“Let us read, and let us dance;
these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”

Thursday, 25 July 2013

LBC Outlaws - Change of Venue!!

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Tonight's LBCOutlaws will be taking place from 6pm at the 
White Swan Leeds
- not at Outlaws as previously announced.  

25th Jul - The Moving Toyshop - Edmund Crispin

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Things I like - Colette Nic Aodha

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The following poem appeared in the 2013 Art Craftwork Higher Level and I thought it was too gorgeous to keep to myself!!

It's the first time that I've read anything by this homegrown (mine - so Irish, before you all get all excited) poet, but I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for more from now on!

Just perfect!

Things I like - Colette Nic Aodha

autumn leaves
old buildings
running my fingers along spines
of books

discovering museums
ebb of music
to the beat of your heart
jazz when dreaming

landscape with birdsong
sitting in your sheltering sun
some outdoor cafe
on the cobbled streets of Madrid

lost in the history of Spain,
learning new words,
if I have any of these
I forget to eat

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School Days Over
Leaving Certificate Poetry
GCSE Poetry - T'Elf

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School Days Over Table of Contents 

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Sunday, 21 July 2013

Lainibop Challenge - Book 27 - Pride and Prejudice

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The LainiBop Challenge


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* * * * * SPOILERS * * * * *
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This much-loved novel by Jane Austen was first published in 1813 and Solis Press is proud to produce this 200th anniversary edition.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife," so starts this social satire on the marriage market in Regency England.

With five daughters and no money for dowries, Mrs. Bennet's main ambition in life is to find suitable matches for her girls.

When eligible and wealthy Mr. Bingley moves into the area, Mrs. Bennet seizes the opportunity to advance her plan. She embarks on a determined campaign to see him settled with her eldest daughter, Jane.

The discovery that Mr. Bingley's richer, handsomer, but haughty friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy, will also be in residence sets Mrs. Bennet in even more of a spin. This is much to Elizabeth ("Lizzy") Bennet's distress, as Lizzy is daughter number two and so next in line in the suitor stakes.

The path of the Bennet sisters is fraught with misunderstandings, deceptions, jealousy, and hypocrisy, but it is a journey that has captivated readers, making Pride and Prejudice one of the most popular works of all time.
A certain friend of mine who shall remain nameless (IT'S ME!!!)cites this as one of her favourite books of all time. As such, she has been trying to get me to read it for quite a few years now. On a recent visit to her, I happened to be in a bookshop and found a very reasonable second hand copy so on her advice I bought it.

I'm sorry to say that the only thing I really knew about this novel before reading it, was that it was a love story about Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. I also knew that Mr Darcy was the type of man to make women swoon in his presence and by women I mean female readers, not just the characters in the book.

Unfortunately for me and also for my friend, who will probably kill me for writing this, Mr Darcy did not have that effect on me. Not even close in fact. Let me start at the beginning....

Elizabeth Bennet is one of the main characters in the book, she is the second eldest of a family of 5 daughters. Mrs Bennet is primarily concerned with making decent matches for her daughters and will do anything to put them in the sights of eligible gentlemen. Elizabeths older sister Jane soon catches the eye of Mr Bingley the latest batchelor to move into the area, and Mrs Bennet has high hopes for the couple. Now enter Mr Darcy, who is a close friend of Mr Bingley, but in contrast to Mr Bingley's friendly, and enthusiastic air, Mr Darcy is quite shy and reserved, which comes across to the Bennets as condescending and a little bit snobby.

So where is the grand romance?...I'm not too sure either, you see Darcy appears to take a dislike to the Bennets because of their status, and Elizabeth takes an immediate dislike to Darcy as she overhears him saying that there are no attractive women in the room for him to make the effort to dance with (bearing in mind he had just caught her eye moments before...ouch!). Things become yet more complicated when Elizabeth becomes a confidant for an old friend of Darcy's and hears a story of his past that paints a very ugly picture.

You would think this should be the end of their aquaintance, but that would make a very short and uncomplicated story now wouldn't it? No, instead things get more complicated and life keeps throwing them together.

