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lurkist
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 7:11 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:34 pm 
 

failsafeman wrote:
Care to elaborate? I've noticed him overusing some similes and dropping commas where they ought to be, but nothing I would ever remotely consider unreadable.


This was about twenty years ago, so I can't elaborate really. I don't even remember which title it was (possibly the cover may have featured a mummified hand, but Google Images is throwing up nothing familiar). I had just come off the back of reading everything by Stephen King at that point, and was looking for another writer to get into. Campbell seemed to have a lot of material to explore so I randomly picked a book and it was terrible. Same deal with Herbert, and Shaun Hutson and Richard Laymon are a couple more who spring to mind. (though to a marginally lesser extent). Dan Simmons was the only horror writer who blew me away at that time, and soon after I turned mainly to Science Fiction and non-fiction. You could do a lot worse than buy up old copies of Analog magazine, the quality of writing is extraordinary, particularly the early-80s period onwards (you'd think it might be badly dated given the technological advances since then, but it rarely is - a true sign of quality I guess).
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Last edited by lurkist on Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:41 pm 
 

Well, I guess all I can say is give him another shot. He's written a ton of stuff and though I've only read a small part of his output, what I've read was quite good. Maybe try Incarnate or The Grin of the Dark. On the other hand, I can't stand Stephen King, and if you're a big fan then maybe we're just diametrically opposed when it comes to horror. :lol:
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lurkist
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:50 pm 
 

Hehe, possibly! Last one I read of King's was Cell, it got a slating but I thought it was OK, like a The Stand - Lite. And the last really good book I read was Oryx & Crake by Margaret Attwood. Also agree on Lolita a few posts up - proper classic.

Couple of small edits to my last post btw.
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lurkist
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:07 pm 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
Any of you guys know any good war memoirs or good books about less cliche wars like the iraq/iran war or the ethiopia/eritrea war? African bushwars? Maoists in asia? Comedy skits in south america? etc etc etc. Been interested in reading about cool wars lately (IE: not the world wars or the civil war).


Not a war per-se, but set during the British Imperial occupation of Africa - "Hearts Of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad (1899). Most know of the modern interpretation, i.e. Francis Ford Coppola's classic 1979 movie, Apocalypse Now. One of the true classics of modern literature, and it's quite short so won't take up too much of your time!
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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:05 pm 
 

lurkist wrote:

I recently taught myself a new skill - book binding. I successfully repaired my first paperback last week, it was Aku-Aku by Thor Heyerdahl. You may know him for the Kon-Tiki expedition, but trust me, the guy has had numerous equally fascinating adventures, and is like a real-life Indiana Jones in a way. Aku-Aku is no exception. He took a team to the most remote place on the planet inhabited by humans - Easter Island. It was the first time in generations that Westerners had been there, and needless to say all manner of hell breaks loose!



Cool. I used to work in the binding workshop in a big library. Was one of the most chilled-out jobs I've ever had.

Re Ligotti, I confess that I forgot about "my work is not yet done" and "the conspiracy against the human race", which are in print. If you get seriously into him, "the Thomas Ligotti reader" is worth a look. It's a collection of essays and criticism of his work.
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Necroticism174
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:12 pm 
 

Stephen King's the Stand is atrocious. Pretty much everything wrong with his writing in one book.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:03 pm 
 

lurkist wrote:
And the last really good book I read was Oryx & Crake by Margaret Attwood.

I read that a year or so ago, found it quite good. Didn't like the sequel quite as much, but it was nice in that it gives you a look at what happens to the protagonist after the end of the first book.

Necroticism174 wrote:
Stephen King's the Stand is atrocious. Pretty much everything wrong with his writing in one book.

Admittedly my opinion of King was soured immensely by that book. My main problem isn't that he can't do anything right, it's just that in every novel I've read, he ruins good ideas by pairing them with bad ones. Easiest example is the awesomely creepy Pennywise turning out to be a giant spider that gets beaten way too easily.
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Necroticism174
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:32 pm 
 

Eh, the difference there being that the ritual of Chüd made a lot of sense considering what the creature was and what it fed on, and I very much found the final confrontation and the deadlights to be cool. In Stand he just throws everything in there, no matter if it works or not and has deus ex machina up the wazoo.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:34 pm 
 

Almost nothing he does is perfect, but it's so enjoyable that I have a hard time faulting his early stuff and some of his most recent ones - actually his latest three are all some of the best he ever did.
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lurkist
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:35 pm 
 

failsafeman wrote:
I read [Oryx & Crake] a year or so ago, found it quite good. Didn't like the sequel quite as much, but it was nice in that it gives you a look at what happens to the protagonist after the end of the first book.


