New now reading

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
User avatar
Darkness_Fish
Posts: 6957
Joined: 27 Jul 2015, 09:58

Re: New now reading

Postby Darkness_Fish » 11 Mar 2019, 09:45

^ Those look really interesting. Must remember to look out for them. "^" obviously indicating previous page.

Anyway, now reading:
Image

Which I'm worried will turn into too much of an Angela's Ashes style melodrama. It's an absolute doorstop of a novel, fairly miserable so far, and it's not even tackled its main theme of Alzheimer's disease yet.
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.

User avatar
Penk!
Midnight to Six Man
Posts: 35784
Joined: 07 Aug 2004, 20:12
Location: Stockholm

Re: New now reading

Postby Penk! » 11 Mar 2019, 10:22

Image

Struggling a bit with this. Lots of "he was taking loads of coke and having sex with so-and-so", not enough on what was really in his head and what inspired the music. Unless all the music was inspired by taking loads of coke and having sex with so-and-so. And a lot of the major events and records are brushed past and not really considered, or mentioned out of chronological order: for example, there's absolutely nothing about when 'Space Oddity' hit even though you'd expect that having a first big single and getting famous for the first time would be worth discussing a bit.

I guess you can get most of that from a conventional biography, just a lot of this feels dull and salacious. I don't really need 500 pages of gossip, no matter if it's from first-hand talking heads who were there at the time.
fange wrote:One of the things i really dislike in this life is people raising their voices in German.

User avatar
Penk!
Midnight to Six Man
Posts: 35784
Joined: 07 Aug 2004, 20:12
Location: Stockholm

Re: New now reading

Postby Penk! » 14 Mar 2019, 12:42

... though actually it gets more involving once you get past the COKE AND SEX years* and away from his peak period, oddly enough.

The Roger Moore anecdote gave me a laugh on the metro this morning.



*OK, those were actually 1970-1995 or something but mainly the mid-70s
fange wrote:One of the things i really dislike in this life is people raising their voices in German.

User avatar
Jimbo
Posts: 16175
Joined: 26 Dec 2009, 21:22

Re: New now reading

Postby Jimbo » 18 Mar 2019, 02:32

Image

On to book 4. This new Flashman series is a winner!
Cold War Number One: 70 years of daily national stupidity. Cold War Number Two: Still in its youth, but just as stupid. - William Blum

User avatar
Snarfyguy
Dominated by the Obscure
Posts: 53308
Joined: 21 Jul 2003, 19:04
Location: New York

Re: New now reading

Postby Snarfyguy » 18 Mar 2019, 17:42

Image

This edition, as it happens. Four bucks, what the hell - these guys deliver.
GoogaMooga wrote: The further away from home you go, the greater the risk of getting stuck there.

User avatar
Polishgirl
Posts: 9442
Joined: 21 Dec 2009, 22:06

Re: New now reading

Postby Polishgirl » 28 Mar 2019, 19:13

I made my usual mistake at the library and checked out a ridiculous number of books at once, so I only made a start on the Rebecca Makkai before I had to return it, and I've had to reserve it again... :x

In the meantime:

Image
Another of her Poirot novels. The stylistic tone of it is very convincing but, as with her own thrillers, the plot becomes a bit bizarre and silly. I got fed up with it and didn't make it to the end, partly because the bit where HP gathers them all together to reveal the solution goes on for about 473 pages.

Image

Image

Patricia Gibney is new to me - police procedurals set in Ireland, featuring a scatty but determined female DI. Overall, they're pretty good - the main characters are well-drawn, and the pacing is deftly handled. My only criticism is that she can be a bit lurid- graphic doesn't necessarily mean hard-hitting - but I'll carry on with them.

Just started this:


Image
echolalia wrote: I despise Prefab Sprout. It will be decades before “hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque” is surpassed as the most terrible lyric in pop history. That fucking bastard ruined all three things for me forever.

User avatar
Minnie the Minx
funky thigh collector
Posts: 30285
Joined: 29 Dec 2006, 16:00
Location: In the naughty North and in the sexy South

Re: New now reading

Postby Minnie the Minx » 02 Apr 2019, 03:02

Have you read that Eleanor Olliphant thing PG? I think you would like that.

