The Random Person's Book Club discussion

Do you prefer...

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message 1: by Michelle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:04PM) (new)

Michelle (literarilyspeaking1) British, American or some other region's literature?

I've found that, amongst my English-major-type friends, we all prefer some country over another.

I, for one, adore British literature, but generally hate American literature (with a few exceptions for people like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Heller and Norman Mailer).

Anyone else?

message 2: by Claire (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

Claire (deborahclaire) I have to say that I'm quite the opposite - there are many authors of every region that I quite enjoy. However, I wouldn't say that I'm well-read in one particular region, so that might change things around.

I would say that I generally am affected by the region/period in which a plot of a book is set. I have big issues with American Civil War period books, WWII period books, and usually with novels set in the immediate present. I'm not sure why, but I suppose it has something to do with the period's sentiments or how the author portrays them.

I could say that I generally favor British literature, but there are some Brit authors that I loathe with such a passion that they overpower my feelings for the entire region's writers. Kind of stupid, but hey - I like what I like :)

message 3: by Michelle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

Michelle (literarilyspeaking1) I hear you on preference. I think that may be why I don't generally like American literature (with some exceptions). Some of the crappy "classics" were forced down my throat (Like The Red Badge of Courage and The Pearl), so I just became contrary to it all.

message 4: by Claire (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:15PM) (new)

Claire (deborahclaire) I've found my biases against certain periods are difficult humps to get over (and The Pearl? Ick. That too was just a disaster for me to read.) But I don't know. Now that I really think about it, I am definitely not a well-read person. I'm trying, though - but Middle East/Asian texts are also a region that I have recently found that I have trouble with. I'm reading Anil's Ghost right now, set in Sri Lanka, and I think I just get so tied up with name pronunciations and the clashing of cultures in my head that I find them difficult to enjoy. I don't know. Maybe Anil's Ghost will pick up; if not, I'm not ready to give up on books from that region.

message 5: by Norman (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:16PM) (new)

Norman (normanince) In addressing this post's question, I cannot honestly say that I favor any region's literature over another. The writers I love come from: Russia, Greece, The Czech Republic, England, Colombia, the United States, Canada, Indonesia...and so on.

In response to some of the comments above: Anil's Ghost is, in my opinion, not nearly as good as Oondatje's In the Skin of a Lion or The English Patient. It just didn't hold my interest, and I blame that more on the writing than on any cultural clashes.

Finally: The Pearl is a great story! See it as a timeless moral fable that should have been part of an oral tradition rather than a novel to be analyzed and dissected until its soft inner workings are exposed and laid pathetically bare on the cold floor of Litcrit.

message 6: by Claire (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:17PM) (new)

Claire (deborahclaire) Norman: I just finished Anil's Ghost last night, and I definitely agree with you. Now that I can reflect on the book in its entirety, I think I would now agree that I would blame my interest on the lack of a plot/clunky prose instead of the region. In fact, my interest in Sri Lanka has now increased, so I guess that is something good that I got out of the reading. Definitely did not measure up to The English Patient.

Well! I now need to pick up something new. I think I may go in a completely different direction from Sri Lanka and Ondaatje's style to Erik Larson's nonfiction Devil in the White City. I've been reading too many slow dramas lately.

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