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Source: (consider it) Thread: Confess Your Unpopular Opinion
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Paul.:
She definitely suffered from lack of editing in the later longer ones.

Thank you, this is a point I meant to address but forgot.
Longer ≠ better. Many authors I have followed through their career have gotten worse as their books were allowed to get longer.

I agree. By book 7 she was a major star (THE major star in several subgenres) and either felt herself above editing, or was feared by her editors enough that they applied a light hand. It mars the book, IMHO.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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jedijudy

Organist of the Jedi Temple
# 333

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Amorya, I love your video! It looks like it was fun to produce and it was certainly fun for me to watch!
The Quidditch match was awesome! [Big Grin]

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Jasmine, little cat with a big heart.

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Unfortunately, I only read the first Narnia story as an adult and, like Harry Potter, it just seems to be a book for kids.

Well, yeah. Why on earth would you expect either to be anything other than a book for kids?

John

Harry Potter in particular has been promoted as a good read for adults as well as children, certainly in the UK. The publishers have produced adult editions of the books, and many of the people I've heard praising them are adults. (Not necessarily adults who are simply grateful that their children are reading books!)

I don't disapprove of HP, though, and nor do I resent the author's success. It's just that the first book didn't do anything for me, and I'm unconvinced that the others would rectify that.

OTOH I'd like to understand what makes a stonking bestseller, so I probably ought to study the HP phenomenon quite carefully....

BTW, will anyone admit to liking Dan Brown?

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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Dickens was a dick, Hardy stole his best stories from others, George Eliot mostly seems to have hidden away from the world for most of her life, the Brontes lived and died in obscurity.

I'm sure this says something about the British literary and national character.

You didn't mention Trollope, who is my favorite British novelist.

Moo

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See you later, alligator.

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Nick Tamen

Ship's Wayfaring Fool
# 15164

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I think Dan Brown can be a fun, page-turning read. And a good conspiracy theory can be entertaining. But his understanding of things like church history—or pretty much history period—is beyond laughable.

Once I hit 50, I decided to stop apologizing for what I like to read. As a general rule, non-fiction bores me senseless. I like fiction, fantasy in particular, but usually I’d much rather read books aimed mainly at younger audiences (like Harry Potter) than Great Literature, and that’s what I don’t apologize for any more. Currently I’m reading some Rick Reardon, but it is fall, and I do have a bad habit of re-reading Lord of the Rings every few years in the fall.

As for Lewis, I liked the Narnia books when I was younger, but I have little desire to re-read them these days. That said, I think Voyage of the Dawn Treader may have my favorite opening line of any book: “There once was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Stetson
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# 9597

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quote:
I think Dan Brown can be a fun, page-turning read. And a good conspiracy theory can be entertaining. But his understanding of things like church history—or pretty much history period—is beyond laughable.
I think I've said this before, but I detect in the whole Holy Blood Holy Grail/Da Vinci Code thing a residue of the protestant bias against celibacy, but applied all the way up to Jesus Christ, ie. it just doesn't make sense to some people that Jesus wouldn't get married, settle down, and have kids, like any normal human being.

Similar considerations lay behind the theology expounded by the Reverend Moon and his Unification Church: Jesus failed in his mission by not having a family, so it was left up to the Reverend Moon, married with kids, to be the saviour of mankind.

I suspect that Moon thought his emphasis on family life would make a big hit in his Confucian homeland, but it hasn't really worked out that way at all. I have only met about a half-dozen or so Moonies in Korea, and almost all of them were foreigners.

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Dickens was a dick, Hardy stole his best stories from others, George Eliot mostly seems to have hidden away from the world for most of her life, the Brontes lived and died in obscurity.

I'm sure this says something about the British literary and national character.

You didn't mention Trollope, who is my favorite British novelist.

Moo

Many creative people are unsatisfactory human beings. (Actually many =people=.) Except in really egregious cases (Harvey Weinsteinn, looking at you) we should split off the judgment of the work from how well we might like the creator; otherwise we'll have no music, no art, and no books. I think it was Dorothy Sayers who suggested that, at the personal Judgment, one's work would stand up, and speak for the workman.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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ExclamationMark
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# 14715

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
ExclamationMark--

quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
Cannot abide Lord of the Rings, books or films.

Ditto me but with C S Lewis
If I may ask: fiction, non-fiction, or both? (It's ok not to answer.)
All of it. Smug and middle class tosh
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ExclamationMark
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# 14715

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Science Fiction. Why?
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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Paul.:
She definitely suffered from lack of editing in the later longer ones.

Thank you, this is a point I meant to address but forgot.
Longer ≠ better. Many authors I have followed through their career have gotten worse as their books were allowed to get longer.

