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friedag

Come and Gone

friedag
8 years ago

Readers may be loyal -- look at all those who stick to series until the series sputter out or the authors die. I'm trying to think of series that maintain quality throughout their installments. I can't think of many, but then I don't have the stick-to-it-iveness to be a series reader.


However, readers are just as likely to be fickle as loyal. Think about all the books that are ballyhooed to the rafters for a few months, then spread like contagion until it seems that everyone and their mothers are reading the same thing. Of these how many have true staying power, that years and decades later readers are still enjoying and recommending them?


What books have come and gone, let's say since 2000 (or maybe late 1990s)? For instance, who still reads The Da Vinci Code? Around 2000, I recall that Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring was ubiquitous. I thought it was good, but possibly not that good! Which books have stayed? We can concede, I think, that the Harry Potter books are in a separate special class. I get tired of seeing them mentioned, although lately Pottermania has waned -- or is that my imagination? :-)

Comments (81)

  • Kath
    8 years ago

    There are three books in the original FSOG lot, but James has just published the first book 'from Christian's point of view'. So she stole the original idea from another author (it was fanfic for Twilight) and now sells another book by rehashing the first one she wrote. Can I say unoriginal?

  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    Kath, how well is it selling?
    I can't say I blame her for milking the cash cow for all it is worth!
    You will know of other authors who continue with a series because people still read them although they have "jumped the shark".
    If you engage with characters, even if the books are getting worse you can always hope for an improvement!


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  • friedag
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    PAM, whether accurately or not, I associate certain kinds of books with readers who probably introduced them to me or I know that they particularly like. I always think of you as our resident medievalist and Gissing expert. :-)

    I have similar associations in my mind of many/most RPers and the genres and authors they favor.

    Thanks for the link to the bestsellers list. It's fun to count the ones I've read and to remember where and when I read them. I really didn't realize just how many I have read. Some of them are among my all-time favorite novels. It's only into the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s that my reading of the big sellers becomes sparse. Part of that is due to my dilatoriness; but as I survey those years, I think it might be that they just aren't as interesting (to me) and possibly poorer in quality over all!

  • Kath
    8 years ago

    Ann, it is selling pretty well. I think we got in 200 copies and last week had sold about 150 of them.

  • vee_new
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Just looked at your list PAM. I found very few from the last twenty/thirty years that I had read. The truly dreadful Da Vinci Code, a couple by Frederick Forsyth, 'Bridges of Madison County' a bad 'borrow' from a friend, 'The Thorn Birds', Lampedusa's 'The Leopard' . . . now considered a classic, Mocking Bird and little else.
    Interesting to me that quite a few UK authors are represented from earlier years . . . Elizabeth Goudge, Mary Stewart, James Hilton, Hugh Walpole, du Maurier etc.
    How many of the modern books will stand the test of time?

    Frieda from the article on Aga-sagas the mention of farm-house kitchens doesn't mean that those place are the dwellings of farmers.
    In recent years smaller farms have been sold-on, the land incorporated into larger holdings and the farm house and outbuildings bought, usually by a wealthy banker/corporate lawyer/city executive/pop star. The house is tarted up/gentrified . . . though it is unlikely that many of the old gentry felt the need for a swimming pool, a 'games room' or a private cinema.
    Sometimes the new 'Lady of the Manor' opens a country-style shop in an old barn and sells over-priced rural products and serves dainty lunches and teas.
    Many of them have become Big Business and attract huge crowds on holidays.
    As for Rumpy Pumpy I'm surprised you weren't familiar with the expression along with a bit of slap and tickle or a roll in the hay or some nudge nudge wink wink . The euphemisms are endless!

  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    Kath, it seems that certain people can't get enough of Grey's strange world!

    I read the top sellers link with surprise at the early dates some of the books were published that were still popular with public library patrons in the 1950s. It may have had something to do with the scarcity of books in the UK because of the war. As Vee once mentioned, library books were discarded and sold off when they were just about falling apart!
    Other things I noticed were that authors who had been writing for some time were suddenly discovered. Also that movies were made of a number of best sellers from the same year at one time then this seemed to drop off. Did the books become unwatchable or difficult to transfer to the screen, I wonder?
    I did read some of the best sellers in the early Fifties as I worked in a subscription library and we were encouraged to take home these books to skim through overnight so we could talk about them to the customers.
    My preferred authors were not so popular, it seems.

