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Started by RosyLovelady on Sep 15, 2017 12:34:09 PM
What rubbish are you reading?

A thread to admit that you read low-brow, sensationalist and/or otherwise deplorable books.

Rubbish recommendations welcome.

Catspyjamas17 - 29 Apr 2022 20:27:19 (#2061 of 2225)

I found Peter Grant a bit annoying at times but perhaps less so in the latest book, he has grown up a bit.

angelico - 29 Apr 2022 20:47:53 (#2062 of 2225)

Yes, I agree. I have found them patchy and had it not been for cats’ endorsement I wouldn’t have bothered with the new one.

angelico - 29 Apr 2022 20:54:06 (#2063 of 2225)

I came across an article in praise of the elder Amis today, which I enjoyed*. I’m aware of what a shit he was, of course. I enjoyed him enormously, though, when I was also a shit, or so I was reliably informed.

One phrase from Lucky Jim was quoted. It related to faces he pulled and the author’s favourite (and mine) was “Sex Life in Ancient Rome”.

How might one do this? Any offers? I feel sure that Angelica would appreciate it, if only instead of sex life itself.

*this month’s Critic

ReverendBlueJeans - 29 Apr 2022 21:07:16 (#2064 of 2225)

Kingsley Amis' memoirs are hugely enjoyable. He doesn't hold back, let's say.

angelico - 29 Apr 2022 21:19:31 (#2065 of 2225)

I read extracts to Angelica, flying back from our honeymoon. We were in stitches about the pyschoanalyst.

airynothing - 29 Apr 2022 21:35:27 (#2066 of 2225)

Kingsley Amis is one of those writers who thinks that the preoccupations of men are endlessly interesting, and would be fucking incredulous if anyone suggested that the preoccupations of women were. See also Philip Roth and DH Lawrence.

Cavewoman - 29 Apr 2022 21:47:47 (#2067 of 2225)

Spoton, airy. Also Norman Mailer.

airynothing - 29 Apr 2022 21:52:10 (#2068 of 2225)

Oh, so much Mailer.

angelico - 29 Apr 2022 23:13:59 (#2069 of 2225)

And yet he can be very funny indeed. To other shits, I mean. I know it’s old hat, but LJ still works, and is superb, plain prose. I have always found him (from what little I knew about the man, rather than the writings) a very sad and inadequate character, though not one that deserves any sympathy.

He can still make me laugh out loud. After I read that article, I have started to read the green man again. A brilliant ghost story and a portrait of a thoroughly selfish bastard, no doubt modelled more than somewhat on KA himself, who gets a significant come-uppance, while delivering the aforesaid lols.

Post deleted by user
Shadrack22 - 30 Apr 2022 00:13:47 (#2071 of 2225)

those writers who thinks that the preoccupations of men are endlessly interesting

No need to adopt a gendered viewpoint. DH Lawrence has lasted a hundred years. Yes, we can dig up his corpse and throw stones at it or point out his various absurdities (I guess you’ve read Angela Carter’s critique?), but none of that really matters. I’m pretty confident he will last for another century. Roth also. Kingsley Amis however will probably be as forgotten as Dorothy Whipple a few decades from now.

ReverendBlueJeans - 30 Apr 2022 00:47:20 (#2072 of 2225)

No he won't. LJ is now nearly 70 years old and still in print.

As Angers points out, he's funny. I like that.

DejaLu - 30 Apr 2022 07:38:45 (#2073 of 2225)

Dorothy Whipple’s back in vogue (sort of) - Persephone have republished several of her books.

I don’t really agree about Philip Roth - I think his concerns are much wider than the obvious Portnoy fixations. John Updike, on the other hand…

airynothing - 30 Apr 2022 08:55:07 (#2074 of 2225)

No need to adopt a gendered viewpoint

I'll take a gendered viewpoint if I like, thank you. And I stand by it.

It's astonishing (not) how keen men often are to state that gender isn't an issue.

goldfinch - 30 Apr 2022 10:48:50 (#2075 of 2225)

I’d probably include Jonathan Frantzen in that list.

Cavewoman - 30 Apr 2022 10:53:46 (#2076 of 2225)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/apr/27/four-times-more-male-characters-in-literature-than-female-research-suggests

lammaMia - 30 Apr 2022 11:55:55 (#2077 of 2225)

I am currently in the middle of the Angstrom novels.

I think they should be required reading for every (American) girl so that she could start figuring out how an (everyday-American) man's brain works before it's too late.

limegreen - 30 Apr 2022 12:09:18 (#2078 of 2225)

#2076 Interesting. If it's Gutenberg data it'll generally be quite old because copyright. I wonder how it's changed over time, especially given the recent talk about how female authors are now overrepresented. And I'd love to see or split by sex of author and genre!

slimpickins - 30 Apr 2022 12:17:46 (#2079 of 2225)

Not being interested in the inner life of women is of a part with the world KA came from, just look at their arguments about rights but writing about male thought is to be welcomed.

So many male characters are action heros or villians, mere ciphers, sociopaths with no inner life, that's there's no need to examine motivation to any depth. Even in novels in which we do get a glimpse of a mind its often amounts to little more than wanting to be left alone to be grumpy. Generally speaking female characters are far more interesting.

When I read Cave's Guardian article I'd just finished one on the film Usual Suspects that had prompted the thought how the cast was virtually all male and how most films are still dominated by men, which is beginning to look weird.

Hopefully that's changing, there's been a slew of female centred dramas over the last few years with characters given real agency rather than being avatars in a male world and there's even female super hero movies for me to avoid.

limegreen - 30 Apr 2022 12:53:22 (#2080 of 2225)

The number of film posters which are all male or have a single woman! And the ones that are female-heavy get pigeon holed as for women.

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