Rate the last book you read Page 23

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  • Rens11 19 Apr 2012 16:25:48 1,422 posts
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    Part 3 of full dark no stars: Fair Extension

    The shortest of the 3 books involves a unlucky mans visit to a mystic healer type guy. The most abstract of the books in the set but I enjoyed it

    7/10

    Part 4: A good marriage

    How well do you really know the person your married to? The best of the bunch and a scary thought

    8/10

    Donít kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, heíd eat you and everyone you care about!

  • Rens11 19 Apr 2012 16:29:19 1,422 posts
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    @MetalDog

    Yeah the book is certainly dark, thought the afterword was helpful to appreciate the perspective that King is coming from

    Edited by Rens11 at 23:24:50 28-09-2012

    Donít kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, heíd eat you and everyone you care about!

  • Deleted user 19 April 2012 16:34:23
    Finally finished 11/22/63 after being too swamped with work to find time to read properly. Surprisingly, for a King book, the ending actually wrapped things up nicely.

    Though there's still the big deus ex machina of 'guy appears and basically explains things', but it's at least one that's setup elsewhere in the book. And it does the LOTR thing of actually having about four endings, with a finale, an epilogue, some extra notes and another epilogue.

    Actually think it's one of his best books. Certainly the best of his recent works.
  • Deleted user 22 April 2012 21:34:28
    Also just finished Outpost, a book touted to be a new take on the Zombie genre, which I only bothered with because it was cheap (was in a deal of the day some months back for a dollar, only just got around to reading it).

    Utterly not worth it. Not only is it terribly, terribly, terribly written - example paragraph, plucked at random:
    "Jane got up. She wiped her eyes and blew her nose. She showered and found fresh clothes. She limped to the canteen. She looked for Punch and Sian. They were standing on the helipad. She joined them outside." (and that's basically how it's written for almost every one of its 300 odd pages), it's also terribly, terribly plotted. The main character is, on the first page, morbidly obese. Yet by the end she manages to run 15 kilometers, in pitch darkness, in the middle of the Arctic, even though just a few pages ago apparently 'no one could survive for more than a few minutes outside'. Things happen for no reason whatsoever in utterly implausible ways (a character randomly builds a boat out of oil drums, another character takes it and drifts for three weeks in the arctic ocean, yet somehow manages to arrive back where they started just a couple of days later). The only plus to it is that it's short and you can finish it in a day. Other than that, it's one of the worst books I've ever read.
  • Tonka 23 Apr 2012 06:44:09 20,888 posts
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    Thanks for the review. I've been close to buying Outpost a couple of times. I could never handle that kind of language for an entire book. Reads like someone trying to be McCarty and then stubled and broke his typing hand.
    Seems like shit books released as "new takes on the Zombie genre" is the new black. Zone One (reviewed some page back) is equally disappointing.

    On a different note The Witch of Hebron is as cozy as a cozy catastrophe book will ever get. If you've read "A world made by hand" and want MOAR this is the book to read. No surprise there then since it's a straight sequel. If you haven't read "A world made by hand" you need to read that first.

    They are pure indulgence and I really hope Kunstler keep writing more. Sensational stuff.

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

  • glaeken 23 Apr 2012 10:03:13 11,228 posts
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    Blindness by Jose Saramago - The story of a communicable disease that causes blindness and its effect on society. It's pretty much a post-apocalyptic tale showing the total breakdown of society and what happens to the way people behave when you can no longer be seen. It certainly does not shy away from the worst side of humanity and what might happen in such a situation as its proper grim in places.

    Pretty enjoyable overall though if you like post-apocalyptic stuff. The only thing I would say is it suffers from Cormac McCarthy disease as there are no quotations to denote speech and it can be tricky to follow exactly who is speaking sometimes. This might be something to do with the fact the book was original in Portuguese though I guess. Maybe the Portuguese have not invented speech quotations yet.

    The book won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998. Not sure if I have ever actually read a noble prize winning book before.

    Edited by glaeken at 10:18:07 23-04-2012
  • Deleted user 23 April 2012 16:23:31
    As far as I know, authors don't win the Nobel Prize for a particular book but their whole output.

    Edited by zm26 at 16:24:25 23-04-2012
  • glaeken 23 Apr 2012 16:27:07 11,228 posts
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    Yeah I think you are right. I guess that is why I have never read a nobel prize winning book :-P

    Looking through the list of past winners it does look like I have read 3 pervious winners with those being Rudyard Kipling, Albert Camus and Ernest Hemingway.

    Most of them though fall into the who? catagory.

