Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: For the (broken) record

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  • 3410,

    It *does* now feel tawdry and depressing and even more so because I feel that further discussion is being painted as mean-spirited, rather than what it is - just further discussion.

    Yep, and the reason there is "further discussion" is precisely because the original issue was never resolved, merely hushed up.

    As it stands, when I publish my (hypothetical) book, clearly the best course of action for me is to fill it with stolen prose, since doing so will certainly bring otherwise-undreamt-of media coverage and (therefore?) sales.

    And link much appreciated - I think the URL might be wrong though as the link seems to be not working?

    Feel free to post a working one.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Ngaire BookieMonster,

    Yep, and the reason there is "further discussion" is precisely because the original issue was never resolved, merely hushed up.

    Yes - still a total lack of answers to all the basic questions. "It's a puzzle" is a kind of answer, but not the answer that a leading publisher should be giving.

    I think the link is supposed to go to this post

    At the foot of Mt Te Aroh… • Since Nov 2009 • 173 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Link fixed, sorry about that Ngaire. (I just want to call you BookieMonster all the time. Such a great name :-)

    "Sucks" pretty much sums it up, really. If I'd hit on that word yesterday, I could have saved myself several thousand words.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1410 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The whole affair has been a complete let-down and the fact that genuine commentators (as opposed to the more extreme nutter theories that can and should be easily ignored) are basically being told to sit down and be quiet just, well, sucks.

    QFT -- and I really wish folks like Beattie would wrap their heads around the idea that Ihimaera isn't a "brand" but part of an academic/literary community that operates (or should) under standards of behaviour. Not stealing other people's work should be pretty high on that ethical check-list.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11902 posts Report Reply

  • Ngaire BookieMonster,

    I just want to call you BookieMonster all the time. Such a great name :-)

    Please do, I've got no problems with that! :)

    Craig - excuse my ignorance, but what does QFT stand for?

    At the foot of Mt Te Aroh… • Since Nov 2009 • 173 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    And I second your other options for the reading and buying public - particularly ANY Judith Binney. Love her work.

    Hopefully she recovers from her serious road accident and returns to research and publishing.

    Craig - excuse my ignorance, but what does QFT stand for?

    Quoted For Truth.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    BookieMonster, I have visited your site and decided to try the Jasper Fforde on your recommendation.

    Library first, I may become a buyer from your fine site should the book turn out as good as your review suggests.

    FWIW, the only books I've read recently that were published in 09 are Anne Salmond's newie, and The Ask & the Answer (which despite its dreadful title I really enjoyed (and seeing as I remember when paperbacks were under $10 , I am well outside that book's target demographic))

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 560 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    That's just cause it's shit, Lucy. Nowadays, I have teenagers of my own, so if I want to listen to someone go on and on about how everything so unfair and everybody's so lame and nobody recognises their unique snowflakeness... no. I'm never going to want to do that.

    I particularly remember all my classmates gushing about how much they loved it because they understood Holden, he was like them, and being unable to think anything beyond "But he's a dick."

    Shakespeare for High Schools: Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Richard III, Othello, Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare Never for High Schools Under Any Circumstances: King Lear, Hamlet.

    What are your feelings on Henry V and A Midsummer Night's Dream?

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I particularly remember all my classmates gushing about how much they loved it because they understood Holden, he was like them, and being unable to think anything beyond "But he's a dick."

    I think that's the reason for the popularity. A lot of people are dicks. Carrying on about flits the whole time reminded me a lot of yoof today.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8433 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    BookieMonster, I have visited your site and decided to try the Jasper Fforde on your recommendation.

    Jasper Fforde is totally excellent. His 'audience participation Shakespeare' got read aloud to my partner in its entirety.

    What are your feelings on Henry V and A Midsummer Night's Dream?

    Yep, Henry V is fine. We did it in 7th form. I was in Dream when I was eleven and I found it perfectly easy to understand, but any attempt on my part to explain the basic plot to my peers was met with blank incomprehension. I think it's okay for high school.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4349 posts Report Reply

  • Ngaire BookieMonster,

    Kyle - totally second your thoughts about Dame Judith's accident - I was quite devastated when I heard. And thanks for enlightening me. ;)

    Paul - Fforde is fantastic! You won't be disappointed (she says confidently). I'm sure we'll see you on the site again soon! :)
    I've heard other wonderful things about The Ask and the Answer - and The Knife of Never Letting Go (its predecessor).


