Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Reading Recommendations > Book Clubs

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-19-2013, 05:44 PM   #1
WT Sharpe
Grand Muckity-Muck
WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
WT Sharpe's Avatar
 
Posts: 32,899
Karma: 97660438
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chesapeake, VA, USA
Device: Kindle Paperwhite, iPad Air, iPod Nano, & a PC running Windows 9.
July 2013 Discussion: Fanny and Stella by Neil McKenna (spoilers)

The time has come to discuss the July 2013 MobileRead Book Club selection, Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England by Neil McKenna. What did you think?
WT Sharpe is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2013, 05:50 PM   #2
WT Sharpe
Grand Muckity-Muck
WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
WT Sharpe's Avatar
 
Posts: 32,899
Karma: 97660438
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chesapeake, VA, USA
Device: Kindle Paperwhite, iPad Air, iPod Nano, & a PC running Windows 9.
My vocabulary was certainly enriched. I don't think I'll ever be able to hear this song again quite the same way:

WT Sharpe is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 01:14 AM   #3
WT Sharpe
Grand Muckity-Muck
WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
WT Sharpe's Avatar
 
Posts: 32,899
Karma: 97660438
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chesapeake, VA, USA
Device: Kindle Paperwhite, iPad Air, iPod Nano, & a PC running Windows 9.
In the suggestions thread, John F suggested we start using a rating system for the books we read, and I suggested using the "Rate Thread" feature for the purpose (you can see the rating near the top of this page and under the thread title in the Book Clubs sub-forum). I've started by giving this book 4 stars. I thought it was very interesting, and a bit sad.
WT Sharpe is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 03:56 AM   #4
desertblues
planning for New York
desertblues ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertblues ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertblues ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertblues ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertblues ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertblues ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertblues ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertblues ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertblues ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertblues ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertblues ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
desertblues's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,105
Karma: 26634026
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: travelling
Device: various
Yes, WTSharpe, interesting and sad. Neil Mc Kenna paints a sympathetic picture of these two men, who seem to be the victim of different circumstances. They would have a more richer and rewarding life in these days; like Amsterdam where it is quite accepted to be like this.
desertblues is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 04:16 AM   #5
WT Sharpe
Grand Muckity-Muck
WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
WT Sharpe's Avatar
 
Posts: 32,899
Karma: 97660438
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chesapeake, VA, USA
Device: Kindle Paperwhite, iPad Air, iPod Nano, & a PC running Windows 9.
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertblues View Post
...They would have a more richer and rewarding life in these days....
Not to mention antibiotics. Syphilis is no longer the kiss of death it was in their day.

I wonder about our species sometimes. I would venture to say that most of us have not been purely monogamous all of our lives, and yet every adventure off the farm still subjects us to the possibility of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Will we ever evolve defenses against them? Are other species similarly afflicted? What of our near cousins, the highly sexual bonobos? I've heard, but don't quote me on this, that they have natural defenses against sexual defenses that evolved in response to their anything goes lifestyle.

Maybe for the sake of generations yet unborn we should all be having more sex with more partners.
WT Sharpe is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 05:16 AM   #6
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
issybird's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,931
Karma: 36641744
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New England
Device: 950, 350s, N7, &...
Quote:
Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
Maybe for the sake of generations yet unborn we should all be having more sex with more partners.
How does the missus feel about that?
issybird is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 06:10 AM   #7
WT Sharpe
Grand Muckity-Muck
WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
WT Sharpe's Avatar
 
Posts: 32,899
Karma: 97660438
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chesapeake, VA, USA
Device: Kindle Paperwhite, iPad Air, iPod Nano, & a PC running Windows 9.
Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
How does the missus feel about that?
I get the distinct impression that her approach to the subject is anything but a purely disinterested scientific one.
WT Sharpe is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 08:15 AM   #8
Hamlet53
Feast of the Goat
Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Hamlet53's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,804
Karma: 45991007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Device: Kindle PW, Kindle Fire HDX 8.9"
So I suppose I will start with three major difficulties I had with this book. After getting a good way through this book I was thinking about how I would describe the style of writing, Then the perfect description hit me, gossip! A related problem for a book billed as non-fiction was how much of what was there appeared to be McKenna filling in substantial blanks with his speculation about not just what motivated people, what they were thinking, but even events large and small. I can understand the temptation and sometimes even the need (especially relating the years after the trial where maybe only a few occasional performance announcements or reviews of performances were all he had to go on), but I actually reached the point that I was only treating as supported by some sort of historical source those items McKenna actually enclosed in quotations marks. Probably a bit severe on my part, but I would submit that it is that sort of non-fiction book.

