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Current reading - Page 108

post #5351 of 5378

Black Dahlia was so good.  I'd forgotten so much of it.

 

Bit concerned given that it's all supposed to be one story, with Perfidia starting off an earlier LA Quartet that there is a massive discrepancy caused by something he wrote into Perfidia.  Wonder if he will address it in the later books or just "ah fuck it".

 

Onto Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant 5)

post #5352 of 5378

Black Dahilia is really, really good (and its film adaptation is really, really awful).

 

Currently getting through Perfidia, and I'm amazed at how easy it is to get back into Ellroy's pitch black world after such a long absence from those books. Really enjoying seeing all these characters bump heads with each other. Definitely going to try and read through the original trilogy.

post #5353 of 5378
Might be the sinus surgery but Big Nowhere is a lot harder to get into than BD. I remember the Meeks stuff but nothing else. It's so densely written.

Foxglove Summer was aces. Now I've caught up its the "wait for publication" game now. At least Aaronovich seems fairly prolific.
post #5354 of 5378

Finally finished Perfidia. Feels like Ellroy's greatest hits at times, but there's some quality stuff here. As with all of Ellroy's work, there's some dark, dark, absolutely bleak shit at work; but honestly, Ellroy's depiction of corruption hits a hell of a lot harder than usual. Mostly due to the timing of the novel. No doubt some of it is exaggerated for the sake of drama, but man it's hard not to feel some of this shit still goes on in, and that someone like Dudley Smith would still be considered a hero in Modern day America.

post #5355 of 5378

I just finished NOS4A2, and it was a reasonably good Stephen King pastiche. In fact, I'd say the most apt and convincing fake SK book I've read, which is hardly surprising. Hill's got the style, the plotting, and the authorial voice down pat. It's hardly a scratch on King's greatest hits, but it was every bit the equal of mid-range King, something like Duma Key, Bag of Bones, or Desperation. It's a bit overlong, with the second act stretching out forever, but once it gets where it's headed (that is to say, Christmasland), the book starts to pay off like crazy. I was practically casting the three night NBC miniseries event in my head.

post #5356 of 5378
bloody hell. I'd completely forgotten about how utterly pitch black The Big Nowhere is. It makes Black Dahlia look like a laugh riot. Took me ages to get to sleep after reading it (as an aside its weird re-reading really dense books completely sober. Everything makes a lot more sense when not filtered through a drug haze).

Ancilliary Justice next.
post #5357 of 5378

Yeah. Perfidia isn't any better. There's probably only one scene in that whole book that even remotely comes close to some satisfying retribution.

 

 

Reading Murakami's novel, "Dance, Dance, Dance." I'm just getting into it, but I'm getting tired of the much used "guy who is good at everything and can sleep with any girl he pleases--BUT HE'S SOOOOO BORED!!!" archtype that makes up the bulk of Murakami's work. Really makes it hard for me to root for his protagonists. Probably why I consider Kafka on the Shore his best work.

post #5358 of 5378

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post
 

I just finished NOS4A2, and it was a reasonably good Stephen King pastiche. In fact, I'd say the most apt and convincing fake SK book I've read, which is hardly surprising. Hill's got the style, the plotting, and the authorial voice down pat. It's hardly a scratch on King's greatest hits, but it was every bit the equal of mid-range King, something like Duma Key, Bag of Bones, or Desperation. It's a bit overlong, with the second act stretching out forever, but once it gets where it's headed (that is to say, Christmasland), the book starts to pay off like crazy. I was practically casting the three night NBC miniseries event in my head.

 

My thoughts exactly. I finished it this past weekend as well, and I kept thinking "Jesus we are meandering about aren't we? I mean the Librarian had Chekov's friggin gun on the desk and we still haven't gotten to Candyland." But I enjoyed it. I still think I liked Horns better.

 

I want to thank whoever put Wool into my brain. I saw it, NOS4A2, and Olive Kitteridge on a buy two, get one shelf, and I thoroughly liked Wool. I dug the premise and character work and would love to see a mini-series. I guess it would be similiar to Ascension on SciFi.

 

I am working my way through GWBush's biography of his dad, 41. It is by GWB, so it is nothing but praise, but I have always liked GHWB and Barbara, so the anecdotes are nice. Kittridge and As I Lay Dying are on my list after this. One for me, one to teach.

post #5359 of 5378

Picked up a 2 volume collection of Rudyard Kiplings' short stories that I've had for years (yeah I'm that guy who raids the $1 table at the used bookstore and then lets the books just sit until someday I read them).

 

Not what I expected. What I expected was a racist jingoistic apology for the British Empire. What I'm getting so far is a very cold eye'd look and implicit critique of the British empire.

 

The two short stories I've read take place during the Boer War, and Kiping has one of his British Generals straight out say that they are there to "train" their new recruits in this fake war (which involved vicious Guerilla tactics) so they can then go somewhere else to fight a "real" war.

