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Thread: Recommend A Book to a GS friend

  1. #76
    Yuzulia & Ruslena Team Alba's Avatar
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    I love Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe stories and Georges Simenon's Maigret.

    They are both popular and loved in Italy.

    The Italian televison (RAI) made the adaption for both. Maigrets from 1964 up to 1972 and Gino Cervi (such a great actor) played the character of Maigret. Simenon himself considered Cervi's interpretation of the character to be possibly the best.

    Nero Wolfe was produced by RAI as well, 10 TV movies, from February 1969 to February 1971.
    Tino Buazzelli was fantastic as Wolfe and for me tv series is way better than the USA one of 2000. I have not seen the rest though.

    Rex Stout's biographer John McAleer wrote that "The name Nero Wolfe has magic in Italy".
    Funny enough, RAI paid Stout 80,000 USD for the rights to produce 12 Nero Wolfe stories, and according to McAleer: "He agreed only because he would never see them."

    I have all the videos (all books as well) and often watch them today.

  2. #77
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    I'm glad there was a good adaptation of Nero Wolfe somewhere in the world, Alba!

    I thought of an obscure book that I have enjoyed often since I first read it, Agnes De Mille's Dance to the Piper.. De Mille was a major choreographer. Her works include Aaron Copland's Rodeo and the "Out of My Dreams" dance in the musical Oklahoma. She knew everyone in the dance world of the time, including Antony Tudor and Martha Graham. Her writing is vivid and informative--a great documentary of the world of ballet/modern dance of the middle of the twentieth century. She was also Cecil B. De Mille's niece, so she has some interesting insights into early Hollywood. I'm sorry this book isn't still in print, but maybe there are some copies in big libraries.

  3. #78
    Landing 3As in my dreams! skatedreamer's Avatar
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    After having recommended so many Victorians, wanted to mention something written a bit more recently. Today's offering: The Voice at the Back Door by Elizabeth Spencer.

    I had never heard of Spencer prior to running across the review linked below in Slate, an e-zine. What caught my eye was the reviewer's comment that he preferred Back Door to To Kill a Mockingbird. Since Mockingbird is on my all-time personal hit parade, I was intrigued (albeit somewhat incredulous, too ).

    Anyway, Spencer was a contemporary of Harper Lee's and came from a similar Southern background. In 1957, she received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for Back Door but didn't win. Lee, of course, did win the Pulitzer for Mockingbird in 1961. Both books deal with the same subject matter -- racial relations in the deep South prior to the Civil Rights movement. (I'm having trouble pinpointing the time period for Back Door , but it feels like it takes place a bit later than Mockingbird.)

    As the Slate reviewer says, Back Door is "edgier and more ambivalent" than Mockingbird. Its characters are vivid, well-drawn and compelling, but they aren't as easily likable as Harper Lee's. Spencer's book lacks the charm and affectionate nostalgia of Mockingbird. She's telling an extraordinary story, but won't make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Instead, think bracing, astringent, and no-nonsense.

    This isn't a criticism, though -- just a comparison. Although I'm not too far along in it yet, my gut tells me that it's going to be very rewarding. Definitely worth a read! And if you decide to pick it up, I'd love to "hear" your thoughts about it.



    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/b..._reviewed.html

  4. #79
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    THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt. Amazon kept pushing this novel at me every time I opened my Kindle. Finally, that picture of the little bird chained to its perch got to me and I bought the book. I'm so glad I did. It's one of my favorite novels of all time. This book is alternately heart wrenching, clever, funny and nerve wracking. I also learned something about the appreciation of fine art and beautiful things. The final vision is a dark one, but this is still one of the books I'd want with me if I were marooned on an island.

    Also, I would be very happy if I could convince just one person to read Charlotte Bronte's novel VILLETTE. Bronte is so identified with JANE EYRE that most people don't seem to realize she wrote anything else. Anyway, VILLETE is a very wonderful, very looooong book and an interesting exploration of what it meant to be a creative, artistic woman in the Victorian era.

  5. #80
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    I've read Bronte's Shirley, but not Villette.

  6. #81
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    I've read "Vilette", but I prefer "Shirley", that's my second favourite Charlotte Brontê - but I can definitely second humbaba's endorsement of "Vilette"; it's very well done, but darker than "Jane Eyre". The fact that I like "Shirley" more is due to personal preference - not quality. Also, I've read "The Proferssor" as well, which was actually her first novel - it's a slight work, and not up to par with her other books, but if one goes into it with temperate expectations, it's still worth reading.

    So anyone here read Anne Brontë? "Agnes Grey" and "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall"? Both completely different, yet I like them both.

  7. #82
    Landing 3As in my dreams! skatedreamer's Avatar
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    I've read Villette (ages ago) but not Shirley. Remember very little about it except that I liked it in spite of its being rather dark, as LRK mentioned. Still prefer Jane Eyre, though.