The third major problem, for me at least, was McKenna's referring to many of the characters sometimes as female and sometimes as male ( eg Ernest Boulton or Stella Boulton.) and what's more seemingly at random, that is not governed by the context. I would speculate that the author did this to give the reader an idea of the confusion the characters felt about their own sexual identity, or the similar confusion by those around them, or maybe even to provoke such confusion in the readers of the book? Unfortunately, for me at least, it often just led to total confusion about whether or not what was supposedly going on even made sense. As an example quoting from the book:

Quote:
The London and County Bank in Islington was a very long way from Peckham, and each morning Stella would have to rise shortly after six to make the tiresome journey. Sometimes she would take the train from Lower Knights Hill to Victoria and then catch an omnibus, or when the weather was kind she would walk some of the way and pocket the money.
This is in reference to the occasion when Ernest Boulton takes a position at a bank that his father has arranged for him. Or at least that has to be the case from the surrounding context, not that his father arranged a position for Ernest in drag as Stella. So why the use of Stella here? In the end it just all too often left me totally confused about what was going on and whether Ernest (or the other characters this could be applied to) was done up as a man (Ernest) or as a woman (Stella)? It does matter, or did to me, in trying to understand whether or not the surrounding story and behavior of the cast of characters made sense.

One final minor perhaps observation on the use of the word hermaphrodite to refer to Fanny and Stella. I had to verify the definition of that word which is: an individual in which reproductive organs of both sexes are present. Now Boulton in particular was by observation a very effeminate man, but there was nothing presented to suggest that he was a hermaphrodite.

So anyway with that out of the way this was an entertaining book presenting an aspect of the culture of Victorian England one does not find in the history books. As a society Victorian England has always been synonymous with a prim sexually repressed society. This book reveals that on a macroscopic scale this may have been so, but their were those on the fringe that were quite adventurous indeed. I learned that even preeminent medical doctors at the time practiced a lot of quackery. Or does the 'penis pump' actually work ? I learned a new, and I suppose strictly British, definition of the word punter. I also learned about the term mary-ann. WTSharpe.




Quote:
Originally Posted by desertblues View Post
Yes, WTSharpe, interesting and sad. Neil Mc Kenna paints a sympathetic picture of these two men, who seem to be the victim of different circumstances. They would have a more richer and rewarding life in these days; like Amsterdam where it is quite accepted to be like this.
Yes, despite McKenna's efforts to often make their lives seem happier than probable reality, including some of his speculations (eg. Stella's renewed affair with the supposedly still living Lord Arthur Clinton in New York after the trial), their lives struck me as ultimately sad given the constraints of society at the time. Even Stella must have know that her fantasy of marriage to a nobleman could never be more than a fantasy. I have to offer an in the news comment, congratulations to England for just recently extending marriage rights to same sex couple.

Oh, I rated this with three stars for the reasons I mentioned. I am curious though as I have never paid any heed to the thread rating system. For me the rating results don't seem to display. Also why would it allow me to submit a rating result more than once?

Last edited by Hamlet53; 07-20-2013 at 08:19 AM. Reason: rating issue
Hamlet53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 09:20 AM   #9
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
issybird's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,931
Karma: 36641744
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New England
Device: 950, 350s, N7, &...
I had mixed feelings about this. It wasn't the rigorous social history I expected or even would have preferred. But reading it in juxtaposition with The Swerve had me thinking not very deep thoughts about historiography and gave me a better appreciation and even liking for what McKenna attempted.

