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RedEyedGhost

October Reading 2016 - Something Spooky?

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On 10/11/2016 at 5:33 PM, polishgenius said:

I think that only Bakker is doing Tolkien directly. Abercrombie is more about the whole post-Tolkienite shebang and I find there's far more riffing on things from the likes of Eddings (in particular), Feist and the like (as well as heavy hints of Gemmell) than LotR/Tolkien himself.

I think the Tolkien parallels are pretty strong with Abercrombie as well. BTaH in particular felt like a dark-side-of-the-moon version of the central quest from Lord of the Rings. Contrast the gentle and innocent protagonist Frodo with the violent and world-weary Logen Ninefingers, Jezel's uselessness against Aragorn's awesomeness, and then of course

Spoiler

Bayaz being like Gandalf if he chose to use the One RIng.

The one aspect of Abercrombie's otherwise brilliant trilogy that kind of fell flat for me was the Shanka. A lot of fantasy has some kind of a creature that plays that role, but there really wasn't anything that distinguished them. They weren't particularly frightening (like the Sranc), they weren't mysterious (like the Others), they really just seemed to be a generic stand-in for orcs.

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I read fiction! After...I don't know how long. 

Connie Willis new one, Crosstalk. Unfortunately, rather disappointing. Almost like a parody of a Willis novel. All her slightly cutesy stylistic tics without having an underlying concept. Just hundreds of pages of people running around being too stupid to live and never coalescing into anything. It was basically a pointlessly longer Bellwether, with less charm or cleverness. I'll just re-read To Say Nothing of the Dog again, I guess. (Also, she pulls of the trick of making a book feel badly dated when it's been out for a month. Be careful with your of-the-moment pop culture references when they're Brangelina. And everything else in the book also, while somehow still making it feel like its set in the 50s.)  

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Finally finished IT by Stephen King. Really long but I enjoyed it a lot. I have some issues I've had with other King books and some new ones (what did the

Spoiler

orgy between 12-year-olds

add to the story?) But the seven main characters were to great spend time with.

I'm now reading The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood by David Simon and Ed Burns. It's an (excellent) portrait of the Baltimore drug trade and how it affects the people in one neighborhood. Pretty slow going but honestly this is already my favorite non-fiction book. Affecting as fuck.

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2 hours ago, First of My Name said:

Finally finished IT by Stephen King. Really long but I enjoyed it a lot. I have some issues I've had with other King books and some new ones (what did the

  Reveal hidden contents

orgy between 12-year-olds

add to the story?) But the seven main characters were to great spend time with.

I'm now reading The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood by David Simon and Ed Burns. It's an (excellent) portrait of the Baltimore drug trade and how it affects the people in one neighborhood. Pretty slow going but honestly this is already my favorite non-fiction book. Affecting as fuck.

Well

Spoiler

technically its a gang bang, not an orgy. And yes, that is the Hey did you get to the WTF moment..no you'll know when moment EVERYONE talks about regarding that book. :P

 

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

Well

  Hide contents

technically its a gang bang, not an orgy. And yes, that is the Hey did you get to the WTF moment..no you'll know when moment EVERYONE talks about regarding that book. :P

 

Spoiler

Fair enough :P 

I knew it was coming in advance since I'd been spoiled, so it wasn't exactly WTF, more like 'I sincerely wonder what Stephen was thinking here...'

 

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I finally read Mark Lawrence's The Broken Empire trilogy. Excellent. Issues I initially had with the series, namely immersion, were resolved in the second and third entry in the trilogy. My favorite aspect of the series was the world-building. I really dug some of the concepts. It was great to see Jorg grow and mature in certain regards throughout the series.

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I finished The Commodore by Patrick O'Brian a few day ago.  I wished both Jack and Stephen stayed home longer before heading out to sea.

Spoils of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky is my before bed read.  Looking forward to those Shadows of the Apt short stories. 

I have been feeling the need to read some typical fantasy with a heroine for my commute read, so Sing the Four Quarters by Tanya Huff is on the docket.  I am always on the lookout to reading new Canadian fantasy authors.

