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Re: New now reading

Posted: 11 May 2010, 18:08
by Carl's Son
He definately did have another novel out but I'm not sure if it did too well.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 11 May 2010, 23:44
by funky_nomad
I read My Friend Leonard as a novel, rather than a memoir, and I found it startlingly well-written and very affecting.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 12 May 2010, 00:14
by Magilla
funky_nomad wrote:No, it is definitely Grandmother. Trust me.

Anyway, you must be the only person I know to defend Whit - it's possibly his worst book. In fact, anything post-Complicity of his mainstream stuff is pretty dispensable, particularly when compared against his early stuff. The Iain M Banks stuff is untouchable, though.


Bloody hell, you're right. :oops: I think Whit is much better than the mediocre A Song Of Stone and The Business.

I'm not a sci-fi fan as such, so don't hold his sci-fi stuff in the same high regard as you do. I enjoy it as a change once in a blue moon, but overall I just don't find it as rewarding as his prime non sci-fi stuff.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 12 May 2010, 00:59
by Phil T
corporate whore wrote:Forgot to mention....

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I bought this in a clearence book shop years ago, and it just sat on my 'to be read' bookshelf.

Anyway, I pulled it down because I fancied something light, and its hilarious. I would never have guessed he was a scouser.

Recomended.


I'd also recommend his very short novel "The Boy Who Kicked Pigs".

Re: New now reading

Posted: 12 May 2010, 07:29
by Butch Manly
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Eloquent, absorbing and at times rather heartbreaking. Warning: very low putdownable rating.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 12 May 2010, 07:54
by Spec
Clint Planet wrote:Image

Eloquent, absorbing and at times rather heartbreaking. Warning: very low putdownable rating.


It is a very haunting book.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 15 May 2010, 17:02
by Penk!
pnek wrote:Image

Bolaño won masses of (posthumous) critical acclaim, but I remember a few people on here being unconvinced. I thought The Savage Detectives was excellent, however, so it's about time to have a go at this, supposedly his masterpiece. About thirty or forty pages in and I'm not sure if I like it so far, though.


Just finished it. It was pretty hard going; and that's without knowing until I read online just now that the events depicted in book four (The Part about the Crimes) are based on reality. :shock:
But I think I liked it a lot. I certainly got a lot out of it, but it'll take a while longer to decide what I really think about it.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 15 May 2010, 18:30
by helsabot
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I've always heard people go on and on about this book, so I'm seeing what it's all about. Having read about three chapters so far, it's not bad, but I don't have an awful lot to judge by.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 15 May 2010, 18:59
by Leg of lamb
I'm still reading Germinal by Zola. I have this rather daft habit of persevering with books regardless of whether I'm enjoying them, and this might be one of those. I am interested in the story by now (400 pages in!) but I still find the writing (or the translation) to be very turgid.

Breaking it up with Orwell essays. On his long examination of Dickens currently - just so crisp, perceptive and dryly funny, even if some of the class politics show their age.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 15 May 2010, 19:07
by Dr. Baron
pnek wrote:
pnek wrote:Image

Bolaño won masses of (posthumous) critical acclaim, but I remember a few people on here being unconvinced. I thought The Savage Detectives was excellent, however, so it's about time to have a go at this, supposedly his masterpiece. About thirty or forty pages in and I'm not sure if I like it so far, though.


Just finished it. It was pretty hard going; and that's without knowing until I read online just now that the events depicted in book four (The Part about the Crimes) are based on reality. :shock:
But I think I liked it a lot. I certainly got a lot out of it, but it'll take a while longer to decide what I really think about it.


This is the one that involves a bunch of dead women on the Mexican border? My brother is a fan of Bolano, but he's waiting awhile to dive into this one.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 15 May 2010, 22:50
by Penk!
Yeah, that's the one. I'd read The Savage Detectives before reading this, and it was sitting on the shelf for a good few months before I decided to take it on.
It's perhaps one of those situations where one work - 2666 - is clearly the masterpiece, the more complex, intelligent, deep and consummately created, but the other - The Savage Detectives - is the more likable.
A Godfather situation, maybe.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 16 May 2010, 03:10
by Magilla
helsabot wrote:Image

I've always heard people go on and on about this book, so I'm seeing what it's all about. Having read about three chapters so far, it's not bad, but I don't have an awful lot to judge by.