My main problem with the book is the characters, I just couldn't relate to them at all. From the annoying sister Lydia, who is supposed to be annoying to Elizabeth and Darcy themselves I just couldn't bring myself to like any of them. Elizabeth is too quick to judge, for a character who is supposed to be strong willed, she believes whatever she is told about people without giving a second thought, and has no problems in spreading these lies to other people. Darcy is stubborn and condescending, he also judges people very quickly but in this case he bases his judgements on outward appearances, he wants nothing to do with the Bennets because of their status and also because of the way he see's Lydia behave at a party and again delights in discouraging his friends from any association with them too.

For me to like a novel, I must have some sort of relationship with the characters in it, I must either love them, pity them, or despise them, but with this, my dislike of the characters only went so far as to ensure I didn't really care about them or the events in their lives. I have a feeling I could get lynched for this review however the novel just didn't appeal to me one little bit. Won't be picking it up again I'm afraid, although saying that, I did watch the film with Keira Knightly and also the BBC adaptation which weren't bad so maybe I'd recommend a night in with some popcorn instead of picking up the book.

YouTube Playlist



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Say Hello to @Lainibop

Her To Be Read Challenge - The Countdown Begins!

Book 30 - ?
Book 29 - ?
Book 28 - Sexing the Cherries by Jeanette Winterson
Book 27 - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Book 26 - Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
Book 25 - Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Book 24 - From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne
Book 23 - Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Book 22 - Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffery Archer

Find more reviews HERE

If we've used any videos, you'll find them on the LeedsBookClub YouTube Channel - 

Visit LainiBop's playlist HERE 
Visit Fizzy Elephants HERE
The 10 Things I Hate About You playlist is HERE!
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Table of Contents - Guest Stars

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Table of Contents - Laini's Book Shelf

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Saturday, 13 July 2013

LBC Outlaws Write Up - The Glass Key - GUEST

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LBC Outlaws
The books that make you go ooooooooo!!!!

Venue: Outlaws Yacht Club

Date:  27th of June 2013

Time:  6pm for a 6:30 start


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BLURB (Goodreads)
‘Paul Madvig was a cheerfully corrupt ward-heeler who aspired to something better: the daughter of Senator Ralph Bancroft Henry, the heiress to a dynasty of political purebreds.
Did he want her badly enough to commit murder? And if Madvig was innocent, which of his dozens of enemies was doing an awfully good job of framing him?

Dashiell Hammett's tour de force of detective fiction combines an airtight plot, authentically venal characters, and writing of telegraphic crispness.
A one-time detective and a master of deft understatement, Dashiell Hammett virtually invented the hard-boiled crime novel. This classic Hammett work of detective fiction combines an airtight plot, authentically venal characters, and writing of telegraphic crispness.’

Ned Beaumont is a tall, thin, moustache-wearing, TB-ridden, drinking, gambling and hanger-on to the political boss of a corrupt Eastern city. Nevertheless - like every Hammett hero (and like Hammett himself) - he has an unbreakable, if idiosyncratic moral code.

Ned’s boss wants him to better himself with a thoroughbred senators daughter; but does he want it badly enough to commit murder? If he’s innocent, who wants him in the frame? Beaumont must find out.
About the Author (Amazon)
B.1894, d.1961.

Dashiell Samuel Hammett was born in St. Mary’s County. He grew up in Philadelphia and Baltimore. Hammett left school at the age of fourteen and held several kinds of jobs thereafter—messenger boy, newsboy, clerk, operator, and stevedore, finally becoming an operative for Pinkerton’s Detective Agency.

Sleuthing suited young Hammett, but World War I intervened, interrupting his work and injuring his health. When Sergeant Hammett was discharged from the last of several hospitals, he resumed detective work.

He soon turned to writing, and in the late 1920s Hammett became the unquestioned master of detective-story fiction in America. In The Maltese Falcon (1930) he first introduced his famous private eye, Sam Spade. The Thin Man (1932) offered another immortal sleuth, Nick Charles. Red Harvest (1929), The Dain Curse (1929), and The Glass Key (1931) are among his most successful novels.

During World War II, Hammett again served as sergeant in the Army, this time for more than two years, most of which he spent in the Aleutians.

