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 Post subject: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2009, 21:12 
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Have just received this and enjoying it so far...especially the opening chapters at Pretty Maids and the obnoxious Rolf :)

Am spotting a couple of "bloopers" when comparing to "Juliet" though (I'm only up to chapter 7 so far). On p54 Madge tells the girls they will be divided into forms next term - but in Juliet this is a surprise to everyone! Also, on p62 when talking about geography Bill is mentioned - she hasn't started at the school yet and,flicking ahead, don't think its intended that she has!

Minor quibbles though, its lovely to have this gap filled in at last...
looking forward to the rest.


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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2009, 22:04 
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I have it; but have yet to read it :) it's in my pile though!

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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2009, 10:40 
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I've read it and I really enjoyed it! I mustn't have read it that carefully though - I didn' notice those bloopers! :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2009, 12:24 
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I think Jane actually started writing this before Juliet was published...


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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2009, 12:47 
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I've read it but I didn't enjoy it.


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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2009, 13:19 
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I've just finished it and I did enjoy it. I liked Joey's character and felt the author had managed to get the young Joey just right - with both faults and good - a very complex and realistic child. I liked the sub plot of Stephanie (sorry cannot do the accent!) and liked that Grizel was able to show further character development in her friendship with the French girl. Enjoyed the Guiding bits - especially seeing them from some 70-80 years on - though am pleased the author warned her readers to not take the First Aid bits mentioned as gospel! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2009, 15:40 
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Catherine wrote:
I've read it but I didn't enjoy it.

What didn't you like about it, Catherine? I don't read fills-in myself (apart from Visitors), except drabbles, so won't be reading this one, either.

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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2009, 18:13 
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For me, there was too much narrative - we were 'told' too much and not 'shown' enough. Madge's letter to Joey about what she got up to on her training course rang huge bells with me ... only I'm sure I've read it as it happens rather than in a letter - has the author written that part as a drabble? Or has it been a FOCS story at some point? Either way, the original version held my attention much more than just having events narrated in a letter. And that was a major gripe with me all the way through - I wanted to see the action rather than read about it.

Although none of the characters behaved unusually, I just didn't connect with them - they didn't come alive and I wasn't impressed by the editing that allowed such obvious errors as Mattio mentioned. I knew it would be about Guides, and having never been a Guide, I was prepared to find bits that I just couldn't relate to, but I still expected it to hold my attention, which it just didn't. I regret buying it and it's not one I'll be re-reading or even keeping for long.

Before anyone shoots me down in flames - I'm just giving my opinion of the book and I fully understand that other people will have enjoyed it.


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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2009, 23:29 
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You're absolutely right: Madge's letter to Joey was originally published as a short story in FOCS which wasn't a letter. I had great fun writing it originally! Vastly less fun turning it into a letter...

Sorry about the bloopers - my first draft was written six to seven years ago, well before Juliet came out, and while Ruth and I did our best, there were going to be things we missed which were fine in the first version, but had to change as Juliet came out (the ending, for one thing - in the original article Caroline wrote, the book ends with Juliet being told she'll be the next head girl). I'm impressed with your mistake-spotting skills, mattio, as those errors got past the editor and the publishers.

I didn't want to lurk and read in silence, as that felt rather sneaky. That said, if you don't like the book, for heavens' sake, please don't feel you can't say so just because I've weighed in now! Knowing why you didn't like it will help me if I decide to write another one - or a book about something entirely different. :) Life would be pretty boring if we all liked the same things, and I know I can't please everyone all of the time.

Jane


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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2009, 06:31 
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Overall I quite enjoyed the new book! Some favorite parts included the early scenes between Jo & Madge, the snail background, Grizel & Stephanie, and definitely the campfire. Structurally, I also appreciated bracketing by brigadier. :)

I was a little disappointed that the Guiding part put SO much emphasis on tests. I sometimes wondered why the girls were so enthusiastic about what sounded like just another lot of frustrating lessons, even though in my experience the knots and Morse were great fun. Actually I was baffled as to why merely memorizing the Morse alphabet was considered such a trial. Possibly there was a very different training method, since I found myself asking Joey why on earth she was babbling those bizarre ticka-tyvets (couldn’t connect them to dit-DAH dit-DAH-DAH in my head) instead of calmly recalling Le-VI-ti-cus and Fre-re-JAC-ques, or whatever the contemporary UK equivalents may have been.* I can see forgetting one mnemonic, but not both at once.

