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joggerjayne | 17:00 Sun 08th Feb 2009 | Arts & Literature
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I'm spending my Sunday afternoon with a glass of wine, reading the original Pinocchio story, written in the 1880s by Carlo Collidi.

Like Peter Pan, it's one of those dark stories, jollied up a bit by Disney.

There's a new edition just been published, translated from the original Italian by Geoffrey Brock. Geoffrey Brock is Umberto Eco's translator, so you know that this is going to be good.

And it is !

It has a foreword by Eco himself.

Well ... that's my recommended read at the moment.

Any good suggestions for something I could read next ?

And why ?


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I'd forgotten the Literature section is closed at weekends.
Evening JJ. I don't know what your taste in books is like but I have just finished Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. Its a multi layered story told by an unlikely author (he was a convicted armed robber). Its a book filled with love of people but also violence and it tells the story of his life in India whilst on the run. For me it captured the India of my imagination, but also some of its darker sides.
The narrative is beautifully expressed. Overall an enjoyable, unexpected book.

If you do decide to try it let me know what you think
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Hey, Ro ...

Thank you for that. I'm going to look for it, and I'll let you know what I think.

I don't have a particular taste in books, but I'll tell you what I like ...

I like books that have caused somebody else to feel passionately about them. That makes me want to read them.

Be it an Umberto Eco historical mystery, a Robert Goddard Thriller, a surprising travel book, a beat generation classic, a comic novel, a play ... whatever ...

If somebody tells me, with passion and enthusiasm, that they have enjoyed a book and that they think I will get something out of it ... then I want to read it.

I only buy books from bookshops, not online, but I'm in London tomorrow, so I'll have a look on Marylebone High Street (Daunt Books - fab bookshop). If they haven't got it, then I'll order it locally.

Thanks again Ro, and ... watch this space.

J x
I think the Disney version isn't all that jolly, really - it was quite dark itself. I went to an exhibition in Paris a couple of years ago about Disney's animators and how many of them had fled from central Europe and brought a feel for Grimm-type fairytales with them, as well as being influenced by Gothic art. Nothing at all like modern Disney cartoons, all aimed at hyperactive eight-year-olds.

Doesn't answer your question at all, does it.
Okay, here's one you might enjoy -Jones/dp/057503257X/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=boo ks&qid=1234140453&sr=1-14

(they're selling the paperback for 1p online... it's rather old but you might find a second-hand shop that stocks it).

It's the adventures of Thomas Coryat in the lands of Islam in the 17th century... Coryat was a real person, really did go to the east and was probably the first travel writer in English; but the book is totally fictional, very inventive and fantastical, and again quite dark.

Sorry, I won't be in Marylebone High St (too busy getting the wretched new kitchen installed) so you'll have to find your own.
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jno ... on reflection, you're right about the cartoon verion of Pinocchio. I did have a dark feel to it. I enjoy cartoons where the animators have managed to create that sort of atmosphere. I loved the Moomintrolls.

I'm looking forward to TimBurton's Alice in Wonderland. I don't think it's due out until next year though.

Thank you for the Lord Of The Dance suggestion. I'll look out for that as well (I always have a few books on the go at any one time).

Thank you for your answer.

J x
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Hey, Ro ...

I bought Shantaram today.

I got it from Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street. I asked one of the assistants if he knew it. He looked at me as if I'd just asked him if he'd heard of Shakespeare !!

... then took me to a table with a huge pile of copies, LOL.

So, it's, erm ... quite big, isn't it !!!!!

I think the adjective you're looking for is 'Daunting', then?
I just spotted on the morning thread that you had got it. Yes it is quite "thick" but very unputdownable when you get into it.
A consortium headed by Johnny Depp have bought the rights to it and they are making it into a film. After the success of Slumdog Millionaire I am sure it will do well though I am always a bit fearful of the adaptation of books I have enjoyed. So much will depend on the script and casting. Lets hope Johnny Depp doesn't play it as Jack Sparrow LOL

Anyway I hope you enjoy it.
Question Author
jno ... "Daunting" ... very good !!

Ro ... that will be interesting.

Thanks again, guys. x

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