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Current reading - Page 113

post #5601 of 5621

Things I took from Name of the Rose this time.

 

The discussions about the "simple" or "poor" looking for any way out, and throwing their weight behind an idea that might lift them, especially if this comes from a preacher with passion and fire (Fra Dolcino and the Fraticelli) and how they basically end up getting fucked.

 

Not sure why that stood out ;p

 

Also, related, the mob mentality, in that you can't judge a person by simple human desires, as the desires and behaviour of a group are completely different.  Which got me thinking about how you can be part of a mob or gruop without leaving your living room these days.

 

Onto the Hanging Tree for some light relief.

 

Also picked up Empire State and Seven Wonders by Adam Christopher from the second hand bookshop, based on my love of Made to Kill.  Trying to stack up the reading for the holidays.

post #5602 of 5621

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner.

Set in the year 1975 in New York, this is the story of Reno, who has a fascination for everything motorcycles, speed and art.

post #5603 of 5621

Hanging Tree was good, but was indeed light relief.  Moves things along, unveils a key villain and throws some spanners in the works.

 

Empire State was really good.  Sci-fi noir but with a nice bit of flair to it.

 

Have just started SevenEves.  Holy crap.  I have to force myself to put it down at night, otherwise I could quite literally stay up all night reading it, it's that good.  

post #5604 of 5621
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bain View Post

Have just started SevenEves.  Holy crap.  I have to force myself to put it down at night, otherwise I could quite literally stay up all night reading it, it's that good.  
Yep.

Good reading for uncertain times.
post #5605 of 5621

Finished Umberto Eco's Baudolino and gifted it to a friend. Not as great as Name of the Rose or Foucalt's Penulum, which I regard as Masterpieces, but a really fun read. The first chapter is some of the funniest stuff I've read in a long long time. The novel starts in a grounded reality (although it's a reality mediated by an unreliable narrator), but the last half of the book is pure Medieval fantasy. Terry Gilliam would LOVE to make a movie from this. 

 

Now I'm reading "The Invisible Bridge" by Richard Perlstein. He's a Leftist historian chronically the rise the Right in the US from Barry Goldwater on. This book is about the Fall of Nixon and the parallel rise of Reagan, and how the US changed during this time. Perlstein is really good at making you feel the ambiance of 1970's America whilst the Nixon Administration imploded. The sense that Civilization itself was falling apart, not just from Watergate, but from the Oil Embargo, the Yom Kippur War, Patty Hearst, Moonies, the general search for something, anything to believe in. Most amusingly, he relates how a California Bank hosted an Occult Day where, after you opened a checking account or whatever, you could learn about Tarot, UFO's, Witchcraft, etc. 


Also re-reading Second Foundation, and realizing how much I'd forgotten that novel (I find with Asimov I recall certain images or concepts with great clarity, forgetting specifics of plot and character. So the ideas of Foundation and the Second Foundation, the introduction to Trantor, the Viewings of Hari Seldon's Hologram image, etc really stand out). 

 

Could be a theme here :)

post #5606 of 5621

So, I finally got round to reading the first two Locke & Key graphic novels that Arjen very kindly bought me for Xmas. I really enjoyed them.

 

The characters are well written and the art is very expressive. The story is imaginative and the weirdness and horror fits really well with the psychological issues with which each character was grappling. Shocking in places, but I never felt it was gratuitous and the deeper lore unfurls at a good pace without pedestrian exposition. I wouldn't call myself a major enthusiast for horror fan, especially stuff which is just unremitting brutality and stress, but the metaphysical stuff, the weirdness, the breaking of physical laws and the importance of unease as well as gore engaged with my previous enjoyment of Lovecraft, Clive Barker and Alan Moore.

 

I think I am a latecomer to these, but in case anyone has yet to pick them, this relative comic neophyte was a fan!

post #5607 of 5621

Just dove into A Canticle for Leibowitz. I'm not sure what I thought this book was, but was utterly confused when I saw it in the horror section of the local used bookstore. So far, Im all in

post #5608 of 5621
CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ is one of the best books ever.
post #5609 of 5621

Just finished reading Tad Williams's The Heart of What Was Lost, a bridging novel between his Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy and the upcoming Last King of Osten Ard series. MST was and is a favorite of mine, and with almost no hesitation I call it the American heir to Tolkien.

 

(For those who haven't heard of it: George RR Martin credits Williams's epic fantasy series as one of the sources of inspiration/encouragement for him to write what became A Song of Ice and Fire, known to most people as Game of Thrones.)

