Saturday, August 16, 2008

Desert Island Keepers I

Keira Soleore said --

I cannot think of worse books to take with me to a desert island:
1. Atlas Shrugged
2. Crime and Punishment
3. War and Peace

I want entertainment away from the rigors of omg-am-i-going-to-die thoughts, not be so bored where rigors resulting in death become welcome.

My DIK would be full versions of:
1. Count of Monte Christo
2. Three Musketeers
3. Pride & Prejudice
4. North & South (Gaskell)
5. Devil Cub by

I have to agree with Keira. One does not want to be trapped on a small island with big fat books full of angst. Sharks in the lagoon are trouble enough.

The High School summer reading list is where depressing classics go to die.
As the most local teenager put it, 'Horrible things happen to everybody. Then it gets worse. The lucky people die. Now can I get on the computer?'

I read The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers when I was a teenager myself. I remember enjoying them ... but I've never gone back.

Is it because they're perennial movies? Is it that I get my 'fix' at the movies and don't need to go back to the book?
I should indulge in TCoMC at the very least, as background reading about France.

P&P -- I've read P&P six or eight times -- the last about two years ago. I'll probably wait another couple years before I drop back in yet again. So I'd be more likely to do ... hmmmm .... Persuasion, which I like as much and haven't reread so recently.

North and South is on my buy-and-add-to-the-TBR list. I've heard such wonderful things about it. I promise myself to read it for background before I place another story in England.

And a Heyer. Devil's Cub. This is, interestingly, the sequel to Moth's choice -- These Old Shades.

What it is ...
Heyer did only two lines with recurring characters.
--Judith and Peregrine from Regency Buck appear in An Infamous Army.
-- Leonie and her people appear in our books -- TOS, D'sC, An Infamous Army (Barbara is Leonie's granddaughter,) and in The Black Moth (same characters, different names.)

I think Heyer had a soft spot in her heart for Leonie.
I do myself.

I find These Old Shades the most poignant of Heyer's works. For me, TOS is the textbook on how to do classic, Romance 'High Fantasy'.

Heyer was 24 when she published TOS.
(She was 17 when she wrote The Black Moth). I never know how I feel about that. It's not envy, exactly, but it's a kissing cousin.)

I'd say Grand Sophie is the best written in her 'Comedy of Manners' vein. I've read most of her mysteries too. I put them midway between Christie and Sayers on my mental map.


  1. Oh well! I must contribute. If stranded. My DIKs would be. . .

    Lamb: The gospel according to Biff Christ's childhood pal-- Chris Moore

    The Viscount Who Loved Me-- Julia Quinn

    Pride and Prejudice. . . I would re-read and envision a different Darcy each time. They are all so yummy.

    The Complete works of William Shakespeare. . . The sonnets and the comedies would come in handy. . . and I'm sure the Tempest would feel most ironic and perhaps nervous that my island had a Caliban.

    The Time Traveler's Wife--- Audrey Niffenegger

    The Poisonwood Bible-- Barbara Kingsolver

    So I've got half fun half serious.

  2. I adore Heyer. I've read all but maybe four or five of her novels and pretty much all the ones I have read I've re-read- often.

    I think La Grande Georgette also had a softspot for Justin personally (so do I ^_^). I don't think These Old Shades gets the love it deserves because the Rake reformed is SO overdone these days but Heyer really invented (and perfected) that plot, it's not the TOS's fault there's all these pale imitations of it (and Justin) nowadays.

    I love The Grand Sophy. Sophy is just so wonderful. Of course, all Heyer's characters are. If I could write dialogue and characterizations half as well as Georgette Heyer did then maybe I could call myself a writer. Ah well, something to strive for.

  3. Yep. Heyer was the first. She invented Regency Romance.

    It a bit like ... I've seen kids look at Star Wars and kind of shrug. They don't know how original it was, because they've seen a hundred imitations.