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> Books 2nd Edition, Foreword by m0r1arty
GundamGuy_UK
post Jul 24 2010, 04:45 PM
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QUOTE (Raven @ Jul 20 2010, 12:01 AM) *
I can't say I'm looking forward to all the singing . . .


Far over the Misty Mountains cold,
Through dungeons deep and caverns old.
We must away ere break of day,
To seek the pale enchanted gold


I have a feeling they won't sing that quite so often in the movie.
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gulfcoast_highwa...
post Jul 24 2010, 05:09 PM
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I keep meaning to buy Scott Pilgrim, and they are on offer in Forbidden Planet. Shoud I read them, or wait till I've seen the film?
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maian
post Jul 25 2010, 07:26 PM
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QUOTE (maian @ Jul 15 2010, 08:32 PM) *
I'm now reading The Big Rewind by Nathan Rabin, the hip-hop writer/film critic perhaps most known for coining the phrase "Manic Pixie Dream Girl". I'm a big fan of his writing for The A.V. Club, and his memoir is full of the sarcastic, cutting prose that characterises his best work. Essentially, it's a journey through his life viewed through the orism of the pop culture that he loves and which has given him comfort during his battles with depression, his stay in foster homes after his home life fell apart, all the way up to the time that he started writing for the A.V. Club. So far, it's brave, hilarious and brutally honest. Plus, it's so full of Simpsons quotes and love of musicals that I could have written it.


I finished this the other day and the section I highlighted is probably the truest thing that could be said about it. I went in expecting it to be a wry, interesting book about the influence that pop culture has had on the life of someone who now writes obsessively about pop culture, and it was, but I was not expecting it to be as dark and candid as it gets at points. It's very much a book about, to paraphrase Morrissey, the songs/films/books that saved Rabin's life, as he escaped poverty, depression, a stay in a mental hospital, being shephered between foster families after his M.S. suffering father could no longer care for him, and a poisonous relationship through the pieces of art that meant the world to him.

Each chapter starts with Rabin ruminating on a particular pop cultural artifact that holds some significance for him - ranging from The Great Gatsby to In Utero to The Simpsons episode "Homer's Enemy" - which then provides him with a jumping off point to discuss a different period in his life. For example, in writing about The Great Gatsby, which he describes as not only the greatest American novel but also the greatest novel about America, he uses the character of Gatsby - a man who runs from his past in order to rebuild him in a new image - as a mirror of himself when he was sent to live with a rich foster family and tried to create a new persona for himself (who he dubbed "Nathan Rockwell") in order to fit in with his new family.

A really fascinating book that offers a candid look at depression and the real, tangible power that art has to save lives.

This post has been edited by maian: Jul 25 2010, 07:27 PM
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Everlong
post Jul 27 2010, 03:07 PM
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Yesterday I finished The Day of the Jack Russell by Colin Bateman.

It's the follow up to a great book called "Mystery Man" and is actually better.

Mystery Man set up the story of our nameless hero, a hypochondriac who runs a crime/thriller bookshop, who ends up doing private detective work after the real private detective next door to his shop disappears. Kind of Bernard Black with a lot more neuroses.

This time it all starts when an airline boss comes for his help after his billboard is defaced with a giant cock sprayed on his head, and from there escalates with the police and even MI5 getting involved. Adding to the funny is his assistant Jeff and on-off girlfriend Alison who is now pregnant with his baby and manages to use that in every argument, and dilemma he has. And his disabled Mum who is shown a lot more here and is actually pretty funny.

An improvement on an already great first book, and I hope he's writing more.

"So's your face..."

This post has been edited by Everlong: Jul 27 2010, 03:08 PM
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Raven
post Jul 28 2010, 06:57 PM
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Android Karenina, because if you're going to milk a cow, make sure you milk it dry . . .

(I've not read this, I hasten to add!).
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Llama
post Jul 28 2010, 07:28 PM
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QUOTE (gulfcoast_highwayman @ Jul 24 2010, 06:09 PM) *
I keep meaning to buy Scott Pilgrim, and they are on offer in Forbidden Planet. Shoud I read them, or wait till I've seen the film?

Read them!
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Jessopjessopjess...
post Jul 28 2010, 08:12 PM
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QUOTE (gulfcoast_highwayman @ Jul 24 2010, 06:09 PM) *
I keep meaning to buy Scott Pilgrim, and they are on offer in Forbidden Planet. Shoud I read them, or wait till I've seen the film?

