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Thorgrim_Honkronte
Imperius Rexxz

Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:40 pm
Posts: 2903
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:10 pm 
 

Torture and misery in an excluded, nameless prison which everything is emotionless and sterile, and the justice is harsh. There's so much more to it than that but I would hate to give it away.
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vondskapens_makt
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:23 pm
Posts: 567
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:12 pm 
 

I'll look for it the next time I stop by a bookstore. Thanks.
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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10261
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:13 pm 
 

AurvandiL wrote:
Ah, I am currently reading the Lord of the Rings (pretty generic and bland, compared to classical litterature but...) in an old french edition. First time I read it in french, amusing translation.

For the french-speakers: read anything you can from Serge Brussolo. He excels in all genres, be it historical novel, fantasy, science fiction, polar, societal novels, and children novels.

I do enjoy some King some time. Moorcock is the master, and Zelazny has won my favours.
Old 50's SF / anticipation books are a good investment too. I am thinking about The Martian Chronicles, Farenheit 451, 1984 etc... Dystopies are generally good readings.


I read a lot of old SF; always have and will probably never grow tired of it, although my favourites in this field aren't exactly well-read today. I really love the incredibly wweird and zany tales of A. E. Van Vogt for instance, but barely anybody has heard of him nowadays. Moorcock is kind of hit and miss with me ... I only managed to get through a few of the Elric books and they seemed a little on the fluffy and cheese-ridden side, however his novel "The War Hound and the World's Pain" is monumentally good, and I don't think much can compare to the greatness that is "Behold the Man" (everybody should read this one!). Zelazny and I have a funny relationship .. I admire him and think he has a rare wit and style, but his silliness can be a bit distracting. Also, tales based around puns don't really sit too well with me! Cool writer, though. Have you read "Jack of Shadows"? I'm quite interested in that one.

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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10261
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:31 pm 
 

alexanderthegreat wrote:
I'm always eager to join a new literature thread. :)

Right now I'm re-reading The Shadow of the Vulture in the Howard collection Grim Lands. It's a really good example of an action-adventure that on the surface is just popcorn entertainment, but has a lot of undercurrents and great nods to history and culture that one might miss on a first reading. The titular Vulture might seem to be unrealistic in his vulture-winged armour if you're unfamiliar with late Ottoman cavalry or the later Polish hussars, but he's still very striking. Plus it has the only appearance of Red Sonya, one of the first (and best) sword-swinging heroines in adventure fiction.

Abominatrix wrote:
I just finished the short novel "Roadside Picnic", by the brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, probably Russia's most known science fiction writers, and they always worked as a team.


I really enjoyed Roadside Picnic. I was a big fan of Stalker and was very eager to read it, and to be honest I liked it a lot more than the film. The two things are both equally good, but I enjoyed the style and narrative more in RP as opposed to the enigmatic film. I also liked the pulpish elements (Witch's Jelly, Mosquito Mange, all those things), and it seemed more overtly SF than the film. I think Russia and the former Soviet states "suits" the post-apocalyptic milieu more though, considering recent history, and also because Russia's just cool.

Sorry I can't be more astute, I'm not very lucid due to distracting conjunctivitis.


Ah, I was hoping you would pop in here! ;D

I haven't read that Howard tale yet. Actually, I still haven't gotten much beyond Conan and Kull, although I did read one of the westerns a while ago, and also one of the oriental tales ("The Lost Valley of Iskander, I think).. I have a lot more of his stuff and I guess I've been kind of savouring it in small doses. I quickly devoured most of Clark Ashton Smith's stuff and got depressed when I realised that there wasn't/wouldn't ever be any more to read, and I dont' want that to happen with Howard, too. You're right that there's usually a good deal beneath the surface of his adventure romps. After reading the Conan and Kull tales I found myself constantly relating bits of them to daily life and extracting philosophy from the tales, and I don't just mean "By Crom, I'd like to smash this man's skull!!!"

Yeah, the style of "Roadside picnic" was pulpish indeed, but I wish I could read Russian to know what the original was really like. Also, the influence of Russian literature on the brothers iss plain and I like that very much. It's funny howw in the middle of this "hard-boiled" story they suddenly drop us into wild stream of consciousness-stylee ranting. You should definitely check out "The Final Circle of Paradise" and "Prisoners of Power" if you haven't.

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ChrystusNaPustyni
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 5:33 pm
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:32 pm 
 

Kite Runner was a good book, I dont know why so many people complain how "depressive" it is.Sure it is filled with things that vondskapens_makt mentioned, but they go well with the story and make sense, so its not like the whole book is filled with pointless violence.The book takes you on a journey,as if you see things happen through the main characters eyes,the author makes you feel the MC's joy and sorrow.The characters in the story are good too,they make the story enjoyable and the reader can relate to some of them. My fav. was Hassan most layal person you will ever read about. Basically it is a book about guilt, betrayal,redemption
and love, more than just "13 year old boys raping other 13 year old boys."
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DeathForBlitzkrieg
A Dead Man's Robe

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:23 pm
Posts: 2136
Location: Austria
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:34 pm 
 

oneyoudontknow wrote:
DeathForBlitzkrieg wrote:
Yes, I've heard that, too, but I gonna read those I have to do for school first and afterwards decide whether I want to read more of his works.


