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Thread: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

      
   
  1. #101
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by oakpope View Post
    I suppose you consider the following as shit ?
    Yes.

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Thinking of writing styles, can anyone explain why Dickens wrote the way he did?

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  3. #103

    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    ^
    Because he was an Englishman
    Because he had to keep people amused for as long as possible in each episode of each monthly instalment.

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by pat grimshaw View Post
    ^
    Because he was an Englishman
    Because he had to keep people amused for as long as possible in each episode of each monthly instalment.
    LOL

    Your second one is close. The truth is he was writing his stories for a newspaper -- and being paid by the word.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    LOL

    Your second one is close. The truth is he was writing his stories for a newspaper -- and being paid by the word.
    That actually explains a LOT. I wonder how many authors I really had trouble with were writing in the same format, because I wanted to yell "Jesus, spit it out" so many times in some of these books.

  6. #106

    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    ^ You're right.

    People in the nineteenth century had much slower lives and so they were happier to devote more time to a book.

    I've noticed recently that I'm much less inclined to read stuff that I was enjoying in my teenage years.

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    LOL

    Your second one is close. The truth is he was writing his stories for a newspaper -- and being paid by the word.
    The real truth is, you can write stories for profit and still craft exceptional work.

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by xbuzzerx View Post
    That actually explains a LOT. I wonder how many authors I really had trouble with were writing in the same format, because I wanted to yell "Jesus, spit it out" so many times in some of these books.
    I had a lit course where the professor made us read not Dickens, but the paper in which Dickens was printed -- some, anyway; we would have rebelled if we'd had to read all of Pickwick that way.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  9. #109
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by pat grimshaw View Post
    ^ You're right.

    People in the nineteenth century had much slower lives and so they were happier to devote more time to a book.

    I've noticed recently that I'm much less inclined to read stuff that I was enjoying in my teenage years.
    You are absolutely correct.

    With the speed my life is right now, I don't even have time to read my favorite zombie novels that I bought. And these novels were written in minimalist style.

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    That's why they read like soap operas, right, cause a chapter a week came out in the paper?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    LOL

    Your second one is close. The truth is he was writing his stories for a newspaper -- and being paid by the word.

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Verily, Werd up!

    Quote Originally Posted by Keeland View Post
    Hear, hear! Even here, here!

    Hearken thou: Werd!

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    I remember ragged dick and struggling upward! How can you not like that story? Nothing bad happens to the boy all the way through! And it's certainly not a struggle to read. Plus, the boy is rewarded for a good deed......

    Was Horatio Alger really a boy-fucker? Never heard that....

    two minutes later...

    OMG, you're right. Here's wikipedia:

    Early in 1866, a church committee was formed to investigate sexual misconduct reports about Alger. He denied nothing, admitted he had been imprudent, considered his association with the church dissolved, and left town. Church officials reported to the hierarchy in Boston that Alger had been charged with "the crime of...unnatural familiarity with boys".[33][34] Alger sent Unitarian officials in Boston a letter of remorse, and his father assured them his son would never seek another post in the church. Officials were satisfied and decided no further action would be taken.[35]

    Quote Originally Posted by maxpowr9 View Post
    Ragged Dick and Struggling Upward [yes, that really is the name of the book].

    It was written by a pedophile [Horatio Alger Jr.] and is a story about young boys finding their way in society. Mind you I went to Catholic School during the height of the child sex abuse scandal.

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by gamestarp View Post
    That's why they read like soap operas, right, cause a chapter a week came out in the paper?
    Dickens reads like a soap opera???

    I'm trying to see that, but I suspect that any book where you got a chapter a week would come across the same way.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  14. #114
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    Dickens reads like a soap opera???

    I'm trying to see that, but I suspect that any book where you got a chapter a week would come across the same way.
    Some books were originally serials developed into books. For example: The book I initially posted: Ragged Dick and Struggling Upward was a serial before being published into a book.

    What might actually shock people, Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol while in Boston, not in England.

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxpowr9 View Post
    What might actually shock people, Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol while in Boston, not in England.
    Was it banned in Boston?

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    Was it banned in Boston?
    He wrote it while living at the Parker House which still exists as a hotel but his room is under lock. Place has an interesting history.

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxpowr9 View Post
    He wrote it while living at the Parker House which still exists as a hotel but his room is under lock. Place has an interesting history.
    I think you missed the joke:

    Banned in Boston

    Commercial distributors were often pleased when their works were banned in Boston—it gave them more appeal elsewhere. Some falsely claimed that their works were banned in Boston to promote them.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  18. #118
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Norwegian Wood, it was so depressing.

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    i think with shakepeare it really depends on the teacher, because i did romeo and juliet in freshman year and the teacher sucked and i was confused. then i did macbeth and hamlet in junor/senior year and the teachers were great and after every few pages the teacher broke it down told us what was going on and it was really enjoyable.

    i would say worst book is a tie, would be siddartha (way to complex for me to grasp) and uncle toms cabin, which i read in like 7th grade, the 'authentic' language was hard to keep up with "I aint know if mammy did not that thing on that there line" and for the time i wasnt comfortable reading about the graphic nature of slavery as a young kid.

