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March Hare
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PostSubject: Group read?   Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:44 pm

With the Christmas break coming into view (for some of us, at any rate), I was wondering if anyone was interested in a group read. Most of us are too busy with jobs and/or studies to commit a lot of time (if any at all) towards a novel, but group reads aren't a bad experience, either. If we take a novella at a slow pace, I think mostly everyone who frequents this forum could finish it by the end of the month.
Don't misunderstand me. I'm not going to organize anything. I'm not interested in taking that responsibility, Wink and I would probably be forced to drop out at one point or another. I'm just wondering if anyone is interested in starting a group read....
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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:21 am

Great idea. Any suggestions for what to read?
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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:13 pm

THis might sound corny, but I was thinking "A Christmas Carol" by Dickens. I know most of us have probably read it and one point, but reading it together might get us in the mood for Christmas, and it is relatively short, so we should be able to finish.
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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:27 pm

I'm good to go with "A Christmas Carol" if everyone else is. If there are no objections or alternate suggestions, when would be a good time for everyone to start? I can start anytime.

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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:23 pm

A Christmas Carol sounds good. I'm okay with re-reading it.
I was serious about being unable to organize it, though. Buried under a pile of studies, I find time for reading, but am unable to keep discussions going, pester people to read it, ask for their comments, etc. I hate dumping responsibility on others, but I don't have any choice. Anyone here up to the challenge?
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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:55 pm

There's really not a lot to organize. I suppose I can be the designated driver for this. Wink

Right now we need to ascertain who is involved. I am, and it looks like William and Lilli are, as well. Are you in, Dormouse? Let us know. Anybody else?

Then we need to establish a day to start reading. As I said, I am fine anytime, but I know the rest of you have school and studies and such. Does a week from today work? Give me some feedback on this.

Once we get started we can check in every couple of days to see how far we've gotten and to compare thoughts and opinions. "A Christmas Carol" is pretty short and shouldn't take too long to get through.

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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:19 am

Deal me in Smile I have it right here.

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Dormouse
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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:42 am

Yep, I'm in. Wink Christmas Carol sound fine to me, since I haven't read it in a long time.
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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:42 am

Can I join? A Christmas Carol is one of my favourite books.

Okay. That is an exaggeration. I have lots of favourite books.
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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:34 am

That sounds great. The last time I read it was in 2008, which is enough of a rest.
I guess a week from now would give everyone a chance to join in. It would nice to finish this before Christmas is over....
@guest I'm sure you can join in, but if you sign up, I get to stalk you; enough said. Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:48 pm

I have a feeling that "guest" is our own Kathryn, who somehow, someway, deleted her own account. I will contact her through Y!A and see if she wants to reinstate herself.

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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:57 am

Yes, "Guest" is me. Very long story how my account got deleted, suffice to say that it was all my own doing and none of it was intentional. I'm still keen to read A Christmas Carol and plan to dust off my copy shortly.
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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:56 pm

I was thinking that it would probably be best to start this Friday, that way we could allow the weekend to give it a little kick start.
Just an idea, I don't know how it fits in with everyone's plans....
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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:07 pm

Sounds great.
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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:17 pm

Friday is fine with me if it is fine with everyone else.

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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:56 pm

I'm good with Friday.
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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:33 pm

Then, unless there are any objections, a Friday start it is. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:06 am

Friday is fine with me Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:45 pm

For those who wish to try an audiobook for this one:
In iTunes, look for the free lit2go-version of "A Christmas Carol", provided by the University of South Florida. You can simply download it. I found it very good, I listened to it all day while working on the present for my parents.

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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:51 pm

Right. I liked it, but I found that Scrooge's improvement happened too soon. Right from the beginning, he seems to see the error of his ways. That was unconvincing in a way. But other than that, I liked it. It is in fact much better than the endless adaptations of it that are omnipresent in modern media What a Face

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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:09 pm

I am a few pages into "Christmas Carol". I should finish it by tonight, or tomorrow, depending on demands on my time.

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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:54 am

I am finished.

I could not help but be struck by how familiar all that dialogue was. As this is a very short work, the various film adaptations of "A Christmas Carol" could pretty much keep in all the dialogue word-for-word. I am fond of the version that has George C. Scott as Scrooge, and all I could hear was his voice whenever Scrooge spoke in the Dickens work.

I have not read much by Dickens, but I know he has a penchant to fall in love with his own writery voice. It is not as bad in this work, but you can still see it in various lines.

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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:15 am

I just started reading today. Yes, terribly late but then I have a master's degree in putting things off. Wink
I just finished the first "stave."

With, "Marely was dead: to begin with," Dickens gives us a good opening sentence and the rest of his first paragraph is equally well written. His second paragraph however is a horrible and pointless deviation that should have been edited out on the first draft. He gets back on track in the third paragraph and then goes off again on one of his pointless tangents in the fourth paragraph.

This is one of the things I dislike about Dickens. It's quite tolerable in A Christmas Carol but in A Tale of Two Cities it's much worse and his verbose wandering gets hard to follow.

One thing, though, that I really didn't get is when Scrooge is walking up the stairs in his house and Dickens talks about Scrooge thinking he sees a "locomotive hearse" going up the stairway. I've read this story at least two times before and I still don't get this part.

On a slightly different note, I agree that the George C. Scott film is very good. Though I think Scrooge should be much leaner than Scott and have a voice in a slightly higher register but Scott certainly has the gruffness in the voice and played the character very well.

Any mistakes in this post can be attributed to a caffeine rush I'm on due to coffee and a lack of exercise today. Bad combination. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:34 am

Finished & loved it.
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PostSubject: Re: Group read?   Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:57 pm

I guess I should have replied at least a week ago, but Christmas has been a very busy time for me. My apologies.
To my credit, I finished A Christmas Carol on the 23rd. The last time I read it was the Christmas of 2008; the time gap was a sufficient break and allowed me to enjoy the novella fully.
Dickens does seem to be a bit superfluous concerning language, but his tangents amuse more than annoy me. Some readers dislike his style or writing, and while I have found A Tale of Two Cities to be frustrating at times, as Dickens seems to have a knack for leaving on his/her own to pursue a topic that is irrelevant, I generally don't mind his works. Of course, in addition to A Tale of Two Cities and A Christmas Carol, I have only read Oliver Twist. Another friend informed me that Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol are the only two novels by Dickens that she enjoys, so perhaps Great Expectations, David Copperfield, Bleak House, etc aren't all that good. I hope to read some of them.........one day.
I immensely enjoyed A Christmas Carol, and Dickens writes that novella with excellent prose. He seems to transport the reader into the muddy streets of London, and holds the ability to sway the emotions of the reader. Although Scrooge's transformation is sudden, I did not find it unrealistic. A former business partner and closest thing you had to a friend visiting you in the night and telling you that you will suffer hell is definitely going to have some impact on your life Wink.
I am rather cynical of Christmas, overall, as I see it as an over-commercialized holiday that has been hijacked by cooperations seeking to maximize their profits. Dickens does help us remember what Christmas should be about.

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