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> Books 2nd Edition, Foreword by m0r1arty
maian
post Aug 27 2008, 09:21 PM
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I really like Choke. Not sure what that says about me as a person, though.
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Ade
post Aug 27 2008, 10:02 PM
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I really liked Choke too, I thought it was funny. That, and somewhat perverse and twisted. But certainly funny.
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maian
post Aug 27 2008, 10:08 PM
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I was talking to someone at a party the other day about Palahniuk books and said that I thought it was strange that, of all his books, Choke is the second one to be made into a film, especially considering how unfilmable it would seem on paper. Then they, quite rightly, pointed out that probably the most unfilmable (nowadays) would be Survivor. I reckon Lullaby would work quite well.

This post has been edited by maian: Aug 27 2008, 10:09 PM
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Ade
post Aug 27 2008, 10:12 PM
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Hmm. I haven't read either of those. Or Invisible Monsters. Maybe I should.


eta: Yes, I definitely should - I already own two of the three after all.
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mcraigclark
post Aug 28 2008, 12:49 AM
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I think Diary would be a pretty good film.

I can't mention anything about Palahniuk anymore without pointing out that he's a dick. He earned that distinction. And in case you're interested in how Palahniuk is pronounced, it's Pall-ah-nick, the stress on the first syllable.
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ipse dixit
post Aug 28 2008, 08:52 AM
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Have you met him, Craig? He's a bit of a one trick pony but I'm a sucker for the trick, I really love his stuff. That said, Diary is probably my least favourite. Survivor, Choke and Invisible Monsters totally rocked me the first time I read them.
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Jimmay
post Aug 28 2008, 09:35 AM
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QUOTE (mcraigclark @ Aug 28 2008, 01:49 AM)
And in case you're interested in how Palahniuk is pronounced, it's Pall-ah-nick, the stress on the first syllable.
*


I've never had an issue with his name because I did a module on forensic geology at university and the king of that science is a guy called Skip Palahniuk.
Best.name.ever.
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maian
post Sep 2 2008, 10:01 PM
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Over the last few days I've read Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase For Abraham Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson, a point-by-point account of the hours leading up to John Wilkes Booth's assassination of Lincoln, as well as a bit of background relating to Booth's previous attempt to kidnap Lincoln, and then detailing the actions of the U.S. government in trying to apprehend Booth but more importantly a fairly comprehensive account of how Booth was able to elude capture for almost two weeks after killing the Great Emancipator.

I'm always interested in anything that tries to bridge the divide between academic history and popular history, and Swanson's book is, in essence, history as thriller. The 'chase' in the title gives a good indication of the direction of the book, as it has a very focused, driven narrative at its heart that keeps the reader enthralled but without sacrificing an almost painful attention to detail, with every event, person and place recreated superbly by Swanson's crisp, illuminating prose. It takes 150-odd pages for Lincoln to actually die, that being the most heavily studied and documented part of the story, so it does feel a bit top heavy in some respects. That's not really Swanson's fault, he's just working with the documents he has to hand and the accounts of those who helped Booth escape, so he can be forgiven for playing to the strengths of the documents in forming his narrative. It does lead to a few too many moments where Swanson tells us what Booth might have been thinking and, whilst they do serve the narrative and, when corroborated with other evidence, offer a unique insight into his mind, a lot of the time they just come off as portentous at best and preposterous at worst.

What's most interesting about the book, though, is Swanson's portrayal of Booth and, towards the end of the book, his all too brief examination of Booth's legacy. Swanson notes that the mystique that has grown around Booth over the years is somewhat strange, wryly noting that pictures of Booth can be found in Washington indicating the way to Ford's Theatre, but pictures of Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas or James Earl Ray in Memphis would be deemed obscene, but also plays into the mythology because he himself portrays Booth as the antihero he has become in popular myth. Booth is shown to be a charming, talented actor with a terrifying belief in his principles and, however strongly you may disagree with them, it's hard not to be taken along for the ride and to empathise with him, even if his single bullet may have not only caused the exact opposite effect that he wanted, turning a controversial, often unpopular president into a secular martyr, and in the long term had terrible ramifications that are still being felt today in America.

Certain parts of it are shallower than they could be or deserve to be, but it's a really terrific read that highlights a particular aspect of one of the most important events in American history and does so with verve, a fine eye for detail and which maintains a fine balance between accessibility and a rigorous, scholar pursuit of its subject.

This post has been edited by maian: Sep 2 2008, 10:04 PM
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mcraigclark
post Sep 3 2008, 12:43 AM
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QUOTE (ipse dixit @ Aug 28 2008, 04:52 AM)
Have you met him, Craig? He's a bit of a one trick pony but I'm a sucker for the trick, I really love his stuff. That said, Diary is probably my least favourite. Survivor, Choke and Invisible Monsters totally rocked me the first time I read them.
*


Yeah, I hosted a signing for him about a year and a half ago. We did it in a theatre so we could screen Fight Club afterwards. He was such a neurotic little dickface that I had to reconsider whether I really liked his books that much. Turns out I do (with the exception of Haunted, which is fourteen kinds of shit). Anyway, he's got some serious issues and he truly is as weird as you imagine he might be. I'm pretty patient with weirdos and especially forgiving of someone who makes something I like, but he's on my permanent shit list. Such a dick.

I love Choke and Survivor too.
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ipse dixit
post Sep 3 2008, 08:48 AM
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Ha. I am amused and disappointed that he is a badfreak.
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Crutch
post Sep 3 2008, 02:33 PM
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I really love Choke. One of my favortie Palahniuk books. It really teached me some sex-vocabulary. But the twists are maybe a little too many in the last third of the book. I prefered Rant on that respect, since it too got many sick and strange twists but the genre of oral history fits the story so well, that I bought all of them. I also think it could make an interesting movie.
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sweetbutinsane
post Sep 3 2008, 03:27 PM
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I finished Little Women a couple of weeks back and I loved it. I think Jo was my favourite character when I was little, but now it's Laurie. smile.gif

I also read a rather strange novel called Shamanka by Jeanne Willis. It was quite interesting, and I liked how the author had put in notes on how to do magic tricks before each new chapter.

I'm now reading Shade by Neil Jordan, which I started a few months back and quite forgot about.

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Outatime
post Sep 3 2008, 03:48 PM
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QUOTE (sweetbutinsane @ Sep 3 2008, 04:27 PM)
I finished Little Women a couple of weeks back and I loved it. I think Jo was my favourite character when I was little, but now it's Laurie. smile.gif
*


Little Women is one of my favourite books. I was sorting my books last night and it reminded me that I've not read Little Men yet.
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Sean of the Dead
post Sep 8 2008, 12:23 AM
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I have just read the last 180 pages of Atonement and it was wonderfully written, but equally makes me hate Mr. McEwan a bit for making me sad. As soon as I saw "BT London 1999" at the end of part three, I knew the next section was going to be designed for the purposes of tear enducing. It's rather late, so I shall watch the film tomorrow and see how it compares (especially the ending).

But now I must sleep.
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Raven
post Sep 9 2008, 09:46 PM
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The queues are forming now - for the book burning . . .
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