His longer stories are also more complex and 'he' is getting on ones nerves with his style of writing... they are often weird in their own way. Kafka is not easy to read and you would have not only to read his stuff, but to interpret what he is actually writing about. There is far more than meets the eye on the first glance.


I've written dozens of interpretations/analyses for much classic (German) literature since my German teacher is damn demanding and also a teacher for psychology & philosophy, so I'm perfectly capable of reading between the lines. I adore my mother tongue and nothing fascinates me more than a sophisticated and intricate writing style.
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Acrobat
Eric Olthwaite

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:53 am
Posts: 6707
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:41 pm 
 

Yes Literary Heavy Metal! Bruce Dickinson would proud;

I've been reading
William Blake
Samuel Coleridge
Michael Moorcock
Robert E Horward

all excellent

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Acrobat
Eric Olthwaite

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:53 am
Posts: 6707
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:43 pm 
 

oh ive read Birdsong and Atonement can anyone recommend any more WWII and WWI literature?

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AurvandiL
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:22 am
Posts: 1000
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:44 pm 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
AurvandiL wrote:
Ah, I am currently reading the Lord of the Rings (pretty generic and bland, compared to classical litterature but...) in an old french edition. First time I read it in french, amusing translation.

For the french-speakers: read anything you can from Serge Brussolo. He excels in all genres, be it historical novel, fantasy, science fiction, polar, societal novels, and children novels.

I do enjoy some King some time. Moorcock is the master, and Zelazny has won my favours.
Old 50's SF / anticipation books are a good investment too. I am thinking about The Martian Chronicles, Farenheit 451, 1984 etc... Dystopies are generally good readings.


I read a lot of old SF; always have and will probably never grow tired of it, although my favourites in this field aren't exactly well-read today. I really love the incredibly wweird and zany tales of A. E. Van Vogt for instance, but barely anybody has heard of him nowadays. Moorcock is kind of hit and miss with me ... I only managed to get through a few of the Elric books and they seemed a little on the fluffy and cheese-ridden side, however his novel "The War Hound and the World's Pain" is monumentally good, and I don't think much can compare to the greatness that is "Behold the Man" (everybody should read this one!). Zelazny and I have a funny relationship .. I admire him and think he has a rare wit and style, but his silliness can be a bit distracting. Also, tales based around puns don't really sit too well with me! Cool writer, though. Have you read "Jack of Shadows"? I'm quite interested in that one.


Of course I know Van Vogt, just not into his stuff.
INDEED, Moorcock's things are often cheesy, heroic for the sake of being romantic medieval whatever. But I still like it.
Zelazny style is best appreciated while reading Nine Princes in Amber saga. Irony, cynism (if such a word exist in english), morbid humour, and quite realistic novels. I like it. Haven't read Behold the man, the one about Jesus, is that right?

Jack of Shadow is in my very humble opinion a MUST HAVE. A small book, ridden with the very same humour, with a extremely cynical and amoral hero. You must read it if you haven't.

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oneyoudontknow
Cum insantientibus furere necesse est.

Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
Posts: 5347
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:55 pm 
 

DeathForBlitzkrieg wrote:
I adore my mother tongue and nothing fascinates me more than a sophisticated and intricate writing style.

Then you should read Bernhard. His grammar is just awesome and also hie stories are unique. Read the Wikipedia entry and you get a pretty good idea on what to expect.

His writings are mostly monologues with hardly any plot; I have read Der Untergeher (The loser) and also Wikipedia points this element out. Nonetheless his precise kind of writing on describing a person or a situation is really unique. He writes pages after pages on such things and sheds light on the situation from all directions. When I read the aforementioned book first, it brought me into the mood to throw it away, because his kind of expressing thinsg was hardly bearable... now I have begun to adore his writings and they are on a very high level.


and this is one of the most brilliant books I have ever read:
If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_on_a_wi ... a_traveler

This book is beyond awesome... it is damn impressive written and in a style perfectly unique. The whole attempt to 'communicate' with the reader is different from all the other books that I have read before. It is hard to describe this book without telling too much. There is not a real plot, but something else, something that begins to evolve by reading it...
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Last edited by oneyoudontknow on Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FathomlessDepths
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:10 pm
Posts: 50
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:57 pm 
 

To answer some questions asked earlier without quoting -

I have not checked out Catch 22 although that is on my list. I want to finish more of the older anti-war novels first. Also, Hemingway captures my attention for some strange reasons that his stories are believeable and mirror everyday life. The endings are strictly mirrored to reality - nothing completely out of left field, or huge dramatic resolutions that the reader never expected. In a way some people may hate this technique because it doesn't leave any closure - but that is life, and sometimes there is no closure. I really enjoy the book of short stories - MEN WITHOUT WOMEN.
A good book to read is I KILLED HEMINGWAY. Written in the 90s - it's a great take on the whole Hemingway suicide complete with a fictional story of a man who claims he killed Hemingway for stealing all of his ideas. Interesting, concise, and pretty funny at times.

