless I think there'd be a lot to talk about.

I read some Marion Zimmer Bradley when I was younger, and apparently tried to read this when I was 15 or so and never finished it, so I'm curious what my impression of it would be now. I've heard it's feminist, I've heard it's repulsive, and my own memory of it has faded completely so I'm curious what fresh eyes would see it as.

message 19: by Zaara (new) - added it

Zaara | 4193 comments Sorry for the lack of updates after my last giant batch post... have little/no net connectivity + in an hour or so I'll lose even this for the next four i just wanted to login and say I'm here and I'm reading and have commennnts 👀

Shaitarn wrote: "Well Zaara, we did say we wanted cheese, did we not? Cheese we have! Please post your log...."

Yeaaas my darling....and we shall duly enjoy the all claaaaptraaapp in ghoulish ways...and glory in our 😈💪 very verrrry bad taste...😂😝 gtg make a quick couple calls b4 i enter the nowheres...UNESCO

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Zaara | 4193 comments Well its been seven mimutes and teh page is still loading and I cant see my comment which i tried resubmitting...o well...Shaitarn, I tried.

message 21: by Shae (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shae | 372 comments Hey guys, I've enjoyed following your thoughts on this one :-)

I read TMOA (and a few others by M Z Bradley) when I was 14, on the recommendation of a high school librarian.

I remember being somewhat swept away by the dark, moody atmosphere of the book (probably a teenage thing :-) - but also remember feeling a tad irritated by some of the repeated refrains and the whining that Shaitarn mentions in her review, lol :-)

I also remember feeling quite disturbed by the fate of the poor 'little blue girl' at the Festival of Beltane - a brief but casual description of child abuse! Something I, as a pretty sheltered 14 year old, had never really been exposed to before.

Given some of the media reports released about the author after her death, it sounds like all was not well in the M Z Bradley household. To my mind these articles possibly give a sad and disturbing context to things that crop up in Bradley's writing, such as that Beltane scene :-(

Funny how the passage of time alters your view about the books you once read.

One positive thing that I read somewhere; apparently all the profits from Bradley's books now go to a charity that supports survivors of abuse.

Good to see the publishers now trying to do the right thing, I guess.

Shaitarn | 1887 comments Shae wrote: "Hey guys, I've enjoyed following your thoughts on this one :-)

I read TMOA (and a few others by M Z Bradley) when I was 14, on the recommendation of a high school librarian.

I remember being some..."

Yeah, that scene, as briefly mentioned as it was, was pretty disturbing. Some other scenes, reading them with what I now know about the author, made me feel a bit grossed out. One thing that floored me was right near the end, Morgaine (view spoiler)

message 23: by Shae (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shae | 372 comments @Shaitarn - agree 100%. Re Morgaine's rationalisation near the end - my 14 year old thought response was 'Um okaaay??? But really, just no, not ever!!!'

message 24: by Zaara (new) - added it

Zaara | 4193 comments 😂😂😂 *SELFKICK* it's funny just hooooww much I spazzed over Gorlois only for him to (view spoiler) but in my defence... I can be superdumb the way he was written in Part One I thought he will (view spoiler)...

But this is also one of my main quibbles with this kind of multigenerational saga, Shaitarm. Esp the ones from that era...that when its time for the latter generation cast to be given prominence on the page, the previous chars are just ditched without any shadow of a pretense/made to fade rapidly into the wallpaper...OR else do things that are totally out of char from how they have been portrayed so aghastly.... vastly agaaaaape from how they have been written so far.

For example, in Sevenwaters BK 1 & 2: (view spoiler)

Same thing happemed here with Igraine (view spoiler)

Getting tired...the religious debate was fresh and fascinating in Chapter 1 but by now its been done to death and then *yerk* there's the whole (view spoiler)

I'm just reaching the part where Morgaine (view spoiler) O dear! I think I am going to take a small break on this for couple of days and catch up with some other books.

The char I liked the most so far is Vivaine...she's cold from necessity but each decision really costs her, not like the other (younger) chars who just seem untouched by consequences / (if you actually see the plot) just resting passively within their own (self generated) sexual turbulences. They deffo don't drive the plot...ohk maybe a very little...Morgaine...

Also I liked the ease and familiarity of Vivaine'slong friendship with Taliesin...the way they share understandings without words even...this is a gift when it happens between a woman and a man...leave alone the Merlin of Britain and High Priestess of Avalon...and I like here that it were portrayed as deliberately asexual and yet powerfully magical. I wish they'd had more "screen"time...don't like Kevan the Bard as much...seems watered down. In Sevenwaters (usung the series as a basis for comparison in terms of Druidcraft) Connor and Finbar had very different modalities/approaches to magic/healing/druidery.