  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    Vee, I recall someone mentioning the Aga Sagas as being set among "Middle-aged, Middle-class and Mid-Shires".
    Would that be an accurate summing -up?


  • vee_new
    8 years ago

    Ann, that would be a good description! Of course US 'middle class' is rather different from that in the UK, where it is less about money. Ann is it correct that Australia is a 'classless' society?
    Ms Trollope resents her work being refereed to as Aga Sagas as she feels there is plenty of depth to her books. She does have a point, just because someone is Middle class doesn't mean they don't have the same problems with husbands (their own and other peoples) or children, work, drugs, booze . . . the list is endless.


  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    Vee, Australia is classless to some degree. The social groups are defined differently so I would say that there aren't the class distinctions that we can spot almost as soon as we see or speak to each other in the UK.
    People are more on a level but there are some distinctions and the groups vary from one region to another. Mostly money or some social prestige such as employment is involved but having it doesn't necessarily confer status.
    It is quite a complicated situation and I can't really give you a satisfactory explanation simply because there is no definite ruling on what "class" is here!
    Perhaps Kath can explain the situation better than I can.

    I remember when I was migrating to Australia in 1960 we were given a lecture while we were on the ship about what we were to expect in Australia.
    A point was made that there was no upper class there but when we mentioned this to some Aussies on the ship, one snorted and muttered "Tell that to Toorak!"
    Apparently this Toorak was a wealthy suburb in Melbourne and the home of socialites who had a good opinion of themselves.


  • bigdogstwo
    8 years ago

    Frieda, thank you! I find that fascinating because I do the very same thing. At one time there were five Pam's here and that was one of the only ways I could keep them all straight. And I know this thread is about books come and gone, but the people have been so varied and interesting. Over the years, I have filled pages upon pages with titles and authors recommended by RPers. So many people have become "friends' or at the very least, touched our lives over the years before melting away.

    PAM


  • friedag
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    PAM, are you reading my mind? I, too, have been thinking of all the RPers who have come (or were here before me) and delighted me with their various insights and book recommendations but, alas, now seem to have 'gone'. I keep hoping that they will reappear. as some do from time to time; but, even if they don't, they've left their imprints on this reader and no doubt on others as well.

    Annpan, do you think the authors you prefer were more popular in the UK? The list PAM linked to is of U.S. bestselling books, but somewhere I have a book that I think is simply titled Bestsellers that gives the history of popular books read by 'real' British folk, as opposed to stuffy academics and literary snobs. It's a very entertaining overview, with amusing anecdotes and a year by year list of bestsellers as well as the most popular books readers 'borrowed' from libraries.

    I recall that many of the UK top sellers and those of the U.S. overlapped, but of course there were many differences too. I remember that the English (women mostly) adored Forever Amber, which I thought they would have been highly critical of, being as Kathleen Winsor was an American. However, in the 1930s and 1940s (maybe into the 1950s) readers in the UK couldn't get enough of American 'westerns'. Apparently UK publishers noticed this and hired some English writers to produce a slew of 'western' novels to help satisfy the demand. There were many errors -- such as locating the wrong town in the wrong state -- but the English didn't mind that, if they even noticed. The ersatz westerns sold just about as well as the real thing! Westerns later lost popularity in both the UK and U.S. although recently there's been a revival of interest in them among Americans. I know I read a similar anecdote about American westerns read in the UK before I read it in this book. By chance, did you relate it?


  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    Frieda, I did mention something about UK authors writing Westerns a while back.
    As for reading lists, I probably read a lot of UK authors when I was living there before 1960 but after that date I don't recall reading all that much for some years as I was too busy raising a family and running businesses!
    Somewhere along the way I went from historical and period books to cosy murder mysteries and have stuck with that kind of thing really. For some reason I favour women writers but it doesn't matter if they are from the UK or US.
    The only thing I do dislike are writers who write incorrectly about the UK. I wish that they wouldn't set stories here or if they do, get a local to check them.
    I recently wrote to Simon Brett, whose books I enjoy and shared a laugh about an author who was trying to use the British word for a pharmacist and substituted "apothecary" !
    (Vee, do you think that "Boots The Apothecary" is a good place to shop?)