Hammett’s later life was marked in part by ill health, alcoholism, a period of imprisonment related to his alleged membership in the Communist Party, and by his long-time companion, the author Lillian Hellman, with whom he had a very volatile relationship. His attempt at autobiographical fiction survives in the story “Tulip,” which is contained in the posthumous collection The Big Knockover (1966, edited by Lillian Hellman).

Another volume of his stories, The Continental Op (1974, edited by Stephen Marcus), introduced the final Hammett character: the “Op,” a nameless detective (or “operative”) who displays little of his personality, making him a classic tough guy in the hard-boiled mould—a bit like Hammett himself.

As with any good ‘who done it?’ book, there is always a little twist towards the end of the book. And this one is no exception. Chosen for the latest addition to the family of LeedsBookClub - LBC Outlaws –‘The books that make you go ooohh’ - the group met to discuss this classic detective story about loyalty, politics and crime set in America in the 1930s.
I had been reading this on my kindle and I hadn’t seen or read anything about it, so essentially I went in blind and believed for the most part of it I was reading a western. How wrong was I?
Instead it is about relationships, bad decision making, gangsters, gamblers, politicians and the corrupt world of the 1930s.
But it has been a tough one to review.

Although it is a classic this book; it didn’t seem to go down too well with some in the group, but that’s the great thing about book club – so many different viewpoints! The Glass Key was said by some to be like that classic vegetable based spread, you either loved it or hated it (or in one person’s case it was so bad the kindle/book nearly went across the room while another said they would rather read the back of a packet of cornflakes)!

It was thought that because this story is told in the third person, it felt like it lacked a connection between the reader and the characters. None was built and as there was no explanation about background information, it felt like you were just dipping into someone’s world for the day. Hopefully if you choose to read this a second time, you might have a different opinion again.

This book has been adapted into a film on two occasions. Those who had seen a film version noted that it bore little resemblance to the book and didn’t have the same feel. The writing of the book did make people feel that the writer assumed quite a lot and thought we would all know what it was like in the 1930s - just goes to prove as I thought we were dealing with cowboys and then when I was told all I could hear was ‘we could have been anything we wanted to be’ from the film Bugsy Malone.

But in the end it was a story about class, politics, people wining in love or power and mainly about friendship, and how you should always stick by someone.



Join in the chat on twitter #LBCOutlaws or chat with @Pixlz or @LeedsBookClub.

Follow Helen @IsFromUpNorth

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Calendar Page
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Book Club - Table of Contents
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Friday, 12 July 2013

LBCPuffins Write Up - The Sheep Pig - Guest

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LBC Puffins

Date:   Tuesday, 11th of June 2013
Time:   6pm


The Sheep-pig is one of Dick King-Smith's most famous tales. It shot to further fame when the film adaptation – Babe - was released in 1995.

'Why can't I learn to be a Sheep-Pig?'

When Babe, the little orphaned piglet, is won at a fair by Farmer Hogget, he is adopted by Fly, the kind-hearted sheep-dog. Babe is determined to learn everything he can from Fly. He knows he can't be a sheep-dog. But maybe, just maybe, he might be a sheep-pig.

Dick King-Smith served in the Grenadier Guards during the Second World War, and afterwards spent twenty years as a farmer in Gloucestershire, the country of his birth. Many of his stories are inspired by his farming experiences. He wrote a great number of children's books, including The Sheep-Pig (winner of the Guardian Award and filmed as Babe), Harry's Mad, Noah's Brother, The Queen's Nose, Martin's Mice, Ace, The Cuckoo Child and Harriet's Hare (winner of the Children's Book Award in 1995). In 2009 he was made an OBE for services to children's literature. Dick King-Smith died in 2011 at the age of eighty-eight.

Babe is a sensitive soul, deeply loyal to those who are kind to him. So when he is taken in by Farmer Hogget's sheepdog, Fly, it's only natural that he would want to follow in his foster mum's paw-steps.

Even with Babe's considerable handicaps as a sheepdog - namely, that he's a pig - he manages to overcome all with his earnestly polite and soft-spoken ways, proving once again that might doesn't always make right. After saving the sheep from rustlers and wild dogs, Babe convinces Hogget that his idea of becoming a sheep-pig "b'aint so stupid" as it might look. But neither Hogget nor Babe, nor anyone else, could have predicted what follows.