 

I adore Williams's writing; he hits that sweet spot for me of new-but-familiar, invoking wonder, and breaking your heart while also giving you some hope to move forward. 

post #5610 of 5621

Halfway through I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, the memoirs of Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran. Brandt interviewed Sheeran over the period of five years, and eventually got him to open up about how he was ordered to kill his close friend Jimmy Hoffa. Sheeran also (reluctantly) talks about how learned to kill in the US Army, and his 411 days of active combat in World War 2. Sheeran did terrible things for terrible people, but he's also a very funny guy with a big heart. Fascinating read, I didn't know anything about the depression era US, Jimmy Hoffa or the labor unions.

post #5611 of 5621

I actually read On the Road for the first time about a year ago.  Ever since I have noticed people saying "Yaaaasss", which is heavily used in the book, as if it is some new slang.  Just did a random search and the few articles I read about it's origins do not mention On the Road.  For me, when I started seeing it, I was like, "Are there a lot of younger people that are huge fans of this?  Did they recently watch the movie?".  Then I saw that most people attribute it to a video of some guy yelling it to Lady Gaga and well, whatever, I guess.

 

I wasn't a big fan of the book.  I guess I can see why, at the time of its release, it had the impact that it did, but to me, most of the people in the book are kind of assholes, including the writer.  Maybe it's me, but I would not want to travel cross country, or hang out, with any of the people from the book.

post #5612 of 5621
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCA View Post

I actually read On the Road for the first time about a year ago.  Ever since I have noticed people saying "Yaaaasss", which is heavily used in the book, as if it is some new slang.  Just did a random search and the few articles I read about it's origins do not mention On the Road.  For me, when I started seeing it, I was like, "Are there a lot of younger people that are huge fans of this?  Did they recently watch the movie?".  Then I saw that most people attribute it to a video of some guy yelling it to Lady Gaga and well, whatever, I guess.

I wasn't a big fan of the book.  I guess I can see why, at the time of its release, it had the impact that it did, but to me, most of the people in the book are kind of assholes, including the writer.  Maybe it's me, but I would not want to travel cross country, or hang out, with any of the people from the book.

I'm not a fan of Kerouac. Dharma Bums is insufferable. "Live and write like me! I'm super enlightened"

Hard to take from a guy who essentially drank himself to death.
post #5613 of 5621

My relationship with beat literature is akin to the one between a rubber ball and a wall. I bounced off it, hard.

post #5614 of 5621

Went back to revisit an old favorite, Brave New World. Something about it seemed appropriate for these wild and crazy times. And man, time has not been kind to this book.

post #5615 of 5621

post #5616 of 5621
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterPhil View Post
 

Went back to revisit an old favorite, Brave New World. Something about it seemed appropriate for these wild and crazy times. And man, time has not been kind to this book.

 

"I say," Helmholtz exclaimed solicitously, "you do look ill, John!"

"Did you eat something that didn't agree with you?" asked Bernard.

The Savage nodded. "I ate civilization."

post #5617 of 5621

Reading Stephenson's Seveneves...it's good enough that I'm thinking of picking up the Baroque Cycle. 

post #5618 of 5621

I'll take another stab at the Baroque cycle someday. I adore the concept.

post #5619 of 5621
I'm reading Clive Barker's first novel, The Damnation Game. It's pretty good so far, but it does feel like a Books of Blood story with a lot of air in it.
post #5620 of 5621
Quicksilver is easily the hardest of the Baroque Cycle. Once I knew what I was in for I sailed through the other two. It's a great companion to Cryptonomicon too.

Reading list has been neglected a bit.

SevenEves was great, although some of the political machinations seemed a bit trite when I read it. Then Trump actually began his reign and it all seemed tame.

Seven Wonders was a quality homage to the Golden Age of comics.

Plague of Swordss (Traitor Son 4) continues the greatness and is fast becoming my favourite swords and sourcery series. He's not shy in cutting major characters down, but it never feels GRRM gratuitous.

Onto Johanes Cabal the Nevromancer (and the next 2 books) by Jonathan L Howard, which feels like another mix of Pratchett and Gaiman which is perfectly filling the Pratchett void in my life. Recommend highly.
post #5621 of 5621
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtanen View Post
 

Halfway through I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, the memoirs of Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran. Brandt interviewed Sheeran over the period of five years, and eventually got him to open up about how he was ordered to kill his close friend Jimmy Hoffa. Sheeran also (reluctantly) talks about how learned to kill in the US Army, and his 411 days of active combat in World War 2. Sheeran did terrible things for terrible people, but he's also a very funny guy with a big heart. Fascinating read, I didn't know anything about the depression era US, Jimmy Hoffa or the labor unions.

 

Started reading this again. Sheeran has a very interesting way to speak, which makes the book quite difficult to understand at times. I assume it's because of his several decade stint in the mob, but he says eveything in a way that doesn't link him to what he's talking about. Like "a guy I know asked me to come to Philly to take care of a certain affair. So I went to Philly and did what I do" or "I walked in the room, turned around and saw a glimpse Crazy Joe Gallo. Two bullets hit his back and I left to where I was supposed to go". Also "going to school", "went to Australia", "painting houses" etc. are (maybe) explained only once, if you don't pay attention, chances are you have no idea what the hell Frank's talking about.

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