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    Hi there, and thanks.

    Who here is absolutely not sick of unenjoying the pretty good stories of the writer William Maxwell? And I can't empasise that question enough for those of you who are like "What's that?".
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    Would I be a philistine if I said my only reason...

    Would I be a philistine if I said my only reason was that it felt a little overlong? I ain't really knocking the book though, guv. Overlong or not, the blinding prose was exhilarating to the very...
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    Awful endings

    Well, not exactly. Book endings to soil an otherwise perfect read.

    Each of these respective codas either bored me or felt disappointingly inconsistent or ill-conceived.

    Off the top of my dome-...
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    Tis a dry day for discussion. 'All of the Days...

    Tis a dry day for discussion. 'All of the Days and Nights', William Maxwell.
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    I might be wrong, but is that not 'The Da Vinci...

    I might be wrong, but is that not 'The Da Vinci Code' by William Shakespeare?
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    'Lanark' was a genuine cerebral-zonk. Total...

    'Lanark' was a genuine cerebral-zonk. Total poetry.

    I have 'Poor Things' on a shelf somewhere. I don't know if I'll ever get round to reading it. Predictably, I remember this being his only...
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    'Lanark' the one hit wonder?

    Who else was stunned by Alasdair Gray's masterpiece of a debut only to be distinctly let down by his later stuff?

    '1982, Janine' had its moments but ultimately scuffs the majesty that 'Lanark'...
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    Anything by Osamu Dazai is worth a go. 'Setting...

    Anything by Osamu Dazai is worth a go. 'Setting Sun' in particular is an astonishing piece of literature. Gut-clutchingly tragic dirge, and all the better for it.

    Poor guy jumped off a dam...
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    'Time Will Darken It'- William Maxwell

    I've just finished reading this. I cried all over my cold dinner.

    Anyone else feel similar?

    I demand replies.
  10. A few years ago, whenever I read a book that...

    A few years ago, whenever I read a book that featured a doctor, I visualised the character as Dick van Dyke in 'Diagnosis Murder'. It killed the book's credibility stone dead.

    Trying to...
  11. Actual interesting interviews with author

    What's a good online site for archived author interviews? Stuff like the Paris Review.

    I'd love an excellent reply.

    Thanks, readers.
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    Poll: To what extent was your inspiration for reading...

    To what extent was your inspiration for reading it guilt/social discrimination?
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    Poll: Social/racial discrimination- not a lot. ...

    Social/racial discrimination- not a lot.

    Guilt/shame- a lot.
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    Best Dressed Poet?

    Lord knows they spend just as long on their appearance as they do their poetry, so let's put this one to the vote.

    What takes your fancy?

    Pristinely haggard?

    Designer cumerbunds?
    ...
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    Looking at 'If' by Rudyard Kipling

    IF you do X, Y and Z, Bob's your uncle.

    That's essentially it, right?
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    Alright then, I'll throw a little more paraffin...

    Alright then, I'll throw a little more paraffin on this wild fire topic.

    It's a popular classic but it never fails to make me slap a small hole in my trousers.

    "It was a blonde. A blonde to...
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    He was a glib windbag who should have learnt to...

    He was a glib windbag who should have learnt to shut his mouth from time to time. I cannot imagine how his friends put with the never-ending, meaningless quips .

    "Would you like a cup of tea,...
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    Favourite Raymond Chandler quotes

    Come on then, you ballbags. Let's have it...
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    Oscar Wilde, Ian McEwan, Umberto Eco, Henry...

    Oscar Wilde, Ian McEwan, Umberto Eco, Henry James, Raymond Queneau, Ian McEwan, John Updike, Sylvia Plath, Ian McEwan.

    Each of them, irrefutably sh!t.
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    "For a man to climb the extendable ladder of...

    "For a man to climb the extendable ladder of triumph
    He must learn to look a fax machine in the eye"
  21. This is all commonplace. Having worked in various...

    This is all commonplace. Having worked in various library services for years, I've seen it all first hand.

    The last large library I worked in discarded much of its stock in preparation for the...
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    Poll: Not many folks know that a young Stephen King was...

    Not many folks know that a young Stephen King was awarded 1st place in a short story competition judged by Samuel Beckett.
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    "The problem, however, is that there are some...

    "The problem, however, is that there are some poorer scholars out there who completely devalue the field with poor analysis and misinterpretation. Many scholars think that somehow some form of...
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    Sorry, I should have been clear about what I...

    Sorry, I should have been clear about what I meant by symbols. I wasn't referring to Symbolism and the Symbolism Movement.

    I meant symbols and signs. Semiotics. Umberto Eco. That sort of thing.
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    Really? I'm not talking about anything as...

    Really? I'm not talking about anything as figurative as metaphor.

    I'm being quite general I know, but I'm referring to cryptic codes, symbols and signs. These have all existed in Modern Literature.
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