    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/

    Edited by glaeken at 16:30:49 23-04-2012
  • Deleted user 23 April 2012 16:38:55
    I discussed this the other day with a teacher - she was talking about how there's no Pulitzer Prize for Fiction this year as the votes for the final three didn't indicate a clear winner, so they decided that no-one would get it. I mentioned the Nobel Prize, and how I've only ever read maybe two or three of the winners. We worked out it's because the Nobel Prize is much more international, and that's it's actually quite rare for a Western (or even English-writing) author to win, so they're not going to be exposed to mainstream masses like the Man Booker or something. Though now I skimread the list, I think it's closer that I've read about half a dozen of them.
  • bnazir 23 Apr 2012 16:40:14 82 posts
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    Kane & Abel - Jeffery Archer - 9/10

    Don't read many books, but was on holiday and decided to give this a bash. Amazing read and even found myself thinking about the story whilst doing something else! My only disappointment was that I managed to guess the twist early in the book, but it did not stop me from finishing this mammoth book in record time.

    Edited by bnazir at 16:40:32 23-04-2012
  • glaeken 23 Apr 2012 16:46:21 11,228 posts
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    @meme Yep when you look at the full list for the Nobel prize you can see its obviously more international. There are quite a few names I do know in it I just have never got around to reading but the bulk do look to be non-English language authors going on their names. Even the two I have now read did not write in English.

    Edited by glaeken at 16:48:30 23-04-2012
  • El_MUERkO 27 Apr 2012 19:14:16 17,082 posts
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    Finally finished The Crippled God today. Had it pre-ordered and it arrived the day of release but I kept putting off reading it, scared to finish it :-(

    But now it's done, and it was epic in every way.

    I'll say this now and I believe I'll agree with myself 20 years from now. The Malazan book of the fallen series is the greatest work of fantasy fiction I've ever read. And I have read most of them.

    Fuck, it's up there with the greats of any genre.

    Infinity out of Ten: Read these books or fail at life!
  • RedSparrows 28 Apr 2012 00:35:39 23,446 posts
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    Most Nobel stuff I have read had been Russian.

    Blinding works, every one. Incredible.
  • Rens11 28 Apr 2012 12:15:16 1,422 posts
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    The Road

    I read this after hearing all the good words on here. Book started well lots of nice descriptive quotes throughout that I was supposed to remember a couple but can't. Found some of the conversation between man and boy jarring okay. okay

    8/10

    Donít kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, heíd eat you and everyone you care about!

  • glaeken 30 Apr 2012 09:27:28 11,228 posts
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    The Secret Agent - by Joseph Conrad - A tale of anarchism, espionage, and terrorism set in late 19th century London. I really enjoyed it. More than anything itís a character study of the various characters who propel the story forward and how no character really understands the motivations of the people they deal with. The story all centres around a bomb plot to attack the Greenwich observatory.

    I found this much better than Heart of Darkness (the story apocalypse now is based on) which is Conrad's other famous book. It's a much less muddled story.

    Edited by glaeken at 09:28:34 30-04-2012
  • dutchspeededup 4 May 2012 15:56:58 4,552 posts
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    I've read a few books over the last couple of weeks. So here we go:

    Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman

    This is a collection of short fiction and poetry. The poetry, with a couple of partial exceptions, is not great. The short stories vary in quality, with a few really excellent ones, notably a re-telling of Snow White, a beautiful tale about a troll, and a really gentle story about an old lady who finds the Holy Grail in an Oxfam shop. He gets a bit close to whimsy at times, and some of the descriptions of sex are poor (calling a vagina 'her sex' is not a good idea) but all in all this was a pleasant read in the bath.

    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

    I've started dating a lot recently and, because I'm in my 30s, so are most of my dates. I don't know what it is, but women in their 30s who fancy me seem to like Margaret Atwood. I thought Id better read her, and I'm pleased I did. She has a wonderful, plain style. The story (barring an amusing plot hole) is compelling and well-structured. She nicks ideas from loads of places in a way that I really enjoyed. It's quietly disturbing, and has certainly made me want to read more of her stuff.

    Ex Machina Vol. 1

    This is a superhero comic with a heavy political leaning. The politics are handled quite artfully, and thus far I am really enjoying it. I look forward to volume 2 dropping through my letterbox.

    Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd

    What a shit title. I've realised that William Boyd basically writes airport fiction for folk who wouldn't be seen dead reading standard, pulpy fare. This is an OK spy thriller, but is nowhere near as good as 'The New Confessions' or its lesser, but more lauded, brother 'Any Human Heart.' It's perfectly fine, but has an irritating habit of picking interesting subjects (psychoanalysis in Vienna at the time of Freud) and then not really doing much with them.

