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My best friend is my Kindle. There are many items I like that first saw publication in year 2000, 1980, 1960, even 1930.

 

But with material from the pre-20th century, I typically find it more of a chore than a pleasure.  Be it fiction or nonfiction, the writing style strikes me as verbose, unnecessarily complex, and often rife with melodramatic sentiment. 

 

Do any other avid readers feel similarly?

 

And those of you who disagree with me...which writers do you fancy?

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If you are reading for entertainment, then your points are valid.    For other reasons, then verbosity, complexity, and melodrama are minor distractions.

For entertainment I prefer films, mostly classic but some modern.    I read mostly for information.

Moby dick. get thru the opening which is a tedious account of the biology of whales (best I can remember) and the novel transported me into another man's eyes like few others. 

I read all the Thomas Hardy I can get my hands on from the second hand book store. I like that old style of writing, but it has to have a good story line too. Tolstoy's War and Peace was good, also The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.

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11 minutes ago, ColeBOzbourne said:

I read all the Thomas Hardy I can get my hands on 

Huge fan....not sure why though?......only one I struggled with was "Jude the obscure".

 

Have you read Anthony Trollope?

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There is a book that I wish would be available on Kindle: Whispering Wind: Adventures in Arnhem Land by Syd Kyle- Little.

He was some sort of policeman, patrol officer in Arnhem Land in the earlier part of the last century.

 

The book is out of print, but is for sale on Amazon at £180 for a paperback.

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Just now, ColeBOzbourne said:

I have not, but will definitely look into it. Thanks.

I'd start with Barchester Chronicles and then The Warden

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41 minutes ago, Surelynot said:

Huge fan....not sure why though?......only one I struggled with was "Jude the obscure".

 

Have you read Anthony Trollope?

 

I found Jude the obscure hard work too. However I found The Return of the Native so absorbing that I was transported Far From The Maddening Crowd outside in the MILs house.

 

Some of the classics make good reads. Caesars conquest of Gaul, Our wars with Hannibal by Livy , The Histories by Tacitus , The Peloponnesian war buy Thucydides all very absorbing and educational.

 

For humour I have read all of Mark Twains books, my favourite being Roughing it , an account of a stage coach journey he took across America to Nevada. Very funny and educational book.

 

Thats one of the few things I miss in Thailand, a decent library so I just keep rereading from the 70 or so books I have on hand , just about all of them history books and not a single modern novel amongst them.

 

People have given me books like The Beach and the DaVince Code and I really struggled to finish them. Found them unbelievably boring with dreadful writing style. But there you go, the authors have made <deleted>eloads of money from them so there is no accounting for taste.

 

 

 

Edited by Denim
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1 minute ago, Denim said:

 

I found Jude the obscure hard work too. However I found The Return of the Native so absorbing that I was transported Far From The Maddening Crowd outside in the MILs house.

 

Some of the classics make good reads. Caesars conquest of Gaul, Our wars with Hannibal by Livy , The Histories by Tacitus , The Peloponnesian war buy Thucydides all very absorbing and educational.

 

For humour I have read all of Mark Twains books, my favourite being Roughing it , an account of a stage coach journey he took across America to Nevada. Very funny an education book.

 

Thats one of the few things I miss in Thailand, a decent library so I just keep rereading from the 70 or so books I have on hand , just about all of them history books and not a single modern novel amongst them.

 

People have given me books like The Beach and the DaVince Code and I really struggled to finish them. Found them unbelievably boring with dreadful writing style. But there you go, the authors have made <deleted>eloads of money from them so there is no accounting for taste.

Ha was going to quote Return of the Native as my favorite...........also read the usual 'classics' (George Eliot etc), but always drawn back to Hardy.

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In college I was forced to read The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin and can't say I enjoyed that one too much. Content was not the problem, but the style of writing was hard work to follow.

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1 minute ago, ColeBOzbourne said:

In college I was forced to read The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin and can't say I enjoyed that one too much. Content was not the problem, but the style of writing was hard work to follow.

Good heavens....no...would never even bother to attempt something like that......the nearest I got to something like that was Max Born's explanation of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity........gripping.