There's a sequel? Nice! I thought it was itself a sequel (of sorts) to The Handmaid's Tale, which I also thoroughly enjoyed. I'll get on that.

failsafeman wrote:
Admittedly my opinion of King was soured immensely by [The Stand]. My main problem isn't that he can't do anything right, it's just that in every novel I've read, he ruins good ideas by pairing them with bad ones. Easiest example is the awesomely creepy Pennywise turning out to be a giant spider that gets beaten way too easily.


Weird, most King fans (myself included) cite The Stand as his best work. It's the only one of his I keep on the shelf (I donate books when done with them). Although I totally agree about his pairing of bad ideas with good ones, and a great example with It there. A similar read is Robert R. McCammon's Swan Song, excellent study of a nuclear holocaust populated with interesting and well-developed characters, but suddenly there's a supernatural twist that just didn't need to be there. Basically, any supernatural / magical / mystical / impossible element tends to ruin a book for me. Horror can be most horrific when the events can actually possibly occur! I make an exception in King's case, mainly for sentimental reasons admittedly. But I do find his style very comfortable to read. I'd equate it to reading another author whose prose jars a little is like spending the day in a pair of brand new shoes; however good they might look, they pinch your toes and rub your heels and you can't wait to get home and pop your old comfy slippers back on (King).
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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:57 am 
 

I dunno, "The Stand" is the only one of his books I have any real desire to read again. It's been a long time since I read it, but I remember some of the characters being quite well drawn - Harold the fat kid, Randall Flagg the walkin' dude, the prisoner who ate his cellmate, the crazy pyromaniac guy. On the whole I think he's a pretty awful writer.....

...or, perhaps I should say that I have issues with his style. It's so "whitebread", both in style and content. He's always creating these environments that are so cosy and small-town, and he belabours you over the head with obscure details about tv shows, food brands and whatnot. As a 30-something inner-city Australian I cant relate to his constant early-60's smalltown USA settings. He's also very conservative in his underlying morality - everything is pretty cut-and-dried. Some "other" invades the snug security of his setting and must be defeated by a reluctant workin'-stiff everyman protagonist.

In that sense it lacks a certain perversity and moral ambiguity that horror writers I really like have - Clive Barker, Thomas Ligotti, Ramsay Campbell etc. Which in itself probably explains a great deal about his relative success compared to those authors. More people are able to relate to the protagonist in his stories (workin joe) vs theirs (gays, intelectuals, drug users). Let alone the comparative stylistic digressions they take. Campbell is pretty straight up narrative, Barker chops and changes a bit, but Ligotti is well and truly literary fiction (unsurprising considering his work as an editor of collections of european literary fiction), with all the baroque stylistic experiments that entails. If you like Thomas Mann, Borges, Kafka etc etc, Ligotti's the man. But a shoe salesman wanting something to read at the airport wont relate to those unreliable-narrator/circular narrative/alteration and repitition tericks and the like that make his writing actually very good from a technical standpoint.
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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:47 am 
 

I think I was too young when I read Hyperion. I certainly enjoyed it, but now I can't remember much beyond certain scenes. I don't remember the ending or anything.
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Conservationism
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:21 pm 
 

lurkist wrote:
Not a war per-se, but set during the British Imperial occupation of Africa - "Hearts Of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad (1899). Most know of the modern interpretation, i.e. Francis Ford Coppola's classic 1979 movie, Apocalypse Now. One of the true classics of modern literature, and it's quite short so won't take up too much of your time!


Also worth reading: Lord Jim and Nostromo.
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Marag
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:21 am 
 

lurkist wrote:
Not a war per-se, but set during the British Imperial occupation of Africa - "Hearts Of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad (1899). Most know of the modern interpretation, i.e. Francis Ford Coppola's classic 1979 movie, Apocalypse Now. One of the true classics of modern literature, and it's quite short so won't take up too much of your time!

I've read that one recently, definitely worth the time

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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:01 pm 
 

Heart of Darkness is great. Conrad was a damn good writer.
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andersbang
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:48 am 
 

I too just read Heart of Darkness and, like others have said, it's excellent. The version I bought also had Conrad's The Secret Sharer in it, which was quite good for such a simple story.

