Rate the last book you read Page 37

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  • PazJohnMitch 12 Aug 2013 11:14:23 7,816 posts
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    Brandon Sanderson's Final Empire

    Excellent book. Had a few mini blips and I saw some of the ending coming a mile off but still stunning.

    Looking forward to the next two. (Hopefully one of colleagues can bring them out too me in the next few weeks).

    Highly recommended

    9/10
  • Deleted user 13 August 2013 17:09:12
    Train Dreams by Denis Johnson.

    Read this in one sitting this afternoon. A short book, consisting of just over a hundred pages, follows the life of a single man in the first half or so of the 20th century as he seeks a simple raw live over the increasingly shallow live of a modernising america.

    I probably read it too quick and under slighty tired eyes, but i enjoyed it, will start it again soon. Simple prose, which is effective, and at times beautiful to read as he finds himself starting to be conditioned by nature rather than modern society.

    8/10
  • Deleted user 13 August 2013 19:04:12
    I really bloody love Train Dreams. Was also one of the controversial "we can't decide on a winner so there'll be no Pulitzer prize for fiction this year" selections. His short story "Car Crash While Hitchhiking" is one of my all-time favourites, too.
  • Deleted user 14 August 2013 20:43:17
    Yeah i really enjoyed the simple clarity to his prose, the fire scene, and the aftermath is so beautifully written and uplifting (not the fire bit obviously ;) ) Will start it again tonight, a couple of bits i misread or didn't wholly take in (such as what the locals said about the the 'wolf girl' etc.

    Will check out that book then next. (well the next one of his). Got flashman coming.

    Have you read Any phillip Meyer then? The son as got some good reviews so interested in that.

    Edited by joelstinton at 20:44:19 14-08-2013
  • Deleted user 15 August 2013 11:39:32
    '48
    James Herbert


    Bought a load of JH books on my kindle after he sadly passed earlier this year and I cannot believe I've never read this one before. Absolutely cracking little read. Non-stop action from beginning to end and it's definitely in my top three JH books ever.
  • LeoliansBro 15 Aug 2013 11:42:34 43,229 posts
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    Robin Hobb's Assassins trilogy. Great fun, sholocky fantasy stuff, but slightly let down by the author not knowing how to finish a book or indeed round off the whole story satisfactorily. Enjoyable while it lasted.

    Edited by LeoliansBro at 11:42:52 15-08-2013

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • onestepfromlost 15 Aug 2013 11:54:38 2,039 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    Robin Hobb's Assassins trilogy. Great fun, sholocky fantasy stuff, but slightly let down by the author not knowing how to finish a book or indeed round off the whole story satisfactorily. Enjoyable while it lasted.
    Yeah I quite enjoyed them. As for the ending its hard to know if she intended it to set up the follow up trilogy from the get go or not.
  • Megapocalypse 15 Aug 2013 11:58:20 5,320 posts
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    Liveships is better but I did enjoy Assassin's. Fools trilogy is ok and I've never read the 4th trilogy in that series.

    Soldier Son was pretty bad.
  • onestepfromlost 15 Aug 2013 12:00:07 2,039 posts
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    Havn't got round to reading the liveships trilogy yet might do that after I finish re-reading the first law trilogy.
  • wayneh 15 Aug 2013 12:46:14 2,284 posts
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    Game, Set, Match trilogy and Hook, Line and Sinker trilogy by Len Deighton. I read these ages ago but just re-read them on my kindle. Excellent spy stories set during the cold war where the focus isn't on gadgets but on human intelligence. The main character isn't some super hero but an embittered almost ex field agent. Len Deighton really manages to flesh the characters out making them believable and keeps the story interesting and engaging throughout the entire six books.

    Act like a dumbshit and they will treat you as an equal

  • macmurphy 15 Aug 2013 13:51:54 999 posts
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    Wolf Hall.

    Only bought it because it won the Booker prize. Historical Tudor stuff. Looked bobbins. Realised instantly why it won the Booker prize.

    Dense, layered, the kind of story when you are just in awe of the depth and complexity of a recreated world. Will be reading the follow up.
  • senso-ji 16 Aug 2013 20:20:40 5,795 posts
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    Girl, 20 by Kingsley Amis

    Satire of the permissive middle classes of 1970's London. The story was ok, if a little bland at times, but the characters develop a complexity that surprisingly betrays their introductory dispositions. But Amis' prose is the real star of the whole thing; there is a display of wit and dexterity here that is rarely seen and was a joy to read.