Stephen King is amazing because I love his character and story developments. The way he describes events, or people in such detail is so appealing and really grabs on to the reader. I have to admit, at some points in the middle of The Shining - I was a little creeped out.

Also, I have the anthology of the Edgar Allan Poes works - I will have to look more into once I'm done with this Anti-war novel kick. And yes, to those posts about "The Penal Colony" - that was a great story. We read that in my literature class a couple years back, along with many Chekhov short stories - great writer as well.

BOOKS RULE DOODZ
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The_Grand_Destructor
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:01 am
Posts: 10
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:00 pm 
 

Given up on Beowulf, it just hasn't grabbed me and I'm a good chunk in. Time for Adam Smith's Wealth Of Nations...

Might go and read some Joseph Conrad again at some point...love that author...

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DeathForBlitzkrieg
A Dead Man's Robe

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:23 pm
Posts: 2136
Location: Austria
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:29 am 
 

@ oneyoudon'tknow

Cool, gonna look into him, but probably not before summer, because this is my last (half) year of school, so I'm snowed under with work.
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alexanderthegreat
Metal Barbarian Dinosaur

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 5:34 pm
Posts: 1916
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:30 am 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
I haven't read that Howard tale yet. Actually, I still haven't gotten much beyond Conan and Kull, although I did read one of the westerns a while ago, and also one of the oriental tales ("The Lost Valley of Iskander, I think).. I have a lot more of his stuff and I guess I've been kind of savouring it in small doses.


Howard's historical fiction is top-class, and considering the time period and audience he was writing for, very detailed. In (for example) The Blood of Belchazzar he mentions Turks, Arabs, Kurds, Lurs, Armenians, Circassians and Georgians, where a lesser author would just call them Arabs or some such. I'd generally recommend any historical Howard yarn, but Lord of Samarkand is easily the best.

Quote:
I quickly devoured most of Clark Ashton Smith's stuff and got depressed when I realised that there wasn't/wouldn't ever be any more to read, and I dont' want that to happen with Howard, too.


I got that a bit too. It isn't as bad with Howard since he wrote heaps of stuff, but it is quite a sad moment when you realise that this is it. Still, re-reading is always easy with good pulps.

Quote:
You're right that there's usually a good deal beneath the surface of his adventure romps. After reading the Conan and Kull tales I found myself constantly relating bits of them to daily life and extracting philosophy from the tales, and I don't just mean "By Crom, I'd like to smash this man's skull!!!"


It's quite surprising how deep the Conan and Kull tales can be, especially the metaphysical Kull ones (Mirrors of Tuzun Thune, The Skull of Silence) but yeah, lots of hidden depths.

Quote:
You should definitely check out "The Final Circle of Paradise" and "Prisoners of Power" if you haven't.


Will do. I wish I could read Russian too, just to get the full experience.
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AnimalBones
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:03 am
Posts: 80
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:35 am 
 

oneyoudontknow wrote:
vondskapens_makt wrote:
@oneyoudontknow; Do they still make those novels? Hell, do you know if they even sell them outside of Germany? I'd like to get my hands on them.

One source is e-bay and the other one is the Gutenberg-Project:
Kafka - The trial:
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/7849

Yet I prefer books over some prints from *.txt files...

About the other one... The Castle.. I do not know if there is an e-text available, at least not at the American one.


I'm currently reading The Trial for the approximately one gazzilionth time. The translation is everything here, The Muirs were passible but ill informed and David Wyllie is clunky as shit and academically worthless, given that it was published in 2003 and ignores all the corrections made in the German critical edition. Bottom line, don't read the e-book but buy the Breon Mitchell translation published by Schocken and based on the new German critical editions.

I am the man I am today because I made the mistake of devouring Kafka as an impressionable 18 year old. Back then The Trial left me speechless, now I'm so jaded I'm just all "Suck it up you whining bitch".

Before the Law, the greatest short story ever written, a parable that is expanded upon slightly in The Trial. I'm also a big fan of The Message of the Emperor and The Great Wall of China, tremendous miniatures on the futility of effort. Also worth the effort is The Burrow, a great story centering on fear and self-doubt and, like the best of Kafka's work, left unfinished.

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AnimalBones
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:03 am
Posts: 80
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:44 am 
 

Abominatrix wrote:

Heh, a German novel about Glen Gould? I'm sure it's been translated into English .. he's somewhat of a figure around here and I know some people who knew him, including my old piano teacher. SOunds interesting at any rate.

I love Kafka. I always feel like shit after reading his writing! I'm mostly familiar with the short stories, but "The Trial" was a very engrossing, if incomplete, novel .. which I was introduced to via the orson Welles movie! That's got to be one of the most pretentious films I've seen in my life .. haha .. pretty enjoyable anyway though, I guess.