  20. #120
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wcw10891 View Post
    and after every few pages the teacher broke it down told us what was going on and it was really enjoyable.
    So in other words, the story your teacher told was enjoyable, but the stuff written by shakespeare is unintelligible? What is the point of reading a story that somebody else has to explain to you? So many over educated assholes act like that's what makes the story good, but if anybody else tried it they would be called a bad writer. If I wrote a story like shakespeare in high school I would have gotten an F because the teacher couldn't understand it...

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by secondmonkey View Post
    So in other words, the story your teacher told was enjoyable, but the stuff written by shakespeare is unintelligible? What is the point of reading a story that somebody else has to explain to you? So many over educated assholes act like that's what makes the story good, but if anybody else tried it they would be called a bad writer. If I wrote a story like shakespeare in high school I would have gotten an F because the teacher couldn't understand it...
    Um... are you aware of when Shakespeare wrote?

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  22. #122
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    Um... are you aware of when Shakespeare wrote?
    Yes, and that is the problem. Why are we still reading this crap? It's not that amazing. What is it teaching people in high school?

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by secondmonkey View Post
    Yes, and that is the problem. Why are we still reading this crap? It's not that amazing. What is it teaching people in high school?
    Well, they seem not that amazing because those plays provided plots that have been used over and over again until they're familiar.

    The utility of teaching Shakespeare depends on what you want kids to get out of high school.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  24. #124
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    During my senior year of high school we were forced to read "Great Expectations" by Dickens. I know it's a classic, but it was brutal to read.
    "I want to sleep with you in the desert tonight, with a million stars all around."

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by desertboi View Post
    During my senior year of high school we were forced to read "Great Expectations" by Dickens. I know it's a classic, but it was brutal to read.
    Everything by Dickens is brutal to read.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  26. #126
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    The Merchant of Venice
    The Mayor of Casterbridge
    The Scarlet Letter
    The Awakening


    All incredibly awful.

    I know this isn't the topic, but the best book I had to read for school was Stiff:The Curious Life of Human Cadavers, followed by A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    Everything by Dickens is brutal to read.
    I guess "Great Expectations" was the only thing I've read from Dickens, but I totally believe you.
    "I want to sleep with you in the desert tonight, with a million stars all around."

  28. #128
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?




    thems wurds waz just to bigg

  29. #129
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrackalecki View Post
    The Merchant of Venice




    I know this isn't the topic, but the best book I had to read for school was Stiff:The Curious Life of Human Cadavers, followed by A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
    I actually liked the Merchant of Venice. A Connecticut Yankee was our first assignment in Science Fiction as Literature class, supposedly the first science fiction story written.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  30. #130
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?



    This novel (and the film made on it) is terribly depressing.

  31. #131
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?



    This heap of garbage. Reading it was like wading through porridge.

    Theteacher seems to quite enjoy reading it behind her desk though....

  32. #132
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Taz, don't you feel dirty, like you're wearing someone else's socks?

  33. #133

    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    ^ I think you made a Freudian Slip in that post

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    Thinking of writing styles, can anyone explain why Dickens wrote the way he did?
    Simply because he could do no better... and he was sure that certain topics and a certain flashy rhetoric would draw the masses like moths to his feuilletons?

    The Catalan translation of Böll's The Bread of Those Early Years: nobody in our first year of high school was able to read those less than 200 pages, which got our she-teacher terribly upset.

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by pat grimshaw View Post
    ^ You're right.

    People in the nineteenth century had much slower lives and so they were happier to devote more time to a book.

    I've noticed recently that I'm much less inclined to read stuff that I was enjoying in my teenage years.
    Wouldn't rather the contrary make more sense, according to your own words? That is my case... in my youth, I was so eager to find what was really worthier (leaving aside that, until as late as my fifteen years, when I started studying in depth the rethorics of classic [Spanish] literature, I found books rather unpalatable, boring -cf. post above- except for Frankenstein or Treasure Island, in Catalan and as a school read, or Las crónicas del sochantre, Lazarillo de Tormes, Tenko or Witness as a personal choice), and now that I know what is the core of books I appreciate from the whole of Human Creation, and now that I have learnt to actually read books of different styles, and not just go through the lines to get the plot, which is the enlightened mass does, or to compare it with one particular ideal of rhetorics, which is what the coarse Academia does, I can delight in building up some pulp around that core

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by thatgirl View Post

    Honestly though, I don't think people believe Shakespeare's plots or themes were original, but it's the way he put them together and presented them that works for many people.
    Congrats, even unawarely, you have discovered what a classic is, through Shakespeare: it's all about the cooking, not the ingredients, and sometimes not even the recipe.

