Rate the last book you read Page 31

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  • kalel 6 Feb 2013 10:10:16 87,000 posts
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    Only Forward - Michael Marshall Smith

    Read this after a couple of people recommended it in a thread a couple of weeks ago. Quite good, but not brilliant. I really liked the world he created and there was lots of lovely little ideas a la Philip K Dick, but the style he writes in felt a little forced to me - trying to be funny instead of naturally. I also felt there was far too much crucial exposition right at the end in order to explain the finale, which felt like bad writing to me. Overall a fun and easy read, but not a classic.
  • glaeken 6 Feb 2013 10:15:14 11,143 posts
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    I prefer Spares by Smith of his Sci-Fi books. The tone was better for me as it's not trying so hard to be funny. It's a better balance of Sci-Fi and fantasy than Only Forward as well.
  • Deleted user 6 February 2013 10:20:31
    Not read any of his sci-fi stuff actually and kind of gone off him as a writer. Never thought he could equal the genius of his Straw Men trilogy.
  • andytheadequate 6 Feb 2013 16:34:41 8,129 posts
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    Graveland wrote:
    andytheadequate wrote:
    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
    First book - Average.
    Second book - Superb.
    1st book, Vol. 3 - Shite.
    2nd book, Vol. 3 - Superb.
    4th book/volume - Dire.

    I've put the 5th volume aside. I'll read it someday, but I'm in no rush.
    Finally finished the first book. I think I agree with your verdict of "average", although it was interesting enough for me to not completely dismiss the idea of reading the rest of the series. Like a lot of series, the author doesn't really know when to end so it stops very suddenly.

    6/10 (recovers after a very dull first half)
  • Lotos8ter 7 Feb 2013 19:38:38 2,356 posts
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    Has anyone read Cloud Atlas?

    I've just started it and wondering if I should carry on. Its fucking weird, with strange words that seem completely toothpaste and its coming across as rather pretentious.

    Fiat Lux

  • Stockings 7 Feb 2013 19:43:58 1,052 posts
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    Hunger by nut Hamsted

    I liked it, but all the way through, I was thinking he was copying Dostoevsky which he probably wasn't, but it clouded the enjoyment for me 'cos I'm such a fanboy about everything.

    8/10

    Edited by Stockings at 19:44:17 07-02-2013
  • Stockings 7 Feb 2013 19:45:48 1,052 posts
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    @Lotos8ter

    I started it a couple of years ago, but like you I didn't really give it a chance, but I will now.


    I'M A HUGE ARSEHOLE
  • faux_carnation 7 Feb 2013 19:49:30 9,265 posts
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    The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway - 9/10

    Absolutely astonishingly brilliant. Alternate reality SFish bildungsroman/caper/adventure. Twists ands turns all over the place. Full of learning and wisdom but also completely bonkers. I really can't recommend it enough.

    Edited by faux_carnation at 19:50:12 07-02-2013
  • phAge 7 Feb 2013 20:29:31 24,349 posts
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    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

    A nice story, easily read and with some neat ideas. Think I'm about a decade too young to fully appreciate the 80's fetish, though.

    Will be starting the somewhat bleaker Immobility tonight.

    Anyway: Ready Player One - 7/10.
  • senso-ji 8 Feb 2013 11:59:29 5,855 posts
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    Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald

    Fitzgerald takes the glitzy ideals of a Hollywood film and puts his characters through the strains and responsibilities of the real world to create a powerful story about love, possession and failure.

    9/10
  • Deleted user 8 February 2013 12:15:03
    senso-ji wrote:
    Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald

    Fitzgerald takes the glitzy ideals of a Hollywood film and puts his characters through the strains and responsibilities of the real world to create a powerful story about love, possession and failure.

