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> Books 2nd Edition, Foreword by m0r1arty
HoneyRyder
post Jul 2 2007, 12:58 AM
Post #436


aching for one more jaffa cake!
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A kiss of shadows by Laural K. Hamilton.

not as violent as her anita blake vampire novels, but god damn these a lot of sex. I find myself being turned off by the amount of " erotically charged adventure" which is putting it lightly. There's 5 books in the series its every few pages shes at it with someone. I think i'l go back to reading doctor who and the cybermen, or the invisibleman by h.g.wells. Anything not to have to hear about "tenticles and claws across my body."

But i have to say i'm really happy that marvels made her anita blake series a comic book..every character now has a face. Yipeee
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Chapman Baxter
post Jul 2 2007, 01:26 PM
Post #437


The sick product of a crazy society
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Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan

Adam made me read this. I'd been put off Morgan by his politics. I don't mind reading books by people I disagree with, but I had the impression that Morgan made his political beliefs integral to the plots of his novels, and I do find it hard to care about a story if I share few of the underlying assumptions about how things work. Anyway, Adam convinced me to give him a go and lent me the book. Thanks!

Altered Carbon is a noir science fiction detective story. Takeshi 'Beat' Kovacs - a criminal with an elite military background - is given a job he can't refuse: find out who killed his wealthy client, who insists that he did not commit suicide, all evidence to the contrary.

I liked it. The blend of science fiction and noir was pretty effective: the science fictional technology was integral to the plot, the dialogue is snappy, the morality is ambiguous and the women are beautiful and dangerous. It's a first novel, and does suffer from a few flaws: there were a few too many scenes for my taste in which the protagonist is in mortal peril with no way out, and is really definitely going to die this time, only for him to escape or be rescued unexpectedly. I also thought his 'Envoy training' (his military background which gives him advanced powers of manipulation and combat) was a slightly clunky plot device - it allows Morgan to make him superhumanly effective or as prone to error as everyone else whenever the plot requires.

The science fiction idea at the core of the novel is interesting: human personalities can be digitally encoded, stored, placed in artificial environments, or inserted into other bodies, either human or artificial. Morgan explores some of the implications of this technology, but I was a bit disappointed he didn't delve into some of the deeper implications for personal identity and freewill.

I thought Morgan's politics intruded themselves unnecessarily in a couple of places, but not too jarringly.

I'm glad I read it, and would consider reading more books from Morgan, but they won't be going to the top of my to-read pile.
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ella
post Jul 2 2007, 02:07 PM
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Mrs P
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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly but Jean-Dominique Bauby.

Written by the once editor of Elle magazine who suffered a massive stroke which paralysed his entire body apart from his left eye. He wrote the book with the help of a woman who would point at letters of the alphabet until he blinked. Needless to say it is a very short book. And rather than the depressing, clinical accont I was expecting, it was extremely witty and poignant.

And to coutneract that I am now on to something by the woman who wrote The Devil Wears Prada. I can't actually remember the title but just fancied a romp before I jump back into more depressing but interesting real life stories as is my theme at the moment.
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Jessopjessopjess...
post Jul 2 2007, 03:01 PM
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You do scribble
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QUOTE (Chapman Baxter @ Jul 2 2007, 02:26 PM)
Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan

I thought Morgan's politics intruded themselves unnecessarily in a couple of places, but not too jarringly.

I'm glad I read it, and would consider reading more books from Morgan, but they won't be going to the top of my to-read pile.
*

Great review Jon. I can't argue with anything you say except maybe the politics, which I found gave the book impact above standard muscle-bound SF.

The 'DHF' concept and its effects on human psychology is explored further in the other two Kovacs novels (Broken Angels and Woken Furies), as the protagonist inhabits a number of other bodies. However, neither book has quite the same punch as Altered Carbon, and both are missing the hardboiled noir of that story. In other words, I cannot recommend them as essential reading over anything else given your reaction here.

Neither should you read 'Market Forces' or 'Black Man', both of which are angry political polemic disguised as SF. I'm glad you liked Altered Carbon, but I can't imagine you'd want to read more of Morgan's canon!

Speaking of which, I should really review his last novel here at some point.
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Crutch
post Jul 2 2007, 03:15 PM
Post #440


No more smiling.
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I've read Foucault's "Les mots et les choses" and will soon start "Surveiller et punir." I really like Foucault's books. And i think I understand them.

Not much on the novel front lately. It's a shame.
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maian
post Jul 2 2007, 03:27 PM
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Bully for you
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Finished Atonement by Ian McEwan last night. Exceptional and the ending has me tearing up. I hope they don't ruin it with the film version.
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Dorf
post Jul 5 2007, 02:08 PM
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Hey-O Hey-O
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Last night I ordered The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.

