Sunday, August 29, 2010

There's Trouble at T'Mill!

North & South ~ The men of Milton are going on strike.  The Masters want their workers to take a pay cut that brings their wages back to less than what they were earning two years ago.  Things appear to look good to the men so they can’t understand why they would be asked to take a cut, with most of them already living on the breadline.  John Thornton, one of the masters, has his reasons but he doesn’t believe that the workers should be told about the higher workings and finances of his company. 

The Hale’s have been invited to a dinner party hosted by the Thorntons, and Margaret will attend with her father, her mother being too ill.  Margaret has seen something of the plight of the strikers through her visits to Bessy and is troubled by the knowledge of the starving families.  Margaret has a tendency to speak her mind so the dinner party scene will be most interesting……  I really like the way this is written, and the narrator for this audio book is extremely good.  I find that I am thinking about the characters all the time.

Flatland ~ I'm currently going through the laws of nature, and how the Flatlander’s recognise each other – bearing in mind that most of the time they look like straight lines as they are only two dimensional.  The story is narrated by a Square, and he tells us that the law of nature states that each male child of a professional or gentlemanly Square will have one more side that his father and in this way the descendants will progress to a many sided or Polygonal shape and this ranks very highly along with nobility, who are Circles.

The lower class of society are Isosceles triangles, but even these can advance though it is at a much slower rate.  Their points can increase by degrees and minutes over each generation, and the birth of an Equilateral triangle is cause for a great celebration. (The Square’s own father was an Equilateral triangle).           

Women are pretty dangerous in Flatland, they are needle sharp straight lines and when facing you head on they are extremely difficult to see, and therefore deadly.  They must hum a continuous ‘peace-cry’ to alert those around them of their presence.

The University in Flatland is called ‘Wentbridge’, this being a pun on Cambridge and Abbott was also making the point that Cambridge was behind the times.  Abbott was a big advocate for women’s education which was not a priority back in the 1800s.

This is fun, but it’s also a very though provoking social commentary of the times.  It’s not long, and I’m about half way though it.

Yesterday I went to see The Expendables at the movies.  It was truly awful, though my other half thought it was great – full of action, explosions – that sort of thing.  I came out of the cinema with a raging headache!  We picked up a couple of DVDs too and they were better – The Hurt Locker which wasn’t bad but I still think Avatar should have got the best picture Oscar, and a French movie called A Prophet which wasn’t really as good as the critics had made out.  It was watchable however and very well acted.

Our book club meeting on Thursday was fun, and we welcomed new member Helen.  As next month is our 2nd birthday, we’re holding it on the Sunday following our usual club night at one of our member’s places and we are to dress ‘Valentino’ for it.  There is currently a Valentino exhibition in Brisbane, and one of our members bought the movie so we shall be watching that too.  Maybe we’ll even get to talk books!  The theme for the next two months is Same Title Different Book.  I’ve done Book of The Dead by Preston/Child and I’ll do another Book of the Dead for this.

Started reading another Richard Matheson about midnight last night and will write about that during the week when I’ve read a bit more!

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