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Rippingheadache
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:42 pm
Posts: 601
Location: Vietnam
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:29 pm 
 

tehfoks wrote:

Have you read The Crying of Lot 69? That one is easier and way shorter than Gravity's Rainbow.


Have not. The other books I've read by him are his more recent ones (Inherent Vice, Against the Day), all of which I've thoroughly enjoyed. I'm nearing the end of Rainbow right now, and I can certainly attest to the man's weirdness lol (spoon fights, midgets, immortal lightbulbs, etc). Can't wait to dive into Lot and M&D next.

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mindshadow
Echoes in an empty cranium

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:36 am
Posts: 1966
Location: Panopticon
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:51 am 
 

This isn't the Britain we fought for,' say the 'unknown warriors' of WWII


Nicholas Pringle curious about his grandmother's generation and what they did in the war, decided to send letters to local newspapers across the country asking for those who lived through the war to write to him with their experiences. This is the book written with those replies.


'This Land of Hope and Glory is just a land of yobs and drunks'

"Our culture is draining away and we are forbidden to say anything"

They feel betrayed.
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RedMisanthrope
Poet Laureate of the Old Ones

Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:53 pm
Posts: 1937
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:45 pm 
 

As long as we're on pomo I may as well ask if anyone has read Delillo's "Underworld". What did you think of it?
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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10162
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:01 pm 
 

Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 was a horrible book. Meaningless twaddle and so convinced of its own cleverness. I think I migth have written more about it here last year when I read the thing. Or maybe that was the huge rant that got deleted for some reason. :lol:
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CorpseFister
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:07 pm
Posts: 1877
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:23 pm 
 

I haven’t read any Pynchon before, and although I got Gravity’s Rainbow for Christmas I haven’t quite felt the mental fortitude to embark upon it quite yet. Besides I got 16 or so books between xmas and my birthday so I’ve had plenty to read.

I’ve been surprised how much I’m enjoying Lolita. Maybe surprised isn’t the word, but aside from it being considered as classic I only knew it as ‘that Russian book about a pedophile’. The prose is excellent, and there is a curious mix of feeling both repulsed by and sympathetic towards the protagonist. The combination makes for some fairly compelling reading- I stayed up way too late with that book last night.

I wish my French was a better though, I feel like there are some good bits in there I’m not understanding.

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tehfoks
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:40 am
Posts: 259
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:34 pm 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 was a horrible book. Meaningless twaddle and so convinced of its own cleverness. I think I migth have written more about it here last year when I read the thing. Or maybe that was the huge rant that got deleted for some reason. :lol:


Completely agree. The most pretentious piece of literature I've ever read, and it was written in a way that made it seem very proud of its ability to confusing the reader for no apparent reason. My professor loved it though, and he said he's met people who have that trumpet symbol thing tatooed. Yeah... So i guess some people get him.
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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10162
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:30 pm 
 

tehfoks wrote:
Abominatrix wrote:
Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 was a horrible book. Meaningless twaddle and so convinced of its own cleverness. I think I migth have written more about it here last year when I read the thing. Or maybe that was the huge rant that got deleted for some reason. :lol:


Completely agree. The most pretentious piece of literature I've ever read, and it was written in a way that made it seem very proud of its ability to confusing the reader for no apparent reason. My professor loved it though, and he said he's met people who have that trumpet symbol thing tatooed. Yeah... So i guess some people get him.


Well here's the thing. I'm prepared to believe he is actually really clever and that he has maybe written some masterpieces (tried to raed Gravity's Rainbow but I wasn't in the right space to make much headway at the time and decided to put it aside for later). However, Pynchon himself called Crying "a potboiler" and seemed like he might have been aware of its faults himself (ok, a lot of artists do this and really one can't always take them too seriously, but still). The book annoyed me because it felt like it was deliberately attempting to frustrate the reader by providing a mystery story that was actually just a lot of aimlessness. The characters all had very obvious satyrical names and characteristics, and the danger when one goes so far away from realism is that one never for a moment supposes events on the page are actually happening, and if it can't be taken as even smart jabs at a specific society (read California in this case), the text basically becoems useless.
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Calusari
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:36 am
Posts: 707
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:34 pm 
 

