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review 2016-01-25 19:30
Headlong Hall by Thomas Love Peacock
Headlong Hall - Thomas Love Peacock

 

RE-VISIT 2016 via R4x HUZZAH!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06y048x

Description: Winter, 1815: Harry Headlong, like all Welsh squires, is fond of shooting, hunting and drinking. But he becomes seized with a passion to form the acquaintance of philosophers and dilettanti.

Narrated by Sir Michael Hordern. Starring Daniel Massey as Escot, Ronald Lacey as Foster, John Grillo as Jenkison, John Horsley as Cranium and William Simons as Headlong.



http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/12803

Opening: The ambiguous light of a December morning, peeping through the windows of the Holyhead mail, dispelled the soft visions of the four insides, who had slept, or seemed to sleep, through the first seventy miles of the road, with as much comfort as may be supposed consistent with the jolting of the vehicle, and an occasional admonition to remember the coachman, thundered through the open door, accompanied by the gentle breath of Boreas, into the ears of the drowsy traveller.

What a long opening sentence that is, and look out for long words too:

osteosarchaematosplanchnochondroneuromuelous
osseocarnisanguineoviscericartilaginonervomedullary

hahahah

Okay - I'm halfway through and can tell you that the foundation and corner stones of premise and plot are strong and funny. I love the name of Headlong ap Headlong and the waterforce reasons behind adopting it. Like Nightmare Abbey there is a meeting of unlike minds, opposing agendas and quaffables available in abundance. There are some outrageously funny moments and this should be a straight through pleasure but there is an underlying starkness and an awkwardness of prose that is jarring so if you have not yet encountered the satirical Peacock and are fancying a dive in then start with the skit on the Romantics that is Nightmare Abbey

CR Headlong Hall
4* Crotchet Castle
4* Nightmare Abbey
2* Maid Marian
TR Gryll Grange
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review 2015-08-18 22:06
The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1) by Jasper Fforde
The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde
bookshelves: amusing
Read in January, 2001

 



18.08.2015: I have an urge to re-read this series as it reflects today's world, what with the Cheese Wars and trouble in Crimea.
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review 2015-08-13 17:44
Fun short story
Drunken Fireworks - Stephen King,Tim Sample

I haven't listened to an audio book in many years but when a new Stephen King book is released on audio only, how could I resist? Apparently, it's going to be included in an upcoming book of short stories but I wasn't waiting!

 

It's a short listen, only an hour and 20 minutes. It's basically about neighbors on opposite sides of a lake competing as to who has the best fireworks. Don't expect any scares in it and the end is easy to see coming, but it's very humorous and I had many a chuckle throughout it. I do think King was a bit heavy handed with the rough language or maybe it was just hearing it rather than reading it that turned me off a bit. But it did fit in with the main character who was telling the story. Tim Sample does a great job with the reading and I'm glad I had the chance to hear him tell this amusing tale.. His reading added so much to the atmosphere of this book.

 

Quite a fun, entertaining read. Now hungering for the rest of the stories!

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review 2014-11-13 08:10
...the prospect of a couple of hours on a hard plastic chair had all the appeal of a fish milkshake...
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review 2014-07-30 22:31
If on a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino, William Weaver (Translator)
If on a Winter's Night a Traveller - Italo Calvino,William Weaver

bookshelves: one-penny-wonder, italy, paper-read, winter-20112012, published-1979, books-about-books-and-book-shops, amusing, little-green-men, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, shortstory-shortstories-novellas, incest-agameforallthefamily

Read from January 11 to 13, 2012


** spoiler alert ** Translated from the Italian by William Weaver. Translator note: In chapter eight the passage from 'Crime and Punishment' is quoted in the beloved translation of Constance Garnett.

Dedication: for Danielle Ponchiroli

Opening: You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, 'If on a Winter's Night a Traveller'. Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade.

p 26 - aleatory: adj. Dependent on chance, luck, or an uncertain outcome

p 58 - afflatus: A strong creative impulse, especially as a result of divine inspiration. [Latin affl tus , from past participle of affl re, to breathe on



Not being clever enough to make this review a parody, I'll use the tellingithowitwasforbettie stamp.

Don't know what I expected, however this initial encounter with Calvino and that egotistical start where he openly manipulates readers, wanted me to give him a right ol' penguin slap.

Then all of a sudden I was all about loving it AND laughing out loud and thinking what a clever ol' pretentious bastard he was. At 200 pages this should have been over within a few hours, nevertheless this is not a quick read; some passages have to be read two,three times for their beauty, or their fun, or their outrageous confusion.

The end turns to dust (pulviscular material) and a marriage: all I need to know now is did YOU read the same book that I did or was it, perchance, a fake!?

Can fully see why some detest this book/ can't get past the first 30+ pages, however I heartily endorse the whole with a dobbing big tick and place it on the to re-read shelf.

 

My mind's eye gives me this as an approximation of the Railway Buffet, if one can imagine yellowy fog on the outside

 

"

 

"

 

"It was all very well for me to pull up the mouth of the plastic bag: it barely reached Jojo's neck, and his head stuck out."

 

The first sensation this book should convey is what I feel when I hear the telephone ring..."

 

Speculate, reflect: every thinking activity implies mirrors for me."

 

"

 

"

 

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