I was looking for something to boost my order into free delivery status and figured I would see what this whole Thursday Next series is about as people seem to talk about it quite fondly.
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Zoe
post Jul 5 2007, 02:22 PM
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your typical selfish, back-stabbing slut faced ho-bag
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QUOTE (maian @ Jul 2 2007, 04:27 PM)
Finished Atonement by Ian McEwan last night. Exceptional and the ending has me tearing up. I hope they don't ruin it with the film version.
*


Tearing up is restrained, I wailed.
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Atara
post Jul 5 2007, 02:26 PM
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QUOTE (Ade @ Jun 21 2007, 11:07 PM)
Nasty elves wroted them, they burns our earses!
Indeed. As a Professor of English Language and Literature, he just didn't have a clue how to write.

Wink. Nudge. Eh.
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Oh I know, I am not criticising his knowledge of literature and language so much as his stucture and methods in his writing. He is a genius and I love Lord of the Rings, but Tolkien would lose me for pages at a time, talking about things he understood since he created them, but had never explained to the reader before. The council of Elrond is a good example of this, people we have never heard of and won't again talking about things we have never heard of and won't again for countless pages, it could have easily pushed a reader away.

I am sure there is a bit on the features of the extended edition of the DVDs also mentioning something like this, about the way he wrote, if it had been more recently, a publisher would have scribbled all over it and sent it back. Lucky they didn't though, really.

I am going to have to find a new book to read. I'm considering getting Chuck Palanhuiks new effort and seeing how it is.
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ipse dixit
post Jul 5 2007, 02:44 PM
Post #445


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Do, it's good. It's not bumped Survivor down from my favourite, but it's better than some (Diary, Haunted, Lullaby). Interesting structure too.

As for the whole Council of Elrond thing, it all makes sense if you've read The Silmarillion. And The Hobbit.
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mcraigclark
post Jul 5 2007, 02:49 PM
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I'm a poncey thrush.
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QUOTE (Dorf @ Jul 5 2007, 10:08 AM)
Last night I ordered The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.

I was looking for something to boost my order into free delivery status and figured I would see what this whole Thursday Next series is about as people seem to talk about it quite fondly.
*


I can't endorse that enough. Nice choice!

QUOTE (Atara @ Jul 5 2007, 10:26 AM)
I am going to have to find a new book to read. I'm considering getting Chuck Palanhuiks new effort and seeing how it is.
*



QUOTE (ipse dixit @ Jul 5 2007, 10:44 AM)
Do, it's good. It's not bumped Survivor down from my favourite, but it's better than some (Diary, Haunted, Lullaby). Interesting structure too.
*


What she said. It's worth the time and it's very strange, as you'd expect. And it is miles better than Haunted.
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Atara
post Jul 5 2007, 03:54 PM
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QUOTE (ipse dixit @ Jul 5 2007, 03:44 PM)
Do, it's good. It's not bumped Survivor down from my favourite, but it's better than some (Diary, Haunted, Lullaby). Interesting structure too.

As for the whole Council of Elrond thing, it all makes sense if you've read The Silmarillion. And The Hobbit.
*


That's only one example though, and when I was 10, Silmarillion was unknown to me. And came after TLOTR. There are alot of books of history about Middle Earth that will make sense of alot of things, but when the book was first published it wasn't available to people, that was my point, back then no one had any means, other than the bit of information given in The Hobbit, to explain a number of bits in Rings where Tolkien sort of strays, and it could have been a factor that lost him his audience initially had his story not been so captivating. Same as how he often wrote in his languages and never quite translated what he had said.


QUOTE (mcraigclark @ Jul 5 2007, 03:49 PM)
I can't endorse that enough.  Nice choice!
What she said.  It's worth the time and it's very strange, as you'd expect.  And it is miles better than Haunted.
*


I think I will, thank you both
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Sostie
post Jul 6 2007, 09:26 AM
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"Mus" gauche, "TANG"
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This Book Will Save Your Life - A.M. Homes

A great read from start to finish. Reminded me a little of Coupland or even Tom Wolf (but mercifully shorter). Every character is well fleshed out, through dialogue as opposed to description, and you actually become quite fond of them. In fact most of the book relies more on dialogue than descriptive passages, which makes for a quick and easy read - a good thing seeing that throughout you really want to know what happens to those involved. Not something I say often about books, but I actually wanted more - not because it seemed rushed or incomplete, but because I actually cared about the people in the book and wanted to know how things turned out for all of them.
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Zoe
post Jul 6 2007, 09:32 AM
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your typical selfish, back-stabbing slut faced ho-bag
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Yes!

Do you want me to send you 'Music for Torching' when I've finished it? So far it's another belter by Homes.

She's my new hero.
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Sostie
post Jul 6 2007, 09:35 AM
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QUOTE (Zoe @ Jul 6 2007, 09:32 AM)
Yes!

Do you want me to send you 'Music for Torching' when I've finished it? So far it's another belter by Homes.

She's my new hero.
*



That would be mighty kind of you, though I do have a little pile of books to get through first. I might make a Borders trip and stock up on some more - I was surprised how much she has written.
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