Fanny and Stella aren't important as historical characters themselves; they served as the device McKenna used to illustrate particular social mores of a time and place. McKenna's liberties are not akin to describing Lincoln's nighttime romps with Mrs. L, for example. He adopted a style that Hamlet53 is calling gossip and I thought of as pulp, to further the sense of the world in which Fanny and Stella acted. It was over-the-top, trashy, at times funny, at times sordid and frequently tragic and it succeeded for me, because behind the talk of stays and padding and chirrups and emotions and lust, was the reality of lives lived in fear and frustration and furtive couplings, always with the risk of all-too-imaginable and dire consequences. Against that, Fanny and Stella were both brave and careless, and I was caught up in their story and rooting for them, glad they got off and ultimately achieved at least a bit of their ambitions before life caught up with them. RIP, ladies.

That said, it's obvious that McKenna meant his book to be polemic and relevant to current issues, and I prefer a stance of disinterest. I thought the writing style effective for the story and enjoyed his wit and wordplay, but I also thought he got lazy at times with obvious comments and a habit of using two or three synonyms when one word would have sufficed. The girls' eyebrows, for example, were always described as "plucked and tweezered." Me, I find it sufficient either to pluck or tweeze my brows, but maybe I'm just a slob.

I mentioned The Swerve above. Ultimately, I thought Greenblatt's book, while interesting, didn't do justice to his subject and I thought the narrative style inappropriate for a work of intellectual history. On the other hand, I thought McKenna, even while adopting a much more exaggerated style than Greenblatt yet given the squishier nature of his subject matter, largely succeeded in his aims.
issybird is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 12:05 PM   #10
Stephjk
Cruiser
Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Stephjk's Avatar
 
Posts: 502
Karma: 489896
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: on a small yacht!
Device: kobo glo, samsung galaxy tab note
My, how things have changed - thankfully! The advances in medical practices and the availability of effective drugs are really quite amazing when you think that the era being discussed was only 140 years ago.
Stephjk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 01:40 PM   #11
fantasyfan
Guru
fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
fantasyfan's Avatar
 
Posts: 831
Karma: 8241096
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ireland
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2G Wi-Fi only, iPad, iPod Touch 3G, iPad Air
I tend to agree largely with Hamlet 53's assessment.

This was clearly a book with a split personality. One can applaud the amazing vividness of some of the carefully researched areas--particularly those remarkable descriptions of the seamy underside of Victorian society.

But then one might immediately encounter fictionalised, speculative areas which attempt to enter the minds of Fanny and Stella. It is clear that the Author does this to make these two quite unlikeable characters seem victims and sympathetic. He is correct, of course in that they were indeed meant to be put on display in a "show trial" which didn't have much to do with justice. But still to conclude Stella's death with that silly Eulogy was only irritating.

Stella, especially, seemed to have very serious gender problems. And this brings up the implication by McKenna that s/he was mixed gender. He has no real evidence for this except the unreliable testimony from Jack Saul's pornographic memoirs. Still, Stella's mother actually seemed to expect her child to marry a man. Stella evidently retained a soprano singing voice, which could indicate that a male larynx was never formed. In the case of Stella, it could be that there were internal female sexual organs which wouldn't be observable. So I feel that some sort of trans-gender quality may actually have been part of Stella's physical make-up. But it remains a moot point and clearly unprovable.

I found that the book really lacked an acute, objective, analytic perspective and tended more to tabloid sensationalism.

I would give it a 5 out of 10. On a 5 point scale I would give it 3 in recognition of the vividness of some of the passages. At least McKenna never bores the reader.
fantasyfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 03:42 PM   #12
WT Sharpe
Grand Muckity-Muck
WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
WT Sharpe's Avatar
 
