Rate the last book you read Page 41

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  • CrispyLog 22 Nov 2013 16:57:34 111 posts
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    joelstinton wrote:
    The spy who came in from the cold - John Le Carre

    Enjoyed this immensely. A really tight, well written book that has a pretty well drawn conclusion (if maybe a bit spelt out for you - even so , you do start to ask questions of your own before its damning statements are landed)

    Superb, don't really wawnt to go into much detail, as i will likely bore you, but also its not to be ruined!

    9/10
    Should be starting that next week as that's my next book when I finish the mammoth, 1242 page Count of Monte Cristo. Got 70 pages left and I'm quite sad really, it's taken me months to read it due to work so I've just been reading 10-20 pages or so a day rather than big binges so it feels like a running soap opera to me and I'm going to miss everyone in it!

    So yeh, great to hear that the book that has to step up after it should be a good one.
  • phAge 22 Nov 2013 17:41:17 24,280 posts
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    Just finished Joe Abercrombie's "The Heroes" - I can see he's written a load of other Fantasy stuff, and if it's even half as good my reading X-mas reading list just got a whole lot longer.

    Great characterization (even if most of the characters are, to some extent, assholes), a morale that doesn't feel forced, a plot that is believable and detailed without being over-elaborate - and some fuck-off fight scenes.

    Great, great stuff - reminded me more than a bit of Richard Morgan's foray into Fantasy country, except without the hardcore gay porn.

    9/10
  • Metalfish 22 Nov 2013 18:58:31 8,693 posts
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    Heroes is his best.
  • phAge 22 Nov 2013 19:02:08 24,280 posts
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    Oh. Too bad. Think I have a mancrush on Bremer dan Gorst. The cunt.
  • Rhaegyr 22 Nov 2013 19:05:37 1,114 posts
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    @CrispyLog

    Fantastic book - it is a big one, though!
  • Metalfish 22 Nov 2013 19:06:14 8,693 posts
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    If you've read the trilogy you'll know why he's the mess of a man that he is. He's probably the second toughest bastard in the entire universe, but it hasn't done him a lot of good.
  • phAge 23 Nov 2013 13:45:23 24,280 posts
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    @Metalfish

    Exactly - which makes him all the more interesting, IMO. It's rare that you have a protagonist in SF/Fantasy who *is* actually a bit of a douche, rather than just a misunderstood badass with a heart of gold.

    Would you recommend reading the trilogy, despite having read The Heroes and thus knowing who lives and who (probably) does not? I've also read some reviews stating that the conclusion to The Heroes is too similar to that of the trilogy?
  • Metalfish 23 Nov 2013 23:56:04 8,693 posts
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    Heroes is definitely the coda to the trilogy. Red country and Best Served stand alone fairly well, but the trilogy is referenced fairly heavily, especially a certain merc captain.

    Verdict: worth it, but never quite as awesome as heroes.
  • Syrette 23 Nov 2013 23:59:50 41,876 posts
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    Great read. Particularly enjoyed the enlightening sections describing in detail how the mob's gambling etc operations work.

  • Kanjin 24 Nov 2013 00:18:53 961 posts
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    Mockingjay

    It's the third Hunger Games book. And, well, it's pretty depressing. Lots of people die, others go insane, some go insane then die. Katniss doesn't shoot quite as many people with arrows so that's a point against it, but she does shoot a fighter plane with an explosive arrow at one point so that's good. The ending makes sense and most things get tied up.

    7/10.
  • glaeken 2 Dec 2013 09:40:27 10,978 posts
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    Hangover square by Patrick Hamilton. Good stuff. Set in London during 1939 it follows a group of degenerates who just get pissed all the time and a hanger on to the group that everyone treats like crap but who is not quite what he seems.

    If anyone does read this and gets the Penguin Modern Classics version do not read the introduction by J.B. Priestley as they give away the ending of the book. Luckily someone had warned me to skip the introduction. Quite why they do this type of thing in introductions to classic books I don't know. I actually avoid reading them now as they are always written by someone who assumes you have already read the book.
  • senso-ji 5 Dec 2013 13:12:04 5,315 posts
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    The Explorer by James Smythe

    A journalist joins a small team of astrounauts on a highly ambitious mission into space, and things start to go very wrong.

