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What Do You Think?

Written by Harriet Eakin, 4th April 2014
Short Course for Serious Readers:
What Do You Think?
Mondays 10.30-12.30,
6 sessions running between 14th April and 9th June
The Lauries Centre, Birkenhead, CH41 6EY


£45 for 6 sessions, £25 for concessions


Illustration by Clifford Harper/ from


As part of our Short Course programme this Spring we invite you to consider ‘What Do You Think?’ with Brian Nellist – godfather of the Reader Organisation and inspiration to Merseyside readers for many years.

After watching a play on the box my uncle Arthur used to grumble “They never finish anything properly nowadays”.

It made me realise that modern stories rarely offer closure and often leave endings open to the reader. Such stories are told to prompt reflection rather than to offer settled conclusions, and so they begin to make us question how we respond to reality. When we are then confronted by actual people, situations and events we often have varied and contradictory responses. It’s arguably Chekhov who began to write these novels which led the reader up the garden path and then left them perplexed by the end.

– Brian Nellist

Brian will be exploring this notion of unsettled endings whilst reading stories by Chekhov himself, James Joyce, Katherine Mansfield, Lawrence, Doris Lessing and William Trevor. The course will run at the Lauries Centre in Birkenhead on Monday mornings at 10.30-12.30.

With Easter running late and other bank holidays during this period the sessions will be running on the following dates – April 14th and 28th, May 12th and 19th and June 2nd and 9th.

All copies of the texts as well as refreshments and good company will be provided.


Short Courses for Serious Readers are for anyone who loves shared reading and getting a grip on great literature with like-minded company. Led by some brilliant readers, thinkers and teachers, these courses enable you to take a break from life for a while to immerse yourself in great literature. Brian’s courses on a Monday morning will allow you to regularly join together with a group, reading and feeling good in turn.


Places on the course cost £45 for the 6 sessions; £25 concessions.

For more information on What Do You Think? visit our website. You can book your place by contacting Literary Learning Coordinator Jenny Kelly on or by calling 0151 207 7207.


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