New now reading

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

Postby mission » 27 Nov 2018, 12:20

caramba wrote:
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


Yair, I read Giles Goatboy, Sotweed Factor, Once Upon A Time, Sabbatical and Chimera. I bought and tried to read Letters. (I really did like Floating Opera and went through a massive metafictional phase.

I am younger than that now.
Goodness gracious me.

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Snarfyguy
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Re: New now reading

Postby Snarfyguy » 28 Nov 2018, 19:25

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.

Reaching the end of this and I've really been enjoying it. I picked it up kind of at random because I'd seen other Barthes books on my father's bookshelves. I'll definitely throw The Sot-Weed Factor on my list.

Next up, Stanley Elkin's The Franchiser. I read him a bit a few decades ago but he never did much for me. Maybe now's the time.
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Jimbo
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Re: New now reading

Postby Jimbo » 29 Nov 2018, 01:46

Snarfyguy wrote:The Sot-Weed Factor on my list.


A satire picaresque following the adventures of the poet laureate of Maryland. Funniest yet cleverest book ever!
“It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” Mark Twain

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Snarfyguy
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Re: New now reading

Postby Snarfyguy » 29 Nov 2018, 03:16

Jimbo wrote:
Snarfyguy wrote:The Sot-Weed Factor on my list.


A satire picaresque following the adventures of the poet laureate of Maryland. Funniest yet cleverest book ever!

Well I'll be sure to pick it up.
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Re: New now reading

Postby echolalia » 03 Dec 2018, 01:59

Image

The God of War

It’s a coming-of-age novel set on the edge of the Salton Sea. The story is set in the nineteen-seventies and told through the eyes of Ares, who is twelve years old and riding the bumpy rapids of puberty. His brother Malcolm is what the local kids call a retard, and Ares feels responsible for this, as when he was seven and his brother one he dropped Malcolm on the concrete kerb of a gas station. Malcolm can’t speak properly but has the gift of mimicry, and can carry off the beep of a metal detector or the call of a pelican to perfection.

If Malcolm’s condition is what we now call “autism”, his mother Laurel’s is what we call “denial”. She insists there’s nothing wrong with Malcolm and it’s the rest of the world that isn’t normal. But there’s something really formidable and touching about the way she loves Malcolm: it’s pure and unmediated by diagnosis or voguish theories. He simply is the way he is.

Everyone is a misfit in this book – even the librarian, Mrs Poole, who is from Vermont and a great believer in improving things and people. She tenaciously grows vegetables in her back garden and has Ares weed out the indigenous plants that Laurel loves so much, keeps a foster child and brings Malcolm round to try to teach him to speak. She’s in denial as much as Laurel is, just in a different way.

Ares is torn everywhere he turns – between his responsibility for Malcolm and his need for solitude, his mother and Mrs Poole, good and evil… I really loved this book. It’s the best novel I’ve read for a while.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Snarfyguy » 03 Dec 2018, 15:04

Image

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

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Darkness_Fish
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Re: New now reading

Postby Darkness_Fish » 04 Dec 2018, 09:11

Image
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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mission
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Re: New now reading

Postby mission » 06 Dec 2018, 03:11

I bought and read Skippy Dies when it was published and my first son was 8. The other day, as a 16-year-old, he read it (and loved it). I still consider it a new book.

These are all things that confirm my status as Officially Old.

Murray is good and Skippy Dies in particular is great, but there is bloat. The words sometimes get in the way of the laughs. It becomes theoretically funny.
Goodness gracious me.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Minnie Mincepie » 06 Dec 2018, 04:20

Darkness by Bharati Mukherjee. My second book by her. She was quite a fucking writer.
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Re: New now reading

Postby Six String » 07 Dec 2018, 18:58

Robert MacFarlane's The Wild Places
The best nature writing I've ever experienced.

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$P.Muff$
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Re: New now reading

Postby $P.Muff$ » 16 Dec 2018, 12:58

Image

Very informative and lots of purdy pictures, only a bit depressing that furniture can be so ridiculously expensive - one of the many reasons I am disenchanted with antiques. This was published for some MOMA exhibition long before I would have ever suspected a future interest in this stuff.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Toby » 16 Dec 2018, 19:18

DJ Taylor’s The Prose Factory. An informative overview of literary life in Britain between 1918 and 1995.

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Re: New now reading

Postby mentalist (slight return) » 16 Dec 2018, 23:18

Loving this book. Two brothers travelled the Oregon trail a few years ago with mules dragging a covered wagon. A pleasant, none too stressful read, which is what I need.

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king of the divan

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Jimbo
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Re: New now reading

Postby Jimbo » Yesterday, 01:55

Image

Crusty old western characters (not to mention alternative country music) seem to fit my entertainment bill these days. This, the first in a series is a bit too bandwagony, too much like James Lee Burke's characters for me to not notice it but it is so far entertaining nonetheless. Not sure I'll go on in the series however.
“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 Darkness_Fish » Yesterday, 09:27

mission wrote:Murray is good and Skippy Dies in particular is great, but there is bloat. The words sometimes get in the way of the laughs. It becomes theoretically funny.

Yeah, I finished it last night, I entirely get where you're coming from, he can over-egg the prose quite a bit. Whilst I thought it was excellent, I like my characters and narrative to be strong, and I'm not a fan of extraneous plot lines and motivations that are left dangling and incomplete. Felt like it could've been a punchier beast with more judicious editing.

Having said that, when Skippy does die, it feels like a proper punch in the guts. It's a good trick to open a book with the character dying, call the book "Skippy Dies", and it still feel like a shock when it comes to pass.
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.