    9/10
    have to check that out, i'm reading the great gatsby at the moment, and really enjoying it. So easy to read in Nicks mindset and voice, the words just flow of the page, and i love the sudden cutting remarks characters make or do. Impressed at his (fitz) ability to make the reader understand every thought process and action a character does and what it means. hope that makes sense.
  • mad_caddy 8 Feb 2013 12:40:34 3,306 posts
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    RedSparrows wrote:
    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.
    It's had bits I've quite enjoyed, thought the first chapter was good and every now and again it picks bits up and starts running with it only to either fumble it or get a little bored and wrap it up. it feels too neat. I'm right at the very end. be glad to finish it off.
  • Deleted user 8 February 2013 13:08:24
    i kind of enjoyed child 44. It was just a good page turner and nothing more than that. I probably never read it again, but it was good to pass some time too.
  • RedSparrows 8 Feb 2013 13:38:17 22,314 posts
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    All that guys books are crap, they just happen to be set in a relatively unusual environment for 'thrillers'.

    The Secret Speech is excruciatingly shit.
  • dr_swin 8 Feb 2013 14:03:05 4,887 posts
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    I thought child 44 was very good.
  • monkman76 8 Feb 2013 15:34:04 4,176 posts
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    @Lotos8ter - I'd say Cloud Atlas is worth sticking with yeah. Some of the later stories are more interesting than the first couple.

    That said if you're finding the first story linguistically weird, I dread to think what you'll make of one of them.

    Felt a slight sense of dissatisfaction with the book as a whole by the end, without trying to give too much away, but I found the strangeness and variation in it kept me going.
  • craigy Staff 8 Feb 2013 15:40:31 7,600 posts
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    @Lotos8ter the other half's just finished Cloud Atlas and was raving about how good it was. I reckon it might be worth sticking with it.
  • RedSparrows 8 Feb 2013 15:45:26 22,314 posts
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    dr_swin wrote:
    I thought child 44 was very good.
    WELL YOU ARE WRONG

    Or something.

    I've nearly finished Austerlitz by Sebald, I must actually kill it off.
  • phAge 10 Feb 2013 19:47:46 24,349 posts
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    Looks like I was right about Immobility (Brian Evenson) being pretty damn bleak. Also rather great.

    9/10
  • senso-ji 11 Feb 2013 10:32:41 5,855 posts
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    The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

    I can understand why so many people love this book: a simple to follow story set in a romanticised world with a positive message about achieving your ambitions.

    I didn't like it.

    It wasn't terrible, but the story was too simplistic, the characters were flat and the book's themes were too preachy and seemed to contradict themselves at several points.

    Not recommended, but if you do want to read it to see what all the fuss is about, it is a very easy read, and can be finished in about 2-3 days.

    5/10
  • Lotos8ter 16 Feb 2013 09:03:44 2,356 posts
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    @monkman76 & @Craigy - sorry, just seen your posts. I gave up but kept it to go back to. A mate said it was one of the best books he's read, but I was finding it stinkingly bad.

    Anyway, in the meantime

    A Fault in Our Stars by John Green 10/10

    Supposed to be Young Adult fiction, but its far too good for the young 'uns. The story looks at young cancer sufferers, their daily lives, their dreams, emotions, their families. Words cannot express how much I enjoyed this book. The author obviously knows his videogames and his films but the book is an area of outstanding natural beauty and I urge you to read it.

    Fiat Lux

  • riceNpea 16 Feb 2013 10:28:04 592 posts
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    may i recommend the Night Dawn Trilogy by Peter F Hamilton for any sci fi fans out there.

    i'm a fan of this author and have read everything he's written but these 3 books were what turned me on to him. ,
    it begins with The Reality Dysfunction followed by The Neutronium Alchemist and concludes with The Naked God.


    it's a sprawling narrative set in the far future where humans civilisation is galaxy wide and biology is blurred with technology. so far so what you may be thinking and if that's the case you may baulk at the size of the books. each one is over 1200 pages long, normally commercial suicide, but it's an unashamed space opera with horror overtones.

    the story is epic, encompassing hundreds of civilizations across thousands of worlds and the cast is vast and surprising (Elvis makes a brief cameo and Al Capone is one of the main antagonists) thanks to the central conceit of the novels:


    ' I had the idea. The [dead] coming back. After that it's a simple process of extrapolation. Why do they come back? There's a line in the trilogy about devil worshipers praying for centuries for Lucifer to appear, and nothing much seems to have happened. So in this case there has to be another factor introduced, an alien factor. The Ly-cilph were born.

