2017 Reads - Your Best and Worst

  1. dask

    dask dark and stormy knight

    Nov 1, 2008
    Pacific Northwest
    I really liked the Doc Smith. Still gritted my teeth through half the dialog but something about it was captivating in a way I can't explain.
    Jan 14, 2018 at 1:27 AM
    J-Sun likes this.
  2. J-Sun


    Oct 23, 2008
    Yeah, I think I know what you mean. I actually don't have as big a problem with the dialog in general as some folks do but I still understand why it is problematic and, specifically, he does stick on certain phrases he uses over and over which produce some teeth-gritting and/or eye-rolling for me but, boy, is he not shy about thinking big and having fun and excitement. Wide open and pedal to the metal. :)
    Jan 14, 2018 at 1:34 AM
    dask likes this.
  3. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010

    I had overlooked that question. It's irresistible.

    Highest recommendation for Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin. I might have posted too much about it at the thread on it that I started months ago.

    Second possibility: can you get hold of Twice Lost or something else by Phyllis Paul? Don't spend more than a few bucks, in case you would be disappointed. Interlibrary loan? If your ILL can supply A Little Treachery or The Lion of Cooling Bay -- ?
    Jan 15, 2018 at 4:01 PM
  4. Bick

    Bick A Member of the Forum

    Jul 26, 2012
    Auckland, NZ
    Oh, go on then, I'll give it a go. I've certainly seen you put it up in lights on these boards and have wondered about it. I was probably put off, until now, by an incorrect assumption I made based on nothing at all; I assumed it was at least 800 pages, such books often being so, but I see its actually under 400 pp, which is less of an undertaking. I shall have to get it at some stage now.
    Jan 16, 2018 at 3:39 AM
  5. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    No, Bick, Laurus isn't one of those 800-page fantasy novels ("First in an epic series!"). I hope you can get to it.
    Jan 16, 2018 at 2:25 PM
  6. soulsinging

    soulsinging the dude abides

    Oct 23, 2008
    A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens - Strangely addictive with an air of menace throughout, this might be my fav novel of his and was a big part of me capitulating to my wife on planning a vacation to the French countryside later that year (a good decision!). Also spurred me to tackle..
    The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexander Dumas - As I said then, they don't write them like this anymore. Huge, epic and compelling even when the romanticism bleeds into soap opera, it was an experience.
    Gathering, Brian Turner - I've fallen out with fantasy lately as it is becoming overly obsessed with never-ending doorstoppers, sadistic pessimism, and/or neurotically detailed "world-building" ("word padding"). This took me back to a time of fun fantasy, with characters you like and root for, a plot that keeps moving, and an engaging mystery at its heart. Curious to see where future installments go.
    Canticle for Leibowitz, John Miller - I'm still turning the ending and message of this one over in my mind. Some very thought-provoking issues here... is there value in saving knowledge you don't understand? Can we learn from our mistakes or will human shortcomings inevitably drive us to conflict? How do we respond when we get a peak behind the curtain and realize the institutions in which we place our faith/confidence are, in the end, built of imperfect humans and frighteningly frail?
    Robot series, Isaac Asimov - I tackled I, Robot and the first two novels and really enjoyed them. The puzzles of I, Robot are fascinating in their exploration of how our attempts to control/design AI seemed destined to have unexpected consequences, and the notion of a world where people never interact physically due to technology seems scarily prescient.

    Revenge of the Sith, Matt Stover - Not really disappointing, because it's entertaining as SW books go. But it offered just enough of a glimpse of how compelling Anakin's story COULD be if it weren't hamstrung by Lucas's commitment to making the prequels a bizarre, poorly executed, and shallow socio-political commentary.
    Broken Glass, Alain Mabanckou - Part of my French lit kick, it's rambling, unedited style was initially entertaining but in the end it doesn't really go anywhere and its humor never evolves past the juvenile.
    The Plague, Albert Camus - Nothing really wrong with it, but for whatever reason Camus leaves me cold. More so than many authors, he seems to build his philosophical argument first and fit the rest of the book around it, and his existential views make the subsequent plot/characters lack urgency for me. I was similarly underwhelmed by The Stranger. Then again, I still think about it and may wind up reading it again one day.
    Jan 17, 2018 at 6:07 PM
    Brian G Turner likes this.

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