UK Book Club discussion

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50 Greatest Writers > Zoe's List

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message 2: by Zoe, UK Book Club Creator (new)

Zoe (zobo77) | 536 comments Mod
I started reading The Sweet Dove Died by Barbara Pym yesterday and so far it's ok but it was written quite a long time ago (1947 I believe) so the language is a little annoying, but I think I'll get over that!


message 3: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2857 comments Mod
Zoe, this is probably a silly question but did you type up the entire list or is there some way to copy it across?


message 4: by Zoe, UK Book Club Creator (new)

Zoe (zobo77) | 536 comments Mod
I edited my post where I'd already written it and then copied it all!


message 5: by Jo (new)

Jo I read Empire of the Sun by J G Ballard. I recommend you read that to cross him off your list.


message 6: by Zoe, UK Book Club Creator (new)

Zoe (zobo77) | 536 comments Mod
Cool! I'll have a look for it next time I go to the library :)


message 7: by Jo (new)

Jo I hope you like it! Theres a movie of it aswell but i haven't seen it.


message 8: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 2754 comments Mod
The movie's great - Christian Bale's first film.


message 9: by Jo (new)

Jo I might try and find a cheap copy of it.


message 10: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) I saw the movie so long ago I couldn't remember it when I read the book. I enjoyed the book a lot more though, must watch the film again too.


message 11: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 2754 comments Mod
Must be available for rental - I joined www.lovefilm.co.uk back in the UK - it was fantastic, they have everything!


message 12: by Jo (new)

Jo I used to have lovefilm but i wasn't getting value for money because i was too busy reading all the time lol.


message 13: by Robo (new)

Robo Pete (Robopete) | 98 comments Just been browsing through the above list - I've read a fair few of the authors on it although there's a great many I haven't but feel I should have! Also some I don't know at all.

As a random selection though of something I've been wanting to read for a long time - has anyone ever read Gormennghast by Mervyn Peake?


message 14: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2857 comments Mod
I seem to remember attempting Gormenghast quite a few years back, I liked the TV adaptation they did but not sure if I finished it... possibly not...

I remember finding it hard going at the time but that's not to say it actually is, could've been more to do with whatever else I had on at the time. I'm planning to give it another try one of these days, just to see.


message 15: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Jan 05, 2011 04:48AM) (new)

Liz | 2754 comments Mod
I read Titus Groan (the first of the Gormenghast trilogy) several years ago. I've been meaning to read the others....

I really enjoyed it. Although written in the 20th century, the style seems older - more Dickens goes Gothic. So it's fairly wordy, but very atmospheric. Definitely quirky & other worldly.


message 16: by Robo (new)

Robo Pete (Robopete) | 98 comments Interesting - it was the BBC series that first introduced me to it and made me want to read the book, but I always got the impression it might be heavy going. I'm a lot more patient now though and I do enjoy getting completely lost in a book - and "Dickens meets Gothic" sounds pretty good to me!

Thanks both for the comments, I might just have to shunt it up my list of to-reads now...


message 17: by John (last edited Aug 30, 2010 11:05AM) (new)

John | 15 comments It's a very impressive, and very British list! I can recommend Muriel Spark's Memento Mori. Very dry, very funny, with a grip at the end. J.G. Ballard is also first rate. His autobiographical Empire of the Sun was made into almost the only Spielberg movie I've enjoyed. But . . . why no Ambler, why no Greene? Is Ambler considered too dated now, in the UK? Is Greene considered too religious?


message 18: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 2754 comments Mod
John wrote: "It's a very impressive, and very British list! I can recommend Muriel Spark's Memento Mori. Very dry, very funny, with a grip at the end. J.G. Ballard is also first rate. His autobiographical E..."

Another excellent Muriel Spark book - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. It's all about an influential teacher and 'her girls' at a posh Edinburgh school in the 30's. (Maggie Smith was fantastic in the film version...)


message 19: by John (new)

John | 15 comments Yes, Liz, you're right about The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. By the way, the cast of the film also included Celia Johnson, who 15 or 20 years previously was the married woman in love with Trevor Howard (a married man), in Brief Encounter.

Last April I picked up a massive biography of Muriel Spark, with a wonderful cover photo of her on the jacket, only to discover that it was written by some academic in such a prolix and wandering style that it was--at least for me--unreadable! A pity.


message 20: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 2754 comments Mod
Last April I picked up a massive biography of Muriel Spark, with a wonderful cover photo of her on the jacket, only to discover that it was written by some academic in such a prolix and wandering style that it was--at least for me--unreadable! A pity..."

I think that's one of the reasons I'm often cautious of biographies, if you're not careful they can be rather dry and academic (or the opposite - just focusing on the sleaze!!!)


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Sweet Dove Died (other topics)
Empire of the Sun (other topics)
Gormenghast (other topics)
Titus Groan (other topics)
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Rosemary Sutcliff (other topics)
George Mackay Brown (other topics)
C.S. Lewis (other topics)
Julian Barnes (other topics)
Philip Pullman (other topics)
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