I agree. By book 7 she was a major star (THE major star in several subgenres) and either felt herself above editing, or was feared by her editors enough that they applied a light hand. It mars the book, IMHO.
This is often said, and perhaps I have a cloth ear for literature, but contra my earlier statement, the later HP books are the only ones of significant length I've managed to get to the end of, so I'm not sure the problem is that great.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
Science Fiction. Why?

For the same reason as fantasy. Sometimes this reality is a bit mundane.

Which reminds me. Another umpopular opinion: James Bond is unwatchable dull shite with all the plot complexity of Peppa Pig.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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And to triple post, the post before last should read "the only other ones (besides LOTR)"

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Jane R
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# 331

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mousethief:
quote:
By book 7 [Rowling] was a major star (THE major star in several subgenres) and either felt herself above editing, or was feared by her editors enough that they applied a light hand. It mars the book, IMHO.
Book 7? I thought the rot set in with book 4. Book 5 has the dubious honour of being one of the (very) few books I have read which I think is worse than the film.

She's good at plots, especially intricate mystery-type plots, but about average at characterisation and definitely below par at world-building. And she did not make life easy for herself, stretching each story over a whole school year (with the result that nothing much happens for most of book 7, Hermione Granger and the Camping Trip of Doom).

I found myself feeling more and more sorry for the teachers who had to mark Hermione's essays as the series progressed...

Oh, and Harry should have married Luna. Ginny Weasley has no personality.

[ 15. October 2017, 13:30: Message edited by: Jane R ]

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
Science Fiction. Why?

For the same reason as fantasy. Sometimes this reality is a bit mundane.

Which reminds me. Another umpopular opinion: James Bond is unwatchable dull shite with all the plot complexity of Peppa Pig.

Oh yes. And fantastically misogynist, it's shocking. They're very nearly unreadable now.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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O, I think the later Bond fillums (with Daniel Craig) are very watchable....

But as for those with Roger Moore (RIPARIG) - sheer tosh.

[Razz]

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
Science Fiction. Why?

Because it enables you to ask questions, to imagine, to explore possibilities.

But you need to read good SF, not fanfic SF.

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Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

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Nick Tamen

Ship's Wayfaring Fool
# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Some (IMO) deluded Broadway people decided to put W&P onto the stage as a musical. It's titled Natasha & Pierre & the Great Comet, and succeeds mainly by peeling out the one interesting story line in the entire volume. Perhaps 1/60th of the actual work makes it onto the stage.

Actually, the title is Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, which is amusing for a stage musical drawn from War and Peace, because almost no one seems to use the too-long title. It has become known among theater people simply as The Great Comet or (less often) as Natasha & Pierre.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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I'm certain the success of Les Miserables emboldened them. Another very nearly unreadable novel, btw.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I'm certain the success of Les Miserables emboldened them. Another very nearly unreadable novel, btw.

It is readable. You just have to realise that you're not reading it for the plot. The plot is a piece of threadbare sentimental melodrama that would make Dickens blush. You're reading it for the digressions. Hugo was an unashamedly Romantic poet and his digressions are unashamedly Romantic prose-poems.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Hedgehog

Ship's Shortstop
# 14125

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A bit of a niche topic, but I really don't think that Jack Kirby was all that good as either a comic book artist or writer. Certainly unworthy of the praise that he gets.

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"We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it."--Pope Francis, Laudato Si'

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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The Doors are vastly overrated and not in the least psychedelic.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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eta: in their big hits. Obviously "the End" is pretty psychedelic. LA Lady? It is to laugh.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I'm certain the success of Les Miserables emboldened them. Another very nearly unreadable novel, btw.

Could be the translation.
Which leads to my unpopular opinion: If you are reading a translation, you are not reading the novel.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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Another one.

The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy is not a good book or series of books.

I've been told the teleplay is actually worth listening to and the best representation of the work. But the books themselves? meh.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Nick Tamen

Ship's Wayfaring Fool
# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I'm certain the success of Les Miserables emboldened them. Another very nearly unreadable novel, btw.

Could be the translation.
Which leads to my unpopular opinion: If you are reading a translation, you are not reading the novel.

Which would be an issue with Tolstoy as well.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I'm certain the success of Les Miserables emboldened them. Another very nearly unreadable novel, btw.

Could be the translation.
Which leads to my unpopular opinion: If you are reading a translation, you are not reading the novel.

Which would be an issue with Tolstoy as well.
And Beowulf and even, to a degree, Shakespeare.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Stetson
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# 9597

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Another one.

The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy is not a good book or series of books.

I've been told the teleplay is actually worth listening to and the best representation of the work. But the books themselves? meh.

I'm pretty sure that, even prior to seeing that particular episode of HGTTG, I, as a young teenager, had already come up with the idea of answering with a number a question that calls for words. It's just kind of one of those archetypal absurdist jokes, like answering "What is the capital of France?" with a "yes".
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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Another one.

