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Books: a literary discussion

posted by Rather Dashing on - last edited - Viewed by 7.8K users

So I've been eying and lusting after a nook and its fancy new 1.3 firmware even though I know I can't afford one. And all that looking at something meant to read books made me think about...BOOKS.

Let's talk about books. Anybody read anything recent that was really good? Have an obscure old favorite?

Where do you read books? When do you read them? What books do you read? How do you read books?

Etc and so forth.

If it involves books, say it. I'd like some good recommendations on recently published books and currently running ongoing series, too.

My favorite book of all time is Dumas's "Count of Monte Cristo"(or at least the unabridged English translation), though I of course love the geek standbys as well(Hitchhiker's Guide, Neuromancer, Slaughterhouse-Five, Snow Crash, et all). I also have Star Wars books as somewhat of a guilty pleasure.

Also, this isn't the thread about pictures of boobs. There shouldn't be pictures of boobs in this thread.

...unless it's a picture of a book that just HAPPENS to contain boobs. Because then it's absolutely on-topic and worthy of discussion.



268 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I've mentioned it a couple of times before, but I will say it again: read the Hoke Moseley series. They are four crime novels by the unbelievably underrated Charles Willeford, and without a doubt up there with the best ever written. Should you ever trust an anonymous stranger off the internet, make it now. Read these books.

    This is the cover of the first one, Miami Blues. Do yourself a favor and buy it. Thank me later.
  • I just finished "Strange Highways" by Dean Koontz. This was the first Koontz book I read in English, bought on the Dover ferry, and thus it will always have a special place in my heart.

    Since it’s not one complete novel, but instead one novella followed by 12 short stories (this is the UK Headline edition, which doesn’t include the novella “Chase”) it’s not so easy to review. That’s why I’ll concentrate mostly on the titular story and only give a few words about each other tale.

    “Strange Highways” is one of the more supernatural stories by Koontz. A man suddenly finds himself back again at the most important crossroads of his life, where he made one wrong decision which influenced the rest of his life – twenty years ago! It’s time to make things right and take full advantage of this second chance.

    It’s a very religious story, full of divine intervention (a variety of which will also return in his later book “The Face”), and reminded me several times of “Hideaway”. The villain is somewhat similar, only a bit toned down, and he remains more in the shadows which makes him also similar to Judge in “Chase”.

    The setting also speaks to the imagination: a semi-abandoned coal town slowly being devoured by a subterranean fire. It adds to the apocalyptic feel and almost makes you believe it’s an alien world. The town is almost a character on its own.

    “The Black Pumpkin” is a straight up horror story about a pumpkin coming to life and eating a little boy’s family. This is the first story of several in which revenge against people who’ve wronged the main character is a huge theme.

    “Miss Atilla the Hun” always reminds me of “Winter Moon” and is a cute little invasion story with a twist.

    “Down in the Darkness” is another horror story basically about revenge.

    “Ollie’s Hands” always succeeds in slipping from memory. It’s the story about a guy with several special powers, who finds a girl with the potential to change his life.

    “Snatcher” is yet another scary horror story about someone getting what he deserves.

    “Trapped” is a terror story in the vain of “Watchers” and “Darkness Comes”, which reminds me of that old animated movie “The Secret of N.I.M.H.”, but the ending is way too fast.

    “Bruno” is a humorous detective story with similarities to “Men in Black”.

    “We Three” is my first favorite, a very short story, mostly dialogue, about three kids with special powers.

    “Hardshell” is a more action packed variety of the “Bruno” story with a good twist.

    “Kittens” is a second favorite, combining a bit of religion with the revenge theme, and a shocking ending.

    “The Night of the Storm” is a science fiction story that doesn’t really touch me. It’s kind of like a bigfoot story only with robots in the role of humans. But since the main characters are robots, for me it’s as good as impossible to sympathize with them, which lessens the impact.

    “Twilight of the Dawn” is the last favorite. Heavy on religion, it’s like a battle between atheism and religious faith. Kind of like the story of Job but with a life-altering twist.
  • Good review. It is a good collection of stories, couldn't really pick a favourite right now as it's been a while since I've read it but I do remember liking "We Three" a lot.
  • Thanks.

    I hope to read his latest "Breathless" soon. None of our stores are carrying it; I guess they're waiting for the UK paperback to come out, but that's only on July 8.

    I could order it in a store, but then it's double the price. Tried ordering through Amazon but that's been giving me trouble as well with credit cards and such. I'm so living in the wrong country for this.

    Just noticed our library has a copy, so I'll try to check it out this weekend.
  • A friend recommended Robert Merle's books, has anyone read his stuff? It seems really interesting.
  • I don't read...

    ...besides games and the internet, anyway. And copy protection manuals...
  • I practically grew up on the old Bela Lugosi films from Universal, because my grandfather worked on them. But it is true that they are nothing like their book counterparts. I kind of think of them as spoofs.

    Dracula is an incredible read. The way it is written makes you feel like every word is something that actually happened, and it can definitely get to you. I remember an old classmate of mine who is an atheist, telling me that she started carrying a cross around with her for months after she read it in high school. Shows how much you can get into a book when you read it, I guess.

    The Picture of Dorian Grey is a favorite of mine, the 1945 film was very good as well. Although I like the book a little better, I read the book first. The film changed the mood of the end slightly and it wasn't as powerful for me as the book's ending.

    Also, very obscure, but a great read. The Uninvited, by Dorothy Macardle. This was also made into a film in 1944 (I saw the film first in this case). Many refer to it as the stepping stone for all future hollywood ghost stories. The book is very difficult to find, but I managed to get my library to order it. They also have it on Amazon Used, but it's kind of pricey. The screen play for the film is also available, oddly enough, but I wouldn't recommend reading the script, read the novel instead, or watch the film. Dorothy Macardle has a very unique writing style. I don't think I've ever read anything that sounded quite like it. Possibly because it is written in the style of its time (1940's England) with all the cultural references to boot. But it is worth checking out, especially if you like ghost stories.

    The last book I can think of (without repeating more of what others have recommended already) would be Ombria in Shadow, by Patricia McKillip. A lot of people criticize her because she leaves a lot unexplained at the end and her plots aren't always that easy to follow. But I don't really find that a problem, because any healthy imagination can fill in the gaps and it leaves you with a mysterious "I just woke up from a dream" type feeling. And the cover art is beautiful, not that that should matter, but it makes my bookshelf look pretty. :p
  • I read quite a bit, and often find myself reading books that many people don't understand or are simply not bothered enough about to try to understand.

    For instance, my current favorite book is Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. :D
  • allaboardfilms;304176 said:

    For instance, my current favorite book is Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. :D
    That and "Under the volcano" by Malcom Lowry were my two last adquisitions. But i will start with them as soon as i finish "In search of lost time" in a couple of months i presume.
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