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Current reading - Page 111

post #5501 of 5532
Finished Nevill's "No one gets out alive". Reading his books is like reading a nightmare, they just get under your skin.

So, got House of Small Shadows out of the library which I think makes me up to date with his work.

Also got West of Sunset by Stuart O'Nan because it looked interesting and The Unnoticeables by Robert Brockway because I liked the cover.

Oh, and all the Planetary books too. Winter is a great time to catchup on reading smile.gif
post #5502 of 5532

Just started reading China Mieville's The City & The City. Have never read one of his books before but I'm about a quarter the way through and it is fucking great. Cool sci-fi concept meets an old-school police procedural.

 

Before that, I read Michel Houellebecq's Platform, which appears to exist only to give the author reason to do a little Muslim-bashing. Not something I'd recommend.


Edited by Evi - 6/19/16 at 3:13am
post #5503 of 5532
The City And The City is fucking phenomenal. I read it in one sitting.
post #5504 of 5532

The Unnoticeables was OK.  Weirldy reminded me of Martin Millar's Milk Sulphate and Alby Starvation, in it's punk aesthetic.  Was a bit too on the nose in it's imagery though (literally people being ground into the wheels of hollywood).

 

West of Sunset was a well written read that was quite immersive in it's pre war Hollywood.  I never knew a) quite what an alcoholic Fitzgerald was or b) how his life kind of just fizzled out.

 

House of Small Shadows was really good, dark stuff.  Not quite as nightmare fuelish as No One Gets out Alive, but still creepy enough with some genuinely horrifying imagery.

post #5505 of 5532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post

Read a terrific horror novel, Those Across the River by an fella named Christopher Buehlman.  Suffice it to say, he's now one of my go-to horror guys, right up there with Adam Nevill. 

Got that out of the library, alongside Warren Ellis Crooked Little Vein.

Plus the Darth Vader comics, and Sandman Wake, which means I will finally be finishing a series I began reading around 30 years ago.
post #5506 of 5532
I really hope you dig it, Andy!

The trailer for Mike Carey's wonderful The Girl With All the Gifts is out. I like the look of it, with the exception of Gemma Arterton in the lead role (I envisioned Naomie Harris, for my part). Race notwithstanding, Arterton (a good actress) looks far too well-fed and hearty years into a zombie apocalypse.
post #5507 of 5532
QUEEN OF THE SOUTH by Arturo Perez-Reverte.
post #5508 of 5532

I continue to rampage through Robert Silverberg's late 60s-mid-70s run. This guy is a masterful scifi writer. Most of his stuff sounds like run of the mill "What if?" scifi scenarios of the time if you just read the back cover blurb. What sets him apart is how deep he goes into the psychology of the characters and puts you into their heads, without being showy about it.

 

It's refreshing to get into an author that's all about short, snappy standalone novels. He focuses on one story concept and the characters within it, no extraneous worldbuilding bloat. It's quite a contrast to all the multi-part epics out there.

 

The darkness and cynicism he touches upon with some of the novels reminds me of J.G. Ballard, except with some recognizable human emotions infused into the scenario. "The World Inside" in particular is very similar to the setup of Ballard's "High-Rise", but he takes it in a completely different direction.

 

My favorites so far are 1.The World Inside, 2.The Masks Of Time, 3.The Man In The Maze, 4.Downward to the Earth, and 5.The Book of Skulls.

post #5509 of 5532
WHAT WE BECOME by Arturo Perez-Reverte.

A handsomely-written romantic thriller about gentleman thieves, genius composers, chess prodigies, and spies. A perfect beach read.
post #5510 of 5532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post

I really hope you dig it, Andy!

The trailer for Mike Carey's wonderful The Girl With All the Gifts is out. I like the look of it, with the exception of Gemma Arterton in the lead role (I envisioned Naomie Harris, for my part). Race notwithstanding, Arterton (a good actress) looks far too well-fed and hearty years into a zombie apocalypse.


I dug the book so looking forward to this one. Anyone read Carey's new book?

post #5511 of 5532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post

I really hope you dig it, Andy!

I liked it so much I got 3 more of his books out of the library. Reminded me of Ghost Story until it didn't. I haven't read too much in this sub genre, but it was definately up there with the best I had read. Creepy, some real horror and even some good action.

Unrelated, but found this in the children's section when I was looking for my daughter.

