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Old 12-12-2012, 04:55 PM
 
9,229 posts, read 8,544,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DandJ View Post
I'll slow down for you, until you get a copy.
I think I heard this in a song. Seriously, okay, as soon as the hold notice arrives I will start.

Just finished Romain Gary's "The Roots of Heaven." I loved this book. I may have to reconsider which five books I want on the deserted island, having read it.

Ostensibly, it's about a crazy survivor of the Nazi camps that goes to Equatorial French Africa to save elephants after WWII, and the people that become attached to his mission, be they friend, foe, or both. (Gary was a French Resistance Fighter that later became a Diplomat, and I believe many of his characterizations are colored by his life's acquaintances.)

I say ostensibly because he tries not to save elephants from mankind, but mankind from mankind, and becomes a legend.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,726 posts, read 16,735,156 times
Reputation: 14888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketabcha View Post
Both The Grapes of Wrath and particularly Of Mice and Men just wrecked me when I read them. That was more than 40 years ago and I still get sad and anxious just thinking of them.
Did you ever read The Red Pony by Steinbeck? Very heart-wrenching and the moment I finished I laid the book down and said "wow" out loud. The ending is powerful but also very brutal.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Texas
15,891 posts, read 18,315,804 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamplight View Post
Did you ever read The Red Pony by Steinbeck? Very heart-wrenching and the moment I finished I laid the book down and said "wow" out loud. The ending is powerful but also very brutal.
Yes, I did and I can hardly remember anything about it. I need to read it again.

What about The Wayward Bus? Have you read it? I don't know why I liked it so much but I really did. I think I read it when I was in a period of teenage angst and it gave me hope for true love.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:46 PM
 
1,370 posts, read 2,181,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookinForMayberry View Post
I think I heard this in a song. Seriously, okay, as soon as the hold notice arrives I will start.

Just finished Romain Gary's "The Roots of Heaven." I loved this book. I may have to reconsider which five books I want on the deserted island, having read it.

Ostensibly, it's about a crazy survivor of the Nazi camps that goes to Equatorial French Africa to save elephants after WWII, and the people that become attached to his mission, be they friend, foe, or both. (Gary was a French Resistance Fighter that later became a Diplomat, and I believe many of his characterizations are colored by his life's acquaintances.)

I say ostensibly because he tries not to save elephants from mankind, but mankind from mankind, and becomes a legend.
Thanks for the summary, this sounds like a book I would like.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:17 AM
 
1,370 posts, read 2,181,378 times
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I am halfway through "Angle of Repose" by Wallace Stegner, and I have run into a situation that I thought some might find interesting. I haven't had this happen before.

This is two stories in one: an older disabled man is sorting through his grandmothers papers, and is writing a book about them. So it is his story and hers, essentially, going back and forth between the two. The grandmother lived what I find is a very interesting life in the late 1800s, set in different places in the western U.S. I find that I am not interested at all in the grandson's contemporary story, but am fascinated by his grandmother's story. I am enjoying his writing and am quite involved with the book.

As I often do, I started Googling around about the different areas the story is set in, and in doing so, I found that the grandmother's story is "based on" a real woman, Mary Hallock Foote. He says this, briefly (sort of) in the forward. It's a long story that I won't bore you with, but essentially he had access to her correspondence and her descendants' approval (sort of) to use them. It turns out that much of the book is her (uncredited) letters copied verbatim! In further reading, I was able to compare some of what Foote had written with "Angle of Repose," and Stegner has simply taken what she has said and reworded it. He fills in "blanks" to extend her letters, but the basis of the entire "real" story (the grandmother's story) is completely taken from her letters and books she has written.

He won the Pulitzer Prize for this!!!! There is a lot of controversy about it, and different viewpoints, but all I know is that Mary Hallock Foote got really used here, and it makes me mad!!

