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  1. #1
    Screenwriter Duncan's Avatar
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    The Book Discussion Thread

    I like reading them. Do you?

  2. #2
    Screenwriter Duncan's Avatar
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    "The works of the great poets have never yet been read by mankind, for only the great poets can read them. They have only been read as the multitude read the stars, at most astrologically, not astronomically. Most men have learned to read to serve a paltry convenience, as they have learned to cipher in order to keep accounts and not be cheated in trade; but of reading as a noble exercise they know little or nothing; yet this only is reading, in a high sense, not that which lulls us as a luxury and suffers the nobler faculties to sleep the while, but what we have to stand on tiptoe to read and devote our most alert and wakeful hours to."

    Henry David Thoreau, Walden

  3. #3
    Yeah, dude. Books, like, totally rock.

  4. #4
    Winston* Classic Winston*'s Avatar
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    I read Bukowski's Pulp yesterday. I liked it.

    /contributes

  5. #5
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
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    I finished Post Office. I liked Ham on Rye better. Still great though.

  6. #6
    I'm trying to ease myself back into the habit of reading after years of required texts turned one of my favorite habits into an awful chore.

    I started The Giver this afternoon. I can't believe this was a children's book. I only put it down because life interrupted.

  7. #7
    Has anyone read Darkly Dreaming Dexter? Is it worth a blind buy?

  8. #8
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting jenniferofthejungle (view post)
    Has anyone read Darkly Dreaming Dexter? Is it worth a blind buy?
    It was terrible. And you know how much I love Dexter. I almost didn't finish it. Grab it from the library if you can't resist reading it.

  9. #9
    Quote Quoting Kurosawa Fan (view post)
    It was terrible. And you know how much I love Dexter. I almost didn't finish it. Grab it from the library if you can't resist reading it.
    I just removed it from my amazon shopping cart and added it to my library queue.

  10. #10
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting jenniferofthejungle (view post)
    I just removed it from my amazon shopping cart and added it to my library queue.


    You won't regret it. I'm not the only fan of the show who thought the book was terrible. I lent it to a friend and he had the exact same complaints I had.

  11. #11
    Quote Quoting Kurosawa Fan (view post)


    You won't regret it. I'm not the only fan of the show who thought the book was terrible. I lent it to a friend and he had the exact same complaints I had.
    I trust you.

    I have started to read The Chronicles of Narnia (I'm following a strict order here) and any new books will have to wait. I'm hoping to do one a day and I noticed the only way I can get any reading done is if I turn the computer off. It isn't enough to log off anymore, I've got to shut it down completely.

    I can't plan to read any specific books because everything depends on my mood. If I'm feeling particularly low I have to stay away from melodrama or I'll spend the rest of the day sighing dramatically.

  12. #12
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Talking With Stephen King:

    http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,...687229,00.html

    This is a good interview, well worth your time.

  13. #13
    Screenwriter Duncan's Avatar
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    Finished American Pastoral last night. Not a big fan. It seems almost overly rigorous with its characterizations. Like, the wife wasn't a ditzy beauty pageant contestant even though she won Miss New Jersey. OK, interesting enough, I guess, but then with 20 pages left in the book he's still going on about this. I get it already. The whole book also seems chock full of cliches, and I guess the point is to deconstruct these cliches, but isn't that, by now, kind of cliche in and of itself? I mean, star high school athlete goes through horrible downfall? Really? The whole glove factory thing was alternatively annoying in its quaint Americana-ness, and actually kind of moving when the Swede is going into details about stitch length or whatever. But he takes it too far. It's hard to imagine making gloves melodramatic, but Roth does it. But the thing I really disliked about this book is that it's kind of an embodiment of American self-pity. The whole Dream thing is flawed. Everybody already knows that. Grow the fuck up about it already. Jesus. 425 pages of "rage," which is almost always a cover for self-pity. Poor, poor America. Oy vey.
    Wishful thinking, perhaps; but that is just another possible definition of the featherless biped.

  14. #14
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Duncan (view post)
    Finished American Pastoral last night. Not a big fan. It seems almost overly rigorous with its characterizations. Like, the wife wasn't a ditzy beauty pageant contestant even though she won Miss New Jersey. OK, interesting enough, I guess, but then with 20 pages left in the book he's still going on about this. I get it already. The whole book also seems chock full of cliches, and I guess the point is to deconstruct these cliches, but isn't that, by now, kind of cliche in and of itself? I mean, star high school athlete goes through horrible downfall? Really? The whole glove factory thing was alternatively annoying in its quaint Americana-ness, and actually kind of moving when the Swede is going into details about stitch length or whatever. But he takes it too far. It's hard to imagine making gloves melodramatic, but Roth does it. But the thing I really disliked about this book is that it's kind of an embodiment of American self-pity. The whole Dream thing is flawed. Everybody already knows that. Grow the fuck up about it already. Jesus. 425 pages of "rage," which is almost always a cover for self-pity. Poor, poor America. Oy vey.
    Woo Hoo!!! I love me some American Pastoral hate!

  15. #15
    Whole Sick Crew Benny Profane's Avatar
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    New Krakauer = WOW.

    A caution: be prepared to feel tremendous rage and sadness if you read it. Still, a must read. The man continues to prove that he is one of the best writers today.
    Now reading: The Master Switch by Tim Wu

  16. #16
    i am the great went ledfloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Benny Profane (view post)
    New Krakauer = WOW.

