Rate the last book you read Page 30

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  • senso-ji 14 Jan 2013 14:23:44 5,315 posts
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    @glaeken

    Conrad's bibliography is certainly on my to read list, as Heart of Darkness is one of my all time favourite novels.
  • glaeken 14 Jan 2013 14:33:16 10,977 posts
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    I actually prefer The secret Agent to Heart of Darkness. Itís not as out there as heart of darkness and it almost feels like itís been written by a different author. Itís ambitious for its time though as it plays around with the chronology of events and is written from the point of view of a number of characters all with different takes on the same events. Itís very interesting to see a take on terrorism from the late 19th century as well.
  • spindle9988 14 Jan 2013 14:39:10 3,368 posts
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    Life of Pi

    Read due to the hype of the film. Started a bit slowly but was great once it picked up. Nice short bite sized chapeters as well so managed to finish it in a couple of days

    Errrm 8/10
  • TechnoHippy 14 Jan 2013 16:18:32 14,640 posts
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    Wait till Helen comes

    I received this as a secret santa gift and while not my usual type of read I enjoyed it a lot. It's a ghost story aimed at younger readers, but don't let that put you off. It's well worth a read.

    7/10

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  • Rens11 15 Jan 2013 00:29:46 1,256 posts
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    glaeken wrote:
    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.

    What sort of relationship? without any background knowledge from reading the book Capote's view of Perry does seem askew from what you would expect of a brutal serial killer

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

  • glaeken 15 Jan 2013 09:47:08 10,977 posts
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    A romantic relationship. I am not sure if that actually could have become physical given Perry was in custody but Capote was quite keen on him apparently. He did not know him before the crime it was only while he was in custody that he got chance to know him.

    It makes you question how Perry is portrayed I think in comparison to Hickok as it seems Perry is portrayed as a more complex and sympathetic character which is odd when you consider that he was the one who actually did the hands on killing.
  • Deleted user 15 January 2013 10:25:10
    Great Expectations.

    Really enjoyed this. A great cast of characters, and perfectly captures the struggles to meet people expectations, your own expectations, how people manipulate others, being true to yourself, and the anxieties of growing up. Really nails the underlying feelings and troubles of those emotions.

    The finale is a bit contrived where everyone as a part in the whole thing, someone is related to someone else who is the father.. yeah but i can forgive that as it was written in 1860, and designed to be espisodic cliffhangers i guess. The actual ending is actually really good. Convictions are held to which really solidfied the book for me - pumblechooks is still the exploiter (And a twat), biddy and joe get married etc etc

    A very good read! 8/10
  • TechnoHippy 18 Jan 2013 16:18:23 14,640 posts
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    Generation Kill

    A well written and interesting account from an embedded reporter with a Marine Force Recon unit. It shows both the personal and organisational screw ups as well as the camaraderie of the troops. Well worth a read and the TV show is a good watch as well.

    9/10

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  • senso-ji 19 Jan 2013 16:04:30 5,315 posts
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    Ringworld by Larry Niven

    I don't read much sci-fi, but I believe that this book is classed as a 'hard sci-fi' novel.

    I didn't enjoy it at all. The premise is very original and the first few pages show promise, but it all goes down hill very quickly after that. Larry Niven's prose is meandering and boring, the plot is terrible and the characters are shallow and annoying. I'm not even sure why this is classed as hard science fiction as what little science there is is badly researched and poorly explained.

    3/10
  • Rens11 20 Jan 2013 02:33:47 1,256 posts
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    @glaeken

    Perhaps Perry was more complex, by manipulating Capote to empathize with him. Will be interesting to see if Perry and Hickock did commit these other murders

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

  • mad_caddy 22 Jan 2013 10:30:39 3,306 posts
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    Simon Pegg's autobiography, Nerd Do Well.

    Haven't quite finished it yet, but I'm finding it really hard, it's difficult, it feels like one big long self indulgent wankfest. yes it is a book about himself, but my god, dumb it down a bit. and it's interspersed with his own science fiction story, which is just dire.

    2/10

    Going back to reading Terry Pratchett books after this for a bit I think. or a book called Child 44. not sure yet.
  • LeoliansBro 22 Jan 2013 10:33:34 41,865 posts
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    I love the character in the Secret Agent who wanders around constantly wired to explode, and with a squash ball crushed in his hand, needing only to release the pressure on it to detonate.

