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breakreep
homophobic yet curious


Joined: 27 Sep 2004
Posts: 6627
Location: Fifth Jerusalem
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Jesse Custer wrote:
Y'all need to quit arguing amongst yourselves and give me a concrete recommendation for a Murakami book to read! I've never read one and I'd like to. Heh.


Kafka on the Shore is as good a place as any to start, I guess. For what it's worth, I started with Wind-Up Bird, and I'm glad I did.
Post Thu May 24, 2012 6:40 am
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Third Coast
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wesfau wrote:
Pynchon can eat a dick. I understand writing for the sake of the language and showcasing your skills, but he is more unreadable than Milton fucking Faulkner. Pynchon is the Yngwie Malmsteen of literature.


Your criticism is not really a criticism, and it's incomplete. It's an orgy between Milton, Faulkner, Joyce, and Vonnegut. I also don't understand why you'd yell at Pynchon to consume a phallus. Did he hurt you in some personal and unrelenting way? If you don't like his style stick to Christopher Moore or something.

@ Granther: Your recommendations sound really interesting. I love a good memoirish read. I'll have to look into them.

@ outpatient: I definitely recommend Kafka on the Shore. This is probably the best representation of Murakami's style, and the story is really compelling. He has a slightly distorted way of presenting the world that I really enjoyed. It's a pretty quick read too, as I recall.
Post Thu May 24, 2012 8:05 am
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Third Coast
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xGasPricesx wrote:
Not a book, but since I just graduated college I decided to revisit DFW's Kenyon commencement speech for the twentieth time, and I'm very glad I did cause I take away something new from it each time. I can't even begin to describe how much I have learned from this speech over the years. This is water. This is water.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122178211966454607.html


After reading this way back when you posted it, I've carried the general sentiment around with me like a switchblade. As usual, Wallace was spot-on in his insight. It's a terrific approach to inspirational speeches, and should be used more frequently than the Ione Skye in Say Anything style. So thank you!

After finishing Gravity's Rainbow a month or so back I'll admit I had to read some interpretations online for clarification. I enjoyed the book as an epic use of English, for it's obsessive tangents, and it's sheer complexity, but it's not something I could ever read again. I'll take it over Finnegan's Wake any day though.

Since then I've read Confederacy of Dunces, which was a masterful examination of New Orleans and quirky, gaseous, eloquent fat dudes. It's been sitting on my shelf for a few years now and I figured it was time to give it the fair shake. Absolutely terrific stuff, full of wit and humor and even a little grace. It was also a refreshingly linear change from Pynchon. I'm interested in checking out Toole's other work, Neon Bible. Anyone read this?

I just finished what turned out to be a really inspiring and well-written history of a frontier family, Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose. It was a little lengthy at almost 600 pages, but it was worth the read, and certainly accessible. Basically it just details the marriage of two people, one a proper Victorian lady and the other a rough-and-tumble engineer, who try to stake their claim in the American frontier in the late 1800s. Sounds boring, but Stegner makes it great by interweaving the story of Lyman Ward, who is the descendant and chronicler of the aforementioned married couple. It was good enough for the Pulitzer Prize, so there's that as well.

Right now I'm reading Seven Nights, a collection of transcribed lectures given by Jorge Luis Borges in the early 80s. Having already read his collected works, and having his collected poetry awaiting, it's been fascinating to see how his mind works. He talks about dreams, his blindness, Buddhim, and so forth and it's all really interesting. This is even more true when you consider he had to memorize all of the things he read once he started going blind. Great little read.
Post Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:15 am
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Hellen Earth
could be a girl. could be a guy.


Joined: 09 Jan 2003
Posts: 1281
Location: Fitchburg, MA
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https://www.spiritstate.com

There are 3 books on here that can best be described as sprititual allegory rooted in a near-future setting. They aren't subtle, but are some of the most interesting things I've read in quite a while. Reminds me of Lovecraft or Dick but with a new-age technological slant.

The author remains anonymous which is also kind of cool to me.

Also - has anyone else read Lovecraft's "The Shadow Out of Time" ??? Holy fuck is it awesome.
Post Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:23 am
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27



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 895
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I've always been a big fan of Stephen King. "The Talisman" is probably my favorite. The Dark Tower series is fantastic. If you're into that he recently released an 8th Dark Tower book called "The Wind Through the Keyhole" which falls between "The Wizzard and the Glass" and "The Wolves of the Calla" I believe which was good. Maerlyn is in it which I thought was awesome. I especially liked that it is a stand alone book so it covers -- in a more condensed fashion -- Roland's training with Cort as well as his being tricked into challenging Cort to obtain pistols and finally the fight where Roland's chooses David his pet hawk as his weapon. Which is probably my favorite part of the entire series.
Post Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:14 pm
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19373
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
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I am reading Spook Country/Zero History by William Gibson. Also Dune.