The Loser really is 200 pages of some (fictional) guy complaining how he'll never be as good on the piano as Glenn Gould. Got to be quite dull.

If you like Kafka then I'd recommend All the Names by Jose Saramago. Well I'd recommend all Saramago actually but that one in particular for its homage to Kafka's infinite bureaucracy set in a surreal treatise on the nature of identity.

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AlastairN
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:28 pm
Posts: 58
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:12 am 
 

Reading 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins and 'Born to be Riled' by Jeremy Clarkson. Very diametrically opposed novels, wouldn't you say?

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Sir_General_Flashman
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:23 am
Posts: 363
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:26 am 
 

I'm reading Flashman in the Great Game. It really excels in historical fiction.

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Swamphell
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:18 pm
Posts: 22
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:38 am 
 

i'm into books about theology, what would you guys recommend? i've pretty much read all that i would like in the satanic bible, and i didnt care too much for it, so i need something better

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AnimalBones
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:03 am
Posts: 80
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:08 pm 
 

Swamphell wrote:
i'm into books about theology, what would you guys recommend? i've pretty much read all that i would like in the satanic bible, and i didnt care too much for it, so i need something better


Do you actually want to read theology or are you just looking for My Big Bumper Book of Beelzebub?

If you are interested in theology but don't want to read text books or popular pseudo-philosophy then I would recommend some of the early Christian writers.

St. Augustine-Confessions. One of the first Western autobiographies and tells the story of his life from lustful youth through to his more mature reflections on the meaning of conversion, God, and morality.
St. Anselm-Collected Works. A fascinating figure who was not happy to accept the existence of God on blind faith but rather proposed to prove his existence and thus developed the ontological argument for his existence.
St. Thomas Aquinas-Summa Theologica. I've never read it, it's just too damn big but you can't pretend to know anything about theology without at least an understanding of the greatest of the medieval philosophers.

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Lokar
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:12 pm
Posts: 129
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:12 pm 
 

I read a lot. I usually average 2-3 books per week.

Right now I'm reading Jean-Paul Sartre's Nausea. I'm liking it so far, even though I'm not that big on Sartre's philosophy. Reminds me of Dostojevsky's Notes from the Underground, which is among my personal favourites.
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AnimalBones
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:03 am
Posts: 80
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:24 pm 
 

Lokar wrote:
I read a lot. I usually average 2-3 books per week.

Right now I'm reading Jean-Paul Sartre's Nausea. I'm liking it so far, even though I'm not that big on Sartre's philosophy. Reminds me of Dostojevsky's Notes from the Underground, which is among my personal favourites.


Not surprising really as Dostoyevsky was really a proto-existentialist. This comes through most clearly in The Idiot. I never liked Sartre's fiction much, I found Nausea borderline unreadable and The Age of Reason so dull as to induce an existential crisis. Being and Nothingness, however, is a singular work of genius and genuinely exciting to read if you can devote some time to it (alas no more).

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woeoftyrants
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:08 pm
Posts: 148
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:25 pm 
 

I did a ton of reading last semester for my Honors class; it was over the Age of Classicism, so it was mostly Greek epics and tragedies (Medea, The Aeneid, Ovid's Metamorphoses, etc.) along with some readings on Plato and Aristotle; I hated the philosophy unit because I'm not a huge fan of classical philosophy, but it was tolerable. I'm taking my second Honors class this semester over the Age of Faith; we're reading The Canterbury Tales (ugh..) right now, and we're supposed to start Dante's Inferno right after we finish this book. Some other books we're supposed to read are by Charlemagne, St. Aquinas, and St. Augustine.

In my own time, I've been doing a lot of reading as well. Right now I'm reading a compilation of R.W. Emerson's essays and speeches, and I just finished reading Henry David Thoreau's Walden for the second or third time; I read Watership Down over my winter break and was pleasantly surprised by it. Since school has started last August, some of the books I've read are:

W.S. Burroughs - Naked Lunch (insane and disturbing, but and incredible satire)
Bret Easton Ellis - Glamorama (not as controversial as American Psycho, but still amazing)
Nietzsche - Beyond Good & Evil, Thus Spake Zarathustra
Jack Finney - Time & Again and From Time to Time (These were a recommendation of one of my high school teachers, I enjoyed these two.)

And some books that I received for X-Mas, that I've wanted to read for a long time, and will finally have the chance to:

Anthony Burgess - A Clockwork Orange
Chuck Palahniuk - Fight Club
J.G. Ballard - The Atrocity Exhibition
W.S. Burroughs - Junky
Nietzsche - The Gay Science
Jack Kerouac - On the Road
Hunter S. Thompson - Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72

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Swamphell
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:18 pm
Posts: 22
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:25 pm 
 

AnimalBones wrote:
Swamphell wrote:
i'm into books about theology, what would you guys recommend? i've pretty much read all that i would like in the satanic bible, and i didnt care too much for it, so i need something better


Do you actually want to read theology or are you just looking for My Big Bumper Book of Beelzebub?

If you are interested in theology but don't want to read text books or popular pseudo-philosophy then I would recommend some of the early Christian writers.

