New now reading

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Snarfyguy
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Re: New now reading

Postby Snarfyguy » 31 Oct 2018, 15:31

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GoogaMooga wrote: The further away from home you go, the greater the risk of getting stuck there.

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Re: New now reading

Postby PENK » 31 Oct 2018, 21:06

Robert wrote:Did anyone here read ‘A little Life’ ?

Interested about opinions


Only just seen this but yeah, I did.

I liked it a lot - big New York novel with a good flow, strong characters, serious scope, compelling plot, lots of emotional pull - but it was certainly very flawed, some of it verges on the gratuitous or plain unpleasant, and one's disbelief needs a pair of very strong suspenders at some times.
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Re: New now reading

Postby Robert » 05 Nov 2018, 20:14

PENK wrote:
Robert wrote:Did anyone here read ‘A little Life’ ?

Interested about opinions


Only just seen this but yeah, I did.

I liked it a lot - big New York novel with a good flow, strong characters, serious scope, compelling plot, lots of emotional pull - but it was certainly very flawed, some of it verges on the gratuitous or plain unpleasant, and one's disbelief needs a pair of very strong suspenders at some times.



I like the story a lot but especially the contrast of the extremely vulnerable protagonist who’s at the same time a top dog in the lawyering/consulting world seemed a bit unreal. For some reason I kept having the picture of Sebastian Flyte in mind while reading.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Snarfyguy » 05 Nov 2018, 20:26

I'm about to start

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Dead Low Tide, a 1953 John D. MacDonald, republished in 2014.

Someone left it on bench in the subway. I felt kind of guilty taking it, but it sat there for a while (during which time I dropped my daughter off at school and returned), so I figured its owner wasn't coming back for it. MacDonald's pretty reliably good, for this sort of thing.
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Re: New now reading

Postby echolalia » 07 Nov 2018, 01:41

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“Weird stories for weird times”, it says on the back.

It’s a collection of short stories, some only half a page long (and they wouldn’t look out of place in Nextdoorland) and others longer. The subtitle is “Stories of Ghosts”. Where exactly the ghosts are coming from is unclear. In one story a woman rents an air bnb down on the beach and is haunted by the voices of the previous occupants of the house. At first it’s just period bickering between the departed husband and wife, like recorded conversations from long ago. Until the woman gets home one day and the voices turn contemporary – my spine was chilled. In another story a detective makes his living tracking down people who have “vanished inside their own lives”. It gets to the point we don’t know who’s a ghost and who’s real – there’s a Lynchian tale about a man whose ex keeps sending him video clips of her sightings of him on the underground, except he’s dressed differently, and carries a shoulder bag which is not his style, and has a different expression etc. Obviously it’s not him – he doesn’t even use that particular tube line. But perhaps he doesn’t realize… it’s so fucked up.

None of the stories has a satisfying outcome. But they’re always set near water, usually the Thames, often in the near future with the natives dropping like flies from global warming (Thames Fever). Water seems to be the metaphor for the immanence versus transcendence theme that slinks through all of the stories – where the ghosts come from (transcendent from another world, immanent from this one – but which is worse, and is it bad).

It’s fucking brilliant writing. Especially in some of the shorter things, which are very self-referential and “postmodern”.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Fonz » 07 Nov 2018, 06:52

Snarfyguy wrote:I'm about to start

Image

Dead Low Tide, a 1953 John D. MacDonald, republished in 2014.

Someone left it on bench in the subway. I felt kind of guilty taking it, but it sat there for a while (during which time I dropped my daughter off at school and returned), so I figured its owner wasn't coming back for it. MacDonald's pretty reliably good, for this sort of thing.


The Travis McGee author, right? I’ve read 7 TM books, all great. Is that one part of the series?
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Re: New now reading

Postby Snarfyguy » 07 Nov 2018, 14:04

Fonz wrote:The Travis McGee author, right? I’ve read 7 TM books, all great. Is that one part of the series?

Yes, the Travis McGee author. This one isn't part of that series, but I'm really liking it.
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Re: New now reading

Postby Fonz » 07 Nov 2018, 16:57

Cool. His stuff seems surprisingly gritty and contemporary sometimes.
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Re: New now reading

Postby $P.Muff$ » 08 Nov 2018, 03:14

Picked this practically brand new hardcover up along with a Chaplin bio at a library sale for a quarter a piece. I paid a buck cuz I'm a high rolla:

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I've only read Go Tell It on the Mountain from Baldwin and that was some time ago.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Toby » 09 Nov 2018, 10:48

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I've not read enough Theroux to my shame. This is only my second after the Patagonian one. Brilliant.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Snarfyguy » 09 Nov 2018, 13:57

^^^ The Great Railway Bazaar and Riding the Iron Rooster are both excellent. Later on, his crankiness rather gets the better of him.