Weird.

post #5512 of 5532
100 pages in and Buehlman's Between Two Fires is fantastic. Brilliant stuff.
post #5513 of 5532

That's really good to hear, Andy.  I love that story - I've read about that author since hopping on his bandwagon and he's not religious, but to write that story, during the Black Death with pious characters and heavenly NPCs, those are skills.

post #5514 of 5532
Disappearance at Devil's Rock, Paul Tremblay's follow up to A Head Full of Ghosts, is so far a very strong follow up. It lacks the audacity of that one, but it nails the different character voices it's portraying. I like Joe Hill, for the most part, but this guy is doing an even more impressive job of hitting the notes King does at his best, and these characters feel very modern in comparison. Disappearance is sort of a riff on Pet Semetary and Stand By Me, and it's handling the psychology very well.
post #5515 of 5532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

Disappearance at Devil's Rock, Paul Tremblay's follow up to A Head Full of Ghosts, is so far a very strong follow up. It lacks the audacity of that one, but it nails the different character voices it's portraying. I like Joe Hill, for the most part, but this guy is doing an even more impressive job of hitting the notes King does at his best, and these characters feel very modern in comparison. Disappearance is sort of a riff on Pet Semetary and Stand By Me, and it's handling the psychology very well.

 

I loved NOS4A2 (sp), Hill's short story collection, and Locke & Key. The Fireman is a slog for me right now. All the characterizations are so pat and folksy and it doesn't foreshadow so much as clobber. I'm hoping it can change my mind soon, because the fucker is like carrying around anvil in my bag and I don't want the unwanted exercise to be for naught.

post #5516 of 5532
Between Two Fires maintained its brilliance and stuck the landing. Loved it.

The Necromancer's House is stylistically very different but equally brilliant. Buehlman really is tremendous.

Also managed to fit in Warren Ellis & Paul Duffield's Freak Angels series which is a bloody marvel.

Good reading times at the mo.
post #5517 of 5532

Passage to Power by Robert Caro. Read the first volume of this Biography of Lyndon Johnson as an undergrad in the 1980's. This volume, published recently, takes Johnson from the 1960 election to the immediate aftermath of the Assassination of JFK. 

 

All four (and counting) books in the series are worth reading, but this one is like reading a Tom Clancy novel, except it's a well documented work of nonfiction. 

post #5518 of 5532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bain View Post


The Necromancer's House is stylistically very different but equally brilliant. Buehlman really is tremendous.

 

 

 

Ah, I read that a while ago. Very fun and a unique take. 

post #5519 of 5532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bain View Post

Between Two Fires maintained its brilliance and stuck the landing. Loved it.

The Necromancer's House is stylistically very different but equally brilliant. Buehlman really is tremendous.
 

 

Really happy you dug him, Andy.  Buehlman is one of those guys who is almost too good to break into the upper tier, but he deserves it.  I remember reading Those Across the River and for a good chunk of the book, I didn't know if it was going to actually be a 'horror' horror novel...but what a horror novel it turned out to be.  And the guy just gets better.  You would think Between Two Fires was written by a Christian author, but the guy's politics seem to be in line with Garth Ennis.  The coda to that novel still moves me.

 

The funny thing is, and I'm not at all sure that this is a good thing (but given his writing chops it might be) in his latest book there are hints that

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
his books, or at least a few of them, might take place in the same literary world. We will see.
post #5520 of 5532

Found the Lesser Dead my least fave of his works.  It was readable enough, but not up to the first three.  This may be to do with my ambivalence towards Vampire fiction.  Just felt a bit half baked.

 

Onto the first three Flashman books by George MacDonald Fraser now.

post #5521 of 5532
Quote:
Originally Posted by bendrix View Post
 

 

I loved NOS4A2 (sp), Hill's short story collection, and Locke & Key. The Fireman is a slog for me right now. All the characterizations are so pat and folksy and it doesn't foreshadow so much as clobber. I'm hoping it can change my mind soon, because the fucker is like carrying around anvil in my bag and I don't want the unwanted exercise to be for naught.

---I say this as a huge fan of Joe hill, especially NOS4A2 and  his short stories, but many was The Fireman a let down. Such an interesting premise and it really starts off with a bang. Half way through it just dies. Anyone is entitled to a stumble I guess, but I fear it will be for naught if you are hoping it gets better

post #5522 of 5532

Ripped through The Tomb, the first Repairman Jack novel, and am now ripping through the follow-up, Legacies.

 

Entertaining as hell, think of Tom Jane Punisher fighting Demons with Explosive and a Flame Thrower and you get a hint of the hijinks...

post #5523 of 5532

I finished Bakker's The Great Ordeal last week. I was pissed off that it was not the series capper and instead they pulled the ol' let's split it into two books bullshit. While I think Bakker's writing is excellent, and I absolutely love The Darkness that Comes Before. I have felt a lot of diminishing returns with this author the further I go through his books. I hope he manages to tie things together in the finale.