St. Augustine-Confessions. One of the first Western autobiographies and tells the story of his life from lustful youth through to his more mature reflections on the meaning of conversion, God, and morality.
St. Anselm-Collected Works. A fascinating figure who was not happy to accept the existence of God on blind faith but rather proposed to prove his existence and thus developed the ontological argument for his existence.
St. Thomas Aquinas-Summa Theologica. I've never read it, it's just too damn big but you can't pretend to know anything about theology without at least an understanding of the greatest of the medieval philosophers.


i'm hoping that this isnt all about christianity, cause i'm also curious into other religions. and no i'm not just becoming some satan-loving fag

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AnimalBones
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:03 am
Posts: 80
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:54 pm 
 

Swamphell wrote:
AnimalBones wrote:
Swamphell wrote:
i'm into books about theology, what would you guys recommend? i've pretty much read all that i would like in the satanic bible, and i didnt care too much for it, so i need something better


Do you actually want to read theology or are you just looking for My Big Bumper Book of Beelzebub?

If you are interested in theology but don't want to read text books or popular pseudo-philosophy then I would recommend some of the early Christian writers.

St. Augustine-Confessions. One of the first Western autobiographies and tells the story of his life from lustful youth through to his more mature reflections on the meaning of conversion, God, and morality.
St. Anselm-Collected Works. A fascinating figure who was not happy to accept the existence of God on blind faith but rather proposed to prove his existence and thus developed the ontological argument for his existence.
St. Thomas Aquinas-Summa Theologica. I've never read it, it's just too damn big but you can't pretend to know anything about theology without at least an understanding of the greatest of the medieval philosophers.


i'm hoping that this isnt all about christianity, cause i'm also curious into other religions. and no i'm not just becoming some satan-loving fag


Yeah, it's all Christianity, knowledge of the other major world religions is one of the many gaping holes in my knowledge base. I've read the Tao of Pooh and that's about it. I keep meaning to read the Koran but I've got by on just groundless prejudice for over thirty years and figure a few more won't hurt.

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Swamphell
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:18 pm
Posts: 22
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:04 pm 
 

AnimalBones wrote:
Swamphell wrote:
AnimalBones wrote:
Swamphell wrote:
i'm into books about theology, what would you guys recommend? i've pretty much read all that i would like in the satanic bible, and i didnt care too much for it, so i need something better


Do you actually want to read theology or are you just looking for My Big Bumper Book of Beelzebub?

If you are interested in theology but don't want to read text books or popular pseudo-philosophy then I would recommend some of the early Christian writers.

St. Augustine-Confessions. One of the first Western autobiographies and tells the story of his life from lustful youth through to his more mature reflections on the meaning of conversion, God, and morality.
St. Anselm-Collected Works. A fascinating figure who was not happy to accept the existence of God on blind faith but rather proposed to prove his existence and thus developed the ontological argument for his existence.
St. Thomas Aquinas-Summa Theologica. I've never read it, it's just too damn big but you can't pretend to know anything about theology without at least an understanding of the greatest of the medieval philosophers.


i'm hoping that this isnt all about christianity, cause i'm also curious into other religions. and no i'm not just becoming some satan-loving fag


Yeah, it's all Christianity, knowledge of the other major world religions is one of the many gaping holes in my knowledge base. I've read the Tao of Pooh and that's about it. I keep meaning to read the Koran but I've got by on just groundless prejudice for over thirty years and figure a few more won't hurt.


thats cool, i'll still try to look into it

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oneyoudontknow
Cum insantientibus furere necesse est.

Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
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Location: Germany
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:19 pm 
 

AnimalBones wrote:
If you like Kafka then I'd recommend All the Names by Jose Saramago. Well I'd recommend all Saramago actually but that one in particular for its homage to Kafka's infinite bureaucracy set in a surreal treatise on the nature of identity.

This books sounds interesting and I am looking forward to get it. The neyt one I will read is another of Bernhard's books; Heldenplatz, the Austrian 'scandal' book.
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oneyoudontknow
Cum insantientibus furere necesse est.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:21 pm 
 

DeathForBlitzkrieg wrote:
@ oneyoudon'tknow

Cool, gonna look into him, but probably not before summer, because this is my last (half) year of school, so I'm snowed under with work.

You should or perhaps even must read him, because you are from Austria... like someone from Germany has to deal with Grass... yet, I cannot take "Die Blechtrommel"; I simply cannot. A horrible book.
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vondskapens_makt
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:23 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:23 pm 
 

@woeoftyrants: Hey, you're reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra too! What are your thoughts on it so far?
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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:23 pm 
 

Nahsil wrote:
I'm multi-booking right now with:

Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
The Essential Conan by REH
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Plato's Republic

after those I'm gonna read:

G.K. Chesterton - The Everlasting Man
Descartes - First Meditations on Philosophy

Oh, and I just finished Fahrenheit 451. Loved it, but the ending wasn't very satisfying.

I borrowed a copy of Divine Comedy from my highschool library years ago and never got around to returning it. :)


How was that Russel Hoban book? I've been considering checking out a couple of his titles. One was recommended to me very highly but .. sadly, that's one I can't seem to find at the moment. I'll have to see if I can find the title as I've forgotten what it was now .. not the one you were reading, however.

Does "THe essential Conan" include all the completed Conan tales, or is it a selection of "highlights"?

For some reason Bradbury has never totally clicked with me. I like some of his stories well enough but I've never really had the urge to re-visit them and many of his "classics" I've simply never read. I did read Farrenheit though; the ending did underwhelm me too, but I read "1984" at around the same time initially, and that could be part of the reason .. I was unconciously prone to compare the two novels. Bradbury's book is really much more of a personal story and there's not a lot of detail about the societyy these people aliv in.

What do you think of "The Man Who Was Thursday"? SO far, it's the only Chesterton novel I've read (I've read one or two of his plays as well). I loved the book, though the ending didn't really satisfy me .. that's probably because I don't really share Chesterton's worldview .. still, the subtitle "A Nightmare" was very appropriate and I raced along on the atmosphere and sense of mystery and magic crackling beneath the surface.

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Zdan
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:24 pm 
 

Some of the stuff I have read recently:

"The Savage Tales Of Solomon Kane" by Robert E.Howard. If you thought that Conan is the best character to come from Howard think again - his tales about Solomon Kane are AMAZING - a very pulp-action flavour but also grim and pessimistic in a way.

Also the first five Amber Chronicles books by Zelazny. One of the most eclectic and mind-capturing fantasy cycles ever written. Almost like a psychological study of the supernatural through the eyes of the protagonist. And the concept of reality in Amber is quite unique too - reccomended.

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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
Posts: 9725
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:37 pm 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
Well, I don't entirely mean to sound like a pompous artistic snob here, but it kind of disheartens me to note the proliferation of the video games thread, the SImpsons quote thread, etc, and yet find that whenever someone starts a thread like this one it quickly gets pushed off the first page.


Like the poor sci-fi/fantasy literature thread...we're the only Vance fans here. :( But that won't happen to this thread, no no!

Abominatrix wrote:
I just finished the short novel "Roadside Picnic", by the brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, probably Russia's most known science fiction writers, and they always worked as a team. I think their writing is marvelous but wonder sometimes about the quality of the english translations. This book was the inspiration for Andrei Tarkovsky's film "Stalker", one of the few great science fiction movies ever to be made. It's about aliens making a very brief (six seconds!) stopover or visitation at six locations on earth simultaneously and leaving behind them huge amounts of what seems to be garbage and detritus. The title comes from a theory one of the characters has about the visitations .. that the aliens were traveling along a sort of cosmic roadway and decided to stop for a proverbial picnic, and simply didn't bother to clean up after themselves. The result leaves the areas extremely dangerous, subject to freak and very localised weather phenomena, gravitational anomalies, mutational effects and pools of corrosive toxic sludge.. and there have also been many artifacts left behind that science is trying desperately to crack, while all the time the "stalkers" are traveling into the contaminated zones and retreiving items they think might be of value and selling them to the highest bidder. The novel is written in a weird style that kind of resembles American hard-boiled detective novels of the 1930s .. the characters have names like Buzzard Burbridge and use strange euphemisms for beating the crap out of someone. This is doubly amusing because the book is supposed to take place in Canada. It's very good though, and like all of the other Strugatsky work I've read, there are a lot of metaphysical implications and currents working beneath the surface. I appreciate writers that don't spell everything out for their audience and leave us with many things to ponder, and the Strugatskies always do this, and they only prod you very gently in the direction they might conceivably want your ponderings to go. I also highly recommend their book "The Final CIrcle of Paradise". These books were written in Russia in the 1970s but their future settings seemed to let the brothers get away with stuff that might have been considered decadent and undesireable in the Soviet clime. The ending is very perplexing and I'm sure that's the way it was intended. It's a bit more subtle than the total anomie of the "Stalker" movie.


Hot fucking damn...I loved Stalker (easily one of the best sci-fi movies ever made, right up there with Blade Runner and Brazil), but I didn't know it was based on a book! (or short novel, whatever.) I'll have to check those brothers out, they sound interesting, and I've never heard of them.

Abominatrix wrote:
Can't say I'm really a Hemingway fan. Most people seem to think that you're either going to love Hemingway or just not get him, and I guess the style just fails to capture me .. you're right that it's clear and concise, and in principle that isn't a bad thing,, but I like my writers to be a bit more .. purple? Hahah .. all the same, I've only ever read short works from Hemingway, so I may yet give one of the novels, like "A Farewell to Arms", a try.


Oh shit! Read For Whom the Bell Tolls, in my opinion his best. Just amazing, captures the violence of war (even though it's only a very small part, geographically and chronologically) very realistically and viscerally, more so because it's not embellished. Some of Hemingway's stuff is a little dull (The Sun Also Rises, though interesting in concept, was just rather bland after reading his others), but For Whom the Bell Tolls is a fantastic novel. A Farewell to Arms is good too, but I can't say as much about that one since I last read it about 5 or so years ago...may be about time for a re-read.

