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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.

pipsqueak - 01 May 2022 18:12:18 (#2101 of 2225)

I think I read LJ in my teens, and have no recollection of it at all - probably should reread.

LobsangRampa - 01 May 2022 18:14:35 (#2102 of 2225)

I read A Handful of Dust fairly recently and thought it terrific. I remember being a big fan of The Sword of Honour trilogy too. (Alexei Sayles DID choice which surprised me.)

elderberry - 01 May 2022 17:50:01 (#2103 of 2225)

I've tried LJ several times over the decades and it's always just an unrelatable bloke in a boring situation being dull. David Lodge's academia novels otoh are genuinely funny.

and always enjoy Waugh.

crackfox - 01 May 2022 21:10:56 (#2104 of 2225)

it was dedicated to Larkin

The awful girlfriend in LJ was apparently based on Larkin’s girlfriend Monica Jones.

MaryMC - 01 May 2022 21:34:29 (#2105 of 2225)

it's always just an unrelatable bloke in a boring situation being dull

That was my reaction to the Sword of Honour trilogy, whereas i loved Scoop and some of Waugh's other light novels.

I vaguely remember reading Lucky Jim and finding it boring, but maybe it was Lord Jim.

angelico - 02 May 2022 16:05:54 (#2106 of 2225)

This post not for Lucky Jim deniers.

I couldn't help myself: I collected Jim's faces as they appeared in the book, usually as stand-alones, but a couple with more context.

Here they are:


Mentally, however, he was making a different face and promising himself he’d make it actually when next alone. He’d draw his lower lip in under his top teeth and by degrees retract his chin as far as possible, all this while dilating his eyes and nostrils. By these means he would, he was confident, cause a deep dangerous flush to suffuse his face.

shot-in-the-back face,

Dixon rolled his eyes together like marbles and sucked in his cheeks to give a consumptive or wasted appearance to his face, moaning loudly as he crossed the sunlit street to his front door.

tragic-mask face;

Chinese mandarin’s face

crazy-peasant face

Martian-invader face.

Eskimo face, which entailed, as well as an attempt to shorten and broaden his face by about half, the feat of abolishing his neck by sucking it down between his shoulders. This done, and the final effect held for a few seconds, he turned and saw Michie approaching.

Dixon laid down for himself the general lines of an appropriate face, involving free and unusual use of the lips and tongue and endorsed by manual gestures.

lemon-sucking face

Dixon stood and watched, allowing his mandrill face full play.

It didn’t discompose him, but before saying anything he made his lascar’s face in order to draw off his anger.

Bertrand caught his eye with a look of embarrassed recognition. The bloody old towser-faced boot-faced totem-pole on a crap reservation, Dixon thought. ‘You bloody old towser-faced boot-faced totem-pole on a crap reservation,’ he said.

While he was using the lavatory, he began making his Evelyn Waugh face, then abandoned it in favour of one more savage than any he normally used. Gripping his tongue between his teeth, he made his cheeks expand into little hemispherical balloons; he forced his upper lip downwards into an idiotic pout; he protruded his chin like the blade of a shovel. Throughout, he alternately dilated and crossed his eyes. Turning away, he found himself confronted by Gore-Urquhart, allowed his face to collapse, and said: ‘Oh, hallo’.

Dixon laughed too. He thought what a pity it was that all his faces were designed to express rage or loathing. Now that something had happened which really deserved a face, he’d none to celebrate it with. As a kind of token, he made his Sex Life in Ancient Roman face.

ReverendBlueJeans - 03 May 2022 10:58:53 (#2107 of 2225)

Right, once I've completed my RLS re-reading, I'm right back to Lucky Jim.

Catspyjamas17 - 03 May 2022 11:38:41 (#2108 of 2225)

I was listening to Nigel Havers in a BBC dramatisation of Proof (Dick Francis) as my falling asleep listen, free from Sounds, which turned out to be more interesting than I thought it would be and it turned into a not-falling-asleep listen. So I also downloaded some other BBC dramatisations of Dick Francis novels from Audible to not fall asleep to.

crackfox - 03 May 2022 11:39:58 (#2109 of 2225)

Catspyjamas17 - 03 May 2022 11:43:59 (#2110 of 2225)

It took me about three weeks to get through 1hr 30m of 4.50 from Paddington (Dramatised) due to falling asleep constantly after ten minutes.

slimpickins - 03 May 2022 12:28:53 (#2111 of 2225)

Dick Francis is another one of those authors that every aunt and uncle bought in abundance. You know what you're going to get and that's why they liked him, plus they were obsessed by horses.

Catspyjamas17 - 03 May 2022 12:34:09 (#2112 of 2225)

I first read a DF in abridged form in a Reader's Digest book my dad had. It is the very epitome of this thread for me. Low-brow, sensationalist and deplorable like a big bar of Dairy Milk, yet you know you will devour the thing whole in short order.

elderberry - 03 May 2022 11:46:33 (#2113 of 2225)

Dick Francis books got me through a bad patch of waking in the middle of the night in the 80s/90s, compelling page turners that took the mind off ones troubles, eventually permitting a return to sleep. Might be useful right now. Listening to that radio 4 xtra adaptation (v good), I was reminded that his heroes usually have jobs and he describes their work, which isn't universal in fiction.

Catspyjamas17 - 03 May 2022 12:53:04 (#2114 of 2225)

The hero always seems very likeable, probably the same character different job each time. The women are of course not very well drawn. Rather fluttery, inoffensive and a damsel in distress, but that's hardly unusual for things written in the mid to late 20th century.

angelico - 03 May 2022 13:29:25 (#2115 of 2225)

#2109 of 2114

Hahaha! Thanks crackfox!

LobsangRampa - 03 May 2022 13:30:08 (#2116 of 2225)

Agatha Christie is my falling asleep listen. Along with Bill Bryson. It's odd as I think they are both good, perhaps very good, writers. Maybe the criteria for falling asleep listens includes being good as well as soothing and easy?

Catspyjamas17 - 03 May 2022 13:33:15 (#2117 of 2225)

Yes, I'm in no way criticising Agatha Christie or June Whitfield's delivery. The BBC dramatisations are really excellent, just well, quite gentle.

For a murder.

Catspyjamas17 - 03 May 2022 13:35:36 (#2118 of 2225)

I also love spotting very famous actors now doing their early work.

Enquiry has one young William Nighy in the cast.

slimpickins - 03 May 2022 13:38:03 (#2119 of 2225)

Bill Nighy was a regular in radio dramas for years, I was quite surprised when he got his TV break and turned out to look just as his voice suggested he would.

RosyLovelady - 03 May 2022 13:42:33 (#2120 of 2225)

Ah go on. His voice is ok.

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