I can't remember what I have already written but recently I read The Gallow's Pole by Ben Myers which was fucking superb.
I have never read much Philip Roth so after Portnoy's Complaint (which was fantastic) I read The Ghost Writer which was enjoyable but different. I'm currently about twenty pages into American Pastoral which has me going back and reading some pages again just because they are so beautiful to read.
Last week I read my first Joseph Conrad - The Secret Sharer, which was magnetically intimate and gripping, and then Heart of Darkness. After I read the latter, I announced to the room that the plot was really "very much like Apocalypse Now" and wondered why they all looked at me funny.
You come at the Queen, you best not miss.

Dr Markus wrote:
Someone in your line of work usually as their own man cave aka the shed we're they can potter around fixing stuff or something don't they?

User avatar
Jimbo
Posts: 16175
Joined: 26 Dec 2009, 21:22

Re: New now reading

Postby Jimbo » 02 Apr 2019, 03:50

Image

And now book five! Unfortunately this is the last available book but Thomas Flashman at Waterloo is in the works.

This really is a good series and original Flashman fans will not be disappointed.
Cold War Number One: 70 years of daily national stupidity. Cold War Number Two: Still in its youth, but just as stupid. - William Blum

User avatar
Diamond Dog
"Self Quoter" Extraordinaire.
Posts: 68132
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 21:04
Location: High On Poachers Hill

Re: New now reading

Postby Diamond Dog » 02 Apr 2019, 08:11

Minnie the Minx wrote:Last week I read my first Joseph Conrad - The Secret Sharer, which was magnetically intimate and gripping, and then Heart of Darkness. After I read the latter, I announced to the room that the plot was really "very much like Apocalypse Now" and wondered why they all looked at me funny.


:lol:

I found the book a difficult read to be honest - but probably because I was trying to match it up with the film, when - in reality- you really should do them the other way around.
"Not everyone is an artist but everyone is a fucking critic."
"A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on."
"On mellow blue, birds curve and glide, Through shadows of grief she slides,"

Powehi
Posts: 845
Joined: 25 Aug 2016, 17:12

Re: New now reading

Postby Powehi » 02 Apr 2019, 10:07

Jimbo wrote:Image

And now book five! Unfortunately this is the last available book but Thomas Flashman at Waterloo is in the works.

This really is a good series and original Flashman fans will not be disappointed.



Having run out of Flashman books with which to divert you from your various "sources", the sinister forces behind world publishing will do their best to try and muzzle you by releasing the late Philip Kerr's final Bernie Gunther book on Thursday...

Not to keen on reading the older Flashman books as the author has apparently shied well clear of George McDonald Frasers's un-PC attitudes and terminology. As a result, I'd far rather go back and read the incredibly rich and very, very funny originals one last time

User avatar
Jimbo
Posts: 16175
Joined: 26 Dec 2009, 21:22

Re: New now reading

Postby Jimbo » 02 Apr 2019, 13:22

caramba wrote:
Jimbo wrote:
And now book five! Unfortunately this is the last available book but Thomas Flashman at Waterloo is in the works.

This really is a good series and original Flashman fans will not be disappointed.



Having run out of Flashman books with which to divert you from your various "sources", the sinister forces behind world publishing will do their best to try and muzzle you by releasing the late Philip Kerr's final Bernie Gunther book on Thursday...

Not to keen on reading the older Flashman books as the author has apparently shied well clear of George McDonald Frasers's un-PC attitudes and terminology. As a result, I'd far rather go back and read the incredibly rich and very, very funny originals one last time


The oldies may well be the most re-readble books ever because they are so much fun but I'm telling you man, these new ones are fun as well. Right now Flashman has got himself embroiled in the War of 1812 as a liaison between the British and the Iroquois while hitting up this shapely Mennonite sweetie up river from the Indian village where he is encamped. And I never learned so much about this rarely discussed war.

