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Current reading - Page 110

post #5451 of 5463

I'm not generally a reader of bios, but I'm halfway through John Cleese's (partial) auto-biography SO, ANYWAY. I love Python so it's interesting to read about the development of his interests and honing of his abilities, plus it's cool to discover the inspirations for notable routines. It's neither riveting nor hilarious, rather an amusing look at Cleese's pre-Python years. There are certainly several funny bits, such as his anecdote of a sensitive friend's attempt to mercy-kill a sick rabbit, which is funny because it's so awful.


Of particular interest to me are the things he's learned about performing (energy levels of musical numbers vs stand-up routines in a variety show), writing (don't try to come up with the perfect punchline, find one that's good enough and move on), work (some days will see zero creative output, others will produce lots of good work, so it averages out to an acceptable level of work), and the comedy genre (futile anger, a la Basil Fawlty, is funny, while effective anger is not.) I wonder if I'm more receptive to learning via the tales of an interesting person than through standard texts.


To that end, can anyone recommend a similar book (biography or not) by someone in the horror field? I've read King's ON WRITING, so I'm looking for others. Also looking for good general non-fiction about the horror genre.

post #5452 of 5463

One guy who's stuff is terrific is David Morrell.  He's most famous for creating Rambo, of course, but he's a former professor of literature who's a damn good writer.  He has written several non-fiction books, most of them espionage/thriller but some of them horror or with horrific elements.  He lost a son and a grand-daughter to the same terrible rare cancer and wrote about that loss.  He has also written a few well-received books on writing, including books in the horror genre.


A read William Friedkin's memoirs last year and enjoyed them.  You can tell he's an altogether different guy, now - but he does own up to some of the more outrageous or nasty stories about his career. 


I will someday read William Peter Blatty's memoirs, mixed reviews but I think you know what you're getting if you've seen his films or read his novels.  

post #5453 of 5463
The Book of Strange New Things was fantastic. A scifi based meditation on love, religion, separation and humanity.

I thought I'd struggle with the hugely Christian overtones of the book (at its core it's about a missionary sent to another planet to teach the natives the Gospels), but the way Faber unpacks the meanings is astounding, and narratively perfect. How would you explain allegorical stuff about sheep or fish when there are no oceans or ruminant animals on the planet?

Very much recommend.

Onto The Long Utopia by Pratchett and Baxter
post #5454 of 5463
Speaking of Baxter, he's writing a sequel to...WAR OF THE WORLDS??!!

I would roll my eyes but apparently THE TIME SHIPS, his sequel to THE TIME MACHINE, is decent:

post #5455 of 5463
Long Utopia was good. Not sensing much Pratchett in it anymore though. They seem to be devolving into "we have a new problem, here's the fix". The primary big bad, essentially recursive world destroying machines, was interesting enough, but not deeply looked into.

Onto The Dark Defiles by Richard Morgan. Last in the Ringil Eskiath trilogy.
post #5456 of 5463
Just finished Leviathan Wakes yesterday and starting on Caliban's War. I did the same thing with GOT. Started reading the book series when the television series was in its infancy.

Really dug the book and I'm interested to see where it goes. The world building is good. Reminds me in a way of the Mass Effect games.

I heard rumblings it stumbles in later books. Anyone read this series that can verify that? Don't have a lot of time and would prefer not to waste it getting sucked into a disappointment. The first book worked well as a fairly stand alone story and I could walk away after the second if it isn't worth it.
post #5457 of 5463

I liked the fifth book even though it takes a pretty drastic turn in regards to where it takes things with the world it's built... the fourth was difficult to get through but I think it was worth it to get to five.

post #5458 of 5463
Cool. Thanks. I'll stick with it. It's nice having a new series to obsess over. And the characters are good which is the most important thing.

I'll probably start watching the tv series too, but after the first episode it felt rushed.
post #5459 of 5463
Picked up Ancillary Mercy (part 3 of Anne Leckie's Ancillary trilogy) and the last Thomas Covenant book for travel reading.

Dark Defiles is great, but is in the home stretch.
post #5460 of 5463

Are you sneaking into my house and reading my books???


I just finished Ancillary Mercy and i`am in the middle of TheDark Defiles..

post #5461 of 5463
Netflix is making an Altered Carbon TV series!!!!

Could be fucking amazing. I love, love, LOVE the Takeshi Kovacs novels.

Holy crap.
post #5462 of 5463
post #5463 of 5463
Pretty good list.
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