New now reading

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

Postby Toby » 03 Feb 2019, 07:59

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Probably the first Brexit novel. It's all very zeitgeist, what with bloggers and hidden identities, a tech company taking over a small fictional town, a Nigel Farage-esque political outsider, twitterstorms, data leaks and the like. Sam Byers is a confident and talented writer, but the problem I think is that this Brexit soup of Englishness he cooks up is very London. It has the whiff of metropolitan disdain about it - his characters are too one-dimensional and unfortunately entirely predictable. It's like Alan B'stard meets Martin Amis in a Burger King.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Powehi » 03 Feb 2019, 10:09

Jock wrote:Right folks. Looking for recommendations. Good books. Not to heavy, on American Civil War and Vietnam. All recommendations appreciated


Vietnam - am sure there are posters here - DD? Toby? our colonial cousins? - who are experts on the American Civil War, here are a couple of personal Vietnam faves


Michael Herr - Despatches (excellent on-the-ground reportage, the like of which we will never see again because no government would ever be mad or stupid enough to give writers as incisive as the late MH such freedom)

Neil Sheehan - A Bright Shining Lie (Pretty much the definitive book on how the US got sucked in to Vietnam and what happened when it did)

Geoffrey C Ward and Ken Burns The VIetnam War (The book of KB's superb TV series from last year. Excellent overview from all sides. If you've not seen it, the series is brilliant TV)

Robert A Caro - The Years of Lyndon Johnson Book Five

If previous volumes - essentially a history of US politics in the 20th Century - are anything to go by, the long overdue - fifth and apparently final - volume in Robert A Caro's magnificent biog of LBJ will investigate Vietnam in some depth.

Don't hold your breath, though.

Given that RAC's previous book mainly covering the six weeks after JFK's assassination ran to 736 pages, there's no telling when Vol 5 will come out. In the meantime, there's an excellent PBS serial on LBJ for anyone interested in his rise and how Vietnam essentially destroyed him and his presidency.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Toby » 03 Feb 2019, 10:19

The new Max Hastings book on Vietnam is, by all accounts, very good.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Jock » 03 Feb 2019, 10:28

Cheers, guys
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Re: New now reading

Postby Diamond Dog » 03 Feb 2019, 11:46

Jock wrote:Right folks. Looking for recommendations. Good books. Not to heavy, on American Civil War and Vietnam. All recommendations appreciated



I'm absolutely no expert... and this doesn't really fit into your request... but the Civil War tome is this :

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"The Civil War" boxset by Shelby Foote.

Yes it costs.... alot....but it's a lovely present for someone to buy for you..... it's a monumental read and simply tells you all you need to know in an unbiased and factual manner, and features absolutely beautiful & poignant commentary/writing.
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Re: New now reading

Postby Toby » 03 Feb 2019, 11:50

On a fictional note, EL Doctorow's The March is an excellent American Civil War novel.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Jimbo » 03 Feb 2019, 11:58

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Re: New now reading

Postby Jock » 03 Feb 2019, 12:29

Diamond Dog wrote:
Jock wrote:Right folks. Looking for recommendations. Good books. Not to heavy, on American Civil War and Vietnam. All recommendations appreciated



I'm absolutely no expert... and this doesn't really fit into your request... but the Civil War tome is this :

Image

"The Civil War" boxset by Shelby Foote.

Yes it costs.... alot....but it's a lovely present for someone to buy for you..... it's a monumental read and simply tells you all you need to know in an unbiased and factual manner, and features absolutely beautiful & poignant commentary/writing.

Pete . Thanks for that. Had a quick look on a folder of ebooks i have and vol2 and 3 are on it. It's a start :-)
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Re: New now reading

Postby Diamond Dog » 03 Feb 2019, 12:32

You should be able to buy volume one separately John.... it really needs reading in the correct order.
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Re: New now reading

Postby Jock » 03 Feb 2019, 12:36

Diamond Dog wrote:You should be able to buy volume one separately John.... it really needs reading in the correct order.

I was thinking that
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Re: New now reading

Postby Still Baron » 03 Feb 2019, 13:37

James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom lacks the majesty and sweep of Foote’s books, but if you don’t want to read three books ... you could do much worse.

There are others creeping around here who are far more learned in this stuff, so if they say there’s a better option, I defer to them.
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Re: New now reading

Postby Jock » 03 Feb 2019, 14:42

Still Baron wrote:James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom lacks the majesty and sweep of Foote’s books, but if you don’t want to read three books ... you could do much worse.

There are others creeping around here who are far more learned in this stuff, so if they say there’s a better option, I defer to them.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Snarfyguy » 03 Feb 2019, 19:33

^^^ It's not short!

EDIT: That supposed to address Jimbo's post on the Barth novel, which is probably on the last page.
Last edited by Snarfyguy on 05 Feb 2019, 01:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New now reading

Postby mentalist (slight return) » 03 Feb 2019, 21:23

Jock wrote:
Still Baron wrote:James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom lacks the majesty and sweep of Foote’s books, but if you don’t want to read three books ... you could do much worse.

There are others creeping around here who are far more learned in this stuff, so if they say there’s a better option, I defer to them.

Cheers

Foote's is a big assed narrative. He was essentially a novelist when he took up the task of writing those books, and has been called the American Homer. McPherson's Battle Cry Of Freedom is a narrative allied with an historical analysis of the events and causes and themes etc. written by an historian and accomplished writer. You may get more understanding of the civil war reading BCOF, whereas with Foote you get the pleasure of immersing yourself in a great story. Depends what you're looking for. Both great.
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Re: New now reading

Postby Darkness_Fish » 04 Feb 2019, 09:21

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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 Jock » 05 Feb 2019, 20:29

mentalist (slight return) wrote:
Jock wrote:
Still Baron wrote:James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom lacks the majesty and sweep of Foote’s books, but if you don’t want to read three books ... you could do much worse.

There are others creeping around here who are far more learned in this stuff, so if they say there’s a better option, I defer to them.

Cheers

Foote's is a big assed narrative. He was essentially a novelist when he took up the task of writing those books, and has been called the American Homer. McPherson's Battle Cry Of Freedom is a narrative allied with an historical analysis of the events and causes and themes etc. written by an historian and accomplished writer. You may get more understanding of the civil war reading BCOF, whereas with Foote you get the pleasure of immersing yourself in a great story. Depends what you're looking for. Both great.

Cheers
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Re: New now reading

Postby Minnie the Minx » 09 Feb 2019, 13:40

I started reading Portnoy’s Complaint last night. What a book. I’ve used up a months worth of laughter in a couple of hours!
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Re: New now reading

Postby The Fish » 10 Feb 2019, 10:56

Minnie the Minx wrote:I started reading Portnoy’s Complaint last night. What a book. I’ve used up a months worth of laughter in a couple of hours!


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Re: New now reading

Postby Minnie the Minx » 10 Feb 2019, 16:45

The Fish wrote:
Minnie the Minx wrote:I started reading Portnoy’s Complaint last night. What a book. I’ve used up a months worth of laughter in a couple of hours!


"I fucked my own family's dinner"



Yes! Oh god. The apple core.
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Re: New now reading

Postby Powehi » 10 Feb 2019, 17:44

Surely a milk bottle and two slices of liver...