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2 minutes ago, RichardColeman said:

As Shelley lived in my home town of Marlow in 1817, and my house is in Shelley Road, I vote Frankenstein 

Lived in Whitby for 16 years so should have read DRACULA.....never have though.

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One must remember that most of the major "blockbusters" of the 19th century..Thackeray,Trollope,Dickens etc were written for weekly or monthly serialization in magazines..spinning the yarn along benefited everyone...

The great Polish novel 'With Fire and Sword (3 volumes) by Henryk Sienkiewicz was published the same way.

 

By the way 'The Voyage of the Beagle' is still a great read..Darwin was not forced to  hang around his computer all day waiting for some response from Reddit..comparing it to 'BuckyBeavor and the Autobots.'

Edited by Odysseus123
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3 hours ago, OneMoreFarang said:

In principle I agree with you. But there are exceptions.

I really like the books of Jules Verne.

 

I just had to check when they were actually written. Guess before you look it up.

Jules Verne - Wikipedia

 

 

Why? It's Jules Verne, not Jacques Cousteau

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1 minute ago, Denim said:

Talking of Daniel Defoe , his book : Journal of a Plague Year , is not only an excellent read it is very topical considering our current situation.

Agreed-and Camus too.

 

I had a fun time a few months ago reading Alexandre Dumas' 'The Three Musketeers'..beautifully written with such verve and panache!

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27 minutes ago, ColeBOzbourne said:

I think the Holy Bible is over a hundred years old. I've attempted to read that cover to cover several times and didn't get very far. I just can't force myself to keep at it.

 

I managed this feat twice , skipping only chunks of Genesis ( and Fred begat Dave and Dave begat Nigel and Nigel begat Tony etc ad nauseum )

 

The only book that has defeated me twice and I just couldn't force myself to finish was Plato's  The Republic. Why he chose the medium of reported speech to try and convey his ideas is beyond me. What I did read I didn't agree with at all as best I can remember.

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Just now, Denim said:

 

I managed this feat twice , skipping only chunks of Genesis ( and Fred begat Dave and Dave begat Nigel and Nigel begat Tony etc ad nauseum )

 

The only book that has defeated me twice and I just couldn't force myself to finish was Plato's  The Republic. Why he chose the medium of reported speech to try and convey his ideas is beyond me. What I did read I didn't agree with at all as best I can remember.

OMG.....not in a million years....although I did read War and Peace (minus the epilogues) on an iPhone 4.......testament to how boring life can be in a rice field.

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29 minutes ago, OneMoreFarang said:

I enjoyed The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, first published 1884

 

Me too. Despite the ending being a bit anti climatical.

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4 hours ago, OneMoreFarang said:

In principle I agree with you. But there are exceptions.

I really like the books of Jules Verne.

 

I just had to check when they were actually written. Guess before you look it up.

Jules Verne - Wikipedia

 

I think I will add a few works of his to my Kindle. 

 

Assuming you are reading an English translation instead of the French original....Was your Verne translation rendered within the last century or so?

 

There is a Russian novel I like, Fathers and Sons, which first appeared in 1862.  I reckon the English translation I enjoyed was rendered far more recently than 1862.  I wonder
if that makes a difference.

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4 hours ago, AnnaBanana said:

If you are reading for entertainment, then your points are valid.

   For other reasons, then verbosity, complexity, and melodrama are minor distractions.

 

Sometimes a work, or even a single sentence, stimulates a vague emotional reaction within me.  But by and large, I read for entertainment.

 

What reasons do you have?

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Interesting topic... I loved the Russians when I was younger but now also find them a bit too long winded.. maybe our concentration span has collectively shortened... [something in the water?] 

 

And talk abt pacing, Oblamov  - by Goncharov - if I remember correctly, was a charm because the title character didn't get out of bed for the first 80 pages or so... and I was intrigued... 

 

and same with the Dickensian period when writers were paid by the word to string together weekly episodes for publication... 

 

and as to my kindle, I spent lots of time in customer service chats trying to find out how to get a new battery for my kindle... it took so long because they never told me they would rather I just buy a new kindle... I think I can get a battery on lazada... 

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