A Language Learner's Forum Book Club 2018

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MamaPata
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Re: A Language Learner's Forum Book Club 2018

Postby MamaPata » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:04 am

kanewai wrote:La Reine étranglée - first look. Since I've already read the first book, I figured I'd read the second in the series along with you all. So far it's good, and in some ways far easier than the first book. Since I already know the characters and the general setting I feel a lot less lost with all the intrigues. Without getting into spoilers, though, I'm still not buying that it's the "original Game of Thrones." It's a good historical novel, but it's nowhere near the epic scale of GoT.


Is the stuff about it being the original GoT not just because Martin has said he liked it?

I'm also reading La Reine Étranglée because I read Le Roi de Fer last year, though there was definitely enough new vocabulary for me to do a re-read. I'm also finding it easier, though a little less interesting. (Though this may just be my general mood). I started it a couple of weeks ago but haven't read anything for a little while. Hopefully I'll get back into it now!
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I_likes_languages
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Re: A Language Learner's Forum Book Club 2018

Postby I_likes_languages » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:16 pm

I finished the first part yesterday, and so far I'm liking it. I'm definitely learning a lot of new words and plugging holes in my vocabulary, although I'll probably have to wait for a long time to use aumônière or bûcher in an actual conversation. I'm not hooked to the series yet, which may be because I spoilered myself with the actual history. In case anyone is interested, here are some links (French) to decent podcast/videos (the French wikipedia page is also very good). And by decent I mean that there are a lot of weird history channel like ones which just pick a clickbaity version of events.

Au coeur de l'histoire - Les rois maudits (40 min) - By far the best podcast I've found on the topic. It specifically compares the historic context with the books and also dispels some myths. There is a very interesting section where they dissect in what way Maurice Druon's work has to be seen in the context of his time. There is also a more recent one on Isabelle, which I haven't listened to yet.
As for Youtubers, I liked Philippe le Bel & les Rois Maudits Les Chroniques de France 5/12 by Arcana les Mystères du Monde (16 min).
For an introduction to the Hundred Years War and its origins, I thought the video by Questions d'histoire (13min) was useful. There is also a one hour podcast by 2000 ans d'histoire which is good but not entirely relevant here.

L'ombre d'un doute - Les Templiers (70 min) gives a nice overview over the Templers and their role/history, but fully subscribes to the "Philippe le Bel did it for the money" version.
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kanewai
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Re: A Language Learner's Forum Book Club 2018

Postby kanewai » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:38 pm

MamaPata wrote:Is the stuff about it being the original GoT not just because Martin has said he liked it?

I'm also reading La Reine Étranglée because I read Le Roi de Fer last year, though there was definitely enough new vocabulary for me to do a re-read. I'm also finding it easier, though a little less interesting. (Though this may just be my general mood). I started it a couple of weeks ago but haven't read anything for a little while. Hopefully I'll get back into it now!


It's actually a direct quote from Martin, which the publishers are milking for all its worth (the Starks and the Lannisters have nothing on the Capets and Plantagenets. Whether you are a history buff or a fantasy fan, Druon's epic will keep you turning pages. This was the original game of thrones).

For me, the book works as history more than 'fantasy,' and I'll probably keep reading the series for that. I've been avoiding reading too much on the historical background, though - I hate spoilers! (Which is silly for novels based on real events, and yet ... ) And I already know which queen is étranglée, and by whom.
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Cien años de soledad: 360 / 450
Leviathan. Il risveglio: 200 / 350
La Reine étranglée : 100 / 230
Le comte de Monte-Cristo: 18 / 25

Mista
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Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
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Re: A Language Learner's Forum Book Club 2018

Postby Mista » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:15 am

The book is something else, certainly - but there are some clear similarities, and it's not hard to imagine that G. R. R. Martin was inspired by it. The way we follow a different character in every chapter, the large scope of the story, the way everyone has their own intrigue going on - all those things are likely to be inspired by this book, but in Martin's books, the scope is even bigger, the intrigues more complex, and the characters more numerous.

One thing I remember from A Game of Thrones was that in the beginning, I thought I knew who the main character was and what the story would be - and then he died. And as the story proceeds, this happens again and again and again.... and halfway through the series, you don't trust anything anymore (including that the series will ever be finished ... :roll: ). In Le roi de fer, it struck me at page 100 that there was a lot going on, but I had no idea where the story was going. Then, just a few pages later - I think on page 106 - the magical word appeared and suddenly I knew exactly what was going to happen, and I was never in any doubt that every prediction made on that page was going to come true.

It was a nice read, and I'll probably want to read more at some point. I ordered just the one book, however, so I'll have to read some more of the books I already have in my shelves before I order any new ones. For now, I've started on a crime novel by Fred Vargas (Dans les bois éternels), and I hope to finish that one in a few weeks, when it will be time to start on Mon nom est Rouge (which I will also read in French, as you can tell by the title).
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