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View Poll Results: 1981-2000 Vote February 2012 • The MR Literary Club
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, 1989 9 60.00%
The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald, 1995 6 40.00%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-11-2012, 11:29 AM   #1
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Post 1981-2000 Vote February 2012 • The MR Literary Club

Help us choose the February 2012 selection to read for the MR Literary Club! The poll will be open for three days.

In the event of a tie, since having only two options this month is basically already the same as a run-off, the tie will be resolved in favour of the selection that received all of its initial nominations first.


Select from the following works:

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, 1989
Spoiler:
The Remains of the Day is a profoundly compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world postwar England. At the end of his three decades of service at Darlington Hall, Stevens embarks on a country drive, during which he looks back over his career to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving “a great gentleman.” But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington’s “greatness” and graver doubts about his own faith in the man he served. (from Amazon).

This book was awarded the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1989.

The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald, 1995
Spoiler:
Shortlisted for the 1998 Los Angeles Times Book Award in Fiction: "Stunning and strange . . . Sebald has done what every writer dreams of doing. . . . The book is like a dream you want to last forever. . . . It glows with the radiance and resilience of the human spirit."—Roberta Silman, The New York Times Book Review

"Ostensibly a record of a journey on foot through coastal East Anglia," as Robert McCrum in the London Observer noted, The Rings of Saturn "is also a brilliantly allusive study of England's imperial past and the nature of decline and fall, of loss and decay. . . . The Rings of Saturn is exhilaratingly, you might say hypnotically, readable. . . . It is hard to imagine a stranger or more compelling work." The Rings of Saturn - with its curious archive of photographs - chronicles a tour across epochs as well as countryside. On his way, the narrator meets lonely eccentrics inhabiting tumble-down mansions and links them to Rembrandt's "Anatomy Lesson," the natural history of the herring, a matchstick model of the Temple of Jerusalem, the travels of Sir Thomas Browne's skull, and the massive bombings of WWII. Cataloging change, oblivion, and memories, he connects sugar fortunes, Joseph Conrad, and the horrors of colonizing the Belgian Congo. The narrator finds threads which run from an abandoned bridge over the River Blyth to the terrible dowager Empress Tzu Hsi and the silk industry in Norwich. "Sebald," as The New Yorker stated, "weaves his tale together with a complexity and historical sweep that easily encompasses both truth and fiction." The Emigrants (hailed by Susan Sontag as an "astonishing masterpiece-perfect while being unlike any book one has ever read") was "one of the great books of the last few years," as Michael Ondaatje noted: "and now The Rings of Saturn is a similar and as strange a triumph."

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Old 02-11-2012, 02:48 PM   #2
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I've cast my vote - both look excellent to me, my vote being based only on epub availability, as I'll be travelling quite a bit, and won't be able to get a hard copy.
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:26 PM   #3
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Excellent choices, both—and I've read neither. But one is far more easily available for me—so I went with it.
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:52 PM   #4
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I can see which way this is trending, alas. I've already read the Ishiguro, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that we have a bunch of pbook-reading Luddites voting this month.
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Old 02-11-2012, 05:34 PM   #5
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I have not read either so I had to go with my own nomination. So even my being a Luddite was of no use to you. My first choice in these book-of-the-month selections is to obtain the book for free. That I can do as a pbook from my local library for both selections. This cost inspired Luddism leaves me ready for either to come in first, as I have already determined that The Rings of Saturn is available from my library as well.
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:56 PM   #6
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Already put a hold on my vote at the local library. The bookstore has the other one in stock. I'm not sure either is available legally as epub in Canada but let me know if I'm wrong.

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Old 02-12-2012, 05:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I can see which way this is trending, alas. I've already read the Ishiguro, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that we have a bunch of pbook-reading Luddites voting this month.
I've voted. Who are you calling a Luddite?
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:53 AM   #8
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I've voted. Who are you calling a Luddite?
Why, myself, of course!
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:14 PM   #9
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I'm not sure either is available legally as epub in Canada but let me know if I'm wrong.
I've come up empty on all ebook formats in Canada.
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:35 PM   #10
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I've come up empty on all ebook formats in Canada.
Thanks for confirming. Pbook it is then.
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:23 AM   #11
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The Remains of the Day is available in an epub format from iTunes. In fact, it's significantly cheaper than the Kindle edition and well formatted. However, you might need an Apple device or computer to read it. If it can be imported into Calibre from iBooks, then it could probably be read in other epub devices. Has anyone done such an import?

Unfortunately, The Rings of Saturn is not available―in Europe, anyway―perhaps it is in the US iTunes store.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 02-13-2012 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:23 AM   #12
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The Remains of the Day is available in an epub format from iTunes. In fact, it's significantly cheaper than the Kindle edition and well formatted. However, you might need an Apple device or computer to read it. If it can be imported into Calibre from iBooks, then it could probably be read in other epub devices. Has anyone done such an import?

Unfortunately, The Rings of Saturn is not available―in Europe, anyway―perhaps it is in the US iTunes store.
Calibre does not have a plug-in to remove the Apple DRM, so books purchased from iTunes can only be read on an Apple device (as I recently found out to my cost). I won't be buying any more iBooks from Apple.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:41 AM   #13
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Calibre does not have a plug-in to remove the Apple DRM, so books purchased from iTunes can only be read on an Apple device (as I recently found out to my cost). I won't be buying any more iBooks from Apple.
Thanks for the info.

I had a feeling that some such restriction applied. It's a pity because one is then tied to using an iPhone, Touch, or iPad―none of which are really ideal e-readers {though they're fine in a supplementary role}.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 02-13-2012 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:47 PM   #14
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In the UK The remains of the day is available from Kobo as epub:
http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-R...i1g/page1.html

It vexes me that The rings of Saturn is easily avaialbel from the darknet, but not legitimately - maybe the solution is to order the pbook and get the electronic version from the darknet
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:56 PM   #15
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I have made my vote, and it was a tough decision. Great choices this month!
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