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The Secret River (was RE: Historical Novel Society Digest Number 1389)

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  • Jennifer
    Hi Meredith and Marina I read The Secret River and loved it. Perhaps I shouldn t admit that, but as I ve written a review to that effect I can hardly deny it.
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 1, 2006
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      Hi Meredith and Marina

      I read The Secret River and loved it. Perhaps I shouldn't admit that, but
      as I've written a review to that effect I can hardly deny it.

      The prose hooked me. I'm less sure about the PC label. Certainly that
      label could be applied, but I was reading it from a different perspective.
      I'm not close enough to the members of the literary world to share their
      guilt-ridden views and perhaps that enables me a little more space to read.

      Interestingly, I've not read anything else by Grenville and I'd never heard
      her speak until after she didn't win the Booker. By then I'd already read
      the book and formed my assessment of it. After hearing her speak, I formed
      a clearer distinction between the author as person and the author as author.
      One I know I can enjoy, the other I am far less certain of.

      Jenny in Canberra


      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      fionnabhair@...
      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      'Twice the light comes to a corner office; I wait for twice the vision' (101
      Corporate Haiku by William Warriner)


      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: HistoricalNovelSociety@yahoogroups.com
      > [mailto:HistoricalNovelSociety@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      > Meredith Whitford
      > Sent: Tuesday, 24 October 2006 12:03
      > To: HistoricalNovelSociety@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: Historical Novel Society Digest Number 1389
      >
      > Hi Marina,
      >
      > Sounds as if the Grenville book is about what I thought.
      > One for the library list, I think, rather than paying actual
      > money for it. It sounds the usual heavily PC stuff, designed
      > to appeal to our guilt-ridden literary world. but then I've
      > never been able to read Grenville; perhaps I'm just too
      > hopelessly shallow or something.
      >
      > Yes, we've all heard far too much about the evils of
      > convict Sydney, and frankly if I want to go there I'll
      > re-read "The Fatal Shore", which throws in a few jokes along
      > with the history.
      >
      > Best,
      > Meredith
      >
      > Marina Maxwell <purpleprosepatch@...> wrote:
      > Meredith wrote ...
      >
      > >This whole "history wars" thing bores me rigid, BTW. I
      > refuse to read anything more >about it, or by any of the
      > protagonists. Hve you yet read "The Secret River"? Any >good?
      > I know it's won all those awards, but that only puts me off,
      > I'm afraid.
      >
      > Yes, totally agree on the wars... yawn.
      > Re the book - to be honest, I got about a third through and
      > gave it away. I don't fault Grenville's literary or research
      > skills in the least, and her descriptions of the lives and
      > work of the Thames boatmen of that period held my interest as
      > I was learning something new, but I've read about the dreg
      > and horrors of convict Sydneytown so many times now that I'm
      > compassion-fatigued with the place, and once I got to the bit
      > where bad white men with bad teeth were doing bad things to
      > black people, guessed where the rest of the story was going,
      > so that was enough.
      >
      > cheers
      > Marina
    • Meredith Whitford
      I m glad to hear you liked it -- a personal recommendation always means more than a media review. I m 18th on the list for it at my local library, so plenty of
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 1, 2006
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        I'm glad to hear you liked it -- a personal recommendation always means more than a media review. I'm 18th on the list for it at my local library, so plenty of people are reading it. Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly prepared to admire the book, it's just that all the hoo-ha rather puts one off.

        Where did you review it? Can I look it up?

        Best,
        Meredith

        Jennifer <fionnabhair@...> wrote:
        Hi Meredith and Marina

        I read The Secret River and loved it. Perhaps I shouldn't admit that, but
        as I've written a review to that effect I can hardly deny it.

        The prose hooked me. I'm less sure about the PC label. Certainly that
        label could be applied, but I was reading it from a different perspective.
        I'm not close enough to the members of the literary world to share their
        guilt-ridden views and perhaps that enables me a little more space to read.

        Interestingly, I've not read anything else by Grenville and I'd never heard
        her speak until after she didn't win the Booker. By then I'd already read
        the book and formed my assessment of it. After hearing her speak, I formed
        a clearer distinction between the author as person and the author as author.
        One I know I can enjoy, the other I am far less certain of.

