ghost of miles

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The second Waters I've read. Enjoyed 'The Little Stranger' very much and this is very engaging. Reminds me in style of someone like Daphne du Maurier (though far more sexually explicit) - that same feeling of discomfort with and anxiety for the main characters. 

Gives a vivid picture of London just after World War I with the war haunting everything, new thoughts and ideas stirring but not daring to burst forth beyond the curtains. 

Well, this proving rather tiresome now. 600 pages to tell a tale that could have been polished off in 300. Long chapters that seem to go on and on with descriptions of conversations and minor characters. Just want to finish the thing now. 

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Julia Alvarez: Saving The World

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Back on Molly Keane after a long break (mostly reading Russians).  I'm starting Good Behaviour, which maybe believe to be her best novel of all.

After that (assuming it has turned up) it will be Proud Beggars by Albert Cossery.

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Just read "The Martian."   Fun read.

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BRAVE NEW WORLD - 1932- Aldous Huxley

Decided to re-read this dystopian classic and found it still quite amusing and intellectually engaging, but also surprisingly full of Huxley's own racial and sexual biases and prejudices. 

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BRAVE NEW WORLD - 1932- Aldous Huxley

Decided to re-read this dystopian classic and found it still quite amusing and intellectually engaging, but also surprisingly full of Huxley's own racial and sexual biases and prejudices. 

Yes, I go back to it every few decades too. Continues to hold its fascination - particularly with that Fernand Léger cover!

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Just finished the engaging and often hilarious autobiography of jazz singer George Melly's Liverpool suburban childhood. So taken by this I'm planning a little walk around Mellyland myself! :D

Edited by BillF

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Ah yes, in memory of Mr Salter. I've read it, but the earlier works, especially The Hunters, remain my favorites.

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I'll make The Hunters my next Salter read. Light Years was a somewhat frustrating read: brilliant, often gorgeous writing at the service of insufferably bourgeois characters and settings. But beautiful, nevertheless.  

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Salter's a beautiful writer, there's nothing he's written that I've not enjoyed. I particulary enjoyed his non-fiction ...."Gods of Tin" & "Burning the Days" and his last (fiction) book "All That Is".

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In the end, I found Molly Keane's Good Behaviour frustrating.  I can see why a number of people would find the turn-around satisfying, though I certainly didn't, mostly because I found it improbable.  I can't go into details as it would spoil too much.

Just starting Cossery's Proud Beggars.

I'm probably going to tackle some Robert Coover next.  I haven't read anything by him in quite a while.

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Having just re-read Brave New World, it seemed a good idea to re-read Nineteen Eighty-Four as these books are so often twinned in the public mind. And it does seem as f the world oscillates between these dystopian visions. 

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Just 3 chapters into Cossery's Proud Beggars.  It's a strong start.  It reminds me of Mahfouz, particularly The Thief and the Dogs or perhaps The Cairo Trilogy, mixed with Camus's The Stranger.  Hopefully, he can keep it up.  I thought The Colors of Infamy petered out just a bit at the end.

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Having just re-read Brave New World, it seemed a good idea to re-read Nineteen Eighty-Four as these books are so often twinned in the public mind. And it does seem as f the world oscillates between these dystopian visions. 

Both first read at age 16 and became lifelong favorites.

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Drabble's first published novel and unsurprisingly showing signs of authorial immaturity. What, for example, are we to make of the first person narrator? Does she embody the author's views, or is she the target for authorial satire - or a mixture of both?

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I've always been interested in Huxley's life and career, and Nicholas Murray provides a serviceable, relatively concise biography. Murray is the most candid on Huxley's unusual conjugal life. Huxley and his first wife, Maria, shared female lovers, and Maria often procured women for Huxley's bed and her own. Indeed, Huxley's major biographer, Sybil Bedford, was also a lover of Aldous and Maria. Very brave new world I should say. 

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I've always been interested in Huxley's life and career, and Nicholas Murray provides a serviceable, relatively concise biography. Murray is the most candid on Huxley's unusual conjugal life. Huxley and his first wife, Maria, shared female lovers, and Maria often procured women for Huxley's bed and her own. Indeed, Huxley's major biographer, Sybil Bedford, was also a lover of Aldous and Maria. Very brave new world I should say. 

Aldous Fuxley!

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NIGHTMARE ABBEY (1818)  & CROTCHET CASTLE (1831) - Thomas Love Peacock

Peacock is often cited as a progenitor of the satirical philosophical novel, a predecessor of Aldous Huxley's early works. His works are quite witty, although age and familiarity have taken some of the edge off them. I found Nightmare Abbey to be the stronger and sharper of the two. A dubious distinction: I read both of these on a Kindle (borrowed from my wife). I found it easier and cheaper to download them. (The KIndle is great for loading the complete works of early English authors for free or very little). But reading on a Kindle is different somehow from reading the book version. Not necessarily worse, just different. If I had the book texts available, I would have stuck with them I'm sure. 

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.... frightening!

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I just finished reading Hampton Hawes' autobiography, Raise Up Off Me:

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Two enjoyable thrillers from series I've followed a while:

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And a history book:

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I finished Vladislavic's The Exploded View, which was good but not quite as impressive as The Restless Supermarket, which is really something else.

I'm reading Bruno Schulz now - The Street of Crocodiles and The Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass, both of which are quite short.

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Like colonies in comparison to ex-colonies - the fall of the old dynasty in China resulted in corruption and mounting horrors. And here I remember that in childhood we were taught that Chiang Kai-Shek was a good guy.  51A9DV83YRL._SX309_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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