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Current reading - Page 107

post #5301 of 5320
Quote:
Originally Posted by flint View Post

Finished Revival by King. Enjoyed it a lot. Nice, safe, Americana but with a creeping tinge of darkness and dread that builds throughout.

Despite the familiar character tropes this was good solid King. He was a bit on the nose when he compared Jacobs to Ahab in the final chapter. The ending didn't really disturb me as much as promised, but for me it was simply a more explained Lovecraft. Not quite sure he pulled that off, but I appreciated the attempt.

 

So I finished the book the other night. Here's my thoughts on the ending:

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I find the ending to be more disturbing the more I think about it. The idea that there is an afterlife, but it's Hell, and it's for everyone, no matter what you do in life, is horrifying. It means Jamie has to live of his life in fear, knowing what awaits him. Death itself can be scary enough, but knowing for a fact that Hell exists, and you're going to it when you die, just seems like such a horribly bleak idea.
post #5302 of 5320

It's certainly disturbing, but it's pretty well mined territory so it didn't really hit me that hard. I've seen similar themes and stories both from an individual and a 'everyone' point of view. I was hoping for a fresh take and (honestly) Lovecraftian ants just don't cut it. :)

post #5303 of 5320
After I finished Use of Weapons I found The Guardian had done a Book Club series on it in 2012, including a nifty half hour podcast episode with Iain M himself.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jul/20/book-club-use-of-weapons-iain-m-banks
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jul/27/use-of-weapons-iain-banks-bookclub
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/aug/03/use-weapons-iain-m-banks-guardian-bookclub
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/aug/10/book-club-use-weapons-iain-banks
http://www.theguardian.com/books/audio/2012/oct/12/iain-banks-book-club-podcast


Currently reading the second of the Falco books, Shadows in Bronze, because why not swing wildly between the far, far future and Ancient Rome, but also dipping into Kurzweil's celebrated/controversial The Singularity is Near.
post #5304 of 5320

Done The Devil in the White City. It's an incredible, exhaustively researched ode to American ambition and ingenuity. Whoever it was who said that the World's Fair sections are as interesting if not more interesting than the serial killer sections was dead on.

 

Also finished Revival. As with most recent King stories, it's a bit too preoccupied with nostalgia and old-timey Americana, but overall I really enjoyed it. It speeds by and has a cool, nasty ending that brings to mind his best short stories. My only criticism is that King is maybe too much of a narrative formalist to really tap into that vein of Lovecraftian horror he's going for.

post #5305 of 5320
Really, really enjoyed the Blade Itself, despite absolutely despising one of the main characters (although I think you are supposed to). Hugely enjoyed the main mage character though, and the moment one of the characters goes through a kind of "warp" spasm of killing rage was unexpected and breathtaking. Very much looking forward to seeing where it goes.

The Magicians is very enjoyable so far (2 chapters). Very subtly written, I'm liking it a lot.

Annoyingly I had the chance to get a complete set of one series, but chose to get the first from three different series as tasters, on the off chance I didn't like the first book in an entire series I'd brought. Now I have to buy something like 7 more books because I want to carry on with each of these series.

Ah well. There are harder things in life.
post #5306 of 5320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bain View Post

Really, really enjoyed the Blade Itself, despite absolutely despising one of the main characters (although I think you are supposed to). Hugely enjoyed the main mage character though, and the moment one of the characters goes through a kind of "warp" spasm of killing rage was unexpected and breathtaking. Very much looking forward to seeing where it goes.
 

 

I know exactly who you're talking about and without going into spoilers...yeah, you're supposed to dislike him.

 

It's a great trilogy to be honest.  Abercrombie writes excellent characters.

post #5307 of 5320
I'm about to start A Confederacy of Dunces.

Anybody tackled it yet?
post #5308 of 5320
It's great! I'd be curious to hear someone's fresh opinion on it. When I read it, the concept of the Manchild wasn't a cultural thing. I expect there's a ton of Ignatius's out there in the nerd community.
post #5309 of 5320
Half way through The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles. I got about two hundred pages in last time, lost the book and failed to get another copy for too long. I'm just flying through this time. Murakami is always so rewarding. I ought to make more of an effort to read his back catalogue, instead of inevitably being disappointed by the latest Lovecraftian western that catches my fancy.
post #5310 of 5320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

It's great! I'd be curious to hear someone's fresh opinion on it. When I read it, the concept of the Manchild wasn't a cultural thing. I expect there's a ton of Ignatius's out there in the nerd community.

 

 

Yeah, I've tackled it a few times. My main issue is while that it's wonderfully absurd, it's soooo hard to feel sympathetic about Ignatius; he's just so worthless and unlikable. 

post #5311 of 5320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

Half way through The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles. I got about two hundred pages in last time, lost the book and failed to get another copy for too long. I'm just flying through this time. Murakami is always so rewarding. I ought to make more of an effort to read his back catalogue, instead of inevitably being disappointed by the latest Lovecraftian western that catches my fancy.

FUNNY ENOUGH, I was about to post about some Murakami. Have you read Kafka on the Shore? Easily the best novel by him. Though Sputnik Sweetheart and Norwegian Wood are both pretty great.

