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Current reading - Page 115

post #5701 of 5878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leto II View Post
 

 

Also, the fact that Brian's Twitter-handle is "@DuneAuthor"  

 

post #5702 of 5878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evi View Post
 

So I've put Name of the Wind aside

 

 

My advice? Let it stay aside.

post #5703 of 5878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evi View Post

So I've put Name of the Wind aside for a bit and started on LOLITA. This is the first Nabokov I've read and holy crap... that dude can write.
Understatement.
post #5704 of 5878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bain View Post
 

 

Sarantine Mosaic was wonderful.  Absolutely loved it.  Twists, turns, tensions galore but ended pretty much perfectly for me.  There were a few bits in it that alluded to other things, so a quick google check confirmed it was all set in the "world" of Lions of Al Rassan, so now I'm dying to read that.

 

 

 

Huh, never realized that.

 

Lions of al-Rassan is my favorite (I've read The Sarantine Mosaic, Lions, Tigana, and Under Heaven). The only one I didn't absolutely LOVE is Tigana, and it was still a good read. They could all really be set in the same "universe" aside from Tigana, as far as all that goes. 

 

 

EDIT - aw man, GGK has a decently cool website, and features reader art, among them a submission of what someone thought a particular mosaic might look like....http://brightweavings.com/ggk/crispins-mosaic-by-melissa/


Edited by Chavez - 4/2/17 at 6:23pm
post #5705 of 5878

So, I finished a semester-long project and finally got through Ron Chernow's Hamilton biography.

 

I caught the Hamilton bug after the PBS show about the musical and, after listening to the soundtrack countless times, figured I'd go to the source material to answer some questions I had. The main one being.. everyone ELSE in the musical is happy that Alexander Hamilton will never be president, yet nowhere in the musical did Hamilton actually say, "I want to be president."

 

First of all, I have to commend LMM for... getting through that book on a vacation. I started and stopped the thing nine times over the last four months. And I have a degree in history.

 

The biggest putoff for me was Chernow's insistence on using hypotheticals. Maybe Hamilton would have seen this or that or heard this... NO. If you want to do that shit, write historical fiction like everybody else.

 

I'm also not going to get into the timeline differences ... I expected to be annoyed with how he moved things around for the sake of the musical, but honestly.. most of the stuff he moved was near the end of the book (and Act 2 in the musical) so by that point, I was just trying to get through it.

 

Am I happy I read it? Sure. I was floored that whole chapters were omitted from the musical but exact lines were taken straight from the pages (looking at you, Yorktown) so really, at the end of it, I'm waaaay more impressed with LMM than with Chernow.

 

Back to fiction for me.

post #5706 of 5878

I recently finished two novellas by an author named Philip Fracassi, Altar and Mother.  To any jaded horror nerds looking for the genuine article, I'd recommend piecing these up asap.  It's rare that I'm genuinely creeped out by any work of fiction these days, but I found both of these stories to be quite disturbing and exceptionally well written.  Altar takes place at a public pool, and I knew nothing about the story going into it.  As someone who worked as a lifeguard throughout HS/college, it worked particularly well for me, but I suspect it can be just as effective for readers who don't have that background.

 

Mother is a story of martial bliss that quickly devolves into an absolute nightmare.  I'm being vague as not to give anything away to someone interested in checking these out.  They're available on kindle for just a few dollars.  While stylistically different, these short stories would not be out of place in something like Night Shift by King.  They measure up to that  standard and don't pull any punches.  Highly recommended.

post #5707 of 5878

Started reading Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City without knowing anything about it beforehand. It's so well written it took me few chapters to realize it's a non-fiction book. I really like the skill Larson describes 1800's Chicago as a exciting and beautiful total shithole. Some of the crime depictions are very disturbing, especially since finding out they actually happened.

post #5708 of 5878

Yeah, huge fan of Devil in the White City. Fascinating juxtaposition between Holmes and the World Trade Fair.

post #5709 of 5878

The amount of detail is just incredible, Larson must've worked his ass off to find all the documents, conversations, character descriptions and other tidbits the book's based on. At times that avalanche information makes it a bit heavy, even if Larson's prose flies and is a real pleasure to read.

post #5710 of 5878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtanen View Post
 

The amount of detail is just incredible, Larson must've worked his ass off to find all the documents, conversations, character descriptions and other tidbits the book's based on. At times that avalanche information makes it a bit heavy, even if Larson's prose flies and is a real pleasure to read.