And to be sure I will keep a sharp eye out for the new Bernie Gunther when it comes out in audio - which is the only way I do books in 2019.
Cold War Number One: 70 years of daily national stupidity. Cold War Number Two: Still in its youth, but just as stupid. - William Blum

User avatar
echolalia
Posts: 4702
Joined: 21 Jul 2006, 02:23
Location: Way Out West

Re: New now reading

Postby echolalia » 03 Apr 2019, 17:45

Image

I’m sure someone else posted this recently (with a different cover). It’s newly re-published after being out of print for ages. It has all kinds of affinities/symmetries with The Erasers by Alain Robbe-Grillet, and one of them – besides the obvious Oedipal reverberations and a “missing corpse” thing – is their location in dreary towns on opposite sides of the English Channel. Berg is set in Brighton in winter, although there are hardly any references that explicitly identify the town as such. Pier and beach and station etc. are largely generic and rarely specific, so you wouldn’t really call it a Brighton novel, as the actual place is more backdrop than protagonist. Any low-season coastal town will do (as long as it has a seedy bedsit quarter where termagant landladies fulminate savagely from threadbare landings through flimsy bolted doors at cowering feckless tenants who’ve fallen behind on the rent). It’s definitely closer to France than Hampstead anyway, in spirit if not in geography. Whether Quin had read Robbe-Grillet is unknown. Or Henri Bergson for that matter. Not that it’s all café-crème and soixante-neuf and Pastis 51! It’s quite Ortonesque and the farce gets high in places. There’s one scene between Berg and his father that’s so appalling the only possible reaction is horrified laughter. I thought it was excellent!

User avatar
Minnie the Minx
funky thigh collector
Posts: 30285
Joined: 29 Dec 2006, 16:00
Location: In the naughty North and in the sexy South

Re: New now reading

Postby Minnie the Minx » 16 Apr 2019, 03:02

Image

It's a simultaneously annoying and fantastic feeling to find an author (or a band, whatever) late in life and to think hurray, I have so much more of their work to explore! Fantastic because you know there will be more pleasure to come, and annoying because you think bloody hell, I could have been enjoying this much sooner. American Pastoral was my third Roth. I don't know how anyone can sit and write a book like this without going stark staring mad - the scale of it - like grouting the Hoover Dam. What an absolute joy to absorb those words, personalities and adventures. The dinner party at the end of the book was so painful and funny and recognizable that on the last page I could almost smell the kitchen. An amazing work.
You come at the Queen, you best not miss.

Dr Markus wrote:
Someone in your line of work usually as their own man cave aka the shed we're they can potter around fixing stuff or something don't they?

User avatar
Diamond Dog
"Self Quoter" Extraordinaire.
Posts: 68132
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 21:04
Location: High On Poachers Hill

Re: New now reading

Postby Diamond Dog » 16 Apr 2019, 03:59

On the recommendation of a friend I decided (against my better judgement) to try this :

Image

It details the expose by Truman Capote of his cast of intimate female friends ( his 'swans') back in 1975, via a magazine article(s). The background of Capote's life, and how they became friends, is also detailed. Then his inevitable demise after the Swans shunned him- somewhat predictably- for the last 9 years of his life, after the article was published.

It's a litany of name dropping on an epic scale and the lives of the super rich and establishment elite is recounted, mainly via the women and how they became Capote's inner circle.

I'm sure it has some literary merit and some of Capote's acerbic wit does shine through rather vividly on occasion - but, first impressions are that it's just one massive catalogue of society tittle-tattle (some fiction, some not) and the characters themselves are pretty difficult to warm to (especially Capote himself).

I'm not sure I'll make it all the way through, to be honest!
"Not everyone is an artist but everyone is a fucking critic."
"A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on."
"On mellow blue, birds curve and glide, Through shadows of grief she slides,"

User avatar
Darkness_Fish
Posts: 6957
Joined: 27 Jul 2015, 09:58

Re: New now reading

Postby Darkness_Fish » 22 Apr 2019, 21:05

Since last posting on this thread I've read:

Image
Which seemed quite soapy, for a Nobel prize winner. Entertaining enough, but the weight of paper seemed more than the weight of the novel.

and

Image

Which was really disappointing given how much this kind of illusionist/music hall world normally appeals to me. The plot didn't have any real resolution, and none of the characters had any meat on their bones.

