Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

mashiara

March 2012 Reads

211 posts in this topic

About a quarter of the way through Kraken. Just keep thinking wtf over and over. Good, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some people I know here in Ohio were reading Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock, so I thought to join them. It's a semi-fictonal collection of loosely connected short stories set in trashy little hamlet in southern Ohio, where no one seems to be gainfully employed, and everyone has a drug or other addiction. Some of the stories are kind of heart breaking, they're all dark and grimy in some way. Occasionally, there's a flash of loyalty or higher human emotions. I find it hard to believe such a hellhole exists. But very well written.

I just finished Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed. It's quite a simple story, at essense. There's something very young-adult feeling about the worldbuilding and plot, and it's not clear this is intentional. It's fine, if you like sword and sorcery, but underwhelming, not really bringing anything new to the table.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed. It's quite a simple story, at essense. There's something very young-adult feeling about the worldbuilding and plot, and it's not clear this is intentional. It's fine, if you like sword and sorcery, but underwhelming, not really bringing anything new to the table.

I hear you. I kept stopping and wondering what the hell I'd gotten. Seemed so kiddie, until it got violent. Stylistically, the writing, reminded me of my own as a teenager. But I kept trying, cause hey, ghouls. Always found those things creepy. I dropped it as soon as Kearney's Kings of Morning auto-delivered to my iPad though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lost a bet, did you?

No, doing it For Science. I'm considering posting a chapter by chapter review/spork of it here. Not as funny as Ted Rockson, but nearly as painful! :commie:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read the Spire by the William Golding. I'll probably have to re-read this eventually as I read it in small pieces and I feel I missed too much. I enjoyed the last third.

Next I read the World of Null-A and the Transfinite collection by van Vogt. I've now read two novels and two collections by him, and based on the meager sample size, I'd say he's much stronger in the short form. Null-A had interesting aspects in it but Gosseyn was far too much a pawn for the novel to be really grabbing. Transfinite I enjoyed very much. I like his style.

I also read the Caves of Steel and the Naked Sun by Asimov. Light, very enjoyable reading. I think I'll look up the third novel sooner than I expected to do so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished Unseen Academicals. Definitely liked the second half better than the first, ended up getting pretty into it. Made me miss the long ago far away days when I played soccer. :)

Next up: Kraken by China Miéville. I have literally NO idea what to expect, so it should be interesting.

Is Unseen Academicals gonna be Terry Pratchet's last book, because of his increasing illness? I've got myself up to "Pyramids" and eventually gave up after this book. Every separate book in Discworld series is hilarious and well written, but when you read them in succession, they are becoming a bit repetitive (of cause each time it's a new country/scenery/time span, but overall after "Wyrd sisters" it's started being familiar). Should I give this one a chance?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is Unseen Academicals gonna be Terry Pratchet's last book, because of his increasing illness? I've got myself up to "Pyramids" and eventually gave up after this book. Every separate book in Discworld series is hilarious and well written, but when you read them in succession, they are becoming a bit repetitive (of cause each time it's a new country/scenery/time span, but overall after "Wyrd sisters" it's started being familiar). Should I give this one a chance?

You should read Hogfather. And Night Watch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should read Hogfather. And Night Watch.

Night watch... is it the one where they have a dragon gone loose in the streets? That was a good one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is Unseen Academicals gonna be Terry Pratchet's last book, because of his increasing illness? I've got myself up to "Pyramids" and eventually gave up after this book. Every separate book in Discworld series is hilarious and well written, but when you read them in succession, they are becoming a bit repetitive (of cause each time it's a new country/scenery/time span, but overall after "Wyrd sisters" it's started being familiar). Should I give this one a chance?

I hope it won't be his last, but I don't know if he's said. I believe he's planning on writing until he can't.

Agree that reading them in succession is not the best way. They stand alone so well, I'd recommend going on to something else and revisiting Discworld when you have a hankering. I've been reading his books off and on for over a decade and I still have new ones to discover. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given that Terry Pratchett has released two books since Unseen Academicals (Snuff and I Shall Wear Midnight) and has two more due this year (one kid's book, Dodger, one co-authored with Stephen Baxter, The Long Earth, neither Discworld) I can say with utmost confidence that it's not his last book.

@ Rattlehead, there's no reason why you should read Pratchett in order - the first few are the weakest. But you are getting to the part where he starts to really find his feet. That said, I wouldn't recommend reading loads in a row anyway: as you say, there are definite repeating patterns that probably get more noticable if you don't take breaks between, though as I say he gets a bit more confident as he goes on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished American Gods by Gaiman a few days ago, starting The Darkness that Comes Before by Bakker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I hope it won't be his last, but I don't know if he's said. I believe he's planning on writing until he can't. Agree that reading them in succession is not the best way. They stand alone so well, I'd recommend going on to something else and revisiting Discworld when you have a hankering. I've been reading his books off and on for over a decade and I still have new ones to discover. :)

Thank you! I'll see to it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Given that Terry Pratchett has released two books since Unseen Academicals (Snuff and I Shall Wear Midnight) and has two more due this year (one kid's book, Dodger, one co-authored with Stephen Baxter, The Long Earth, neither Discworld) I can say with utmost confidence that it's not his last book. @ Rattlehead, there's no reason why you should read Pratchett in order - the first few are the weakest. But you are getting to the part where he starts to really find his feet. That said, I wouldn't recommend reading loads in a row anyway: as you say, there are definite repeating patterns that probably get more noticable if you don't take breaks between, though as I say he gets a bit more confident as he goes on.

