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Fingers of a Martyr

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Books...
March 18, 2005, 03:42:07 pm
After having read Brave New World and 1984 in three days i am now thoroughly depressed :( Poor old Winston Smith :cry:, lol.

On the other hand i thought they are both brilliant.

Anyone else got any good reccomendations/favourites?

I Am Legend, The Long Walk and The Divine Comedy are all very good as well imho.

webbo

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#1 Books...
March 18, 2005, 03:55:37 pm
i'm a big fan of geordie lass gets knocked up by the lord of the manor.then thrown out on the street but it turns out alright in the end.by catherine cookson x50million.



 :oops:

Bobling

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#2 Books...
March 18, 2005, 04:42:43 pm
"South" by Alfred Lansing is good as is "The Worst Journey in the World" by Aspley Cherry-Garrard.  Both a bit chilly though.  On a sci-fi tip Peter F Hamilton's "Reality Dysfunction" is great (though the other two in the series are a bit crap), "Vurt" is great (Jeff Noon), William Gibson's works are great.  And all the Sci-Fi masterworks series are pretty good.

Might be a welcome change from  "a jackboot stamping over and over on a human face"....

moose

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#3 Books...
March 18, 2005, 05:09:41 pm
Vurt is probably my favourite sci-fi book: lyrical prose, a great sense of place (a remixed Manchester) and a real feeling of poignancy, unusual for the genre.  I would avoid the follow-up (Pollen) though, personally found it to be an utterly unreadable experiment with language at the complete expense of clarity and plot.

The only other sci-fi authors  I've been able to read since I was 15 (without feeling faintly ashamed of myself anyway!) are William Gibson and Iain M Banks.  Re the former, his debut, Neuromancer, is possibly still his best, though I really liked his most recent effort, Pattern Recognition (though it's not really sci-fi  - set now'ish).  Re the latter - Consider Phlebus or The Player of Games are good introductions to "the culture" (Excession and The Use of Weapons are also pretty damn fine).

Off the sci-fi, the best new'ish book I've read for years is probably Cloudwritten by David Mitchell - several interwoven stories set mainly in the far east.  Clever and great fun - it absolutely flew by (which surprised me as I normally find Booker prize type stuff to be a bit onerous).   You also get to painlessly learn a bit about Japan, and China's cultural revolution along the way... which is nice.

All time classic recommendation: The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald.  Just staggeringly beautifuly written - and the only one of his books where I had any sympathy whatsoever for one of his characters (as far as I can tell the rest of his stuff revolves around wealthy, unpleasant types who are drunks as an alternative to working - rather than because of it).

dave

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#4 Books...
March 18, 2005, 05:24:19 pm
The best book i ever read is the 1989 Stanage guide.

Bubba

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#5 Books...
March 18, 2005, 05:35:22 pm
Quote from: "moose"
Vurt is probably my favourite sci-fi book: lyrical prose, a great sense of place (a remixed Manchester) and a real feeling of poignancy, unusual for the genre.  I would avoid the follow-up (Pollen) though, personally found it to be an utterly unreadable experiment with language at the complete expense of clarity and plot.


I really liked both Vurt and Pollen - well worth reading.

moose

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#6 Books...
March 18, 2005, 05:50:21 pm
Quote from: "Bubba"

I really liked both Vurt and Pollen - well worth reading.


well everyone's agreed that Vurt's ace! Re Pollen: I tried, I really did try... just found it more effort than I suspect it's worth.  Quite liked the short story collection, Pixel Juice, though.

I am Das Uberdog.....

Bobling

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#7 Books...
March 18, 2005, 06:08:01 pm
I did feel Pollen was a bit of a let down too as was the next one (dice on the cover can't remember the title) .  Oh yeah the other Sci-fi masterworks ones I couldn't think of earlier was "Flowers for Algernon".

Rhys

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#8 Books...
March 23, 2005, 12:12:12 pm
If you liked 1984 why not read 'We' by Yvgeni Zamyatkin- Orwell pretty much lifted wholescale from this for 1984, its more of a diary with a bleaker ending.

the_dom

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#9 Books...
March 23, 2005, 12:35:53 pm
Quote from: "moose"
All time classic recommendation: The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald.  Just staggeringly beautifuly written - and the only one of his books where I had any sympathy whatsoever for one of his characters (as far as I can tell the rest of his stuff revolves around wealthy, unpleasant types who are drunks as an alternative to working - rather than because of it).


Word to that - an amazing piece of writing.

Bubba - I hated Pollen. I just couldn't read it. The only other author who's made me react that way was Milan Kundera. Normally I can finish a book, even if I'm not into it.

I can recommend anything by:
- Carl Hiaasen
- Kinky Friedman
- Hemingway (esp Old Man and The Sea, and Farewell to Arms)
- Garcia Marquez (esp Love in a Time of Cholera)
- Hunter S Thompson (esp Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Great Shark Hunt)

Obi-Wan is lost...

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#10 Books...
March 23, 2005, 04:16:39 pm
I'm not really into sci-fi but I really enjoyed the books by Michael Marshall Smith. Spares was the first I read and is still probably my favorite. One of Us is also good. Recently read his stuff written as Michael Marshall like The Straw Men and The Lonely Dead quite a lot darker, and not as comic. I prefer the comic stuff (still dark as night but funny with it). Reviews compare him to William Gibson, but I couldn't say as I have been meaning to get around to reading some Gibson for about 10 years.
Spares takes you to some strange dark places, the walk to the Secret Garden will never be the same again. :shock:

Johnny Brown

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#11 Books...
March 23, 2005, 04:28:54 pm
Quote
The best book i ever read is the 1989 Stanage guide.