Comic wise I'm reading the complete Richard Corben Eerie/Creepy works collection; Eerie Presents Hunter; Guido Crepax's Valentina series, and Ross Campbell's newest Wet Moon.
Post Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:04 pm
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breakreep
homophobic yet curious


Joined: 27 Sep 2004
Posts: 6627
Location: Fifth Jerusalem
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I haven't read Dune in a long time, but I'm pretty sure it remains my favorite science fiction in the print medium.

Just, whatever you do, stay away from his shitty son's shitty prequels. They are like pouring acid on your eyes.
Post Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:21 pm
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GrantherBirdly
D&D addict


Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 3145
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I think Herbert the 1st did a fine enough job f'ing the series with the 4th, 5th and 6th installments. I think I have those numbers right, starting with the God Emperor book things go bad astonishingly quickly, especially when considering the brilliance of the first novel.
Post Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:15 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21597
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Just finished reading Harry Crews' "Feast of Snakes."
Not incredible and I don't recommend it, but Crews has been recommended to me a couple of times. I'm trying to figure out what book of his will kick my ass.
Post Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:13 pm
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GrantherBirdly
D&D addict


Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 3145
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Just started reading the below. It will probably end up being one of those biographies that is only of interest to hardcore geeks of the work's subject (in this case David Foster Wallace), but since I fall into that category I'm pretty excited. Also, worst book cover ever:

Post Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:57 am
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Alan Hague



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 621
Location: http://askthedead.bandcamp.com
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I started 'Infinite Jest' a ways back, but I wasn't at a point where I could sit with it for a couple hours a day, so I fizzled out after 150 pages. I plan to get back to it, though.

In the meantime, I started Don DeLillo's 'Underworld' a couple days ago, & this book is amazing. Blitzing through it at the moment.
Post Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:01 pm
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breakreep
homophobic yet curious


Joined: 27 Sep 2004
Posts: 6627
Location: Fifth Jerusalem
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GrantherBirdly wrote:
I think Herbert the 1st did a fine enough job f'ing the series with the 4th, 5th and 6th installments. I think I have those numbers right, starting with the God Emperor book things go bad astonishingly quickly, especially when considering the brilliance of the first novel.


I completely disagree. In fact, I think God Emperor is the best installment of the series, or at least tied for the position with the first book.
Post Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:39 pm
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GrantherBirdly
D&D addict


Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 3145
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huh, maybe I need to revisit them. I remember them as not just bad when compared to the first installments of the series, but like as some of the worst books I've ever read in my life.
Post Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:10 am
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8547
Location: Third Coast
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I finished reading Moby Dick the other day. I'm not convinced that it's one of the greatest American novels of all time, or even Melville's best work. I think it starts that way; the initial chapters written from Ishmael's perspective are fantastic. Even leading into the first part of the voyage on the Pequod, you get the sense that Melville has written something truly great. But then the novel gets really bogged down in cetology and nautical observations that read like the self-absorbed musings of a sailor more than a narrative directive. Speaking of which, the narrative voice becomes blurred to the point that characters practically disappear. What happens to Ishmael? He starts as the narrator and is gone by the end of the novel. But then I thought maybe Melville was just way ahead of his time and he was attempting to deliberately transcend literary traditions. I don't know. I think it's a good book, but not great.

Now I'm reading Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis. It appears to be about an arrogant model-businessman Victor Ward. The book also fully embraces the material obsessions of American Pyscho, making constant reference to products, artists, designers, and celebrities. Shit, even Patrick Bateman makes an appearance. Ellis is also re-exploring the sociopathic elements, sans murder, of Bateman. I feel like I shouldn't like this novel for that reason, because it's just kind of recycled, but for some reason I'm really enjoying it.

It's also worth noting that I've discovered an incredible second-hand bookstore here in Glasgow called Voltaire & Rousseau. It's run by an old man and a cat. There are heaps upon heaps of books everywhere in only the most rudimentary ordering. I don't mean neatly organized, accessible stacks either. I mean huge, towering Jenga-like stacks of books waiting to topple and embarrass you because you want the collected works of Evelyn Waugh toward the bottom. But this place is truly great for that simple reason. You can't go in looking for something in particular because you will likely not find it. But you will find something interesting and very reasonably priced. And, as a bonus, there might be a raving Frenchman there arguing with the shopkeep. You never know.
Post Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:04 am
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MCGF



Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Posts: 367
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Captiv8 wrote:
I finished reading Moby Dick the other day. I'm not convinced that it's one of the greatest American novels of all time, or even Melville's best work. I think it starts that way; the initial chapters written from Ishmael's perspective are fantastic. Even leading into the first part of the voyage on the Pequod, you get the sense that Melville has written something truly great. But then the novel gets really bogged down in cetology and nautical observations that read like the self-absorbed musings of a sailor more than a narrative directive. Speaking of which, the narrative voice becomes blurred to the point that characters practically disappear. What happens to Ishmael? He starts as the narrator and is gone by the end of the novel. But then I thought maybe Melville was just way ahead of his time and he was attempting to deliberately transcend literary traditions. I don't know. I think it's a good book, but not great.


What Melville book would you say is better than Moby Dick? I'm just curious; I love Moby Dick and I haven't read anything else by him.
Post Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:20 pm
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