Read them immediately. The film will probably be good, but it can't capture all that is wonderful and brilliant about six books!

This is Watchmen the comic vs Watchmen the film, people
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Everlong
post Jul 28 2010, 08:12 PM
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QUOTE (Raven @ Jul 28 2010, 07:57 PM) *
Android Karenina, because if you're going to milk a cow, make sure you milk it dry . . .

(I've not read this, I hasten to add!).


I've not read any of these "reworkings" (mainly because I've heard they're crap) but there seems to be quite a few about.
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maian
post Jul 28 2010, 08:15 PM
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Even though I don't think that books should be written based on puns first, Android Karenina is a great title.

This post has been edited by maian: Jul 28 2010, 08:17 PM
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Sostie
post Jul 28 2010, 10:38 PM
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QUOTE (Everlong @ Jul 27 2010, 04:07 PM) *
Yesterday I finished The Day of the Jack Russell by Colin Bateman.


When was this out? I've read everything CB has written since Divorcing Jack came out (that must be over 15 books in asmany years) and enjoyed all of them. I do hate the way he now calls himself just "Bateman". When he became that, in the same book they seemed to censor the swearing. I nearly gave up on him. Fortunately the censorship went


QUOTE (Everlong @ Jul 28 2010, 09:12 PM) *
I've not read any of these "reworkings" (mainly because I've heard they're crap) but there seems to be quite a few about.


Having read Pride Prejudice & Zombies I can report that it was utter shit. The Austen was good. Why ruin it.


Never Trust a Rabbit by Jeremy Dyson. A nice little collection of, as expected, dark short stories.

Trautmann's Journey by Catrine Clay. For those of you that don't know Bert Trautmann was a Nazi paratrooper who became a POW in England at the end of the war, then became a much sought after goalkeeper, his career peaking with an FA Cup win with Manchester City where he played the last 15 minutes with a broken neck (and kept a clean sheet)!
The broken neck incident is probably what Trautmann was most famous for, but it is almost a footnote in this book. What we have is a very interesting document of Bert's life before the war - the rise of Nazism in Germany, his rise in the Hitler Youth; during the war - fighting both in Russia, and then Europe at the end of the war; and after the war - his time as a POW and beyond. The post war stories are quite moving and rather surprising. The forgiveness shown to, and acceptance of, the German POWs in England was really quite amazing. A good book, about a great man caught up in momentous times.
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Everlong
post Jul 28 2010, 11:18 PM
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Ha, I shall avoid those zombie/android reworking books then.

As for Colin Bateman I've only read his two "mystery man" novels but will certainly be going back and reading his older books (I hear the Dan Starkey ones are great). I think Jack Russell came out earlier in the year.
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jem
post Jul 29 2010, 11:25 PM
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Tonight I am going to read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass... as a bedtime story... to my partner...
He has never read them!
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gulfcoast_highwa...
post Jul 30 2010, 05:39 AM
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Well, on your heads be it! I've ordered the first two Scott Pilgrim books from Amazon.
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Llama
post Jul 30 2010, 09:32 AM
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Good man.
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maian
post Jul 31 2010, 05:45 PM
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I finished reading Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon the other day, which was a beautifully written and very funny novel about a weekend in the life of Grady Tripp, a formerly modestly successful author trying to juggle a wife, a pregnant mistress, a suicidal pupil, a chaotic agent, a tuba and a dead dog, all the while being crushed the weight of his latest novel, Wonder Boys, a 2,000-plus page mess that he's invested seven years of his life writing, and which he could easily spend another seven on. Chabon gleefully zips from one misfortune to the next, detailing all the ways in which Tripp's world starts to crumble with sharp comic timing and delightful turns of phrase, whilst also giving an insight into the mid-life crisis of a man lost in his own story. It's a very funny book about the very serious subject of writing, or "the midnight disease" as Tripp calls it, and the way in which writers can sometimes allow their fiction to destroy their reality.

It's not quite as good as The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which is still one of the best books I've ever read, but it is damn close.

I've also started working my way through the complete Sherlock Holmes. My aim is to read a novel or short story in between other books, and I finished A Study in Scarlet, which I remember reading a few years ago but I had forgotten most of it. It was great; brethless writing, great characters and a compelling mystery that manages to span decades and continents without ever feeling like a portentous work.
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