    Y:The Last Man Vol 1

    Comic about the last male on an Earth. It's an interesting premise, but I didn't care much for the writing or the art. I'm going to give Vol. 2 a chance but, unless there's some serious improvement, this will get abandoned.

    Edited by dutchspeededup at 15:58:40 04-05-2012
  • TechnoHippy 5 May 2012 07:24:17 14,719 posts
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    Dreamcatcher by Stephen King

    I always seem to forget how much fun King is to read. While this isn't one of his best, it is a good read and has a rarity for King - a decent ending :-)

    7/10

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

  • TechnoHippy 13 May 2012 13:00:10 14,719 posts
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    Legion of the Damned by Rob Sanders

    Another 40k novel, I always like the Legion of the Damned chapter. I was hoping for a bit more history, but it was still a fun read.

    7/10

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

  • beastmaster 13 May 2012 22:45:16 11,668 posts
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    Yet finished reading Under The Skin by Michel Faber.

    Very strange book. Kind of horror/sci-fi that is really a vegetarian message and has a downer ending.† Mainly set on the A6 in Scotland. Definitely one of the strangest books I've read.

    6/10

    The Resident Evil films. I'm one of the reasons they keep making them.

  • glaeken 14 May 2012 09:29:34 11,228 posts
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    Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury is pretty good and I seem to remember liking the Martian Chronicles though I can barely remember much about them now. I just remember them as enjoyable.
  • DaM 14 May 2012 11:32:59 13,362 posts
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    beastmaster wrote:
    Mainly set on the A6 in Scotland. Definitely one of the strangest books I've read.

    6/10
    Particularly as the A6 stops before the border, he's fucking with your head! ;)
  • glaeken 17 May 2012 09:40:55 11,228 posts
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    Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd. Part of Penguins decades series of books this one from the 80's. It's story set in two times with one part following an architect working with Christopher Wren who is building 7 new churches in the 18th century and the other part of the story set in the 80's following a police investigation of some mysterious murders taking place at the same 7 churches.

    It was all a little bizarre actually and not quite what I was expecting. It sort of sounds from the premise that It was going to be some murder mystery type thing but itís not really where it ends up going. Itís far more surreal than that with blurring of identity between 18th century and 20th century London. Itís maybe a bit Haruki Murakami if itís anything.

    As to why its picked as an 80ís book I guess that would be down to the general atmosphere of decay and the fact that the a lot of it is exploring bits of London before they were redeveloped in the 80ís.

    Overall I would say it was certainly an interesting read and pretty memorable.
  • TechnoHippy 18 May 2012 12:07:32 14,719 posts
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    Moon by James Herbert

    Not one of his best, but still a good blend of physical and supernatural horror.

    7/10

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

  • disusedgenius 18 May 2012 12:30:44 5,471 posts
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    I finished Ready Player One recently, which someone else mentioned somewhere. Really good geek fun - an easy and enjoyable read. The 80s references start off a little thick but by the second half it seems much more natural.

    In a moment of self-indulgent uber-geekery I also made a start on Horus Rising. I didn't spot your review until now - did you read anything else in the series?
  • mal 18 May 2012 12:43:22 22,728 posts
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    glaeken wrote:
    Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd. Part of Penguins decades series of books this one from the 80's. It's story set in two times with one part following an architect working with Christopher Wren who is building 7 new churches in the 18th century and the other part of the story set in the 80's following a police investigation of some mysterious murders taking place at the same 7 churches.
    If you're interested, the world service ran an edition of their book club programme with Ackroyd, talking about that very book a couple of weeks ago.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Metalfish 18 May 2012 13:38:32 8,852 posts
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    The Idiot, Dostoevsky

    It's difficult to rate this. An ensemble cast of varyingly damaged or constrained members of the Russian upper/uppermiddle classes. About half of them are unimportant to the plot. Speaking of plot, it meanders, obfuscates and generally widdles around what is actually a very simple, if clever story. Everybody has two names, which makes reading over a long time occasionally confusing as well.

    In essence, you could take the middle 2/3 hundred pages out and the book would more or less be the same.

    7.5 Carrots out of Brian.
  • glaeken 18 May 2012 13:43:11 11,228 posts
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    @mal Thanks for that I will have to check it out.

    It was actually quite a weird read for me as I commute through the exact area the book is set in. Being able to look out the Coach window and seeing one of the Churches in the book right next to me as I reading about it was quite memorable.

    @Metalfish That does not sound to dissimilar to my experience reading Crime and Punishment. There is an awful lot of meandering down side tracks it seems with Dostoevsky

    Edited by glaeken at 13:45:19 18-05-2012
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