The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy is not a good book or series of books.

I've been told the teleplay is actually worth listening to and the best representation of the work. But the books themselves? meh.

I'm pretty sure that, even prior to seeing that particular episode of HGTTG, I, as a young teenager, had already come up with the idea of answering with a number a question that calls for words. It's just kind of one of those archetypal absurdist jokes, like answering "What is the capital of France?" with a "yes".
It works best on radio, which is the original medium.
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Curiosity killed ...

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# 11770

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HGTTG was written as a radio series - a rather erratic radio series as Douglas Adams was not brilliant at getting the scripts out on time. The books, TV series, films and other manifestations came later. As a radio series it was brilliant. There is a new version due out next year to celebrate the 40th anniversary with many of the original cast and the archive version is to be broadcast on Radio 4 Extra.

There was a live version of the radio show a few years back - I think to celebrate what would have been Douglas Adams' 60th birthday, but also to get as many of the original cast back together as they could - Peter Jones was not available. Dick Maggs, the producer did say he was trying to reunite the cast.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
Which would be an issue with Tolstoy as well.

I think there are good and bad translations and I am absolutely sure that there are all kinds of angles which are not obvious when reading a book in a non-original language.

But I don't think it is the translation which makes War and Peace unreadable. Anna Karenina zips along, W&P stays in the doldrums for hundreds of pages.

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arse

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la vie en rouge
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# 10688

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I like Les Misérables but agree that the 100 page digression on the subject of the Paris sewers is not Hugo’s finest hour.

Madame Bovary on the other hand, is mind-numbing tosh. Nothing happens. For five-hundred very long pages.

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Paul.
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# 37

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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
(with the result that nothing much happens for most of book 7, Hermione Granger and the Camping Trip of Doom).

One of my favourite parts of the final book. Something about the consequences of evil being this mundane tedious existence rather than some big confrontation (that's over in time for tea and muffins) made it feel realer than the other books. Also I loved that the friendships were tested in a different way than we'd seen before.

I would never try to defend H2G2 to anyone who finds it tiresome. I think you either like that sort of thing or you don't. I also think that if, like me, you saw it/read it/heard it when you were 12 and loved it then, then you're probably always going to love it. I re-read the first four books last year and I was struck not by how funny it was but how clever it was. These days I'm rather hard on things that are billed as funny but get by on cleverness (The Good Place is my current goto example) but it's different when you're coming back to something and see depths that you missed as a young person.

Have never read Les Miserables and never will but shout out to ken (RIP) who liked the bit about the sewers.

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Jane R
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# 331

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I liked Hitchhiker's Guide when I was a teenager, but the later books in the series were not so good. Nowadays I don't find it so appealing, possibly because I have never been a 20-something man <tangent> and would therefore not have made the mistake of putting the hairdressers on Ark B. Because they do create something: happiness. Self-confidence. Mental health. Ask any old lady who still has her hair shampooed and set every week. Ask the Spartan warriors, who always insisted on going into battle looking their best because they didn't want to be seen dead on a bad hair day.<\tangent>
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Stejjie
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# 13941

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A few assorted ones of mine:

I had some sympathy for Theresa May after her coughing fit at the Tory Conference, despite my general antipathy towards her party's policies on pretty much everything. I thought having a go at her for that was a bit off, especially when there's plenty of other stuff to have a go at her for.

I think Graham Kendrick is a very good songwriter, writing material that's a lot more interesting than the caricature of him implies.

Superman > Batman.

Videogames are freakin' awesome! (Down with the kkids, that's me!*)

On which note: Sonic The Hedgehog > Mario

*There may be secret irony in this sentence

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A not particularly-alt-worshippy, fairly mainstream, mildly evangelical, vaguely post-modern-ish Baptist

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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The best portrayal of James Bond on film is by Timothy Dalton in Licence to Kill. (Shame that such a good Bond didn't have such a good film.)

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Fearfully and wonderfully mad
Love the dinner, hate the din.
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blog

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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quote:
Originally posted by Stejjie:
I had some sympathy for Theresa May after her coughing fit at the Tory Conference, despite my general antipathy towards her party's policies on pretty much everything.

Outside of Brexit and the NHS I like a lot of May's policies. It's the lack of competence in implementing them I dislike.

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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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I agree with Sioni Sais on page 1.

I increasingly (but still secretly) prefer League to Union

Irish Whiskey is better than Scotch Whisky

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Brenda Clough
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I cannot excuse HP nor Hitchhiker.
However, old works are of their time. Hugo wrote in a time before photography, before Wikipedia, before even general literacy. When I say "Paris" now to you the images instantly rise in your mind's eye, a melange of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre with the Seine running in front of it, glasses of Ricaud, and so on, the detritus of ten thousand movies and TV episodes and travelogues even if you've never been there.
Hugo had no such prepared audience. The story is told of the Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, reading Les Mis out loud to each other. They needed a detailed description of the Paris sewers, because they had never probably seen a sewer, never mind Paris. Hugo's description must have been as fantastic to them as Barsoom. (A friend of mind just went to the Paris sewer museum, btw. It has piped-in smells.)