 

Right now I am moving through Yates Revolutionary Road (thanks to the chewer who recommended the book). I was unaware of Yates prior to reading this and now I plan to head to the used book store and see what else I can find of his tomorrow. 

post #5524 of 5532

I read Hill's Twittering from the Circus of the Dead last night. It's a short story he wrote in 2010 that's compromised solely of tweets by a bratty teenager. It's gimmicky (and a product of 2010. Who says "twittering"?) but it's executed well enough. Sorry to hear The Fireman's a letdown. I almost bought when it was on sale for five bucks earlier this week. 

post #5525 of 5532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post
 

Ripped through The Tomb, the first Repairman Jack novel, and am now ripping through the follow-up, Legacies.

 

Entertaining as hell, think of Tom Jane Punisher fighting Demons with Explosive and a Flame Thrower and you get a hint of the hijinks...

I read them all but waited quite a while to read the final one, "Nightworld," since it essentially ended two series in one - I did not read the Adversary Cycle but didn't feel like I missed much just reading the Repairman Jack novels.

post #5526 of 5532

Just finished up the novella "The Ballad of Black Tom", which is one of the best Lovecraft/Cthulhu Mythos stories I've read.  It's also sadly topical and relevant today as it deals with the plight of black citizens in 1920s NYC and their relations with the NYPD, among others.  It's nice to read a politically charged Lovecraft inspired tale without Lovecraft's own signature racism.

post #5527 of 5532
THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN SARAGOSSA by Jan Potocki.

An utterly wild, early nineteenth-century novel that feels wholly modern. If you like Borges, it's a must-read.

I'm also rereading Ray Bradbury's greatest novel, DANDELION WINE.
post #5528 of 5532

Flashman, Flash for Freedom and Flashman and the Great Game were fantastic.  Especially the last one.

 

Apart from being cad/bounder Flash is involved in a lot of historic British disasters (Afghanistan/Slavery and India).  Apart from the kind of swashbuckling adventures (all of which occur despite Flashman self identifying as a "poltroon (coward)) they are just fantastic overviews of these historic events.  Flashman in the Great Game is about the Indian mutiny in the 1850s and is a harrowing read.  Fraser never really lands on one side or another (in Flash for Freedom Flashman is involved in both running slaves AND the underground railroad) so you get a good overview of the history.

 

And Flash, at his "best" is like Flashy in Blackadder.  A braggard and scoundrel with some very fine choice of phrases.  Heartily recommend.

 

Onto The Troop by Nick Cutter.  Struggling with it a bit.  About 40 pages in and it feels like it's trying too hard.  All descriptive passages are steeped in ominous metaphors and similes.  And he has a habit of dumping in "excerpts" from news sources, about the events in the book, but after the events in the book, which undercuts any tension for me.  Will soldier on and see if it gets better.

post #5529 of 5532
I enjoyed The Deep and The Acolyte much more than The Troop; however, despite his accolades and obvious talent, I don't put Cutter into the top tier of horror writers. I've always found something missing from his novels. Could be me though
post #5530 of 5532
Rereading American Gods, this time with the actors who've been cast in the roles completely overlaid on top of it. Which is fair, because it's the show that got me to pick it back up. It's very much I as I remembered it. Really fun and imaginative, with a bit of a blank at its center. The show looks like it has a good shot of figuring that out.

Gaiman is so good and creative and blessed with imagination, I wonder why I don't get more invested in it. Maybe it's just that Sandman really said it all, and everything after that is reiterating a point.
post #5531 of 5532

Seeing him mentioned in other threads reminded me that I also recently picked up The Complete HP Lovecraft Collection on Amazon Kindle for fifty-seven cents (!). Prior to that, I owned Shadows of Death (a collection of his stories). 

 

As much as I like Cronos and The Devil's Backbone, I don't want to see del Toro adapt At The Mountains of Madness.

 

In fact, I'm not really sure I want anyone to adapt it. It practically demands a gigantic budget and given the bleak subject matter, I'm not sure there's a studio that would shell the money out, likely leaving us with a very watered down and compromised vision of something that deserves much better. 

post #5532 of 5532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post

I enjoyed The Deep and The Acolyte much more than The Troop; however, despite his accolades and obvious talent, I don't put Cutter into the top tier of horror writers. I've always found something missing from his novels. Could be me though

 

Agreed.  I just could not get on with the Troop.  It didn't say anything new, had fairly rote characters and built to nothing.  Ended up skimming it.

 

New library picks:

 

Stephen King - Revival

H.P. Lovecraft - At the Mountains of Madness

Alfred Bester - The Stars My Destination


Edited by Andy Bain - 8/23/16 at 6:02pm
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