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Old 9th Sep 2003, 19:25   #1
youjustmightlikeit
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Default Anne Rice?? Kingsley Amis??

Gf raves about Anne Rice - Lestat, Louis etc etc. Does anyone know if they're any good.

I'm asking you lot because i'm loath to actually read them myself after her previous suggestions of The clan of the cave bear and The Power of One. All that after i had given her the gift of Lucky Jim too!

Which reminds me, everyone here (including me) seems to like Martin Amis; but not a word about his good old dad. Does anyone like a bit of Kingsley? Funny bastard that he was.
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Old 9th Sep 2003, 20:18   #2
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Hm, I would say that with rotten stuff like Lucky Jim and Clan of the Cave Bear swilling around, you two are perfectly matched. Jim in my opinion is living (or rather dead) proof that literature is no more immune to the ravages of time, nor indeed any less likely to be a purely generational product, than pop music or TV programmes. Lucky Jim was written in the early 50s yet seems far more dated than, say, Evelyn Waugh's novels from 20 years earlier, and positively light years behind Lolita, which is from around the same time. But then Amis hated Nabokov, and his own son's work - "he tries too hard and it shows" - and claimed towards the end of his life that he couldn't read any book that didn't begin "A shot rang out." It all adds up.
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Old 9th Sep 2003, 20:49   #3
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I'll reply to your Anne Rice query. Her fans today are divided into two strongly opposed camps - those who love/try to find value in everything she writes versus those who hold strongly to the narrative drive of the first three vampire chronicles (some of these, myself included, would have good things to say about the first five or six of the VC).

If you are going to read Anne Rice, read the first two books - Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat, in that order. One can't be read without the other to balance it. If you like them enough to read more, then Queen of the Damned, Tale of the Body Thief and what many regarded as the 'last straw' Memnoch the Devil. The novel Armand is a useful, if faulty, insight into her most complex character. The books written since are a waste of paper and ruinous of the serious following she had.

Conclusion: she had superb original characters twenty five years ago when I first read them (and I've never stopped loving them); and now she has abused/ignored and distorted them out of existence. Most die-hard fans of the characters berate AR for this, so enjoy your reading of the true Louis and Lestat and Armand et al. IMO there's nothing to beat them in their original incarnations, and AR had a take on vampires that has never been bettered (especially not by her later self).
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Old 9th Sep 2003, 21:33   #4
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Thanks Colyngbourne.

John, yes, well...thanks for your approval of my relationship. I will sleep soundly.
The literature/generational product arguement aside, the thing about Lucky Jim is that it made me laugh, it's funny, full of jokes....just like the 'shot rang out' quote. There at least, was a man with a sense of humour.
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Old 10th Sep 2003, 1:19   #5
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Youmightjustlikeit, I'm not a great fan of Kingsley's it has to be said (the funniest bits of Kingsley I have read are in Experience) but I have to hand it to you, if you reckon you and your girlfriend are 'compatible' in reading material, think of me! My (very long term!) boyfriend DOES NOT READ, and is a 'scientist' (of sorts.. I never take them seriously). I find this immensely frustrating, although I did make him read Jonathan Coe's The House of Sleep (the first bit makes it seem like it's all going to be quite scientific! - Tricked!)

I say enjoy your 'Kingsleys', and enjoy having a partner who at least reads!!!

On a more serious note, I agree with John about Lucky Jim - it's dated horribly for me, but hey-ho, it still remains popular...
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Old 10th Sep 2003, 9:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nabokov
Youmightjustlikeit, I'm not a great fan of Kingsley's it has to be said (the funniest bits of Kingsley I have read are in Experience) but I have to hand it to you, if you reckon you and your girlfriend are 'compatible' in reading material, think of me! My (very long term!) boyfriend DOES NOT READ, and is a 'scientist' (of sorts.. I never take them seriously). I find this immensely frustrating, although I did make him read Jonathan Coe's The House of Sleep (the first bit makes it seem like it's all going to be quite scientific! - Tricked!)

I say enjoy your 'Kingsleys', and enjoy having a partner who at least reads!!!

On a more serious note, I agree with John about Lucky Jim - it's dated horribly for me, but hey-ho, it still remains popular...
I'm a big fan of Jonathon Coe, myself. I thought The House of Sleep was excellent, though What a Carve Up! remains my favourite of his, despite the exclaimation mark. The Rotters Club I found hugely enjoyable, very, very funny if a little lightweight in places. And the 36 page sentence at the end is mind boggling, and a tad clever-clever.

My girlfriend isn't a reader either, and subcribes to the Oliver/Vorderman school of literary criticism - that reading is dull. I believe that Amner is in the same boat (he is on holiday at the mo' hence his recent uncharacteristic silence), which is why we invented Palimpsest in the first place!

Lucky Jim I was profoundly disapointed by. I had just worked my way through a pile of Waugh and was hoping that LJ would make me laugh in the same way. It didn't. In fact, it didn't make me laugh in any way. Not that we Palimpsesters would ever want to be accused of ganging up on a new member!

As for Anne Rice, I have never been tempted, even though some friends have encouraged me to have a go. These are also the friends who try to lend me Terry Pratchett books, so perhaps it's best if I don't give in. Colyngbourne, however gave me another reason to avoid them: "Memnoch the Devil"?! If the title of book has ever sent a shudder down my spine it's that one! "Memnoch the Devil"?! Ach.
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Old 10th Sep 2003, 11:01   #7
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It's known as Memnoch the Paperweight, also Mem-Crock. Yes, pathetic title, but arguably some good theological conceits in there, and the literary demise of her best characters.

Thankfully I have a husband who also reads, and has similar literary tastes (apart from various vampire/fantasy novels).
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Old 10th Sep 2003, 12:15   #8
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I recently sold all my Anne Rice books at a car boot sale. They had a nominal price of 50p each, and someone offered me £4 for all nine. Of course I pretty much bit his hand off, but afterwards felt guilty for not knocking them down a bit more.

That pretty much tells you my current opinion, though I must've found them entertaining at some point - I actually read some of 'em twice....
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Old 15th Mar 2007, 23:28   #9
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Default Re: Anne Rice?? Kingsley Amis??

Quote:
Originally Posted by youjustmightlikeit View Post
...Which reminds me, everyone here (including me) seems to like Martin Amis; but not a word about his good old dad. Does anyone like a bit of Kingsley? Funny bastard that he was.
Old thread here... thought I'd try Lucky Jim, not long after reading Money. He's not a patch on his son in my opinion, at least by reading these two books alone. I wouldn't expect Money to be to everyone's taste though. I enjoyed Lucky Jim but it was a bit too "Boy wants girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back".

A couple good laugh out loud bits though.
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