 

I just bought that for my partner, which of course she won't have any time to read it for months. 

 

 

I always say that it juxtaposes a serial killer story with the building of the Chicago World's Fair, and the construction is the more interesting part. 

post #5711 of 5878

Larson's an amazing researcher and solid writer. Isaac's Storm remains my favorite of his, though Dead Wake is a close second.

post #5712 of 5878

Just finished The End Of The World Running Club, a bit of a post apocalyptic travelogue. Starts of well enough, but something like this really needs a good sense of place, and it's actually quite badly described in places. Was novel enough to see this sort of scenario in the UK, but it generally checks all the armageddon cliches.

 

And god, what an awful ending. :| Not sure why it got the (admittedly minor) plaudits it did a few years ago.

 

10 books down this year, goal is to do 30 as I was really bad with my reading last year. Moving on to Under a Watchful Eye by Adam Nevill. I haven't read a good horror in a while, so hope this meets the bill... I quite enjoyed Nevill's The Ritual even though it got a little monster movie tropey towards the end. Some of the scenes in it though really built up a good sense of dread.

post #5713 of 5878

Nevill's an interesting cat - I really enjoyed Last Days in terms of its plot, though the writing was a little dodgy. I had to give it points for pulling off what was a difficult approach, narratively - telling the making of a documentary in prose - and it's lingered in the year or so since I read it. 

 

I got his latest in a book-buying spree I went on, so I'm curious to see if it holds up. 

post #5714 of 5878
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelM View Post
 

Larson's an amazing researcher and solid writer. Isaac's Storm remains my favorite of his, though Dead Wake is a close second.


I love me some Erik Larson. I am an English teacher. When getting my undergrad, I took a literary non-fiction course where the meat of the course was Devil in the White City. It had just been published, and this was in the early days of internet book buying. One of my classmates got an early publisher's review copy and there were some differences between it and the finally published copy that made for an interesting dissection. I still think my favorite of his is Devil in the Garden. Yes, its a WWII non-fiction piece, but the prescient viewpoint of the ambassador and how to work with people he clearly sees as headed towards destruction is fascinating to me.

 

That same literary non-fiction course got me hooked on Best American Essays and Best American Non-required Reading. Both make my holiday reading fantastic.

post #5715 of 5878

Just finished Roadwork by Stephen King.  Kind of amazing how relevant it is at the moment. 

 

I imagine there are a lot of people feeling the way Barton Dawes felt in regards to a lot of the recent bs with Trump. 

 

Sure, the book is about how he is losing his home due to the construction of a new interstate highway, but I think the powerlessness he feels over the lack of control he has over the actions of the government, is pretty powerful in today's climate.  Very nihilistic.

 

I have a new edition of the book, but the original cover is kind of badass:

 

post #5716 of 5878

I found Supergods by Grant Morrison to be well worth the read. I already knew most of his biographical stuff from interviews, so the main enjoyment came from his concise and engaging rundown of the history of superhero comics.

 

I found myself thinking a few times "I don't necessarily need to hear every minute detail of this acid flashback you had in Kathmandu", but still, I read the whole thing, so it must have been good. I'm pretty ruthless about dropping books that don't engage me, and I cruised through all 450 e-pages of this.

 

I get the appeal of the Golden and Silver age comics more than I did before. I'm ready to try to dig into some Jack Kirby stuff now. Morrison was especially entheusiastic about the New Gods/Fourth World.

post #5717 of 5878
The biographical stuff came out of left field, on different levels. I wasn't a fan of how it was injected in the book since it wasn't until well into the book that he brings it all up, iirc. So at that point the book started running off the rails for me, but prior to that, it was darn good, and I'd love more of that, especially since now there is so much more that has brought the mainstream to line up with comics culture and industry (like the massive explosion of Marvel Studios and Warner/DC's attempts to replicate, not to mention the TV side), he can touch on that didn't make the book due to being too early.You are right about his coverage of the Golden and Silver Age too.

