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> Books 2nd Edition, Foreword by m0r1arty
maian
post Oct 11 2010, 11:31 PM
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What other novels of his have you read? I'd recommend his short stories more than his novels, since he's able to take his frequently brilliant ideas and explore them fully without having to try to wrap a long plot around them. I do really like his super-crazy novels like Ubik and A Scanner Darkly (one of the best books about drugs I've ever read) though.
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jem
post Oct 12 2010, 08:28 AM
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QUOTE (Bloomeeney @ Sep 11 2010, 08:52 AM) *
Mystery Man - Colin Bateman

Read this through a recommendation from earlier in this thread. Nicely written and good story. The main character reminded me of Bernard Black


I've been trying track this down since it was originally posted about but the shops near me don't have and the special order is taking forever... I am now excessively excited for it.

I'm currently reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I'm really liking it, it's very witty and there is some lovely use of language. The sentence structure and word choices are pleasurable, though he was definitely and admittedly a usage snob, there is no pretension in his words. In fact my current favourite sentence ever comes from this book: "Marath continued to hum the USA song, all over the map in terms of key."* Surprisingly it's also not as daunting as I was lead to believe, though it's taking me awhile to get through it - it's just a big book and I don't have enough time to devote to it. The only thing I can put against it is that unlike his essays the footnotes are all at the back of the book, but it does not signify - two book marks instead of one really.

*I feel like such a dork, but seriously the language is enjoyable... It's like a really good meal.
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Llama
post Oct 12 2010, 09:27 AM
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I just finished reading a book my friend Paul J. Newell wrote called Altered States. There's a sample section on his website here, in the form of a PDF. It's a fiction book but I'd highly recommend it to people interested in various forms of psychology, and especially Derren Brown fans, who would be familiar with a lot of the techniques included.
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Bloomeeney
post Oct 12 2010, 09:28 AM
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QUOTE (jem @ Oct 12 2010, 09:28 AM) *
I've been trying track this down since it was originally posted about but the shops near me don't have and the special order is taking forever... I am now excessively excited for it.


Damn, could have sent you my copy but I left it in the hotel after reading it on holiday!!
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Everlong
post Oct 12 2010, 10:25 AM
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QUOTE (jem @ Oct 12 2010, 09:28 AM) *
I've been trying track this down since it was originally posted about but the shops near me don't have and the special order is taking forever... I am now excessively excited for it.


It's a top book. The Sequel (The Day Of The Jack Russell) is even better. In my opinion anyway!
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Raven
post Oct 12 2010, 10:03 PM
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QUOTE (maian @ Oct 12 2010, 12:31 AM) *
What other novels of his have you read? I'd recommend his short stories more than his novels, since he's able to take his frequently brilliant ideas and explore them fully without having to try to wrap a long plot around them. I do really like his super-crazy novels like Ubik and A Scanner Darkly (one of the best books about drugs I've ever read) though.


Apart from The Man in the High Castle, I've also read Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep and Ubik.

All three were okay, and explored some good ideas, but whilst reading each of them I got the impression that PKD was making things more complex than they needed to be (not so much in the terms of the plot, but in the writing itself - it just seemed kind of laboured).

They are also pretty humourless and dry, and with the Man in the High Castle supposedly being his most accessible science fiction novel, it's put me off reading any of the other five novels of his that I own.

Perhaps I'll pick up another one day, after the memory of this one fades a tad.
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maian
post Oct 13 2010, 12:31 AM
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He is quite dry, but I've always found his ideas to be strong enough to make up for the slightly workmanlike aspects of some of his writing. I would recommend A Scanner Darkly, since it's easily his best written novel, but it's also not so much a novel as a series of scenes inspired by his prodigious drug use.
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maian
post Oct 16 2010, 10:39 AM
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Mr. Vertigo by Paul Auster

Picareque novel in which Walt Rawley, a young orphan living in Saint Louis, is taken under the wing of Master Yehudi, an old mystic who promises that he can teach him how to fly. From its evocative opening line - "I was twelve years old when I first walked on water" - the book unfolds over several decades as Walt lives through the various ages and major epochs of America in the twentieth century. Auster creates a beguiling mix of whimsy and psychological insight that explores the pains of adolescence not only for Walt, but for America as a whole. He does a lot with very little, and the final product is a unique and delightful fable.
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Ade
post Oct 24 2010, 08:41 PM
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QUOTE (widowspider @ May 7 2010, 04:26 PM) *
I'm most of the way through Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde. It's bloody good.

