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What are you reading at the moment?


ChrisN
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Yes, I have no originality.

It's good, though.

o/\o

I've been meaning to read it for a while and I wandered into a charity shop the other day and saw it for 50p :P

I also got a signed hard back first edition of Ben elton's High Society. Alright, it's not especially rare or anything, but it's still a nice hardback for £2.

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If you're reading it in english, the Richard Lattimore translation of the Odyssey is fantastic. It retains the verse form of the Greek so it doesn't lose the sense of momentum which the prose translations do (although I do quite like the E. V. Rieu translation). I love the odyssey, probably my favourite book. :P

.::: Thanks for the advice, but I generally do trust our Dutch translations in this 'genre'. :P I've read the prose-translations as a teenager so I'm actually looking forward to reading the 'original' form (sans associated language of course).

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Started A Hundred Years of Solitude.

176 pages in and WTF?

:P

Don't worry about following the story, just take from it what you can. Let yourself get caught up in the spirit of the book.

It's the greatest novel ever written, by the way.

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:P

Don't worry about following the story, just take from it what you can. Let yourself get caught up in the spirit of the book.

It's the greatest novel ever written, by the way.

Aren't there loads of people in it with the same name?

That's really putting me off reading it.

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I've just finished reading this:

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And it's an excellent book that talks about how a few players and coaches changed the way American football is played at the same time as telling the story of how one of those players-to-be got there.

It's really well written, and moves neatly and frequently between funny, sad and moving passages. I'd recommend to anyone who knows enough about American football to know what a quarterback is.

Was this mentioned in Edge a couple of months back? Thought it sounded good then - one to pick up.

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Currently reading the second book in the Feist series The Conclave of Shadows; King Of Foxes. The first book was fantastic and this is even better, it's not a difficult book, but it's gripping, and a has a bit of a darker hero than is usual in these books, someone not always likeable.

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Reading John Burdett's Bangkok Tattoo, having failed to find my copy of the first book Bangkok 8. Pretty good crime, with very descriptive passages of Thailand within. Writing from a native's perspective, the book feels authentic though I could do without being constantly called 'farang' when the narrator speaks to the reader to explain a point of Thai culture. The asides are informative and necessary in places, but it does grate after a while.

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For the umpteenth time...

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Rankin's Brentford books are up there in my best ever selection. Very funny, charming and just bloody great.

You, sir, have excellent taste. His later books are becoming increasingly meh but the first 3 of the Brentford Trilogy, Dance Of the Voodoo Hand bag and Nostradamus Ate My Hamster are amazing.

I read Speaker of The Dead and it was excellent. So yeah Talv, you were right. As good as Ender's Game but completely different. I'm now reading this, as I got it form a charity shop and I wanted to read it at school (12 years ago) and never did:

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I can only sum it up so far as 'meh'. Utter bog standard fantasy fare. I'll stick with it for a few more chapters but it may be the first book I leave half way through in ages.

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I'm about half-way through 'Modesty Blaise', and it's excellent so far – fast-moving and exciting, with tight, snappy dialogue. It's very much like the Bond books, only the main character isn't a complete cunt and it's lighter in tone. The action scenes are extremely well-described, which is quite rare for a book – normally, descriptions of fights tend to get bogged down in the minutiae of elbows and limbs, but the author keeps things moving very clearly.

I'm reading JG Ballard's short stories volume 2 and it's fucking brilliant.

I read an amazing JG Ballard story a while back. The bit that really stayed with me was a description of a mutated spider that spun webs out of neural tissue - a fucking brilliant idea - which he then just chucked away as an aside. I can only respect that kind of promiscuity of ideas.

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I only have the tome that is 'The Collected' short stories of Ballard, so I'm afraid I don't know which individual collections these appear in, but I've always loved;

The Concentration City

The Time Tombs

The Gentle Assassin

The Overloaded Man

Chronopolis

The Reptile Enclosure

Track 12

The Dead Astronaut

The Message From Mars

Amongst far too many others that I've forgotten.

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I read Speaker of The Dead and it was excellent. So yeah Talv, you were right. As good as Ender's Game but completely different.

Remember the warning about the last two books. Basically a single book split down the middle, you'll have to read both Xenocide and Children Of The Mind to get the end of the story. Xenocide is also excellent (similar themes/track to SotD) but goes slightly haywire at the end. CotM starts bad and ends very badly. If you've got the willpower, I would suggest reading Xenocide and just making up your own ending because it cannot be as bad as that Card dished out. :P

As for the Weis and Hickman books, like Eddings they need to read at a certain time in life. Horribly derivative, I know, but I loved the characters. If you can bear to finish all three books, the second trilogy is much much better. Darker and more grim, following just Raistlin, Caramon and Tasslehoff.

