Rate the last book you read Page 35

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  • Nanocrystal 26 Jun 2013 00:33:26 959 posts
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    Currently two-thirds of the way through Abercrombie's Before They Are Hanged. Really enjoying this trilogy now after struggling through the painfully slow first book. Glad I persevered.
  • TechnoHippy 26 Jun 2013 08:14:21 14,643 posts
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    The Mariner by Ade Grant

    I'll start by saying that this is an incredible book. Really I should just be able to say that and people will read it :-) Where to start? Well the story is of the Mariner, lost at sea in a world that has fractured into islands seperated by a vast ocean. The Mariner himself is not a nice character, in fact he indulges in terrible acts and fantasy's, but he's on a quest.

    The journey he takes is fascinating and while I kind of figured what was going on it still kept me guessing to the end. The writing itself is superb, it really captures the confusion and perversion of the world the Mariner finds himself in.

    On the note about perversion be warned this book does contain some extreme sex scenes, some of a violent nature. On the face of it the story is one of pysocho-sexual fantasy (not a good kind of fantasy), but lurking in the words is something a bit more profound.

    As well as the Mariner there is a number of secondary charcters who all fit into the story nicely and provide a greater understanding of the world. The Tasmanian Devils are wonderful and add a bit of needed humour to often bleak world.

    The conceit used is one I have encountered only once before, but it is presented much better in this book than my previous encounter (I won't reveal the exact nature as that would spoil the book!). Suffice to say that some thinking has gone on in how the story has been layered together.

    As I said at the beginning this is an amazing book.

    10/10

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  • LeoliansBro 26 Jun 2013 08:51:25 41,903 posts
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    I, Partridge. 7/10 funny, but in a one-note kind of way. Not as good as I hoped it was going to be, sadly.

    Room. 8/10 another one of those 'Curious Incident' things centred around a narratorial gimmick, and used to similar effect (slow reveal of something which would have been obvious had it been narrated from a fully aware standpoint. Very well done and interesting, although it ran out of ideas towards the end.

    The Hollow Man. 9/10. THE locked room whodunnit, and despite being 1923 (I think) it hasn't aged at all. Very good and suitably gothic in places, slightly unsatisfying conclusion maybe (which relies on several leaps from what we were told) but you can't fault the set up. If you solve this, and it is solveable, then kudos.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Deleted user 29 June 2013 16:17:21
    Finished Beautiful Ruins last night. It really is very good. Sags a little bit towards the end as it starts following characters who are fairly underdeveloped, but that's mostly because it tries to pack a lot of things into just 300 or so pages, but it all comes together in a bittersweet payoff.

    Plus it gets Richard Burton spot-on. At least, to me it did.

    9/10
  • TechnoHippy 2 Jul 2013 11:21:21 14,643 posts
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    A Calculated Life by Anne Charnock

    A Calculated Life is set in the near future, a future where super intelligent people are bred to order and then leased to top businesses. They don't really get their own lives and are segregated from the rest of the population. The story tells of one of these people and their journey of discovery of human nature.

    I enjoyed reading this book a lot, the writing style is crisp and suits the story well. The course it takes is a little predictable, but that isn't a problem, it's the journey that makes this book worth reading.

    The story is well paced and leads to a satisfying conclusion. I'll look forward to reading more of this author's work.

    7/10

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  • senso-ji 3 Jul 2013 10:56:21 5,330 posts
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    Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

    Urban fantasy novel comparable to the works of Jim Butcher or Neil Gaiman.

    As a gamer, the plot seemed very familiar - there's a bit of DmC, No More Heroes and GTA in there. Unfortunately, Kadrey doesn't really flesh out ideas that weren't very original to begin with. The protagonist starts of promising but then ends up unlikable as he spends most of his time complaining about his predicament without doing much to resolve them. When the action sequences do arrive, they are way too short and don't seem to adequately resolve the plot points. The 'reunion' scene towards the end of the book, was, however, poignant and well written.

    6/10
  • GuiltySpark 3 Jul 2013 11:06:21 6,281 posts
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    Anyone read King's newest novel, Joyland? Looks like a pulpy hardboiled type of affair, if my brief glance at the cover is anything to go on.

    Get bent.

  • TechnoHippy 5 Jul 2013 13:09:51 14,643 posts
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    The Swimmer by David Haynes

    Up until now I've only read the author's Victorian era horrors, which I have loved. This is my first of his earlier work and I'm happy to say that it is also a great read! The story starts with a writer, living in a remote cliff top cottage witnessing a mysterious swimmer who is later found drown and smashed up. It then continues into an investigation of the swimmer's death and the events in the local mine decades before.

    It's a well written thriller that is paced well. The revelations along the way are interspersed with the development of the relationship between the two lead characters. The author does a fantastic job of setting the scene.

    It does have a couple of flaws, the first is that the style of switching between characters is a bit abrupt, leading to some confusion when reading. The other is that it's a local mystery, I felt that this could have been worked a little more as I didn't get a good read on the community, only a few personalities within it.

