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  1. #1
    Imma Bored


    This book was created for those lacking time and creativity. The author did not expand or elaborate enough on any aspect of the novel. How can one be expected to read a book where the author would proabaly bore after the first 5 pages? This book could have been written in a different style but alas, wasn't. If you haven't read it, don't.

  2. #2
    April, come she will... scruffy_danny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Manchester, England
    This book was written for those with true emotional understanding and passion. The author did a beautiful job of expanding and elaborating on all aspects of the novel. Its amazing how Hardy captivates the audience so romantically even in the first 5 pages. If this book was written in any other style, i doubt whether it would have had anywhere near enough the amount of beauty that is incorperated throughout the whole story. If you hav'nt read it, then do.

  3. #3

    Yes, do bother, please!

    I purchased a copy of "Far from the Madding Crowd" last year, and found it charming. The one scene where he drifts out to sea and almost drowns is so captivating.

    Each author and novel is representative of a certain age and culture, and appeals to a certain stage in ones life. When I was in 4th or 5th grade, I simply adored reading Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and I think Wind in the Willows (not certain about the title). I donít know if I will ever go back and read them now, being close to age 60. I still remember the parts of those books that were enjoyable to me.

    As a Junior in high school, I was required to read "Pride and Prejudice". I simply HATED it, and I hated my English teacher that year. Last year, I found an old copy of the book, that my step son was required to read in his Junior year, and I made myself read it. To my surprise, I found it quite enjoyable.

    As I grew older, and had different experiences in life and education, my tastes and interests changed.

    I went to St. John's in Annapolis for 4 years, and read the so-called hundred great books of the western world. One fellow in my Freshman class was starting in his early 30's, an army veteran. He said that while he was stationed in Korea (no combat, this was in the 60's) he happened to read Mortimer Adler's book entitled "How to read a book". Mortimer Adler was one of the many people responsible for shaping the Great Books program at the University of Chicago, and at St. John's. The army veteran told me he came to St. Johns because he wanted to read those hundred great books, but knew he would never have the discipline to do it in his spare time, but only as a full time student, where they are "required reading." We had to read things like Ptolemy's Almagest on (ancient) astronomy. I really had to hit my head against a wall, to force my way through such books, but doing so transformed me, changed me, changed my tastes and interests and desires.

    I suppose one thing I am trying to say, for young students, is that you should not be thinking about doing things you like (because they are enjoyable), but rather, you should be looking for challenges, and things that you donít like, but which may really change you, make you stronger, help you to grow, and be different.

    I never became rich or successful in life or business, but I am glad that I studied and wrote as I did. Perhaps I am what many would consider a financial failure, or a career failure, precisely because all my life I was so preoccupied with ideas which are not marketable or utilitarian.

    Stop and think. Suppose you absolutely love some particular author or genre of novel. Maybe you love mysteries, or horror/scifi. Well, if all you do is read Harry Potter books, because you enjoy it, or all of Danielle Steel, or everything that Stephen King ever wrote, why, you will have lots of pleasure, but, in a way, its all the same thing over and over. But, if you forced yourself to read through Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, let us say, or Plutarch's lives, and read some commentaries on them, or had some seminars... why, you would have a totally different experience that might really change you in some significant way.

    I think, personally, that everyone should make a big effort to try and read some of Plato's dialogues, or at least, The Republic. There is nothing else in the world like it. But.... you canít just buy the book and read it through mechanically, so that you can say "ok I read it now, so what." You have to find a way to read it with understanding. You have to learn "HOW" other people, scholars, read such a book, and why it has been so popular for 2000 years.

    I have not been a Christian for many years now, so I do not have some hidden agenda for saying this, but I think it is really worthwhile to take some non-religious bible study course, and try to get through the Old Testament, New Testament, and Apocrypha. The reason I say this is that so much of literature and history has been influence by it. I mean, Kierkegaard takes his "Sickness unto death" and "fear and trembling" from certain verses. And Hemingway name a novel "The Sun Also Rises" from a verse in Ecclesiastes. And you really canít appreciate what Steinbeck is doing in "East of Eden" without a good understanding of the Bible.

    But then, you won't really appreciate Salman Rushdie's "Satanic Verses" unless you come to understand life in India, and Islamic beliefs and Hindu beliefs, as well as to understand what it is like to grow up in a society where such religions have coexisted for centuries.

