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Old 07-11-2013, 10:06 PM   #31
SteveEisenberg
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That's BLACKOUT/All Clear
You got me.

Isn't the editor feature on this board great! Now if editing the original could just flow through to where others quoted you
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:34 AM   #32
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and that it is the single largest source of quotations added to the English language, including "feet of clay," "reap the whirlwind," and many, many others, 257 in total, exceeding even those attributed to Shakespeare, according to Wikipedia.
I believe the apostle Paul contributed the lion's share of new words (to the Bible) that are now well known, but were new way back when the New Testament was written down. Between him and Shakespeare a lot of words were added to man's vocabulary. Both of them were apparently men who when they found that a word didn't exist that expressed what they were speaking about would invent a new word that did so.


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I know of no one writing today with such simplicity and power.
True. Whether or not a person believes it to be a religious book or not I don't think anyone can really doubt that it tells it like it is about a great many things that are still relevant in our modern world. And in past centuries when people were moving about and had to keep weight down (on wagons etc) it often went along for the trip. Religion aside often it was the only book handy when people were teaching their children how to read.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:25 AM   #33
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More on the Bible as literature.

First of all I want to emphasize that my comments are not intended in any way to discuss the theology espoused in the Bible (although the poetry of Ecclesiastes 3, cited in my previous post, is nothing short of miraculous), but the Bible as an historical document, and in particular the King James version, which to quote Wikipedia has been called "the most celebrated book in the English-speaking world." Posters have expressed similar thoughts here (but not necessarily of the book as a whole).

The majesty and power of the King James version is all the more remarkable in that the initial translation from the Greek and Hebrew begun at the behest of James 1 in the early 1600's was the work of a committee of approximately 50. (I can't cite a source, but my memory tells me that whenever there was a dispute among the committee as to what the final text should be, it was settled by speaking the competing versions and choosing the one that sounded best to the ear.)

As Wikipedia notes, the version we have today was completed in 1769, and appears to have been largely the work of two men, Parris and Blaney, which reminded me of the Apostle Paul, who, as Crich points out, wrote a substantial portion of the New Testament, including the letters to the Corinthians from which two of the quotations in my previous post were taken.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:40 AM   #34
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This is not the place for religion. There is a cordoned off area for politics and religion, please take it there.

linky: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=103942

(in fact there is a discussion already stared there as a result of this thread)

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Old 07-12-2013, 11:50 AM   #35
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First of all I want to emphasize that my comments are not intended in any way to discuss the theology espoused in the Bible (although the poetry of Ecclesiastes 3, cited in my previous post, is nothing short of miraculous), but the Bible as an historical document, and in particular the King James version, which to quote Wikipedia has been called "the most celebrated book in the English-speaking world." Posters have expressed similar thoughts here (but not necessarily of the book as a whole).
This is far, far away from the topic of "what makes you put a book down." We have a forum for religious discussions, and those are broadly interpreted as "subjects that tend to move into religious debate," which this is getting very close to. I'm going to try to stick to the literary aspects, but those are still off-topic for this thread, which is about what people *don't* like in books.

Which can include things like "this book attracts fanatics who cause me grief; I try not to read books that inspire violence and idiocy." I don't begrudge people who avoid reading the bible because they've been subject to hate and bigotry inspired by it.

Of course it's the most celebrated book in English. For generations, maybe centuries, it was legally mandatory to learn it. Failure to claim to adhere to its principles was punishable by death. Still is, in some places... being a Buddhist or Muslim or Pagan in parts of the US puts a person under threat of attack by random strangers.

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The majesty and power of the King James version
There's also a lot of ugly in the KJV. Lots of "pissing against the wall" and tales of incest and debauchery and torture and murder. Somehow, nobody ever talks about Psalm 137:9 when they're quoting beautiful verses from the bible. Nor Ezekiel 23:19-21. Nor Isaiah 16:11.

The KJV bible has a lot of passages suitable for 13-year-old boys to snigger over. If it weren't shrouded in centuries of religious dogma, it'd be banned from most libraries as containing obscenities.

I have fond memories of reading the parts of the Pentateuch as a teenager and being amazed that people *encouraged* me to read this book. Then I got to the histories--Samuel, Kings, Chronicles--and was amazed that anyone thought this was a book of ethics and morals.