So yeah, maybe if there wasn't so much of the biographical stuff and metaphysics or whatever, he could've covered more in depth of the later eras too. And I hope to maybe get more of his insight in similar prose form, updated for where we are now.
post #5718 of 5878
Yeah, I second that on the biographical elements in Supergods. Not what I signed up for, and it felt kind of snuck in to pad the length out. It was a poor fit.
post #5719 of 5878
It might make for a separate book, maybe interesting enough in its own right. Maybe if he had written a separate book, then he might've wrote another one to connect the two more organically. Kinda in weird, if not bad, taste, and smacks of a bit of egoism, no matter how well deserved. But I don't know that it did either the rundown of comicdom or his biography any justice to add them together the way it was done. So yeah, I can believe the "padding-out" theory.
post #5720 of 5878
Burned through the first 5 Expanse novels. Book 3 left me a little worried it was going to go all GRRM meander but it just rest the ground for books 4 and 5 which were outstandung. Supremely confident and readable space opera, for me aimed at just the right level. Really appreciating the humour thry are finding in the characters and tropes.

Onto The Bothers Cabal, book 4 of the Johannes Cabal series. Cracking fantastical read with absolutely pitch perfect British humour. These books have made me laugh out loud more than anything else since Pratchett.

After that I managed to pick up the Lions of Al Rassan while I was in the UK.

So it's a great literary time overall.
post #5721 of 5878

Just finished Adam Nevill's Lost Girl.  The guy can write but unfortunately this one I found disappointing on the whole.  Set in a future UK during a Mad Max-esque dystopia  - serious global warming, Asian pandemics, refugees pouring in with the tide, the few good cops outgunned by international super gangs - a father's daughter is kidnapped and the police are, as expected, useless, so a couple of years later he decides to TCB.  It's a great set-up, depicting a future I'm glad I'll probably be dead for, with even references to one of his previous books.  Ultimately I couldn't buy the reveal of the villain, or the resolution.  The book definitely has its merits, but it winds up among Nevill's lesser reads for me because of its unsatisfying climax.  Many others may disagree, I think.

post #5722 of 5878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post
 

Just finished Adam Nevill's Lost Girl.  The guy can write but unfortunately this one I found disappointing on the whole.  Set in a future UK during a Mad Max-esque dystopia  - serious global warming, Asian pandemics, refugees pouring in with the tide, the few good cops outgunned by international super gangs - a father's daughter is kidnapped and the police are, as expected, useless, so a couple of years later he decides to TCB.  It's a great set-up, depicting a future I'm glad I'll probably be dead for, with even references to one of his previous books.  Ultimately I couldn't buy the reveal of the villain, or the resolution.  The book definitely has its merits, but it winds up among Nevill's lesser reads for me because of its unsatisfying climax.  Many others may disagree, I think.

 

 

I bought the book a few months ago and am planning on reading it soon.  Where do you stand on Nevill's other works?  I've only read Last Days, which I found to be  quite spooky and was genuinely creeped out by a few chapters.  

post #5723 of 5878

I loved Last Days.  I read it at the cottage and wanted to go into town and book a room at the motel. 

 

Lost Girl has a really strong build-up, just thought that the last act could've been stronger.

post #5724 of 5878

I wasn't a huge fan of Last Days, despite it being a book that hits a lot of the themes I love in fiction. But it's grown on me over time, and I have to admire Nevill for pulling off something that should have been impossible with as much panache as he did. 

 

I've got The House of Small Shadows on the shelf to read this summer. 

post #5725 of 5878

Last Days grew on me as well.  I enjoyed it well enough while reading, but it wasn't until a few months later that I started to appreciate it a bit more.  There were a handful of sequences that legitimately frightened me, and being the desensitized horror nerd that I am, that is exceedingly rare. 

 

I also have his collection of short fiction on my ever-growing pile of books to read. 

post #5726 of 5878
Well, there are worse places to be reading this, quite fantastic, book
post #5727 of 5878
Where are you? Looks too hot for Wellington in late May.
post #5728 of 5878
Los Cabos in Mexico. It's a harsh and unforgiving life.
post #5729 of 5878
Sucks to be you mate. Next time you're in London give me and Saxon and...err that's it I think a holler and we'll grab some beers.
post #5730 of 5878
Indeed. I've had no time to mysrlf at all what with family commitments, but next time shouldn't be so long so I should have some spare.
post #5731 of 5878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bain View Post

Well, there are worse places to be reading this, quite fantastic, book

 

 

I'm almost more jealous of you getting to read the book for the first time than of you being on a Caribbean beach. 

post #5732 of 5878

Under a fairly tight deadline for a script at the moment but I'm still taking breaks to read Rusty Puppy, the latest Hap and Leonard novel by Joe Lansdale.

post #5733 of 5878

Well, Lions of Al-Rassan was everything promised.  Almost wish it had not had the epilogue as the ending proper was absolutely perfect.  Broke my heart a little bit.

