October's Obdurate Observations Of Outstanding Ouevres

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GOLLUM

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A new month...a month of pure horror for some I hear?...;)

Please feel free to post what you are reading for this month.

I'll repost the last post on the September reading thread which was by me and intended to be here, so apologies for that.

...Another must-read is "The Lifted Veil" which is a short book (novella?) about a man who can read the thoughts of everyone ... except the woman he falls in love with. It's quite different from her other books.
Thanks to Rosemary and antiloquax for providing further insight into Eliot's other works. The Lifted Veil sounds interesting and not a work I was aware of. Works written by well known 'literary' identities who are not normally associated with speculative fiction that subsequently contain elements of the fantastic in them....well, that's precisely the kind of work that interests me, so thank you for that.

Anyway, speaking of well known authors the TV program First Tuesday Book Club is featuring Daphe Du Maurier's classic Rebecca. Now I thought this a good opportunity to reacquaint myself with this novel having recently purchased the excellent Hitchcock adaptation but then as often happens I spotted the other Du Maurier works I have in my library. Amongst them was The House On The Stand. I have never read this book before but it is described as a mix between time travel and horror and sounded quite interesting, it seems to be quite highly regarded...so I'm now making a start on this.

I wonder if J.D. or someone else here has read this particular Du Maurier work?

And on a completely different note I recently purchased the wonderful BBC (complete) series Private Life Of A Masterpiece. This features fascinating programs on many of the world's greatest art works from 15th Century Renaissance to the modern day. It features both an analysis of the work, the artist and its often surprising personal history leading up to the current location of these works. An additional program on sculptures is also featured. Excellent stuff.
 

HoopyFrood

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I'm still doing that stupid thing of getting halfway through a book and gradually running out of steam. I honestly can't remember the last time I finished a book now.

Anyway, as I said elsewhere, someone sent me Make Love! The Bruce Campbell Way as a very early birthday present and I've been making my through that. Unlike his last one, which was his autobiography/comments on film making, this is more a satirical novel with Bruce as the main character, researching a film role where he plays a guy who doles out relationship advice. So cue exploits involving the research into all kinds of areas, mixed with satire about the film industry. Sometimes the two don't seem to mix well and makes the book -- and Bruce's 'character' -- feel quite uneven. But it's fairly enjoyable. I preferred the autobiography, though.
 

Hypnos164

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Just got back from a great two week holiday - got a lot of reading done:

The Great:
Darkwar - Glen Cook

The Very Good:
Zoo City -Lauren Beukes
Dauntless (The Lost Fleet, #1) - Jack Campbell
The Briar King (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, #1) - Greg Keyes

The Good:
Stone - Adam Roberts
Disciple of the Dog - R. Scott Bakker
Kitty and the Silver Bullet (Kitty Norville, #4) - Carrie Vaughn
Slayground: A Parker Novel - Richard Stark
Hounded (Iron Druid Chronicles, #1) - Kevin Hearne
Hardcase (A Joe Kurtz Novel) - Dan Simmons
The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1) - Brandon Sanderson

The Disapointing:
The Departure - Neal Asher

Some thoughts about each up on Goodreads. Not reading anything right now due to being a bit "read out".
 

Allegra

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I'm still doing that stupid thing of getting halfway through a book and gradually running out of steam. I honestly can't remember the last time I finished a book now.

You are not alone, Hoopy. I do that quite often.:eek:

Just started reading Bill Bryson's The Mother Tongue, the first page almost got me on the floor. I have a feeling I won't running out of steam on this one - so far I haven't left any Bill Bryson unfinished, it's impossible!
 

dask

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My latest night lamp book, which I started last night, is THE SHAPE OF BOOKS TO COME by J. Donald Adams. This book came out in 1944 and my edition assures me that it was "produced in full compliance with all War Production Board conservation orders." Mr. Adams thesis is that the "untempered naturalism" that crept into American letters in the 1920s, with its emphasis on "man's disgust with man", "spiritual poverty", and "mood of negation" turned not just American novels but novels worldwide into a "literature of disillusionment and despair" Mr. Adams sums it up quite nicely with this: "Much of what we have mistaken for positive strength in the fiction of recent years has been merely brutality. It has been one more symptom of the sickness which possessed us --- an indication of weakness and confusion, not of strength. It will pass as surely as the brittle cleverness generated in the Twenties is already falling to pieces." This book is his assertion that "a new dawn" is breaking on literature, exposing "a new realism" that will "restore the dignity of the human spirit."