    Next, with the basic premise established, the exponential curve of possession sweeping across entire populations, I had to decide what kind of society would stand a chance against such an incursion. It didn't take a lot of thought before I settled on the traditional vast interstellar civilisation that seems to be the defining qualification of Space Opera.'
    - Peter F Hamilton


    Ultimately i'm not doing these books justice and i wish i had the literary skill to properly explain why i enjoyed them so much, however i must advice you that should you chose to read them, because of the voluminous nature of the tale, the first third of The Reality Dysfunction will be slow going and the ending of The Naked God is contentious.
  • PazJohnMitch 16 Feb 2013 10:50:11 8,011 posts
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    Magician - Raymond E. Feist

    I love fantasy settings and I liked how this book also hinted at the international politics of war.

    It seems to fall directly in between LotR and Game of Thrones in setting and scope. I am pretty certain Elder Scrolls: Oblivion is based on this book.

    I fully enjoyed it and would recommend it to people that like fantasy books. I think it is pretty much what Kalel wanted from Game of Thrones.

    Looking forward to Silverhorn once I finish my current book (Henrietta Lacks).

    8/10
  • Stranded87 16 Feb 2013 12:29:51 890 posts
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    Lotos8ter wrote:
    @monkman76 & @Craigy - sorry, just seen your posts. I gave up but kept it to go back to. A mate said it was one of the best books he's read, but I was finding it stinkingly bad.

    Anyway, in the meantime

    A Fault in Our Stars by John Green 10/10

    Supposed to be Young Adult fiction, but its far too good for the young 'uns. The story looks at young cancer sufferers, their daily lives, their dreams, emotions, their families. Words cannot express how much I enjoyed this book. The author obviously knows his videogames and his films but the book is an area of outstanding natural beauty and I urge you to read it.
    I've read two of John Green's books and loved both of them, despite usually staying well away from young adult stuff. I was put off this book simply because one of the main characters is called 'Augustus Waters', but based on your review I might have to give it a read.
  • Deleted user 16 February 2013 13:21:28
    The great gatsby F.S FITZGERALD.

    Really enjoyed this. The writing (Aside from the first paragraph), is just great and easy to read. He really gets under the skin of who people are, and his quite a vivid writer. It is easy to follow what people are thinking and doing and i love the sudden cutting remarks or actions of certain characters and situations.

    His story in a sense as been done to death since, and its quite interesting how in a way theres been a revival of the way the plot unfolds, the characters etc (thinking mad men here, don draper etc).

    The middle starts to flounder a little bit ( intentionally), but then suddenly it just unhurls itself into quite a destructive and sad end.

    I got a weekend of soon, so i might read it again in one sitting, it not that big a book, and i think it would be better for it as well.

    very good. 9/10
  • Mr-Brett 16 Feb 2013 13:53:22 12,773 posts
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    Lotos8ter wrote:
    Has anyone read Cloud Atlas?

    I've just started it and wondering if I should carry on. Its fucking weird, with strange words that seem completely toothpaste and its coming across as rather pretentious.
    Yeah I read it a couple of months back as it was the Idle Book Club choice that month. It's not the most readable of books, at times is a bit confusing but I liked it and recommend sticking with it, it takes a while but does eventually get somewhere.

    I finished Kill Screen the other day, it is now my favourite novel* about a game development (pushing JPod into position 2 of 2) although not that much of it is actually about game development, which is probably a good thing.

    *I would say book but Introduction to Unreal 2.0 was such a thrilling ride!