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by thatgirl View Post
    I honestly wish we'd read some Greek classics in high school. We were only taught about Greek and Roman gods and goddesses just so that we'd know what was going on when they'd be referenced in other books we had to read further down the line. For example, the Odyssey would have been doable maybe in the higher grades. It's really fun to read. The Illiad on the other hand...I did not get that one at all. It was just constant battling. So boring.
    If you do not read the music of the original Homeric dialect, you are totally missing homer, even when you thing you are getting something good from him: the Iliad is just the extreme, pure poetry over a boring whole... consider that Homer's poems where made up of a series of episodes intended for bards to recite during what would be called social gatherings in the post-Mycenaean era.
    The same for Racine or Pushkin: translations with the wrong focus (the common idea of what to focus on in a literary work, basically plot & co.) make them totally pedestrian, and their place in their respective national literatures absolutely unfathomable for unaware and untrained foreigners.

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by gamestarp View Post
    Has anyone ever actually read all of Moby Dick? I love to read, always have, and I still can't get through the third chapter.
    It is a tricky book (in good part because it was badly put together, just like the Quixote... it just flew out... from whatever part of the writer you choose...) so the book that got to be considered a classic blablabla actually starts at something like the twentieth chapter.

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nishin View Post
    Les fourberies de Scapin - Molière. Boooooooooooooooooooooooooring
    OMG that is one of my favorites! ... I guess the problem is the translation... it so vexes me that people still buy a translation and they think they are reading Molière or Dostoyevsky... and totally ignore the translator's work which is what they are ACTUALLY reading, for better or for worse!
    But I assume, quoting that French title, that you read the original text: you just have bad taste and a bad sense to appreciate Molière

  40. #140
    Pococuranté belamo's Avatar
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post

    Shakespeare spoke English - it was easy to read but better to watch. I have an "I only watch Shakespeare" policy because I think his plays are really scripts meant to be seen in performance, not read. I doubt reading the script for any modern film would respect the producer's intent…
    If you "only watch Shakespeare" I wonder what you make of his heavenly prosodic craftmanship... from what you say, you are to Shakespeare what Victoria Beckham is to a good dish of food.

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post

    And Beowulf is not just a different language but a foreign one. Might as well try your hand at reading icelandic or danish.
    That should be said more often: British people are to the Anglo-Saxons what the blind vampires are to Robert Neville: that is why Beowulf is legend

  41. #141

    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    I so agree with you on translations. I don't think one can claim to have read an author's work if one has only read the translator's words.

  42. #142
    Pococuranté belamo's Avatar
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by pat grimshaw View Post
    I so agree with you on translations. I don't think one can claim to have read an author's work if one has only read the translator's words.
    ... or read only the original writer's "words": that is why some English-speaking people can call Shakespare's English "Victorian", and get from literary works just the plots or the topic.

  43. #143
    Dragon hugs and wolf kiss alister's Avatar
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    The only book I was ever forced to read was Hamlet. We were never required to read any of the "classics". Our reading list was always books of our choice, so a lot of my fellow students picked the easiest books to read. I always enjoyed reading so I would challenge myself. The worst one I ever chose to read myself for class was "A Tell Of Two Cities". It was boring and a chore to read and resulted in the worst mark I ever got. I still remember getting a C grade on it.

  44. #144
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by belamo View Post
    Simply because he could do no better... and he was sure that certain topics and a certain flashy rhetoric would draw the masses like moths to his feuilletons?
    You should really read the thread.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by belamo View Post
    If you "only watch Shakespeare" I wonder what you make of his heavenly prosodic craftmanship... from what you say, you are to Shakespeare what Victoria Beckham is to a good dish of food.
    Being watched is what Shakespeare is FOR.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by alister View Post
    The worst one I ever chose to read myself for class was "A Tell Of Two Cities".
    It was the best of books; it was the worst of books.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  47. #147
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    You should really read the thread.
    Yes I read it: after posting what you quoted ... and it still DOES apply ... wholly

  48. #148
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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    Being watched is what Shakespeare is FOR.
    So a deaf person with a good sight "gets" Shakespeare as good or even better than anyone? As I always say, barbarity gains power from the inside.
    Under those guiding principles, no wonder even (in factly, mostly) the 'experts" are at a loss in deciding what is Shakespeare and what is not, like those who can not tell W.A. Mozart from Leopold Mozart unless there is an old piece of writing stating "it was Wolfgang, idiots!".

  49. #149

    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    I reckon you have to watch AND read Shakespeare. You need to watch it to appreciate the drama and understand the plot. But you also need to read it at leisure to appreciate his lengthy poetical discursions.

    (Shakespeare's Hamlet runs over four hours but Harold Pinter's version of the same play would be ninety minutes. )

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    Re: What is the worst book you were forced to read in high school?

    All those ones that I refused to read... Montaigne, Platon, Zola...

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