Rate the last book you read Page 29

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  • Khanivor 29 Dec 2012 03:48:10 40,863 posts
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    With The Old Breed

    The daddy of all combat memoirs. Alabama boy shuns the officer corp and enlists in the US Marines in time for the battle of Peleliu. After that meat grinder he goes off to the battle of Okinawa.

    Without this book there probably wouldn't be half the modern war films. There certainly wouldn't be the TV series The Pacific, which is based on this book.

    Insightful, revolting and riveting this is a great read regardless of whether you are interested in history or war.
  • spamdangled 29 Dec 2012 04:02:09 27,377 posts
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    I'm not a big fan normally of memoirs or war themed non-fiction stuff aside from a couple of notable go-to references on rather specific things in my library, but that sounds VERY interesting as long as it's not a massive doorstop dominated by footnotes with an appendix at the end. It's something I'd rather read as a manageable bedside book I can get through relatively quickly (i.e something like 400 paperback pages or thereabouts).

    What's the page count, or better yet an amazon link?

    3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled

  • Khanivor 29 Dec 2012 04:02:59 40,863 posts
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    300 odd pages or something. It will take me the same amount of time to link to Amazon as it would you. Do it yourself you lazy fuck :D
  • spamdangled 29 Dec 2012 04:03:44 27,377 posts
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    Khanivor wrote:
    300 odd pages or something. It will take me the same amount of time to link to Amazon as it would you. Do it yourself you lazy fuck :D
    Thank you and fair point!

    3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled

  • Khanivor 29 Dec 2012 04:08:52 40,863 posts
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    It's 384 pages :p

    It's a real-life novel kind of book. Starts when he enters the Marines, ends when the war does. No fannying about. Doesn't get more academical than maps with those boxes with XXXs in them and unit numbers, (wonders what the technical term for those are. I call them Team Yankees).
  • Deleted user 29 December 2012 04:18:55
    Damn you Khanivor. Bought.

    (And thanks! :-D)
  • spamdangled 29 Dec 2012 04:19:16 27,377 posts
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    I bang this one out a lot and it bears no relation to your suggestion, but House of Leaves

    It looks like a doorstop but can actually be easily read in a week of moderate bedtime reading because of how it experiments with typography, and stands up well to subsequent reads because you notice little details you've never noticed. Take indie gaming's propensity for messing around with form and structure and cross it with Blair-Witch style docu-horror, then shove it all into something has superficial similarities with the non-fiction historical reference book genre, and you're halfway there.

    Amazon Blurb:

    Amazon Review

    I still get nightmares. In fact I get them so often I should be used to them by now. I'm not. No one ever really gets used to nightmares.

    Mark Z. Danielewski's first novel House of Leaves is a multi-layered fiction--part horror-story, part philosophical meditation, and mostly very good storytelling. The Navidson family move into a house in Ash Tree Lane. Will Navidson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, decides to document his family's domestic acclimatisation in a film, The Navidson Record, but it soon becomes apparent that something is very wrong with the house, and the film becomes a document of the growing disorientation and terror of the occupants. Later, a blind old man, Zampano, writes about this film: at his death, his papers are in disarray, and the strange narrative and commentary are reconstructed by Johnny Truant, a young LA slacker working part-time in a tattoo parlour. Try as he might, though, Truant can find no record that the film ever existed, but the unaccountable fear begins to haunt him too.

    Ever see yourself doing something in the past and no matter how many times you remember it you still want to scream stop, somehow redirect the present, reorder the action?

    Danielewski builds, around the armature of the central horror fiction, a complex and involving portrait of three very different characters: Truant's hedonistic trawls through LA are counterpointed by Zampano's intellectual obsessiveness and by the disintegration of Navidson's "cosy little outpost." What is common to all three is a concern for the elusive nature of truth and experience, and the fragility of the deepest human needs for security and family.