I didn't mind 'Crying', but that's because I was already a fan of Pynchon and similar writers, and could see some of the typical Pynchonesque touches that I quite enjoy in that book; if it had been my introduction to either Pynchon or pomo lit in general, though, I'd have hated it, him and the genre. From what I've heard, many people recommend 'Crying' as an introductory work to new readers (perhaps because it's so brief), which I think is a mistake. It's like trying to get into Meshuggah by listening to "Contradictions Collapse" - sure, some of the typical elements are there, but they're badly realised, and don't reflect what the artist is capable of or why fans enjoy the band's work; once you know more about the sound, however, you can appreciate the echoes of a familar signature, even if you wouldn't recommend it for pure listening pleasure.

Speaking of pomo lit that's a bit more, well, accessible, there is J.G. Ballard... yes, the man has written more than 'Empire of the Sun' and 'Crash'. Anyone a fan?

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Abominatrix
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:23 am 
 

Sure, I like him, though at this point I wouldn't exactly call him a favourite. I've been reading a number of his short storeis from this gigantic anthology I have. While he's definitely got a style and is pretty good at what he does his stories often follow the same pattern:
Take a relatively mundane idea (music, clothing, painting, air travel) and project it into the future, to a level where the current reader does not even recognise it as the facet of his own every day life" (clothes have personalities, music is ultrasonic and can't be heard, etc).

It's pretty cool but becomes a little predictable after a while. His psychoanalysis stories are interesting little games. "Zone of Terror" is an odd kind of ghost story, "And NOw: Zero" a creepy little piece that works marvelously if you imagine the narrator as being played by Vincent Price, "Minus One" is very silly and "Manhole 69" a genuinely chilling horror piece.

I recently bought the book Cocaine Nights We'll see about that.
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CorpseFister
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:07 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:38 pm 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
I recently bought the book Cocaine Nights We'll see about that.


I haven’t read that one but if you like it check out Super-Cannes. I thought it was quite good, and apparently it picks up on a lot of the same themes. Otherwise I’ve only read about half a dozen J. G. Ballard novels, but I think Concrete Island was my favorite. It’s fairly dark and twisted, but not as obscene as Crash.

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Necroticism174
Kite String Popper

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:46 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:45 pm 
 

Just started reading Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis after jizzing over Lunar Park. It's crazy how much he matured as a writer over the years.
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Calusari
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:36 am
Posts: 707
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:49 pm 
 

CorpseFister wrote:
Abominatrix wrote:
I recently bought the book Cocaine Nights We'll see about that.


I haven’t read that one but if you like it check out Super-Cannes. I thought it was quite good, and apparently it picks up on a lot of the same themes. Otherwise I’ve only read about half a dozen J. G. Ballard novels, but I think Concrete Island was my favorite. It’s fairly dark and twisted, but not as obscene as Crash.


Concrete Island is a pretty great book. The last Ballard I read was 'Kingdom Come' - a PR specialist unintentionally helps to turn a shopping centre loyalty programme into a survivalist cult who try to found a new 'civilsation' in the mall (not a spoiler - all in the first few pages...); the cultural/capitalist crit was almost too obvious, but he pulled it off nonetheless.

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waiguoren
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Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:23 am
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Location: Make a kiss to her
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:51 am 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
I recently bought the book Cocaine Nights We'll see about that.


That's a great book, one that you can easily read again - his writing is on top form, a very British style of writing without being overly pretentious. Definitely one of his best books. Expect a lot of anarchy in it (Ballard seems to have a lot of issues with modern society, judging by his last few books). Great characters throughout too.

Christ, I re-read Dune, and as always couldn't get enough of the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen ('Make sure the boy is drugged when you bring him to my room, I don't feel like wrestling'), so thought, 'Fuck it, why not read Dune Messiah and Children Of Dune? Why not indeed! The third book was okay, good lord the second one was horrible, just drags and drags but its saving grace is that it isn't that long/ You know it's off to a bad start when in the foreword Brian Herbet basically says
"Critics called this the worst book they ever read. What they failed to understand is that my father merely intended for this book to be a bridge to the third book".