 

Currently reading Murakami's Hard-Boiled Worderland and the End of the world.   It's okay. Like, I can definitely tell this is an earlier novel. All of the usual Murakami"isms" are in full effect, but there's just something missing that ties the whole thing together. Kafka on the shore is a weird fucking book, but it's grounded in a way that makes it very easy to engage with it. I'm having a hard time caring what's going on in Hardboiled; and to be honest, I find its main character to be alienating.

post #5312 of 5320

So the other day I picked up Dan Simmon's The Terror, expecting to maybe get through a couple of chapters then take it to the Book Exchange. Instead I'm two hundred pages in an have trouble putting it down hahaha.

 

 Two British ships trying to find either the mythical Northwest Passage or the mythical Open Arctic Sea (now a reality thanks to Global Warming!) get locked into the ice during a brutal extended winter. For two years. The descriptions of daily life aboard the ice locked vessels is horrifying enough, but there's something out there in the ice that kills and mutilates the crew members at will. It's clearly a supernatural entity (I'm guessing the Wendigo) but the Jackass Captain who leads the expedition thinks it's a really big bear and tries to hunt it down. I won't say more since I'm in media res with this book.

post #5313 of 5320
http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/canada-franklin-ship-myth-verified

LOVE THE TERROR. Amazing book. Can't wait for the TV show.

And beware of real life spoilers...
post #5314 of 5320

I finished Red Rising by Pierce Brown last week. On the outside, it looks like a Harry Potter / Hunger Games clone, but it is much, much better. An underground mining colony on Mars, divided into a genetic and societal color caste, is digging deep, hard, and dangerously for the materials needed to terraform Mars for the people of Earth. It is a terrible life, but they are the pioneers...until it one Red finds out that the planet has been terraformed for more than 500 years.  It has shades of Brave New World, Roman conquest, and Game of Thrones set in a future Solar System where the Moon really was a harsh mistress.

 

It's not the second literary coming, but I enjoyed it.

 

This week I finished In the Heart of the Sea. Great non-fiction. A cracking tale of survival that someone recommended up page. Makes me want to reread Moby Dick again, which despite claims in previous pages, I never managed to start for the third time.

 

Currently on my roster for Christmas reads: Oliver Twist, The Martian, Gatsby, Best American Essays 2014, and Best American Non-required Reading 2014. I may go find The Terror.

post #5315 of 5320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post
 

So the other day I picked up Dan Simmon's The Terror, expecting to maybe get through a couple of chapters then take it to the Book Exchange. Instead I'm two hundred pages in an have trouble putting it down hahaha.

 

 Two British ships trying to find either the mythical Northwest Passage or the mythical Open Arctic Sea (now a reality thanks to Global Warming!) get locked into the ice during a brutal extended winter. For two years. The descriptions of daily life aboard the ice locked vessels is horrifying enough, but there's something out there in the ice that kills and mutilates the crew members at will. It's clearly a supernatural entity (I'm guessing the Wendigo) but the Jackass Captain who leads the expedition thinks it's a really big bear and tries to hunt it down. I won't say more since I'm in media res with this book.

It's a incredible book!  It gets better and better as you go and the ending is epic.

 

It went places I wasn't expecting.  

post #5316 of 5320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chavez View Post


Yeah, I've tackled it a few times. My main issue is while that it's wonderfully absurd, it's soooo hard to feel sympathetic about Ignatius; he's just so worthless and unlikable. 

Exactly my issue with the book. He's such an arse I struggled to engage with it. Admitedly i read it years ago so would probably have a different perspective now though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cccc View Post

It's a incredible book!  It gets better and better as you go and the ending is epic.

It went places I wasn't expecting.  

Add to the love pile on for this book. So brilliant.
post #5317 of 5320

Man, I'd love, love to see a movie adaption of it.  

 

 

EDIT:  I read Shadows of the Winds (again!) last month.  If you love books read this.  It's fucking beautiful!

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Wind-Carlos-Ruiz-Zaf%C3%B3n/dp/0143034901/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418579790&sr=8-1&keywords=shadows+of+the+window&pebp=1418579781350

 

 

If you like this go on and Read Angel's Game (same author)  the way he writes is mesmerizing.  

post #5318 of 5320
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewhawkins View Post

I'm about to start A Confederacy of Dunces.

Anybody tackled it yet?

 

I think I read it over a year ago, or more. I liked most of it, but I also found the Burma Jones character to be really irritating, and found myself skipping his sections entirely. He's praised in the book's forward for not being a stereotype, and yet by today's standards, he's totally a stereotype, and his constant "ooo-wee!"s and "whoa!"s drove me up the wall. Your enjoyment of the book really depends on how much you are able to tolerate Ignacius.

post #5319 of 5320
Quote:
Originally Posted by t3cii View Post
 

Your enjoyment of the book really depends on how much you are able to tolerate Ignacius.

My impression of him so far is that he's a babbling idiot. No problems yet.

post #5320 of 5320
Quote:
Originally Posted by cccc View Post
 

Man, I'd love, love to see a movie adaption of it.  

 

 

EDIT:  I read Shadows of the Winds (again!) last month.  If you love books read this.  It's fucking beautiful!

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Wind-Carlos-Ruiz-Zaf%C3%B3n/dp/0143034901/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418579790&sr=8-1&keywords=shadows+of+the+window&pebp=1418579781350

 

 

If you like this go on and Read Angel's Game (same author)  the way he writes is mesmerizing.  

 

I read that book this summer and loved it. I have been on a swing through Civil War Spain for the past year and loved how this was a complete surprise, as a teacher friend handed it to me (this and This Book Is Full of Spiders, so this teacher friend has the goods).

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