    It's hard for me to describe the premise too much without giving away a lot of the plot. Even though this is set in space and is found in the sci-fi section of your local bookshop, it has very little science in it all. Instead, the authour uses space as an allegory for the psychological journey that the protagonist is going through. It's bleak, it's desperate, with plenty of plot twists and character developments. My criticism is that the book didn't need to be set in space to convey it's themes; in fact, the science fiction setting seemed to slightly detract from the overall pacing, especially at the end where the authour drops a pure sci-fi concept that seems juxtaposed with the more realistic situations he was exploring.

    If you enjoy films such as Moon or Solaris, then this novel is one you should check out.

    7/10
  • Megapocalypse 6 Dec 2013 16:42:27 5,229 posts
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    The Game by Neil Straus

    A very interesting and enjoyable read about an average losers quest to become the world's greatest pick up artist, and the satisfaction it didn't bring him when he got there. The stories told are actually quite amazing and is difficult to know how much of it is the truth. I suspect every word is.
  • L0cky 6 Dec 2013 17:05:04 1,442 posts
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    spindle9988 wrote:
    Just finished Enders game which I really enjoyed. Has anyone read the rest of the series, if so, what is it like?
    Speaker for the Dead is very different, interesting and complements Enders Game in a way, but drags a little sometimes.

    The next one (Excession) is terrible. I'd recommend moving on. Try some Iain M. Banks if you haven't already, he was far ahead of Orson Scott Card.
  • glaeken 20 Dec 2013 10:07:27 10,978 posts
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    Seeing by Jose Saramago - Rather good though does suffer from a slow start. Once it gets going though I really enjoyed it. The books deals with the idea that a large percentage of the population (83%) stop voting for any political party by making blank votes. It then deals with how a government might deal with that situation. The government in this instance starts to treat the population as hostile and decides some subversive element is behind the whole thing.

    Itís not as good as Blindness by Jose Saramago but itís still a good thought provoking read. Saramago does have Cormac McCarthy disease though with speach not being indicated in anyway and multiple people speaking in the same sentence. Once you get used to it it works Ok but sometimes it is tricky to follow who is meant to be speaking.

    Edited by glaeken at 10:08:29 20-12-2013
  • Deleted user 22 December 2013 06:46:39
    The 100 year old man who climbed out the window and dissapeared.

    Had to abandon this one. Just did not get into it at all. The writing is god awful, i should have known that just by the title at all.

    Wasn't sure what it was trying to be, it just seemed like a poorly judged caper. With each chapter it started to introduce more quirkier things. I don;t mind quirky but as far as i read, the plot had dealt with a lot of random stuff. And it just wasn't clicking. The humour, and writing wasn't funny, or snappy enough. It seemed rather dry and monotone. I do wonder if the book as a huge pay off, but i'm not inclined to follow through with finishing it.

    So, i been feeling a bit down lately, and read Spike Milligan Third Memoir , Monty: My Part in his downfall.

    A joy to read, side cracking humour on most pages. The book deals with pretty quiet time in his tour, mostly playing Jazz concerts and taking a lot of R&R In and around Tunis. Which ensures a lot of funny reflections and stories. And probably a lot of the groundwork for his comedic adventures post war. Towards the end, the war starts to infiltrates back into Spikes, and his regiment life, which he has a great ability to relfect with something profound, and with a sudden chillness.

    It's not perfect, the book at times is quite fragmented, but Nazi News, and his stories are throughly entertaining.

    Might re-read the first two, and the third again (its not that long), before i proceed to the fourth!

    8/10

    Edited by joelstinton at 06:48:29 22-12-2013
  • TechnoHippy 28 Dec 2013 09:57:28 14,642 posts
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    Frostwalker by Brandon Luffman

    I enjoyed reading this, i's a dark tale about a geek (Jake Marsden) who's experiencing terrible dreams about something strange in the woods behind his house. He investigates but discovers little before the ancient evil awakes and attacks his town. With a small group of survivors he has to battle this evil to save the town.