And this is just the Forward! It will be interesting to see how all this pans out. Needless to say I'm going to try hitting the sack a little earlier from now on.
 

Extollager

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I plan to read Fritz Leiber's "A Bit of the Dark World" this month, but that might be about it for me, as far as "horror" fiction is concerned. I do regard this story as an effective exercise of the Lovecraftian imagination.
 

Ursa major

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I've just finished reading Kraken by China Miéville.

The first paragraph (of an unnamed and unnumbered chapter, presumably a prologue):
The sea is full of saints. You know that? You know that: you're a big boy.
which isn't that helpful at determining what's about to happen (although it isn't off-topic either), but which does give a flavour of a lot of the text to come. (The language is sometimes of unusual construction, to the extent that a reader unfamiliar with the author's way with twisting language may simply think he's not wholly acquainted with the rules of grammar**. The author is also inventive with swearing, which he's not shy to show; so be warned.)


One way of thinking about Kraken is to see it as Bas-Lag meets King Rat. It's set in London, but a London that would be quite at home on Bas-Lag. While there isn't the unusual and open mix of biological species, the reader does get to see odd echoes of human life in New Crobuzon. And speaking of Bas-Lag, there were other echoes: the mixture of an apocalyptic plot with one about political activism, as is found in Iron Council. And that book also has one of the failings of Kraken: a continuous escalation of different sorts of magic and (as it's called in Kraken) knacking. But whereas in Iron Council, this tends to be in short bursts until near the end, an arms race of spell casting and weirdness permeates Kraken. Now while the author is very inventive, it often feels as if the plot is pulled this way and that simply to give opportunities for this inventiveness (rather than it serving the plot).

The above may give the impression that I didn't like the book. Actually, I did, but I think it would take a re-read or two for me to find any real point to it all (assuming that there is one). Basically, Kraken feels like a (dark) romp: very inventive, plenty of fun with action and words, but more entertainment than anything deeper.

(I only hope Miéville doesn't set Goss and Subby onto me....)



Now onto City of Hope and Despair by Ian Whates, Vol. II of his series, The City of a Hundred Rows.


** - Which, of course, he is.

.
 
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Wybren

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I have recently been put on to the works of Clive Barker, a friend loaned me "Abarat" and then I acquired "Abarat part 2" and have to wait till part 3 becomes less expensive in Australia. I am currently reading "Cabal" which I am enjoying. Not sure where to go from there though.
 

J-Sun

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Just a novella at the moment - The Six Directions of Space by Alastair Reynolds.

That was offputting to me at first, but I quickly got over it and it has a scene that needs to be cut, IMO, but, overall, that was a really good story and the scenario could be explored in quite a few more, too.
 

Fried Egg

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I'm half way through Robert Aickman's "Unsettled Dust" collection and have started reading an athology by Peter Haining: "The Magicians: The Occult in Fact and Fiction"
 

Connavar

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Im reading The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, a book i have wanted to read for few years. Hopefully the fact i have only two days to read wont get in the way of me taking time to enjoy the novel.
 

purple_kathryn

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Greater than the Sum a ST: TNG novel although I think I've read another series novel ahead in the timeline.

Very difficult to try and get all the series matched up time wise!
 

GOLLUM

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Im reading The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, a book i have wanted to read for few years. Hopefully the fact i have only two days to read wont get in the way of me taking time to enjoy the novel.
Wow! That's one of my all time favourites. A magnificent addition to the canon of 20th century literature.

I hope you enjoy it Conn but it is a shame that you have to rush it just a bit....:)

I have everything by Bulgakov that has been translated into English but by no means have I read it all yet. Another issue to address.

Nite.
 

Connavar

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Wow! That's one of my all time favourites. A magnificent addition to the canon of 20th century literature.

I hope you enjoy it Conn but it is a shame that you have to rush it just a bit....:)

I have everything by Bulgakov that has been translated into English but by no means have I read it all yet. Another issue to address.

Nite.

Two days is plenty of time when i can spend ten hours per day on reading it. I dont have anything else i must do. Its worse when i have many other things to do under the same week.

It was very different from page 1 that i think i can forget the time limit in its fiction world, language. It happened when i read Proust,Orwell,Hesse for the same modern novel course. Those books made me forget the time, space and was liking reading on my spare time :)
 
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