Well, at least I can join the countless others that tell people to only read the first book, which I think was my initial plan in reading a couple of the others in the first place. I shudder to think how horrid the books written by his son are...

*SHUDDER*
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sortalikeadream
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:34 am
Posts: 1555
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:57 am 
 

CorpseFister wrote:
I haven’t read any Pynchon before, and although I got Gravity’s Rainbow for Christmas I haven’t quite felt the mental fortitude to embark upon it quite yet. Besides I got 16 or so books between xmas and my birthday so I’ve had plenty to read.

I’ve been surprised how much I’m enjoying Lolita. Maybe surprised isn’t the word, but aside from it being considered as classic I only knew it as ‘that Russian book about a pedophile’. The prose is excellent, and there is a curious mix of feeling both repulsed by and sympathetic towards the protagonist. The combination makes for some fairly compelling reading- I stayed up way too late with that book last night.

I wish my French was a better though, I feel like there are some good bits in there I’m not understanding.


Lolita was actually written in English and is considered by many to be an American novel.
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failsafeman
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Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:18 am 
 

waiguoren wrote:
Abominatrix wrote:
I recently bought the book Cocaine Nights We'll see about that.


That's a great book, one that you can easily read again - his writing is on top form, a very British style of writing without being overly pretentious. Definitely one of his best books. Expect a lot of anarchy in it (Ballard seems to have a lot of issues with modern society, judging by his last few books). Great characters throughout too.

Christ, I re-read Dune, and as always couldn't get enough of the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen ('Make sure the boy is drugged when you bring him to my room, I don't feel like wrestling'), so thought, 'Fuck it, why not read Dune Messiah and Children Of Dune? Why not indeed! The third book was okay, good lord the second one was horrible, just drags and drags but its saving grace is that it isn't that long/ You know it's off to a bad start when in the foreword Brian Herbet basically says
"Critics called this the worst book they ever read. What they failed to understand is that my father merely intended for this book to be a bridge to the third book".

Well, at least I can join the countless others that tell people to only read the first book, which I think was my initial plan in reading a couple of the others in the first place. I shudder to think how horrid the books written by his son are...

*SHUDDER*

Yeah, I can hardly even remember Dune Messiah. Some shit happens, there's a conspiracy, Paul's eyes get blasted out, he goes off into the desert to die (but doesn't), the end. Honestly the whole series has lost its lustre for me quite significantly, it's one of those things I loved as a teenager but as I've gotten older and read more I realize how poorly written it really is. Herbert's ideas were cool, I really dig the concepts and the setting, he's just really fucking bad at everything else. Hell, he even manages to make what ought to be a really awesome, vibrant setting seem dull as hell. His universe is populated almost exclusively by weird, emotionless robots it's nearly impossible to relate to, who pay no attention to anything interesting around them and instead just sit around scheming.

I mean, Baron Harkonnen is fun I guess but he's just about the most broadly-written (ha ha) character ever. Yes, he's a morbidly obese scheming pedophile rapist, we get it Frank, he's supposed to be the Bad Guy.
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CorpseFister
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:58 pm 
 

sortalikeadream wrote:
Lolita was actually written in English


Yeah I realized that once I started reading it. I guess I just associate with it with author being Russian.

Re: Dune- I’ve got to own up to being a bit of a fan boy. Dune Messiah is not great, but the series overall has so many cool concepts, I can’t help but love the Dune Universe (or "Duniverse" haha). The last few books Herbert wrote have some interesting ideas in them too, like the golden path and the scattering. I really wish he had gotten the chance to write the last book in the series.

And yes, I’ve read the books written by his son and that hack Kevin Anderson, and yes, they are terrible. The two part conclusion to the original series that they supposed wrote based on original notes is complete rubbish.

