Dead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum

bookshelves: poetry, re-read, published-1989

Read from January 01, 1991 to January 01, 2009, read count: 2

 

Description: Todd Anderson and his friends at Welton Academy can hardly believe how different life is since their new English professor, the flamboyant John Keating, has challenged them to “make your lives extraordinary! ” Inspired by Keating, the boys resurrect the Dead Poets Society–a secret club where, free from the constraints and expectations of school and parents, they let their passions run wild. As Keating turns the boys on to the great words of Byron, Shelley, and Keats, they discover not only the beauty of language, but the importance of making each moment count.But the Dead Poets pledges soon realize that their newfound freedom can have tragic consequences. Can the club and the individuality it inspires survive the pressure from authorities determined to destroy their dreams?

‘Make your lives extraordinary’

This was more a skim through than a re-read to get names and theme right before re-watching the film tonight (channel 5 with those long commercial breaks that make one want to scream). The skim was as powerful as the first time fully reading, especially so for those of us who have taught, lectured or trained or had a domineering parent whose catch phrase was ‘assume the position’. I think my 5* rating will seem too high to most but the score reflects how much I enjoyed it.

Of course, Robin Williams brings it all to life magnificently – and how about the long shots of nature through the mists.

Five ♥ Carpe Diem ♥s.

Now I wish to rewatch the Fisher king … *wanders off to stage right, muttering*

Pierre and Jean by Guy de Maupassant

bookshelves: spring-2013, tbr-busting-2013, translation, e-book, gutenberg-project, france, published-1887, shortstory-shortstories-novellas, families, filthy-lucre, re-visit-2014, re-read, summer-2014

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Laura
Read from March 06, 2013 to August 11, 2014, read count: 2

 

Revisit via BBC BABT

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04ccdql

Description: Guy de Maupassant’s compelling short novel, abridged in 4 parts by Penny Leicester, follows family rivalries in the seaport of Le Havre.

1/4. On a fishing trip all is happy with the Roland clan. Then returning home, a revelation..

2/4 The Marechal Will causes ructions between the brothers, then a second revelation surfaces.

3/4 Jean is happy of course, but Pierre burns with rage. So a confrontation is due.

4/4 The two brothers must take action to avoid a family showdown.

Reader Carl Prekopp
Producer Duncan Minshull.

Nutty NUUT read

Translator: Clara Bell

Opening: “Tschah!” exclaimed old Roland suddenly, after he had remained motionless for a quarter of an hour, his eyes fixed on the water, while now and again he very slightly lifted his line sunk in the sea.

Mme. Roland, dozing in the stern by the side of Mme. Rosemilly, who had been invited to join the fishing-party, woke up, and turning her head to look at her husband, said:

“Well, well! Gerome.”

And the old fellow replied in a fury:

“They do not bite at all. I have taken nothing since noon. Only men should ever go fishing. Women always delay the start till it is too late.”

From wiki: It appeared in three instalments in the Nouvelle Revue and then in volume form in 1888, together with the essay “Le Roman” [“The Novel”]. Pierre et Jean is a realist work, notably so by the subjects on which it treats, including knowledge of one’s heredity (whether one is a legitimate son or a bastard), the bourgeoisie, and the problems stemming from money.

Powerful story for it being so short.

#65 TBR Busting 2013

Crime and Punishment

bookshelves: teh-brillianz, slavic, absolute-favourites, re-visit-2014, re-read, re-visit-2013, spring-2014

Read from January 01, 1978 to May 17, 2014, read count: ad infinitum

 

Description: Raskolnikov, a former student who is morbidly self-obsessed, murders an old woman money-lender with a borrowed hatchet in a desperate attempt to free himself from poverty. From the opening pages Dostoyevsky attaches us unflinchingly to his intense and mysteriously anti-hero, creating a web of intimacy and tension which is increasingly claustrophobic. Crime and guilt – its traumatic and inevitable successor – are the central themes running through the novel and the notions of ‘justifiable’ murder and the worldly retribution are depicted with a deft and razor-sharp precision.

Crime and Punishment both haunts and disturbs, yet, as the critic John Jones wrote, it is ‘the most accessible and exciting novel in the world’.