    Everything is sort of interconnected. If you watch the DVD "Gandhi" you will hear a haunting melody played at the very end, with the credits. Most Americans and Europeans will not understand that the melody was Gandhi's favorite hymn (bhajan) "Ragupati ragava raja Ram, patite bhavane," which speaks of Ram as the up lifter of the downfallen or downtrodden.

    In my writings and posts, over the past six or seven years, I have tried to explain how the study of these various things, religions, philosophies, has created the view and understanding which I now have.

    You know, when I was age 19, and in St. John's, reading those hundred western books, by people like Aquinas, Augustine, Descartes, Hegel, Kant, Goethe, why... I thought anything that was Indian or Chinese was just a bunch of nonsense. One day, in the coffee shop, on the bulletin board, was a notice that one student was selling books like the Bhagavad-Gita, and the Tao. An older student, who knew how I thought, and saw me reading the notice, laughed at me and said, "You probably think such books are nonsense, a waste of time." I admitted to him that this was indeed how I felt.

    Little did I realize, that, 30 years later, I would become totally fascinated by such writings, and immerse myself in them, and write extensively about them, and even have some influence upon people living in distant places like India and Malaysia and Singapore.

    I think I want to try and get a DVD version of Pride and Prejudice and watch it. I know one of the forum members is writing a paper on it. I tried to help a student a while back with an assignment on the movie version of The Great Gatsby. It was some months before I could acquire the DVD, and I was too late to help with the assignment, since the deadline had passed. But I did read the book and watch the film.

    So many books. So little time. (sigh)

    Please, do bother, bother a lot, bother yourself sleepless. Whenever you have a spare moment, on a train, on a bus, in a waiting room, in the bathroom... donít let those precious moments and opportunities slip through your fingers.
    Last edited by Sitaram; 08-07-2005 at 12:23 AM.

  4. #4
    April, come she will... scruffy_danny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Manchester, England
    I have to say Sitaram your words have touched me deeply, and by reading what you have written you have really inspired me to think about reading the books that I otherwise probably wouldn't have even heard of, let alone consider reading. Thanks a lot.

    Lately though I have been, not forcing, but pushing myself more to read books that I initially wouldn't have thought to be good. I've just finished reading Jane Austen's "Persuasion" and at first found it difficult to actually enjoy it but the more I read the more I adapted to the style and thus really developed a taste for a style in which was totally alien to me. After a few more books ( I still need a gap to give me the murder, guts and gore ) I think I shall embark on "Pride and Prejudice" and I'm confident I will enjoy it.

    I definately agree with you when you mentioned, by reading something forcibly, your tastes and interests do change. Two years ago I decided I wanted something different to what I usually read (which was Tolkien, Dahl, Peake) and I read Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the D'Urbervilles". I can honestly say that I fell in love with it. Simply by forcing my way through the first few chapters, I was romantically captivated by the world which Hardy painted. It wasn't like I had to adapt to his style - it was as if it was exactly what I'd been wanting to read and I'd found it simply because I wasn't arrogant to stick with the same authors. Also, Sitaram, your points on reading such texts as The Old Testament etc really make reading books such as Tess much more meaningful as there are constant references to the Bible (and very often Shakespeare).

    Im only 16 and I feel lucky that I can enjoy such books, though my mum says I read too many old books now, and I need to read more modern books (which is why I've just started a George Orwell). It's strange how much your taste can change with a little discipline...

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. #5
    Thanks for your kind words of encouragement. I am glad to be of some service.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    i am reserving time on my holiday in spain to catch up with my crucial reading that i have missed out on while i have been drowning in school work! can someone please write to my teachers and tell them to set us some reading instead of essays please!!! oh well... i will struggle on!!!

  7. #7
    Felix the Schoolgirl FelixFuriku's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Gloucester, UK
    I am reading this book for my GCSE coursework at school at the moment, and it is very detailed, very interesting, but if you can't be bothered to understand, you never will.

    I personally enjoy this book, I'm even writing an essay about Bathsheba Everdene.

    The most moving part of this novel was Fanny Robins's death, her journey to Casterbridge, it's so detail and every slow step she takes feels to agonising to even read! The poor soul's journey is so detailed I have the whole of her long terrible journey myself.

    People should learn to appreciate good literature.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Tasmania, Australia
    Read FFTMC last year and found it a moving, engaging novel. Definately equals or even surpasses Tess in my opinion. Just started The Return of the Native yesterday. Anyone read that here?

  9. #9
    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    I can't choose between Tess and FFTMC, although the latter is a bit more cheery.

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