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The Towers of Trebizond
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Group Reads > The Towers of Trebizond September Read Chapters 1-12

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Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1569 comments Mod
OK, this is the first part of our September read (which has one of the most famous opening lines in fiction)

This will be my first read of this title & I have never read anything else by this author. I should be ready to start tomorrow.

This is my copy The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay

Please - no spoilers. Or use spoiler tags. We don't want to spoil a first read for anyone. :)


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 630 comments I was hoping my unpacking would be done in time and I would have access to my copy--but sadly, not so. If I find it in time I'll join in.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1569 comments Mod
Abigail wrote: "I was hoping my unpacking would be done in time and I would have access to my copy--but sadly, not so. If I find it in time I'll join in."

Even late will be fine, Abigail - will look forward to your thoughts. :)


message 4: by Hana (new) - added it

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
I'm looking forward to starting this as soon as I finish my first ever read of Sense & Sensibility :)


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1569 comments Mod
I'm loving it so far - absolutely bonkers!


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 630 comments omigod, Hana, how I envy you! Having a never-before-read Austen novel to enjoy. I dream that another will be discovered so I can have that experience again.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1569 comments Mod
& I meant Towers of Trebizond is bonkers - not S&S!


message 8: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments Hana wrote: "I'm looking forward to starting this as soon as I finish my first ever read of Sense & Sensibility :)"

Wow, Hana! I wish I could remember my first Austen reads; all I remember is my shock at finding out that Austen was "older" than the Brontes. They seemed so hyper-effusive while Austen was so cool and witty that I figured she was the more modern. In my defense, I was just a kid and was reading because they were on the shelves and not for educational purposes. 😁

And I have Towers in my hand!


message 9: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments By the way, how did you all find Towers? I mean, as in literally find a copy to read in the first place?


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 630 comments I got mine some years back when I subscribed to the New York Review of Books; it is one of their New York Review Books Classics series. It just turned up today as I continue to plow through packing boxes and it is going on my to-read shelf--alias my bed. No wonder I don't sleep well!


message 11: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments Abigail wrote: "I got mine some years back when I subscribed to the New York Review of Books; it is one of their New York Review Books Classics series. It just turned up today as I continue to plow through packing..."

haha, Abigail! I don't read in bed, and it has nothing to do with the black eye my mother gave herself when a hardbound book fell on her head as she dozed off (although it still makes me laugh to think of it), but it's because I can't fall asleep reading anything unless it's a dull book - and why would I read a dull book?!? I will do crosswords if I'm feeling too keyed-up to sleep, but that's it! (and no music, no TV, no electronics) I think it's because I have a highly susceptible one track mind...


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1569 comments Mod
I got mine from a local op shop. There were about 30 old books,all with the same covers, all in beautiful condition. I just bought this title.


Peggy (dandelion_cottage) | 265 comments I found a reasonably-priced, used Folio Society copy on eBay.


message 14: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments So, what would you call this type of narrative? A fast moving stream of jumping consciousness?

The last sentence of Chapter 3 cracked me up: the dead have been dead so long that they probably take it for granted.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1569 comments Mod
Karlyne wrote: "So, what would you call this type of narrative? A fast moving stream of jumping consciousness?

The last sentence of Chapter 3 cracked me up: the dead have been dead so long that they probably take..."


I read in a review that this book is (will spoiler for those who would rather not know)(view spoiler) It is definitely a send up of religion & the Englishman or Englishwoman abroad.


message 16: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "So, what would you call this type of narrative? A fast moving stream of jumping consciousness?

The last sentence of Chapter 3 cracked me up: the dead have been dead so long that th..."