As utterly charming as Charlotte's Web, this book is bound to pluck even the tightest heartstrings. Masterful characterization brings every personality to vibrant life, while Mary Rayner's lively line illustrations only elucidate images Dick King-Smith has already planted in the reader's mind. Herd the whole farmyard together: readers of all ages, ambitions, and antecedents will love this one.
Emilie Coulter

I can't believe this story is 30 years old!!!

The story begins in the house of Mrs Hogget and Farmer Hogget hearing the sounds of the fair deep from the Valley. It is There that Farmer Hogget first encounters Babe.

After dropping off some produce he hears a squealing noise and discovers it is coming from Babe. A small creature making so much noise all for a competition to guess its weight. The Vicar persuades Farmer Hoggart to have a go and guess his weight and the moment he picks Babe up there is a connection, He goes quiet. Later in the day Farmer Hoggart is told he has ‘won’ Babe. He returns and places him in the barn not sure what to do with him other than his wife thinking he’ll make a great meal for Christmas.

This is where the story begins. Alone and afraid, Babe’s first encounter with another animal is with Fly and her pups. The pups are told ‘pigs are stupid because people only eat stupid animals like, sheep and pigs’. This is because Fly has never encountered a pig and didn’t want to appear ignorant to her children.  Our first lesson of judging a book by its cover.
It is not until she speaks to Babe and realises he scared and lonely from being separated from his Mum and takes him under her wing that she builds a relationship and following the loss of her pups to other farms, that she discovers how intelligent the little pig is and what he can achieve.

The same goes with the encounter with the sheep. When Fly is showing Babe how to bring them back, she believes they are stupid when in fact they just get a bit confused at the orders being shouted and would much prefer it they were all as polite as babe and treat them ‘ a bit decent’, then they would do as they were asked. A bit of common courtesy goes a long way.

In this story Babe has to show courage, strength and loyalty to his foster mum, the farmer and bravery against all odds. It’s about how one little animal/person can have such an immense impact on everyone’s lives. He changed the animal’s/people’s views about others and proved to everyone that anything is possible no matter who you are or what you look like.

This was the second choice for LBCPuffins, a well known story, made famous by the film Babe released in 1995. To be honest I didn’t know the film was based on a book until it was pointed out at the last meeting. I have always loved the film especially when the mice pop up and did think that they would in the book, but of course they don’t.

With all children’s books; they take out all the unnecessary fillers and just create a beautiful story that can be told again and again. This one exceeded that with masterful characterization which brought every personality to life in such a way you forgot they were animals.

Dick King-Smith wrote this story after becoming inspired by his farming experience and what an amazing idea to portray a lovely message. The group believed that he was trying to say that the story was about not being prejudice about other people because of their appearances, as in the sheep dog accepting Babe as one of her own, and to always be polite to others. It also was a very positive story and that when people believe in you like the farmer did in ‘pig’ aka Babe, it shows how confidence can grow, when believing in yourself.

Again, as mentioned in other reviews, we went back to the subject of film adaptations from books, and couldn’t quite decide which was better. There were slight differences, which I’ll leave for you to spot, but the lovely thing about this book is the illustrations. Illustrations can be a huge positive for a book sometimes and can break the story up. These were created by Ann Kronheimer and one of my favourites was the diagram of the sheep dog trials or ‘pig’ chasing the animals and barking. 

Once again I love the idea of this book club – adult reading kids books. I think reading is an amazing gift and once in a while we need to take a break from our busy lives and read children’s books as sometimes the stories can still have an impact - though not necessarily be as intense as an adult's book, This such a heart warming story that can make you look at the world in a different way.

I highly recommend it to everyone; I think it's one that will stay with me for a while.



