Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Books are our friends

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  • Rich of Observationz,

    American Psycho might not be a great one to read if you're trying to pull, either.

    Depends on *who* you're trying to pull.

    "Oh hi I see you're reading American Psycho. Have you got to the bit with the rat - that's my fave? You wanna hook up or something - friend me on myspace - I'm hiltigirl"

    (Note myspace not facebook - anyone like that would be an "ostacised" rather than "hegemonic" teenager)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    On the theme of public school hi-jinks I can't recommend Tom Brown's School Days highly enough, it taught me all I know about being a just, wise and responsible 19th century MP and the virtue of the pre Industrial English countryside

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    A relative of some teaching experience and an interest in kids books has passed on a certain frustratio with the Potter phenomenon - mostly I think that there are things in the same genre out there (I'm thinking of Diana Wynne Jones).

    I supposes it might be a bit like teletubbies, in terms of pitching well to a limited target audience.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I like JKR's writing style, I have to admit, and I expected to loathe it.

    I think I'm out on a limb here because I don't read much fiction anyway, and I tend to evaluate everything on grace and economy of prose style, like you'd evaluate a columnist. And JKR doesn't have any of that for me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I think I'm out on a limb here because I don't read much fiction anyway, and I tend to evaluate everything on grace and economy of prose style, like you'd evaluate a columnist. And JKR doesn't have any of that for me.

    I can still remember going back to reading for pleasure after finishing my Honours degree - Vic Lit and Renaissance Drama. Anything written after about 1920 was like reading on speed, it was so quick and light. Took about a year to get back any sense of perspective.

    mostly I think that there are things in the same genre out there (I'm thinking of Diana Wynne Jones).

    Diana Wynne Jones is precisely what I put my kids onto when they ran out of HP books, and the reason I could do that was because her publisher reissued all her books BECAUSE of the HP phenomenon. (I'd tried a couple of years earlier to find a copy of The Homeward Bounders for a friend.) Think of JKR as a gateway drug.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    Grace and economy of prose style in fiction?

    For grace I'd pick Guy Gavriel Kay (not economy though) the man can write, Connie Willis too. David Drake might not be to most people's taste, but he does care about the craft of writing.

    Does G.K. Chesterton's essays count as fiction? I'd say they fit Russell's requirements. I started reading Chesterton because he was recommended by both Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett (Good Omens)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Chesterton on fairy tales (and Yeats) - a good one-page quickie:
    http://www.online-literature.com/chesterton/all-things-considered/31/

    Apart from the essays most of Chesterton - including The Man Who Was Thursday - is, IMHO, a load of smug bumph.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

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