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> Books 2nd Edition, Foreword by m0r1arty
widowspider
post Jul 7 2011, 01:00 PM
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OMNOMNOM
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Murder in the Marais by Cara Black

My friend Jenny is obsessed with the series of crime thrillers from Cara Black so she lent me the first one. The lead character looks like me so I hope I get to play her in the film adaptation. Fun romp - I love crime fiction and this one was good. Computer hacking, neo-Nazis, cover-ups and plot twists, all set in the streets of Paris in the mid-90s.
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Sean of the Dead
post Jul 9 2011, 01:35 AM
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Conscience gets expensive, doesn't it?
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I recently finished Saturday by Ian McEwan, a few years after finishing my first McEwan novel Atonement (which is one of my favourite books ever) and I really liked it - Perowne is a brilliantly realised and sympathetic protagonist and the Mrs Dalloway-esque free indirect style applied to a man between ambivalence, love and fear (to steal from Donnie Darko) is really brilliantly used. I particularly found the moments in the care home very sad, touching and utterly convincing. I also really liked it because it's set in the exact area where I've been living the past year - I used to walk past the Jeremy Bentham! - and as such I feel a strange connection to it in this sense. It's not Atonement, but it's still excellent and I'm slotting him next to Coe on my list of favourite contemporary novelists.
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Hobbes
post Jul 9 2011, 11:19 AM
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dim view of human nature
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I liked Saturday as well, very well-written novel. My only real gripe about it is that McEwan clearly did loads of research about neurosurgery to make the main character more believable, which is fine, but then he does spend a bit too long showing off all the things he's learned. Felt at times like he was only putting in such swathes of detail to try and impress people, which irked me a bit. That aside, though, I thought it was really good.

Out of curiosity Sean, have you read any Cormac McCarthy? I got into him about the same time of my studies as you're at now and he totally blew me away. He's basically a contemporary Faulkner but (dare I?) maybe even slightly better. Very much worthy of your time.
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maian
post Jul 9 2011, 11:32 AM
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McCarthy's a wonderful writer. I don't that I've yet recovered from reading Blood Meridian, though. Such a bleak and brilliant book.

I finished reading Cathedral by Raymond Carver yesterday, which I've been dipping into over the course of the last month. It was amazing, unsurprisingly, and probably his best collection of short stories (it's between that and What We Talk About When We Talk About Love) with some absolutely beautiful pieces. I love the way he captures those little moments that can have profound, life-altering effects on people and their relationships, and the ease with which he captures the sadness of his characters as they just try to get by. Highlights; A Small, Good Thing, which I thought was a great expansion on the original version called "The Bath" since it offered some rare, if conditional, resolution for a Carver story; Where I'm Called From, which may be the ultimate story about alcoholism from one of the ultimate writer on alcoholism; and Cathedral, which was just spellbinding and beautiful in its depiction of how simple human connections can change the way we see the world.

I'm not going on to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, because they sound like awesome books.
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Shack
post Jul 12 2011, 08:39 PM
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Have finished the first Girl With... by Steig Larsson.

I was expecting to be disappointed, but I was actually pleasantly surprised.

Now onto the second one and it's extremely apparent that a lot of things Salander is doing are similar to the phone hacking scandals. I'm enjoying the slow build and sudden changes of pace so far.

I think once I've got through the three, I'm going to have to read something light and breezy. Recommendations welcome.
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mcraigclark
post Jul 13 2011, 08:17 PM
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QUOTE (Shack @ Jul 12 2011, 04:39 PM) *
I think once I've got through the three, I'm going to have to read something light and breezy. Recommendations welcome.


I've mentioned him before, but Christopher Moore is a sure bet. Not necessary to read all of them in order (there are some where it's definitely best to). See also: Scarlett Thomas, Neil Gaiman (not always light), Douglas Coupland, Tom Robbins.
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Shack
post Jul 13 2011, 09:12 PM
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QUOTE (mcraigclark @ Jul 13 2011, 09:17 PM) *
I've mentioned him before, but Christopher Moore is a sure bet. Not necessary to read all of them in order (there are some where it's definitely best to). See also: Scarlett Thomas, Neil Gaiman (not always light), Douglas Coupland, Tom Robbins.


I'm well into the Moore back catalogue, most enjoyably. Will look into Gaiman, Robbins and Coupland. Thanks Mr C!
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Sir_Robin_the_br...
post Jul 13 2011, 09:12 PM
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Coupland good.
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Julie
post Jul 13 2011, 10:31 PM
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QUOTE (Sir_Robin_the_brave @ Jul 13 2011, 05:12 PM) *
Coupland good.


Absolutely. I'd definitely recommend Girlfriend in a Coma, Microserfs or All Families are Psychotic as good starting points.
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maian
post Jul 13 2011, 10:44 PM
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Shack, Hey Nostradamus is also excellent, though that one's perhaps best left for when you want a less light read. It's not that dark, but it's one of his more intense works.
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maian
post Jul 14 2011, 02:19 PM
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QUOTE (maian @ Jul 9 2011, 12:32 PM) *
I'm not going on to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, because they sound like awesome books.


Just finished the first book and ho-ly shit, it is really fantastic. It has an absolutely relentless pace that more than delivers on the promise of its premise (Kids forced to fight to the death for a television show. Yes, it sounds like Battle Royale but it is very different.) with a exhilarating setpieces, a real sense of peril and some moments that are truly gutwrenching. The world is also nicely sketched out and I hope that the subsequent books (not to mention the film version) expand on those aspects more. I've ordered the other books and they cannot arrive soon enough.
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Shack
post Jul 14 2011, 08:51 PM
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Muchos thanks Book Team!

Once I've got through all the Girl With'uns, I'll ch-ch-check him out.
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Raven
post Jul 14 2011, 09:47 PM
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I'll second Microserfs and add The Gum Thief as good Coupland novels.
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gulfcoast_highwa...
post Jul 16 2011, 09:16 PM
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Read 'A Clash Of Kings' on my holiday. Good stuff all round.

Spoilered for those watching the TV show

I was a little disapointed that there wasn't more of Arya being a ninja, and they need to get Needle back in her hands. Mightily relieved that Bran abd Rickon turned out not to be dead. Weird that Robb didn't appear. John's story betyond the wall got more interesting as it went along.

Tyrion proved once again to be the best. I can't wait to see Peter Dinklage leading the men into battle.


Book 3 is now on order.
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maian
post Jul 16 2011, 09:20 PM
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QUOTE (gulfcoast_highwayman @ Jul 16 2011, 10:16 PM) *
Mightily relieved that Bran abd Rickon turned out not to be dead.


The mere possibility that they might be really, really upset me when I was reading the book, to the point where I had to set it aside and stop reading for about a day. After Ned's death at the end of A Game of Thrones, I just assumed that anyone was game, and the thought of two of the most innocent characters dying really got to me. Reading that they weren't dead was such a monumental relief.
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