Actualy I enjoyed "The color of Magic", "Pyramids" and some others, but maybe I realy should give it another try later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should read Hogfather. And Night Watch.

I swear I am the only one in the world that ranks Hogfather among the weaker entries. I am rereading it soon to see if it gets better over time. It has been a while.

edit: Oh, and I finished a reread of Practical Demonkeeping, Forgot how short Moore's early books were.

Now I once again don't know. More trash fiction or something deeper? Ill decide before work tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished reading The Hunger Games and The Girl with the Dragon tatoo.

Im currently reading Atonement by Ian M. I was initially interested in it after seeing keira knightly's cover on the book,but after going on wiki and seeing that the author's actually supposed to be really good,i decided to buy it.

Finished part 1(roughly 180 pages),so far so good.

Btw those who are thinking of buying "white tiger",dont.Its a highly depressing book with some really disgusting moments and the main protagonist really screws up in the end(you will end up hating him rather than sympathising with him).I know its meant to be a "wake-up" call to Indians,but there's a limit to the dark stuff..

IMO,chetan bhagat does it in a much more eloquent manner in the book "3 mistakes of my life"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed. It's quite a simple story, at essense. There's something very young-adult feeling about the worldbuilding and plot, and it's not clear this is intentional. It's fine, if you like sword and sorcery, but underwhelming, not really bringing anything new to the table.

Me three, (i've got a bit to go yet though.) The main character is fairly interesting, which is the saving grace of the book, but it's a long strech from a character piece and otherwise both the plot and the worldbuilding are a bit thin. I think it kind of aspires to have a very urban, city-as-character vibe too, and it's really not hitting it for some reason, despite valiant efforts. It's a pretty good slightly YA sword and scorcery popcorn sort of book, but not anything more.

I can't help but think a lot of the hype came from the Middle Eastern setting, and I may be casting a jaundiced eye on that for my own reasons, but thats still not really enough, y'know? I keep nitpicking. Who is the Khalif actually Khalifing? Why is he 'the Khalif' if theres no mention of a prophet or a similarly important temporal figure that he's actually filling in for? It's not bad, per say, it's not like European culture doesn't get similarly hodgepodged for shoddy fantasy worldbuilding, it's just that it's still a bit shoddy even if it's un-European worldbuilding. All these bedouin sayings and 'khalifs' and 'dervishes' and so on just don't add up to any genuine sense-of-place somehow, Middle Eastern or anywhere else.

ETA - Oh, I have to say this - I loathe the weird thing they did with turning arabic letters upside down and back to front and so on on the map. I spent like half an hour staring at it in confusion.

ETA2 - before someone nitpicks me, I checked and the term Khalif apparently is more like being a member in a chain of moral/religeous authority (rather than merely a political sovreign) stretching back to Muhammad, rather than literally 'filling in', so I guess it's possible the Khalif here has a similar sort of role without necessarily having that antecendent, but it still feels thin to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I swear I am the only one in the world that ranks Hogfather among the weaker entries. I am rereading it soon to see if it gets better over time. It has been a while.

edit: Oh, and I finished a reread of Practical Demonkeeping, Forgot how short Moore's early books were.

Now I once again don't know. More trash fiction or something deeper? Ill decide before work tomorrow.

how did practical demonkeeping hold up to the reread, SJ?? i've always claimed it was my fave besides for lamb and was thinking of going through it again. so many books, so little time and all of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but there's a limit to the dark stuff..

To be fair, the only way it could be considered darker and more depressing than authors who are very popular among this board's members, like Abercrombie or Bakker, is that it's concerned with the real world.

That and the first person may make it more visceral, but Prince of Thorns got good reviews here too and that's first-person and really fucked up...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished Before They Are Hanged

Interesting book, definetly an improvement from the first. Don't know why but it reminds me of Martin at the time when he wrote ACOK.

Not the prose but the way he builts the characters. But I have one minor question. How does Ferro know that the others are pink if she can't recognize coulors. Now onto Last Arguement of Kings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Night watch... is it the one where they have a dragon gone loose in the streets? That was a good one!

No, Night Watch is newer. It's been years since I read any Pratchett but the way I remember it, Night Watch was darker and relied more on a good story than wittycisms than his previous novels. The Hogfather I can hardly remember by now, and perhaps I will ruin it for me the day I reread it, but for now it is my #1 Discworld novel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites