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Friday, 24 May 2013


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I started The Great Gatsby a couple of months ago - I wouldn't bet on finishing it.

I count The Great Gatsby as one of those novels that everyone calls "great" for no obvious reason. The theme is pretty banal, the symbols are overwrought ("the eyes of Dr. Eckleberg" -- like I don't know what that is), and the prose is never more than somewhat interesting.

David, I was introduced to the stories of George Saunders at Mick Hartley's site. What a find! I read one story, and couldn't stop. In just a few months I think I've read all of his books, and I can't wait for the next one.

Blimey, DM, I read the other day that it was a rather slim volume - is it that hard going?

Dom, am I right to assume you mean Mick Hartley of As for Saunders, alas, I have never been attracted to the notion of short stories - although given my vanishing attention span perhaps it's time I tried them!

Hard going? Not really - just awfully dull: I don't care what happens to them, I'm not curious about What Happened Next, ...

The only interesting thing to happen so far is that the narrator tells us that his father told him "not everyone has had your advantages in life" - or words to that effect. It struck me because that's just what my father told me. And that's about the sum of the interest.

Yes, I've just finished Gatsby and nearly didn't bother after the first 30 pages or so. Managed to finish it and have promptly forgotten it. Somebody (well, the Chinaman. The function he played at last night had a Great Gatsby theme and the band was asked to dress appropriately) asked me the plot the other day and I had to Google it to find out! Totally forgettable as far as I'm concerned.
The only thing that stands out is somebody calls them "careless people" and that about sums it up.
And, I also have heaps and heaps of books with bookmarks sticking out of them at different spots. I once read roughly 600 pages of a Michener book and was about 10 pages from the end when I decided "to hell with it" and there it remains.
Life's too short and there're too many books out there. We can't waste our time on stuff that simply isn't interesting enough.
I have heard about a new and extremely hilarious book, that I am waiting to receive. As soon as I remember it's name, I'll pass it on.

I'm surprised they keep making movies based on Gatsby. When will they learn.

I had ten pages to go in Strangers in a Strange Land, and then forgot about it.

DM, that's the same Mick Hartley, and trust me, you'll love Saunders.

Oh well, we'll just have to rename it 'The Not-so-Great Gatsby'!

But have any of you tried Miklós Bánffy?

The funny book I was thinking of is called "The Rosie Project". For a little bit of comic relief try this one.


Damned Google. Fellow's more confusing than DD:

as I understand it, a swimmer fellow "reputedly of Somerset" [swarthy - unkempt and eats his peas] is on the loose. I'm informed further the British authorities'd prefer to shoot a guy wearing long-johns than take a chance stopping anybody'd who chance [like for instance Allahu Akbar! at our Fort Hood.

I'm figuring "workplace violence" in Woolrich.

I'm really pissed. DD can 'twither' as he will - but JK says


...oh but dammit just my general opinion ... every male Mooslim needs be neutered castrated at whichever port of entry.

Yeah I know ya'lls Imams & Mullahs preaching this & that know precisely - but the Mullahs and Imams need neutered first!

Just so's to set an example - or of course - they could come visit the American South.

I haven't read any Miklós Bánffy, but is he by any chance the inventor of Bánffy pie, which I thought was a Scottish, not Hungarian 'delicacy'?

If so, he must have followed in Mr. Kipling's footsteps.

JK, I'm not sure if you realise that in 'our common language' the word "pissed" has two meanings, the American and the English. I have a suspicion that due to, er, local circumstances your use was entirely English English!

Crikey, Paul, I haven't had Banoffee pie for decades - must send an order downstairs to the 'Memsahib'. And if you have a *long* holiday due then take a copy of "They Were Counted" - it's as big as a house brick so you will need a fortnight!

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