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Dave Cahill
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Re: Book thread

Post by Dave Cahill »

Logorrhea wrote: keep going.

He's been recommended a few times on here already but Raymond E Feists Magician is a great book for any fantasy fan. It (and the following books) are as good as any other fantasy stuff that's been written in the last 25 year or so.

The best!

Also, his fantasy horror standalone 'Faerie Tale' is a cracking read
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mairemac09
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Re: Book thread

Post by mairemac09 »

If George RR Martin was your thing then the "Malazan Book of the Fallen" Series by Steve Erikson would be well worth a read, it's very detailed, complex and convoluted! Far more involved than say Eddings and Gemmell which were i must admit amongst my favourite books when i was younger. The first book is Gardens of the Moon which is good , takes a while to get into but worth persevering with and the second one "Deadhouse Gates" is one of those books that i have read again and again. The series extends to 10 fairly hefty novels all of which are now published so no waiting around for years for the next novel...

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Logorrhea
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Re: Book thread

Post by Logorrhea »

Dave Cahill wrote:The best!

Also, his fantasy horror standalone 'Faerie Tale' is a cracking read
Its been a long time but I remember reading Charles De Lints stuff. Fairie tale seemed to be similar to it.

Would recommend you give Moonheart a look.
mairemac09 wrote:The first book is Gardens of the Moon which is good , takes a while to get into but worth persevering with
Tried twice, but lost patience with it both times.

Will probably try again as so many people recommend it.

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Re: Book thread

Post by honeyec »

Have been reading like a madwoman all summer, before the academic year kicks back in and I no longer have time to read for pleasure. So this is going to be a bit of an epic post...

John Boyne, Next of Kin - I'm kind of cooling off Boyne, I have to say, his last couple of books have been extremely predictable.

Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridien - I was a bit, meh, to be honest. McCarthy is an unparallelled wordsmith, but this just left me cold.

Yann Martel, Life of Pi - beautiful book, but my first thought on finishing it was "That's unfilmable." Watched the following evening, and that opinion stands.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby - all felt a bit, I don't know, inconsequential? None of the characters were really developed properly. It'll be interesting to see how the film compares.

John Boyn, This House is Haunted - good old-fashioned ghost story. Not actually scary, mind you, but still very enjoyable as a bit of brain-fluff.

Michael Connolly, Dark Hollow - an early Charlie Parker novel where he's a bit more of a caricature than in the later stuff. Louis and Angel kind of overshadow him in this, but tbh a lot of Connolly fans would consider them the more interesting characters anyway. Connolly, at this stage in the CP novels, can't quite seem to make up his mind whether he wants to be a hard-boiled detective writer, or a horror one. Still enjoyable, though.

Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim - erm, only alright, I have to say. I was expecting laugh-out-loud funny, but it induced only mild snorting, and very little of it. I just found Jim a bit of a wet dishcloth of a character. I think that's more my own fault than Amis', though, as I have yet to really warm to a dithery, no-self-confidence, woe-is-me type character in any novel. They always just annoy me, tbh.

Michael Connelly, 9 Dragons - formulaic, Harry Bosch-by-numbers stuff, but an enjoyable enough way to kill a few hours without having to engage your brain in the least.

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl - this is going to be one of those books where anyone who read it early will have raved about it, then dismiss it as potboiler cr@p once it hits critical commercial mass. It's not Tolstoy, but it's well-written, well-structured and will keep you turning pages well into the night. The end feels a little bit rushed, though, and is completely preposterous. But it's worth a read for the build-up alone.

Stephen King, The Wind Through the Keyhole - a tangentially-related Dark Tower novella. I'll be the first to admit that I'd read King's shopping list and enjoy it, but non DT readers would be totally underwhelmed, I'd say, despite King claiming in the forward that you don't need to have read the series to appreciate this one.

Gillian Flynn, Dark Places - a whodunnit for the 21st century. Manages to have several of the most dislikeable characters in recent fiction while still managing to be completely engaging.