In total, Parts 2 and 3 so far haven't been as good as the glorious claptrappy soap opera that was Part 1...maybe it's the combined loss of innocence across the board with the chars...maybe its you guys not liking it so much and I got influenced...or maybe its just this gods demmed repetition and the tangled romantic interactions.
Let's see where Part 4 goes,,,

Did you two like this portrayal of Arthur?

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Zaara | 4193 comments Heyyyy...hi Shae and Melissa...both of you came!
:))) thanks, how nice of you...both of you...😘

Ha I know Shae...whenever I read one of the Mother-daughter parental angst scenes all I can think of is the hypocrisy...sometimes I wonder how her kids would have felt when they first read the book. Sincerity just has a different ring to it, no? Also I wonder what Mayim will say about this book.

And once I read your comments...I know I read this too...when I was fifteen/sixteen...this and Mary Stewart's Arthur books + everyone knows parts of the legend. But I think I actively blocked these reads from memory 😂...I didn't even remember I'd read them until you spoke/I reached that scene wherso now everything feels vaguely familiar but I remember zilch about what will happen plotwise.

message 26: by Zaara (last edited Sep 21, 2019 09:38PM) (new) - added it

Zaara | 4193 comments @Melissa...the book's sensibilities are dated, it's very "of it's time" even tho the chars are supposed to be ageless and timeless + there is quite a bit of bloat in the middle of the book...still worth reading once IMO. There are many good bits and things to think about. As you can see, I am finding lots to talk about....

Shaitarn | 1887 comments Don't know if it's just me, but Arthur seemed a bit of a blank and frustratingly weak in this book; his constant giving in to Guinevere (I know it was another spelling, but I'm not going to look up which one it was; hope that is okay) on religious matters made me want to smack my head against the wall. Not that I wanted him to get all aggressive with her, but his constant giving way on everything was annoying.

One thing I will say is I'm fed up of the way Guinevere is constantly portrayed in Arthurian literature. Whether it's the sort of religious hysteria as in this novel or simply it being all her fault that the round table split, she's constantly shown as either weak or vain or spiteful in some way while Lancelot is consistently 'the second greatest knight in Christendom'. It takes two to tango, so why doesn't he take any responsibility for not being able to keep it in his pants?! Ugh; I've never been a fan of that guy. (Incidentally, the way he's called 'Lancelet' in this novel constantly had me thinking 'Lancet' and of popping blisters. My brain goes to weird places sometimes.)

I actually read MZB's The Firebrand in my teens which was a similar basic idea - all about the Trojan War from Cassandra's (or Kassandra; sigh) PoV and absolutely freaking loved it. I'm planning on re-reading it at some point to see if it actually is any good or if teenage me was a complete idiot. Let me know if you fancy some ancient Greek cheese sometime; I'll be sure to keep a notebook by my side while reading so I can match your plot dissection *evil cackle*

message 28: by Shae (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shae | 372 comments Oooh, I just checked Mayim's rating, would absolutely love to read her thoughts on this one too :-)

Agree about the typical portrayal of Guinevere - it would be so great to see her drawn up with a bit more dimension!

message 29: by Zaara (new) - added it

Zaara | 4193 comments Re Lancelot...despite the golden aura he is a lightweight, Shaitarn.
And I despise lightweights.

Liked your analysis of Arthur and Guinevere...I'm still making up my mind on them...will get back on that...I didn't read any more of this book yest bcuz I got going on Priory of the Orange Tree and I don't have any fresh notes for the thread.

And of course I'd love to read any kind of cheese with you! Be goin' to the bookstore soon...lemme see what I can find...😋😊

😂😂😂 I'm so with you the name spellings!! The worst one I've come across in a pulp book so far is Gwladys with a W. But Gwynhwyfar (I opened the book to chk) ain't far behind...and riffing on your Lancet-Lancelet thing (which I didn't mind so much btw)...I keep hearing/seeing that spelling as Gwen"heifer" in a streetspeak accent, esp whenever she's being particularly squealy and irritating...

I haven't read any other Arthurian novels to I was telling Shae, I did read The Crystal Cave etc...but can't remember anything about them... :/

Shaitarn | 1887 comments I've just been looking at reviews for The Coming of the King, another Arthurian book I have hanging around somewhere. One reviewer commented it has the phrase 'trouserful of wantoness' in it. This had pushed up my list of books to find and read.

Just thought I'd share that with you!

message 31: by Zaara (last edited Sep 23, 2019 11:03PM) (new) - added it

Zaara | 4193 comments Shaitarn wrote: "One reviewer commented it has the phrase 'trouserful of wantoness..."

Yea that certainly swung it...😂😂😂 dunno if I will want to read another Arthurian immediately after this tho, Shaitarn...I still have almost four hundred pages left of Mists and nearly ground to a halt on it...

But I will keep my eyes peeled for the Greek smut, Roman smut and deffo The Coming of The King....😋😜

EDIT Just to add more 😂😂😂

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