That's what I thought until I got the 1997 Lleyn guide. You owe it to yourself...

jonas

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#12 Books...
March 23, 2005, 04:39:46 pm
If you like to get depressed by reading about people oppressed by tyranny (as in 1984) I will recommend:

1) The Kolyma Tales, by Varlam Shalamov

2) One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn (his autobio. The Oak and the Calf) is also well worth reading

3) Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

That will give you the proper bleak outlook on life and human nature.

Duma

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#13 Books...
March 23, 2005, 05:14:13 pm
Quote
Off the sci-fi, the best new'ish book I've read for years is probably Cloudwritten by David Mitchell - several interwoven stories set mainly in the far east.  Clever and great fun - it absolutely flew by (which surprised me as I normally find Booker prize type stuff to be a bit onerous).   You also get to painlessly learn a bit about Japan, and China's cultural revolution along the way... which is nice.


think you mean 'Cloud Atlas' which I agree is rather fine. Last thing I really enjoyed was 'The Poisonwood Bible' by Barbara Kingsolver - set in congo round the revolution. Mostly bout girls an emotions and stuff so suprised I liked it so much...

Duma

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#14 Books...
March 24, 2005, 09:51:27 am
Loved Vurt, didn't rate Pollen. His other book Automated Alice wasn't too good either. As for other sci-fi I can't beleive Philip K Dick has not been mentioned, he is the ultimate crazed genious. Kurt Vonegut and Ursula La Guin are also good.
 Got bought the Philip Pullman - Dark Materials series for christmas the other year. Read it, it's great.

Bubba

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#15 Books...
March 24, 2005, 09:58:29 am
I quite liked Automated Alice too.....looks like I'm a Noon fan I gues.

clm

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#16 Books...
March 24, 2005, 04:09:14 pm
orhan pamuk writes good uns.
id say thebookseller of kabul too but its in richard and judys book club so ill keep my mouth shut.
patrick suskind is good too, and angela carter.
read a dostoyevsky too this summer (look at me) good but i dont know why i seem surprised.

cofe

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#17 Books...
March 24, 2005, 11:10:14 pm
reckon you'll like american psycho FOAM. disregard the abysmal film.

Moo

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#18 Books...
April 01, 2005, 03:48:51 pm
American phsyco is good, hte bear and the dragon by tom clancy is the biggest book I ever managed to read, and I'm currently half way thorugh heart of darkenss the book that inspired apocalypse now, its harder to stick with but still good.

Falling Down

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#19 Books...
April 01, 2005, 04:47:38 pm
I'm reading GB84 by David Peace.  His fictional account of the miners strike..

I can't recomend his Red Riding Quartet (1974, 1977, 1980, 1983) highly enough, kind of like James Ellroy exported to a dark, dismal Leeds.  All morally ambigous characters, alkie journo's and corrupt coppers against the horrific backdrop of the Ripper murders.. I've read plenty of dark books but these are so bleak and visceral...

Anyway, GB84 starts bleak and gets darker - quality stuff.

On a Sci-Fi tip, M John Harrison's  (yes, the guy who wrote The Climbers) Light is really, really good.

moose

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#20 Books...
April 01, 2005, 05:39:56 pm
Quote from: "the_dom"

I can recommend anything by:
- Carl Hiaasen
- Kinky Friedman
- Hemingway (esp Old Man and The Sea, and Farewell to Arms)
- Garcia Marquez (esp Love in a Time of Cholera)
- Hunter S Thompson (esp Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Great Shark Hunt)


Too right... Hiaasen and Hemingway are proper bo'.  Fear and Loathing is a fantastic read too - one that's fuelled many a dissipated weekend.  

Be warned though - a lot of Hunter S's stuff is basically political journalism.  Unless you have an exhaustive knowledge of members of the Nixon administration a lot of his stuff will probably be lost on you (it was on me).

 Never really got Marquez tho' - read "one hundred years of solitude" and spent most of my time muttering "fer fucks sake" under my breath.  Maybe I'm just not a magical-realism type of person  (although those who have seen my ticklist might disagree).

Big recommendation:  English Passengers by Matthew Kneale.  Fantastic - C18 set tale of (amongst other things) a smuggler's voyage to Tasmania and the early settlement of the place.  Skips from proper funny comedy to man's-inhumanity-to-his-fellow-man without missing a beat.

a dense loner

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#21 Books...
April 01, 2005, 08:41:06 pm
"shackleton's forgotten men" by lennard bickel, real account of the race to cross the south pole from another point of view
if u like to get a bit of latin for your money "in the name of the rose" is class, forgot by who, momentery lapse just keep thinkin of udo newman
for a pretty light hearted read a chapter at a time book, bill bryson's "a short history of nearly everything"
anything by terry pratchett

Bonjoy

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#22 Books...
April 02, 2005, 08:45:38 am
I'd have to second Dense on the SHNE thing. Not usually a huge fan of Bryson but thought that one was brilliant. More stupidly incredible facts than you can shake a pleisiosaur at.

casa

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#23 Books...
April 05, 2005, 12:14:54 pm
Requiem for a Dream-Hubert Selby, awesome story. In fact anything by this guy (i seem to remember a book called somethin like The Room to be quite disturbing)
Sci-fi- Stephen Donaldson not that bad
Anything by Terry Pratchet is a screem
Also anything by Tom Holt
And all PG Wodehouse stuff

a dense loner

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#24 Books...
April 05, 2005, 12:33:35 pm
keep meaning to get some tom holt but never do. must try harder

 

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