Author Topic: What books are we reading at the moment ?  (Read 430524 times)

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5700 on: August 13, 2019, 08:05:52 am »
Neal Stephenson/Nicole Galland, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.  Started well, flagging a bit in the middle.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5701 on: August 13, 2019, 09:40:25 am »
The latest but one Charlie Parker (the Woman in the Woods). More ghostly goings-on and murders aplenty in Maine (bonus murders in Indiana). As good as ever though I expected a bit more of a conclusion, but actually I liked the ending, though I suspect I'll now have to pony up £10.99 for the next instalment rather than wait for it to drop...
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citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5702 on: August 15, 2019, 09:01:38 pm »
Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth

It was on my list, for some reason, hence I got a notification when it was on offer for 99p. Glad I didn’t pay more than that for it, tbh. Not really my kind of thing It’s amusing in places but falls somewhat short of its billing as “Withnail for girls” or whatever it was the blurb said. Makes the mistake of thinking graphic swearing, sex, drinking and drug-taking is intrinsically funny and “edgy”. Some of the writing is seriously clunky, though there’s the occasional original turn of phrase.

There’s a film of it now, apparently. I don’t think I’ll be rushing to the cinema.

Mr Larrington

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5703 on: August 16, 2019, 01:15:16 pm »
The bloke who does the film reviews on the BBC news channel when Mark Commode is off being Important reckoned the film to be worthy of attention but the "Withnail For Girls" thing ought to be enough to put sane people off and instead devote the time to finding the person responsible for the phrase and killing them.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5704 on: August 16, 2019, 01:30:15 pm »
Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth

It was on my list, for some reason, hence I got a notification when it was on offer for 99p. Glad I didn’t pay more than that for it, tbh. Not really my kind of thing It’s amusing in places but falls somewhat short of its billing as “Withnail for girls” or whatever it was the blurb said. Makes the mistake of thinking graphic swearing, sex, drinking and drug-taking is intrinsically funny and “edgy”. Some of the writing is seriously clunky, though there’s the occasional original turn of phrase.

There’s a film of it now, apparently. I don’t think I’ll be rushing to the cinema.

You got further than I with my 99p punt. It wasn't awful but indeed, clunky in places (really, don't they have editors any more?). Felt a bit like it was written to spec for a demographic that isn't me. I was going to go back and finish it but suspect I won't.

The characters weren't especially interesting or likeable and evidently I'm not easily shocked by bad language, sex or drugs. Basically, a female-targetted version of the tired 'boys behaving badly' format.

I have seen the movie posters. And no, I can't say it'll drag me in either.
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citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5705 on: August 16, 2019, 01:46:18 pm »
the "Withnail For Girls" thing ought to be enough to put sane people off and instead devote the time to finding the person responsible for the phrase and killing them.

Aside from being a lazy hack trope, it's setting the bar very high for yourself, so disappointment is pretty much inevitable.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5706 on: August 22, 2019, 11:44:39 am »
Various problems made me lose interest in reading then World of Books sent me the usual weekly e-mail (which I usually bin, for some reason I opened it and amongst the books was Catch 22, on a whim I bought it and I could barely put it down, absolutely brilliant, just brilliant.
The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves, and wiser men so full of doubt.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5707 on: August 22, 2019, 12:11:01 pm »
the "Withnail For Girls" thing ought to be enough to put sane people off and instead devote the time to finding the person responsible for the phrase and killing them.

Aside from being a lazy hack trope, it's setting the bar very high for yourself, so disappointment is pretty much inevitable.

Hmm, I confess I didn't think of the Withnail and I comparison (and evidently didn't read the blurb), but it sounds like marketing had started the day on a quadruple espresso. I read another chapter and it's all a bit a middle-class-people-behaving-badly too, which you should only do if you're wannabe actors who know how to do it right, otherwise you're just a bit annoying. It's not awful, just not my cup of tea, but hey, 99p.

Apropos of nothing, my wife sat near Richard E. Grant yesterday evening. She sadly didn't ask him for a Camberwell Carrot, though alas, my wife has lived the sort of life where any Camberwell carrot would be an orange root vegetable grown in South London.
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5708 on: August 22, 2019, 12:53:14 pm »
I've just finished my first re-read of A Prayer For Owen Meany. It's about 30 years since I first read it. I think I always knew I would read it again. It was (even) better the second time around (apart from knowing the end). I think I read it better this time.

I had to stop last night before the end, just to gather my wits. I still choked.
L'enfer, c'est les autos.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5709 on: August 22, 2019, 02:07:00 pm »
Same. Almost. I re-read a couple of years ago after abour 20 years.  One of those books you put down after finishing and have to take a few minutes to process and then a few more to re-connect the current reality. (I think I had a similar feeeling when finishing Les Miserables.) Whereas Hotel New Hampshire left me cold when I re-read it, having forgotten that I hadn't really liked it the first time.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5710 on: August 22, 2019, 03:51:27 pm »
Hmm, I confess I didn't think of the Withnail and I comparison (and evidently didn't read the blurb), but it sounds like marketing had started the day on a quadruple espresso.

