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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #26
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Louisville, KY area
    Knight of the Black Rose. By James Lowder. Its about Lord Soth a death night from the Dragon Lance series. He gets tranported to the Ravenloft world. I'm also reading At the Gates of Darkness by Ramond Feist. It's book 2 of the Demon War Saga. I finished the 4th and 5th in the Frankenstein series by Dean Koontz a little while back.

  2. #27
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Sulphur, whatever
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    What it's lacking is that kind of relentless drive you get in some romantic or vanilla modernist lit, where every bit adds to the momentum of the whole theme... Otherwise you're getting swept left and right by ever more fluff going nowhere fast. The only catch is that the contemporary world doesn't work like that as much anymore. I mean people don't have all these social expectations & taboos to play with like they once did, so it doesn't matter as much what people do or say, if nobody cares all that much.

    I was thinking what kind of style I like the most, and looking back at books I've read, I'm going to say Alduous Huxley... with Brave New World actually not being the strongest example. But something like The Island or Chrome Yellow, he just has a playful but compelling style, and it's always entertaining to read how he constructs the scenes, the writing style in itself; and his books still have a point. If I wanted to write a book, I think that's a style I'd want to emulate.
    Infinite Jest is a book I seem to return to on holiday. So I've cracked it open yet again and read through until the massive filmographical footnote of J. Orin Incandenza. I see what you mean by lack of narrative drive.

    But that's okay. I'll admit I'm having fun with its digressions and detours and dead-ends at the moment. I'll even admit that having almost every other sentence punctuated with superscripted footnotes is amusing in how daft it is as a technique; I imagine DFW had an immense amount of authorial fun writing this, scripting out yet another wodge of text in between the odd self-referential and/or inconsequential footnote. I know if I'd been writing something like this, I'd have a huge shit-eating grin while I was doing it.

    So as it basically turns out so far, DFW took everything he had and threw it into a massive pot of fuck off, and it's entertainingly schizophrenic, sort of like if you had a verbally diarrhoeic 90s comedy helmed by David Lynch.

    However, I'll never understand the propensity for some authors to fashion their work from abstruse constructions of prose that spiral away into pleonastic overindulgence (though it's easy to do, I guess!), and DFW seems to love the run-on even more than I do. I suppose it's what passes for style, or maybe it's just the only way some authors can write, like the mould their thoughts were shaken from onto the page was a single, massive trough of obsessively observed irony.

    This is the first book that's made me wish I had a Kindle to read it from, because there's more than four hundred pages of text between where I currently am in the book and where the footnotes are, and zipping back and forth requires judiciously placed bookmarks, which is something that, as far as I'm concerned, can fuck right off. It's also been a while since a book made me wish I had a dictionary by my side. This may or may not be a good thing in terms of quality prose.

  3. #28
    Mistaken for a man
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Helsinki, Finland
    I'm reading Umbra by Leena Krohn. Her writing is wonderful, breathtakingly deep and beautiful and strange.

  4. #29
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: someplace better than this
    Like all things Warren Ellis does, there's a vicious quality to Crooked Little Vein, which provides quite a bit of the humor. It's quite obvious Warren's experience writing Transmetropolitan has had some influence on him -- and that's good, because Transmet, IMO, is one of the most sublime events in comic bookery with a bitingly sharp political bent that somehow manages to stand the test of time well past the Bush years.

  5. #30
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Right now I'm reading Ruth Millikan's Varieties of Meaning if we're sharing.

  6. #31
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Sulphur, whatever
    That's a bit too meta, don't you think, dema


  7. #32
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    I'm reading Arturo Perez Reverte's The Club Dumas (The 9th Gate was based on it)

  8. #33
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    That's a bit too meta, don't you think, dema

    Heh, nothing is too meta for a philosophy book.
    Reminds me when I was a philosophy major we used to have a t-shirt for our dep't that was something like:
    No question too obscure.
    No answer too pedantic.

    Second only to my favorite from another year with a Che-style mug shot of Frege under a "WWFD" (What Would Frege Do) caption.

    Edit: Unless you mean the post itself has a variety of meanings. Not sure what they all are, but it'd be cute if it did.
    Last edited by demagogue; 6th Jan 2013 at 00:10.

  9. #34
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup
    I'm reading a fascinating book called The Wave about the science behind rogue waves (and associated topics such as sea levels, climate change) and the madmen who tow-surf monster surf (and the obvious issues around their psychology and physical limitations). It's awesome.

  10. #35
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: not there again!
    I've just read The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. It feels more like Baxter's book with a handful of Pratchett's characters, quips and dialogs thrown in, but they are incorporated well and don't disrupt the general dynamic. It's very much centre-heavy, with several seemingly disjointed stories in the beginning, most of the narrative progress in the middle and quite an abrupt and slightly disappointing ending - that is, until I've realized there's another book coming.

    I just hope Pratchett will be able to keep up for the course of this book (and, ideally, another one or two Discworld novels, as Snuff was pretty much one of the best 'Sam Vimes' pieces, probably straight after Thud!). I mean, Reading Nation felt like watching the author struggle with the limitations imposed by his illness and losing it about three quarters through.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for The Long Earth, Part 2 because if Baxter provides the same measure of solid research and narrative flow, while Pratchett kicks in a handful of slapstick and funny quips, it'll be an amazing hard sci-fi 'trilogy in two parts'.

  11. #36
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    I'm lost in a sea of what to read now.

    I'm simultaneously attempting The God Delusion, The Singularity is Near, The Forever War, Non-Stop and whatever Flashman is next. Oh, and a Unity guidebook.

    The Wave sounds great Scots. Gaaaaaaahahhhhahah to many books too many games

  12. #37
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.

