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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #41
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    Yes, that's right. It is less of a surprise when its the other way round.

    I had a similar thing teaching war narratives when they didn't get the great stuff and loved the most mediocre stuff on the course because it is new. Understandable given their cultural reference points I guess.

  2. #42
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    Any examples on that? I come from a family of teachers so this kind of classroom dynamic stuff is pretty interesting to me.

  3. #43
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    Examples of what, exactly? Not quite sure. I think you mean of the books that the students like that we don't, but do you mean the other way around?

  4. #44
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    Was thinking specifically of what you mentioned, classes where the students didn't get the great stuff and loved the mediocre stuff.

  5. #45
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    Umm, well film is usually the real stark one there, but that's for a different forum really isn't it? But yeah, in literary terms, people like Palahniuk and Eggers tend to get more of a free ride while the Don DeLillo's, Franzen's, and Coupland's of the world just don't seem to resonate so much. Elsewhere when I was teaching war literature they went mad for Jarhead and it was a struggle to even get people to read way better stuff that was a bit older.

    Outside of contemporary stuff the trend is to like stuff that is easy over stuff that is hard. But their tastes don't diverge from the lecturers so much when you go back to the nineteenth century and beyond, they just arrive at a different process to get there.




    I started reading that book about Tolkien's language but it did nothing for me, so it's become the first book I have abandoned this year. I'm now reading Rob Andrew's book about the early years of professional Rugby as a bit of a tonic. Then I'm eyeing up the Walter Mosley book on my shelf that has been there for more than ten years.

  6. #46
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    Ah yeah, that stuff is pretty interesting to me. Makes me miss my college days a bit!

    That Tolkien book sounds SO DRY, can't blame you for dropping it. Finished Palahniuk's "Lullaby", liked it a fair bit. Bit grim and grisly but I expected that. Not sure I'm totally satisfied with the ending but it had some very interesting stuff. Picking up his "Damned" now and it's off to a promising start, 13 year old girl dies and writes about her experiences in hell. Just barely into it but I'm looking forward to seeing what mental direction it goes in.

  7. #47
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    How are you getting on with the Pahalniuk?

    I've just finished Bad Boy Brawly Brown, which I mentioned in the crime fiction thread if anyone wants to hear my thoughts on that. Now picking up Wounded by Percival Everett. The books I really want to read of his are Erasure, which comes highly recommended by several people I know who are quite tough to please, and God's Country - but this is the one they had in the library, so it's the one I'm going with. Also got a non-LOTR Tolkien out but will probably talk more about that in the Tolkien thread, rather than clogging up this thread with it.



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  8. #48
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    Enjoyed Damned, didn't realize it was the first part of something though. I'll have to see if someone wants to get me the next one for Christmas. I've gone on to finally read Fight Club properly. I'm enjoying that as well, and I'm impressed at how coherently the film adapted it so far. I've heard it ends a bit differently but they did a good job of getting the feel of it over, though the book is a bit more ooky, which is very much Pahalniuk's style of course.

    Feel free to bring your review here as well when you finish with the Tolkein, I don't always remember to check all the other threads!

  9. #49
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    So, finished Wounded. It's kinda interesting. It's a contemporary Western, black protagonist, sexuality playing a key role in the plot. So in a sense it is a bit of a state of the nation kinda book that feels kinda current even though it's ten years old now. So it's not the book I was really expecting but it passed the time.

    Rattled off another play, 'Massacre at Paris' by Christopher Marlowe. Wasn't the best. Elizabethan anti-Catholic propaganda so don't know what I expected!



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  10. #50
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    Yeah, Marlowe doesn't always grab me despite his reputation.

    Finished Fight Club, as well as the recent graphic novel sequel. Really dug the original, including the different ending which puts an alternate spin on the whole thing. The sequel was a bit self-referential and indulgent at times, but it did carry over the themes well even if the execution was odd to say the least.

    Had a lot of time on planes recently, so burned through a few more books too. Read a book called Horrorstor, which was a lot of fun, a sort of horror story built around the idea of a haunted IKEA. It had some interesting stuff and was clearly written by someone who hoped to turn it into a film, which I didn't mind. Also had a faux IKEA catalogue in which the items slowly got more sinister, which I thought was a nice touch.

    After that read through a couple newer Stephen King books, Mr Mercedes and Finders Keepers. I had no idea they were actually connected, so that was nice, apparently they are part of a trilogy so I'll have to hunt up the final part. They are actually pretty straightforward detective stories, especially the first one, with no supernatural elements to speak of, though there was a hint that they will come into play in the final installment. Still, really dug something a bit different from King, Mr Mercedes especially was a great read.

    And now just started American Psycho. I found the film really interesting so I wanted to give it a shot. So far there's a bit too much description of clothes and products, which I know ties into the theme to some extent but I admit I'm skimming a little.

  11. #51
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    Ah, Bret Easton Ellis. If you don't like the accumulation of surface details just give up now! The best example of skimming ever comes from one of his novels, which is the only way to read the five page description of a threesome from Glamorama.

    I am reading a sci-fi thing at the moment but will probably save it for that thread. Which incidentally, might warrant some fuller thoughts on those two Stephen King books in his thread if you get a moment... if only to see if they should go on my to-read list!