Many reads, and the Kingsley film is a perennial in our house. Now Brazilliant gives me the link to a 2002 BBC version

I’m in raptures… let’s see how this pans out.

The massive dome of St. Isaac’s Cathedral is made of 100 kilos of pure gold. Designed and built by French architect Auguste de Montferrand.

Great men are not aftraid to be criminals. Does Putin see himself as a great man?

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

bookshelves: fraudio, winter-20122013, philosophy, china, spring-2014, re-visit-2014, re-read, e-book, essays

Read from February 07, 2013 to May 08, 2014

 

 photo short-stories1_zps8b6f4480.jpghttp://youtu.be/ksVgOSJ_Kv0

Opening:
”You see, Pooh,” I said, ”a lot of people don’t seem
to know what Taoism is … “
”Yes?” said Pooh, blinking his eyes.
“So that’s what this chapter is for-to explain
things a bit.”
”Oh, I see,” said Pooh.
“And the easiest way to do that would be for
us to go to China for a moment.”
“What?” said Pooh, his eyes wide open in
amazement. “Right now?”
“Of course. All we need to do is lean back,
relax, and there we are.”
“Oh, I see,” said Pooh.

Page 39:

Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie,
A fly can’t bird, but a bird can fly.
Ask me a riddle and I reply:
Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie …

Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie,
A fish can ‘t whistle and neither can I.
Ask me a riddle and I reply:
Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie …

Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie,
Why does a chicken, I don ‘t know why.
Ask me a riddle and I reply:
Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie …

Short and sweet like Pooh himself, however there is an undercurrent that I quite dislike. If one was to take this literally and follow the indicators, learning and action would be seen as irrelevant if not downright bad. Helpful doctrine if one lives in a repressed society where outward signs of the personality are discouraged and the hive community applauded. I would be more inclined to point youngsters toward the existential questions that arise in ANTZ (1998)

Fatherland by Robert Harris

bookshelves: alternative-history, mystery-thriller, published-1992, spring-2014, re-visit-2014, re-read, wwii, nazi-related

Read from May 07, 2006 to May 07, 2014

 

BBC DescriptionA chilling adaptation of Robert Harris’s best-selling novel set in an imaginary Hitler-led post-war Germany. Nazi Germany has won the war. Churchill is living in exile. King Edward and Queen Wallis are puppet monarchs of the UK. It is 1964, a week before Hitler’s 75th birthday…

Adapted and directed by John Dryden.

Anton Lesser
Angeline Ball
Peter Ellis
Stratford Johns
Andrew Sachs
Graham Padden

Now for the film, 1994 TV film starring RUTGER HAUER (swoon) as SS-Sturmbannführer Xavier March and Miranda Richardson as
Charlie Maguire.

Excellent.

4* Fatherland
3* Pompeii
3* Imperium
2* The Ghost
4* Lustrum
3* Selling Hitler

Professor Andersen’s Night by Dag Solstad

bookshelves: one-penny-wonder, paper-read, hardback, midlife-crisis, shortstory-shortstories-novellas, norway, spring-2013, bellybutton-mining, re-visit-2014, re-read, published-1996, spring-2014, under-500-ratings, oslo, trondheim, newtome-author, feckless-procrastination, food-glorious-food, lit-crit, politics, philosophy

Read from April 26, 2013 to May 06, 2014


First time around I abandoned this but I have been persuaded to give it another try: REBOOT 2014:

Description: An existential murder story. A master of Norwegian literature critiques contemporary society with wry wit.

It is Christmas Eve, and 55-year-old Professor Pål Andersen is alone, drinking coffee and cognac in his living room. Lost in thought, he looks out of the window and sees a man strangle a woman in the apartment across the street.

Professor Andersen fails to report the crime. The days pass, and he becomes paralysed by indecision. Desperate for respite, the professor sets off to a local sushi bar, only to find himself face to face with the murderer.

Professor Andersen’s Night is an unsettling yet highly entertaining novel of apathy, rebellion and morality. In flinty prose, Solstad presents an uncomfortable question: would we, like his cerebral protagonist, do nothing?