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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:26 pm 
 

Dune is one of my favorite books. Goes downhill after that, stopped reading in the middle of the third one.
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Thiestru
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:44 pm 
 

Just finished rereading The Hobbit and am now reading The Jewel of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker. Some beautiful writing in it so far, although I'm not very far in. The opening paragraph alone is a doozy:

Quote:
It all seemed so real that I could hardly imagine that it had ever occurred before; and yet each episode came, not as a fresh step in the logic of things, but as something expected. It is in such a wise that memory plays its pranks for good or ill; for pleasure or pain; for weal or woe. It is thus that life is bittersweet, and that which has been done becomes eternal.


Kind of hard not to keep reading after that!

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TheAntagonist
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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 9:55 am
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:19 pm 
 

Just finishing up Hothouse by Brian Aldiss. It's a weird sci-fi novel where plants take over the earth and humans are these small beings that have to fend against the unrelenting growth. It's pretty strange and kind of juvenile at least as far as the dialogue. Aldiss does a good job at describing the setting but fails to create likable characters as it's only about 230 pages.

But once i am through with this i plan to tackle The Great Book of Amber by Roger Zelazny. Wish me luck.
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Abominatrix
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:56 am 
 

TheAntagonist wrote:
Just finishing up Hothouse by Brian Aldiss. It's a weird sci-fi novel where plants take over the earth and humans are these small beings that have to fend against the unrelenting growth. It's pretty strange and kind of juvenile at least as far as the dialogue. Aldiss does a good job at describing the setting but fails to create likable characters as it's only about 230 pages.


I liked that book. A strange atmosphere, for sure. The plant world was sinister and more than a little unnerving. Aldiss's later stuff may be more to your liking if you want more character focus. Generally though I never find his stories to be peopled with the sort of folk I can grow attached to. Still, I rather like him...he's pretty experimental and his ideas are sometimes way out in left field, in a cool way...it's been a long time since I read him.
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TheAntagonist
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 9:55 am
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:44 pm 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
TheAntagonist wrote:
Just finishing up Hothouse by Brian Aldiss. It's a weird sci-fi novel where plants take over the earth and humans are these small beings that have to fend against the unrelenting growth. It's pretty strange and kind of juvenile at least as far as the dialogue. Aldiss does a good job at describing the setting but fails to create likable characters as it's only about 230 pages.


I liked that book. A strange atmosphere, for sure. The plant world was sinister and more than a little unnerving. Aldiss's later stuff may be more to your liking if you want more character focus. Generally though I never find his stories to be peopled with the sort of folk I can grow attached to. Still, I rather like him...he's pretty experimental and his ideas are sometimes way out in left field, in a cool way...it's been a long time since I read him.


I had been meaning to read this book for a long time and I think the concept is great, but the follow through was a bit weak. I guess I'm more into books where there is more character development. It just seemed that there was really no way to feel one way or the other about each character. The world that he created was totally unique and that is always a plus in my book. Seems like more of situational piece that focused on the concept and setting as opposed to likable characters. Guess that is why I always loved The Urth of the New Sun series from Gene Wolfe. Still one of my favorite sci-fi novels and I have yet to find a book that rivals it. The book of Amber is starting off really nice and I feel that I can get into that though.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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Location: In the Open Sea
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:13 pm 
 

American Psycho
Bret Easton Ellis

It isn’t because it’s brutal or clever that I liked it so much. It's both, but the more striking thing is the atmosphere, our imaginations given uncensored access to the high-fidelity day-to-day of Michelangelo’s Golem, tethered to his mercurial attention span.

Also interesting is the book’s completely obscured agenda. I’d say it’s The Stranger for high-power coke heads except that Ellis’s style (convincing, organic, well-researched, and unfeelingly blunt) has an insistently anti-philosophical approach. Figments of an agenda flicker as dimly as Bateman’s empathy, awkwardly fumbled at more as gestures to fit in than because of any kind of substantial existence – because of the noise and drink they’re mistaken for someone else. It could be anything .. sickening satire, a plunge into the narcissistically demented for freakish amusement, a black mirror held up to our own inherent weakness or to the very real possibility that there isn’t anything at the bottom of the well. I couldn’t put it down. Nothing this chaotic and inane should be this satisfying. I keep thinking back on it.

