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Re: New now reading

Posted: 11 Mar 2017, 22:37
by the masked man
Paul Morley - The Age Of Bowie:

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So far, a thrilling read. Morley is a great critic, and he's sketching the life of Britain's greatest rock star with skill and perception. He is an unusual stylist, and not everyone likes his boastful style, but this works well here. It's one from the heart.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 14 Mar 2017, 14:44
by Jimbo
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Just downloaded this. This is the first in a long series of books. Scarrow was recommended if you like Cornwell or O'Brian. Is anyone here familiar with the series?

Re: New now reading

Posted: 14 Mar 2017, 14:59
by Darkness_Fish
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Re: New now reading

Posted: 14 Mar 2017, 15:52
by Snarfyguy
the masked man wrote:Paul Morley - The Age Of Bowie:

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So far, a thrilling read. Morley is a great critic, and he's sketching the life of Britain's greatest rock star with skill and perception. He is an unusual stylist, and not everyone likes his boastful style, but this works well here. It's one from the heart.

The LRB's correspondent doesn't quite reach the same conclusion: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n01/ian-penma ... ng-teatime

This was lost in my apartment for years ( :oops: ) in the hurly-burley of having a baby/toddler/young child at home, but I just came across it the other night, so I'm looking forward to getting back to it:

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Re: New now reading

Posted: 16 Mar 2017, 08:26
by Jimbo
Jimbo wrote:Image

Just downloaded this. This is the first in a long series of books. Scarrow was recommended if you like Cornwell or O'Brian. Is anyone here familiar with the series?



I am just a few chapters into this and it's really really good. The characters are well etched soldier stereotypes, the new recruit, the sadistic but good hearted drill sergeant, the effete general and many more recognizable characters. They're all in the story along with the knowledge of how the Roman army worked. It's a break from all the Cornwell I read but not much of a break, very similar to the Sharpe series but Scarrow's men are less "manly" and more human. If you like this sort of reading, so far - - - five stars!

Re: New now reading

Posted: 16 Mar 2017, 19:22
by harvey k-tel
I think King's lost his touch.

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Re: New now reading

Posted: 16 Mar 2017, 19:27
by Minnie the Minx
Harvey K-Tel wrote:I think King's lost his touch.

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:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: New now reading

Posted: 17 Mar 2017, 15:21
by Snarfyguy
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A chapter a night before bed, with the little one. At five, she's not picking up on a lot of the references/jokes and she seems to be merely tolerating it, but we're only three chapters in, so we'll see how it goes. I'm enjoying it a lot, however!

Re: New now reading

Posted: 17 Mar 2017, 15:41
by Toby
I can't wait to tackle a load of children's "classics" that I never read as a child - Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island etc - with my boy. At the moment though we're limited to Dr Seuss, although he does love the Hilda series - a truly fantastic load of books by Luke Pearson. Think Miyazaki meets the Moomins.

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Re: New now reading

Posted: 21 Mar 2017, 13:04
by Darkness_Fish
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French crime-fiction which has as its main character a blind & mute quadriplegic, who is told the details of a series of murders by a 7 year old girl, and has no way of communicating the info to anyone else.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 28 Mar 2017, 23:46
by echolalia
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Each chapter is subtitled with an address complete with GPS coordinates, for obsessives. It’s entirely comprised of testimonials/excerpts, with no narrative input from Jean Stein. It’s all in the montage then – the way she chops up, edits and sequences her material – very filmic. The story of the Doheny “oil family” was new to me and she puts it together very well. (Except it didn’t feel new, because as several people in this chapter point out, the various elements of the story are scattered across Raymond Chandler’s novels.) Great stuff – I’m really enjoying it.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 29 Mar 2017, 01:31
by Jimbo
After praising the first part of the Simon Scarrow Roman legionnaire series book one for not being too Bernard Cornwellian, too "manly", by the end it was very similar to Sharpe/Harper equals Optio/Kato where both duos fight, drink, whore, brood ad nauseam. Nonetheless, the narrative entertained me until the end and had me fairly excited to read book two in the series. But Scarrow has another series of novels about the pairing of two actual historical figures, Napoleon and Wellington. They know each other in the books. (Don't laugh.) So I nipped reading the Roman book series in the bud and took up this first in a series. Again, it's entertaining. Henceforth I may alternate between the two series.

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Re: New now reading

Posted: 29 Mar 2017, 13:10
by Toby
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Perhaps not quite the analysis I had expected, but an intriguing insight into Hillbilly life and culture.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 30 Mar 2017, 08:51
by Darkness_Fish
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Re: New now reading

Posted: 30 Mar 2017, 09:42
by Copehead
Jimbo wrote:
Jimbo wrote:Image

Just downloaded this. This is the first in a long series of books. Scarrow was recommended if you like Cornwell or O'Brian. Is anyone here familiar with the series?



