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> Books 2nd Edition, Foreword by m0r1arty
maian
post May 2 2010, 02:40 PM
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QUOTE (mcraigclark @ May 2 2010, 03:15 PM) *
Great Expectations is the reason I hated Dickens for a decade. I came to my senses, but I still can't stand that one.


Interesting. What was it that you didn't like about it? I found the pace pretty glacial, but generally I didn't find too much to dislike.
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Sean of the Dead
post May 2 2010, 05:12 PM
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QUOTE (maian @ May 2 2010, 03:40 PM) *
Interesting. What was it that you didn't like about it? I found the pace pretty glacial, but generally I didn't find too much to dislike.

Pip's quite annoying but otherwise, I'm on your side.
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Miss Shazam
post May 6 2010, 02:03 PM
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I just ordered Thank You For Smoking on Amazon.
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sweetbutinsane
post May 6 2010, 06:52 PM
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QUOTE (sweetbutinsane @ Apr 11 2010, 06:40 PM) *
I am very glad I bought The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest at the same time because now I don't have to wait to find out what happens next.


It took me an awfully long time to finish (I got stuck at a certain point and then ended up rereading Poison and Good Omens instead), but it was worth it in the end.
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widowspider
post May 7 2010, 03:26 PM
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I'm most of the way through Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde. It's bloody good.
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maian
post May 17 2010, 03:45 PM
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I read two books (well, one and a half) on the flight. I finished jPod by Douglas Coupland, which I enjoyed but found a little disparate and unfocused. It's very funny and, as someone who worked in the video games industry, I thought it was well observed, and the idea of it being a novel written as if someone was reading it on a computer - complete with digressions into e-mails and websites - was interesting, but ultimately I didn't really care that much about the characters in the way that I have when reading other Coupland novels. There was still an awful lot to like in it, though.

After that, I read Double Indemnity by James M. Cain. I'm a big fan of the film, and the book was just as sleazy, sexy and bleak in its view of humanity. The ending is radically different to that of the film, but both endings get the same point across and suit their respective mediums. I was quite surprised to see that the dictation machine that is so central to the film is also in the book, since I thought that the machine might have been an addition to make sense of the voiceover structure of that version.

I then got 50 pages into Clockers by Richard Price, but then whilst idly flicking through the pages I discovered that about thirty pages of my copy consist of blank pages, double-printed pages, and pages where the writing is so faded as to be illegible. This is very annoying since I was really getting into Clockers, but don't want to continue if I know I'm only going to get to a certain point and have to stop. So I've now switched to Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland, which is so far much more emotionally involving than jPod, and if it keeps being as good as it is then it could supplant Girlfriend in a Coma as my favourite of his novels.

This post has been edited by maian: May 17 2010, 03:45 PM
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Julie
post May 17 2010, 06:13 PM
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QUOTE (maian @ May 17 2010, 11:45 AM) *
I read two books (well, one and a half) on the flight. I finished jPod by Douglas Coupland, which I enjoyed but found a little disparate and unfocused. It's very funny and, as someone who worked in the video games industry, I thought it was well observed, and the idea of it being a novel written as if someone was reading it on a computer - complete with digressions into e-mails and websites - was interesting, but ultimately I didn't really care that much about the characters in the way that I have when reading other Coupland novels. There was still an awful lot to like in it, though.

After that, I read Double Indemnity by James M. Cain. I'm a big fan of the film, and the book was just as sleazy, sexy and bleak in its view of humanity. The ending is radically different to that of the film, but both endings get the same point across and suit their respective mediums. I was quite surprised to see that the dictation machine that is so central to the film is also in the book, since I thought that the machine might have been an addition to make sense of the voiceover structure of that version.

I then got 50 pages into Clockers by Richard Price, but then whilst idly flicking through the pages I discovered that about thirty pages of my copy consist of blank pages, double-printed pages, and pages where the writing is so faded as to be illegible. This is very annoying since I was really getting into Clockers, but don't want to continue if I know I'm only going to get to a certain point and have to stop. So I've now switched to Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland, which is so far much more emotionally involving than jPod, and if it keeps being as good as it is then it could supplant Girlfriend in a Coma as my favourite of his novels.


