October's Obdurate Observations Of Outstanding Ouevres

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Extollager

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I think one of the things which is being overlooked here is his comment about the train, and the effect he feels during that ride (either way). It is as if she has been waiting for him to come within a "sphere of influence" in order to reawaken the little boy who was so in love with her. At that point, all the emotional connections he has developed in the intervening years simply cease to be; it is as if they never were on an emotional level, which makes this a most unusual form of haunting, as well as one with, to me, a high degree of poignancy blended with the horrific situation I just mentioned.

It feels to me like I sense what Bradbury was aiming for, a sense of loss and grief and horror. But I'm not prepared to take the intention for the actual accomplishment, in reading it this time.

I suspect that Lovecraft benefits from the same kind of reader attitude, by the way. He is often credited with accomplishing what he only aimed at. But I've said that before!
 

Allegra

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Currently hooked on Dexter Is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay, the fifth Dexter series. The dark humour is just as refreshing as the TV series, and the best thing about the books, apart from the unusually good writing, is that the plots are different from the TV shows except the first one, which makes the books a lot more interesting.
 

Extollager

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That is much to read in a minor story compared to the other stories in the collection. What did you think of the actual story ? Good ? Weak ? Weird,suspenseful enough ?

I like the story as weird southern story kind, the way Bradbury wrote them. The Jar itself kept me interested but i must say i almost forgot about the story when i read the stories after it in the collection.

It works for me as an old-time-radio-type shocker, definitely including the concluding horror-twist. It comes across to me as an exercise in writing within a genre. My "reading" of it as an ironic near-satire of horror writing is offered with a grain of salt.
 

Connavar

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It works for me as an old-time-radio-type shocker, definitely including the concluding horror-twist. It comes across to me as an exercise in writing within a genre. My "reading" of it as an ironic near-satire of horror writing is offered with a grain of salt.

I meant more like i was impressed of your reading because it was a fun, interesting take on the story.
 

Extollager

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I meant more like i was impressed of your reading because it was a fun, interesting take on the story.

Thank you! One of these days soon I mean to write a "reading" of Leiber's "A Bit of the Dark World" that might stir some controversy!
 

AE35Unit

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Currently hooked on Dexter Is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay, the fifth Dexter series. The dark humour is just as refreshing as the TV series, and the best thing about the books, apart from the unusually good writing, is that the plots are different from the TV shows except the first one, which makes the books a lot more interesting.

Oh I just recently discovered Dexter on TV, upto season 2 so far!
 

purple_kathryn

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The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction volume 2

Another forced lend, I think he wanted me to read one of the short stories in it but I can't remember what.
 

Extollager

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cemetery,dog,leaves,red-3fba13c595e5fa67904347085820a51e_m.jpg

"The Emissary" in Bradbury's The October Country is a good story. One thing I like about it is its dependence on the mystery of our animals. They are our intimates and yet they "live in their own world." Bradbury generally presents Dog as an agent who brings to the homebound boy some contact with "the world" -- the physical world that they share, but to which Martin has impaired access. However, I, at least, found myself thinking of two things -- (1) the way a pet may have access to places I normally wouldn't and (2) the radical difference between my inner world and my pet's inner world.

(1) Most of our cats are indoorsies. Recently, an indoor-outdoor cat of ours had to be put down (feline leukemia) after a long life. Well, my son and I used to wonder what we would see if somehow a tiny camera could accompany her on her roamings -- sometimes my son and I used to encounter her along the river quite some distance from home. Where'd she go? What'd she do? We could only guess.

(2) Surely most pet owners do sometimes wonder "what they're thinking," to put it casually. What is that animal's consciousness -- truly unimaginable to us?

I admit that some of this is pretty tangential to the story Bradbury actually wrote.

The dog in the story does, though, move between worlds in the sense of the world of the living and the world of the dead. I think Bradbury was smart not to give the dog a name other than Dog, which perhaps preserves a little more of its identity than if it had been named Rover or Fido, etc.