 

The man was a good story teller, but the 19th century language, and many of the contemporary references are hard for me to grasp right away. It's like I'm reading a Science Fiction novel. More later.

post #5360 of 5378
post #5361 of 5378

Just started Lamentation by CJ Samson. Part of his Shardlake series. For those not familiar, they're crime novels set in Tudor England, around the time of Henry VIII. Reasonably snappy and well written and this one is no different.

 

Kind of like a less serious Wolf Hall. :)

post #5362 of 5378

Pocket Atlas of Remote Islands.

post #5363 of 5378
Quote:
Originally Posted by flint View Post
 

Currently reading Ann Leckie's Ancilliary series. The first one Ancillary Justice won the Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C Clarke award (not bad for a debut novel). Whilst it's not quite that good, I did enjoy it. Certainly enough for me to grab the sequel immediately which I'm currently working through. It's got a very Iain Banks Space Opera vibe from the story. Certainly scratching the itch that his passing has left me.

 

One of the key gimmicks is the primary species totally disregard gender as a concept... everyone in the book is referred to as "she" regardless of penis ownership and whilst we get certain gender identification of some of the characters (via outsiders) it's left vague as to the gender of many of the characters. The book rarely makes a big deal of this, it doesn't matter to our heroine so it stops being important to the reader. Quite fascinating.

 

Fox has optioned the series. God knows what they're going to make of a dark skinned race of androgynous protaganists.

 

Holy crap.  Thank you so much for this recommendation.  Was absolutely floored by Ancillary Justice.  Completely get the Iain M Banks comparisons and was so, so grateful that there was something even approaching the majesty of the Culture novels.  She makes it feel like a very complete, very real and deep universe almost effortlessly.

 

Book blew me away.  Even though there's not much in the way of "action", per se, some of the ideas and the plotting left me absolutely breathless.  Was an absolute joy to read and ponder.  

 

Christ alone knows what Fox will make of this. Something bland terrible no doubt.

 

I've got Ancillary Sword but I don't want to blow my load too quickly so think I'm going to go back to the LA Quartet (LA Confidential) next.

post #5364 of 5378

Glad to hear. Was a bit nervous given the quest you went on to acquire it! :)

 

The action is sparse, but again, like Banks it's very precise and brutal when it happens. Like most of Bank's protaganists, Breq is clearly a tooled up killing machine, but because of the situations she finds herself in, violence doesn't solve the problem (though it's cool when she does unleash herself).

 

Sword is very strong as well, I just dived straight into that one as I said. It does a bit more world buildling about the Radchh but with a neat mystery throughline. Looking at her blog, she's just finished Mercy and handed it in to her editors, so guess we can expect that in a few months.

post #5365 of 5378

I am reading The Ghost of the Opera now. Rather a nice book)What do you think?

post #5366 of 5378

I just started SEE HOW SMALL by Scott Blackwood.  Probably about 30 pages in and already I have this weird conflict about it.  So going in, I knew it had something to do with four girls who were killed in an ice cream shop.  When I mentioned this to my girlfriend, she immediately brought up the Yogurt Shop Murders. I told her no, it's just a novel with a similar sounding incident as the starting off point.

 

Quick background: We are both long time Austin residents, and anyone who has been here for a bit of time remembers the Yogurt Shop Murders, where four girls working at a TCBY were murdered after hours.  They were tied up with their own clothes, shot in the head, and the place was set ablaze.  Three of the four girls were stacked on top of each other.  HORRIBLE incident that to this day is still unsolved.

 

So I start reading the book today on my lunch break.  It's going to be a quick one, only a couple hundred pages.  The writing isn't bad.  Oh wait, I see mention of Zilker Park, so this book is set in Austin.  Hmm.  Quick flip to the back flap of the book and I see the author is a longtime resident of Austin, now residing in Chicago.  Oooookay.  And I read enough to see that the writer used every exact detail of the Yogurt Shop Murders.  Ties with their own clothes.  Shot in the head.  Stacked on top of each other.  Place set ablaze.  Basically this writer took the details of the real tragedy and, just changed the names and when it occured (5 years ago as opposed to '91).  It looks like this book is about the families of the (fictional) victims and how they coped afterwards.  It may even have the occasional narration by one of the (fictional) victims spirit or ghost.

 

So now I don't know if I even want to read this book.  I did a quick scan of the jacked and the acknowledgment page in the back and nowhere does it even mention the real incident or real families.  Nothing.  Like he made the whole thing up.  I'm not one to get offended easily, but man, it just feels like it's in poor taste.

post #5367 of 5378

I have read this book and can't say that it's a masterpiece(though if you've started to read it, read till the end)

post #5368 of 5378
Has anyone here read Marisha Pessl's "Night Film"?

I'm halfway through it and, despite its occasional passages through indulgently silly moments, I've been enjoying it a lot.

