Books that have stunned you.

  1. Daisy-Boo

    Daisy-Boo Purr-fectly crazy

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    Are you my brother? Because I once hit him on the head with an encyclopaedia. He was stunned, that's for sure.
     
    Mar 14, 2010
  2. Arentil

    Arentil Member

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    The first book I recall being blown away by was "The Sparrow." (Once I got through it.)
    Others that have left me sort of reeling have been:
    I Am Legend, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Market Forces, Snow Crash.

    Like a few others here, I've also read Altered Carbon, but haven't made it to the rest of the Takeshi books. I did finish Steel Remains last month. Very good, and actually a little mind-blowing at times.
     
    Mar 14, 2010
  3. bunnypeaches

    bunnypeaches Triceratops.

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    Anything by Jeff Noon. I read Vurt first and absolutely loved it. I'd recommend any of his books but especially Vurt and Pollen are very good books. A really bizarre take on the not too distant future. May not stand the test of time but just so screwed up in places I felt it was worth a mention. And different from anything else I've read.

    I also loved American Gods by Neil Gaiman but I'm not sure if 'stunned' would be quite the right word for that one.
     
    Mar 14, 2010
  4. Arentil

    Arentil Member

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    American Gods was fantastic! I love Neil Gaiman's work.
     
    Mar 15, 2010
  5. Daisy-Boo

    Daisy-Boo Purr-fectly crazy

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    Is that The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell? That is an amazing book. Have you read the sequel, Children of God?
     
    Mar 15, 2010
  6. Arentil

    Arentil Member

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    Yes! The very same. I did read Children of God, it was good but to me didn't pack the same punch. What did you think?
     
    Mar 16, 2010
  7. Daisy-Boo

    Daisy-Boo Purr-fectly crazy

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    I thought Children of God was very good, but in a different way to The Sparrow. CoG focused more on Emilio Sandoz and in that respect, was a much more intimate book. Russell did an excellent job of exploring his character and the effects of his stay on Rakhat. I felt a great deal of compassion for Emilio.

    So I'd say that The Sparrow was probably the "flashier" of the two books but that didn't make it any less stunning.
     
    Mar 17, 2010
  8. Pedro Del Mar

    Pedro Del Mar I am content

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    Chickenhawk by Robert Mason - it's about the experiences of a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War. It's a great read and the ending is astounding. It's such a shock that I still remember it clearly 15 years later.
     
    Mar 18, 2010
  9. Taltos

    Taltos Creeping in shadows

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    On the same note - I'm still trying to calculate from how high Flowers for Algernon would have to fall to stun someone - normal library shelves won't qualify I'm afraid (although I can imagine Lord of the Rings stunning someone). Other possibilty is that the book has metal casing - but I haven't heard of such edition :p

    (Mythbusters - SFF chronicles edition - someone ?)
     
    Mar 19, 2010
  10. AE35Unit

    AE35Unit ]==[]===O °

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    Hmmm now theres an idea with legs!
     
    Mar 19, 2010
  11. soulsinging

    soulsinging the dude abides

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    Interesting to see this 8 years later... Barely remembered the Huston novel (though it was kind of shocking) and have cooled in my regard for Materials. I may have to revise.

    American Tabloid definitely springs to mind as leaving my jaw open by the end. Canticle for Leibowitz also occupied my mind long after reading.
     
    Dec 7, 2017
  12. AE35Unit

    AE35Unit ]==[]===O °

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    I'd hope that GRRM's books are better than the dreadful TV adaptation that everyone raves about!
     
    Dec 7, 2017
  13. Pedro Del Mar

    Pedro Del Mar I am content

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    They are until you get to Feast For Crows
     
    Dec 7, 2017
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  14. Danny Creasy

    Danny Creasy Well-Known Member

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    I read these in the 70s:

    The Exorcist, scared me in the daytime, riding in the backseat of my parents car on vacation.
    The Godfather, I loved the raw characters and experiencing a world far different from mine.
    The Stand, my first post-apocalyptic read, and my first sampling of Stephen King.
     
    Dec 9, 2017 at 3:18 AM
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  15. Heather Myst

    Heather Myst Well-Known Member

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    I think I have to go with A Game of Thrones with the Ned Stark situation. I never saw that coming and I think that is one of the reasons that I consider The Song of Ice and Fire to be the best fantasy books ever written.
     
    Dec 9, 2017 at 1:49 PM
  16. Mike Donoghue

    Mike Donoghue Active Member

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    It's a toss up between Old Man's War and The Forever War. The former stunned me right out the gate with the concept, especially with the way the man and his wife resolved the man's affair. I was a young teen when I read it and was going through a stressful time of my parents fighting due to infidelity. Keep in mind I was homeschooled and had been so for most of middle school and half of high school (four years), so I was scared at the idea of them getting divorced and me having to go to a high school after not having been in public school for years. I was shocked and relieved when the two characters in the story resolved the man's affair peacefully. I thought all affairs had to be full of yelling, anger, and threats of divorce, but that story showed how they didn't have to.

    Now, The Forever War was just flat out an awesome way of showing the effects of time dilation and a clever way of showing the the alienation of a soldier coming home to a changed society.
     
    Dec 9, 2017 at 2:24 PM
  17. Cayleb

    Cayleb Elderly book lover.

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    In almost seventy years of reading there have been many "Wow" books, but the one that always comes to mind on questions like this is 'First Light' by Geoffrey Wellum. It starts with him as a teenage whose only worry is will he be asked to captain the school First Eleven, then, eighteen months later he is fighting for his life in the cockpit of a Spitfire over south-east England.
     
    Dec 10, 2017 at 8:49 AM
  18. Cathbad

    Cathbad Level 30 Geek Master

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    Curtains, by Agatha Christie. Most stunning ending to a fictional career... ever.
     
    Dec 10, 2017 at 9:47 AM
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  19. Toby Frost

    Toby Frost Well-Known Member

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    There's not many books that "stunned" me as such. Off the top of my head:

    The first two Gormenghast novels immersed me the way few books have since. I probably read them at just the right age (16), but the atmosphere and characterisation, along with Peake's style, were fascinating. I found Dune deeply engrossing for similar reasons.

    Neuromancer shocked me, perhaps for the wrong reasons. I remember getting a very bland version of it with a plain yellow cover out of the library when I was 12 or so, and SF involved nice people flying to new planets and perhaps zapping a few monsters. It was the first time I'd seen swearing, sex and drug use in an SF novel. That and the bewildering descriptions of cyberspace made it really puzzling.

    I wouldn't say "stunned", but 1984 and Orwell's other works were a real eye-opener, because for the first time I read literature that seemed to be for people like me. Up till then, most literature had seemed to involve the distant past, wealthy people being sensitive in Oxbridge, or the absolutely destitute: here was a guy going out of his way to sing the praises of normal life in my own country. His view was not just that being a normal person in suburban England was not just acceptable but praiseworthy, but that good prose came from honesty, not artifice. Sometimes, even now, those still feel like quite subversive things to say.
     
    Dec 10, 2017 at 10:26 AM
  20. dask

    dask dark and stormy knight

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    Always wanted to read this, now I really do.
     
    Dec 10, 2017 at 4:33 PM
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