I am just a few chapters into this and it's really really good. The characters are well etched soldier stereotypes, the new recruit, the sadistic but good hearted drill sergeant, the effete general and many more recognizable characters. They're all in the story along with the knowledge of how the Roman army worked. It's a break from all the Cornwell I read but not much of a break, very similar to the Sharpe series but Scarrow's men are less "manly" and more human. If you like this sort of reading, so far - - - five stars!


couldn't get into that
I suppose I just had little interest in the period.
Probably why the Sharpe novels remain unread whilst all his other books I went through in hours.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 01 Apr 2017, 11:28
by Diamond Dog
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A really well researched and written biography of the incomparable Nina Simone.

What can you say? Genius (or greatness, maybe?) doesn't always come packaged in wonderful personalities/characters....

Simone's place as an incredibly important musician/artist is pretty much beyond reproach - Alan Light presents her back catalogue honestly, highlighting the great recordings that exist, but isn't afraid to criticise when necessary. As a live performer, she was fearsome though - and Light continually presents this side of her as her true legacy. Her magnificent piano skills (which became apparent very early on in her life) allayed with her passionate vocal delivery are given due credence throughout.

But it's the incredibly harrowing lifestyle that was at the back of that career that really shines through here - the prejudice she had to overcome and how that became her driving life force. Sadly, that also became an 'excuse' for some unbelievably dangerous/unstable behavioural patterns - including beatings of her only child, gun offences and craziness that really do make your eyes pop out, and general all round physical/psychological destructiveness. It's a shocking tale - how she was beaten and raped by her husband/manager is particularly harrowing- that makes for a pretty unpleasant, but powerful, read.

In the end though it's a book that's really essential if you want to get to know Nina Simone and the triggers for all the legendary diva-like indulgences. What's inescapable is just how important an artist she truly was - hopefully it will make people go and visit her records and hear the brilliance contained within.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 01 Apr 2017, 11:41
by fire and fueryIre
Diamond Dog wrote:Image

A really well researched and written biography of the incomparable Nina Simone.

What can you say? Genius (or greatness, maybe?) doesn't always come packaged in wonderful personalities/characters....

Simone's place as an incredibly important musician/artist is pretty much beyond reproach - Alan Light presents her back catalogue honestly, highlighting the great recordings that exist, but isn't afraid to criticise when necessary. As a live performer, she was fearsome though - and Light continually presents this side of her as her true legacy. Her magnificent piano skills (which became apparent very early on in her life) allayed with her passionate vocal delivery are given due credence throughout.

But it's the incredibly harrowing lifestyle that was at the back of that career that really shines through here - the prejudice she had to overcome and how that became her driving life force. Sadly, that also became an 'excuse' for some unbelievably dangerous/unstable behavioural patterns - including beatings of her only child, gun offences and craziness that really do make your eyes pop out, and general all round physical/psychological destructiveness. It's a shocking tale - how she was beaten and raped by her husband/manager is particularly harrowing- that makes for a pretty unpleasant, but powerful, read.

In the end though it's a book that's really essential if you want to get to know Nina Simone and the triggers for all the legendary diva-like indulgences. What's inescapable is just how important an artist she truly was - hopefully it will make people go and visit her records and hear the brilliance contained within.


Saw the film that this accompanied on Netflix about a year ago. If the book is half as good, it'll be a cracking read.

One of the best anecdotes that came out of the film was an interview with one a long-term minder who was told at the outset of his career with NS that he wasn't employed to keep her safe from the fans, he was there to keep the fans safe from her.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 01 Apr 2017, 17:10
by fire and fueryIre
Know there are a few fans here so am sure will be glad to hear that there's new Bernie Gunther book coming out on Tuesday


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Prussian-Blue- ... hilip+kerr

Re: New now reading

Posted: 01 Apr 2017, 18:50
by Jeemo
the masked man wrote:Paul Morley - The Age Of Bowie:

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So far, a thrilling read. Morley is a great critic, and he's sketching the life of Britain's greatest rock star with skill and perception. He is an unusual stylist, and not everyone likes his boastful style, but this works well here. It's one from the heart.



I thought it started brilliantly but fell away way before the end.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 01 Apr 2017, 18:55
by Diamond Dog
fueryIre wrote:

One of the best anecdotes that came out of the film was an interview with one a long-term minder who was told at the outset of his career with NS that he wasn't employed to keep her safe from the fans, he was there to keep the fans safe from her.


The last line of the book is :

Shortly before her death an interviewer asked Nina Simone "Are you still as temperamental?".... "Not as temperamental" she said "if I get my way".....

:D