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  12. #52
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    Sure, anything in particular you want to know? I did think they might be right up your alley!

    Yeah, the Ellis hasn't gotten any easier. I'm determined to finish AP at least but I doubt I'll be seeking him out much after that.

  13. #53
    Currently reading Tokyo Ghoul. Waiting on volumes 10-14 in the mail.

    Also reading The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, Its supposed to be the most renowned of all works of Scandinavian literature and most extensive source of Norse Mythology. Just started it today.

  14. #54
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    How do you find Tokyo Ghoul? I've read about it a little but never actually picked it up.

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  16. #56
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    I haven't been reading a lot this year, couldn't find the time or was just plain lazy.

    But this is the year that I got into Haruki Murakami and really enjoyed his books.

    Below are the books that I have read

    - Norwegian Wood
    - Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
    - Sputnik Sweetheart
    - After Dark
    - South of the Border, West of the Sun
    - Hear the Wind Sing/Pinball

  17. #57
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    Not familiar at all, I'll have to keep an eye out for that.

    Full on skimming American Psycho at this point and it's still going slow. I can see the value in it but dear god it's tedious. Much preferred the film, which is very unusual for me.

  18. #58
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    One day, if I have the time to type it all out and I want to risk a ban, I'm going to post the whole chapter of threesome description from Ellis's Glamorama. Just for the poops and giggles.

    Yeah, he's totally an acquired taste. I don't dislike his stuff but y'know, he's got some serious acolytes out there. Most people actually seem to find it border line unreadable and that's maybe closer to the truth...



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  19. #59
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    Gah! I just read(ish) through the threesome in American Psycho! I guess we know where his interests lie??

  20. #60
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    Gotta say, didn't think we'd both end up posting the word threesome on Christmas day, Mizzie.

    After my Sci-fi binge which I posted about in the other thread, now reading Douglas Coupland, All Families are Psychotic. Think it's the fourth of his I have come across.



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  21. #61
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    Couldn't find my copy of American Psycho before getting on a plane, so I'm officially giving up. I rarely do but... yeah, I just couldn't anymore. Breezed through "Wind Through The Keyhole" (no pun intended), King's mid series insert into the Dark Tower series, and dug it, nice to get back into that world. Starting a standalone by King, "Needful Things". Enjoying it so far!

  22. #62
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    I was trying to read another sci-fi thing but couldn't get into it at all, so it became the first abandoned book of the year (much earlier than last year, but I'm being kinder on myself in 2018).

    Now reading Winter in Madrid, by C.J. Sansom. Historical spy thing set during WW2 but in Franco's Spain, after the Spanish Civil War. All quite good so far.



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  23. #63
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    Yeah, giving up on lousy books is maybe something I should do more often.

    Really enjoying Needful Things. It's a pretty damn thick book but I often prefer that, give me that minutia! It's mostly about slice of life small town drama, with just a little bit of supernatural horror on the fringes. It's mostly regular people who drive the true horror, tipped over the edge at just the right time and place.

  24. #64
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    Just started The Book of Dust, thr prequel to His Dark Materials series.

    4 chapters in and things are starting to heat up.

  25. #65
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    I don't think I'm familiar with that series, may have to look it up!

    Making my way through Anno Dracula, and I am loving it. I adore Alan Moore's LXG which is a similar premise, blending various fictional words into one reality. This is not quite on that level of detail but it's still very well done. I particularly appreciate figuring out where minor characters have come from, like The Invisible Man's Griffin showing up or Count Orlok from Nosferatu.

  26. #66
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    Picked up a bit of light reading. It's a compilation of three of the Hornblower novels.... not going to set the world alight but will pass the time nicely enough.



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  27. #67
    Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    Full on skimming American Psycho at this point and it's still going slow. I can see the value in it but dear god it's tedious. Much preferred the film, which is very unusual for me.
    Regarding the whole "book better than the film" argument, I'm there for the majority of books and their adaptations (especially Game of Thrones which I gave up on after Season 1), but there is one book that always sticks out to me where the film was, in my opinion, far superioir - One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

    I loved the film and have watched it a few times, but I found the book to be very dry and confusing. Was quite disappointed, as I went to it after enjoying the film so much.

  28. #68
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    I love Cuckoo in both forms, but they are radically different in terms of feel. The film is the story of Randall P McMurphy, whereas the book is the Chief's story. The book is more difficult and certainly darker at times but no less rewarding, at least in my memory.

  29. #69
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    Finished the first of my Hornblowers and moving on to the second. I think in publication order it's one of the first, 'The Happy Return'. Set after most of the things that have been filmed, though.

    On Cuckoo, it's one of the few that I know of where there's no real consensus. Some love one and hate the other, and then vice versa, and some love, like, and hate both. Really very interesting because you'd be surprised how rarely that happens.



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  30. #70
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    Went back to King (because, with his volume, there's always something new to read) to finish his detective trilogy with "End of Watch". Not sure if the series is going to finally verge into a bit of supernatural or not, it's been very straightforward so far but there are little hints there. Should be interesting.

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