Jon Stark, Games Traitors Play - spy story, not really my usual cup of tea, but I'd finished all my other books and needed *something* to read. Anyway, it's the second book involving a recurring character and referred to events in the previous book so often that it just got kind of tiresome.

Stephen King, Joyland - an absolute joy of a story, although more because of the characters and the "feel" of the book than for the actual plot. It worked best as a guy's bittersweet memoir of a particular time of his life rather than as a ghost story. And, tbh, I think where that's where King is at his strongest; with character and tone. He definitely doesn't get enough credit for his writing, imo.

Alan Glynn, Bloodland - found it randomly down in the sitting room while on the hunt for something to read. He's a young Irish writer. Read it in one sitting. Fast paced, rollicking crime caper with about a million different story strings.

Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca - I enjoyed it, but I was expecting much more of a ghost story, possibly because of the huge influence it had on Stephen King's Bag of Bones, which is a classic "haunted house" yarn. I also identified far more with Rebecca than I did with the narrator. There were so many times that I went "Ah would you cop on!" that it kind of pulled me out of the story a bit.

Alissa Nutting, Tampa - left me rather nonplussed. It makes for very uncomfortable reading, which is obviously the idea. But I'm not sure if Nutting has an actual point to make. She seems to be content to just make the reader squirm, without really backing it up with much of a moral.

So now I'm currently about halfway through Stephen King's The Tommyknockers. So far it's reminding me quite a lot of Needful Things, I have to say. I also have an anthology of zombie short stories on the go, which I've been dipping in and out of, but I have to say, so far they've mostly been shite...
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Re: Book thread

Post by fourthirtythree »

The great gatsby? It's not Fitzgerald's greatest book for me* but the characters are not undeveloped so much as drawn deftly with few strokes yet left enigmatic. If they were fully "explained" it would be a lesser book.

I don't have much time for McCarthy to be honest. Poetic evocations of extreme violence are not my thing.

Red or dead landed on my doormat with a large thump the other day. Not sure I'm actually going to get past the endless repetition of "on 19th of January 1965 Liverpool Football club played Hartlepool football club at whatever ground and thirty three thousand six hundred and fifty three souls also came to watch" for the first few hundred pages. David Peace also writes in a form of poetry, which, hilariously the makers of the film saw fit to remove from their version of the Damned United (a bit like playing Shakespeare in prose WTF) instantly removing any reason whatever to watch it. Unless you're impressed by the tedious mimesis of the lead actor (a man who seems to get rapturous praise for utterly uninteresting performances of potentially interesting people, I recently saw Frost Nixon and it was as empty headed as the film of the Damned United was. Almost an impressive achievement in itself).

I find Stephen King's prose embarrassing to be honest, I know lots of people think he's great - and even recommend his book on writing - but his prose makes me squirm. Not in a good way.

*that will be Tender is the Night. But my affection for that could well be a time and place thing. I have no desire to revisit it.
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JB1973
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Re: Book thread

Post by JB1973 »

For fiction anything by David Gemmell but especially the Waylander books, the troy trilogy and the Rigante series all v enjoyable as is the Arthurian trilogy by Bernard Cornwell. For true crime storys Iceman and Gaspipe by Philip Carlo and the Westies by T J English,

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Re: Book thread

Post by JohnB »

"Alan Glynn, Bloodland - found it randomly down in the sitting room while on the hunt for something to read. He's a young Irish writer. Read it in one sitting. Fast paced, rollicking crime caper with about a million different story strings."

Thanks Honeyec - As Glynn was in my year in school and I'm in my early 50s I found your description of his age quite cheering! Have his novel, Winterland, on my bookshelf. it has been glaring at me for the last few month. So many books, so little time.

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Re: Book thread

Post by Peg Leg »

Just finished "Bury my heart at Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown. A chapter of history I know nothing about, its the story of the native indians (told from their pov) during the gold rush and the ensuing land grabs the specific period covered, 1860-1890.
Pretty disturbing account of the American political institution.