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Just bought like 10 used books on cults and cult leaders for research purposes. November might get weird.

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On 13/10/2016 at 2:55 AM, Darth Richard II said:

Nooo! You have so much to live for!

I lolled so hard at the trailer for the movie adaptation. Having said that, I'll probably go see it. 

I actually enjoyed the Da Vinci Code, and I'm not afraid to say it.

On 13/10/2016 at 7:52 PM, Darth Richard II said:

Every time someone I know reads that book I'm always like...did you get to THE PART yet. And they're like Well I think I and im like NO. YOU WILL KNOW. :P

My brother's currently reading it for the first time. He has no idea... 

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42 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

I actually enjoyed the Da Vinci Code, and I'm not afraid to say it.

See you only THINK that you like that because you haven't read any Umberto Eco yet. His stuff makes Dan Brown's work look like it was written for teenagers.

If you want a good historical conspiracy thriller that makes The DaVinci Code look like it was written for babies, read The Name of the Rose. And if youre ready to step up to the plate for a really intellectually challenging mind fuck, try Focault's Pendulum.

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On 14/10/2016 at 2:24 AM, First of My Name said:

Finally finished IT by Stephen King. Really long but I enjoyed it a lot. I have some issues I've had with other King books and some new ones (what did the

  Hide contents

orgy between 12-year-olds

add to the story?)

Never mind King, I am still wondering how that scene got past the editors.

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12 hours ago, Roose Boltons Pet Leech said:

Never mind King, I am still wondering how that scene got past the editors.

Well to be fair the book is almost 1400 pages, maybe they never even got that far :P 

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5 minutes ago, First of My Name said:

Well to be fair the book is almost 1400 pages, maybe they never even got that far :P 

I think it's more likely that if the editor brought it up, King probably just overruled them. By the time he wrote IT his sales were high enough that I imagined the publishers weren't in a position to overrule him on something like that.

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16 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

See you only THINK that you like that because you haven't read any Umberto Eco yet. His stuff makes Dan Brown's work look like it was written for teenagers.

If you want a good historical conspiracy thriller that makes The DaVinci Code look like it was written for babies, read The Name of the Rose. And if youre ready to step up to the plate for a really intellectually challenging mind fuck, try Focault's Pendulum.

Oh yes! Foucaul's Pendulum has become more relevant as the years pass by, an incisive and ironic look inside the psychology, or rather pathology of the conspirational-mind.

On another note, spooky-reading-wise, is Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation worthwhile? Can it be enjoyed apart from its sequels?

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1 hour ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

I think it's more likely that if the editor brought it up, King probably just overruled them. By the time he wrote IT his sales were high enough that I imagined the publishers weren't in a position to overrule him on something like that.

I figured that too, yeah. There's some interpretations here that are interesting, but still a very odd choice by King.

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I finished Leigh Bardugo's Crooked Kingdom. I think this series was a big step up in quality over her Grisha trilogy, which I liked but thought was too inconsistent in pacing and had some plot choices I wasn't too keen on. I probably have a slight preference for the previous book, Six of Crows, which I thought did a great job of slowly revealing who the characters really were and the mysteries of their background, in the second book we already know most things about the protagonists (with the possible exception of Wylan) so there was probably a bit less character development although there was still a decent amount. I thought it brought the story to a good conclusion, the ending had a bittersweet feel to it where things turned out much better for some characters than for others and while the final heist wasn't quite as elaborate as the Ice Court in the first book it was still cleverly plotted.

I'm curious what Bardugo's next story is going to be if she sticks in the same world. I doubt we'd see a direct follow-on from this series, but there is still some potential for stories featuring some of the characters, although they may show up in supporting roles in the way that characters from the first trilogy showed up here.

Next up I'm going to make a start on Peter F. Hamilton's latest behemoth, Night Without Stars. I had somewhat mixed feelings about the first book in the series, hopefully this one will have more of the elements I liked and fix some of the issues I had with it.

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