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Thread: The Book Discussion Thread

  1. #76
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Daniel Davis (view post)
    Today I bought:

    The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett
    Red Harvest - Dashiel Hammett
    More than Human - Theodore Sturgeon

    and I found an old vintage copy of Deus Irae - Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelanzy
    Nice...is the Sturgeon book one that you've read before?

    I recently got "Some of Your Blood".

  2. #77
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting megladon8 (view post)
    Nice...is the Sturgeon book one that you've read before?
    No - I've only read The Dreaming Jewels and some of his short stories. I've heard that More Than Human is brilliant though - some people put it up there with Bester's The Demolished Man as a premier example of literary sci-fi.

    I just ordered the first collection of Sturgeon's short stories. There are 11 collections available, each around 400 pages long. I think I am prepared to dive head first into Sturgeon's work, and I am glad he left us with a large body of great material.

    You posted the cover for Some of Your Blood, right? I think that is what sparked my memory today when I was in the book store. I couldn't think of what to look for, but then the name "Sturgeon" flashed into my mind.


    Hey meg, you may want to check out this site:

    The Internet Speculative Fiction Database


    http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/index.cgi

    It's pretty awesome.

  3. #78
    Screenwriter Duncan's Avatar
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    My favorites would go something like:

    Walden - Thoreau
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - Joyce
    The Brothers Karamazov - Dostoevsky
    On the Road - Kerouac
    Dune - Herbert
    Thus Spoke Zarathustra - Nietzsche
    Fifth Business - Davies
    In the Skin of a Lion - Ondaatje
    The Lorax - Dr. Seuss
    Catcher in the Rye - Salinger
    Moby Dick - Melville
    Slaughterhouse-Five - Vonnegut
    The Stranger - Camus
    Fear and Trembling - Kierkegaard

    That's what comes to mind immediately.
    Wishful thinking, perhaps; but that is just another possible definition of the featherless biped.

  4. #79
    dissolved into molecules lovejuice's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Duncan (view post)
    My favorites would go something like:
    Fifth Business - Davies
    niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice...di d you read other books in the series? albeit fifth business is the best, the other two are worth checking out as well. davies is fast becoming another favorite writer of mine. anybody must read his collection of ghost stories.

    to me, he is very mythical. i know i like him, but can't ever put my finger down what exactly in his style that enchants me.

  5. #80
    dissolved into molecules lovejuice's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Antoine (view post)
    I like the "rushed" style. I see it simply as the African way of telling a story, being very to-the-point and lacking the density and minute details of the European style which we may be more familiar with. A Long Way Gone has kind of a similar style in that regard.

    Okonkwo's choice at the end certainly was abrupt, but I think I could understand it, after he had seen his civilization destroyed so easily before his very eyes, and watched his family and brethren submit to the outsiders.
    i want to check out more of his stuffs. which one do you recommend?

  6. #81
    Screenwriter Duncan's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting lovejuice (view post)
    niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice...di d you read other books in the series? albeit fifth business is the best, the other two are worth checking out as well. davies is fast becoming another favorite writer of mine. anybody must read his collection of ghost stories.

    to me, he is very mythical. i know i like him, but can't ever put my finger down what exactly in his style that enchants me.
    I've also read The Manticore. I liked that one a lot as well, but thought it got caught up too much in its Jungian psychology. Whereas the integration of saints in Fifth Business works on that mythical level you're talking about, the Jungian archetypes in The Manticore were more analytical. The melancholy is still there, but not the miraculousness that pervades Fifth Business.


    For other posters, I really can't recommend Fifth Business enough. Robertson Davies is Canadian and doesn't get a ton of international attention, but he definitely deserves it.
    Wishful thinking, perhaps; but that is just another possible definition of the featherless biped.

  7. #82
    sleepy soitgoes...'s Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Antoine (view post)
    I expect this list to grow considerably over the next few years, but right now, I'm getting bogged down by Marcel Proust.
    How much Proust have you read? I've considered starting In Search of Lost Time, but I just can't seem to build up the courage to undertake something so daunting.

  8. #83
    dissolved into molecules lovejuice's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Duncan (view post)
    I've also read The Manticore. I liked that one a lot as well, but thought it got caught up too much in its Jungian psychology. Whereas the integration of saints in Fifth Business works on that mythical level you're talking about, the Jungian archetypes in The Manticore were more analytical. The melancholy is still there, but not the miraculousness that pervades Fifth Business.
    right on with manticore. won't really recommend you world of wonder though since it's the weakest link. unless of course you are a completist, or have a strong desire to know who killed boy stauston. (drum rolling.) not a bad read, just too long. besides eisengrim's probably my least favorite character which is strange because by trade he should be the most interesting one. i like lisle, but the last book doesn't really do justice to her.

    i own lyre of orpheus and will read it some day.

  9. #84
    i am the great went ledfloyd's Avatar
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    i somehow forgot Crime and Punishment, The Stranger, Tender is the Night, and Love in the Time of Cholera, among others I'm sure.

