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 Post subject: Twice-Told Tales
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2002 7:28 am 
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Since several of us seem to enjoy listing books we're reading or have read, let's try a new twist on that thread:

What books did you enjoy so much or find so meaningful that you've read them cover-to-cover at least twice?

(By the way, Phantom Delta, you inspired this thread idea with the lists of what you were reading by decade.)

My twice-or-thrice-read books, not counting the voluminous read-overs while teaching college literature, are:

The Secret Garden -- Frances Hodgson Burnett
Brave New World -- Aldous Huxley
Look Homeward, Angel -- Thomas Wolfe
The Bhagavad Gita
The Immense Journey -- Loren Eiseley
Crime and Punishment -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
One Hundred Years of Solitude -- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Moby Dick -- Herman Melville
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man -- James Joyce
Time Machine -- H.G. Wells
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- Mark Twain
Hamlet -- easily 20 times just for my own pleasure

I am planning to re-read all of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle) soon.


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2002 11:01 pm 
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I'll agree with The Time Machine, Huckleberry Finn, and Hamlet - I've read them each a few times. Also all of the Sherlock Holmes books, although it's been years since I've re-read one of those.

Also all of Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse novels and most books by Douglas Adams.

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2002 7:56 am 
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Zen and the Art of Motorcylcle Maintenance is one that I constantly head back to. I've read most of Alan Watts' books, books on poetry and books giving behind the scenes information on literature and writers. Of course, I have tons of quotation books, old and new, that I keep referring back to.

I tend to go with a lot of non-fiction.


Last edited by Phaedrus on Sun May 19, 2002 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2002 7:56 am 
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Go Dog Go :)
Green Eggs & Ham 8)

1975 The Old Man & The Sea, Hemingway
1976 Deliverance, James Dickey
1977 Rocky
1978 Hunting with the Bow & Arrow, By Dr. Saxton Pope
1980 A Walk Across America, Peter Jenkins
1982 A Fine & Pleaseant Misery, McManus
1988 The Glass Bead Game, Herman Hesse
1990 Friday Night Lights , Bissenger
1991 Soft Water, Olmstead
1992 River Dogs, Olmstead
1993 In the Shadow of the Oak King (?)
1996 The River Why, James Duncan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2002 7:32 pm 
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Well, I've read 6 of the ones from Luna's list, but never twice.
I collect books, and I have them right to my left as I type this. This list is from just looking over there and seeing the ones I've read more than once.
Rendezvous with Rama
(which apparently has been, or is being, made into a movie; can't wait)
http://husted.com/hgsf/Rendezvous_With_Rama.htm
http://www.rendezvouswithrama.com/
Childhood's End
2001: A Space Odyssey
Fantastic Voyage
Catch 22
Treblinka
A Canticle For Leibowitz
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Frankenstein
King Rat
Lord of the Flies
Stanger in a Strange Land
and.....
Captain Newman, M.D.

I end the list with Leo Rosten's book because it has one of the most beautiful closings I've ever read. The entire Epilogue is wonderful. Allow me to share the following:

Then Newman said, "My father once told me a story I always think of, when the going gets rough and things look hopeless. It's about Destiny . . . Destiny came down to an island, centuries ago, and summoned three of the inhabitants before him. 'What would you do,' asked Destiny, 'if I told you that tomorrow this island will be completely inundated by an immense tidal wave?' The first man, who was a cynic, said, 'Why, I would eat, drink, carouse and make love all night long!' The second man, who was a mystic, said, 'I would go to the sacred grove with my loved ones and make sacrifices to the gods and pray without ceasing.' And the third man, who loved reason, thought for a while, confused and troubled, and said, 'Why, I would assemble our wisest men and begin at once to study how to live under water.'"
I, too, never forgot that story. When our cause seems doomed and the future lost, when despair becomes unbearable and the heart is on the edge of breaking, let men summon hope and honour and high resolve in yet one more stubborn affirmation: Come, let us assemble our wisest men and begin at once to think, to study, to try to learn --- even to learn, if we must, how to live under water.
~The closing paragraphs of Captain Newman, M.D. by Leo Rosten


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2002 5:01 am 
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Cool story, thenostromo. Reminds me of G.K. Chesterton's answer to the question "If you were marooned on a desert island and could have one book, what would it be?" Chesterton's answer: Thomas's Guide to Practical Shipbuilding.

BTW, I've read Frankenstein more than once, too -- how could I have forgotten to add it to my list? It's one of my favorites.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2002 6:36 am 
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Oh my, that Chesterton quote is rich. Never heard that. I have this nasty habit of trying to verify most quotes I "hear." I thought this hit was humorous.

This person, if marooned on a desert island, would choose The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton.
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/2964/chesterton.html

Found a wonderful webpage of great quotes in the process of searching:

Chesterton, Gilbert Keith
A corpulent and jolly man who often made jokes at his own expense. One time he remarked, "Just the other day in the Underground I enjoyed the pleasure of offering my seat to three ladies."
Chesterton gave the classic answer to the old question "What book would you most like to have with you on a desert island?" "Thomas's Guide to Practical Shipbuilding", he replied.
http://www.lrz-muenchen.de/~literature/ ... cdoaz.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2002 2:08 am 
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The books I alway go back to:
Wuthering Heihgts by Emily Bronte
the Anne of Green Gable's serie, by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Shakespeare's Sonnets
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2002 6:23 am 
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I've been avoiding this because every time I try to pick favorites the list just grows and grows. I feel that if I winnow some out in the interest of brevity it would be an insult to those authors. Anyway, here's as short a list as I can live with.