    A first, casual glance through the book might initially be intimidating, for Danielewski uses an arsenal of post-modern and avant-garde techniques, from multiple typefaces, footnotes and collage to the insertion of photographs, sketches, a page of Braille, and even an index--these are introduced gradually, however, and used almost cinematically to slow down or speed up the reading experience. The use of devices like these is not new of course, but, akin to writers such as David Foster Wallace and Jeff Noon, Danielewski freely unites avant-garde and popular art forms, finding new ways to explore what is, at heart, a deep interest in the addictive properties of narrative. Elsewhere, House of Leaves has already been compared to the film The Blair Witch Project for its mix of pseudo-documentary and genre horror: such comparisons draw attention to the way in which many young writers and film-makers are reinventing tired and formulaic genre traditions.
    Edited by darkmorgado at 04:25:47 29-12-2012

    3DS: 4055-2781-2855 Xbox: spamdangled PSN: dark_morgan Wii U: Spamdangle Steam: spamdangled

  • senso-ji 31 Dec 2012 16:17:08 5,923 posts
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    Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

    Bit of a strange one. While the prose and story kept me interested enough to keep reading, I found the character development to be lacking and the setting to be unconvincing. It's supposed to be set on a pacific Island during a civil war but I got no sense of the exotic or the tragic.

    By the end, I felt it was a little too 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin light' rather than a novel that stood on it's own merits.

    6/10
  • GuiltySpark 31 Dec 2012 16:20:21 6,403 posts
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    @darkmorgado Just been listening to Poe's song Haunted funnily enough. Tis her brother apparently.

    Get bent.

  • Oh-Bollox 2 Jan 2013 04:19:54 5,282 posts
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    This Book Is Full Of Spiders, David Wong (nom de plume, he's actually That Bloke Who Writes For Cracked.com). 9/10.

    Funny, horrific, profound. Suffers a little because he plays around with chronology a little. Otherwise, more PMSL-per-page than any other book in 2012.
  • senso-ji 3 Jan 2013 09:52:06 5,923 posts
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    Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

    No amount of eulogising from me can add to the many accolades this book has already received. Whether you only read specific genres or hardly read at all, make sure you make this book your next one.

    10/10
  • TechnoHippy 3 Jan 2013 20:21:24 14,718 posts
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    Zero Point by Neal Asher

    While not quite as good as the Line war series I did enjoy reading this. It's a good follow on from the first book. As with all his books the action is well described. He also handles the interface between the human characters and the computers well. Overall recommended.

    8/10

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

  • pistol 3 Jan 2013 20:29:36 13,019 posts
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    Will be boring as hell if you're not into pro cycling, but just finished the latest book to cause a storm on doping by David Walsh called Seven Deadly Sins.

    He's the original journalist who has been going after Armstrong for years before anyone else joined in. Wrote for the Times and book was excellent.

    10/10
  • pistol 3 Jan 2013 20:39:50 13,019 posts
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    About to start Stephen King's 11-22-63

    It's big...
  • yegon 3 Jan 2013 21:13:26 5,301 posts
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    Graveland wrote:
    A Feast for Crows by George Martin

    Oh dear, oh dear. What a complete and utter waste of paper. Seriously. I spent a few weeks forcing myself through this turd of a book and for what? Nothing, that's what. The main plot has virtually been ignored, key characters have been utterly exempt from any involvement in the story and the characters that were focused on pretty much did naff all.

    Don't waste your time reading it in detail. Skim read chapters: focus only on the first two and last two pages of each chapter so not to waste your time with pointless, pointless waffle.

    Nothing is resolved, nothing is developed significantly, nothing is worth focusing on. Rubbish.

    3/10 - He gets a 3 for being a competent writer at least in terms of prose.

    If the next volume is equally crap my journey through Game of Thrones will end.
    I couldn't agree more. Having loved the previous books, never have I experienced such a spectactular nosedive. If I'd known I'd have just read a detailed synopsis of everything vaguely eventful that occurred within. Could probably fit into a tweet. Cersei, gah, fist meet face for wasting my eyes.