**** good book, good starter point for anyone interested in the period.
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Re: Book thread

Post by Dave Cahill »

Peg Leg wrote:Just finished "Bury my heart at Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown. A chapter of history I know nothing about, its the story of the native indians (told from their pov) during the gold rush and the ensuing land grabs the specific period covered, 1860-1890.
Pretty disturbing account of the American political institution.

**** good book, good starter point for anyone interested in the period.
Superb book, and along those lines, I can't remember if its in the book, but the Choctaw Nation made a large donation (20k usd in todays money) to Irish famine relief in 1847 - its an interesting story if you haven't heard it before

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Re: Book thread

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JB1973 wrote:For fiction anything by David Gemmell but especially the Waylander books, the troy trilogy and the Rigante series all v enjoyable as is the Arthurian trilogy by Bernard Cornwell. For true crime storys Iceman and Gaspipe by Philip Carlo and the Westies by T J English,
If you liked the anti hero type stuff in waylander try the malazan empire books by s erickson. can be a bit of a struggle in places as it tends to slow deep character atmosphere development in places. That and the chornicles of the black company by glen cook, main characters are complete b-stards, fighting on the wrong side but your still routing for them all the way

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Re: Book thread

Post by Peg Leg »

Dave Cahill wrote:
Peg Leg wrote:Just finished "Bury my heart at Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown. A chapter of history I know nothing about, its the story of the native indians (told from their pov) during the gold rush and the ensuing land grabs the specific period covered, 1860-1890.
Pretty disturbing account of the American political institution.

**** good book, good starter point for anyone interested in the period.
Superb book, and along those lines, I can't remember if its in the book, but the Choctaw Nation made a large donation (20k usd in todays money) to Irish famine relief in 1847 - its an interesting story if you haven't heard it before

https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/michael/www ... inson.html
Not covered in the book, but had heard about it.
Any further reading on that period/struggle you could recommend? I have the Stephen E. Ambrose "Crazy Horse and Custer" on the shelf, but don't want to get straight into individual bio's just yet.
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Re: Book thread

Post by Hippo »

JohnB wrote:"Alan Glynn, Bloodland - found it randomly down in the sitting room while on the hunt for something to read. He's a young Irish writer. Read it in one sitting. Fast paced, rollicking crime caper with about a million different story strings."

Thanks Honeyec - As Glynn was in my year in school and I'm in my early 50s I found your description of his age quite cheering! Have his novel, Winterland, on my bookshelf. it has been glaring at me for the last few month. So many books, so little time.
Ha! He was in my year in university and I was thinking exactly the same thing.
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JB1973
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Re: Book thread

Post by JB1973 »

PCASEY wrote:
JB1973 wrote:For fiction anything by David Gemmell but especially the Waylander books, the troy trilogy and the Rigante series all v enjoyable as is the Arthurian trilogy by Bernard Cornwell. For true crime storys Iceman and Gaspipe by Philip Carlo and the Westies by T J English,
If you liked the anti hero type stuff in waylander try the malazan empire books by s erickson. can be a bit of a struggle in places as it tends to slow deep character atmosphere development in places. That and the chornicles of the black company by glen cook, main characters are complete b-stards, fighting on the wrong side but your still routing for them all the way

have ordered that glen cook so will let you know how I get on with it, just getting through the emperor Conn Iggulden series at the moment. First book is way ott but the next have been very good

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Re: Book thread

Post by Hippo »

Hippo wrote:
JohnB wrote:"Alan Glynn, Bloodland - found it randomly down in the sitting room while on the hunt for something to read. He's a young Irish writer. Read it in one sitting. Fast paced, rollicking crime caper with about a million different story strings."