Failing that, go and read some more contemporary fantasy such as China Mieville, Steph Swainston or K J Bishop. :P

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I've just read this:

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Having only just really got back into reading, and read a couple of Danny Wallace books and the Louis Theroux book, this was really good. Its basically the true story of an SAS execution squad in Ireland during the IRA troubles in the 60s and 70s.

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Remember the warning about the last two books. Basically a single book split down the middle, you'll have to read both Xenocide and Children Of The Mind to get the end of the story. Xenocide is also excellent (similar themes/track to SotD) but goes slightly haywire at the end. CotM starts bad and ends very badly. If you've got the willpower, I would suggest reading Xenocide and just making up your own ending because it cannot be as bad as that Card dished out. :(

As for the Weis and Hickman books, like Eddings they need to read at a certain time in life. Horribly derivative, I know, but I loved the characters. If you can bear to finish all three books, the second trilogy is much much better. Darker and more grim, following just Raistlin, Caramon and Tasslehoff.

Failing that, go and read some more contemporary fantasy such as China Mieville, Steph Swainston or K J Bishop. :(

Cheers for that, man. I can deal with the Ender saga finishing at the end Speaker... as I'd rather the brilliance of it not be ruined. I'll see.

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Alice Munro. Anyone familiar with her? You read about her occasionally in broadsheets. 'One of the five greatest writers ALIVE.' 'The Chekhov of her generation.' All that shite. Take it from me, rllmuk: she's ass. Here are the last few sentences I managed to read before I tore out some pages and ate them:

'Her parents were both doctors, living in a small city in Michigan. She lived with them after she had finished college. She taught Latin at the local high school. She joined a choral society. Many of its recitals were given in churches.'

It's like someone picked at random a few hundred wikipedia pages and published them together in a book. Pointless fact after pointless fact after pointless fact. Reams of pointless exposition. And crucially: dull-as-fuck language.

No one read her.

Now I'm about to start 'Beasts of No Nation' by some precociously talented Harvard-graduate wank-stain called Uzodinma Iweala. First paragraph:

'It is starting like this. I am feeling itch like insect is crawling on my skin, and then my head is just starting to tingle right between my eye, and then I am wanting to sneeze because my nose is itching, and then air is just blowing into my ear and I am hearing so many thing: the clicking of insect, the sound of truck grumbling like one kind of animal, and then the sound of somebody shouting TAKE YOUR POSITION RIGHT NOW! QUICK! QUICK QUICK! MOVE WITH SPEED! MOVE FAST OH! in voice that is just touching my body like knife.'

Already his writing shits all over Alice Munro's.

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If you want something different, yet very real, try Charles Bukowski. Any of his books are always worth the read, but I thoroughly recomend "Women" or "Notes of a Dirty Old Man". He writes like a wise fool talking straight from the gut about the futility and beauty of life.

"There´s nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don´t live up until their death. They don´t honor their own lives, they piss on their lives. They shit them away. Dumb fuckers. They concentrate too much on fucking, movies, money, family, fucking. Their minds are full of cotton. They swallow God without thinking, they swallow country without thinking. Soon they forget how to think, they let others think for them. Their brains are stuffed with cotton. They look ugly, they talk ugly, they walk ugly. Play them the great music of the centuries and they can´t hear it. Most people´s deaths are a sham. There´s nothing left to die."

Charles Bukowski

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If you want something different, yet very real, try Charles Bukowski. Any of his books are always worth the read, but I thoroughly recomend "Women" or "Notes of a Dirty Old Man". He writes like a wise fool talking straight from the gut about the futility and beauty of life.

"There´s nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don´t live up until their death. They don´t honor their own lives, they piss on their lives. They shit them away. Dumb fuckers. They concentrate too much on fucking, movies, money, family, fucking. Their minds are full of cotton. They swallow God without thinking, they swallow country without thinking. Soon they forget how to think, they let others think for them. Their brains are stuffed with cotton. They look ugly, they talk ugly, they walk ugly. Play them the great music of the centuries and they can´t hear it. Most people´s deaths are a sham. There´s nothing left to die."

Charles Bukowski

Yeah, I agree. :( I'm a big old fan of Bukowski and (although he wasn't really one...but is associated with) all the Beats in general.

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I read this while I was on holiday. No classic but enjoyable comedy\fantasy.

I can see it working as a TV series.

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Reading this now. Fascinating fictionalised history of the region. One early section dealing with the Mayans seems suspiciously similar to Mel Gibsons new film.

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Absolutely brilliant. Science fiction on the surface but more a study of how a society might work under anarchy - and how that society might interract with the rest of the universe. Really good stuff. Read it.

Oh and Cacky used go on about Le Guin a fair bit (Earthsea stuff I think) and the main character in this book is called Shevek. Shevek is the user id Cacky claims isn't him but had the same IP both in Japan and the UK.

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Zombies are fantastic.

ooh, is that the collected hardback?

Its a shame that the art takes such a dip in quality after the first TPB. have you read the zombie survival guide? That's quite amusing in all its deadly seriousness!

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