    Portable view - Never forget.

  • munki83 16 Feb 2013 14:11:29 1,412 posts
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    riceNpea wrote:
    may i recommend the Night Dawn Trilogy by Peter F Hamilton for any sci fi fans out there.

    i'm a fan of this author and have read everything he's written but these 3 books were what turned me on to him. ,
    it begins with The Reality Dysfunction followed by The Neutronium Alchemist and concludes with The Naked God.


    it's a sprawling narrative set in the far future where humans civilisation is galaxy wide and biology is blurred with technology. so far so what you may be thinking and if that's the case you may baulk at the size of the books. each one is over 1200 pages long, normally commercial suicide, but it's an unashamed space opera with horror overtones.

    the story is epic, encompassing hundreds of civilizations across thousands of worlds and the cast is vast and surprising (Elvis makes a brief cameo and Al Capone is one of the main antagonists) thanks to the central conceit of the novels:


    ' I had the idea. The [dead] coming back. After that it's a simple process of extrapolation. Why do they come back? There's a line in the trilogy about devil worshipers praying for centuries for Lucifer to appear, and nothing much seems to have happened. So in this case there has to be another factor introduced, an alien factor. The Ly-cilph were born.

    Next, with the basic premise established, the exponential curve of possession sweeping across entire populations, I had to decide what kind of society would stand a chance against such an incursion. It didn't take a lot of thought before I settled on the traditional vast interstellar civilisation that seems to be the defining qualification of Space Opera.'
    - Peter F Hamilton


    Ultimately i'm not doing these books justice and i wish i had the literary skill to properly explain why i enjoyed them so much, however i must advice you that should you chose to read them, because of the voluminous nature of the tale, the first third of The Reality Dysfunction will be slow going and the ending of The Naked God is contentious.
    I started reading The Reality Dysfunction a month ago and I'm about 60% of my way through it now. REally great read so far. Only just started reading Peter F Hamilton this year and I think I've been lucky to hit space opera gold.
  • Scimarad 16 Feb 2013 14:47:46 8,536 posts
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    I read both Only Forward and Gone Away World recently and I thought they were both pretty amazing.

    It took me two attempts to get started on the Nights Dawn Trilogy as I really hated Reality Dysfunction first time I tried to read it...I think this was mostly down to that smug shithead of a ship captain. I know some people hated the ending to the series but I thought it was so OTT as to be properly hilarious. I still prefer Pandora's Star and it's sequel, though.
  • munki83 16 Feb 2013 14:52:09 1,412 posts
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    Scimarad wrote:
    I read both Only Forward and Gone Away World recently and I thought they were both pretty amazing.

    It took me two attempts to get started on the Nights Dawn Trilogy as I really hated Reality Dysfunction first time I tried to read it...I think this was mostly down to that smug shithead of a ship captain. I know some people hated the ending to the series but I thought it was so OTT as to be properly hilarious. I still prefer Pandora's Star and it's sequel, though.
    LOL I know who you mean he is a smug git I didn't mind him till his antics on Dorset....then I thought he was a wank stone. But now I think about it he is essentially a sexed up han solo with nano implants to stop him from jizzing every 2 minutes if he is in the presence of ladies.
  • munki83 16 Feb 2013 14:52:10 1,412 posts
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    Scimarad wrote:
    I read both Only Forward and Gone Away World recently and I thought they were both pretty amazing.

    It took me two attempts to get started on the Nights Dawn Trilogy as I really hated Reality Dysfunction first time I tried to read it...I think this was mostly down to that smug shithead of a ship captain. I know some people hated the ending to the series but I thought it was so OTT as to be properly hilarious. I still prefer Pandora's Star and it's sequel, though.
    LOL I know who you mean he is a smug git I didn't mind him till his antics on Dorset....then I thought he was a wank stone. But now I think about it he is essentially a sexed up han solo with nano implants to stop him from jizzing every 2 minutes if he is in the presence of ladies.
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