Now reading:
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.

User avatar
Minnie the Minx
funky thigh collector
Posts: 30285
Joined: 29 Dec 2006, 16:00
Location: In the naughty North and in the sexy South

Re: New now reading

Postby Minnie the Minx » 28 Apr 2019, 17:33

Image

I wouldn't have bothered writing about this except that having spent years reading about this supposedly landmark and astonishing novel, I felt rather cheated. Rather cheated is an understatement. It's possible that this is the worst book I have ever read - and I've read some shocking books.

Even worse, despite the fact that it was so bad, I read the entire thing even when it was clear that I wasn't gaining anything except increasing annoyance. Absolutely everything about it was dreadful.

I loathed all the characters, who all had absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I wasn't remotely interested in what happened to any of them, as they were all (presumably unintentionally) completely one dimensional, despite efforts to craft them otherwise. All of them morphed into weird, exaggerated versions of themselves who may have been in the same room as or talking to others, but never interacted once, like a dozen talking heads made of lego all going WAAH WAAH WAAH.

I hated the way the book was littered with landmarks to guide you to the time and the place, so much so that you felt buried under the weight of it all.

I got a twitch every time Smith wrote something the character was thinking or remembering or wanted you to notice in italics as it happened so often it looked like the printer was sloshed. I hated the ridiculous names and situations and constant attempt to ram everything with so much detail that it was like being force-fed. Nobody in the book, nothing in the book, could breathe.

Am I the only person who despised all the constant phonetic spelling out and slang-prose of non-estuary English speakers? The fucking horror. The endless horror.

Ludicrous plot twists, hysterical realism, God fucking help us. Absolute bollocks.
You come at the Queen, you best not miss.

Dr Markus wrote:
Someone in your line of work usually as their own man cave aka the shed we're they can potter around fixing stuff or something don't they?

User avatar
clive gash
wannabee enfant terrible
Posts: 17208
Joined: 29 Sep 2007, 00:32
Location: down the rabbit hole

Re: New now reading

Postby clive gash » 28 Apr 2019, 18:52

Darkness_Fish wrote:Since last posting on this thread I've read:

Image
Which seemed quite soapy, for a Nobel prize winner. Entertaining enough, but the weight of paper seemed more than the weight of the novel.

and

Image

Which was really disappointing given how much this kind of illusionist/music hall world normally appeals to me. The plot didn't have any real resolution, and none of the characters had any meat on their bones.

Now reading:
Image


Check out Professor fucking Branestawm.
It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.

Diamond Dog wrote:...yet it quite clearly hit the target with you and your nonce, didn't it?

...a multitude of innuendo and hearsay...


User avatar
Darkness_Fish
Posts: 6957
Joined: 27 Jul 2015, 09:58

Re: New now reading

Postby Darkness_Fish » 28 Apr 2019, 21:20

clive gash wrote:Check out Professor fucking Branestawm.

Anything you'd recommend? I've never heard of the fella...
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.

User avatar
Minnie the Minx
funky thigh collector
Posts: 30285
Joined: 29 Dec 2006, 16:00
Location: In the naughty North and in the sexy South

Re: New now reading

Postby Minnie the Minx » 02 May 2019, 18:34

I’m reading H for Hawk which has some beautiful writing. I’m niggled though by a constant sense that falconry is possibly cruel and it’s preventing me from connecting with it as I would like to.
You come at the Queen, you best not miss.

Dr Markus wrote:
Someone in your line of work usually as their own man cave aka the shed we're they can potter around fixing stuff or something don't they?

User avatar
Tom Waits For No One
Posts: 3335
Joined: 14 Nov 2014, 08:05

Re: New now reading

Postby Tom Waits For No One » 02 May 2019, 19:16

Minnie the Minx wrote:I’m reading H for Hawk which has some beautiful writing. I’m niggled though by a constant sense that falconry is possibly cruel and it’s preventing me from connecting with it as I would like to.


Image
A kid swapping a fishing rod for a Dr. Feelgood album.