    7/10
  • TechnoHippy 18 Aug 2013 10:14:12 14,698 posts
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    The Kult by Shaun Jeffrey

    I'd heard many good things about this book before reading it and I'm pleased to say that I wasn't disappointed. It grabbed me from the very first line and kept me hooked until the cinematic conclusion. A killer is stalking the streets killing seemingly random victims, the most vulnerable in society and photographing them in gruesome tableaus. At the centre of all this is Prosper Snow, the lead detective on the case who has a dark secret of his own.

    What I liked about this book wasn't just the quality of the writing and the excellent pacing, it was the fact that it kept me guessing. From early in the story it heads in unexpected directions and keeps you guessing right up until the end. The blending of two main threads also makes it stand out from other similar killer hunts I've read.

    There was one minor issue I had with the story and that was the reveal near the end. After the almost artistic nature of the murders it felt a little flat, mundane even. Although there's probably a philosophical point that no matter how grandiose the kill, there's always a mundane motivation behind it. In any fact the reveal does make sense for the story and was signposted throughout the story.

    The Kult is an excellent read, one I'm happy to recommend.

    8/10

    My books, contests, reviews and author interviews on my blog

  • Mola_Ram 21 Aug 2013 03:45:25 6,981 posts
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    Emperor of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence

    The last book in the Broken Empire trilogy. It's one of the best fantasy series I've read in ages. And it's (relatively) short too, and doesn't overstay its welcome.

    It's worth reading it for the main character alone.
  • senso-ji 23 Aug 2013 13:06:19 5,795 posts
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    Naked Lunch by William Burroughs

    Counter-culture novel where Burroughs uses his most depraved drug induced nightmares as a commentary on the grotesqueness of modern life.

    Takes a while to adapt to the style (the sadomasochism in the first half didn't help), but when you eventually settle into it you appreciate Burroughs' social allegory for what it is.

    7/10
  • glaeken 23 Aug 2013 17:13:26 11,100 posts
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    Crash by JG Ballard - I never got around to reading this before and having been a Ballard odyssey recently I thought I had better get around to it.

    Having now read it it's a very strange book. People getting turned on by injury and disfigurement from car crash's is certainly a weird concept. All the characters are deranged to some degree or another which is typical Ballard.

    I cannot say I really enjoyed it as it's like reading porn for a lot of it with pretty graphic sex scenes and fantasy's that must of been quite strong stuff in the early 70's. Not that I care about the graphic nature of the content it's just not the sort of thing I really want to read. I always find sex scenes in books a bit intrusive. If I want porn I watch porn.

    Anyway in summary I can see why it was so controversial and the likes of the Daily Mail dammed it but it's just not a particular enjoyable book. Apparently Ballard was sort of going for that reaction as there really is nothing you can empathise with with any of the characters and that is what he wanted. He did not want anything redeeming about any of the characters which he pretty much achieved.


    It's pretty short so if you want to just see what the fuss was about it's not a major investment of time.
  • Deleted user 23 August 2013 17:19:23
    Naked Lunch is superb. Supremely weird, but totally mesmerising. A lot of the style criticism comes from Burrough's editing process, where he wrote it in a linear fashion then used cut-up techniques to make it non-linear and chaotic. Perfectly valid criticism, though, it makes it not for everyone. The movie's good too, although it's not actually a movie of the book, but really a movie about the book, if that makes sense.
  • sirtacos 23 Aug 2013 23:19:16 7,268 posts
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    The Story of San Michele

    Alex Munthe, a Swedish guy, travels around Europe, then trains in France to become the youngest doctor in the country's history. After that, he travels to disaster zones as a rescue worker, braving earthquakes, mudslides, a cholera epidemic, and brigands. Along the way, he rescues and cares for creatures great and small, - from birds to apes - all the while pursuing an impossible dream with dogged determination.

    Written with bite, and a good dose of whimsical surrealism (in English, by a man fluent in 4 languages) this autobiography/memoir is one of the best - and funniest - books I've read this year.
    It's a window into a different era by a stubborn & uncompromising renaissance man whose ideas and convictions were far ahead of his time.

    10/10
  • Megapocalypse 31 Aug 2013 20:32:15 5,320 posts
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    Cloud Atlas

    I really enjoyed it, I'm just not sure why. It wasn't anything like I thought it would be. (I was under the impression it was a single story involving different characters through time.) God knows how I got that impression but anyway, the stories were well written if not particularly interesting.

    8/10
  • Tonka 5 Sep 2013 07:22:03 20,019 posts
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    Diaries of a Dwarven Rifleman

    Tells the tale of Engvyr Gunnarson from his youth and onwards. One of the best fantasy books I've read. I had a big grin on my face for most of it just because it made me feel so damn comfortable.