I had another look. It's actually a quote from Caitlin Moran.

I think that's the target market in a nutshell - Caitlin Moran fans.

Quote
It's not awful, just not my cup of tea, but hey, 99p.

Some of it is excruciatingly bad. Some of it is actually quite good. It's even modestly funny in places. But mostly it's just boring.

Anyway, it didn't waste too much of my time. Have now moved on to The Anatomy Of Ghosts by Anthony Taylor. Two reasons for reading this: one, my dad recommended it; two, I love the title. It has started promisingly, with the death of a teenage virgin in a ritual deflowering ceremony at the hands of some boisterous Cambridge students.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5711 on: August 22, 2019, 04:37:00 pm »
Well, that's certainly a leap from the middle classes (that's it, Laura, I'm done with Waitrose, from now on I'm shopping in Lidl and I'm doing it drunk and in quite probably in heels. I may even be sick in the freezer, right there, atop the petits pois*) right into the elevated echelons of the upper classes where a boisterous defloration is, one supposes, de riguer for a certain sort of Cambridge student. Not the token ones from state schools, of course. Ritual deflorations, for those of us less enlightened, involved the restricted confines of a mid-1980s Ford Fiesta.

*there, I've saved you the trouble of reading The Animals.
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T42

  • Tea tank
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5712 on: August 22, 2019, 04:43:54 pm »
Re-reading Light by M. John Harrison.  Judging by the number of times he makes his characters do it, the M stands for masturbate.  That must have perplexed the Registry Office, not to mention the vicar.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5713 on: August 22, 2019, 06:42:10 pm »
One of those books you put down after finishing and have to take a few minutes to process and then a few more to re-connect the current reality.
Exactly. I thought I’d be less susceptible to being so drawn in by it on my second reading but in some ways I think my experiences in between (losing my dad and brother, having my own children) made the story more resonant.
I’ve been a bit emotional all day.
L'enfer, c'est les autos.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5714 on: August 22, 2019, 11:48:03 pm »
right into the elevated echelons of the upper classes where a boisterous defloration is, one supposes, de riguer for a certain sort of Cambridge student.

Yes, I think you’ve got the general idea.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5715 on: August 28, 2019, 09:14:15 pm »
"Outsider".  The first volume of Brian Sewell's autobiography. Fascinating.   Growing up gay in the 40's & 50's. Studying under Anthony Blunt at the Courtauld.   Working in the (shambolic) Christies.  Abandoning religion & celibacy and having an unbelievable amount of sex! (if you believe him).
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5716 on: August 29, 2019, 06:14:38 am »
I'll slowly working my way through All Around The Moon by Jules Verne.

It's the first of his I've read and I want to like it, I really do, but I'm finding it a bit dull.

There's several passages where he (or one of the characters at least) is just listing various lunar mountains and craters and their respective heights/sizes.
Miles cycled 2014 = 3551.5 (Target 7300 :()
Miles cycled 2013 = 6141.4
Miles cycled 2012 = 4038.1

Mr Larrington

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5717 on: August 30, 2019, 11:37:07 am »
Stuck at an airport?  Nothing to read?  Do not buy, or even steal, a copy of Frederick Forsyth's "The Fox".  It is an unmitigated bucket of arse-gravy from end to end.  Mercifully those ends are not far apart.  Pick up a copy of the Daily Mail instead.  The politics are the same and you might at least get some foopball reporting thrown in.
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5718 on: August 30, 2019, 12:34:39 pm »

Karla

  • car(e) free
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5719 on: August 30, 2019, 12:56:35 pm »
Forsyth turned into a parody of himself some time ago.

There's a new Le Carre out soon too.  That's also going to be a parody of his earlier work, which has been much the same for at least the last 20 years.  It's a shame as his penultimate book rose above the pack and his last one at least finished off a lot of older Smiley era threads, so either book would have been a good place to stop.

spesh

  • It's starting to look a lot like Cthulhumas!
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5720 on: August 30, 2019, 12:59:23 pm »
Forsyth's best works were the first three: Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File and The Dogs of War. I haven't bothered with anything that he wrote after Icon.
"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5721 on: August 30, 2019, 01:57:29 pm »
I think I gave up partway through Icon.

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5722 on: September 02, 2019, 09:49:26 pm »
"The Source" by James Michener, a rather old dramatised version of the foundations of the Abrahamic religions, based around a fictional town in Israel as it is excavated as an archaeological dig.

It's very readable.  It paints a poor picture of the Crusades.  It all went a bit friendly fire.  Stupid bastards.
Milk please, no sugar.

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5723 on: September 03, 2019, 03:30:28 am »
Forsyth's best works were the first three: Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File and The Dogs of War. I haven't bothered with anything that he wrote after Icon.

I'm sure I remember reading that Forsyth said he would only ever write three novels.  Must have needed the money.
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Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Mrs Pingu

  • Who ate all the pies? Me
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5724 on: September 04, 2019, 10:47:54 pm »
Haruki Murakami's Killing Commendatory.
The usual Murakami weirdness.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.