I skimmed the introduction very, very lightly,because it contained obvious spoilers, and I think your spoiler is probably correct, Carol.


message 17: by Karlyne (last edited Sep 19, 2019 11:48AM) (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments Chapter 7's ending reminded me strongly of another author and a particular book that I disliked for its mean spirit, because this was the opposite. Macauley puts us all in the life-boat together, and this other author gave me the impression that there is no "we", but rather "you" get what you deserve. I thought it was Muriel Sparks (The Prime of Miss Jean Brody), and I thought the book was titled something along the lines of The Good Spinsters, or The Do Gooders or some such, because it was about how these women made their priests/vicars miserable with their good deeds. Wrong! Anybody have any idea who I might be talking about, because I simply can't find it! (not Margery Sharp, either) (not Barbara Pym, either, although Excellent Women is close to the title I'm thinking of.)


message 18: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments Chapter 12's explanation of what Turkish music would be in English made me laugh: ..."I love only yew, Baby, To me always be trew, Baby, For I love only yew."

And, after talking about the woman overboard who was lost, because the men with their sharp, pointy suitcases took the boat seats - but the Turks do love their children, even the girls. Funny, not funny...


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1569 comments Mod
I found this old map of Trebizond & the environs. It's helping me place things.




message 20: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments So many Empires! I like your map better than the ones I found.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 630 comments Thank you for the map! Just settling down to start reading.


message 22: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments Chapter 10 - the camel is not right in the head. I'm dying.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 630 comments Loving the stuff about angling and Anglicanism!


message 24: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments I looked up Vardzia (the troglodyte city), and no wonder Aunt Dot wanted to go! Amazing story and pictures on the Atlas Obscura site. I think we should all go, although I'm not sure about going via camel...


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 630 comments I'm really enjoying the narrator's tone. A kind of faux wide-eyed innocence that sets up her zingers really well.

I'm also surprised by how openly David and Charles's relationship is described, in an era when homosexuality was still treated as a criminal offense in England, if I'm not mistaken.

And the recurring gag of the BBC van going around getting "natives" to sing is a stitch!


message 26: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Moderator (last edited Sep 20, 2019 06:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1569 comments Mod
I can't remember what breed of white camel Dottie & Laurie had

But this one is from Balochistan & has quite a sly look in it's eye!




Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 630 comments Dot's is an Arabian Dhalur camel--whatever that is.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1569 comments Mod
Abigail wrote: "Dot's is an Arabian Dhalur camel--whatever that is."

Thank you - I'm only getting one camel headshot for that, plus pictures of this book cover. But if anyone finds one, please post here!


message 29: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments Don't forget that it has to look not right in the head...


Lesley | 152 comments And be requiring psychiatric attention!


message 31: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments Maybe you can photoshop a psychiatrist's head in with the camel's, Carol...


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1569 comments Mod
Ha

As a Heyer fan I chose this camel because it is from Balochistan!

Had a look and I can't find a camel picture with a completely deranged look. If anyone else finds a picture, please post the picture here!


message 33: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments When I lived in Nevada decades ago, we used to always go to the Camel Races up towards Virginia City (if I remember right, camels were used by the army somewhere around there, in the 1800s and these were the descendants), and, believe me, all camels up close look demented!


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 630 comments Loved the crack in chapter 9 about D. H. Lawrence: ". . . And that women were only important for what D. H. Lawrence called that ugly little word, sex, though it always seems odd that D. H. Lawrence should have thought that word either ugly or little." The author has a real gift for these little throwaway observations, capturing the fugitive witty thought.


message 35: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments Abigail wrote: "Loved the crack in chapter 9 about D. H. Lawrence: ". . . And that women were only important for what D. H. Lawrence called that ugly little word, sex, though it always seems odd that D. H. Lawrenc..."

I think that's why the whole book reminds me of a diary meant to be read by a close friend, someone who would appreciate those funny little throw-aways. I can't decide if she had that friend in mind, or if she was just writing to make herself laugh...


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 630 comments Yes, it feels like a diary to me too. I never would have guessed it was a novel if the back cover hadn't told me it was. It certainly is an inventive and clever form of fiction!


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