    .

  • friedag
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    It's annoying to the locals everywhere when 'outside' writers get the details of 'their place' wrong.

    Thanks, Annpan. Knowing that I've read something before but not being able to place it frustrates me. I thought and thought and then it occurred to me: Annpan could've told it.

  • vee_new
    8 years ago

    Ann, I think "Boots the Apothecary" is an excellent description and for the following rambling reason.
    Press 'delete' before you find ennui overtaking you . . .

    I have been 'researching' ancestors and found that on my husbands 'side' the family from Nottinghamshire were of a strong Non-Conformist bent. Their employment involved producing unguents/creams etc boiled-up on the kitchen range. They knew the young Jesse Boot, a local boy and converted him from his wild ways. He too was involved in a similar enterprise and suggested to his 'saviours' that they went into business together. The Nicholls family declined and carried on their own sweet way.
    In 1907 DH's Great grandfather died after being hit by a car while riding his bike selling samples of his lotions and oils. Jesse Boot went on to be a multi-millionaire. And the chemist shops are still on every High Street.
    ( a wonderful on-line archive has appeared and grows monthly of British Newspapers where I read about the bike accident)


  • Kath
    8 years ago

    It's interesting to look at the recent best seller lists and see how many YA and children's books are listed. It is good that young people are reading, but I'm not very likely to go out and buy The Diary of a Wimpy Kid.


    With regard to the 'classless' Australian society, it's a hard one to answer. Certainly there isn't a real 'upper class' here, but you are still judged by your school and the kind of job you do. Speech is a bit different - I think we only have two kinds, ordinary and bogan. The news readers on the ABC (equivalent of BBC) used to have a posher sort of accent, but that's gone now.

  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    Vee, one of my husband's forebears was the Carter of Carter's Little Liver Pills. The name was last used as a Christian name by my BiL.
    I don't think there was any money in his family coffers though. We certainly don't even get free pills!


  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    Kath, thanks for endorsing my comment about how hard it is to explain the Aussie class(less) structure. I forgot to factor in the school aspect.


  • friedag
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Vee, I'm curious. How was the reporting in the newspapers of the bicycle accident handled back in 1907? I don't know how common automobiles (motorcars or whatever they were called) were in Nottinghamshire back then, so I'm wondering if it was considered 'sensational' as well as tragic news.

  • friedag
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Re chemist/pharmacist/apothecary: I suspect that if the writer who made the substitution is American s/he is probably young or relatively young.

    My father was a pharmacist from the 1930s until his retirement in the 1980s (he was sole proprietor of his drugstore for most of those years), but his profession was not generally called that until, I'd say, the 1960s or 1970s. This was in the American Midwest but it was pretty much the same over most of the U.S., except maybe in the sophisticated environs of big cities. The more usual terms were either druggist or chemist (although they went to pharmacy school) in the day when filling prescriptions was more than counting pills and handing out pre-packaged preparations. I suppose 'druggist' fell out of favor because it sounded to some to be shady or illicit. 'Chemist' too, in this sense. Curiously though, drugstore (the business) is still used about as often as pharmacy. However, from the snickering (sniggering) of some young folk when I refer to our local pharmacy as 'the drugstore' I think that term is probably headed for obsolescence, too.

  • msmeow
    8 years ago

    Vee, I don't think there are any drug stores left that have a soda counter! (Unless they are purposefully going for nostalgia.) Most of the separate drug stores these days are big chains like Walgreen's or CVS and sell lots of things besides medicine - snack foods, milk, beer & wine, some clothing, makeup, cards, etc. Also, many grocery stores and big-box stores like Walmart and Target have pharmacies.