I do have reservations about recommending it to feminists. Is that sexist? I’m not sure.

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SmithMetal84
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:02 pm
Posts: 171
Location: Bolivia
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:53 pm 
 

Halfway through A Game of Thrones, almost done with A Concise History of The Russian Revolution by Richard Pipes.
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Dandelo
Metalhead

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Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:11 pm 
 

I'm nearing the end of The Way of the Kings. I love the Kaladin and Dalinar chapters, and I'm sad that I'll be done with it soon.

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_lasaro_
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:26 pm
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Location: Brazil
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:02 am 
 

Very good this topic!
I just finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

It was nice, but the ending could be better ...

I'm reading The Dark Tower series now.

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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:32 pm 
 

Friend of mine sent me:

Foucault's Pendulum
The Anubis Gates
Maldoror (Les Chants de Maldoror)
Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul

and a collection of Borges fiction. Not sure where to start, maybe Foucault. I started Name of the Rose a while back and enjoyed his style of writing but wasn't massively interested in the story.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:40 pm 
 

Foucault's Pendulum is very good, but be warned: it starts out very very slowly. I think I took a break in the middle and read another book, and returned to finish it afterwards. It veeeery gradually picks up speed, gaining and gaining momentum until by the end it's gripping as hell. Not to say that the slow parts are without merit, they're quite interesting in their own right...just slow. The book seems to be a sort of deconstruction of the Dan Brown "The Da Vinci Code" type conspiracy thriller novel, as well as conspiracy theories in general.

Borges is of course a master, but you probably don't need me to tell you that.
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Abominatrix
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:43 pm 
 

failsafeman wrote:
Foucault's Pendulum is very good, but be warned: it starts out very very slowly. I think I took a break in the middle and read another book, and returned to finish it afterwards. It veeeery gradually picks up speed, gaining and gaining momentum until by the end it's gripping as hell. Not to say that the slow parts are without merit, they're quite interesting in their own right...just slow. The book seems to be a sort of deconstruction of the Dan Brown "The Da Vinci Code" type conspiracy thriller novel, as well as conspiracy theories in general.


Huh, I found the beginning of Pendulum grabbed me right away! I loved the way he introduced the characters, and the gradual revelation fo the truth about Garamond's little publishing house was done in an extremely entertaining way. I think the middle was hard for me to get through as I could barely keep track of all the shit those guys were coming up with, but the frequent segues to Belbo's more imaginative/esoteric writings always managed to keep me engrossed.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:48 pm 
 

Sure, it was interesting, but very little actually happened until about halfway through. I mean, at the beginning, there isn't even really a plot; the main characters and their environment are just described, along with various anecdotes. It's only later that the actual plot develops out of their idle passtimes, maybe about halfway through the book.
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Abominatrix
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:53 pm 
 

True; I guess what I'm trying to say though is that I found those characters and their anecdotes to be more engaging than the stuff they wrote about; the only reason I found the brief (comparatively!) summaries of The Plan fascinating at all were because I was already invested in the characters and their story, and wanted to know what was going to happen to them.

It's still a fair warning you gave though, especially if one is expecting to have the progression of the tale laid out fairly close to the outset, which, as you say, it isn't...
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:01 pm 
 

Sure, The Plan itself is much less interesting than what happens because of it, and to the characters. Umberto Eco is a fine writer, he just seems tremendously unconcerned with keeping the average reader's attention. It's almost a mystery how he became popular in the first place.
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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10162
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:43 pm 
 

I haven't read Name of the Rose yet, but judging from Pendulum and a book of very short essays/funny quips of his that I've got, it's because of his wit and playfulness that he can be engaging despite plot and so on being basically a secondary concern.