Glad to hear it - I was in two minds whether to buy it after a few lacklustre reviews I'd read.

I'm currently trying to work my way through Something Rotten, but it's slow going at the moment. I really want to get back into reading regularly like I used to, but I seem to be really struggling lately to find the time, inclination or the ability to concentrate. I used to read all the time. I blame the internet.
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maian
post Oct 30 2010, 04:36 PM
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I've recently enjoyed a double-dose of minimalist American melancholy with The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry and What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver.

I'm a big fan of Peter Bogdanovitch's film version of The Last Picture Show, and it was interesting seeing just how closely it sticks to the novel, not just in terms of events, but also in terms of specific exchanges and the overall tone of the story. The story itself is a beautifully sad story of people living in a dying town in the middle of Texas and the ways in which they try to find some form of happiness, most of which revolve around the pursuit of sex, as well as an examination of what sex and love mean to people spend all their time working numbing manual jobs, fighting and drinking. Also, there's pig-fucking.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love was a similarly heartbreaking collection of Craver's short stories, all of which were shot through with his keen observations about relationships and his almost perfect ability to say everything with as few words as possible. Several of the stories, namely "They're Not Your Husband", "The Bath", "Tell the Women We're Going" and "So Much Water So Close to Home", formed the basis of segments in Robert Altman's film Short Cuts (and the latter would be adapted again as the film Jindabyne) so it was cool seeing how they translated from one medium to another.
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Shack
post Oct 30 2010, 07:11 PM
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QUOTE (Shack @ Oct 10 2010, 04:23 PM) *
Now got "The Little Stranger" by Sarah Waters and "White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga to read.

Not sure which to start with.


I started and read The White Tiger first.

Written in the form of letters to a Chinese premier, it tells the tale of a villager in India who moves to the city and tries to make some money. It's a fairly unremitting tale and it really gives you an impression of India.

Good overall, nearly great.
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maian
post Oct 30 2010, 08:44 PM
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I've decided to set myself the task of reading the Complete Sherlock Holmes by the end of the year. I need to average 15 pages (or one short story) a day and so far it's going pretty well. At least it's a fun task.

This post has been edited by maian: Oct 30 2010, 08:44 PM
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jem
post Nov 5 2010, 11:52 PM
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Just finished Native Son by Richard Wright.... Very interesting but difficult for me to read. The main theme is a lot broader than I think it was intended (it is a protest novel about being black in America during the 30's). I found myself occasionally identifying with the main character, which was what made it difficult to read as he is not intended to be obviously sympathetic.
I enjoyed very much though.

I highly recommend. I think it might be one of those books that everyone should read. - It describes the human condition quite well and can be applied to any group of people.

Currently I am reading the Book of Law by Crowley. Not quite an Erin book, but someone I quite admire said the book meant a lot to him, and that everyone should read it around my age. It has actually brought up a number of questions for me about him (mostly just, "Really?" "Huh?").

This post has been edited by jem: Nov 5 2010, 11:57 PM
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mcraigclark
post Nov 6 2010, 12:12 AM
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QUOTE (maian @ Oct 30 2010, 04:44 PM) *
I've decided to set myself the task of reading the Complete Sherlock Holmes by the end of the year. I need to average 15 pages (or one short story) a day and so far it's going pretty well. At least it's a fun task.

This has been a promise I've made to myself for the past few years, and I've never delivered. It will be done.
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maian
post Nov 6 2010, 02:16 AM
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I think I'm reading them too fast since I'm already nearing the end of pre-Reichenbach Falls Holmes having only started reading them in earnest three or four days ago. But they're like opium. Sweet, sweet opium.
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