    Frieda, your post about your dad made me smile. My DH worked in a drug store for many years (as a manager, not a pharmacist). When he first met my parents he told them he "sold drugs" for a living. It was intended as a joke but I don't think my dad thought it was very funny! :)

    Donna

  • friedag
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Vee, from what I understand carbonated drinks were considered medicinal in the 19th century and thus sold in drugstores where their formulas could be mixed. The inventors of Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper, John Pemberton and Charles Alderton respectively, were druggists themselves. The sales of ice cream in drugstores is not as clear cut. Perhaps the best explanation is drugstores in the late 19th century began using forms of cold storage to preserve their more sensitive products once they were mixed, thus the progression to serving ice cream.

    Donna described the situation in the U.S. as it is today. I haven't seen an authentic drugstore soda counter since my dad's business was sold in the mid-1980s. His was the last in our town and towns for miles around. In latter years he had tourists come in from all over the world to experience the nostalgia. My brothers' first jobs were as janitors and soda jerks in our dad's store. #1 brother was a master at assembling banana splits and sundaes. He was the only one of us to be trusted in operating the milkshake/malt-making machine, a tricky business. I only got to serve scoops of ice cream, the limited selections offered being vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and Neapolitan but with an extensive assortment of nonpareils for customized tastes. Otherwise I did the washing up and dusting/cleaning of the merchandise shelves. Daddy claimed that we kids were great assets as we had many friends who came in mainly to see us but, of course, spent money on sodas, ice cream, magazines, paperback books, toiletries, etc. as an excuse to be there. This was in the 1960s and the drugstore was already considered 'hokey' as a place to hang out.

    It was in my dad's drugstore that I discovered the Paperback Library and Lancer Gothics -- those romantic suspense novels that were popular in the 1960s/70s. The paperback supplier gave us two racks to display the books he brought in monthly, or every six weeks, as I recall. Daddy allowed me to choose two for myself. I built up quite a collection, some sixty of which I still have.

  • carolyn_ky
    8 years ago

    My drugstore story relates to my mother's monthly teachers' meetings in the county seat town. She didn't drive, so my dad had to take her. Sometimes us kids stayed home, with me minding the younger ones, but sometimes we went along. Daddy knew the family who owned one of the drugstores, so we hung out there while the meeting lasted and he did whatever business he needed to. The store had those little round tables with the wire ice cream chairs, and, within reason, we were allowed to order what ice cream and fountain drinks we wanted, as well as my being let read (very carefully) the new magazines and comic books.

    I would have been in my very early teens, and the younger ones would have been 5, 7, and 9 or thereabouts. Everyone was very complimentary about how good we all were, but I think we were just shy! They weren't quite as good about minding me when we were home.


  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    Friedag, I had to look up nonpareils! They look like "hundreds and thousands" or "sprinkles" as I have seen them labelled in the UK and Australia .
    I have memories of children's parties and putting them on little cakes and fairy bread...

  • Kath
    8 years ago

    Not sure if this has worked - how to speak Aussie. The one on the left has an 'ordinary' accent, the other (by choice) sounds a bit bogan. He has also made up a few of those - lappy, mornos for a start. But many of them are correct.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/deannye/how-to-speak-strayan?utm_term=.ljo9QPxwb&sub=3862964_6247332

  • vee_new
    8 years ago

    It came up loud and clear Kath, though with about 4 screens showing simultaneously.
    Of course we used many of those words in the UK . .. dindins is what an old lady might say to her cat/cats.


  • friedag
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Kath, I enjoyed that! It goes so fast, though, that I will have to listen to it several times to sort it out. I have a friend in Tamworth, NSW with whom I have stayed several times now (and she has visited me in Hawai'i twice) that I can understand very easily, but when I listen to her son I am mystified. Once after he left the room, I asked her to translate what he had just said. She obliged me and then she waved her hand dismissively to say, "It's bogan." I wanted to know if there was a relatively easy way for me to get a handle on it. Her advice: "Think baby talk." I did and suddenly it made more sense! Improvisation seems to be a key component -- that's where lappy and mornos come in, according to those fellas in their video. Of course I'm not likely to recognize what is authentic and what isn't, but many of those words have filtered into American consciousness and we have borrowed them.