To find other members of the club, search on twitter for #LBCPuffins

And don't hesitate to contact Outlaws on @OutlawYachtClub

Let me know your thoughts by either tweeting me @LeedsBookClub, commenting below or emailing me at leedsbookclub@gmail.com

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LBC Puffins

NOV - Wee Free Men - Terry Prachett - GUEST
OCT - Black Beauty - Anna Sewell GUEST
SEP - The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson-Burnett GUEST
AUG - Coraline - Neil Gaiman GUEST
JUL - Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh - Robert C O'Brien GUEST
JUN - The Sheep Pig - Dick King-Smith GUEST
FEB - Matilda - Roald Dahl GUEST

Book Club - Table of Contents

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Thursday, 11 July 2013

Sharing Stories - Poppy Shakespeare Review - GUEST

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Leeds Book Club will be participating in the Arts and Minds Network's new project on raising awareness of mental health issues. 

This cracking review is provided to us by book lover @BatRachy


Who is mad? Who is sane? Who decides? Welcome to the Dorothy Fish, a hospital in North London. N has been a patient for thirteen years. Day after day she sits smoking in the common room and swapping medication. Like the other patients, N's ambition is never to be discharged. Then in walks Poppy Shakespeare in a short skirt and snakeskin heels. Poppy is certain she isn't mentally ill and desperate to return to her life outside and, though baffled, N agrees to help her. But in a world where everything's upside down, are they crazy enough to upset the system?

I recently re-read this to refresh my memory of it, after having read initially it when it first came out. Between reads I saw the Channel 4 adaptation, which I thought worked pretty well, especially considering how badly adapted some books are!

Anyway, I shall focus on the book…

I loved the main narrator N, who has spent her entire life submersed in mental health problems (in other family members and the community in which she lives). N is a day patient at Dorothy Fish, the local psych unit, and is convinced she will never be discharged. It becomes clear there was very little question as to whether N would be a patient in Dorothy Fish, simply because of the family and situation she heralded from. I would like to think that this is partly due to the story being told from N’s perspective, rather than the way in which local authorities truly operate. For me, this throws up a problem with fiction such as this: how much does the author know about the mental health system? (or rather, have they experienced it themselves either directly or indirectly through family/friends, and if so, how much are they putting into this novel?). I would like to think local authorities don’t ear-mark children from families with history of mental health issues to follow in the footsteps of their parent(s) into institutions, and instead they are more sensitive (I know in serious circumstances social services would be involved anyway, to help both parent and child).

The reader needs to bear in mind that the story is from N’s point of view. She feels the authorities have assumed, as she is from a long line of ‘dribblers’ (the Dorothy Fish slang for those with learning difficulties/mental health issues who use the day service), that she will go straight into the unit. We don’t know what support & assessments she has had. This is N’s version of the truth, and I’m sure if the narrator was an employee at Dorothy Fish the version of the truth would be different. I love it when a book makes you question what the true reality is. Is there one solid version of events (regardless of whether someone has mental health issues or not, everyone surely has different bias/agendas/roles to play).

This comes into play even more when we meet Poppy. Poppy is determined she is not mad (a term bandied around by the patients freely), and has been ordered to attend the Dorothy Fish. As you can imagine, all Poppy wants to do is prove she not mad and get out of there and back home to her daughter. The author Clare Allan gets this absolutely spot-on. Unfortunately, as Poppy discovers, the more you protest you are not mad upon being labelled as having mental health problems, the less likely people are to believe you, and indeed such protests are put down to being so ill you are unaware of your own wellness. Indeed, it works both ways – it is very rare that someone who asks to be sectioned is.
At this point, I can’t help thinking back to an episode of Don’t Call Me Crazy (a series following teenagers in a psych ward currently on the BBC) I saw recently where an outwardly smiling, energetic girl is admitted for depression and an eating disorder. During her treatment she starts to worsen and has numerous meetings to try new things to improve her situation, warning her she on the path to being sectioned. She is adamant it’s just empty threats and tells everyone she is fine and shouldn’t need to be there at all. The next meeting they have they decide they need to section her for her own safety.

Overall I feel the book portrays a quite real and accurate experience of a long-term day-patient. Not necessarily the way the system works (although in any unit like this there will be cynicism, speculation and rumours as to how the system works - in the case of Dorothy Fish the Ministry of Madness, and MAD money to name but a few), but the way the group works together, and the relationships between patients, definitely so. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own ‘stuff’ that although they have little cliques, ultimately they are out for themselves – their own targets (whether that be to get out of there, to stay as long as possible etc etc).