  10. #85
    Quote Quoting Duncan (view post)
    I've also read The Manticore. I liked that one a lot as well, but thought it got caught up too much in its Jungian psychology. Whereas the integration of saints in Fifth Business works on that mythical level you're talking about, the Jungian archetypes in The Manticore were more analytical. The melancholy is still there, but not the miraculousness that pervades Fifth Business.


    For other posters, I really can't recommend Fifth Business enough. Robertson Davies is Canadian and doesn't get a ton of international attention, but he definitely deserves it.
    From those of his I read I favoured The Rebel Angels.
    *nods*

  11. #86
    Social Retard Isaac's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting soitgoes... (view post)
    How much Proust have you read? I've considered starting In Search of Lost Time, but I just can't seem to build up the courage to undertake something so daunting.
    I've read only Combray so far (the first half of Swann's Way). It's not that it's bad, but I'm seriously considering moving on to something else. I'm interested in the family relationships, but Proust spends way too much time talking about architecture and flowers.

  12. #87
    Quote Quoting Antoine (view post)
    I've read only Combray so far (the first half of Swann's Way). It's not that it's bad, but I'm seriously considering moving on to something else. I'm interested in the family relationships, but Proust spends way too much time talking about architecture and flowers.
    I enjoyed Swann's Way. Was kinda like being enveloped in borrowed nostalgia.

  13. #88
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    Quote Quoting lovejuice (view post)
    3. The Sea, the Sea
    Damn, I can't count how many times I've walked around a bookstore with this in my hand and last minute put it back.

    *puts it on "to read next" list*

  14. #89
    Orlando
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    Quote Quoting SpaceOddity (view post)
    *unawed by Coetzee's Disgrace*
    *chuckles*

    How I've missed you 'round these parts!

  15. #90
    Producer Lucky's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Duncan (view post)
    For other posters, I really can't recommend Fifth Business enough. Robertson Davies is Canadian and doesn't get a ton of international attention, but he definitely deserves it.
    I just looked this up and I'm intrgued. I haven't been disappointed by a book reccomendation from this place yet, so I'm putting it next on my list.

  16. #91
    Quote Quoting Lucky (view post)
    I just looked this up and I'm intrgued. I haven't been disappointed by a book reccomendation from this place yet, so I'm putting it next on my list.
    *votes Rebel Angels*

  17. #92
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Solar Lottery (1955) - Philip K. Dick



    Ted Bentley is a loyal company man, and he's just lost his job. Disillusioned with his station in life, he travels to one of the directorate Hills and swears fealty to Reese Verrick, the Quizmaster, the supreme ruler of the universe. Unfortunately for Bentley, seconds after his fealty-pledge is complete, the bottle twitches and Verrick is removed from power, replaced by Quizmaster Cartwright. When Verrick leaves his position of power, he takes with him all those who have pledged fealty to him, they are his subjects, he is their lord, their protector. Pledging loyalty to a person might grant the serf more rewards, but if Bentley had, instead, pledged loyalty to the general Quizmaster position he would at least still have a government job. Now he finds himself the pawn in the M-game, a game of probability and statistics, assassination and telepaths.


    In order to combat the rampant telepathic abilities of the populace, the universe in Dick's Solar Lottery, is governed by randomness. Promotions, luxuries, necessities, it's all dispersed in random fashion, a grand, universal lottery system. Because the telepaths are able to “teep” the outcome of rational and probable events, extreme randomness and uncertainty is injected into every-day living. While the government sees this randomness as a rational solution to the telepath problem, and even uses a Corp of telepaths to help predict the outcome of these random twitches, it has inadvertently fostered an irrational society, one that relies heavily upon good luck charms, ignorant pledges of loyalty in which the serfs bank on the luck of their chosen lord, and extreme social isolation.


    Solar Lottery is Dick's first published book, and it shows. While the ideas contained within are bright and imaginative, the young author has trouble keeping everything in its place. Some might argue that Dick suffered from similar problems on subsequent novels, but here his gonzo style makes things a bit too difficult to follow, and he looses track of more than a few sub-plots. Sometimes a lost sub-plot can be forgiven, but here Dick choses to end the book on one with little-to-no relevance to anything that has come before. This is a total shame because the previous hundred or so pages are quite thrilling. While later in his career Dick would learn to juggle the multitude of characters with which his books are populated, in Solar Lottery he fails to give too many of the characters enough time for the reader to gage their importance and personalties.


    I don't mean to be too harsh on Dick here. There are some great things to recommend in Solar Lottery. It is clearly a blue-print for the later work of Masmune Shirow, and while reading the book I couldn't help but flash onto images of Black Magic M-66 and Ghost in the Shell. While I have never thought of PKD as a cyberpunk author, it is easy to see that his work helped to shape that genre's conventions. With a group of characters who jack in to a Matrix-like construct, taking turns controlling the body of an unwilling android, and a plot that deals with minmax probability and world-spanning corporations vying for political power, Dick's work here has clearly influenced the work of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson.