    Is acadaca for AC/DC authentic?

  • woodnymph2_gw
    8 years ago

    Could someone here explain the term "brogan"?

    There are still a few old fashioned drugstores with soda fountains that I have found in my travels in various small towns. Invariably, it is a nostalgia thing and these attract tourists. OI have a vivid memory of discovering in Williamsburg, VA a marvelous old drugstore on the "main drag." It offered at its fountain "chocolate egg creme" drinks, which I still miss. The food was cheap and good and old-fashioned, too. That was in the seventies. Sometime in the 90's it closed and the space was taken over by Williams Sonoma or Banana Republic (I can't remember which). Both are popular chains, but the drugstore was unique, part of the American "Norman Rockwell" past.


  • msmeow
    8 years ago

    Brogans are shoes, aren't they?

    Sorry to hear about the demise of the drug store in Wmsburg! We have friends with a home there and it would be a fun place to visit with them! Of course, they know the secret of where to get ice cream in Col. Williamsburg, so that's pretty fun, too :)

    Donna

  • vee_new
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The word is bogan which in the UK can be translated as chav meaning a low-class person (mostly female) probably with inappropriate tattoos, a bright orange 'suntan', various body-piercings and scantily clad. Usually has a great deal to say for herself at top volume and cares little/nothing for the opinion of others. Often seen with a couple of toddlers in tow and the unshaven, low-slung trousered boyfriend of the moment.
    Is this type found in the US?

    Donna, you are thinking of brogues, sensible strong footwear for tramping the moors/fells/hills.

  • Kath
    8 years ago

    Bogans in Australia are of both sexes. Characterised by flannelette shirts, ugg boots outside the house and loud voices.

    And yes Frieda, accadacca is the local nickname for AC/DC (the band, not the electrical current).

  • msmeow
    8 years ago

    Thanks, Vee, that's exactly what I was thinking of!

  • carolyn_ky
    8 years ago

    In the U.S., a brogan is defined as a heavy, sturdy shoe, especially an ankle-high work shoe, so somehow we must have put an American slant on brogues.


  • bigdogstwo
    8 years ago

    Frieda,

    If our minds are alike, I feel I am in very good company, indeed! But yes... there are many that I miss for their conversation, their thoughts, their book recommendations... jankin, Martin, cece, and the list goes on.

    PAM

  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    When I found and later contributed to RP around 2003, I felt like a newby for a long time but now I am getting to be an Old Faithful! I miss a lot of the original posters and wonder what has happened to them.
    I also post on an Aussie discussion site and when a member dropped out, the moderator checked and we found she had died. After that we gave our personal details to trusted posters as the moderator had a hard time tracing our lost friend.
    This happens as we grow old. I was shocked to find that a couple of my late husband's relatives had died and no one let me know. We had all been very close at one time but had got to the "card and a catch-up letter at Xmas" stage. I wish I had known as I grieve their passing and had no opportunity to pay respects at their funerals.
    It is so easy to let our busy lives take away the lines of communication when it is so simple to do this nowadays.


  • Rosefolly
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Ann, you make a good point. Rouan and I are sisters, so if anything happens to one of us, I think you can count on the other to let everyone know. (Note to Rouan: Antique Roses Forum, too.) Perhaps others could make a similar arrangement.

    I have thought more than once that making arrangements for a digital farewell is not a bad idea. While I'm not of an age or health condition that I expect this to be imminent, sometimes life surprises us. I found out only a week ago that a close friend of my son was struck by a car last summer, and in a freak situation, it caused a stroke. He was in a coma for months and while now awake, has serious brain damage. He's only in his 30's. We don't need to be of a certain age to think about this.

  • friedag
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    Carolyn, thanks for bringing up the definition of brogans, American-style, because I knew when I read Vee's description of brogues I was confused. The shoes known as brogues in the U.S. are fancier -- dressier -- lower in the heels and ankles, maybe with wing tip toes, sometimes with two-tone uppers (really snazzy!), serrations, and all those little holes (perforations) that make a decorative pattern on the uppers, usually the toes. These are the shoes that men wore with business suits and as their 'Sunday best'. I remember my daddy's brogues, especially his Florsheims (a shoe brand he and a lot of men in his day considered especially stylish).

