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RedEyedGhost

October 2017 - Ghosts and Monsters and Clowns!

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Haha, I'm in the middle of Straub's Shadowland. Enjoying it so far. I wouldn't call it scary, but the tension and creepy atmosphere has steadily been increasing.

I finished Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes on the 1st. Loved it.

I'm eager to jump into Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow next.

 

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I'm reading Anne Leckie's Provenance. So far it's reasonably good but I'm not finding it as compelling as the Ancillary trilogy (although it's interesting to see the reactions of non-Radchaii to the news of what happened in Ancillary Mercy).

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I'm reading STAGS by M.A. Bennett.

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September was a slow month for me, but I'm hoping to get a few things read in October.

So far I've managed to finish two books: Something Coming Through by Paul McAuley and Europe At Midnight by Dave Hutchinson.

I thought Something Coming Through was okay, but I'd slightly spoiled myself by reading the sequel (Into Everything) earlier in the year; I was about a third of the way into that before I realised it actually was a sequel.  The two stories aren't directly linked (though they both feature a few of the same characters), but I think Something Coming Through would have worked a lot better for me if it had been my first introduction to the universe.  I think Into Everything probably is the stronger work anyway, but reading out of order definitely didn't help.

Europe at Midnight, on the other hand, I liked a lot more than I was expecting to.  It's the second book in a (planned) tetralogy and I'd had mixed feelings about the first book (Europe in Autumn).  Most of the cast of this book are new, and the timeline actually overlaps with the prior book,  but some of the plot points that were only revealed towards the end of Europe in Autumn are centre stage in this one and I think work a lot better as a result.

I'm now reading Adam Robert's Twenty Trillion Leagues Under The Sea but it's all a bit bleak to be honest and I'm not sure whether I'll finish.

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Looks like I was still post-viral and didn't realise I posted this in the September thread on October 5th! So now it is in the right place. :)

 

I read 2017 Booker prize short lister History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund. I enjoyed the back and forth weave of the different timelines, I think that was very well designed and articulated. The protagonist was very well realised, very genuine. But ultimately I didn't find the story as fulfilling as I wanted it to be. It just didn't satisfy me completely. Definitely worth reading but I wanted a bit more. 

I completed a Tanith Lee collection - The Weird Tales of Tanith Lee, i.e. it's all of her shorts which were published in Weird Tales. As I think I mentioned in here previously, whilst I love, love, love her style and choice of subject I find that reading a lot of the shorts together kind of diluted the whole. So it worked better for me to break them up by reading other things in between. 

Whilst bedridden with con crud this week I read a couple of spooky tales - Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill (my first of his books) and Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay. I thought the latter was fantastic. I think I would read anything by Paul Tremblay, I just find the tone and the protagonists to be very genuine, never a bum note or a stumble - it keeps me right there in the thick of the story.

Finally, realising that I'd sort of accidentally read two of the Booker prize short listed novels I figured I'd have a crack at reading them all before the winner is announced. So the last book I completed was Elmet by Fiona Mozley. HOLY CRAP WHAT A BEAUTIFUL BOOK. Incredible juxtaposition between tenderness and violence, harshness and sentiment. So good, so precious, I wanted to cradle it in my hands like a fledgling bird.

Now I've started Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, kind of bizarre in terms of form... it doesn't seem very long either. No idea how I'm going to feel about it by the end. I'm 15% through it but I'm wondering how it is going to draw me further in because I'm feeling ambivalent about it so far.

I think I'll probably manage this and the Ali Smith but the Paul Auster entry is nearly as long as LOTR! Not sure whether to even try it.

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4 hours ago, Plessiez said:

Europe at Midnight, on the other hand, I liked a lot more than I was expecting to.  It's the second book in a (planned) tetralogy and I'd had mixed feelings about the first book (Europe in Autumn).  Most of the cast of this book are new, and the timeline actually overlaps with the prior book,  but some of the plot points that were only revealed towards the end of Europe in Autumn are centre stage in this one and I think work a lot better as a result.

That good to know, I think Europe in Autumn would have worked better if I'd known earlier what the story was really about. I'll probably pick up Europe at Midnight at some point, although there seem to be quite a few books coming out soon that I might want to buy.

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Just finished Ex Communication. Enjoy the ex-heroes series by Peter Cline. Fun popcorn.

Now onto The Great Ordeal.

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On 10/5/2017 at 1:33 PM, williamjm said:

I'm reading Anne Leckie's Provenance. So far it's reasonably good but I'm not finding it as compelling as the Ancillary trilogy (although it's interesting to see the reactions of non-Radchaii to the news of what happened in Ancillary Mercy).

Good to know.  I just (finally) finished Raven Stratagem and it was wonderful.  It didn't have the rocky start that Ninefox suffered with.  I'm torn between starting Provenance and doing a reread on NineFox.   

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2 hours ago, Lily Valley said:

Good to know.  I just (finally) finished Raven Stratagem and it was wonderful.  It didn't have the rocky start that Ninefox suffered with.  I'm torn between starting Provenance and doing a reread on NineFox.   

Coincidentally, I've just finished Provenance, and my opinion hasn't really changed from my earlier comment. It's a likeable book that has a much lighter tone than the Ancillary books and verges on being comedic at times, it did remind me a bit of some of Lois McMaster Bujold's work, it's got a similar tone to something like A Civil Campaign. It feels a bit slight compared to something like Ancillary Justice but it is an entertaining read. I did like meeting one of the Universe's other alien races in the form of the Geck.

I agree The Raven Stratagem was excellent.

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Enjoyed Peter Straub's Shadowland. I was unsure halfway through the novel when there was a sharp transition and it became more fantastical(some really cool, creepy imagery) but it worked well after that transition. It was really more of a dark fantasy than actual horror.

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I'm reading Philip Reeve's Railhead.  Enjoying it so far. Only 12% in...

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Finished Provenance and I'll agree with williamjm's assessment that it was lighter fare than the ancillary series.  I was annoyed that one central cultural mystery wasn't cleared up.  On to The Traitor Baru Cormorant.  I've been meaning to get to that for some time.

(I don't want to HEAR IT @Darth Richard II )

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52 minutes ago, Lily Valley said:

On to The Traitor Baru Cormorant.  I've been meaning to get to that for some time.

My deepest condolences.

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1 hour ago, RedEyedGhost said:

My deepest condolences.

Did everyone hate this book?

I also got Sarah Gailey's River of teeth novellas for $3.99 / each.  MAN EATING HIPPOS!!!!

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53 minutes ago, Lily Valley said:

Did everyone hate this book?

I also got Sarah Gailey's River of teeth novellas for $3.99 / each.  MAN EATING HIPPOS!!!!

Wait, do I agree with REG on something?

Truly these are dark times...

But it's a very divisive book that people have strong opinions on both ways.

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I think I hated it more than you.  It's too bad the thread on it got lost in a forum upgrade.  I think there was one person trying (halfheartedly) to defend it, but everybody else was roasting it.

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8 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

That's a lot of hate.

As much hate as I had for the Palmer?  I'll probably love it.

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7 minutes ago, Lily Valley said:

As much hate as I had for the Palmer?  I'll probably love it.

I dunno, how offensive did you find Palmer? I know you hated it, but without spoiling I found the depiction of LGBT people in Baru very disturbing. Once you've read it Foz Meadows has a great write up on it.

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