DeathForBlitzkrieg wrote:
Franz Kafka - In der Strafkolonie (In The Penal Colony), Die Verwandlung (The Metamorphosis)

All latter three for school, but I wanted to read some Kafka anyway.


I've read Die Verwandlung, but not In der Strafkolonie...maybe I should. Das Urteil (The Trial, for you non-German-speakers) has got to be my favorite Kafka work, though; the relationships between the characters, the father & son in particular, are just amazing. The scene/symbolized struggle in the father's bedroom is great, my favorite in the book. And of course, like all Kafka, there's more symbolism than you can shake a stick at. :)

Abominatrix wrote:
I love Kafka. I always feel like shit after reading his writing! I'm mostly familiar with the short stories, but "The Trial" was a very engrossing, if incomplete, novel.


Oh, it's complete, you just have to appreciate it on a symbolic level. My German lit professor (himself a native German, visiting from Augsburg) was really great at helping me to understand it (i.e. he didn't just tell me what was going on, he helped me to reach my own conclusions). You just have to ask certain questions about certain strange events in the story, for it to become clear...who IS "the friend"? What exactly is he doing, if his business is failing and he doesn't have a social life? The way I understand it, the "son" and his "friend" are actually two sides to the same person; namely, the social, businessman side, and the artistic, reclusive side (Kafka once said something to the effect that artists ought to be reclusive, removed from social lives and business lives, so that they could study their inner selves). The former has "exiled" the latter in favor of himself, which is why he's been so successful in his social life and business; when the father "sentences him to death", it is in favor of the artistic side of his son, and the "jumping into the river" is just a metaphor or symbol. If you think about it that way, it makes a lot of other weird things make sense...for example, why the father (after their metaphorical/symbolic power struggle in the bedroom) says that he has been in contact with the friend the whole time (it's just another side of his son), and why no one seems to care when the son jumps into the river "the traffic continues over the bridge" or something like that is the final line, which implies no one stopped to watch him kill himself, which in turn implies that there wasn't really anyone killing themselves...anyway, I could go on about this, but my analysis is a year old and I don't have the original text or my original paper on it sitting in front of me, so I'll leave it at that. I'm not saying that's the One True Interpretation or anything, but that's why I got out of it. One thing I love about Kafka, as I mentioned before, is the fact that the symbolism is genuinely deep enough to be analyzed to this extent, without ever straying into silly deconstruction.

Zdan wrote:
Also the first five Amber Chronicles books by Zelazny. One of the most eclectic and mind-capturing fantasy cycles ever written. Almost like a psychological study of the supernatural through the eyes of the protagonist. And the concept of reality in Amber is quite unique too - reccomended.


Unfortunately the rest of the series never recaptures the excellence of the first book...all the books are good, but the later ones, the Merlin ones especially, are more like entertainment than real literature. Good entertainment, sure, but not up to the standards of the earlier ones. Eric made a much more interesting villain than the Courts of Chaos and Brand, and the familial struggle for the crown was better than some fight against "ancient evil" bla bla. Nothing personal against ancient evil; it's just that it wasn't pulled off nearly as well as Eric vs. Corwin being the main conflict. Frankly it seems to me that Zelazny deliberately made it that way, so as to not scare off potential readers and make more money, or perhaps he was just self-conscious and couldn't take himself that seriously. More's the shame. In any case, the series is still worth reading; but keep in mind, prospective readers, the first book's the best. That way you won't be disappointed.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:45 pm 
 

Oh, I almost forgot to mention what I'm reading! ;)

I'm currently working my way through the last of the Viriconium books by M. John Harrison; simply put, one of the absolute best takes on the "dying Earth" theme, popularized of course by the incomparable Jack Vance. Deals with a far-far-future Earth, where the "Afternoon Cultures" have essentially leeched all the resources of Earth dry, and their decaying cities have left most of the planet polluted; now, the "Evening Cultures" scrabble a cheap existence in the bones of their more advanced and long-gone predecessors. There's a lot of ancient, super-advanced technology around, like lightsabers and space ships and such, but no one knows how to repair them, much less make them; they slowly dwindle as they break down or are destroyed. Anyway, Viriconium is the last big metropolis where some degree of civilization remains. Everywhere else is pretty much either barbarians or farmers. The books deal with various large events in the city's history; the first and third books are the best, with the struggle between the two Queens for the throne in the first, and a simple portrayal of life in the city through the eyes of a portrait-painter in the third. The second gets a bit too long-winded and pretentious for its own good, but it's still worth reading. After the last novel, there are some short stories to read, and then that's it for the series. You can buy all three novels and all the short stories in one single volume, so it's well worth the cost. I'm sure anyone who enjoys that kind of sci-fi would enjoy it; I'm looking at you, Abominatrix, if you haven't read it already!
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Zdan
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:46 pm 
 

I tend to disagree on the Amber topic. The change of villain is really not important in the series. Sure Eric is a thousand more times believable villain than the Courts Of Chaos but I think this is mostly irrelevant here. The first five Amber books to me are a study of a being with power and what moral/psychological struggles said being has. Of course it is put into a fantasy context but it is so much more than that. Ask yourself the question: Why Corwin is the main hero? I think the answer is fairly simple - he is both a superman and yet still the most humane of the Amberites. The change of villain is therefore just a shift to more conventional fantasy rhetoric but I believe that Corwin is still the focus of those books. But each to his own - this is just my take on it.