The real problem is, I can't decide whether to continue the book now or get her memoirs (which were published a year after A of R). I am really enjoying the story (Foote's story that is), and he is telling it in a lovely way, but now I read a chapter and can't keep myself from hopping on the computer to see the differences. Plus, he seems to be painting Foote's husband in a very positive way that is very different from what the reality was, as far as I can tell, which is also annoying me - if the guy was a creep, why change it?

So, here I am, at 2 in the morning, wanting to keep reading, but just really irked by the whole thing, and wanted to share and ask if anybody else has ever had this happen? Sorry for this being so long.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:24 AM
 
9,229 posts, read 8,544,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C2ShiningC View Post
...He fills in "blanks" to extend her letters, but the basis of the entire "real" story (the grandmother's story) is completely taken from her letters and books she has written.

He won the Pulitzer Prize for this!!!! There is a lot of controversy about it, and different viewpoints, but all I know is that Mary Hallock Foote got really used here, and it makes me mad!!

The real problem is, I can't decide whether to continue the book now or get her memoirs (which were published a year after A of R). ... So, here I am, at 2 in the morning, wanting to keep reading, but just really irked by the whole thing, and wanted to share and ask if anybody else has ever had this happen? Sorry for this being so long.
No need to apologize, your outrage comes through, and the text makes it completely understandable. I am outraged, too. There is nothing admirable about an author making such use of another's written word without complete disclosure, and it doesn't sound like this happened. It makes me wonder what was behind the award of the Pulitzer.

Only you know what drives you to keep reading, but my advice is to examine your heart, and follow it's cues. It is always that still, small voice that communicates to me that I regret not following, later.

As for Wallace, and "Angel of Repose" -- you've certainly given me pause to consider whether I want to read it. At this point it seems unlikely.

Follow your heart, it is your best guide.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,726 posts, read 16,735,156 times
Reputation: 14888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketabcha View Post
Yes, I did and I can hardly remember anything about it. I need to read it again.

What about The Wayward Bus? Have you read it? I don't know why I liked it so much but I really did. I think I read it when I was in a period of teenage angst and it gave me hope for true love.
Still haven't come across that one, but I keep my eyes peeled for it every time I go into any of my local used book stores. I'm on a real Steinbeck kick right now, so after I read everything I can find I'll have to find another author!
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:39 AM
 
9,229 posts, read 8,544,205 times
Reputation: 14770
"Skull Session" by Daniel Hecht

I made it as far as the early into the second chapter and just don't have a burning desire to understand the inner workings of the unbridled passions of a person with Tourette's. Maybe I just don't believe that a person cannot control their innate inclinations, or at least do not have sympathy for them. Cold, calloused heart lies dormant in my chest.

Can we still say "chest" in censored C-D? Hmmm, I will soon find out.

Moving on to Allan Gurganus's "Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All." At 718 pages of standard type-sized print, I am liable to be at it for some time to come.

Or at least until I get Steinbeck's "East of Eden."
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:34 AM
 
16,579 posts, read 20,700,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamplight View Post
East of Eden is probably my favorite novel (so far), followed closely by The Grapes of Wrath. And speaking of Steinbeck, I just finished Tortilla Flat, which was pretty good, and now I'm rereading Of Mice and Men. I read it in high school but I can remember almost nothing about it.
I haven't read all of Steinbeck, but I've never read anything by him that I didn't love. He was a masterful writer. All of these posts are making me want to re-read some.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Middle of the valley
48,518 posts, read 34,815,517 times
Reputation: 73729
I just finished Adam Carrola's In Fifty Years We'll All be Chicks and PJ O'Rourke's Give War a Chance. I enjoyed them both.

Half way through Terry Pratchett's Good Omens. I love him when I need a light read.

About a third of the way through Cloud Atlas.... I really had trouble getting in to it, but it finally sucked me in.

Heartburn, by Nora Ephron just became available from the library - I hope it's good.

It's a rainy, "cold" (80 degrees or so) day here, so I'm thinking it's a book day.
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