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Have you also read A Place of Greater Safety?
Because it's fucking incredible
Obviously, The Name of Rose is a good one to go with and Iain Pears' 'An Instance of the Fingerpost' also.
although we're talking fun reads there rather than serious literature, etc.
I'm actually reading a book at the minute though!
It's Book of Rhymes: The Poetry of Hip Hop by Adam Bradley
recently finished Can't Stop Won't Stop by Jeff Chang - kind of a history of beat-boys and hip hop. You should check it out.
I'm enjoying this, it's a bit scholarly at times and there's a bit of assumed literary knowledge which I just don't have which gets me a bit lost at times but it's nice to read someone expressing opinions which you're unable to express yourself despite holding them.
but generally tries to explain. It's fascinating how the city/projects happened, in fact - worth the asking price alone
is it worth reading?
I'll give it a crack at some point.
The only other Mantel I've read (other than Wolf Hall/Bring Up the Bodies) is Beyond Black. It's brilliantly written, but's got a really grim atmosphere. I can't say that I really enjoyed it.
and there are little interludes with bits about the period to keep your head in the right place. It's bizarre, that - like full immersion but also looking from the outside
I couldn't get to grips with Wolf Hall. I have a hardback copy of A Place of Greater Safety back in England but I don't want to bring it here because I'm sure it'll make my luggage break the weight limit of Wizzair.
I need to up my pace.
Been reading it for a very long time now, I read very slowly and there are huge swathes where nothing happens but I like it anyway.
I'm currently reading The Bachelors by Muriel Spark. I really enjoyed The Ballad of Peckham Rye but this isn't doing it for me.
Also enjoyed The Ballad loads
I always enjoy it, and it can be good for helping you get to grips with a historical period, but I can never escape the idea that it's essentially fluff with a 'pre-written' plot.
Having said that, enjoyable historical fiction for reading on the beach:
This Thing of Darkness
Imperium (might not be called that, can't remember) by Robert someone.
and the sequal lustrum
I’m just about to finish HHhH which is, I guess, a work of historical fiction written by someone who shares your doubts about historical fiction.
The real-life story itself – about the Czech attempt to assassinate evil Nazi Heydrich – is incredible and, if you can cope with pretentious Frenchmen (you support Arsenal, right?) then the author’s digressions into how, why and whether you should turn history into fiction are really fascinating too. Highly recommended.
It better not actually be called 'HHhH' though.
“HHhH” is about the rise and fall of Reinhard Heydrich, the monster whom even Hitler called “the man with the iron heart.” As Binet puts it, Heydrich is not the protagonist of this book but its target; almost anywhere you look in the politics of the Third Reich, “and particularly among its most terrifying aspects, Heydrich is there—at the center of everything.” “Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich,” people would say: “Himmler’s brain is called Heydrich.” (Thus “HHhH.”)
the Neil Young autobiography. It's great, but it's written in a bizarre meandering conversational style. It's like a cross between I, Partridge and Tristram Shandy.
was enjoying it initially. Not so much now, can't put my finger on what's causing it, but i'm starting to find it pretty irritating.
really did not like it. Just reaked of Scarlet Thomas trying to display just how clever she is, both the dialogue and narration become incredibly stilted, some bits towards the end are eye.rollingly bad, and it's just so ham fisted SPOILER? the protagonist's name is an anagram of 'i am not real', FFS. Fucking shite. Ugh.
If you like historic fiction, then I recommend James Clavell.
Shogun and Tai Pan are bloody excellent books.
Haven't read any novels in ages, it's so refreshing to read for enjoyment rather than what my course demands (as much as I love it).
Historical fiction is maybe the worst genre of all written word innit.
I'm reading 'If This Is A Man/The Truce' by Primo Levi. Finished If This Is A Man a couple of hours ago then I'll read The Truce today and tomorrow. It is incredible.
if by worst you mean 'highest ratio of shit to good,' then yes. If you mean all of it is shit, you're v wrong
<3 primo levi