I vaguely remember Hey, Nostradamus! being very engaging. Have you read Microserfs? I find those characters a little easier to like than those of JPod, but then I also found that JPod worked better after Microserfs.
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Raven
post May 17 2010, 06:52 PM
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QUOTE (Julie @ May 17 2010, 07:13 PM) *
I vaguely remember Hey, Nostradamus! being very engaging. Have you read Microserfs? I find those characters a little easier to like than those of JPod, but then I also found that JPod worked better after Microserfs.


I read Microserfs and jPod in that order and would have to say that I found Microserfs the better of the two by a long way.

Here's my review of jPod from the beginning of last year:

QUOTE
JPod is a black comedy that tells the story of a group of software developers who struggle with the daily grind of their jobs, whilst trying to meet the ever more surreal demands of their marketing team. Throw in a drug dealing mother, a Chinese people smuggling ring, some ballroom dancing and Douglas Coupland himself, and things get truly bizarre . . .

Having read Microserfs last year, this is a novel I was really looking forward to reading, especially as it has been talked up a lot by several friends of mine. In some ways this is more of the same - Coupland takes the basic format of Microserfs and updates it to today’s Google powered age - but at the same time the story is much more surreal.

Both books are a commentary on working within the corporate structure, and on geekdom in general, but where Microserfs was grounded in the everyday and familiar, JPod is firmly set in the weird and fantastical. Everything seems to be slightly over-egged, and as a result I didn't find it as rewarding or enjoyable as I did Microserfs.

There are some brilliantly observed comments and sequences in the book, but as it went on I couldn't shake the feeling that Coupland was being a bit too clever for his own good, especially when he started to appear in the book himself.

If you work in IT, an office of any kind or are a bit of a geek then you will probably find quite a lot to like in JPod, but you will probably find a lot more in Microserfs, provided you are old enough to remember the mid-90s!
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Shack
post May 17 2010, 08:15 PM
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Juliet, Naked - Nick Hornby.

Always a fan of Horno and I quite liked this. Covered the pomposity of internet forums quite nicely (he's obviously not seen this one...) and although I had the feeling I knew where it was going, there some laugh out loud moments and I liked the sound of living by the seaside.

My main issue was I didn't really like Tucker Crowe (the musician in it).
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maian
post May 17 2010, 11:48 PM
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QUOTE (Julie @ May 17 2010, 07:13 PM) *
Have you read Microserfs? I find those characters a little easier to like than those of JPod, but then I also found that JPod worked better after Microserfs.


It's on my ever-growing Too Read List. I'll definitely check it out since I've loved pretty much everything other Coupland I've read, but JPod just didn't do it for me.
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Raven
post May 17 2010, 11:52 PM
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I started reading The Gum Thief this evening, because of the above exchange.
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mcraigclark
post May 18 2010, 12:51 AM
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QUOTE (maian @ May 2 2010, 10:40 AM) *
Interesting. What was it that you didn't like about it? I found the pace pretty glacial, but generally I didn't find too much to dislike.

I've only just seen this. It was part of my 7th grade curriculum, and I found the Victorian-ness of the whole thing really suffocating.

Oliver Twist brought me back around to Dickens, but I've still never re-read Great Expectations.
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Julie
post May 18 2010, 01:21 AM
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QUOTE (Raven @ May 17 2010, 07:52 PM) *
I started reading The Gum Thief this evening, because of the above exchange.


I liked that one. It was a little weird, though.

His latest, Generation A was a return to form as far as I'm concerned.
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maian
post May 18 2010, 01:53 AM
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QUOTE (mcraigclark @ May 18 2010, 01:51 AM) *
I've only just seen this. It was part of my 7th grade curriculum, and I found the Victorian-ness of the whole thing really suffocating.

Oliver Twist brought me back around to Dickens, but I've still never re-read Great Expectations.


Ah, I understand that completely. I'm the same with The Great Gatsby.
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Everlong
post May 18 2010, 12:20 PM
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Gonna get started on 'Lost in a good book' by Jasper Fforde later. Really enjoyed 'Eyre affair'
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