READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Tizer » 28 Sep 2019, 09:32

Ian McEwan was interviewed on Today this week about his new book `The Cockroach' which tells the tale of a cockroach that wakes up one morning as the Prime Minister. Here's the Waterstones promotion blurb...

Kafka meets The Thick Of It in a bitingly funny new political satire from Ian McEwan
A Kafka-esque allegory from the masterful McEwan which speaks urgently to the current febrile political climate, The Cockroach details an anthropomorphic metamorphosis which threatens the very fabric of democracy. Scabrously funny and bitingly satirical, this superlative novella will endure as long as its eponymous insect.
That morning, Jim Sams, clever but by no means profound, woke from uneasy dreams to find himself transformed into a gigantic creature.
Jim Sams has undergone a metamorphosis. In his previous life he was ignored or loathed, but in his new incarnation he is the most powerful man in Britain – and it is his mission to carry out the will of the people. Nothing must get in his way: not the opposition, nor the dissenters within his own party. Not even the rules of parliamentary democracy.
With trademark intelligence, insight and scabrous humour, Ian McEwan pays tribute to Franz Kafka’s most famous work to engage with a world turned on its head. Waterstones

I've only read one review and that wasn't complimentary - suggesting it probably wouldn't have got published if it hadn't been written by a famous author - but I like the idea behind it! :smile:

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Tripps » 28 Sep 2019, 09:45

I saw the interview, and while not being strong on Kafka - tried it once and gave up - I thought he was on the back foot throughout, especially after the interviewer reminded him that Tutsi victims in Rwanda were labelled 'cockroaches before being murdered. Don't think he'd considered that.

I think Lady Brenda Hall may have found her next brooch though. :smile:
Born to be mild. . .

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 29 Sep 2019, 03:58

I heard the interview on R4. It intrigued me but I already have Bryson on order!
Getting on well with Cameron. I'm coming to the conclusion that the main benefit of these autobiographies is the insight they give you on events and processes. It's a mistake to expect them to give a true picture of the individual because of course they are always going to veer on the side of 'best light'. That's best left to the biographers when the dust has settled. I have noted that he gives very truncated accounts of some of the events where it is obvious mistakes were made and the wrong policies pursued. At the moment he is being very defensive about Austerity. It's also obvious that Osborne was a great influence on him, in political as well as economic matters.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 01 Oct 2019, 04:04

I'm getting a bit fed up with the number of times I see 'looking back this was a mistake'.
As evidence that I am actually comprehending what I am reading...., This rather surprising typo from page 371 as Cameron describes the wedding of William and Catherine Middleton (he is an ardent Monarchist). He says that he and Sam sat in the 'quire stalls'.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by plaques » 01 Oct 2019, 07:56

Stanley wrote:
01 Oct 2019, 04:04
(he is an ardent Monarchist). He says that he and Sam sat in the 'quire stalls'.
Perhaps he meant 'Esquire' stalls? or even one below that.
HISTORICAL (Esquire)
a young nobleman who, in training for knighthood, acted as an attendant to a knight.

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 01 Oct 2019, 08:02

It's a possibility but on the whole I think it was just a typo.....
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Tizer » 01 Oct 2019, 09:37

Quire stalls: LINK

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Tripps » 01 Oct 2019, 10:50

plaques wrote:
01 Oct 2019, 07:56
young nobleman who, in training for knighthood,
I don't think you need training these days - just friends in high places. :smile:


Choir used to rhyme with deer - and a quire was 25 copies of the Manchester Evening News. :laugh5:

The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.
Born to be mild. . .

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 02 Oct 2019, 02:07

Tiz. Well I never! I never knew that. I looked it up... "Borrowed from Anglo-Norman quaier, from Old French quaer, from Vulgar Latin *quaternus, from Latin quaterni (“four at a time”), from quater (“four times”). ".
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Tripps » 03 Oct 2019, 10:58

Well - my Daniel Meadows book turned up this morning. I found it quietly sitting in my porch.

I'm very pleased I bought it. As I quickly flicked through it from back to front - like you do - I got a little buzz when I recognised Peter Tatham, up a chimney of course, without having to read the description.

Good section on Stanley too.