    They are minor issues and they didn't spoil my reading of this excellent thriller, the writing is engaging and the story interesting. All in all a good read.

    This is the author's first book and I'm pleased to say he has started well and developed fantastically, an author well worth following.

    7/10

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  • Maturin 5 Jul 2013 22:57:50 2,750 posts
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    The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

    Just finished reading this. The Sparrow is a beautiful, haunting and desperately sad tale. Nominally science-fiction - in that it concerns first contact with an alien race - but really a take of people, love, loss, sacrifice, faith and theology. A Jesuit mission to another world and the pain and suffering that follows.

    I know this is a book that's going to stay with me for some time. I feel terribly sad having read it, it's affected me more than anything I've read for a while, but I'm glad of reading something that I found so powerful.

    The Sparrow reminded me of some of Arthur C Clarke's best work. Books such as The Songs of Distant Earth, Childhood's End or The Fountains of Paradise - works again that are placed in the science fiction genre but really are stories of melancholy, loss and love denied. I'm not at all surprised The Sparrow won the Clarke prize, it certainly deserved it.

    I'm about to read the follow-up, with no little trepidation.

    Nine out of ten
  • FatsoJetson 7 Jul 2013 23:48:17 302 posts
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    @espibara in the afterword, the author does explain how he was inspired to write All You Need Is Kill by his love of videogames.

    I just finished this tonight and enjoyed it too. I'd give it an 8/10.

    Some clunky bits, which may be the fault of the translator, but the story is well-structured and zips along nicely.
  • andytheadequate 8 Jul 2013 00:47:13 7,972 posts
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    Sum of All Fears by Tom Clancy

    A very interesting book, but suffers from the usual Clancy problems of too much detail and repeating himself. It could easily have been a much shorter book than 1030 pages without losing anything. An example of this is the depth he goes into explaining how a nuclear bomb is made. Maybe it's just me but I skipped over most of that as I was never going to understand it, and some of it wasn't even correct (he says he changed parts of it so he didn't worry about terrorists using his book to build one).

    Overall, probably my second favourite of his books, but not as good as Rainbow 6
  • senso-ji 8 Jul 2013 13:31:49 5,330 posts
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    The Gunslinger by Stephen King

    An homage to the Lord of the Rings and Morricone films, set in a familiar but dark fantasy world. King's prose is engaging and the first 100 or so pages of this book were interesting, but it started to lose it's way after that. The main problem is that, for a book that's character driven, I found myself not caring much for the history or the plight of the Gunslinger. Certainly not enough for me to dedicate the time for six more novels in the series.

    6/10
  • phAge 8 Jul 2013 13:49:37 24,280 posts
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    Maturin wrote:
    The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

    Just finished reading this. The Sparrow is a beautiful, haunting and desperately sad tale. Nominally science-fiction - in that it concerns first contact with an alien race - but really a take of people, love, loss, sacrifice, faith and theology. A Jesuit mission to another world and the pain and suffering that follows.

    I know this is a book that's going to stay with me for some time. I feel terribly sad having read it, it's affected me more than anything I've read for a while, but I'm glad of reading something that I found so powerful.

    The Sparrow reminded me of some of Arthur C Clarke's best work. Books such as The Songs of Distant Earth, Childhood's End or The Fountains of Paradise - works again that are placed in the science fiction genre but really are stories of melancholy, loss and love denied. I'm not at all surprised The Sparrow won the Clarke prize, it certainly deserved it.

    I'm about to read the follow-up, with no little trepidation.

    Nine out of ten
    I discovered this while browsing Waterstones online a while ago, but didn't bung it in the basket as I mostly read hard, military sci-fi and this sounded a bit... not.

    Think I'll reconsider now, though.

    EDIT: How high-concept is it? I sometimes find myself drifting when Clarke and his ilk get too philosophical.

    Edited by phAge at 13:51:45 08-07-2013
  • Maturin 8 Jul 2013 14:24:59 2,750 posts
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    It's quite high concept. Lots of theological discussions. Perhaps not your cup of tea.
  • Wacko_AK 8 Jul 2013 14:52:43 176 posts
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    From a reviewer on Amazon..

    Worst of all, the heavy, cloying scent of Catholicism wore on me more and more as the tale progressed, as did the author's attitude to vegetarians: you are not truly human unless you eat meat, and all vegetarians are passive and annoying - which I found personally insulting.
    How true is that quote from the review? I've thought about getting this book for a while now but I'm pretty sure I'll get enraged and throw it out a window.
  • Maturin 8 Jul 2013 16:18:44 2,750 posts
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    Someone complained that a book about Catholics had too much Catholicism in it? O_o

    God forbid we should ever read a book outside our comfort zone that isn't just "dear reader I agree with everything you say, you are so smart, keep thinking the way you do."

    This isn't actually a book for Jesuits. It's a book about them. And aliens. And other stuff.

    And the attitude to vegetarians? That's complete and utter bullshit. I don't think they understood the book at all. They must be some kind of moron to think that attitudes of several characters equal attitude of author. So a book where a character ends up traumatised by eating babies and other nasty stuff is anti-vegetarian?