I found I recognised the assumed knowledge there was within the group, which came to the fore as Poppy was introduced to each of them by N. A little back-story would be given, but N assumes Poppy will know the intricacies of each disorder & character. In a similar vein, Dorothy Fish dribblers have similar rules to (in my experience) families; they can call each other nicknames, and they can call each other things like ‘mad’. If someone from outside of the support network/family/group of dribblers called them something similar they’d all be up in arms against the outsider. This shows, the dribblers do have a supportive network between themselves, indeed, they do worry for one another when someone is discharged, or when someone is sectioned.

Ultimately, I love this book. It smacks of a time when mental health care wasn’t top of the agenda, and as the government works to amend this, the Dorothy Fish centre changes to adopt the ‘care in the community’ stance to which I was subject to (in 2006, the year of publication). Clare Allan has worked hard to show the reforms needed in mental health care, both inpatients and out-patients. She has created this world, in a run-down area of London where there is a struggle to see who is mad and who isn’t. Where there is a struggle to see who needs help and who doesn’t. Where there is a struggle to see who is in-charge and able to care for those who need it and who isn’t.

At a time when the NHS is currently under-threat from those who think it should be run as a business, and who are more bothered about figures than the people this book comes into its own yet again.

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Chat with Peter Bullimore
Mental Health Reading Challenge
Blurbs for the books!

Podcast with Tom at Arts and Minds Leeds

Write Up's

Dec - Jane Eyre - GUEST
Nov - A life too short - GUEST
Oct - Notes from an exhibition - GUEST
Sep - Day - GUEST
Aug - Tender is the Night - GUEST
Jul - Ariel - GUEST
Jul - Birthday Letters - GUEST
Jun - Poppy Shakespeare - GUEST
May - Why be happy when you can be normal - GUEST
Apr - I had a black dog - GUEST
Mar - The Psychopath Test - GUEST
Feb - The Silver Linings Play Book - GUEST

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Table of Contents - Guest Stars

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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

WSwan LBC - The Eyre Affair - GUEST

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White Swan LBC

Date:  Sunday 12th of May 2012
Time:  6:00pm
Address: Swan Street, Leeds



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Thanks to Helen for this epic write up! She's been contributing so much, I think we'll have to create her own book shelf page!  

About the book

By Lurazeda, found on Deviant Art.
Ain't it awesome?
Pirouetting on the boundaries between sci-fi, the crime thriller and intertextual whimsy, Jasper Fforde's outrageous The Eyre Affair puts you on the wrong footing even on its dedication page, which proudly announces that the book conforms to Crimean War economy standard.

Fforde's heroine, Thursday Next, lives in a world where time and reality are endlessly mutable--someone has ensured that the Crimean War never ended for example--a world policed by men like her disgraced father, whose name has been edited out of existence. She herself polices text--against men like the Moriarty-like Acheron Styx, whose current scam is to hold the minor characters of Dickens' novels to ransom, entering the manuscript and abducting them for execution and extinction one by one. When that caper goes sour, Styx moves on to the nation's most beloved novel--an oddly truncated version of Jane Eyre--and kidnaps its heroine. 

The phlegmatic and resourceful Thursday pursues Acheron across the border into a Leninist Wales and further to Mr Rochester's Thornfield Hall, where both books find their climax on the roof amid flames.

Meet Thursday Next, literary detective without equal, fear or boyfriend. There is another 1985, where London’s criminal gangs have moved into the lucrative literary market, and Thursday Next is on the trail of the new crime wave’s MR Big. Acheron Hades has been kidnapping certain characters from works of fiction and holding them to ransom. Jane Eyre is gone. Missing.

Thursday sets out to find a way into the book to repair the damage. But solving crimes against literature isn’t easy when you also have to find time to halt the Crimean War, persuade the man you love to marry you, and figure out who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

Perhaps today just isn’t going to be Thursday’s day. Join her on a truly breathtaking adventure, and find out for yourself. Fiction will never be the same again ...

About the Author

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring out of the window and chewing the end of a pencil. He lives and works in Wales and has a passion for aviation.