The Gulag Archipelago + One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich — Alexander Sozhenitsyn

I Claudius + Claudius the God — Robert Graves

Winter's Tale — Mark Helprin

The Foundation Trilogy — Isaac Asimov

The Razor's Edge — W. Somerset Maugham

The Eighth Day — Thornton Wilder

This Side of Paradise — F. Scott Fitzgerald

A Clockwork Orange — Anthony Burgess

Island + Time Must Have a Stop — Aldous Huxley

Animal Farm + 1984 — George Orwell

The Once and Future King — T. H. White

The Elements of Style — E. B. White

Thy Neighbor's Wife — Gay Talese

The Complete Works of O. Henry

Cannery Row + Tortilla Flat — John Steinbeck

Don Juan + Childe Harold's Pilgrimage — George Gordon, Lord Byron

A Shropshire Lad — A. E. Housman

Versus — Ogden Nash

The Lord of the Rings — J. R. R. Tolkien

A Connecticut Yankee — Mark Twain

The Viking Portable Dorothy Parker

The Comedies — Oscar Wilde

The Hunting of the Snark — Lewis Carroll

Vietnam: A History — Stanley Karnow

The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress — Robert A. Heinlein

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I feel like a fugitive from th' law of averages.
— Bill Mauldin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2002 6:24 am 
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I've been avoiding this because every time I try to pick favorites the list just grows and grows. I feel that if I winnow some out in the interest of brevity it would be an insult to those authors. Anyway, here's as short a list as I can live with.

The Gulag Archipelago + One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich — Alexander Sozhenitsyn

I Claudius + Claudius the God — Robert Graves

Winter's Tale — Mark Helprin

The Foundation Trilogy — Isaac Asimov

The Razor's Edge — W. Somerset Maugham

The Eighth Day — Thornton Wilder

This Side of Paradise — F. Scott Fitzgerald

A Clockwork Orange — Anthony Burgess

Island + Time Must Have a Stop — Aldous Huxley

Animal Farm + 1984 — George Orwell

The Once and Future King — T. H. White

The Elements of Style — E. B. White

Thy Neighbor's Wife — Gay Talese

The Complete Works of O. Henry

Cannery Row + Tortilla Flat — John Steinbeck

Don Juan + Childe Harold's Pilgrimage — George Gordon, Lord Byron

A Shropshire Lad — A. E. Housman

Versus — Ogden Nash

The Lord of the Rings — J. R. R. Tolkien

A Connecticut Yankee — Mark Twain

The Viking Portable Dorothy Parker

The Comedies — Oscar Wilde

The Hunting of the Snark — Lewis Carroll

Vietnam: A History — Stanley Karnow

The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress — Robert A. Heinlein

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Regards,
Lou
I feel like a fugitive from th' law of averages.
— Bill Mauldin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2002 9:44 am 
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I noticed Doyle and Sherlock Holmes mentioned. Thought I'd share this:

found at
http://www.siracd.com/work_h_cocaine.shtml

The notion that Sherlock Holmes could have been a cocaine addict seems absurd. However even in "A Study in Scarlet," the first work featuring Holmes, there were hints that Sherlock Holmes might have been using drugs.
" . . . for days on end he would lie upon the sofa in the sitting-room, hardly uttering a word or moving a muscle from morning to night. On these occasions I have noticed such a dreamy, vacant expression in his eyes, that I might have suspected him of being addicted to the use of some narcotic, had not the temperance and cleanliness of his whole life forbidden such a notion."

Later it became quite clear that Sherlock Holmes was indeed using drugs. "The Sign of Four" opens with an alarming scene:
Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantel-piece and his hypodermic syringe from its neat morocco case. With his long, white, nervous fingers he adjusted the delicate needle, and rolled back his left shirt-cuff. For some little time his eyes rested thoughtfully upon the sinewy forearm and wrist all dotted and scarred with innumerable puncture-marks. Finally he thrust the sharp point home, pressed down the tiny piston, and sank back into the velvet-lined arm-chair with a long sigh of satisfaction.

A little later in the story Holmes states,
"It is cocaine," he said, "a seven-per-cent solution. Would you care to try it?"

As more was learned about cocaine and its dangers Conan Doyle recognized that Holmes would have to change his ways. In "The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter" Dr. Watson states:
For years I had gradually weaned him from that drug mania which had threatened once to check his remarkable career. Now I knew that under ordinary conditions he no longer craved for this artificial stimulus, but I was well aware that the fiend was not dead, but sleeping;

"I think that Holmes is one of the greatest characters in fiction. With all the thousands of detective and mystery stories that have been written since, the name of Sherlock Holmes still stands at the head of the roster of famous sleuths. It is synonymous with the very word "detective." To play such a character means as much to me as ten Hamlets."
- Basil Rathbone, being interviewed about the film "The Hound of the Baskervilles" in 1938.