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:


I increasingly (but still secretly) prefer League to Union

Increasingly I'm thinking that neither are really worth the effort. I can't remember the last time I watched a whole game.

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Jane R
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Neither version of rugby is as entertaining to watch as Australian football. That doesn't seem to have any rules at all (except, no edged weapons).
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Higgs Bosun
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# 16582

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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Neither version of rugby is as entertaining to watch as Australian football. That doesn't seem to have any rules at all (except, no edged weapons).

I thought there were two rules:

1) It starts with a ball thrown up in the air

2) You then have a fight

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
I agree with Sioni Sais on page 1.

I increasingly (but still secretly) prefer League to Union

Irish Whiskey is better than Scotch Whisky

Can't agree with you on the rugby code question, but Irish Whiskey is wonderful stuff. Pass the Blackbush!

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Bishops Finger
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Brenda Clough said:
quote:
(A friend of mind just went to the Paris sewer museum, btw. It has piped-in smells.)
Proof, if proof were needed, that the French are as delightfully bonkers as we English. That might well be an unpopular opinion in England, of course...

IJ

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Paul.:

I would never try to defend H2G2 to anyone who finds it tiresome. I think you either like that sort of thing or you don't.

I do like that sort of thing. I think the problem is that before I'd read H2G2, I'd read others in the same vein that were actually well written.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I do like that sort of thing. I think the problem is that before I'd read H2G2, I'd read others in the same vein that were actually well written.

If you mean Pratchett, while I vastly prefer Pratchett, he is not in the same vein.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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mousethief

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The books suck. The TV show sucks. The movie sucks. Only the radio play is the real deal. He started there, and had to pad it a great deal to make the books. The radio play was written serially, and he intentionally wrote himself cliffhangers he would have to write his way out of the next week. This creates a feel of breathlessness that all the other incarnations of the story line lack. Once he had the leisure to embroider, he fluffed it, IMNSHO.

Pity they had to cut the Pink Floyd joke out of the radio play though. [Frown] Stupid record company.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Hugo had no such prepared audience. The story is told of the Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, reading Les Mis out loud to each other. They needed a detailed description of the Paris sewers, because they had never probably seen a sewer, never mind Paris. Hugo's description must have been as fantastic to them as Barsoom.

Dickens and Balzac have much shorter descriptions. Hugo's descriptions of the sewers aren't descriptions that go on a bit long for modern tastes. They are descriptions that have got completely out of hand because Hugo saw that looked at from a certain angle the sewers were even more fantastic than Barsoom.
See also Moby-Dick; or The Whale, which also you cannot read for the story. Both Hugo and Melville have been reading Sterne's Tristram Shandy although I think Melville is more in on the joke.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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mousethief

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The Moby Dick plotline would make a fairly dull short story. Then again Moby Dick as it stands is worse than dull; it's numbing. By the end you're rooting for the whale, in part to kill them all and end the damned book.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

See also Moby-Dick; or The Whale, which also you cannot read for the story. Both Hugo and Melville have been reading Sterne's Tristram Shandy although I think Melville is more in on the joke.

This is what I mean about translations. The story* is secondary, at best, to the way it is told. And a translation will never be the real work.

*There will be exceptions, of course. But few.

quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
This creates a feel of breathlessness that all the other incarnations of the story line lack. Once he had the leisure to embroider, he fluffed it, IMNSHO.

OK, now I have to listen to the radio version. Some works transcend forms, for others, form is an integral part of the work. Perhaps they should have done the film as a Buck Rogers sort of serial played before other films.
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I do like that sort of thing. I think the problem is that before I'd read H2G2, I'd read others in the same vein that were actually well written.

If you mean Pratchett, while I vastly prefer Pratchett, he is not in the same vein.
He was one of the authors I though of, I think it is very much in the same vein: An irreverent take on a genre without being a parody. Also in the same vein, and this pre-dates Hitchhiker's, I love Bill the Galactic Hero.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Schroedinger's cat

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Hitchikers was great at the time, and the absurd style has inspired me. It was a real change from the often staid and serious SF that was around.

Irish Whiskey is a different thing from Scotch. They are not for comparison, but for drinking at different times, in different moods.

And, if you want some proper Kendrick music, look at his contemporary stuff, before he started doing worship music. OK, dated now, but really clever and innovative at the time.

I am not going to comment on his worship music, because I am not a fan of worship music. So my unpopular opinion is that 99% or worship music is crap, and the remaining stuff is meh.

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Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

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