A book of 3/4 of a million words that didn't contain some beautiful passages would be utter tripe. However, cherry-picking a few of those--which have been used and reinforced since childhood, so there's no way to measure their literary impact without the cultural context--doesn't prove that the book as a whole is a masterpiece of literature.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:22 PM   #36
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I have to agree that the discussion has gone beyond the stated topic and has begun to veer into the realm of Politics and Religion, so I must relunctantly put a stop to all discussion of all religious books in this thread, even as literature. Any further mentions of religious scriptures—whether pro, con, or neutral—will be deleted without notice.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:23 PM   #37
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On the other side, I just finished Blackout/All Clear, a single sci-fi novel in two volumes. Major characters are unreal cutouts with indistinguishable personalities. The plot is both ridiculous and repetitive, commonly using the device of a journey where the traveler is in danger of being late. However, there were decent secondary characters, and the physical settings include places I have been in repeatedly and care about. So I finished.
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That's BLACKOUT/All Clear....and no one can put down Connie's work!
I made it through BLACKOUT, but I bailed on All Clear. I was expected to believe that Oxbridge-educated historians who specialized in WWII couldn't figure out what BP stood for? I am not an Oxbridge-educated historian who specialized in WWII and yet I knew the first time the initials were mentioned that it must stand for Bletchley Park. An author who thinks her readers are stupid beyond belief doesn't deserve to be read. I'd never touch her again.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:26 PM   #38
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Funny you guys mention Connie Willis's time travel works. I read BLACKOUT but not All Clear yet. I agree it is work, sometimes, to get through her novels. Her protagonists lean too heavily on 'comedy of manners' behavior. It was great fun at first, then tiresome, and now I just want the story to end. I found the Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog more entertaining than BLACKOUT but maybe I was just burned out on her shtick by then.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:04 PM   #39
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I didn't mean to invoke religion just to comment on another posters post. Word choice in a text can be a turn off I'd think certainly. If the author chooses the wrong words in presenting their story/argument then they are more likely to lose readers. I remember reading about an inferior quote from Shakespeare that was made from memory that is a good example.

Shakespeare: To be or not to be, that is the question...

Inferior quote: To be or not to be, that is the point...

Both quotes continue the text, but the original from Shakespeare reads a lot better. I can only imagine how unreadable a complete text of Hamlet would be with such changes.
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Old 07-13-2013, 04:17 AM   #40
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I didn't mean to invoke religion just to comment on another posters post. Word choice in a text can be a turn off I'd think certainly. If the author chooses the wrong words in presenting their story/argument then they are more likely to lose readers. I remember reading about an inferior quote from Shakespeare that was made from memory that is a good example.

Shakespeare: To be or not to be, that is the question...

Inferior quote: To be or not to be, that is the point...

Both quotes continue the text, but the original from Shakespeare reads a lot better. I can only imagine how unreadable a complete text of Hamlet would be with such changes.
Presumably you're talking about the so-called "Bad Quarto" of "Hamlet", which is generally thought to have been written out from memory, either by a member of the audience, or a minor actor in the company?

In that, the famous "To be or not to be soliloquy begins:

To be, or not to be, I there's the point,
To Die, to sleepe, is that all? I all;
No, to sleepe, to dreame, I mary there it goes
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:33 AM   #41
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I'm sure there have been others, but the only book I ever remember putting down was also a book by Joyce: Ulysses. I only made it about 1/10th the way the way through.
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Ive put down Neuromancer several times. Ulysses a couple of times.
I’m curious: can you remember why you put down Ulysses? And in which episode?
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:59 AM   #42
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Interesting infograph from Goodreads:

What Makes You Put Down a Book?
http://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/4...ut-down-a-book
Thanks for sharing the Goodreads link. I have abandoned 3 of 5 top abandoned, but not for any of the reasons cited.

Wicked I read years before the musical. And the last one left (Casual Vacancy) is still on my TBR, although I'm not expecting a HP repeat.

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Notice that very few people in this survey put a book down due to bad editing for example, yet that is one of the things most authors seem to scream about in their advice, "make sure its professionally edited" and etc.
As someone who worked in publishing (and now television), I've read a lot of slush pile, and its usually ugly. The problem with editing in any medium is that the best editing is invisible. The reader/viewer never knows what the original looked like before an editor touched it.

I think this is most obvious when a big name genre author switches editors, for whatever reason. When the next editor works on their work, it is rarely as good, because the new editor usually has a case of Author Awe and doesn't edit as effectively/ruthlessly as the editor who was there from the beginning. Early fans complain that the author has jumped the shark, but odds are the writer was always this weak - their first editor pushed it beyond those weaknesses.

From a reader standpoint, I've recently noticed that the my favorite books usually end with an author giving lengthy, detailed thanks to their early readers and editor for helping them read and edit the book to its current state.

Maybe I'll start skipping to the acknowledgements before I start reading.

In terms of what makes me abandon a book, for fiction, it's when the story stretches credulity past my breaking point (which is different for different genres). For non-fiction, if the book is misrepresented, or I don't trust the author's research.

Last edited by simplyparticular; 07-13-2013 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 07-13-2013, 11:24 AM   #43
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Maybe I'll start skipping to the acknowledgements before I start reading.
I usually do.
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:01 PM   #44
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Presumably you're talking about the so-called "Bad Quarto" of "Hamlet", which is generally thought to have been written out from memory, either by a member of the audience, or a minor actor in the company?

In that, the famous "To be or not to be soliloquy begins:

To be, or not to be, I there's the point,
To Die, to sleepe, is that all? I all;
No, to sleepe, to dreame, I mary there it goes
Yes, that's the one. I was relying on my own memory of it, which it seems was faulty. It does illustrate how the not quite right word can throw off a text I think. Granted most of us aren't trying to transcribe Shakespeare from memory, but I imagine many a 1st draft of a modern book reads just about as well.
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:58 PM   #45
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Interestingly, though, the "Bad Quarto" is regarded in itself as a pretty decent play, and it's quite often performed. It has the benefit of being much shorter than the "real" version.
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