    I recommend this book only to those who have already taken the plunge into PKD's world. While there are some interesting things going on underneath the book's surface, there just isn't enough good material beyond the book's historical context. I think it is always a good idea to trace an artist's roots, to see where he has been, so one might gain further insight into his other works. In this light, I appreciate the time I spent with Solar Lottery even if I didn't fully enjoy the novel itself.

  18. #93
    Not a praying man Melville's Avatar
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    Favorites:

    1. Moby Dick, Herman Melville, 1851
    2. The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky, 1880
    3. Being & Time, Heidegger, 1927
    4. Ulysses, James Joyce, 1922
    5. Notes from Underground, Dostoevsky, 1864
    6. The Sound and the Fury, Faulkner, 1929
    7. Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky, 1866
    8. Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, 1885
    9. Hunger, Knut Hamsun, 1890
    10. Ficciones, Jorge Luis Borges, 1944
    11. Jacques the Fatalist, Denis Diderot, 1796
    12. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, 1902
    13. The Trial, Franz Kafka, 1922
    14. Catch-22, Joseph Heller, 1960
    15. Tristram Shandy, Laurence Sterne, 1767
    16. Pan, Hamsun, 1894
    17. The Crocodile, Dostoevsky, 1865
    18. The Outsider, Camus, 1942
    19. The Seducer’s Diary, Kierkegaard, 1843
    20. The Bacchae, Euripides, 406 BC
    21. The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien, 1954
    22. Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre, 1938
    23. Lolita, Nabokov, 1955
    24. Hamlet, Shakespeare, 1600
    25. The Double, Dostoevsky, 1846
    26. The Good Soldier, Ford Maddox Ford, 1914
    27. Pierre, or the Ambiguities, Herman Melville, 1852
    28. Madame Bovary, Flaubert, 1857
    29. King James Bible: Ecclesiastes the Preacher, 250 BC
    30. The Rubaiyat, Omar Khayyam (trans. E. Fitzgerald), 1120 (1859)
    31. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, 1861
    32. 1984, George Orwell, 1949
    33. As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner, 1930
    34. Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf, 1924
    35. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925
    36. The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock, T.S. Eliot, 1917
    37. The Aeneid, Virgil (trans. Dryden), 19 BC (1697)
    38. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce, 1914
    39. Lord of the Flies, William Golding, 1952
    40. Collected Stories of H. P. Lovecraft, 1917-1935
    41. A Christmas Carol, Dickens, 1843
    42. Medea, Euripides, 431 BC
    43. Season of Migration to the North, Salih, 1966
    44. Darkness at Noon, Arthur Koestler, 1940
    45. The Blithedale Romance, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1852

  19. #94
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    That's a great write-up, D.

    It sounds interesting, but I do think I will wait and read that one later. I still have "VALIS" on my shelf, and I would like to read some stuff like "Martian Time-Slip", "Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said", "The Man in the High Castle", "Vulcan's Hammer"...the list goes on

  20. #95
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting megladon8 (view post)
    That's a great write-up, D.

    It sounds interesting, but I do think I will wait and read that one later. I still have "VALIS" on my shelf, and I would like to read some stuff like "Martian Time-Slip", "Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said", "The Man in the High Castle", "Vulcan's Hammer"...the list goes on
    Oh yes - all of those must come first. Solar Lottery is definitely not a PKD priority.

  21. #96
    Screenwriter Duncan's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Melville (view post)
    Favorites:

    10. Ficciones, Jorge Luis Borges, 1944
    I just bought his collected fictions yesterday. I'm pretty sure it includes every piece of fiction he wrote. I haven't read anything by him yet.

    13. The Trial, Franz Kafka, 1922
    Forgot about this one. Definitely on my list as well.
    Wishful thinking, perhaps; but that is just another possible definition of the featherless biped.

  22. #97
    Not a praying man Melville's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Duncan (view post)
    I just bought his collected fictions yesterday. I'm pretty sure it includes every piece of fiction he wrote. I haven't read anything by him yet.
    If it's the same edition that I have, then it's divided up into the different collections that were published independently. Everything in Ficciones is amazing. The other collections are pretty good, but they pale in comparison.

  23. #98
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    How do people on here feel about Samuel Beckett?

    I have had two good friends from class harping on and on about his trilogy of "Molloy", "Mallone Dies" and "The Unnamable" - both saying it was one of the best things they'd ever read.

  24. #99
    dissolved into molecules lovejuice's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting megladon8 (view post)
    How do people on here feel about Samuel Beckett?

    I have had two good friends from class harping on and on about his trilogy of "Molloy", "Mallone Dies" and "The Unnamable" - both saying it was one of the best things they'd ever read.
    i only watched godot which i find inspiring. but when it comes to absurdist playwright, i prefer albee. never read his novels or shorts though.

  25. #100
    Screenwriter Duncan's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Melville (view post)
    If it's the same edition that I have, then it's divided up into the different collections that were published independently. Everything in Ficciones is amazing. The other collections are pretty good, but they pale in comparison.
    That sounds like mine. Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition is what I bought. Seemed like a good deal.
    Wishful thinking, perhaps; but that is just another possible definition of the featherless biped.

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