Thursday, 3 May 2007

Do you remember the first time?

I am racing through Black Swan Green - almost finished it. Ooh, it's good. Quite painful to read, some of it, but it's unputdownable. I even read a few pages this morning before I got out of bed, ignoring all the shouts and bellows from downstairs. I can't remember the last time that happened.

Next on my pile of books is Rebecca. Brighton are doing one of those 'City Reads' projects - and that's the book in question. And, of course, being a dutiful citizen, I always do what I am told. Well, okay, that's not remotely true, but when I saw the nice little brochure about it in the library, I did have a real urge to re-read the book. I've got a soft spot for Rebecca, too, because it was the first grown-up novel I ever read (at the precocious age of 10). It was such a rite of passage, I vividly remember feeling soooo grown-up as I discussed the plot with my mum. So go on, then, fellow bloggers - what was your first 'grown-up novel'? And have you read it since?

PS So glad Posh Paul got turfed out of The Apprentice last night. There seems to be a high ratio of poshos in it this year - and definitely a bit of class war going on. I am CONVINCED that Adam keeps ending up in the boardroom solely because he's got a Northern accent and didn't go to a rah-rah public school. Hope he shoves it to 'em next week.

16 comments:

Jane Henry said...

Mine was Jane Eyre, also aged ten...

I chiefly remember how much the red room scared me. The sexual politics passed me by. I reread it last year when it was on tv and found things I hadn't seen last time around (when I was twenty).

Oh I so agree about Paul. HOW could they have gone to France and sold cheese??? AND gone into a muslim shop selling pork... in ramadan. The only reason Katie wasn't there was because she fancied him.

I'm not keen on Adam, but he shouldn't have been in the boardroom last night, Katie should have.

Even my ten year old thought their strategy was wrong!

Amanda Mann said...

I am so in awe of your classics agenda, Lucy. That can of beans fire on The Apprentice was the funniest thing yet.

Clare said...

Eek, I haven't a clue what first grown-up book was. It may have been muddied by the fact that my dad carried on reading me bedtime stories til I was about 13, by which time we'd graduated on to various grown-up classics such as Woman in White.

I do remember that I read a lot of Ruth Rendell as a teenager, and had a theory that if you read lots of adult fiction (which I did), you could learn a lot about human psychology and The Human Condition, without having experienced it. Hmm.

I also remember that when I was about seven or eight, my mum handed me the adult novel she was reading and asked me to read a page out loud, to prove my precocious reading skills. I read the whole thing without a problem. "And what was it about?" she asked afterwards. "I have no idea," I said.

Clare said...

It was almost bound to have been a thriller, though. Either that or science fiction, of which my dad had a massive collection from the 60s.

I suspect I read more as a child than I do now, actually. That's rather sad.

Lucy Diamond said...

Yes - that scene in the halal place was just unbearable. So cringeworthy, I could hardly watch! And the can of beans fire, too....hilarious. He deserved the push for that on its own. On yer bike, Posh Paul!

How nice that your dad read to you for so long, Clare. Some of my cosiest childhood memories are being read to, cuddled up with my mum.

Clare said...

I'm hoping I can get away with doing it for my own kid(s), too. I LOVE reading out loud.

I Beatrice said...

My first grown-up book was Forsyte Saga. Probably about 10 too, and I never could understand what was the terrible thing that Soames did to Irene. Nor have been able to abide the woman since... especially when played so very smugly by (the late) Nyree Dawn Porter.

Let's hear it for Soames, I say now!

A.N Wilson has just been re-reading Jane Eyre, by the way. And thinks that all things considered, Daphne du Maurier probably did the 'mouselike girl gets the man' thing better than Charlotte Bronte did.

Lucy Diamond said...

Oh, The Forsyte Saga!! I loved that when it was on TV a few years ago, Damien Lewis and Gina McKee, oooh, it was fantastic. Have never read it, but will seek it out now.

How interesting that A N Wilson should compare du Maurier and Bronte like that. I'll look that up, too. Thank you, Beatrice!

Jen said...

My first grown-up novel was Roots by Alex Haley when I was about 11... I really can't remember any others but there must have been. I must have read Roots about 6 or 7 times over the years.

Paul was a git... selling manky Cheddar to the French... what a twit!

I can't criticise posh accents though, I can sound pretty rah-rah-rah myself at times (despite obviously being an utter pleb!!)

Jen said...

Oh! ave just remembered that I used to read loads of blockbusters... 'Hotel' and 'Airport' and other such twaddle.

At least I developed my trashy streak early on in life!

Angie said...

Hmm, I can't remember my first grown up novel, though I do remember taking The Screwtape Letters off my mom's shelf and trying to read it at 10. I didn't understand a word, though of course I pretended to, being a precocious child as well!

I Beatrice said...

Forgot to mention this, in the earlier comment....I think the A.N.Wilson link between Jane Eyre and Rebecca was the wife-in-the-attic (or on-the sea-bed, as the case may be) aspect - as well as the mouse-gets-man one. And I think he probably thought Rebecca was a more riveting character than Bertha Mason. At least that was my reading of what he said, and I tend to agree with him.

(Though JE has got to be thought the better novel, of course!)

Jane Henry said...

Lucy, I'd definitely recommend the Forsyte Saga which I read after seeing the Damian Lewis version. I thought it was terrific, though the story of Irene's son and Soames' daughter was less compelling. It seems to end rather abruptly as well, and I wasn't sure if I had read everything.

Have to say I found Irene very annoying both in the book and the tv. I felt a lot of sympathy for Soames at the end. But I loved Jolyon...

love Janex

Lucy Diamond said...

I read a lot of Agatha Christie in my early teens - never touch that sort of stuff now.

I just looked at the Forsyte Saga on Amazon and thought, excellent, it's packaged as a classic, that will do for June. Then I saw how LONG it is - 700+ pages! So maybe not...

Shots said...

1984 also when I was about ten. They wouldn't let me take out Gulliver's Travels, though, because it was too adult apparently. Tch.

I love Rebecca, though, it's one of my all time faves. I may just have to read it again. Yum.

Lucy Diamond said...

Yes, I read 1984 quite early too - most of it washed straight over my head, but there you go. Oh, and Animal Farm made me cry as a teenager.

A spanking new copy of Rebecca is now sitting on my desk looking absolutely yum-tastic!