    (Spoiler is only the name of a character, but since various chara's die/live, better to not give anything away)

    Dance With Dragons is considerably better imo, but hardly stellar, and benefits massively from being the successor to an absolute turd of a book.

    Let the right one in

    Not seen the film, read it on recommendation in other thread. Enjoyed it, not a great fan of vampire fiction normally, unless it's grounded largely in the real world. This is, thus found it rather good. Tailed off a little in the final third I thought.

    Edited by yegon at 02:37:08 04-01-2013
  • senso-ji 8 Jan 2013 09:20:48 5,923 posts
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    The General of the Dead Army by Ismail Kadare

    I'm ashamed to admit that I'd never heard of Kadare before I picked this up; I'm now glad my ignorance has been rectified.

    A sentimental critique of Albania's (Kadare's homeland) history, culture and politics running under a story on the importance of responsibility and how the glacial pace of time heals the tragedies of war.

    Highly recommended.

    8/10
  • glaeken 8 Jan 2013 09:34:31 11,199 posts
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    The Good solider by Ford Madox Ford - Some people have tragic lives and die caused by overly stiff upper lips. It was an Ok read but people crippled by social conventions 100 years old is not the most entertaining of subjects.

    London fields by Martin Amis - Overly long given the central story and ultimately an unsatisfying conclusion makes it not really worth the effort.
  • disusedgenius 8 Jan 2013 09:55:12 5,359 posts
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    RE: A Feast for Crows

    Finished this a week or so back and, yeah, it's a real odd one. The final third of the previous book was up there wit the best thing I've ever read and this one just suffers from the massive drop in pace and absence of pretty much all of the really charismatic characters. One of those where I can kinda see why this stuff had to be filled in, but it should really have been buried in with the other stories.
  • Deleted user 8 January 2013 18:37:15
    Cell by Stephen King. 7/10. Was alright, finished it over two evenings and was an enjoyable read. I liked how it wasn't just a zombie book, and the whole collective consciousness thing was a nice idea. But it doesn't really end so much as stop on a nonsense point of ambiguity. It's also one of his most sloppily written books, with some really crappy metaphors slung out and a couple of awkward sentences I had to re-read to make sense of. But sloppily written King is still better than 90% of the trash out there, so it doesn't matter much.

    Finished Under the Dome before that, and would place that as a 9/10. I flew through that one too - all 1070 pages polished off in just over three days or so.

    I'm thoroughly looking forward to another "BOOK SPOILERS OMG" thing when the TV series hits.

    Edited by meme at 18:38:02 08-01-2013
  • Lotos8ter 8 Jan 2013 20:30:38 2,360 posts
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    @meme - if you haven't read it already, his 11-22-63 is very good indeed. Heartily recommended.

    Fiat Lux

  • Deleted user 8 January 2013 20:33:33
    Yeah, read that a while back. Thought it was probably his best book this century.
  • onestepfromlost 8 Jan 2013 22:24:15 2,076 posts
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    @meme yeah I have a real issue with king I love his ideas and concepts but generally don't like his writing style and usually feel his books lack something
  • PazJohnMitch 8 Jan 2013 22:50:33 8,148 posts
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    yegon wrote:
    Graveland wrote:
    A Feast for Crows by George Martin

    Oh dear, oh dear. What a complete and utter waste of paper. Seriously. I spent a few weeks forcing myself through this turd of a book and for what? Nothing, that's what. The main plot has virtually been ignored, key characters have been utterly exempt from any involvement in the story and the characters that were focused on pretty much did naff all.

    Don't waste your time reading it in detail. Skim read chapters: focus only on the first two and last two pages of each chapter so not to waste your time with pointless, pointless waffle.

    Nothing is resolved, nothing is developed significantly, nothing is worth focusing on. Rubbish.

    3/10 - He gets a 3 for being a competent writer at least in terms of prose.

