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Old 9th Aug 2009, 22:40   #11
Ang
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Default Re: Not Untrue and Not Unkind - Ed O'Loughlin

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We'll see what you think of Coetzee's Summertime.
Hm, yeah, I know what you mean but I'm looking forward to that one. He will know what to leave in and what to leave out to make it interesting. O'Loughlin didn't work on that very hard.
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Old 9th Aug 2009, 23:08   #12
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Default Re: Not Untrue and Not Unkind - Ed O'Loughlin

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We'll see what you think of Coetzee's Summertime.
Since it has taken three volumes to get to summer, Stewart, do you have any prediction on how many volumes the entire life will require? I'm opting for seven -- three more exploring the life and one contemplating its messages.
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Old 12th Aug 2009, 21:53   #13
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Default Re: Not Untrue and Not Unkind - Ed O'Loughlin

Against my better judgment I have picked up NUANU yet again and started over. That has involved reading the first 60 pages again and I've got beyond a 100 so I'm hopeful I'll finish and it is reading better this time around. That might all be because I'm covering Africa as a theme for a reading group and have two excellent other books to hand Africa Altered States, Ordinary Miracles by Richard Dowden and The Strategy of Antelopes : Rwanda After the Genocide by Jean Hatzfield, both of which are filling huge gaps in my local knowledge. Without them I think I might be struggling to grasp the nuances of the politics which feel essential to my personal take on the book and so far I'm agreeing with Kevin about these characters, dullsville to date and I'm glad to hear this isn't the norm for all journalists
Kevin, did I read somewhere that you thought this might be the equivalent of the judges somehow serving up revenge as a dish best served cold on the press pack?
Compared with the Coetzee, well it feels as if there is nothing to compare beyond the continent.
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Old 12th Aug 2009, 22:45   #14
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Default Re: Not Untrue and Not Unkind - Ed O'Loughlin

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Kevin, did I read somewhere that you thought this might be the equivalent of the judges somehow serving up revenge as a dish best served cold on the press pack?
dgr: You did. The only reason that I can see for this dreadful novel attracting attention is that someone who hates journalists feels that that the caricatures O'Loughlin presents are real. Which they aren't.

In summary, a truly dreadful book and the jury's decision to include it on the longlist only adds to the concern that they don't know what they are doing.
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Old 12th Aug 2009, 22:55   #15
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Default Re: Not Untrue and Not Unkind - Ed O'Loughlin

One other thoughtk dgr: I know and respect that you don't post about books that you don't like. And I know (from what you have said on forums like this one) that you have abandoned books on the Booker longlist. I do think you should do a post that says why -- O'Loughlin will be easy, Harvey more of a challenge. (I had to do a review of the Harvey, which I did not like at all, so it is true I am looking for support on this front. While I am pretty sure both John Self and Sewart would hate it, I don't think either has time to read it -- even if it does get to the shortlist.)
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Old 13th Aug 2009, 0:04   #16
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Default Re: Not Untrue and Not Unkind - Ed O'Loughlin

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While I am pretty sure both John Self and Stewart would hate it, I don't think either has time to read it
We'll see. I have nine of the thirteen Booker titles on my home desk. Strangely I can't seem to muster up the strength to read any of them. I'm sure that will change this weekend as I'll be on the train to Edinburgh for the festival and sitting around doing nothing when not at events. The Wilderness is probably the first I'll pick up, since it's on short lease from the library. So we'll see...
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Old 13th Aug 2009, 3:40   #17
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Default Re: Not Untrue and Not Unkind - Ed O'Loughlin

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We'll see. I have nine of the thirteen Booker titles on my home desk. Strangely I can't seem to muster up the strength to read any of them. I'm sure that will change this weekend as I'll be on the train to Edinburgh for the festival and sitting around doing nothing when not at events. The Wilderness is probably the first I'll pick up, since it's on short lease from the library. So we'll see...
I'm sort of hoping that you will run into engineering works that give you time to finish the book. Your response is eagerly awaited.
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Old 13th Aug 2009, 21:45   #18
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Default Re: Not Untrue and Not Unkind - Ed O'Loughlin

Kevin I'm going to give careful thought to Not Untrue, Not Unkind and I will post about it, I can pull out a few positives and that may well be because I don't know this world as you do, but they are mostly about structure, style etc but I can't write a word until I overcome my disbelief that this book made it onto the list over books like Burnt Shadows and Francesca Kay's An Equal Stillness which both rise head and shoulders above the O'Loughlin IMHO.
I'm just looking at the pile of longlist books by my desk and thinking the judges were short on grit, death , violence, maggots, destruction and machetes so let's go to Africa for some of that and this one fitted nicely.
Kevin, I know I've said tonight on your blog why I didn't want to read The Wilderness but I'm open to changing my mind about that. As you know I've tried twice and failed mainly because it's exactly what happened to my mum and somehow I can't go there, it's all too sad, but perhaps I should because I'll certainly be looking at it very critically if I do.
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