    At the link below, scroll down about halfway and dig those 'ghillie brogues'!!

    Brogue shoes

  • vee_new
    8 years ago

    Frieda, interesting article. Over here, back in the day, brogues were/are very much country-wear and would not have been worn as 'business wear' during the week, but only on a Saturday when offices opened until midday and men could go to work in a tweed jacket and grey flannels. City gents always wore black shoes . . . along with the dark suit, bowler hat and the rolled umbrella.
    Those 'two toned' shoes used to be known as co-respondent shoes ie likely to be worn by cads and bounders probably involved in a sleazy divorce case.
    Now that Saturday working and its almost casual wear is a thing of the past it has been replaced with 'dress-down Friday'. Does this happen elsewhere?


  • friedag
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    Vee, when I first worked in the City (early '70s) the older men wore what you listed, as did some of the younger strait-laced types; but the hipper younger fellas were already wearing what they thought they could get away with -- one was famous for his apricot-colored shirts, garish ties, wider-than-wide lapels on his suit, and chunky platform shoes. If he had shown up in that get-up just a few years earlier, he probably would've been sacked, but in the media the 'times were a-changing'. Except for the oldest coots, the men dispensed with hats -- they would've messed up their coiffures. But the umbrella remained standard and, indeed, was probably more essential.

    President Kennedy is usually given partial credit for the demise of hat-wearing, even in the UK. Have hats (the business models) made a full come-back there?

    I haven't been in the workplace for a couple of decades, but I've heard of 'casual Friday' in many professions, including teachers. In Hawai'i every day is casual day for nearly everybody. Even the FBI has had to allow its agents to wear Hawaiian shirts, casual trousers, and slip-on shoes. If they were to wear suits and dress shoes, it would be too frigging obvious they were FBI.

    PAM, Annpan and Rosefolly: I've been thinking about what you wrote about knowing/not knowing what happens to posters who just disappear and how forlorn we can feel about missing them. I have left instructions and a list of online friends and sites that I would like my sons or especially my very responsible daughters-in-law to notify in case something happens to me. I've included Reader's Paradise in case some of you might miss me.

  • msmeow
    8 years ago

    Frieda, the list of online friends to notify is such a good idea!

    I worked at a church for many years...when I first started we had casual Friday. You could wear jeans and maybe a T shirt. By the time I left nearly 18 years later, people wore jeans all the time and many wore shorts and flip flops on any given day. It seemed just a little too unprofessional to me! (I live in central Florida BTW - most places are pretty casual, except for a few very hoity-toity restaurants.)

    Donna

  • woodnymph2_gw
    8 years ago

    Dress-down Fridays have been popular in the US for quite a time, now, mostly with the younger generation. When I worked for a college library, Fridays in summer had shorter hours and the dress code was quite relaxed.

    About men wearing hats in the US. If you don't like to see this, do not come to Charleston, SC! Here, men are really into all sorts of hats, even straw boaters, mainly to keep off the strong sun. Hats are popular with the ladies, too, in this city, especially at Easter and on Sundays in churches. Actually, Charleston is considered a fashion mecca in the South: bow ties for men are considered quite snazzy now, as well as seersucker suits in summer.


  • friedag
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    I love men in hats. Always have. Much better than in caps.

    I also love the drift threads take and what I learn!

    Okay, so I have The Hunger Games and A Spool of Blue Thread, upon your recommendations, to take with me come Monday when DH, #1 son and daughter-in-law, and I sail southwards. I'll be sans Internet until we get to Pago Pago, but I'll be around for the next few days. So if anyone thinks of a come-and-gone book that I should take a look at -- either to take with me or check out when I get back -- let me know, please! Aloha.

  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    Friedag, I don't know about taking this one with you (BTW Happy sailing!) but I remember the fuss when "Forever Amber" was published.I have a happy memory of an elderly lady describing the story to my grandmother. The narrative included the 17thC beauty taking a taxi to the Palace and catching a lift down to get ahead of her lover who was leaving her. I could imagine a carriage as transport but how did she get down those stairs?