NR:

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Re: New now reading

Postby Jimbo » 14 Nov 2018, 08:17

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So far a novel about the tribulations of young CIA agent, I mean a representative of the Del Monte corporation in the Vietnam war. This shit goes deep.
“It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” Mark Twain

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Re: New now reading

Postby Copehead » 14 Nov 2018, 11:40

Jimbo wrote:Image

Doing the audio of this, Cornwell's newest in the Utred series. All the macho posturing, the wanton slaughter, the disregard for treaties, the plundering, the game of thrones thing, it all feels contemporary in this, the age of Trump.


One of the 4 books I have read this trip and a real rip snorter as usual; the point where the Eagle flag is raised on the ramparts of the fort is a stand and cheer moment as you have no idea how our hero is getting out of that one alive until that point. Although I do feel Uhtred is getting a bit long in the tooth for winning one on one fights with younger men now, however wiley he may be. The next one will deal with the death of Edward the Elder and the power struggle that brings Athelstan to the throne, then there will have to be one about the final union of the 4 "Saxon" kingdoms into Englaland then I guess we are done, but what a trip from Athelney to Englaland.

Also done the latest Rebus which was good as usual but I can't see how much longer he can inveigle himself into murder inquiries in retirement; the latest Jay Rayner book of stinking restaurant reviews, he really is one of the best writers around at the moment. Just about to start the new Jonathon Coe.

But the last 2 weeks have been spent ploughing through the latest Sansom - Shardlake - novel, I remember being a few days in and being saddened that it would soon be done but that was 10 days ago as we slog through a day by day account of the Norfolk/Kett uprising of Edward VI's reign, and by god he is drawing it out to its sad and bloody conclusion. I just wish they would all hurry up and die now; the paperback must be the size of a fucking breeze block. I usually look forward to Shardlake novels and the early ones were fantastic but this one has become a real downer and a drag man.
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Re: New now reading

Postby Snarfyguy » 20 Nov 2018, 19:59

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I'll have you know I paid considerably less than 10 cents.
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Re: New now reading

Postby Darkness_Fish » 21 Nov 2018, 08:50

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One from the Booker shortlist in 1978, set in South Africa from the point of view of a wealthy white farmer.
Like fast-moving clouds casting shadows against a hillside, the melody-loop shuddered with a sense of the sublime, the awful unknowable majesty of the world.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Diamond Dog » 27 Nov 2018, 05:42

"Korolev: How One Man Masterminded the Soviet Drive to Beat America to the Moon".
Does what it says... a detailed biography of the man who beat the Americans hands down in space for a decade or so....

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Re: New now reading

Postby Positive Passion » 27 Nov 2018, 07:01

Un Noel de Maigret, a French policier from the 50s.

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Re: New now reading

Postby mission » 27 Nov 2018, 08:16

Snarfyguy wrote:Image

I'll have you know I paid considerably less than 10 cents.


That is one of my favourite books. As a result of my affection for it, I waded through a fucking butt-tonnage of Barth’s metafictional folderol and almost lost the will to live.

Two things stick with me, over thirty years after reading it: that the character wears a suit even while doing yard work, on th principle that how you do one thing is indicative of how you do all things (an observation that resonated and stayed with me, in spite of me never being able to determine its truth or validity) and the sex scene, where he spies himself in the mirror.
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Re: New now reading

Postby caramba » 27 Nov 2018, 09:35

mission wrote:
Snarfyguy wrote:Image

I'll have you know I paid considerably less than 10 cents.


That is one of my favourite books. As a result of my affection for it, I waded through a fucking butt-tonnage of Barth’s metafictional folderol and almost lost the will to live.

Two things stick with me, over thirty years after reading it: that the character wears a suit even while doing yard work, on th principle that how you do one thing is indicative of how you do all things (an observation that resonated and stayed with me, in spite of me never being able to determine its truth or validity) and the sex scene, where he spies himself in the mirror.


Read the Sot Weed Factor at college and made a stab at Giles Goat Boy. Never bothered with anything JB wrote again after that. He seemed to be very much a writer of his time (as were many of the authors lauded in Tony Tanner's excellent overview of post-war US fiction, City of Words).

Looking JB up am amazed to learn he's still alive as I've not heard of anything he's done since my college days

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Re: New now reading

Postby Toby » 27 Nov 2018, 10:55

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Formidable. Arguably one of the finest historians about and blessed with an ability to write flowing prose too.