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Citizen Clem

Dod101
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Citizen Clem

#113405

Postby Dod101 » January 26th, 2018, 9:09 am

Citezen Clem was a book I acquired at Christmas and have just about finished reading it. I wish I had not started because it is to me a bit like its subject, dull, worthy and fundamentally uninteresting. it is a long read.

Very much better which I have been reading at the same time is East West Street. I can thoroughly recommend it about the foundations of international law but interwoven with family history and the changing face of eastern Europe. Very well written by an international lawyer, Philippe Sands.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Dod

bungeejumper
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Re: Citizen Clem

#113525

Postby bungeejumper » January 26th, 2018, 5:05 pm

Serious question. If you start a long book and don't feel inspired/engaged/interested, what makes you to carry on and finish it?

I can think of two reasons that might make me persist. One would be if the book was a gift from somebody, and the other would be if it was from a writer who the whole world agreed was a genius, and where I might feel like a bit of a lightweight if I were so feeble as to abandon it after 100 pages.

For instance, Kazuo Ishiguro's The Unconsoled, which is a shameless rip-off from Kafka, with just a small shot of cod psychology thrown in. By the time I got to the last 50 pages of this monster tome, I was half-willing it to finally improve, and half-rushing to the finish line so that I could go off and do something more rewarding with my time. Isn't that sad?

One that I didn't finish was Kate Summerscale's The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, which I stopped reading after page 70 because I'd found that I simply didn't care in the slightest about any of the characters, and anyway I'd figured out who the killer was. (I leafed ahead to the end of the book, and yes, I had. :roll: )

And another was a book of short stories by the giant Peter Carey, because he was driving me to distraction with his really thin portrayals of women. Every one of them was either a passive human doorstep or else a scheming, devious bitch - there seemed to be nothing in between, and no real character depth at all. I expect I shall get flamed for that! :lol:

But in general, I don't persist beyond page 100 with a book that isn't grabbing me. How far do others get?

Dod101
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Re: Citizen Clem

#113533

Postby Dod101 » January 26th, 2018, 5:37 pm

I finish a book because I am bloody minded to be honest. My late wife used to say I would read anything but that is not altogether true. OTOH I do not shelve books that I am unlikely to read or refer to again (I read very little a second time) and I expect Citizen Clem will be in the charity shop e'r long. I would be interested to know if anyone else has read it though because it may just be me.

In the last few months I have been reading a lot, mostly non fiction and many biographies, Marconi, Telford and the above mentioned East West Street is more or less biography or at least family history as ell as being interwoven with the development of international law. Apart from the Telford biography,(and they cannot be compared) East West Street is easily the best book I have read in a long time.

Dod

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Re: Citizen Clem

#119047

Postby deucetoace » February 19th, 2018, 1:58 pm

I read this last year.

It is not the most interesting biography I have read but it does cover an area of history that for me is often hidden. Churchill has lots of coverage but the other side of what the government did during the war is not something I have seen before so I found it of interest. Also the emergence of the parliamentary Labour movement from the inside is something I have seen little of so that area was worthwhile reading as well.

Dod101
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Re: Citizen Clem

#119049

Postby Dod101 » February 19th, 2018, 2:13 pm

deucetoace wrote:I read this last year.

It is not the most interesting biography I have read but it does cover an area of history that for me is often hidden. Churchill has lots of coverage but the other side of what the government did during the war is not something I have seen before so I found it of interest. Also the emergence of the parliamentary Labour movement from the inside is something I have seen little of so that area was worthwhile reading as well.


I agree with you about the content. It was an eras of history that I did not know much about either, but I did think that it could have been written in a slightly livelier style.

Dod


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