I mean, within the first few dozen pages of Pendulum you're made aware that something terrible has happened to somebody, and the narrator then plunges you way back to introduce you the characters at Garamond Press, and they're immediately likeable people, especially Belbo with all his aphorisms and ridiculous sayings..."morons, cretins and fools!". Then he lets you in on Garamond's little secret, and the scam bbeing pulled on all these rich pompous arses had me laughing pretty hard. SO yeah, I think it's masterfully done, really; the middle sags a bit but by then you should already be pretty well sucked in.
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IanThrash
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:56 pm
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Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:34 pm 
 

after a lot of promotional shit i fell into the capitalism influence and i bought
"the hunger games" xD i must say is an interesting trilogy
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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:12 am 
 

How does Foucault relate to the Illuminatus! Trilogy? If Eco is anti(pro?)-conspiracy theories and pro-skepticism, sounds like they share a similar theme. Illuminatus is definitely all about questioning other peoples' conceptions of reality.
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Wibble23
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:24 pm
Posts: 142
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:26 am 
 

There's certainly a lot more humour in Illuminatus as anyone who's familiar with Robert Anton Wilson will know, while Eco is more concerned with language and subtext. Illuminatus is also pretty much a product of its time and place (60s California), although both pretty much ask you to question everything. I enjoyed both as they address similar topics but in decidedly different ways.

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Ancient_Sorrow
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:10 pm
Posts: 2168
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:20 am 
 

At the moment I'm reading a few books at once, and hence, have finished none;

Irvine Welsh's "The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs": - Really enjoyable, it's drawn me in by being clever but unpretentious, and somehow manages to make horrendous acts of "self" destruction with drugs and alcohol (the hallmark of just about every Irvine Welsh book) almost poetic and philosophical.
Haven't finished it yet, but so far it's got a nice mix of the bizarre and the believable.

Descartes' "Meditations on First Philosophy": In this, Descartes, through the persona of "the mediator" decides to take everything which can reasonably doubted and take it to be false, trying to re-build everything which is known upon sound foundations. The man is nothing if not ambitious. I'm reading it for Uni, but it's definitely fascinating in it's own right.

Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus": A short, digestible play - The writing style is antiquated, of course, but understandable and, more importantly, the story is interesting, if extremely concise. The original "selling one's soul to the devil" storyline.
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:14 am 
 

Nahsil wrote:
How does Foucault relate to the Illuminatus! Trilogy? If Eco is anti(pro?)-conspiracy theories and pro-skepticism, sounds like they share a similar theme. Illuminatus is definitely all about questioning other peoples' conceptions of reality.

Foucault's Pendulum is less about being pro-skepticism (though it is) and more about exploring how otherwise reasonable, intelligent people can get sucked into conspiracy theorism, and also about how even the most nonsensical conspiracy theories can still exert a powerful influence on the real world, assuming people believe in them. Now, that's not to say the central theory in Foucault's Pendulum is a necessarily all nonsense; you'll just have to read to find out. ;)
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RedMisanthrope
Poet Laureate of the Old Ones

Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:53 pm
Posts: 1937
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:45 pm 
 

Reading Delillo's "White Noise" for a class right now. It's really, really freakin' good, actually. Very tight themes, things connecting back to one another in seamless ways. Crazily well crafted. This is my first encounter with Delillo, but I'm pretty impressed. He might have to be added to my summer reading list.
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Wibble23
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:24 pm
Posts: 142
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:52 pm 
 

RedMisanthrope wrote:
Reading Delillo's "White Noise" for a class right now. It's really, really freakin' good, actually. Very tight themes, things connecting back to one another in seamless ways. Crazily well crafted. This is my first encounter with Delillo, but I'm pretty impressed. He might have to be added to my summer reading list.


I read "Libra" a while back; it's about Lee Harvey Oswald and how he came to assassinate JFK & was a major influence on James Ellroy's "Underworld USA" trilogy (American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand, Blood's A Rover) which I also highly recommend.

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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:54 pm 
 

I submitted an essay I wrote on DeLillo's Falling Man (about 9/11) to my Uni's literary journal and they accepted it for publication, woot. I compared DeLillo to Emerson's conception of the true poet, one who tries to shine light on dark/difficult to integrate into consciousness subjects etc. Even though DeLillo wasn't all "bam bitches, dark begone!" and more like "well shit, this sucks ass, but maybe if we can just have a tiny bit of hope we might survive."
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