Question: Does the UK really have guiders appoint the patrol leaders? This rather shocked me, since as far back as the 1920 handbook (earliest in my collection) ours have been elected. Also NickyJ’s Guides at the Chalet School (which will probably continue to feel more canonical until I’ve read the GGBP version a few dozen more times) has them elected.

I also confess feeling rather like Go Tell Aunt Nancy’s old grey goose (presuming she’s the one who “died last Friday, with pains in her head”) at the thought of what sounded more like Cowboy Evadne Imitates Grand Ole Opry than proper Appalachian folk music. (I am somewhat passionate about Appalachian folk music.) Sadly, Appalachian cowboy boots are just what I might expect from EBD, sort of like McGill in commuting distance of Toronto. :? Hopefully Margia’s fiddling redeemed it somewhat.

*Actually I don’t think there was any single American system, since although I started the alphabet with a-BOUT, same as the pre-1920 version mentioned in Cheaper by the Dozen, there were definitely variants. (somewhat :oops: that I remembered the Boy Scouts’ for-ni-CA-tion before dredging up our clean-in-thought-word-and-deed letter F)

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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2009, 09:24 
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Kathy_S wrote:
Question: Does the UK really have guiders appoint the patrol leaders? This rather shocked me, since as far back as the 1920 handbook (earliest in my collection) ours have been elected.


I was certainly 'chosen' by my guiders when the time came... And that was mostly based on my being the oldest/longest serving guide in my 'patrol' (I use the term loosely as I seem to remember being one of only 3 patrol members when I first joined, though this *did* improve over time...) when those older than I was left.

Mind you... I also remember being allowed to choose what patrol I went into - chose the first week based on the fact that I knew one girl (the patrol leader) who happened to leave the following week... Leaving me with 2 girls who felt that patrol time was homework, or at least talk-about-homework time... I'd like to think that things got better after they left, but without having been given a decent grounding by keen patrol leaders myself...

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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2009, 19:45 
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I liked the relationship with Grizel and Stephanie and would have liked to have seen this develop nearer the start of the book, to show the fanaticism of Guides a lot more rather than telling us. I also liked the reappearance/link of the Brigadier, and Joey overdoing the Morse.

I would have liked to have seen the return of Captain Humphries and being reunited with Robin, so was disappointed this wasn't included. I also would have liked more "school" business in the first half - for example the magazine (and Jo's writing - after the big deal she made of it in the preceding book). News of Dick (even if just a letter) would have been nice too. Half term came too soon, with nothing happening much before. Some of the elements in the second part of the book (Grizel/Stephanie for example) together with more "school business" could have been worked in and built up to sooner.


Another blooper - p194 the Fifth Form room is mentioned - we're still only 3 forms at this stage though aren't we?!

Some (minor) parts that jarred (but let me stress I did think the first 3 chapters and the latter half of the book were well written!!!) were:

Grizel's "bile" being mentioned twice - bit too strong

Simone crying a LOT and not much more

Stephanie doing a bit of a movie scene spin around in the rain with Madge watching - definitely not EBD!

The jump between Pretty Maids and the start of term was too abrupt for me.

Head girl: 1.I didn't believe that Grizel thought she would be Head Girl at this stage..prefect maybe, but not HG 2.Would've been nice to link to "jUliet of" where its mentioned that at first it was thought Bernhilda would be HG - but we didn't see this (I said these were minor!!!)


BUT I did enjoy the book overall and I think Jane should try another -as a comparison, "Robin" led to "Juliet" and although I like both, there was deinitely an improvement in authenticity and a more rounded storyline in the second book.