    Reminds me of niteninja.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • glaeken 23 Jan 2013 14:19:39 10,977 posts
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    I imagine niteninja has a similar set-up. I have no doubt they have read the book as it was the Unabomberís favourite book apparently so I am sure that would raise it to their awareness.

    Good-Bye to All That by Robert Graves. The memoirs of Graves experiences as an officer in the trenches during WW1. It was a good read though a little disjoined as Graves seemed to move around a lot and so many characters are introduced only to die a paragraph later (ww1 was bad for memoir character development apparently). The day to day details of the trenches are great though. There are lots of great little stories. One that stands out was the time Graves and his men hear one of their wounded screaming for help out in no manís land and Graves refuses to try and rescue them and orders his men not to try either. One of his men ignores him and walks out to help while under fire though the Germans do stop shooting at him once they realise itís just one guy and he is going to give first aid. The man in question does not get a medal because too many medals had been handed out for that period already.

    A detail I had never come across before is British officers started dressing like enlisted men towards the end of the war as their traditional officer dress marked them out to much to snipers. They even went so far as to start carrying rifles instead of pistols when going over the top.

    Well worth a read overall though I could have done with less of the pre and post war bits.

    Edited by glaeken at 14:23:03 23-01-2013
  • mad_caddy 24 Jan 2013 10:19:26 3,306 posts
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    I was right Simon Peggs book is utter arse dribble. tries to justify the self indulgency and the lack of substance, but all in all not worth the read at all.

    However i've cracked the spine on child 44 and it's awesome. I reckon this is possibly going to keep me utterly gripped.
  • senso-ji 25 Jan 2013 13:41:46 5,315 posts
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    The Plague by Albert Camus

    A moving story about the complexities and frailties of the human psyche, with a strong anti occupation message, all wrapped up in rich language that you'd expect from a Nobel Laureate.

    Hard going in places, with some really grim scenes, but worth the perseverance.

    9/10
  • Deleted user 28 January 2013 16:03:54
    The Hobbit

    Certainly a book that gets better as it goes on. The start is slightly jarring, poorly written and a bit loose, but it develops in to a good journey and adventure. The last third i think really rallies up quite well, and others something a lot different than what is seemingly planned. What really annoyed me was the jumping about of the writing from storytelling to narration to telling you the conclusion of events before they were told. Which pissed me off greatly.

    But as an adventure that starts of light hearted and childish that grows into by its conclusion something much darker was in the end well crafted even if it took some misteps along the way.

    7/10

    (Shoud imagine the second film will end as they arrive at the secret door, and the third might go full out games of thrones on us ;) )


    Great gatsby for me next (Seemingly just reading for awaited film adaptations) Shall give myself a weeks rest of reading and get into that on the weekend.

    Edited by joelstinton at 16:04:59 28-01-2013
  • andytheadequate 28 Jan 2013 16:56:37 7,957 posts
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    Speaking of Games of Thrones, I'm nearly 600 pages in and it has only just started to get interesting. I hope the rest of the series improves. I don't mind long books as long as they are interesting, but the author is in serious need of a good editor that cuts out useless crap. I think he hired the same editor as Tom Clancy, someone else who doesn't know where the delete key is on his keyboard
  • Tom_Servo 30 Jan 2013 19:50:29 15,537 posts
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    The Call of Cthulu and Other Weird Tales by H.P. Lovecraft - 8/10

    Good old fashioned chillers (obviously, as if anyone doesn't know who Lovecraft is). Genuinely scary at times with an excellently constructed universe (that occasionally goes into too much detail, as I'll mention later) and they're well written page-turners. Some stories are better than others (the one in the cabin is quite shit), but on the whole I really enjoyed it.

    You have to really be into the Cthulu-verse stuff though. After the first three or so stories it's essentially variations upon a theme, but they're quite fun to read if you imagine each story as a chapter in a book chronicling how Cthulu and his chums have terrified various people like Antarctic explorers, students and travellers.

    The stories aren't perfect though, and are occasionally frustrating. At the Mountains of Madness goes into an utterly excruciating amount of detail when the explorers begin to piece together the history of the Old Ones, for example. Also, in another story (I can't remember which one), something is SO OBVIOUS and yet the main character, a university professor, somehow doesn't see it coming and falls into the trap. I didn't really buy that one.