Else I'm lugging around Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (I'm travelling in Iran for 3 months and wanted a big, sprawling novel to keep me occupied so I didn't need to buy several books and carry them around). But. I haven't got any reading done after the first ~ 150 pages, where I put it down for a few days because I was busy with partying and being hungover. Is it worth it to carry on now where I can only read sporadically or should I put it down and take it up again when I'm finished travelling and have more time to read?
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fucknicethings
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:11 am 
 

I don't usually read, I spend a lot of time staring at nothing, and sitting around. I mostly just listen to music all day. I'm a very boring person, I admit. I found though that when I started reading my copy of slayer mag diaries, time actually started going by fast! It's pretty cool, because I usually don't enjoy reading, unless it's something that interests me. I am curious to know if there's something cool to read, and I figure this would be a cool place to ask. It was cool because I research new bands in the slayer mag diaries, and listen to all the stuff I already know at the same time. I think if anyone knows any books where it's in first person and the main character suffers immensely, that would probably interest me. I read a child called it in middleschool, a book about a first person account of how his mother abused him, and that book seriously fascinated me. Also a book called the burn journals about a guy's personal experience in a hospital after trying to burn himself alive. I'm not even trying to sound edgy, it just does. Other than that, I'm not sure what I would think is cool.

Can someone give me some suggestions? I was hoping to just find something really good, and maybe download a pdf and use it on my iPad, or just pick something up from the local library. I'm not into mysticism and stuff like religion, or make believe, like science fiction, or pulp novels.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:03 pm 
 

^In the other thread you said you offer nothing to anyone, so I'm tempted to do the same to you, but since I'm a reasonably nice person I'll just say, "Jeez, man .. there are 80 pages here of shit people are mad for. Looking for something cool to read? Start by reading this thread."
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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:32 pm 
 

That entire post amuses me.

Uh hmm, maybe read some stuff about the Holocaust?

I'm about to start Viktor Frankl's book "Man's Search for Meaning," the first half of which is dedicated to an autobiographical account of his time spent in a Nazi concentration camp.
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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:02 am 
 

^ Really good book, I've read it many times.

I'm reading "The war magician" by David Fisher. It's the true story of one Jasper Maskelyne, who was the most famous stage magician in Britain during the 30's. When the war broke out he managed to get a comission to go out to the desert campaign with the 8th army, where he constructed elaborate illusions to fool German intelligence. Stuff like making Alexandria "disappear" by setting up a fake city made of canvas a few miles up the coast which was identical from the air - consequentially the Luftwaffe bombed the fake city for days allowing the real one to escape unscathed. Another one was the construction of fake army units using canvass mock-ups of tanks and disguising real tanks as trucks using canvass frames.

It's pretty light but very entertaining.
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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:18 am 
 

Yeah I'm about to embark on a crash course in 20th century psychology, starting with Frankl and moving on to Carl Rogers/Abraham Maslow/Alfred Adler/Erich Fromm/etc.

I'm applying to graduate school for psychology next year so I want to be more educated than I currently am. My background right now is more in religion/some philosophy/some critical theory than psychology.

Although I have read a little Irvin Yalom (big fan) and some evolutionary psychology/relevant evolutionary biology. And of course some Freud and Jung but who cares about them these days (actually Jung is pretty cool).
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:00 pm 
 

Jung still has a lot to offer so long as you don't talk about him like he's got it all. Freud has been largely discredited, though it's definitely worthwhile from a historical perspective.
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fucknicethings
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:21 pm 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
^In the other thread you said you offer nothing to anyone, so I'm tempted to do the same to you, but since I'm a reasonably nice person I'll just say, "Jeez, man .. there are 80 pages here of shit people are mad for. Looking for something cool to read? Start by reading this thread."

Okay, well that's not what I meant when I said "I offer nothing to anyone." In the context, the guy said "what do you offer these people?" and I was referring to the fact that I offer people nothing in terms of how to live their life... and I hate community service and shit. Hell, otherwise I've given suggestions in the recommendation board before. If you're mad at me for just saying "I offer nothing to anyone but myself" don't you think that's kind of petty?
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MARSDUDE
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:27 pm 
 

You hate community service? Why?

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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:51 pm 
 

fucknicethings wrote:
If you're mad at me for just saying "I offer nothing to anyone but myself" don't you think that's kind of petty?

I do, as a matter of fact. Yeah, that was bitch. If you're looking for iPad reading, what about TAZ - The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism?
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Calusari
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:44 am 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
Jung still has a lot to offer so long as you don't talk about him like he's got it all. Freud has been largely discredited, though it's definitely worthwhile from a historical perspective.


And, I'd say, from a philosophical perspective. I've always read him more as a philosopher; I find the theories of personhood and society that come through in his less clinical writings to be quite interesting.

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2Eagle333
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:29 am 
 

Jung's alright. I've always found Feuerbach a decent supplement to his works about religion, given that the two do have a fair few similarities in a way.

