/ The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
Who else has read it?
I think it's an important story but not particularly well written. I got a bit irked by the sledgehammer nature of the prose.
Then talk will turn to TRTP and how he read a lot of it in tears. Essential reading in all schools.
Read it about 15 years ago. It's been a while, but I don't think it's as good as Orwell.
i think he lays it on a bit thick, but the essential truth is plain to see... i really must get on to reading the recommendations that other UKC bods made for me after i asked if there was a similar text which looked at life from the other side.
> I think it's an important story but not particularly well written. I got a bit irked by the sledgehammer nature of the prose.
cant put it any better than that
We clearly have very different tastes in literature - I think it was dreadful and couldn't get past about 30 pages.
> We clearly have very different tastes in literature - I think it was dreadful and couldn't get past about 30 pages.
I did read just over 80% of it before giving up, because he tends to repeat the same old theme over and over again....
Now relaxing with Flashman and the Redskins!
Thought it was awful, if you haven't already try Germinal (and others) by Zola.
> Now relaxing with Flashman and the Redskins!
Classic. Probably the best of the Flashmans in my opinion.
My main reason for reading it is because my home town, Hastings, is where Tressel lived. It takes place in Hastings which he calls "Mugsborough" in the book, and from his description it is possible to identify some of the streets and probably houses. Our local paper is the Observer, the "Obscurer" in the book. Hastings Borough Council is Labour and stands surrounded by a sea of blue both to the south and north of the town, the first literally and the latter politically.
My grandmother had 30s Bloomsbury pretensions; she had a copy. (She had a copy of Mein Kampf too, which I still have.) I tried Tressel but found it silly and preachy. That tends to happen with me and socialist classics. I love Orwell's stuff, and I have the deepest reverence for him, but I don't find Orwell's positive political programme realistic or plausible in the slightest. Any more than I do Leo Tolstoy's or Tony Benn's or Ken Livingstone's.
And as others have said already, Tressel seems like a, er, poor man's Orwell.
Joan, are you the Joan Cooper that I used to know when she lived in Buxton?
> And as others have said already, Tressel seems like a, er, poor man's Orwell.
Generous. I would have just said his writing's shit.
Clunky, but ought to be (abridged) and read in schools.
I couldn't believe it was in the 'reserved' (i.e. In a back room) stock at my local library.
One of the worst-written great books!!
He really is staggeringly glib, Tony Benn, isn't he? The Poll Tax in the 14th century and the Poll Tax in the 20th Century--only Tony Benn could put such style and chutzpah into the utterly air-headed proposition that those two events had any similarities at all beyond their names.
As for this:
The book is not about such reforms alone but about the far more fundamental need to replace the whole capitalist system with a new and more radical socialist society, and even today those who argue for that are still facing some deep pessimism among those who would benefit from such a change.
That's exactly what I don't believe. Whenever the left has achieved anything positive, it's always been by reform, never by revolution. Benn is welcome to Lenin, Stalin, and Castro; I'd rather have Attlee than any of them.
Worth a read and i enjoyed it some 15 years ago as i recall.
If yer on a political literature tip but with a fiction base tghe following are well worth the time IMHO.
Kafka- essential reading
Bulkagov- Master and Margerita - this is outstanding!
Heinrich boll - the clown
William Morris - News from nowhere
For the more abstract and philosopical i would certainly read Milan Kundera- Particularly the brief "Identity" and the classic "Unbearable lightness of being"
Hope you enjoy the end of the book.
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