 

Library time led to Starfish by Peter Watts (first few chapters of which are GREAT - deep sea sci-fi, feels a little Bradbury Martian Chronicley structure wise with the scepticism of PKD) and Lost Girl by Adam Nevill.


Then onto River of Stars by GGK.

 

As an aside, this is great:

 

http://brucesterling.tumblr.com/post/162122339333/marxferatu-unsettlingstories-h3c70r 

 

Herge's Adventures of Tintin in the Lovecraft Universe :)

 

post #5734 of 5878

Rereading this:

 

 

in preparation to read this when it drops on Tuesday:

 

post #5735 of 5878

I'm reading The Troop, by Nick Cutter. It's gruesome horror stuff, sort of a hardcore version of the Weird Al song Nature Trail to Hell. Kid murder looms over the whole thing.

 

And I'm also reading The Dead Zone. The last classic King era book I've never read. It's nice, interesting to see him trying something that's not explicitly horror during his 'young man' period.

post #5736 of 5878

If forced to choose my favorite King, THE DEAD ZONE just might be the one.  Love it.  

 

THE TROOP is nice and icky.  

post #5737 of 5878
The Troop kind of irritated me. Can't remember why but I do remember just skim reading it to get to the end.

I think Cutter's style just grated me. To each their own though.
post #5738 of 5878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post
 

I'm reading The Troop, by Nick Cutter. It's gruesome horror stuff, sort of a hardcore version of the Weird Al song Nature Trail to Hell. Kid murder looms over the whole thing.

 

And I'm also reading The Dead Zone. The last classic King era book I've never read. It's nice, interesting to see him trying something that's not explicitly horror during his 'young man' period.

 

I saw Cutter speak at NYCC last year. Very cool guy. I picked up his most recent book, Little Heaven, but have yet to read it - it's on my currently two-shelf long TBR. It's about cults! 

 

I'd have to think about what my favorite King is, but I'm generally one of those cliched guys who comes down on IT, THE STAND, and THE SHINING. THE SHINING may be one of the best American novels of the last 50 years. 

post #5739 of 5878
Sp, turns out both Starfish and Lost Girl were apocalyptic books, which was a bit depressing, especially as both of them dealt with just how fundamentally fucked the planet is from a climate point of view and what this might look like.

Starfish would sit nicely alongside Carpenter's Apocalypse trilogy.

The reveal in Lost Girl didn't really bother me, as it toed into a wider concept of how selfishness and self serving attitudes are at root of what's causing the problems. But it was a bit of a let down ending after such a strong start. The world building was just frightening, especially as I've holidayed in most of the places the books takes place in (the English "Riviera")

River of Stars next.
post #5740 of 5878
Finished The Troop. It's the most artful and committed gross out book I've ever read, I think. It achieves very little outside that goal, but it hits that goal hard. Perfect spiral. If you enjoy children getting fucked up, this book is Moby Dick. It's a book of absolutely nothing but the Patrick Hockstetter sequence in IT, over and over again.

I liked it! Not in a hurry for my next Cutter book though. Full spread ahead on Dead Zone now. It's very good so far.
post #5741 of 5878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

 It's a book of absolutely nothing but the Patrick Hockstetter sequence in IT, over and over again.

I liked it! Not in a hurry for my next Cutter book though. Full spread ahead on Dead Zone now. It's very good so far.

That was exactly my problem with it.  All Hockstetter, all the time.

 

The Dead Zone is terrific.


Edit: I still have a weird "found money brings bad luck" superstition which entirely comes from that book

post #5742 of 5878

I found a used copy of TED Klein's The Ceremonies on Amazon for under twenty bucks and snapped it up. I really want to start reading more of that 70s/80s horror with an American folklore/cult-y bent, so I'm excited to read it. 

post #5743 of 5878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bain View Post

Starfish would sit nicely alongside Carpenter's Apocalypse trilogy.
 