    My edition was a shade over 550 pages long and has a good few stories in it, so even if one doesn't really hit the mark you don't have to worry too much and can look forward to the next one.

    Now, onto Conrad's Nostromo. I've given it a couple of cracks and not really got into it, but I've only ever read literally about 20-odd pages, so it's not very fair.
  • wizbob 30 Jan 2013 22:41:27 762 posts
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    joelstinton wrote:
    The Hobbit
    Certainly a book that gets better as it goes on. The start is slightly jarring, poorly written and a bit loose...
    The opening chapter, where Gandalf tells his story against a background of interruptions as the other characters arrive, is a clever but jolly introduction that sets the tone for the rest of the story. It might try to give a breezy impression but it's very carefully knitted together.
  • TechnoHippy 31 Jan 2013 07:23:23 14,640 posts
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    Eternity by Greg Bear

    One of the things that makes great science fiction stand out is the big ideas. Eternity is full of big ideas. The story is well told, although it takes a while to get going, but once it does it clips along at a fair rate. Highly recommended.

    8/10

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  • Bremenacht 31 Jan 2013 22:39:00 15,753 posts
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    TechnoHippy wrote:
    Eternity by Greg Bear

    One of the things that makes great science fiction stand out is the big ideas. Eternity is full of big ideas. The story is well told, although it takes a while to get going, but once it does it clips along at a fair rate. Highly recommended.

    8/10
    Just in case anyone's interested - make sure you read EON first.

    Once an eagle taught me courage. And I will never forget that day

  • senso-ji 1 Feb 2013 10:58:40 5,315 posts
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    Neuromancer by William Gibson

    Was Gibson mentioned in the credits for The Matrix? Around 50-60% of this book is featured in the Wachowski brother's films.

    In any case, I have mixed feelings about this novel. It starts off really well, setting the cyberpunk atmosphere perfectly. It does, however, get boring around the middle and the ending is difficult to follow at times before Gibson pulls it all together. The prose is unique and moves at a good pace, lending itself brilliantly to the subject matter, but sometimes paragraphs can degenerate into meaningless techno-babble as Gibson tries to cram in as much detail as possible.

    Overall I'd recommend this for casual sci-fi fans or anyone not familiar with the cyberpunk genre.

    6/10
  • TechnoHippy 4 Feb 2013 07:14:26 14,640 posts
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    DayStalker by Kristen Stone

    This isn't my usual type of book and I was pleasantly surprised. The story is well told, the writing accessible. It is well placed and an easy read. It's also good to see blood drinkers portrayed as the monsters they really are!

    7/10

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  • krisbums 4 Feb 2013 07:18:42 12 posts
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    The Life of Pi.

    8/10. Great read for me. :)
  • RedSparrows 5 Feb 2013 22:48:18 20,756 posts
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    mad_caddy wrote:
    Simon Pegg's autobiography, Nerd Do Well.

    Haven't quite finished it yet, but I'm finding it really hard, it's difficult, it feels like one big long self indulgent wankfest. yes it is a book about himself, but my god, dumb it down a bit. and it's interspersed with his own science fiction story, which is just dire.

    2/10

    Going back to reading Terry Pratchett books after this for a bit I think. or a book called Child 44. not sure yet.
    Child 44 is rubbish.
  • glaeken 6 Feb 2013 10:02:47 10,977 posts
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    The Iron heal by Jack London - A fairly early take on a dystopian novel from 1907. In this dystopia the USA ends up run by corporations who corrupt democracy and push most of the population into increasing levels of poverty. Hmmm that sounds vaguely familiar.

    It's an interesting read as London was a committed socialist but was writing without the benefit of hindsight on the Russian revolution so still saw the solution to the oligarchy as an armed uprising of the working classes. Itís never really covered just who will be in charge after this uprising which of course is where the real issues with revolution start.

    It's a little too preachy in the first half of the book but the second half is rather good with a pretty grim battle between the proletariat and the oligarchy mercenaries over control of Chicago. Itís a pretty short book so the preachy bit is fairly easy to get through and I still found the early socialist idealism on display quite interesting. I think the book is actually available free on-line for those with an eBook type thingy.

    Edited by glaeken at 10:03:51 06-02-2013
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