Posts: 32,899
Karma: 97660438
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chesapeake, VA, USA
Device: Kindle Paperwhite, iPad Air, iPod Nano, & a PC running Windows 9.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
...the perfect description hit me, gossip!....
I was very much disturbed by the liberties he took and the way he assumed to know the inner thoughts of each of the players. This was dramatization run wild. It's one thing for a writer of fiction to tell a story from a position of omniscience, but reporters and biographers need to be more careful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
...The third major problem, for me at least, was McKenna's referring to many of the characters sometimes as female and sometimes as male....
Given that this was an account of people who themselves appeared at times to be confused as to their sexual identities, I had no problem with it. In addition, it may have been the author's desire to show that sexual identities are not set in carbon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
...So anyway with that out of the way this was an entertaining book presenting an aspect of the culture of Victorian England one does not find in the history books....
That it does. And while it may fail as biography because it assumes too much (even with the extensive footnotes), it certainly succeeds as literature in that it paints a vivid picture of a world which no longer exists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
...I also learned about the term mary-ann. WTSharpe...
I trust everyone caught that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
...Oh, I rated this with three stars for the reasons I mentioned. I am curious though as I have never paid any heed to the thread rating system. For me the rating results don't seem to display. Also why would it allow me to submit a rating result more than once?
I didn't realize it did. We'll be going to a new OS in the not-too-distant future, and perhaps the new software will allow for a better rating system.
WT Sharpe is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 03:48 PM   #13
WT Sharpe
Grand Muckity-Muck
WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.WT Sharpe ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
WT Sharpe's Avatar
 
Posts: 32,899
Karma: 97660438
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chesapeake, VA, USA
Device: Kindle Paperwhite, iPad Air, iPod Nano, & a PC running Windows 9.
Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
...Against that, Fanny and Stella were both brave and careless, and I was caught up in their story and rooting for them....
Yes, the author did make you sympathize with his subjects. I too, found myself rooting for them, even as I found myself sometimes being a bit peeved with them because of their over-the-top carelessness.
WT Sharpe is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 05:22 PM   #14
Stephjk
Cruiser
Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Stephjk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Stephjk's Avatar
 
Posts: 502
Karma: 489896
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: on a small yacht!
Device: kobo glo, samsung galaxy tab note
Quote:
Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
Yes, the author did make you sympathize with his subjects. I too, found myself rooting for them, even as I found myself sometimes being a bit peeved with them because of their over-the-top carelessness.
I'd go so far as to say that the characters came across as exhibitionists, not careless. It was almost as if they were waiting to get caught sometimes.
Stephjk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 11:53 PM   #15
Bookpossum
Snoozing in the sun
Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookpossum ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookpossum's Avatar
 
Posts: 7,213
Karma: 73037545
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: Kobo Touch (mine), Sony PRS-T1 (husband's)
I don't have much to add to the above and agree with the various criticisms. I certainly learned a few things along the way, not least that homosexuality attracted the death penalty until (from memory) about 1855 or so. I find that horrific.

The hypocrisy of society in supposedly finding Fanny and Stella so disgusting, depraved etc and yet being avid for every salacious detail revealed during the trial is far more disgusting to me than anything they were doing. After all, it was all between consenting adults. But I suppose this is still the case when you consider what sells tabloid newspapers - it's just that the topics these days are probably slightly different.

McKenna is obviously a journalist spinning a story and it shows in his writing style, which I certainly wouldn't describe as literary. One example from page 263 of the paperback:

Quote:
Inspector Thompson permitted himself a rare smile of satisfaction, gazing out of the window of the train as it chugged northwards through a landscape of soot-blackened red-brick factories and chimneys belching forth giant clouds of mephitic vapours.
I rated it with three stars.
Bookpossum is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MobileRead May 2013 Discussion: The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (spoilers) WT Sharpe Book Clubs 51 09-17-2013 02:29 PM
MobileRead March 2013 Discussion: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea(s) by Jules Verne (spoilers) WT Sharpe Book Clubs 36 03-26-2013 01:33 AM
MobileRead February 2013 Discussion: A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute (spoilers) WT Sharpe Book Clubs 43 03-06-2013 04:36 PM
MobileRead January 2013 Discussion: Persuasion by Jane Austen (spoilers) WT Sharpe Book Clubs 40 02-15-2013 05:21 PM
MobileRead July Discussion: Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (spoilers) WT Sharpe Book Clubs 33 07-31-2012 08:09 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:20 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.