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2018 Reading Group - March: Play and/or novel - King Lear by Shakespeare and A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley - *Spoilers from 25 March*

(51 Posts)
Chillywhippet Sun 25-Feb-18 10:09:14

So we have a Shakespeare themed challenge for March. A play and a novel inspired by the play. Feel free to read either or both.

King Lear by William Shakespeare

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
In Idaho, Larry Cook announces that he will turn his farm over to his three daughters...

Another novel suggested and also inspired by King Lear is Wise Children by Angela Carter if anyone gets into the theme.

mamapants Sun 25-Feb-18 18:07:13

Just to quickly point out that Wise Children came up as a suggestion for Hamlet which is why I originally listed it but having looked closer it seems it references quite a few Shakespeare plays but isn't really a retelling of any of them. Just in case anyone reads it expecting something different.

Chillywhippet Sun 25-Feb-18 18:12:46

Thanks mama. In that case ignore the Wise Children suggestion.

KiteyDelighty Sun 25-Feb-18 20:48:00

I can't find the Jane Smiley on kindle. Anyone else?

mamapants Sun 25-Feb-18 21:15:03

Don't think its on kindle. I've ordered a second hand copy via Amazon.

MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 25-Feb-18 21:17:49

1000 acres is absolutely brilliant.

desperatelyseekingcaffeine Sat 03-Mar-18 07:52:04

Just started king lear and ordered 1000 acres. Haven't read a Shakespeare play since school so finding it hard work

runningoutofjuice Sat 03-Mar-18 12:30:53

Hi chilly, do you want to get the title edited as it says spoilers from 25th Feb? I think we all know it's March but just for clarity maybe?

runningoutofjuice Sat 03-Mar-18 12:51:17

I think I'm going to skim my study notes for King Lear and order the 1000 acres. Looks good.

endehors Sun 04-Mar-18 00:02:28

Thanks Chilly

I've just ordered Thousand Acres. There will be a copy of King Lear somewhere (my favourite Shakespeare play, though I haven't read it in 20+ years!)

mamapants Sun 04-Mar-18 15:51:46

A Thousand Acres has arrived.
I'm just reading A Room with a View at the moment, then going to read King Lear. The introduction to my copy of King Lear referred to 1000acres, and gave away what I imagine is quite a big spoiler angry

Plentyoffishnets Tue 06-Mar-18 21:22:39

Marking my place! Have the play, brodies notes and the novel all ready to start. It's good we can do either/or. I'll see how I get on with the play - but may resort to reading just the notes and the novel! I've not read any Shakespeare in 20+ years and have not studied king Lear before so definitely up for the challenge!

mmack Tue 06-Mar-18 22:05:33

I got a film version of King Lear from the library-the 1971 version starring Paul Schofield. It got a good rating on imdb and I was a bit worried that I'd struggle with reading it-it's nearly 30 years since I read a Shakespeare play.

mmack Tue 06-Mar-18 22:11:13

I love A Room with A View, mamapants. Have you seen the film? It's one of my all time favourites. It must have one of the greatest supporting casts ever-Daniel Day-Lewis and Maggie Smith are fantastic in it.

Chillywhippet Wed 07-Mar-18 20:53:42

Great to see people up for the challenge.

I have reported thread title to get it changed to March.

Have ordered 1000 Acres and started play on Kindle. Will resort to film of the play if need be. blush

endehors Fri 09-Mar-18 22:58:32

My copy of the novel arrived today. I'll get started with it tomorrow. Haven't looked at the play yet.

King Lear isn't my favourite Shakespeare play, that would be the Scottish play, not sure how I managed to confuse the two...

mamapants Sat 10-Mar-18 21:50:26

mmack no I've never seen the film, I can see why it would make a good film for sure. So will try and watch it soon.

Have read the first two scenes of Lear am finding the notes a bit distracting at the moment. Need to get into a better rhythm. Good so far though. There's a couple of versions on Amazon video I will try after I've finished.

mamapants Tue 13-Mar-18 21:08:43

I've read the first two acts of Lear. And first 60 pages of A Thousand Acres. Enjoying both so far.
How are people getting on?

Chillywhippet Tue 20-Mar-18 19:56:02

Argh. In danger of missing deadline.
Read a bit of Lear. I love seeing sayings in Shakespeare. “Nothing comes from nothing.”

Have read a few chapters of 1000 Acres and I love the writing and how she draws the landscape and the characters. Her writing reminds me of Carol Shields, economical and evocative.

mamapants Wed 21-Mar-18 19:47:32

Finished 1000acres a few days ago but not got much further with King Lear. Hoping to get it finished.

AccidentallyRunToWindsor Wed 21-Mar-18 20:02:10

People are reading king Lear...for fun?

Not at all mentally scarred by a level English

mmack Wed 21-Mar-18 22:19:07

I watched King Lear. I had the summary of the play open on Wikipedia and if I hadn't had it I wouldn't have had a clue what was going on. I think I should have made an attempt at reading it instead.
I'm 100 pages into A Thousand Acres and I think I'm enjoying it even more than I did the first time I read it. She is a brilliant writer.

mmack Wed 21-Mar-18 22:23:33

Unless by Carol Shields is one of my favourite books ever, Chillywhippet. I was just thinking about it because I saw somewhere recently that there is a film version with Catherine Keener as the mother. It would be a good choice for the book club.

desperatelyseekingcaffeine Thu 22-Mar-18 22:12:11

Have to admit I've not really enjoyed reading King Lear - almost finished now but finding it a real chore. Going to read 1000 acres once finished.

mamapants Fri 23-Mar-18 06:53:02

Finding King Lear a slog too, was my suggestion as well. Apologies.

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