From the Author

Welcome to the inside of my head. Apart from a few panicked memories about getting lost in a department store aged five, my imagination is a pleasant enough place to be - if you’re me. If you’re not me then you can do the next best thing and order up 'The Eyre Affair’ and have a read. There should be something to appeal to most readers as the plot visits, at one time or another, most genres - thriller, crime, romance, humour, sci-fi, literary - a veritable Swiss army knife in fact; if you don’t like a subplot then wait awhile - another is sure to pop up soon. 

Over here at the Fforde Ffiction Ffactory we have many more novels bubbling away in our cauldron as well as a Thursday Next website and much else besides.

But for now I wish you health and happiness - and trust you have as much fun reading 'The Eyre Affair’ as I did

Helen's Review

It’s been a year since I went to my first LBC meeting and felt it would be fitting to write this review. However at the time I hadn’t read it. It took just over a day to finish it and, boy am I glad I did. This book blew me away and I didn’t know it was part of a series and can’t wait to get my hands on the next one. This was chosen by Alison to read and was LeedsBookClub's choice to give away at World Book night this year.

It was on a sunny Sunday evening sat in the cosy settings of The White Swan that our story begins, talk of Dodo’s as pets (actually happens in the book), Twitter identities, the story from monsters made of bubble wrap to a scary impression of Kate Bush and the fact that when you bite heads off jelly babies, they know!

To the book and here we meet Thursday Next, our heroine, Lover of books and a literary detective. Her job/role is to deal with illegal traders, fraudsters and copyright infringements. Living alone with only her regenerated pet dodo named Pickwick. An ambitious young lady wanting to further her career but unable to do so until she meets with Hades, A criminal ,mastermind out to bring characters into our world or banish them forever! 

From gothic fiction (Jane Eyre) to mention of Shakespeare and meeting characters from Charles Dickens this book dips in and out of different worlds yet keeping us firmly on our feet.  This book introduces us to so many worlds and with so much going on you would think the story and characters would be watered down, but they’re not. You’re sucked into another dimension without realising until you come back down with a thump on your sofa when the story ends.

I loved the fact that this book was based in England, there sometimes seem very few and the fact it used classic stories and twisted them into a sci-fi/ mystery adventure. It is probably only in books and in films where the impossible can become the possible. The fact that there is a magic machine which can extract characters from books into the real world, to be able to meet our heroes and heroines of our favourite stories, in Thursday Next’s case it was Rochester from Jane Eyre, who appears a few times to save her and in return she brings Jane back to him.

During the discussion a question was asked about the problem where we find what happens we fall in love with books, bringing the story to life in our minds is that sometimes we find to have someone else make it into a tv series or film may spoil the feeling of the book, spoil the journey you made with the characters like in the book, people were in uproar as the story changed in front of the eyes, demanding it be returned to it’s original form, however drab it was. Today TV & filmmakers do the same as it is their vision of the story, and especially if their 
idea comes from a book, sometimes they can make it how we see it or improve it, sometimes they can destroy it. But in the end stories are to be told and shared in whatever form.

And finally for people who have not read Jane Eyre but have read this would you go to the original now? Just food for thought. 

Best line - ‘Wotcha, Doofus!’

Reason to read it – The Dodo still exists and you can have it as a pet!

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For further details, please email me at leedsbookclub@gmail.com or tweet me @LeedsBookClub

The Pub can be contacted on @WhiteSwanLeeds
And feel free to let us know your thoughts using #WSwanLBC!

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17 - Jun - The Fire Gospel - Michel Faber
16 - May - The Eyre Affair - Jasper FForde
15 - Apr - The Waterproof Bible - Andrew Kaufman GUEST
14 - Mar - The Book Thief - Marcus Zusak GUEST
13 - Feb - Weight - Jeanette Winterson GUEST
12 - Jan - Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates

11 - Nov - Lighthouse Keeping - Jeanette Winterson
10 - Oct - Winter's Bone Daniel Woodrell
09 - Sep - The Wind Up Bird Chronicles - Haruki Murakami 
08 - Aug - The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ - Philip Pullman
07 - Jul - American Gods - Neil Gaiman
06 - Jun - The Travelling Hornplayer - Barbara Trapido
05 - May - Atomised - Michel Houellebecq - GUEST

I'm just full of good ideas...WSwanLBC  

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Book Club - Table of Contents

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