  • vee_new
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Frieda, are you cruising? Will it be one of those huge ships like floating multi-storied hotels?

    I had to look up Pago Pago as my geographical knowledge of the S Pacific is a tad hazy! I've admired the on-line photos. Wow, to think the coldest it has ever reached is 62F . . . a warm summer's day in England.

    I suggest reading A Pattern of Islands by Arthur Grimble. Written about his time as a young colonial officer based in the Gilbert and Ellis islands from 1914. The area was just being opened up, the 'natives' were still natural, there were no cocoa cola signs and cricket was only just becoming the national game.

    The ex journalist and BBC presenter June Knox-Mawer, was married to a barrister in the Colonial judiciary and has written several books about her time in the South Seas. A Gift of Islands and Tales from Paradise are a couple of titles I enjoyed.

    Bon voyage!

  • annpanagain
    8 years ago

    Vee, did you see the 1956 film "Pacific Destiny" based on "A Pattern of Islands"? I couldn't remember the title but remembered Denholm Elliott as Grimble.

    In one scene a native girl is explaining her thoughts about (I think) him as a possible husband and she comments that his legs are too thin. A murmur rose from the women in the audience that he would check that out and a roar of laughter as he does indeed look at his legs in a mirror! That is all I can recall of that film...

  • vee_new
    8 years ago


    movie


    ann now on DVD in glorious technicolor!

    I don't know how well it keeps to the real events . . I don't remember a wife appearing, certainly not at the beginning of the book.

  • friedag
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    Annpan, I happen to have a paperback edition of Forever Amber, so in my book bag it goes. A Restoration romp might be just the thing to put me somewhere besides seemingly endless water. I've read it a couple of times, but the last time was years ago. Thanks!

    Vee, nothing so roomy as a cruise ship. My son's ketch is a 51-footer. It has a motor but it's only used for getting in and out of harbors. It's not luxury, but it's a sight bigger than his previous 37-footer that we went down to Pago Pago in several times previously. I should say I have made the voyage down several times but I've only made the round trip twice. Once in Pago Pago harbor I hang around for a week or so, then I usually fly home. I'm not a very good sailor. I only do what I'm capable of doing: cooking and cleaning.

    I've heard of A Pattern of Islands and have meant to find it, but my local bookstore doesn't have it. I'll have to wait until I get home and order it from Amazon. That's all right, though, because I'm sure I'll enjoy it, whenever and wherever. I saw that "Pacific Destiny" was filmed in Samoa. The only islands I've seen in Kiribati are atolls while most of the Samoas (American and Independent) are 'high islands'.

    Thank you for your well wishes. Hope to catch up with you all in a few weeks.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    8 years ago

    Vee, the sort of woman you describe as "bogan" and/or "chav" can certainly be found in the US, almost everywhere. I am trying to come up with a term that an American might use for the same type of character. Somehow, "trailer park trash" just does not do it. Can anyone help? A code word in the 1960's-70's was "low rent". But that is not adequate, either.

    I have never read "Forever Amber". Have I missed something great?

  • bigdogstwo
    8 years ago

    Wood, if I remember correctly, Forever Amber was TERRIBLY racy when it was first published (as was Anthony Adverse). The author was in her early 20's when it came out and my goodness... my grandmother said she had to buy it out of town where no one knew her, and read it in secret under the covers! (And she was a young woman with a full time job at the time - although still living with her parents as was the norm in her day.) It is known to be very well researched and I enjoyed the escape immensely. Frieda, have fun reading it! Awaiting your opinion!

    And, just to add closure to the story about my grandmother: when I was 18, (and not a moment before), my grandmother pulled two large, doorstop-sized books from the back of her bookshelf and gave them to me. She said she figured I was old enough now to read them. One was her copy of Anthony Adverse, the other her copy of Forever Amber. I still have both.

    PAM

  • bigdogstwo
    8 years ago

    And Frieda, in response to an earlier post you had written: It is hard enough to be without you when you take long sea voyages. Don't you dare disappear entirely... for any reason.

    (that goes for the rest of you, too. )

    PAM