18 Comments
Apr 2Liked by Hattie Crisell

Great piece Hattie! My addicted to series: Elena Ferrante, Neapolitan novels. I devoured each of them and felt bereft when I finished the fourth.

I love the cover of your book and hugely look forward to reading it. X

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I need to try again with the Neapolitan novels. I think I started the first one, wasn't immediately hooked and got distracted. But everyone loves them! So I must try again.

Thanks so much for the lovely message about my book x

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Apr 2Liked by Hattie Crisell

I second Ferrante's Neapolitan novels! I got some co-workers into them as well and we'd talk about the characters as if they were real people. We even had a house party for the HBO's launch of the TV series.

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Years later, the characters still feel real to me! I've never watched the HBO series - is it good? I'm always nervous about seeing books I love in film or TV series, even though I know that's rather limiting.

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The series was OK. I think I'm like you and also probably inclined to not like any adaptations! But I hear there was a play in the UK, staged at the National Theatre, which was quite good.

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I read her first book Troubling Love. It’s lovely, and maybe it’s just me, but I thought it was really, really sad. So I didn’t have the stomach for her other books. May give My Brilliant Friend a go though.

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Apr 2Liked by Hattie Crisell

Well, since you have basically personally attacked me, here I am!!

First, an outrageous slander on Wilkie Collins. The Woman in White is total reading bliss, as is The Moonstone, though perhaps if I'd been made to read either at school I would have revolted too.

Second, I mean, come on, how rude about improv. Now, I may have laughed at your line about do more work before you show me, BUT to quote that probably apocryphal story about Picasso charging a woman 100 francs for a quick drawing, and she said "but in only took you five minutes" (in French, bien sur) and he replied, "Madame, it took me my whole life" - THAT'S improv!!! The work came BEFORE the five-minute sketch about tiger grooming or whatever!! You are watching artists at the top of their game!! Quel privilege for you to be in the audience of that shooting star, and now I'm determined to drag you with me next time AND I'll bring a copy of The Moonstone.

BUT WE AGREE ON MAKING OUT, so all is well in the state of the friendship 🥰🥰🥰 xxxxxx

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Thank god we've got Making Out! We'll always have Making Out!

Thanks for this response – I would have been disappointed if you hadn't been in touch with a furious outburst. The Woman in White is RUBBISH and do not bring me a copy of The Moonstone. As for improv though, yes, you make a good point. As a kid I loved Whose Line Is It Anyway, and a lot of my favourite comedians come from an improv background, so I do respect it even if I find it a bit patchy. I think it depends massively on the quality of the performers... Obviously the best in London is Ben Nolan (in case he's reading this) xx

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Wilkie Collins' "No Name" is also wonderful - that was my introduction to him.

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Apr 2Liked by Hattie Crisell

I think improv can be a bit like paying to watch a magician practice, or listening to a band tune up.

I like Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie novel series. There are about six books of “literary crime fiction.” Very funny at times. She has a go at Thatcher at least once in each book, which I always enjoy.

On Dickens, I read A Tale of Two Cities over Christmas. It was serialised when it was first published, as you say. It wasn’t full of lazy cliff hangers though. Dickens joins a set of threads together, in the last part of the book, in a way that must’ve been planned. I thought it was fiendishly clever. I wonder if he wrote the whole thing before any of it was published or if he just planned it out and then wrote each part for its deadline. If you like Donna Tartt’s books, you might like Dickens. I’ve read three of his books. I understand he’s been accused of using anti-Semitic tropes, in some of his other work, though.

Your book cover looks great. Looking forward to reading it, when it comes out. Must be exciting.

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Apr 2Liked by Hattie Crisell

I did see Austentatious at the ED Fringe and it was quite a good improv show. I believe Rachel Paris has been in the cast when it’s been on in London.

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I've also seen Austentatious and have to admit they were great. Also I did read Wilkie Collins when I was about 16, so it's possible I'm completely wrong about all of the above...

Thanks so much for the kind words about the book. It is exciting!

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Apr 2Liked by Hattie Crisell

You're very welcome! Some people don't like the Neapolitan novels at all - it seems a love or hate reaction. If you try them again, let me know what you make of them.

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Apr 2Liked by Hattie Crisell

Ah! No, i missed it. Love Val, she’s awesome. Ps, your dad just got a mention on Radio 3 (about 1.15pm)! The presenter had been listening to interviews from bbc archive…x

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Apr 2Liked by Hattie Crisell

I devoured the melrose novels, harrowing but brilliant! I sometimes wonder if I dare read them again. My go to addict reading is anything by Val McDermid. Ps, when you’re done with Patrick M, try Double Bind by Edward St A.

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Apr 2Liked by Hattie Crisell

Hi Hywel! Did you see Val on House of Games last week? She was great!

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I thought I'd read all her books but don't remember Troubling Love - must look it up. Thanks! I hope you enjoy My Brilliant Friend if you try it.

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There was a play - I watched part 1 and didn't like it at all! Or maybe I watched part 2 - I can't remember, except that I didn't like it!

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