    The pacing is good, the book builds with some creepy dreams and odd occurrences while building up the characters central to the unfolding events. The mark of a good read is that you don't notice how many pages you've read and this was the case with this book. The pace increases as the book progresses and soon the attack on the town begins.

    The group of friends then have to fight the dark forces attacking the town, not only to survive, but to prevent the evil; from spreading.

    As I said at the beginning I enjoyed reading this, the writing is excellent and slips through without any great effort and I'd finished the book almost without reading it. The author writes well, setting the scene with skill and maintaining the pace needed for a tale like this.

    For me there were two down points to the book, the first was the conclusion, after the excellent build up it all ended a little easily and quickly. In fairness this isn't a big complaint, the ending is a satisfactory one.

    My other issue was the evil itself, I'm a reader that enjoys learning about the dark forces as play and I would have liked to have discovered more about the entity causing the evil at the heart of the story. Again it's a minor issue, but one that along with the first marred the ending for me, but not enough not to recommend this as a decent horror read.

    7/10

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  • spindle9988 28 Dec 2013 10:09:56 3,384 posts
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    L0cky wrote:
    spindle9988 wrote:
    Just finished Enders game which I really enjoyed. Has anyone read the rest of the series, if so, what is it like?
    Speaker for the Dead is very different, interesting and complements Enders Game in a way, but drags a little sometimes.

    The next one (Excession) is terrible. I'd recommend moving on. Try some Iain M. Banks if you haven't already, he was far ahead of Orson Scott Card.
    Nice one, I've never tried Iain. M Banks, so I'll give it a go. I'm on the second part to wool at the moment. Very good read
  • Deleted user 28 December 2013 12:37:24
    A Study In Scarlet : Arthur Conan Doyle

    Really enjoyed this. What surprised me about the book is how neutral the story is in terms of dating and setting. I can see how easy it was to bring the book forward, or rather the characters to more more modern setting in the new Bendict Cucumberpatch and tim from the office version.

    The book is essentially in three parts, and like the new Tv series, narrated by Watson. I really enjoyed that viewpoint from Watson, and is a good way in trying to get under the skin of Holmes. Although you are relying on just his viewpoint, despite watson trying to write as neutrally as he can.

    The second part , i found quite enthralling, totally removed from the first part, it brilliant tells the tale of seeds to be sown in the first part as the Mormons settle in utah. What becomes is a right old american yarn, that really gets across 19th century America with vivid, and vibrant writing. And then the third part as the story is concluded, and all conclusions sown up in a hughely satisfying finish.

    I rattled through this, enjoyed it a lot. Not overally long, and the writing is sharp and easy to read.

    Recommended.

    9/10
  • phAge 1 Jan 2014 23:25:28 24,280 posts
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    Wool by Hugh Dowey

    Loses a little in the last third or so, but all in all a great read in a superbly realized world. Highly recommended.
  • CrispyLog 3 Jan 2014 20:47:17 111 posts
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    Legacy of Heorot by Niven and co.

    Loved it. Start was amazing with the horror aspect and fear of just the one creature but it kind of lost suspense at the end and turned into a bug hunt. I understand it in a way, it shows humanity colonising and dominating a new planet, going from refusing to believe there is anything that could hurt them, to just about beating it and then using science and human adaptability to create new ways to destroy them. Like human history in a microcosm really, but still I just enjoyed the fear and suspense of the start better.
  • EMarkM 3 Jan 2014 21:30:29 3,133 posts
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    @joelstinton Have you read the other Holmes stories yet, short or long? Or any of ACD's other stuff like Prof. Challenger?