    Haven't read Agnes Grey but can definitely recommend The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

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    Muriel Barberry's "The Elegance of the Hedgehog". It's a beautiful English translation, or you can read it in the original French, too!

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by humbaba View Post
    Also, I would be very happy if I could convince just one person to read Charlotte Bronte's novel VILLETTE. Bronte is so identified with JANE EYRE that most people don't seem to realize she wrote anything else. Anyway, VILLETE is a very wonderful, very looooong book and an interesting exploration of what it meant to be a creative, artistic woman in the Victorian era.
    Humbaba, did your screen name come from the Epic of Gilgamesh? How cool.

  10. #85
    Custom Title humbaba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Humbaba, did your screen name come from the Epic of Gilgamesh? How cool.
    Yep. If you can't be a Mesopotamian monster, why be a monster at all?

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatedreamer View Post
    After having recommended so many Victorians, wanted to mention something written a bit more recently. Today's offering: The Voice at the Back Door by Elizabeth Spencer.

    I had never heard of Spencer prior to running across the review linked below in Slate, an e-zine. What caught my eye was the reviewer's comment that he preferred Back Door to To Kill a Mockingbird. Since Mockingbird is on my all-time personal hit parade, I was intrigued (albeit somewhat incredulous, too ).

    Anyway, Spencer was a contemporary of Harper Lee's and came from a similar Southern background. In 1957, she received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for Back Door but didn't win. Lee, of course, did win the Pulitzer for Mockingbird in 1961. Both books deal with the same subject matter -- racial relations in the deep South prior to the Civil Rights movement. (I'm having trouble pinpointing the time period for Back Door , but it feels like it takes place a bit later than Mockingbird.)

    As the Slate reviewer says, Back Door is "edgier and more ambivalent" than Mockingbird. Its characters are vivid, well-drawn and compelling, but they aren't as easily likable as Harper Lee's. Spencer's book lacks the charm and affectionate nostalgia of Mockingbird. She's telling an extraordinary story, but won't make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Instead, think bracing, astringent, and no-nonsense.

    This isn't a criticism, though -- just a comparison. Although I'm not too far along in it yet, my gut tells me that it's going to be very rewarding. Definitely worth a read! And if you decide to pick it up, I'd love to "hear" your thoughts about it.



    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/b..._reviewed.html
    I've read To Kill a Mockingbird probably 22 times thanks to teaching it twice a year for ten years. I don't find it warm and fuzzy. If you read it deeply, it is not at all. It is a coming of age story in which we see two children learn that their world is not the innocent, just and fair place they believed it to be. The good does not win--Tom is convicted and ends up dead in spite of what Atticus does. And the Slate reviewer's summary is extremely simplistic. The Ewells, for example are not all depicted as ignorant and bad. Mayella Ewell is actually a sympathetic character and a closer reading reveals that she is just as much a victim of her father as Tom Robinson and, later, Jem. The other Ewell children are depicted as badly neglected and we are given no hope for them. The Slate writer strikes me as someone who has not revisited the book since not really reading it in high school.

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisa05 View Post
    I've read To Kill a Mockingbird probably 22 times thanks to teaching it twice a year for ten years. I don't find it warm and fuzzy. If you read it deeply, it is not at all. It is a coming of age story in which we see two children learn that their world is not the innocent, just and fair place they believed it to be. The good does not win--Tom is convicted and ends up dead in spite of what Atticus does. And the Slate reviewer's summary is extremely simplistic. The Ewells, for example are not all depicted as ignorant and bad. Mayella Ewell is actually a sympathetic character and a closer reading reveals that she is just as much a victim of her father as Tom Robinson and, later, Jem. The other Ewell children are depicted as badly neglected and we are given no hope for them. The Slate writer strikes me as someone who has not revisited the book since not really reading it in high school.
    Good point. That scene when the mob comes to the jail and Atticus is outside is scarcely a Hallmark moment. The coziness of the book stems from the child's-eye view of life--as author Susan Cooper pointed out, even World War II was exciting and upbeat in its way for children in England, because kids often see only their own context--but readers are also given an adult's awareness of the darkness through the subtlety of Lee's writing. When we see Tom Robinson stand up in court for the first time, with his withered arm, and it is plain that he couldn't possibly have attacked Mayella, we realize that the odds are against him from the start solely because the system is corrupt, and the eloquence of a lawyer isn't likely to even those odds.

  13. #88
    Custom Title LRK's Avatar
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    Talking about humour on the Mysteries thread reminded me of Richmal Crompton's William books. While I enjoyed them as a child, I enjoy them as much - if not more - as an adult, albeit in a somewhat different way.

    "You see," said Jameson Jameson, "we're all human beings. That's a very important point. You must admit that we're all human beings?"
    Jameson Jameson, aged nineteen and three-quarters, was very eloquent. He paused more for rhetorical effect than because he really needed confirmation on the point. His audience, all under nineteen, agreed hoarsely and unanimously.
    They were all human beings. They admitted it.

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