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Futtocks

Book thread: what are you reading?

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If the telly gets any worse, I might be reduced to reading a proper book for the first time in about 15 years.

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That is a shame. Mark of a great writer though, that 12 books seems so little.

He wrote some other stuff too, some of which is worth seeking out. Flashman's father appears as a secondary character in 'Black Ajax', the story of the first world boxing championship fight.

 

And his war memoirs - 'Quartered safe out here' is brilliant,  and the McAuslan stories are hilarious. 'Mr American' is another period piece, but a serious story, unlike the Flashman books.

 

Some of the other stuff should be approached with more care. 'Pyrates', for instance, piles on the silliness and slapstick until it's really not as funny as GMF may have thought. And 'The Light's on at Signpost' is pretty much unreadably bad.

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I've just started Zimmer Men by Marcus Berkmann. Its an autobiogrphical story of an ageing village cricket team and follows his much earlier book about the same people, entitled Rain Men.  If you've ever played village cricket, Rain Men is really highly recommended - you'll laugh your socks off.

Berkmann wrote 'Lenin of the Rovers' with Alexei Sayle, which is one of my favourite comedy series ever. I might give one of these books a go.

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He wrote some other stuff too, some of which is worth seeking out. Flashman's father appears as a secondary character in 'Black Ajax', the story of the first world boxing championship fight.

 

And his war memoirs - 'Quartered safe out here' is brilliant,  and the McAuslan stories are hilarious. 'Mr American' is another period piece, but a serious story, unlike the Flashman books.

 

Some of the other stuff should be approached with more care. 'Pyrates', for instance, piles on the silliness and slapstick until it's really not as funny as GMF may have thought. And 'The Light's on at Signpost' is pretty much unreadably bad.

Indeed.  Pyrates and Reevers are dreadful, but everything else is very good. 

 

Black Ajax is an excellent book, Quartered Safe Out Here is strongly recommended and I am looking forward to McAuslan as I am reassured by your summary.

 

I introduced the Flashman books to some friends in the USA.  It is fair to say there was a good degree of shock.

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I'm not sure if that exists. Let me know if you find something. Im trying to collect at least a set of all the same paperback edition.

 

Sadly, I think you may be right but will include you in the loop if I find anything!

 

I was wrong; they do exist!

 

http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=11813629876&searchurl=an%3Dgeorge%2Bmacdonald%2Bfraser%26amp%3Bbi%3Dh%26amp%3Bbsi%3D0%26amp%3Bds%3D30%26amp%3Bkn%3Dflashman%26amp%3Bsortby%3D1

 

I think 'ouch' is the first polite word that springs to mind...

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 I have all the Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell. You get the same problem with them as some of his later books are 'prequels' to his earlier ones. Makes arranging them on the bookshelf a quandary if, like me, you have slight OCD when it comes to these things. :)

 

My dad changed the order depending on which his mood took him.  But, never fear, he also had an index of the books that he would place next to them so you knew the alternative way of filing.

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The sad thing about Flashman is that the books contain references to adventures that George McDonald Fraser never got round to writing (Mexico, Khartoum, Wild Bill Hickok, The Boxer rebellion) etc.

 

According to his daughter, the novelist Caro Fraser, he did not leave behind any notes that another author could attempt to work from.

 

I'm not convinced that he ever worked through some of those ideas enough, even in his head, to create a novel from them although it would have been brilliant if he could have.

 

I've just finished The Shape of Water, the first Montalbano novel, and liked it enough to download the second.  I have a travelogue of Antarctica to read next though.

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 I have a travelogue of Antarctica to read next though.

 

Ice, snow, water, sun, frostbite, gangrene, not getting your Oates, penguin, killer whale, Norwegian flag. How can anyone make that stretch to a whole book?

 

 

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I enjoy thrillers.  If I watch a good film (usually on TV), I try to find out if it was based on a book, and if so, who wrote it.  Using this method I 'discovered' David Baldacci (Absolute Power) and Jeffrey Deaver (the Bone Collector).  I've gone on to get all of their books, which are brilliant. 

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Ice, snow, water, sun, frostbite, gangrene, not getting your Oates, penguin, killer whale, Norwegian flag. How can anyone make that stretch to a whole book?