Discarded from Tower Hamlets Libraries
Translation by Agnes Scott Langeland

Opening: It was Christmas Eve and Professor Andersen had a Christmas tree in the living room. He stared at it. ‘Well, I must say,’ he thought.

Trondheim Cathedral

A wooly, waffley story of three parts: politics and dinner; dither and literary criticism; then sushi with philosophy for dessert.

At least I made it to the end this time, however I do feel that Solstad is not the writer for me.

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

    Jessica Brown Findlay as Mary Yellan
    Sean Harris as Joss Merlyn
    Shirley Henderson as Hannah Davey
    Joanne Whalley as Patience Merlyn
    Matthew McNulty as Jem Merlyn
    Ben Daniels as Francis Davey
    Andrew Scarborough as Magistrate Bassat
    Danny Miller as William
    Scarlett Archer as Beth

Production details: Filming began in September 2013 in Cornwall, Yorkshire and Cumbria. It was originally decided that the series would be filmed in Northern Ireland. The BBC was criticised for filming in Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria, as opposed to a location in Cornwall. An investment from Screen Yorkshire was provided for the series. The three-part series was commissioned by Ben Stephenson and Danny Cohen, both from the BBC.

Episode 1: (the mumbling one) Orphaned Mary Yellan travels to the remote Jamaica Inn to live with her Aunt Patience and brutal Uncle Joss. Isolated and alone, Mary must learn to navigate the perils of the smugglers’ world and her dangerous desire for Jem Merlyn.

Episode 2:

BBC receives over 100 complaints for episode one

The story itself remains a 3.75* read, however this TV miniseries is atrocious and I could not possibly recommend it.

Forbush and the Penguins

bookshelves: one-penny-wonder, antarctica, published-1965, zoology, under-20, sciences, shortstory-shortstories-novellas, debut

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Charles
Read from April 16 to 24, 2014

 

Description: ‘Forbush and the Penguins’ is the story of a young man on a solitary mission in Antarctica who finds the challenge of being “the only man in the world” as enriching as it is terrifying.

The main man is hunting down the film whilst I hunt for book bargains. Thanks Charles, this definitely looks right up my alley/down my street.

HUZZAH – found a ‘v. good condition’ one-penny-wonder

Dedication: FOR LYNDSEY

Opening: When the helicopter had gone and its sound was no more than a minute concussion of the air on the eardrums Forbush stood in the centre of the ring of stones to look up at the smoking mountain, Erebus, and ask for a safe conduct through the summer. In return he pledged truthfulness, the will to try.

The pages are sepia coloured but clean and barely opened, so my guess is that this has stood on a shelf since 1965.

Shackleton’s motor car

Mount Erebus

The Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) is a species of penguin common along the entire Antarctic coast, which is their only residence.

Hayley Mills with John Hurt, set before the antarctic journey

“Mr Forbush and the Penguins”

The Morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae), also called the Tasmanian spotted owl, is a small brown owl found throughout New Zealand, Tasmania, across most of mainland Australia and in Timor, southern New Guinea and nearby islands. This bird is the smallest owl in Australia and is the continent’s most widely distributed and common owl.

The bird has almost 20 alternative common names, most of which – including mopoke, morepork, ruru and boobook itself – are onomatopoeic, as they emulate the bird’s distinctive two-pitched call.

MacCormick’s Skua

sea leopard

seal

The Count of Monte Cristo

bookshelves: re-visit-2014, re-read, revenge, epic-proportions, betrayal, published-1844, france, seven-seas, pirates-smugglers-wreckers, treasure, napoleonic, spring-2014

Read from January 01, 1986 to April 23, 2014, read count: 2

 

I promised myself a re-acquaintance with this epic back when I was reading The Black Count, so this re-visit comes via the 2002 film, with Jim Caviezel in the lead rôle. Look at the stats for the book:

4.13* · 409,590 ratings · 10,981 reviews

Chateau d’If

The Count of Monte Cristo – Finding The Treasure

The Count of Monte Cristo – The Ball

Magnificant film with a distorted ending. All I want to do now is re-read the book from top to toe.