For a variety of legal reasons, the film was not on general release for many years. In 1975, these legal problems were finally resolved and there was a limited re-release. Those who rushed to see it hoping for an examination of Holmes' cocaine use were disappointed, (wrong film!) for the film alludes to it directly only in the last line -"Watson, the needle!"
http://216.239.33.100/search?q=cache:_s ... e%22&hl=en

In a sense, the first Rathbone-Bruce film, The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939), is a prime example of the two different approaches: there is much in the film that is entirely faithful to the original book. But the very last words spoken by Rathbone/Holmes are both parody and pastiche: saying 'goodnight' to Watson and the others after their Dartmoor exertions, Holmes paused by the door and says, 'Oh, Watson, the needle!' Cue closing music. What pernicious words they were, and words certainly never written by Doyle.
~ Nicholas Utechin, Editor of the Sherlock Holmes Journal of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London
http://www.pmh.uk.com/sherlock/previus/article.htm

Sound bite
"Oh, Watson, the needle"
http://www.sherylfranklin.com/sh-sounds.html

I do not object to people looking at their watches when I am speaking. But I strongly object when they start shaking them to make sure they are still going.
~Lord (William Norman) Birkett (1883-1962)
English lawyer and politician
http://www.executive-speaker.com/idea_1.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2002 7:15 pm 
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Interesting research, thenostromo. Holmes's cocaine habit is often a sensational focal point, but looking at the ratio of stories that do not allude to cocaine compared to those that do, one can see it's mostly "blown out of proportion." The few allusions to cocaine use are slight, except in "The Sign of Four," the story you mention (where the infamous "seven percent solution" is born).

As your Nicholas Utechin states, Doyle's Holmes never said "Watson, the needle" -- it's totally out of character for Holmes OR Watson. To put the issue in context, Holmes used cocaine during times of extreme boredom, specifically when he hadn't had a good crime to solve in a long time (as in the beginning of "The Sign of Four"). This is because the character of Sherlock Holmes lives off the intellectual stimulation of detective work; without a good case, he suffers unbearable ennui. Also, cocaine, as well as laudanum and other opiates, were not all illegal during Holmes's era.*

Similarly, much is made of Holmes's arch-rival, Professor Moriarty, but he actually appears very late in the Sherlock Holmes stories, and only once or twice --I think (from memory) only one story is really devoted to the rivalry. The appearance of Holmes's brother Mycroft is more common than Moriarty's, but less commonly mentioned.

*I think a little drug history enhances an understanding of the context of Holmes's era: over 40 brands of soda originally contained cocaine, and in 1898, the Bayer Company marketed Heroin as a cough remedy and non-addictive pain-killing sedative, gratefully seized upon by a public in which tuberculosis was an epidemic killer. Heroin was approved by the American Medical Association in 1906, but widespread addiction finally made people realize the dangers of opium-based drugs. Bayer stopped manufacturing the Heroin around 1913 -- after it contributed substantially to the pharmaceutical company's fortune. To get a sense of the timeline, opium was restricted in Britain in 1860 and in the U.S. in 1875, but it wasn't until the 1920s that all opium products were outlawed in the U.S., and in both countries, the law was largely ignored and easily gotten around (same as U.S. Prohibition) until after WWII.


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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2002 7:58 am 
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Just as a side note, my first experience with Sherlock Holmes came when I bought a copy of a book called The Boys' Sherlock Holmes from a library book sale (I guess I was about 12 at the time). The book had an excellent introduction that described how Doyle based the Holmes character, in part, on one of his professors (Bell?) at medical school. During a lecture the professor inserted a finger into a vial of a chemical solution, then into his mouth, made a wry face, and told his students to copy his actions. The students did so and gagged. The professor then explained that he had stuck his index finger in the vial but his middle finger in his mouth — and that doctors should be observant! That's how I remember the story, anyway.

When I began hearing about "The 7 percent solution," and Holme's cocaine use, I went back and looked for it, but it was nowhere in that book. Then I realized those parts, and possibly others, had been edited out, to make it safe for "Boys." God save us from censors.

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I feel like a fugitive from th' law of averages.
— Bill Mauldin


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2002 12:49 pm 
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This will sound childish, but I have read The Harry POtter seriers more than once. If you are a skeptic, belive me, so was I before I read them.
They are, without a shadow of a doubt the best examples of what stunning imagry can accomplish. I have read a fantasy book before that I felt was so beliveable, and I laughed, cried, and could not put them down.

I also have read Of Mice and Men many times..becuase they characters are so well described.

Lat but not least, And Then There Were None...by Agatha Christie. Absolutly the best mystery book.

LAta

8O


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2002 1:16 pm 
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Why would that seem childish? I hear they are great books that have captivated all who read them. I'll get around to them someday.
And to Luna and Lou de Torres, very informative posts.
I thought of two more I've read more than once:
Jonathan Livingston Seagull and
Shane


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