 

I'll let you know when I've either finished it or thrown it across the room.

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Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King, not for the supernatural stuff, but for the way he has captured the essence of lost childhood and of growing older. It becomes more relevant the older I get! (I have read it umpteen times)

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He wrote some other stuff too, some of which is worth seeking out. Flashman's father appears as a secondary character in 'Black Ajax', the story of the first world boxing championship fight.

 

And his war memoirs - 'Quartered safe out here' is brilliant,  and the McAuslan stories are hilarious. 'Mr American' is another period piece, but a serious story, unlike the Flashman books.

 

Some of the other stuff should be approached with more care. 'Pyrates', for instance, piles on the silliness and slapstick until it's really not as funny as GMF may have thought. And 'The Light's on at Signpost' is pretty much unreadably bad.

 

 

Indeed.  Pyrates and Reevers are dreadful, but everything else is very good. 

 

Black Ajax is an excellent book, Quartered Safe Out Here is strongly recommended and I am looking forward to McAuslan as I am reassured by your summary.

 

I introduced the Flashman books to some friends in the USA.  It is fair to say there was a good degree of shock.

 

Ta. Ive always shied away from his other stuff as I wasn't sure what I'd find.

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I guess the price is because they're signed. But if you look at the editions of the books, there's a fairly odd collection of editions. I really don't like those old hardback covers. These are better:

 

andtheredskins.jpg

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Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell part of his series featuring the Saxon warrior Uhtred of Bebbanburg. set in King Alfred's time. The battle scenes are remarkably gory but also seem to me to ring very true (having been in a shield wall in my re-enactment days I can confirm its pretty scary).

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I'm reading A short history of England by Simon Jenkins. I am a bit of a history fan on the side. It's really hard keeping up with who was king or ruler in the early years because there was that many battles and wars, not to mention the number of kingdoms in England.

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

An oldie but a goodie

Is the 'oldiie but goodie' Bill Oddie?

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I'm reading A short history of England by Simon Jenkins. I am a bit of a history fan on the side. It's really hard keeping up with who was king or ruler in the early years because there was that many battles and wars, not to mention the number of kingdoms in England.

Try reading "The Norman Conquest" by Marc Morris, that'll help with the 900-1100 period.

 

Am currently reading "The Plantagenetes" by Dan Jones on Kindle

 

 

 I have all the Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell. You get the same problem with them as some of his later books are 'prequels' to his earlier ones. Makes arranging them on the bookshelf a quandary if, like me, you have slight OCD when it comes to these things. :)

I have all the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett lined up in order, and all the side stuff as well in order of publication, came as a shock to the system when I found an American book on the Disc, as I didn't know where to put it, the oddest one out is a copy of Night Watch in Dutch that I picked up in Amsterdam.

Edited by Bleep1673

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Just finishing a re-reading of The Angel's Game. I love the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, partly because I think Zafon is a fantastic writer but also that Barcelona is such a mesmerising city.

 

Not sure what I'll move onto next. Something will come along, no doubt.

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Black Ajax is an excellent book, Quartered Safe Out Here is strongly recommended and I am looking forward to McAuslan as I am reassured by your summary.

The McAuslan books are set in GMF's post-war army career, when he'd got his commission and was a junior officer. Reading the stories in public is inadvisable, as you may alarm people with your laughter.

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Barcelona is such a mesmerising city.

I have been to Barcelona so many times, and it never fails to amaze me. Of all the European cities I have visited, I have visited Barcelona so often a collegue joked that it would be cheaper to buy a flat there than pay out for hotel fees.

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I have been to Barcelona so many times, and it never fails to amaze me. Of all the European cities I have visited, I have visited Barcelona so often a collegue joked that it would be cheaper to buy a flat there than pay out for hotel fees.

If my own circumstances had been a little different I'd have moved there long ago.

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Try reading "The Norman Conquest" by Marc Morris, that'll help with the 900-1100 period.

 

Spoiler Alert!!!

William wins!

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Currently reading 'Laughing Gas' by P.G.Wodehouse, a Hollywood-based body-swap comedy that sits outside the Jeeves and Blandings series. Very enjoyable.

Edited by Futtocks

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