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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:14 am 
 

I've never read any Feuerbach directly, but I love his explanation of God as attributes that humans value--love, compassion etc, multiplied to infinity.
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The_Orphanizer
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:58 am 
 

A huge thank you to whoever recommended "The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect" by Roger Williams in this thread. I just finished the first chapter; this is just fucking gloriously perverse. I love it! :evil:

Not that the stories are particularly similar, but it reminds me a bit of "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" by Harlan Ellison.
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altered_vlad
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:35 pm 
 

Brethren, I'm in need for some recommendations!
I suddenly feel the urge to read some literary works centered around mental illness, preferably dementia. However, I want the structure of the work to reflect the subject matter. In other words, I want the literary equivalents of movies like Memento, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway...
I know that some of Kafka's works can be interpreted as such and I would like other recommendations besides his work. The nationality or the period are not important as long as translations in English or French are available.

Thank you for all those discussions BTW, I discovered many of my now favorite authors and works through this tread.
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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:23 pm 
 

Somebody has a book about going through schizophrenic episodes or whatever...somebody...was it Bukowski? Dick? Vonnegut? Burroughs? Can't remember.

I'd say Hunter S. Thompson would be a fun read for mental insanity, although it's typically drug-induced. :P
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Byrgan
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:10 am 
 

Necroticism174 wrote:
Hey failsafeman, I recall you speaking fondly of Ramsey Campbell. Dude has a lot of books, which should I check out first? I've been suffering a drought of good horror fiction for far too long.


I've read maybe four books by Campbell. They were decent enough in their own ways, but the one that stood out in particular and that I'd read again was The Face That Must Die from his early period. It follows around the antagonist, who happens to be a paranoid serial killer that wields a razor and thinks everyone is out to get him. I thought it had a dark sense of humor at points, though in cases as such I sometimes find out after the fact that it wasn't intentional, haha.

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Necroticism174
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:17 am 
 

Nahsil wrote:
Somebody has a book about going through schizophrenic episodes or whatever...somebody...was it Bukowski? Dick? Vonnegut? Burroughs? Can't remember.

I'd say Hunter S. Thompson would be a fun read for mental insanity, although it's typically drug-induced. :P


Wasn't Bukowski, and Burroughs was more of a heroin thing. So it's one of the two others.
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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:50 pm 
 

I worked at a mental health clinic for about a year and a half so I got to see insanity close-up. I'll never forget the first time I sat with an intensely schizophrenic person who rambled in circles and insisted on holding my hand and would bob her head up and down, from her lap to straight up in a split-second. Talked a lot about her mother saying she was worthless, offered to give me $100,000...I don't even.

I felt like my coworkers were playing a joke on me when they shoved me in a room with her. Truly psychotic.
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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:37 pm 
 

Philip K. Dick was'nt crazy per se, but he did have some strange drug experiences which feed into some of his work, particularly "A scanner darkly". He was convinced that his house had been robbed until a friend told him that he had actually ransacked his own place in the midst of a speed bender and entirely forgotten about it. Dude had a pretty troubled life - I was recently reading a book of interviews with Ray Bradbury where he discusses the only time he met Dick. He says of him "some people don't seem to like being alive".
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katatonia47
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:44 am 
 

I'm after recommendations here. Does anyone have any books on the subject of anarchism that are particularly renowned?
I'm currently reading Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis and I love it. I like that it's a book about late-teens that's not fucking stupid preachy crap.
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Azmodes
Ultranaut

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:44 am
Posts: 6021
Location: Gradec, Austria
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:04 am 
 

The_Orphanizer wrote:
A huge thank you to whoever recommended "The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect" by Roger Williams in this thread. I just finished the first chapter; this is just fucking gloriously perverse. I love it! :evil:

:beer:
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Junge.

Last.fm | Collection

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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 2211
Location: At the bottom of the lake
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:40 pm 
 

altered_vlad wrote:
Brethren, I'm in need for some recommendations!
I suddenly feel the urge to read some literary works centered around mental illness, preferably dementia.

Might be a little off base, but have you read American Psycho?
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TheStormIRide wrote:
Strange whistling vocals in human monster? Color me intrigued.

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Megadeth
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 481
Location: Norway
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:24 pm 
 

altered_vlad wrote:
I suddenly feel the urge to read some literary works centered around mental illness, preferably dementia.


I haven't read any myself, but have you seen this list?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_illness_in_fiction

If you're interested in romance then there's a book and a film called The Notebook where one character has Alzheimer's disease. Haven't seen or read it, but I saw another romantic drama movie from Korea a couple months ago with a similar subject. However, that one is not based on a book. It was very good for it's genre, so I highly recommend it. It's called A Moment to Remember. I would have linked a trailer if they didn't spoil so much.

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Metal_Detector
Reticular Modular Unit

Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:15 pm
Posts: 1886
Location: Forgotten In Space
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:59 pm 
 

Has anyone here read In Search of Lost Time? How do you feel about it (without giving plot details away)?

Is it worth the million+ words?

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