Hope this is all taken as constructive!!!!!!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 09 Dec 2009, 16:22 
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I have just finished reading the book, and must admit that I still read the books in the same way that I did over 50 years ago. I enjoyed the story because it kept my interest. I don't look for errors. I loved the bit about the gift of the flag, since my daughter's guides have been collecting money to replace their flag in time for the centenary. The new flag was blessed at last month's church parade.

edited to correct spelling


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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Dec 2009, 17:52 
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There were bits I liked and bits I didn't. The bits I liked were mostly near the beginning, and also the development of Grizel's character. And I liked the whole idea of 'Guide-fever' in the school, which I suppose was the central theme.

The bits I liked less were the, um, lyrical writing parts - lonely blonde foreign woman catches her death due to being over-fond of being out in the rain... Not EBD (IMO), and not convinced it really works on its own terms either, although not a bad stab at that sort of thing - just struck me it wasn't the author writing at her best, maybe?

Not having read Juliet I have no idea how well the two books fit together at all... And given Juliet is non-canon, I'm not sure whether it even matters particularly; but then that's another discussion entirely :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 11:12 
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hollyberry79 wrote:
Sorry about the bloopers - my first draft was written six to seven years ago, well before Juliet came out, and while Ruth and I did our best, there were going to be things we missed which were fine in the first version, but had to change as Juliet came out (the ending, for one thing - in the original article Caroline wrote, the book ends with Juliet being told she'll be the next head girl). I'm impressed with your mistake-spotting skills, mattio, as those errors got past the editor and the publishers.
Jane


Hello Jane!

I haven't read Guides yet, so can't join in with an opinion, but just wanted to say congrats on it being published - it's such a thrill to see the thing you've worked on for so long become a Proper Book.

Fitting Juliet and Guides together was one of the more challenging aspects of writing Juliet, too - we'd both been writing away in isolation, and there were things we had both covered and had to be removed from one book or the other under Ruth's careful guidance...

In some ways, I had the advantage of coming first (although you actually had my book to refer to - eventually), but I still had to change my first few chapters, as I had had the Bettanys be in England at the start of the book, and had a whole section about their English relatives - that bit the dust in a big way!!

Congratulations again.
Caroline.


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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 14:37 
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Congratulations on the five star review on Amazon UK, Jane. :reading:

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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2009, 01:51 
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I read it a week or two ago and really enjoyed it. The total fascination with Guides to the neglect of all else feels very much like teenagers being obsessed!

I didn't notice any bloopers - but I wondered about the French girl who started crying in the exam and had to be taken out. Why was she crying? Because she didn't understand the English exam paper? (Sorry I am really bad on remembering character names)

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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2009, 11:53 
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Because her aunt had just died and the exam was just one thing too many. (She was cousin to Stephanie.)

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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Dec 2009, 21:28 
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Quote:

In some ways, I had the advantage of coming first (although you actually had my book to refer to - eventually), but I still had to change my first few chapters, as I had had the Bettanys be in England at the start of the book, and had a whole section about their English relatives - that bit the dust in a big way!!

Congratulations again.
Caroline.


I had a nice large section about the relatives in England too, which got lost!

Jane


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 Post subject: Re: Guides of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Dec 2009, 21:32 
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Quote:

Actually I was baffled as to why merely memorizing the Morse alphabet was considered such a trial. Possibly there was a very different training method, since I found myself asking Joey why on earth she was babbling those bizarre ticka-tyvets (couldn’t connect them to dit-DAH dit-DAH-DAH in my head) instead of calmly recalling Le-VI-ti-cus and Fre-re-JAC-ques, or whatever the contemporary UK equivalents may have been.* I can see forgetting one mnemonic, but not both at once.



Oh, those blasted Tivit Tikkas. They were from the period handbook that I was referring to - no dits and DAHs in that, and it was maddening! I'm sure really creative teachers would make morse fun - just like my Dad made Semaphore fun for the Brownies at our 2010 launch party (they all enjoyed themselves).

Thank you for your praises!

Jane


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