    Horrible things happen but Engvyr has such a lovely "deal with the problem" attitude that even when the most horrible things happen you feel as if you're sat under a parasol on a nice beach with frosty beer in your hand.

    I loved loved loved the world too. It's easy to see that it has been well thought out before the writing started but this background is never in your face but serves a solid foundation for how things play out.

    I hope that this will turn into a loosely connected series of books (as is hinted on the web)

    If you like fantasy then this is a must read

    Edited by Tonka at 07:22:18 05-09-2013

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

  • Metalfish 5 Sep 2013 08:59:27 8,790 posts
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    I like fantasy, but I'm allergic to elves and dwarfs. Also anything with a bloke in a cloak on the front.

    Reckon I can still read it? :)
  • LeoliansBro 5 Sep 2013 09:05:31 43,229 posts
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    Crash by JG Ballard. Grotesque, deliberately offputting and fascinating. Not an easy read but I'm glad I read it. Not sure how to rate it.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • LeoliansBro 5 Sep 2013 09:11:58 43,229 posts
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    Tonka wrote:
    Diaries of a Dwarven Rifleman

    Tells the tale of Engvyr Gunnarson from his youth and onwards. One of the best fantasy books I've read. I had a big grin on my face for most of it just because it made me feel so damn comfortable.

    Horrible things happen but Engvyr has such a lovely "deal with the problem" attitude that even when the most horrible things happen you feel as if you're sat under a parasol on a nice beach with frosty beer in your hand.

    I loved loved loved the world too. It's easy to see that it has been well thought out before the writing started but this background is never in your face but serves a solid foundation for how things play out.

    I hope that this will turn into a loosely connected series of books (as is hinted on the web)

    If you like fantasy then this is a must read
    Yeah I read this following your recommendation. Great world he's created, but the book itself ain't great at all. Feels a bit like wish fulfilment roleplay for him and his wife, and it is full of odd gaps.

    Minor fictionalised spoilers below:

    Oh noes, though Icelandar Dottrsssssson, you have murdered my loved ones and raped the women and children and driven me from my home and shot me like a thousand times with a needlessly complex rifle. Now is the time to kill the dramatic tension by explaining the stats, bore, range etc of the rifle, and then...

    ...15 years later, Icelandar Dottrsssssson adjusted his smooth bore large 44 long rifle which he'd got from his two terms in the Dwarven Sharpe's rifles, but which we'll not go into here, but he was allowed to keep and also a hero and stuff, anyway he got the rifle yeah, and then he shot that goblin and it smashed through his thick armour, please turn to appendix one for a detailed discussion on how that would be totally possible. And then a messenger rode up and told him he'd been promoted to Duke for no reason. Also he's shagging an elf, because why not.
    Edited by LeoliansBro at 09:13:08 05-09-2013

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Metalfish 5 Sep 2013 09:20:33 8,790 posts
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    Elves? I knew it!
  • Alastair 5 Sep 2013 09:30:18 15,456 posts
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    macmurphy wrote:
    Wolf Hall.

    Only bought it because it won the Booker prize. Historical Tudor stuff. Looked bobbins. Realised instantly why it won the Booker prize.

    Dense, layered, the kind of story when you are just in awe of the depth and complexity of a recreated world. Will be reading the follow up.
    I found it hard work. There was some bad punctuation that made some sections hard to read. I got through it but didn't really enjoy it that much.
    I prefer the Shardlake series of books for their recreation of essentially the same time period.

    Not as nice as I used to be

  • Alastair 5 Sep 2013 09:35:31 15,456 posts
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    Dune by Frank Herbert

    I found it slightlyl hard work to get into. Tried a few months ago but never really got going. I started again on holiday and got into it.
    I'm shit at describing stories without going into great detail, but it's a tale of intrigue and political wrangling on a harsh desert planet that isn't all it seems.

    It gets a double thumbs up from me, even though there are bits of the plot that I didn't quite follow. I will consult LBro on that...

    Not as nice as I used to be

  • LeoliansBro 5 Sep 2013 09:38:03 43,229 posts
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    My knowledge of Dune is as comprehensive as it is tedious :)

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Tonka 5 Sep 2013 09:40:50 20,019 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    Great world he's created, but the book itself ain't great at all. Feels a bit like wish fulfilment roleplay for him and his wife, and it is full of odd gaps.
    That's what I liked about it. All out feel good day dream.

    It's a multigenre meta genre I think and I like it. Just like "A world made by hand" or The Ember series (the latter being rather poor)

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

  • Alastair 5 Sep 2013 09:43:23 15,456 posts
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    LeoliansBro wrote:
    My knowledge of Dune is as comprehensive as it is tedious :)
    PM sent
    :)

    Not as nice as I used to be

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