    There's a wealth of good material.
  • Deleted user 3 January 2014 21:39:57
    @EMarkM

    No i havn't! I think i read something of his before, but i can't remember what. So no then! coming in fresh. Really enjoyed SIS though. Thing i will read signs of the four next :)

    Edited by joelstinton at 22:39:35 03-01-2014
  • EMarkM 3 Jan 2014 21:45:57 3,133 posts
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    @joelstinton If you loved ASIS, you'll adore TSOF :)

    Edited by EMarkM at 21:46:23 03-01-2014
  • TechnoHippy 6 Jan 2014 17:43:14 14,642 posts
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    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

    This is a fun cyberpunk adventure which I enjoyed reading a lot. The story takes place in two worlds, the first is the physical world which has changed considerably from the one we know. The land has been divided up into franchises owned by corporations, churches and the Federal government. Each franchise has their own laws with enforcement provided by corporations and in one case automated systems (Fido is very cool).

    The other world is the metaverse, a 3D internet where people interact through avatars, in many ways it resembles the physical world but for hackers the rules can be different.

    The story concerns a virus that crashes computer systems, but also human minds or more specifically hacker minds. The story revolves around two central characters, the first is Hiro, a Katana wielding hacker who also delivers pizza in the real world for the Mafia. The other is a young girl Y T, who is a courier on an air board. Together they investigate and discover a plot to control people's minds.

    For me the best part of the book is some of the ideas it explores, the main one being the linguistic virus that is the core of the story. There's some excellent and interesting thinking behind this that was a joy to unravel. The ideas for the world were also fascinating, for example the floating city built around an aircraft carrier that sails around the Pacific Ocean.

    The pacing of the story is spot on and once it gets started clips along at a decent pace, there's a decent mix of characters (Raven is a fun bad guy) and it's well written. Overall an excellent read.

    8/10

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  • Scimarad 6 Jan 2014 19:08:22 8,501 posts
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    I thought the stuff in the middle with the librarian really dragged. I definitely enjoyed the whole thing on balance, which is more than I can say for The Diamond Age. That took a massive nose-dive about halfway through.

    Just finished Doctor Sleep by Stephen King and rather enjoyed it. I though it turned out to be rather easy to dispose of the True Knot who seemed to be deeply unpleasant but not really much of a threat considering they all seemed to be dying anyway! I can't say that spoiled my enjoyment, though, as I just enjoyed the characters too much.
  • TechnoHippy 6 Jan 2014 19:16:42 14,642 posts
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    I didn't mind the bits with the librarian, although that's mainly because I found the topic interesting.

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

  • glaeken 20 Jan 2014 14:13:50 10,978 posts
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    The trouble with lichen by John Wyndham. I have meant to read this for a while as it was the only book of Wynham's I had missed but it really was not a patch on Wynhams better books. It covers the subject of a drug that increases life expectancy to 200-300 years and it goes into all the considerations such a thing might bring about but it's all a bit dry and not very engaging.

    Edited by glaeken at 14:16:15 20-01-2014
  • localnotail 20 Jan 2014 14:36:58 23,093 posts
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    What did you make of The Chrysalids? That's my favourite Wyndham, I got his production secretary to put a copy in Peter Jackson's library at 3ft 6 years ago in the hope that he would adapt it. Still hoping.
    'Lichen is quite dry and detached, but interesting, I thought.

    Edited by localnotail at 14:37:23 20-01-2014

    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

  • LeoliansBro 20 Jan 2014 14:45:38 41,869 posts
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    Barbarossa by Alan Clark. Excellent guide to Hitler's doomed invasion of Russia from 1941 with both a great store of detail and context around the unfolding events, and a nice eye for characterisation and assessment of the conflicting personalities involved. My goodness but Clark is bellicose though, you keep seeing the phrase 'now was the opportunity to attack' and the like, he seems to think the solution to every problem is to drive onwards and conquer all (except in winter).

    Hard to separate his thinking from his politics as well. Is 'Hitler kept the whole situation together in 1941 because he was actually a genius commander and a bloody ruddy good bloke' a brave and dispassionate assessment of a hated man, or is it seeded by his own right wing leanings and admiration for the powerful?

    I do love the introduction to my (1995) version as well. Paraphrased: 'when I came to update the 1965 original text for this new version, I decided that all my original conclusions were right and so didn't change anything.' :D

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

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