Thanks Honeyec - As Glynn was in my year in school and I'm in my early 50s I found your description of his age quite cheering! Have his novel, Winterland, on my bookshelf. it has been glaring at me for the last few month. So many books, so little time.
Ha! He was in my year in university and I was thinking exactly the same thing.
PS Didn't much enjoy the book
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Re: Book thread

Post by JohnB »

I'm 45 pages into Norwegian by Night, a debut thriller by Derek B. Miller and it's clear to me that this is going to be a fantastic read. It's about a widowed, 83 year old ex-US marine, Sheldon Horowitz, who moves to Norway 3 weeks after his wife's death to live with his grand-daughter and her husband at his granddaughter's suggestion as she believes that he's in the early stages of dementia. He may have dementia or he could just be very irascible! I'm trying to slow down my reading of the novel to make it last as it's already so entertaining.

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Re: Book thread

Post by IanD »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-24372224

Tom Clancey has passed away. His books are great.

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Re: Book thread

Post by honeyec »

Just got my reading list for this year's Lit module. So long, reading for pleasure, it's been swell.

Spare a thought for me slogging my way through this over the next seven months:

Hammond, Paul and David Hopkins (eds). 2007. Dryden: Selected Poems (Longman Annotated Poets Harlow: Pearson)

Lonsdale, Roger (ed.). 2009. The New Oxford Book of Eighteenth-Century Verse (Oxford: Oxford University Press)

Stephen Greenblatt (ed.). 2012. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 9th edn, vol. 1 (New York: W. W. Norton and Co.).

Extract from John Dryden, Annus Mirabilis (1666)

Extract from James Thomson, To the Memory of Sir Isaac Newton (1727)

Ann Yearsley, To Mr. ****, an Unlettered Poet, on Genius Unimproved (1787)

John Milton, ‘L’Allegro’ (c. 1631); ‘Il Penseroso’ (c.1631); Lycidas (1638)

John Denham, Cooper’s Hill (1641)

Andrew Marvell, Upon Appleton House: To My Lord Fairfax (c.1654); ‘An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland’ (1650)

John Milton, Areopagitica (1644)

John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667)

The book of Genesis from the Bible, chapters 1-3, King James’ Version.

JohnBunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Part 1 (1678)

John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, ‘The Imperfect Enjoyment’(c. 1680); ‘The Maimed Debauchee’ (c. 1675); ‘Upon Nothing’ (c. 1678)

Aphra Behn, ‘The Disappointment’ (c. 1680)

John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel (1681); Mac Flecknoe(1676)

William Congreve, The Way of the World (1700)

Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock (1714 version)

Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea, ‘To the Nightingale’(1713); ‘A Nocturnal Reverie’ (1713)

Mary Barber, ‘Written for my Son, and Spoken by him at his first putting on Breeches’ (1731)

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Turkish Embassy Letters (1763)

Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year (1722)

Jonathan Swift, A Short View of the Present State of Ireland(1727)

Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal (1729)

Samuel Richardson, Pamela: Or, Virtue Rewarded (1740)

Henry Fielding, Shamela (1741)

Henry Fielding, ‘Preface’ to Joseph Andrews (1742)

Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy,Gentleman (1759-67)

Henry Mackenzie, The Man of Feeling (1771)

Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village (1770)

George Crabbe, The Village (1783), Book I

Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto (1764)
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Re: Book thread

Post by Hippo »

^^^
A Modest Proposal is short but very entertaining.
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Re: Book thread

Post by fourthirtythree »

But most of those are... less than entertaining to be fair.

I enjoyed Tristram Shandy, but it really isn't to everyone's taste. I can't understand how the turgid prose of the KJV is viewed as "the greatest literature in the English language" it's just as boring as any other holy writ I've ever read. Pilgrim's progress? You'd have to pay me. Defoe's Robinson Crusoe would be a great read if he dropped the relentless god bothering "almighty providence in whom all yada yada provided for me &C. and I must confess."
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My friend, blood shaking my heart
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Re: Book thread

Post by Hippo »

I was trying to be upbeat :)
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