One could think a little more about how Dog is definitely a dog, not a furry "human," in that, for Dog, there's no horror in what he brings, at last, to Martin. Dog presumably has no conception of a difference between "alive" and "dead" -- so important to us.
 

Extollager

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The next story in The October Country is one of my favorites in the book, "Touched by Fire." Two retired insurance men spy on people who have become victims-waiting-to-happen and seek to warn them, especially when they are at especially high risk due to the actuarial danger of hot and humid conditions.

Bradbury's from Illinois, and I well remember, from my four years in Urbana, Illinois, those steamy days and nights. Indeed I suspect that what happened with HAL in 2001: A Space Oydssey is that his programming was messed up by human error caused by the impact of hot, humid weather on the scientists who made him. You just thought the movie makers were mentioning Urbana as a bit of authenticity? No, I'm sure they meant you to think of the punishing days of sultry confinement that people there undergo... and the way that the mind can be affected...

Seriously, though, the story has some neat evocations of oppressive summer weather. Who but Bradbury would've made an exercise in suspense and the macabre out of that?
 

Connavar

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Man it sucks that the best sounding stories from October Country you mention was in not in my library version of the book. Feel cheated once again :p
 

Extollager

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Man it sucks that the best sounding stories from October Country you mention was in not in my library version of the book. Feel cheated once again :p


!!!

I didn't realize that there were such variants of this title.

Bummer.
 

purple_kathryn

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Meh not sure why I desperately had to read the short story science fiction book. presumably because of the story in it by Eric Brown but i don't see that as being some kind of Kethani prequel.

Next up a bit o Trek with the core of engineers and "the art of the comeback".

As they only tend to be a few pages long I will also probably be starting "and another thing" by Eoin Colfer
 

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I've finished Teresa's Goblin Moon. I hope to do a full review on my blog (when I get my blog...) which I'll copy here in Reviews, but meantime if anyone's wondering about it -- it's based on mid to late 18th century European society with all its absurdities, and in tone is a cross between Sheridan's The Rivals and Fanny Burney's Evelina, but with more magic and alchemy. And dead bodies. And dwarves. No Mrs Malaprop, alas.
 

slack

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Kind of bouncing back and forth between some of Carver's short stories, Carroll's Basketball Diaries, and Denis Johnson's Resuscitation of a Hanged Man. Finished that one, actually, and I don't know, I was just bored by the end of it. Johnson can write the pants off anybody, but a couple of the novels I've finished by him just leave me feeling like I need a drink.

So, going back to a classic now, just cause I want to be in good hands -- Orwell's 1984.
 

J-Sun

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Read Farmer's The Green Odyssey. This posits a galaxy settled by an ancient and now defunct human civilization, of which Terra and other planets were colonies. A Terran spaceman, stranded on a barbaric planet, has no hope of rescue and struggles to make his way in the world. Then he hears that a spaceship has appeared and, with hope reignited, struggles to make his way to it. It's a cleanly written quest adventure and fun, though with a relatively vague protagonist and not as much weight or mythic resonance as might be expected from the title. I gather this is supposed to be a classic and one of the landmark contributions to "planetary romance". If it's supposed to be all that, it may well be overrated and some might find it disappointing. But I'd recommend it as a fun read.
 

dask

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I remember liking it but not much else except some exotic mode of travel like ships on wheels or through the air along cables. I might be confusing two books.:eek:
 

J-Sun

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Nope, you've got it: ships on wheels. There were also moving "islands" in the "ocean" of grass. :)

Speaking of confusing two books, though, about all I remember about Hyperion was that I didn't like it (and the Shrike) but wasn't there something about them having some kind of exotic mode of travel over high grassy fields, too? (In TGO, it was mostly well-trimmed grass, but still...) It did keep reminding me of something else, anyway.
 

j d worthington

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Moorcock has also used something similar in both his Elric novel, The Revenge of the Rose and the John Daker novel, The Dragon in the Sword....
 
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