The mixed format presentation is really entertaining - it's mostly prose but it has Websites, magazine articles, online forums and more telling the tale - and it can be very riveting when it wants to be.

The only problem I have with it is that it is (mostly) about this reclusive, mysterious filmmaker who made some of the greatest, most acclaimed, most terrifying films of all time, yet all descriptions of his films make them seem like laughably awful art films.

Fingers crossed that it pays off!!
post #5369 of 5378

I am going to read it when I fihish reading my current book. So would you advise me to read it? Or it's better to choose the other one?

post #5370 of 5378
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrevellozo View Post

Has anyone here read Marisha Pessl's "Night Film"?

I'm halfway through it and, despite its occasional passages through indulgently silly moments, I've been enjoying it a lot.

The mixed format presentation is really entertaining - it's mostly prose but it has Websites, magazine articles, online forums and more telling the tale - and it can be very riveting when it wants to be.

The only problem I have with it is that it is (mostly) about this reclusive, mysterious filmmaker who made some of the greatest, most acclaimed, most terrifying films of all time, yet all descriptions of his films make them seem like laughably awful art films.

Fingers crossed that it pays off!!

Such a disappointing novel for me after Special Topics. Night Film get's obvious comparisons to Theodore Roszak's Flicker, and it pales in comparison. 

post #5371 of 5378

Just finish the tenth and  final book in The Malazan Book Of The Fallen ...omg ten books one after the other they make A Game Of Thrones look like they were written for kiddies..

post #5372 of 5378
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffalo Wildfire View Post
 

Just finish the tenth and  final book in The Malazan Book Of The Fallen ...omg ten books one after the other they make A Game Of Thrones look like they were written for kiddies..

 

Spooky.  I've just started re-reading this series again. About 100 pages into Gardens of the Moon.  Reading it from the start, knowing what happens, is amazing.  Erikson had it all there, right from the start.  It's crazy good.

 

Ancillary Sword was genuinely brilliant.  Can't believe how great the Ancillary series has been.  October until the next one.  Damn it. 


Also finished the LA Quartet.  QUite forgotten how brutal they all were. Amazing, but brutal.   Elroy also seems to be obsessed with penis size.  Every other character refers to someone as being hung like a cashew or a donkey.  Mutiliation is also a fave.  Think I'll give it a bit before moving onto Underworld USA trilogy re-read.

 

And finally finished the Complete stories of SHerlock Holmes which has taken me a couple of years.  I liked the later stuff, form His Last Bow, just because Doyle shook it up a bit narratively, with some first person stuff and some from Holmes POV.  

post #5373 of 5378
Just read through E.M. Forster's "The Machine Stops" for the second time. I'm astonished that this story isn't better-known than it is, but I suppose all but the very best-known handful of science fiction stories from the 1900s are mostly forgotten today. Nevertheless, it's absolutely stunning in its prescience (Forster basically called almost every societal development brought about by the Internet, and especially the Internet of the late 2000s onward, in fucking 1909 - it's instantly recognizable despite being portrayed to a greater extreme than has come to pass...yet,) and quite chilling. I also have to wonder how far its influence has spread - I could easily imagine the screenwriters of WALL-E having read this story, but I have no idea whether they did or not.
post #5374 of 5378
I started "The Stars My Destination" last weekend. There's a book that wastes no time. I'm trying to pace myself because I don't want to devour it in two days. I want to savor my first time.
post #5375 of 5378

Nobody is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey. The storyline goes something like this: Without telling her family, Elyria takes a one-way flight to New Zealand, abruptly leaving her stable but unfulfilling life in Manhattan. As her husband scrambles to find out what happened to her, Elyria hurtles into the unknown, testing fate by hitchhiking, tacitly being swept into the lives of strangers, and sleeping in fields, forests and public parks. Her risky and often surreal encounters with the people and wildlife of New Zealand propel Elyria deeper into her deteriorating mind. Haunted by her sister's death and consumed by an inner violence, her growing rage remains so expertly concealed that those who meet her sense nothing unwell. This discord between her inner and outer reality leads her to another obsession: If her truest self is invisible and unknowable to others, is she even alive?

post #5376 of 5378

So this just literally came out today:

 

 

 

Also, after all the talk of it in here I just started Gardens of the Moon.

post #5377 of 5378

Thanks for the tip on the Brucio book!

 

Just finished Jon Ronson's So You've Been Publicly Shamed. A really fantastic read, and some of what he was investigating (the feedback loop of online shaming and the little jolts of glee it gives us when we do it) reminded me a lot of what has transpired on the boards in the last decade. No cohorent thoughts to put down just yet, though--need to let it stew a while in my head. 

post #5378 of 5378

Needed to remove the nasty taste that Ready Player One gave me so I started up another popular sci-fi series: Ender's Game.

 

Holy crap this book wastes no time getting to the nitty gritty. I mean I'm already half way done (and it's only like a 200pg novel) but there's so much packed in both the text and subtext of this book.

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