    I've defended Catcher in the Rye to several people this year. Seems I might be in a minority here, though! If anyone here listens to the Slate Audio Book Club podcast they had a great discussion on Catcher in the Rye earlier this year.

    At the foot of Mt Te Aroh… • Since Nov 2009 • 173 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Next year I shall be encouraging New Zealanders to write fforde thus, with a lower-case f. I shall also be promoting the proper pronunciation of names such as Jervois and Wellesley. By such means we shall create a Better Britain in the South Seas

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Ngaire BookieMonster,

    I wish I'd thought to write "Fforde is ffantastic"...

    At the foot of Mt Te Aroh… • Since Nov 2009 • 173 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Jasper Fforde is totally excellent. His 'audience participation Shakespeare' got read aloud to my partner in its entirety.

    Yes. We need a literary detective agency, and on current form, Jolisa can head it up. The Chesire Cat is ffantastic ;-)

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I think that's the reason for the popularity. A lot of people are dicks.

    In that case, they should try not to advertise it quite so openly.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    In that case, they should try not to advertise it quite so openly.

    Dicks aren't allowed to express their dickness? How else can the non-dicks know to avoid them?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8433 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Dicks aren't allowed to express their dickness? How else can the non-dicks know to avoid them?

    Telepathy. Duh.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    OK, better question, since I was dickishly unaware of the telepathic powers of the undicks: If the dicks can't express their dickness, how can the other dicks find them? The telepathically challenged don't get a fair shake.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8433 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    The telepathically challenged don't get a fair shake.

    In context that choice of words is, well, unbeatable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1551 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    The telepathically challenged don't get a fair shake.

    Seconded, as far as sentences out of context go, that is climactic.

    As for The Knife of Never Letting Go etc, I won't ruin them by raving too much, but they were very enjoyable. I also just read Watership Down , my copy being one I bought when I was about eight, and couldn't finish cos it was too scary (I'd seen the film). I have finally read it all the way through, huzzah!

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 560 posts Report Reply

  • sallyr,

    particularly ANY Judith Binney. Love her work.

    I know that the publisher hosted a scheme (launched before the accident) to help get Encircled Lands to Tuhoe, because although the price is pretty reasonable it’s outside the means of many of the marae whose history is told in the book.

    If you feel like supporting Judith Binney’s work this way, contact www.bwb.co.nz to see about donating a book to a Tuhoe marae. It’s a practical gift that would mean a lot to the author.

    Since Jun 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'd say I'm shaking my head for not noticing. Pity my telepathy didn't read Lucy's fair warning that dicks should pull their heads in.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8433 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    I don't want to seem like a dick (too late) but what's this all about again?

    If you feel like supporting Judith Binney’s work this way, contact www.bwb.co.nz to see about donating a book to a Tuhoe marae. It’s a practical gift that would mean a lot to the author.

    That's a bloody good idea.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    Going back to Shakespeare ...

    He is no longer compulsory in Year 12. Teachers can teach a play instead of a novel but not as well as. I mean in terms of what is tested in the NCEA exams.

    In Year 13 there is an achievement standard dedicated to Shakespeare with a prescribed list of plays. Teachers might spend 6 or 7 weeks studying it but in my experience many students will withdraw from it or not sit it in the finals. Why? It's too hard or they have enough credits anyway.

    I've taught Lear to both year 12 and 13 and it IS possible to have fun with it as well as to gain some meaning. The eye motif!! The imaginary fall down the cliff. The eye gouging. The words. "Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again" ; "Why should a horse, a dog, a rat have life, and thou no life at all?"; "Now, gods, stand up for bastards!"

    Sends shivers down my spine just to type that out. Poor Cordelia.

    But every year I taught Lear as well as another play to another level (R and J or Macbeth for example) I would get a bit depressed or obsessed. Lear on top of another Shakespeare gripped me so strongly that my head was full of it. So maybe it is too much for the littl'uns.

    Should we give up teaching Shakespeare to the whole class?

    I'm sort of retired now but if I went back I'd think about seriously.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    We did Lear, and I loved it. Have made a point of seeing every production of it that I can. ( Ran included - wow, buckets of blood!).

    I'm tempted to try Jasper fforde again on the basis of the enthusiasm here. I so wanted to love him (for the dodos alone!) but it just all got a smidge too whimsical for me. At the time, anyway. I'll try again.

    SallyR, that's a great suggestion. And what an interesting counterpoint to the original subject of the thread: sharing the knowledge, in an ethical way; credit where credit is due; respecting the people whose stories you tell, etc.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1410 posts Report Reply

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