Tripps imprimatur. :smile:
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 04 Oct 2019, 02:32

So glad you got it David! Look up the second hand price in a couple of years, you'll find you made a profit. I once had a bit of spare cash and Roger Perry advised me to buy good photographic books. He was right! (I didn't do it though), they all went up astronomically.
Struggling with Cameron, he glosses over the mistakes and if you didn't know the truth you'd think he was the best man we ever had in post. I shall persevere even though Bryson arrived yesterday.....
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by plaques » 04 Oct 2019, 12:03

The Bryson book is now on sale at Sainburys Colne.

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 06 Oct 2019, 03:33

I'm nearing the end of 'For the Record' and I am not sorry. It is a flawed book. I shall give my verdict when I finish it.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 07 Oct 2019, 03:50

Last chapter today thank God! I am getting thoroughly fed up with Cameron.....
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 07 Oct 2019, 12:46

On the day I finish Cameron and move on to Bryson's 'The Body' BBC R4 start serialising it on book of the week at 09:45.
As David would say, it's spooky!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Tizer » 07 Oct 2019, 15:58

And Bryson was interviewed on `Inside Science' too. :smile:
I wonder if Maz or Cathy have read Bryson's book about Australia. It would be interesting to hear their views on it if they have!

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 08 Oct 2019, 03:26

Have started on The Body and as always it's crammed with information and very readable.
Such a contrast to over 700 pages of Cameron telling us how good his ideas were. He skates over the massive policy mistakes and hammers what he thinks are his successes. He seems to be totally unaware of the fact that his major aim in power was the forwarding of the Tories. I am not going to analyse him too much, just state my reactions.
I was right about him all along, a rich kid who never knew what work was really like in the real world.
He is a lightweight thinker and though he pays lip service to being an internationalist he mistakes 'good works' and sentiment for statesman-like behaviour.
He is a lousy student of human nature. Picked the wrong allies and then was surprised when they 'betrayed' him.
The useful thing about his book is that it demonstrates clearly what politics has become, the pursuit of power and success at the expense of solid principle and awareness that not everyone has his advantages.
I'm glad I read the book but wouldn't recommend it to anyone. It's me-me all the way despite his protestations.
Perhaps the best demonstration of the problems with his leadership and the two who have followed him is the state of the country. Don't waste your money!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by plaques » 08 Oct 2019, 07:18

Picked up my library book yesterday', Novacene, The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence. James Lovelock. A slim book 130 pages of spread out text. The first fifty pages he is setting out the ground for what's to follow, I hope, Makes a number of very profound statements which without proof fall in the 'opinion' class. a couple of days should see it finished, I shall report back.

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by plaques » 08 Oct 2019, 20:50

Novacene, Very strong on global warming but taking nearly two thirds of the book to hammer home his case. The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence. Raised some interesting and far reaching conjectures most of which have been doing the rounds for some time in Artificial Intelligence circles. All in all quite happy to have spent 75 pence on the library order and a couple of nights reading but would have been most disappointed to have parted with the full hard back cover price of nearly £15.

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 09 Oct 2019, 02:00

Thanks for that P, I was seriously considering it!
Bryson is keeping up the good work. "There is no physiological basis for race. The only difference is the amount of Melanin in the epidermis"
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Tripps » 09 Oct 2019, 10:15

Stanley wrote:
09 Oct 2019, 02:00
"There is no physiological basis for race. The only difference is the amount of Melanin in the epidermis"
That can't be so. Think about it. Did you watch the World Athletic Championships last week? :smile:
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 10 Oct 2019, 02:06

No.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 12 Oct 2019, 04:09

Take a moment to read THIS extract from Three Men in a Boat. It illustrates the dangers of reading a book Like Bryson on 'The Body'. I always knew that we were wonderfully complicated but efficient mechanisms and Bryson reinforces this. He also points out how these mechanisms can go wrong, for instance in auto-immune conditions like Lupus and deteriorating joints. You can't help noting these and wondering!
Despite this danger I am enjoying the insights. I shall not abandon the book!
PS. Three Men in a Boat is still worth reading, it's a very funny book!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by plaques » 12 Oct 2019, 07:01

Three Men in a Boat, not forgetting the dog. One of the English Literature books that they tried to edificate me at school with. Can't remember a thing about it only that I think, and I say this with some reservation, that someone fell out of the boat into the river. Possibly deserves a revisit.

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 13 Oct 2019, 03:33

It certainly is P. But don't bother with the sequel 'Three Men on a Bummel'. He tried the same format in I think it was Germany and I never finished the book. The episode in the first book where they found they had no tin-opener is hilarious....
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