    A caution: be prepared to feel tremendous rage and sadness if you read it. Still, a must read. The man continues to prove that he is one of the best writers today.
    this is promising. i didn't think the subject matter was that intriguing. but he has yet to write a book that isn't amazing.

  17. #17
    Whole Sick Crew Benny Profane's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting ledfloyd (view post)
    this is promising. i didn't think the subject matter was that intriguing. but he has yet to write a book that isn't amazing.
    Not intriguing? I can't even fathom that. I was looking forward to this one for over a year.
    Now reading: The Master Switch by Tim Wu

  18. #18
    Too much responsibility Kurosawa Fan's Avatar
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    I thought Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was a solid read. Foer is a bit too cute at times, and Oskar is inconsistent as all get out, particularly with what he comprehends and what he doesn't, but it has some fairly interesting things to say about the ability of humans to forgive and to deal with loss. He was able to hit an emotional chord quite often, even if at times he fell into melodrama a bit too quickly. Still, it was easily the best novel we read in that class, and it's the best novel I've read so far this year.

    Now on to The Master and Margarita, which is for pleasure rather than for school! Hooray! Read the first 50 pages on the train and really enjoyed them.

  19. #19
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Kurosawa Fan (view post)
    Now on to The Master and Margarita, which is for pleasure rather than for school! Hooray! Read the first 50 pages on the train and really enjoyed them.
    I'm going to read this later this year.

  20. #20
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Kurosawa Fan (view post)
    I thought Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was a solid read. Foer is a bit too cute at times, and Oskar is inconsistent as all get out, particularly with what he comprehends and what he doesn't, but it has some fairly interesting things to say about the ability of humans to forgive and to deal with loss. He was able to hit an emotional chord quite often, even if at times he fell into melodrama a bit too quickly. Still, it was easily the best novel we read in that class, and it's the best novel I've read so far this year.
    Really afraid of how that movie will turn out because of its dramatic scenes. Seems like it'll come off as too hokey on film.

    Barbarian - ***
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  21. #21
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Kurosawa Fan (view post)
    I thought Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was a solid read. Foer is a bit too cute at times, and Oskar is inconsistent as all get out, particularly with what he comprehends and what he doesn't, but it has some fairly interesting things to say about the ability of humans to forgive and to deal with loss. He was able to hit an emotional chord quite often, even if at times he fell into melodrama a bit too quickly. Still, it was easily the best novel we read in that class, and it's the best novel I've read so far this year.
    Good to hear. I was looking forward to your thoughts. Yeah, these are basically my thoughts about the book as well. Oskar simply doesn't work as a precocious eight-year-old; his experiences and vernacular don't remain consistent with the intellectual structure of that age group. I would have loved his character had Foer decided to up his age to 13 or so, as I could then buy his complexities and neuroses as following from the psychology of a young adult. That said, like you I nonetheless become enraptured by whole strings of Foer's prose, and the last three pages of prose, coupled with the reverse images, are powerfully evocative. They communicate with the grace that Foer elsewhere overdoes, even if he's building to a useful point. I don't think it's perfect by any stretch, but I'll be teaching it in my Introduction to Fiction class this fall for the reasons at the end of your thoughts...

    How have the rest of the class responded to the book, if I may ask?
    The Boat People - 9
    The Power of the Dog - 7.5
    The King of Pigs - 7

  22. #22
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    Finished up Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust, a 1930s cynical riff on the kind of romanticized doomed relationships that are Hemingway and Fitzgerald's fair (specifically The Sun Also Rises and The Great Gatsby). Time and again we see the wasteland of Hollywood as a cesspool, consuming itself, rooted only to ideals of success and materiality, forgoing any notion artistic or aesthetic belief to the city or its citizens. West also underscores how superficial the girl, Faye, is, urging us to remember that Fitzgerald's female lead in TGG was Daisy Faye before she married. The two are thus connected-and the materiality of both are lampooned. Here she gets by only due to her body, which so automatically constructs her sexually that she is forgiven her stupidity by Tod, our frequent narrator. Yet his conscious lapsing into a Chandleresque hard-boiled prose cannot redeem him from the desire to do her harm, even fantasizing about raping her, as though that will somehow awaken her to a true desire and humanity. It's a cynical book, but West balances it with moments of grace that keep him from coming as superior to the characters. Though the child actor Adore gets it pretty bad. Nonetheless, good stuff for those who like satires with more than a touch of tragedy.
    The Boat People - 9
    The Power of the Dog - 7.5
    The King of Pigs - 7

  23. #23
    i am the great went ledfloyd's Avatar
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    wow, so people weren't kidding about the greatness of catch 22. i've plowed through 300 pages. so good.

  24. #24
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting ledfloyd (view post)
    wow, so people weren't kidding about the greatness of catch 22. i've plowed through 300 pages. so good.
    I found it very readable and engaging, and far funnier than I expected. That said, it didn't really stick with me much... I felt more profoundly impacted by say, Slaughterhouse Five.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  25. #25
    dissolved into molecules lovejuice's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting dreamdead (view post)
    Finished up Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust...
    did you avoid using the word, "post-modern", in your short review purposefully? I myself can't think of the book any other way. Your interpretation, however, seems to be richer than what the book is generally taken. I especially like the connection to The Sun Also Rises and The Great Gatsby.
    "Over analysis is like the oil of the Match-Cut machine." KK2.0

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