I tried giving it a go about 20 years ago for much the same reason. I got about 20 pages in and thought it was insufferable twaddle. It's the only book I've ever not bothered to finish.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 16 May 2010, 23:58
by Django
Magilla wrote:
helsabot wrote:Image

I've always heard people go on and on about this book, so I'm seeing what it's all about. Having read about three chapters so far, it's not bad, but I don't have an awful lot to judge by.


I tried giving it a go about 20 years ago for much the same reason. I got about 20 pages in and thought it was insufferable twaddle. It's the only book I've ever not bothered to finish.


I've read it twice, once when I was 20 and again just last year (when I was 33). Both times I thought it was massively overrated, occasionally interesting but very tiresome. I hope I never read it again.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 17 May 2010, 00:04
by Django
specbebop wrote:
Django wrote:
Next novel on the pile:

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That was my [fiction] book of the year last year so I'll be interested to see what you think of it.


Sorry, Spec, that's not for me. I've abandoned it after 120 pages. Have you read "Illywhacker" by Peter Carey? For me, this was a lesser version of that, with more jokes but less depth.

Now reading:

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Re: New now reading

Posted: 17 May 2010, 07:56
by Spec
Django wrote:
specbebop wrote:
Django wrote:
Next novel on the pile:

Image


That was my [fiction] book of the year last year so I'll be interested to see what you think of it.


Sorry, Spec, that's not for me. I've abandoned it after 120 pages. Have you read "Illywhacker" by Peter Carey? For me, this was a lesser version of that, with more jokes but less depth.


Ah, sorry (I always feel bad when I recommend something and it doesn't work for others). I have read the Carey but a long time ago and so don't remember it very well.

Django wrote:Now reading:

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I've not read that. I recently read, and greatly enjoyed, Kavalier and Clay. And Wonder Boys is a modern classic.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 17 May 2010, 08:13
by savoirefaire
Django wrote:
Magilla wrote:
helsabot wrote:Image

I've always heard people go on and on about this book, so I'm seeing what it's all about. Having read about three chapters so far, it's not bad, but I don't have an awful lot to judge by.


I tried giving it a go about 20 years ago for much the same reason. I got about 20 pages in and thought it was insufferable twaddle. It's the only book I've ever not bothered to finish.


I've read it twice, once when I was 20 and again just last year (when I was 33). Both times I thought it was massively overrated, occasionally interesting but very tiresome. I hope I never read it again.


I asked for that book for my birthday last year and I gave up after about four and a half chapters in. I didn't even get to the interesting twists the blurb claimed the book had and I didn't care for the philosophical overtones either. It had been a book I had wanted to read for a very long time but upon discussing with a friend that life is too short to try to read a book I just can't be bothered to finish, I gave my copy away.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 18 May 2010, 16:45
by Snarfyguy
I'm glad to see Zen and the Art...'s reputation in tatters. :lol: I read it as an adolescent, back when it was enjoying cult-y success and I thought it was terrible, just new-age self-help gobbledygook.

Meanwhile,

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First novel by esteemed travel writer Pico Iyer. I've never been to Cuba, but this seems like a fine evocation of it.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 18 May 2010, 17:18
by Velvis
Snarfyguy wrote:I'm glad to see Zen and the Art...'s reputation in tatters. :lol: I read it as an adolescent, back when it was enjoying cult-y success and I thought it was terrible, just new-age self-help gobbledygook.



Hear hear!

Re: New now reading

Posted: 18 May 2010, 17:24
by Penk!
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So I finally started this, and I'm not sure about it. I've read 80 or so pages and while the main story - about the house - is intriguing, I find the footnotes, which make up about half the text, pretty tedious and at times annoying. I don't think I'm likely to have the patience to wade back through them in search of clues or revelations afterwards.

I started this, too:

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This one I am enjoying a lot, fascinating and insightful despite its brevity.

Re: New now reading

Posted: 18 May 2010, 19:50
by Count Machuki
Infinite Jest continues on my commute (500 pages, holding strong), but I've got this cooking at home:


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