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« Agent 6 by Tom Rob Smith | Main | Hopefully normal blogging service is about to be resummed »

July 22, 2011


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I'm glad you think Hotel du Lac is not her best: I tried (and tried) to read this years ago and have avoided everything else by her since.

I totally agree with you about 'Hotel du Lac'. I could never bring myself to read any of Anita Brookner's later books because of it.

I much preferred Yann Martel's 'Beatrice and Virgil' than the overhyped (in my opinion) 'Life of Pi'. Definitely a question of the wrong book there, as far as I'm concerned.

Wordsworth is a perfect example of this -- everybody knows, and many dislike, Daffodils and judge him on this when his Prelude, Tintern Abbey, Immortality Ode are wonderful poems.

I liked Hotel Du Lac well enough (and it's the only Brookner I've read), but I've heard lots of Brookner fans say that it isn't her best. Totally agree with you about Gaskell and North and South.

I'd argue that Margaret Atwood's realistic fiction (especially Cat's Eye, The Robber Bride) is head and shoulders above The Handmaid's Tale and her more recent dystopian stuff that seems to get all the attention. And C.S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces is far more interesting than the Narnia books. (But perhaps it's not fair to compare his adult fiction with his children's books.)

Oh no! I just bought Hotel du Lac!...I hope it doesn't put me off.

As for Louis de Bernieres, I completely agree. I haven't read Senor Vivo yet but The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts just blows Captain Corelli out of the water.

Speaking of vampires, I'd like to recommend the vampire book for people who don't generally read them: SUNSHINE by Robin McKinley.

I'm not a vampire enthusiast, but I loved this book.

I never could get over the subject matter in the Tom Rob Smith book. Never read it. I tried, but failed. Still, it was interesting to read your post.

I enjoyed the Regeneration trilogy but I loved Double Vision by Pat Barker, about a war correspondent back from Afghanistan. Although maybe I was influenced by having it read to me on audio by the lovely Robert Glenister. No, it really was an excellent book!

I'm certainly in no position to recommend anything literary as "really, really good", but I have always liked Larkin's poem "The Whitsun Weddings". Now you can tell me why I shouldn't!

As to famous for the wrong book, I have always preferred George Orwell's essays to his books and the same goes for Virginia Woolf too.

That's a really thought-provoking idea - and one i'm sure is true. My favourite Pat Barker is the very early, 'Union Street'.

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