    Todo Belascoarán (All Belascoarán) by Paco Taibo II. Compilation of Mexican detective/noir novels that are also strong social and leftist commentary. Awesome stuff even if the not-so-subtle leftist rhetoric makes you roll your eyes at times. Plus, the main character's half Irish, half Basque, and full 100% Mexican, w00t!

    Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchet. Got to love us some good ol'Discworld fun, eh? Took a bit of a break from my reading of all his Discworld books in order of publication. Time to get back in the saddle with this one.

    Thinking of starting up The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler and maybe follow with The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood.

    Need to get my reading rhythm again, baby.

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: Alberta, Canada
    I recently finished reading Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal. Turns out I like the darker detective fiction. So after that I read Steig Larsson's Millennium series (dragon tattoo novels) which makes me feels even more than I used to that I wish I had a good reason to learn the Swedish language, im a big Kent fan and despite being an English speaker, I cant stand their English recordings. Anyway, I dont know where to go.next. Wheel of time? Worth it?

    Phone typing sucks.

  14. #39
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    House of Leaves? It's dark mystery... sort of, but maybe too experimental. It's broken up post-modern style so not exactly mainstream. There's also Umberto Eco's stuff, Foucault's Pendulum & Name of the Rose, or the Illluminati series.

  15. #40
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: someplace better than this
    House of Leaves is basically a Lovecraft story about reading a Lovecraft story.

    It sounds dumb when I put it that way, but it's one of my favourite books in the world. And Mark Z. Danielewski does something essential -- he pulls the reader into the medium of the book. It's more than just a stack of papers with words on them -- the text will sometimes reflect that of what's going on in the story. For example, a chapter that does a lot of discussing of mazes and labyrinths is similarly labyrinthine, the text warping itself and readable threads jumping around, and you have to pay close attention to follow, or you're going to get lost.

  16. #41
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2006
    Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
    Personally, I found all the typography and layout shenanigans to be rather silly. Fun but it was all so obvious, goofy and superficial that I found it detracted from the fantastic 'spatially fucked up house' story. The footnotes and various unreliable narrators were more interesting but I grew to hate the increasingly tedious and lengthy, sub-Palahniuk ramblings of Johnny Truant. There's a great horror novel in House Of Leaves but it's drowning in a bit too much pomo bullshit.*

    Volitions Advocate: I reckon Arnaldur Indriðason's stuff might be what you're looking for. Jar City was the one I started with.

    * Says the guy who adores David Foster Wallace. Currently reading Everything And More, his book on the history of infinity.
    Last edited by Angel Dust; 7th Jan 2013 at 18:58.

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Just wrapped up Flowers for Algernon. Good, but not as great as everyone made it sound. Also followed a bit of a predictable arch (tho, it's not like there's much else that could have happened tbh).

    Continuing halfway through The Hobbit and gonna start on Tom Robbins' Jitterburg Perfume my sister gave me for xmas!

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    Bought Nostromo for £1.99. Thought I'd give it a try since the Alien films reference it.

    First few pages: OMFG, the prose. I limped through the introduction, and now that it's picking up I'm hooked. I don't really read fiction, but since I'm in the middle of a Dishonored binge I feel in the mood for some political fiction.

  19. #44
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Just wrapped Blood, Bones & Butter by Hamilton which was decent, and started on my second Pratchett book, Going Postal. So far so good, reminds me quite a bit of Guards Guards in overall setup and structure (i.e. some institution in AnkMorph with a cast of wacky characters whom I'm guessing will transform it from the mess it is back to its proper glory).

  20. #45
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Pratchett has many fine qualities, inventive plot structures is not one of them.

  21. #46
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I'm reading more non-fiction than fiction these days, history & CogSci books being my two regulars.

  22. #47
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Ottawa
    Im about half way through History of Rome by Mommsen. Do I win for most boring sounding book?

  23. #48
    Finished A Wise Man's Fear by Pat Rothfuss, and it's gotta be the worst novel I've ever read... Which doesn't really make it extremely bad. Reading it was kind of entertaining, but the first book, The Name of the Wind, was much, much better. This one was at times boring to death, hilariously juvenile, and the writing was on the level of some pretty bad fan-fiction. There were some great chapters that kept me going, and there was some interesting stuff hidden in-between the lines here and there, but the overall experience ultimately felt like a waste of time. I'm not sure, if I'm gonna buy the next book when it comes out...

    Also just started For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. Depressing as all hell.
    Last edited by Yamatotakeru; 25th Apr 2013 at 15:52.

  24. #49
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: Alberta, Canada
    After Hannibal and Dragon Tattoo I decided to move onto Wheel of Time, probably due to an on/off love affair with Skyrim.

    I'm quite impressed so far. I was expecting some awful high fantasy Tolkien knockoff that I'd get bored with and put down half way through the first book. (I've tried so many fanatasy novels and been bored as hell. I have fond memories of the Dragonlance stories, but a recent re-read shows how campy they really are and I put that down too)

    Turns out,, its not all about elves and dwarves and fantasy stereotypes. It is a very good read. So much so that I'm already 10 chapters into the 7th book. (8th technically since I read the prequel book first) And these things aren't small books. If anybody was debating whether or not to read them, I think I'll give my recommendation. After this one I'll be half way through and will probably take a break to read Casual Vacancy.

  25. #50
    Thanks for the recommendation! Always wanted to check The Wheel of Time, but man, are those books difficult to collect. Now this time if I find one of them somewhere, I won't hesitate to buy .

    It's also really cool that it was Brandon Sanderson who finished the cycle after Jordan's death. I've heard a lot of good things about that guy. Oh, and the PC game was really cool too.

    BTW For Whom the Bell Tolls' protagonist is coincidentally named Robert Jordan. I can't stop being reminded that I should finally try out The Wheel of Time it seems .

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