 

Turns out this is no guestimate on my part, as unbeknownst to me Peter Watts was the guy who wrote The Things short story.  Essentially The Thing, but from the Thing's POV.  Worth a read

 

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/watts_01_10/ 

 

Anyway, imagine my joy when I discovered at the library that Starfish is the opening book of a tetralogy :)  Very happy about that.  River of Stars is going to take a back seat for a bit (not that it's bad, but where my head is at at the moment needs something not quite so involved).

post #5744 of 5878

Read The Running Man recently and I have to say, I enjoyed it, but it kind of felt incomplete.  It starts out promising, and quite different than the movie, but about 2/3 of the way through it kind of felt like King was hurrying to get to an ending that really kind of stretched believability.  I actually think the movie does a better job of fleshing out the concept and making the scenario more plausible.  One of the rare cases where I think the movie is actually better, or at least more satisfying, than the book.  Other examples of this, for me at least, would be American Psycho, Fight Club, and even The Shining.

post #5745 of 5878
The ending is unbelievable? Don't ever google 9/11.
post #5746 of 5878

If you're interested in seeing what could have been, the IDW adaptation of Joe Hill's Tales from the Darkside is only $4.50 right now. The show was intended for the CW network (which makes sense, two of the three stories have teenage protagonists) and while making the Darkside a tangible thing was an interesting idea, it's just okay overall.

 

He intended to have the stories all take place within the same world (the protagonist from the second story shows up in the third) but the only really solid story was the first one. The second one felt like a first draft, as he presented a couple of ideas but never really locked them down and the third one was fun but would have played better as an extended YouTube promo or something along those lines.

 

Would it have been good had it gone to air? Hard to say because as I've mentioned there are interesting ideas in there and Hill is a more than capable writer but I probably would have at least checked out the first season. And I wasn't a big fan of the original series.

 

So if you're a Joe Hill fan and/ or a lover of anthology-style storytelling, give it a shot (especially with the current price).


Edited by Mike J - 7/12/17 at 1:04pm
post #5747 of 5878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munson View Post

The ending is unbelievable? Don't ever google 9/11.


Lol.  Well, if the guys who flew the planes into the Twin Towers piloted the plane with no flying experience and their intestines dragging behind them as they were on the verge of death, then it might be more believable.  What I am saying is the whole idea of Richards getting on the plane, barely challenged, seemed like a bit of a shortcut to get to the ending he wanted, rather feeling like an organic part of the story.  Cleary King wanted him to "take down" the Games Network, but, to me, it felt like he painted himself into a corner by having the Running Man game be "open world" in that the runners could literally travel anywhere in the world to hide from the people hunting them.  The plane flying into the building is not what I found to be a bit far fetched, but how King got the character there.

 

This is where I felt the movie handled it better by having the game take place in a more contained environment.  It made Richards "revenge" seem more reasonable in that they just had to find there way back into the Network complex, not travel across the country.  Also, the movie adding more unique Hunters(the book only has one main Hunter), I thought, was a nice touch.

post #5748 of 5878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike J View Post
 

If you're interested in seeing what could have been, the IDW adaptation of Joe Hill's Tales from the Darkside is only $4.50 right now. The show was intended for the CW network (which makes sense, two of the three stories have teenage protagonists) and while making the Darkside a tangible thing was an interesting idea, it's just okay overall.

 

He intended to have the stories all take place within the same world (the protagonist from the second story shows up in the third) but the only really solid story was the first one. The second one felt like a first draft, as he presented a couple of ideas but never really locked them down and the third one was fun but would have played better as an extended YouTube promo or something along those lines.

 

What it have been good had it gone to air? Hard to say because as I've mentioned there are interesting ideas in there and Hill is a more than capable writer but I probably would have at least check out the first season. And I wasn't a big fan of the original series.

 

So if you're a Joe Hill fan and/ or a lover of anthology-style storytelling, give it a shot (especially with the current price).

 

Thanks. Big Joe Hill guy, so I've been meaning to check this out. 

post #5749 of 5878

Also: I re-read King's Just After Sunset. It had been a few years and I remember liking it a lot more in my initial reading. As King's short stories tend to be pretty top-notch, there's a lot of greatness to be had but I do think it's a step down from his other collections. And it seems odd we haven't gotten a Gingerbread Girl adaptation yet.

 

My ranking of his short story collections:

 

1) Nightmares and Dreamscapes

2) Night Shift/ Skeleton Crew*

3) Bazaar of Bad Dreams

4) Everything's Eventual

5) Just After Sunset

 

 

*-Skeleton Crew is probably the superior collection but Night Shift was a Christmas present from my dad when I was middle school. While it wasn't the first thing of his I read, it was the first time I read one of his short story collections, so it has a special place in my heart.

post #5750 of 5878

Oh, you break out the novella collections from the short story collections? I lump them all together. 

 

It's still my dream that the Library of America will do a two-volume "King: Selected Stories" one day. 

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