    Would they read Schindler's List and think it was pro-holocaust?
  • LeoliansBro 8 Jul 2013 16:20:49 41,903 posts
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    Maybe he just felt out of his depth and panicked?

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Tonka 8 Jul 2013 18:01:21 19,840 posts
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    @phAge hard military scifi sounds interesting. Do you have any recommendations?

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • fletch7100 8 Jul 2013 18:10:14 6,193 posts
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    @andytheadequate

    That's sometimes Clancys problem too much in depth info sometimes just for the sake of it. Haven't read his latest ones but always enjoyed Without Remorse(Mr Clark origins story), Red Storm Rising(WW3),Clear and Present Danger
  • Deleted user 8 July 2013 18:12:30
    I am about to give up on the one hundred year old man who climbed out of his window... I'm on chapter 9 just over 90 pages in but it is just doing nothing for me. Has anyone read it and can recommend carrying on? It seems like quite a long book so I'm thinking it might be best to cut my loses. Problem km having with it is that the writing just doesn't engage me, a lot is happening but I'm still bored. Unlike - probably an unfair example but it is the last book I finished - the great gatsby where bugger all happens but it is so stunningly written that it completely encapsulates you.
  • phAge 8 Jul 2013 18:13:16 24,280 posts
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    @Tonka

    You can't go wrong with the Kovacs-books by Richard Morgan (in fact, you can't really go wrong with Morgan - Black Man and his fantasy books are great as well).

    For maximum pulp with a semi-hard twist (...) the Bolo books (basicallly about giant, sentient tanks blasting the shit out of each other) are great for breaks, in the Tube or on the beach.
  • spindle9988 8 Jul 2013 19:57:17 3,388 posts
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    mowgli wrote:
    I am about to give up on the one hundred year old man who climbed out of his window... I'm on chapter 9 just over 90 pages in but it is just doing nothing for me. Has anyone read it and can recommend carrying on? It seems like quite a long book so I'm thinking it might be best to cut my loses. Problem km having with it is that the writing just doesn't engage me, a lot is happening but I'm still bored. Unlike - probably an unfair example but it is the last book I finished - the great gatsby where bugger all happens but it is so stunningly written that it completely encapsulates you.
    I got it In the kindle sale a while back for 20p. I can never bring myself to start it, prob never will now

    Edited by spindle9988 at 19:57:41 08-07-2013
  • munki83 8 Jul 2013 20:15:57 1,332 posts
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    I'm about to sit outside and finish the Player of Games by Ian M Banks. Its been a great read so far. I tried reading Excession a few years ago and got close to the end but it just didn't grip me but I've been really enjoying this one. So unless it goes down hill in the last 15 pages I highly recommend it. I kinda feel bad for just getting into this due to the fact he passed away recently.
  • Deleted user 9 July 2013 03:45:34
    Had a bit of a marathon over the past two days.

    The Hypnotist - Lars Kepler. 6/10. An alright Scandiwegian thriller that probably loses a bit in translation, though it also loses tension when an awkward and far too lengthy (about a quarter of the entire book) flashback is used for literally nothing but exposition (and to reveal the killer far too early).

    1922 - Stephen King. 8/10. Fairly standard King novella, albeit one with a solid and decent ending.

    The Eagle Has Landed - Jack Higgins. 8/10. Childhood favourite of mine. Hurtles along at a solid pace, but is, in retrospect, more Boy's Own material than Alistair MacLean level grit.
  • Tonka 9 Jul 2013 06:21:03 19,840 posts
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    Jesus Christ. I wish I could read three books (two of which are rather long iirc) in two days. Being a slow reader has always annoyed me.

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • Maturin 9 Jul 2013 09:51:26 2,750 posts
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    meme wrote:
    The Eagle Has Landed - Jack Higgins. 8/10. Childhood favourite of mine. Hurtles along at a solid pace, but is, in retrospect, more Boy's Own material than Alistair MacLean level grit.
    One of my favourites too. Steiner is such a great character.

    Have you read the sequel?
  • Deleted user 9 July 2013 23:25:17
    Yep. Have it on the to read list in short order - got a bumper book of Higgins' stories for a couple of bucks last weekend, but I'm spacing them out rather than ploughing through them in a day. Haven't read it since I was a teenager though, so can't remember a damn thing about it.
  • Seamus3900 11 Jul 2013 11:51:27 15 posts
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    @GuiltySpark I read it, it's ok but short compared to his usual stuff and very predictable. I read it in 2 days and I would give it a 6/10 score if I had to give it one.
  • GuiltySpark 11 Jul 2013 12:20:31 6,281 posts
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    Seamus3900 wrote:
    @GuiltySpark I read it, it's ok but short compared to his usual stuff and very predictable. I read it in 2 days and I would give it a 6/10 score if I had to give it one.
    Cheers man, I'll give that a miss then. Just seemed weird seeing a King book on the shelf in Tesco, with barely any fanfare or whatnot.

    Get bent.

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