        Jenny in Canberra

        +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        fionnabhair@...
        +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        'Twice the light comes to a corner office; I wait for twice the vision' (101
        Corporate Haiku by William Warriner)


        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: HistoricalNovelSociety@yahoogroups.com
        > [mailto:HistoricalNovelSociety@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        > Meredith Whitford
        > Sent: Tuesday, 24 October 2006 12:03
        > To: HistoricalNovelSociety@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: Historical Novel Society Digest Number 1389
        >
        > Hi Marina,
        >
        > Sounds as if the Grenville book is about what I thought.
        > One for the library list, I think, rather than paying actual
        > money for it. It sounds the usual heavily PC stuff, designed
        > to appeal to our guilt-ridden literary world. but then I've
        > never been able to read Grenville; perhaps I'm just too
        > hopelessly shallow or something.
        >
        > Yes, we've all heard far too much about the evils of
        > convict Sydney, and frankly if I want to go there I'll
        > re-read "The Fatal Shore", which throws in a few jokes along
        > with the history.
        >
        > Best,
        > Meredith
        >
        > Marina Maxwell <purpleprosepatch@...> wrote:
        > Meredith wrote ...
        >
        > >This whole "history wars" thing bores me rigid, BTW. I
        > refuse to read anything more >about it, or by any of the
        > protagonists. Hve you yet read "The Secret River"? Any >good?
        > I know it's won all those awards, but that only puts me off,
        > I'm afraid.
        >
        > Yes, totally agree on the wars... yawn.
        > Re the book - to be honest, I got about a third through and
        > gave it away. I don't fault Grenville's literary or research
        > skills in the least, and her descriptions of the lives and
        > work of the Thames boatmen of that period held my interest as
        > I was learning something new, but I've read about the dreg
        > and horrors of convict Sydneytown so many times now that I'm
        > compassion-fatigued with the place, and once I got to the bit
        > where bad white men with bad teeth were doing bad things to
        > black people, guessed where the rest of the story was going,
        > so that was enough.
        >
        > cheers
        > Marina






        Director
        Between Us Manuscript Assessment Service
        www.users.bigpond.com/between
        Author of Treason
        Available from Amazon and www.bewrite.net
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      • Jennifer
        ... Absolutely. I know exactly what you mean. I try to read such books either before or after the hoo-ha . ... Sure. It s a review for Amazon, she
        Message 3 of 7 , Nov 2, 2006
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          Meredith writes:

          > I'm glad to hear you liked it -- a personal recommendation
          > always means more than a media review. I'm 18th on the list
          > for it at my local library, so plenty of people are reading
          > it. Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly prepared to admire the
          > book, it's just that all the hoo-ha rather puts one off.


          Absolutely. I know exactly what you mean. I try to read such books either
          before or after the hoo-ha <vbg>.

          > Where did you review it? Can I look it up?

          Sure. It's a review for Amazon, she writes cringing, so it may lack
          credibility. Here's a link:

          http://tinyurl.com/y8az47

          You'll need to scroll down a bit to read my offering. I posted the review
          on 1 October, but I read the book some time before that.

          Cheers
          Jenny in Canberra
          +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
          fionnabhair@...
          +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
          'Twice the light comes to a corner office; I wait for twice the vision' (101
          Corporate Haiku by William Warriner)
        • Meredith Whitford
          Good review, Jennifer. Thanks. As I said, I m on the library waiting list for the book -- could take ages! I ve only just got Ludmilla s Broken English by
          Message 4 of 7 , Nov 2, 2006
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            Good review, Jennifer. Thanks. As I said, I'm on the library waiting list for the book -- could take ages! I've only just got "Ludmilla's Broken English" by DBC Pierre. Now there's a warning about not being put off by hoo-ha -- I expected to hate his "Vernon God Little" and instead loved it. The first Booker winner I've really enjoyed in ages.

            Meredith

            Jennifer <fionnabhair@...> wrote:
            Meredith writes:

            > I'm glad to hear you liked it -- a personal recommendation
            > always means more than a media review. I'm 18th on the list
            > for it at my local library, so plenty of people are reading
            > it. Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly prepared to admire the
            > book, it's just that all the hoo-ha rather puts one off.

            Absolutely. I know exactly what you mean. I try to read such books either
            before or after the hoo-ha <vbg>.

            > Where did you review it? Can I look it up?

            Sure. It's a review for Amazon, she writes cringing, so it may lack
            credibility. Here's a link:

            http://tinyurl.com/y8az47

            You'll need to scroll down a bit to read my offering. I posted the review
            on 1 October, but I read the book some time before that.

            Cheers
            Jenny in Canberra
            +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
            fionnabhair@...
            +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
            'Twice the light comes to a corner office; I wait for twice the vision' (101
            Corporate Haiku by William Warriner)






            Director
            Between Us Manuscript Assessment Service
            www.users.bigpond.com/between
            Author of Treason
            Available from Amazon and www.bewrite.net
            (In Australia and NZ, from www.jacobytebooks.com)





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