    If the next volume is equally crap my journey through Game of Thrones will end.
    I couldn't agree more. Having loved the previous books, never have I experienced such a spectactular nosedive. If I'd known I'd have just read a detailed synopsis of everything vaguely eventful that occurred within. Could probably fit into a tweet. Cersei, gah, fist meet face for wasting my eyes.

    (Spoiler is only the name of a character, but since various chara's die/live, better to not give anything away)

    Dance With Dragons is considerably better imo, but hardly stellar, and benefits massively from being the successor to an absolute turd of a book.

    Let the right one in

    Not seen the film, read it on recommendation in other thread. Enjoyed it, not a great fan of vampire fiction normally, unless it's grounded largely in the real world. This is, thus found it rather good. Tailed off a little in the final third I thought.
    Agree implicitly with your F4C spoiler.
  • PazJohnMitch 8 Jan 2013 23:18:23 8,148 posts
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    The Hobbit

    I had read Lord of the Rings but skipped this one. I quite liked the joking style but the book is just a collection of build ups and catastrophic disappointment.

    Generally enjoyed it but I could not help but think it was a missed opportunity. Far more happened in this short book than its epic sequel. So it had the potential to be the real classic.

    Most of the characters are just names and have no distinguishing features. There are too many dwarves.

    It is essentially a story of a journey with little thought of the company or even the destination. It is rare I think something needed padding out but this is definitely that exception.

    Looking forward to watching the films.

    6/10
  • Khanivor 9 Jan 2013 01:01:36 40,863 posts
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    onestepfromlost wrote:
    @meme yeah I have a real issue with king I love his ideas and concepts but generally don't like his writing style and usually feel his books lack something
    An ending. Which is a reason why that one was so good. It had one.

    Edited by Khanivor at 01:02:00 09-01-2013
  • TechnoHippy 11 Jan 2013 13:55:20 14,718 posts
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    The Five Greatest Warriors by Matthew Reilly

    The Five Greatest Warriors is a fun and exciting read. The writing is simple, but maintains a good pace. Th estory is a little silly, but that doesn't spoil the ride. Worth a read.

    6/10

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

  • GuiltySpark 11 Jan 2013 14:19:53 6,403 posts
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    Atonement and Never Let Me Go.

    I had to specifically look at the endings (for Uni). They're entirely different styles to each other, with Never Let Me Go embracing the idea of memories, and Atonement rejecting them. There's quite a nice meta-fiction element to Atonement but you end up ultimately hating the main character.

    Ian McEwan's style is excellent during the first part of the novel too, it is so rich and detailed that you can't help but be engrossed, even if the actual context wasn't really my thing.

    Overall, 8ish/10 for both.

    Get bent.

  • senso-ji 12 Jan 2013 16:04:35 5,923 posts
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    The Man who was Thursday by G K Chesterton

    I can't decide if I enjoyed this or not. The political satire in this was entertaining, but it was hampered by a writing style that was too fast paced and bizarre. I'd recommend it overall, just because the themes are still relevant 100 years after it was first published.

    6/10
  • Rens11 12 Jan 2013 21:23:15 1,406 posts
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    In Cold Blood

    Got quite far into the book and then put it down for some reason and ended up taking months to finish in the end. Based on the true story of the Clutter family murders really enjoyed the first two thirds but once the suspects were caught it lost its edge. Checking up the background history about the story online last night was interesting finding out that Hickock and Perry have had their remains dug up and tested just a few weeks ago about the possibility of them being responsible for another families slaughter

    7.5/10

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

  • glaeken 14 Jan 2013 12:31:04 11,199 posts
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    It's also interesting that Capote is thought to have had a relationship with Perry. It kind of changes things a little when you realise that as the portrayal of Perry is probably a little suspect. Still I really enjoyed the book overall.

    @senso ji I think the book gets a little to surreal for my tastes. It does have some excellent sections though. If you like the subject matter it might be worth checking out The secret agent by Joseph Conrad as it's a more serious book on the fears about anarchists that they seemed to be obsessed with in the late 19th century. It's actually a great read.

    Edited by glaeken at 12:32:16 14-01-2013
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