That said from a technical point of view the first book is indeed the best. But read the first five - those are classics of the genre that put another spin on it.

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woeoftyrants
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:08 pm
Posts: 148
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:48 pm 
 

vondskapens_makt wrote:
@woeoftyrants: Hey, you're reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra too! What are your thoughts on it so far?


I really liked it; most people are put off by the way Nietzsche wrote it with the poetic style, metaphors and whatnot, but the symbolism to me was a lot more striking than anything he had put into words at that point. It's an incredibly empowering work for a person to read, which was a big factor into why I loved it so much. :)

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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:53 pm 
 

Zdan wrote:
I tend to disagree on the Amber topic. The change of villain is really not important in the series. Sure Eric is a thousand more times believable villain than the Courts Of Chaos but I think this is mostly irrelevant here. The first five Amber books to me are a study of a being with power and what moral/psychological struggles said being has. Of course it is put into a fantasy context but it is so much more than that. Ask yourself the question: Why Corwin is the main hero? I think the answer is fairly simple - he is both a superman and yet still the most humane of the Amberites. The change of villain is therefore just a shift to more conventional fantasy rhetoric but I believe that Corwin is still the focus of those books. But each to his own - this is just my take on it.

That said from a technical point of view the first book is indeed the best. But read the first five - those are classics of the genre that put another spin on it.


Yes, but that's exactly the point; Eric provides a HUMAN counterpart to Corwin, and puts him in a much better context. Eric shows what Corwin could have been (or even was), had he not lived on Earth for hundreds of years. Through Eric, Corwin is given much more depth.
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Zdan
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 6:05 pm
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Location: Poland
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:59 pm 
 

failsafeman wrote:
Zdan wrote:
I tend to disagree on the Amber topic. The change of villain is really not important in the series. Sure Eric is a thousand more times believable villain than the Courts Of Chaos but I think this is mostly irrelevant here. The first five Amber books to me are a study of a being with power and what moral/psychological struggles said being has. Of course it is put into a fantasy context but it is so much more than that. Ask yourself the question: Why Corwin is the main hero? I think the answer is fairly simple - he is both a superman and yet still the most humane of the Amberites. The change of villain is therefore just a shift to more conventional fantasy rhetoric but I believe that Corwin is still the focus of those books. But each to his own - this is just my take on it.

That said from a technical point of view the first book is indeed the best. But read the first five - those are classics of the genre that put another spin on it.


Yes, but that's exactly the point; Eric provides a HUMAN counterpart to Corwin, and puts him in a much better context. Eric shows what Corwin could have been (or even was), had he not lived on Earth for hundreds of years. Through Eric, Corwin is given much more depth.


See this where we disagree. To me it works the other way - Eric is built around the concept of what would Corwin be if he wanted to be a power-hungry Amberite (which he is but that is a diffrent point). I think Zelazny based the work on Corwin and work outward rather then inward. And the Courts Of Chaos with very well into the image I proposed - I would argue there are not the "ultimate evil". I would say they are ultimate power - what Amberites would become if not for their Shadows and humanity. But this is just my take on this and nobody needs to agree with me.

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Cancer_General
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 3:19 pm
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Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:08 pm 
 

"Crime and Punishment" by good ol' Dosto and just had a quick flick through "A season in Hell" by Rimbaud. Both are highly recommended for their quality and high cultural impact.
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Joelsef
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:05 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:58 am 
 

In the last 2 or 3 months, I've been reading quite a lot. I've read Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, and like failsafeman said, it's a killer read. I had to read it for school so that ruined it to an extent, but it still kicked ass.

Also read Fight Club, which was much better than the movie, so I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the movie.

I read Stephen Colbert's I am America (And So Can You!), which was hilarious. Anyone with a good sense of humor should read it.

Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora was another kickass read. It's a fantasy novel about a group of con men living in a city similar to medieval Venice, Italy who get thrown into the middle of a crime war. Just plain awesome is all I have to say.

I'm currently reading Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World and Dante's Divine Comedy.

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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:29 am 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
Nahsil wrote:
I'm multi-booking right now with:

Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
The Essential Conan by REH
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Plato's Republic

after those I'm gonna read:

G.K. Chesterton - The Everlasting Man
Descartes - First Meditations on Philosophy

Oh, and I just finished Fahrenheit 451. Loved it, but the ending wasn't very satisfying.

I borrowed a copy of Divine Comedy from my highschool library years ago and never got around to returning it. :)


How was that Russel Hoban book? I've been considering checking out a couple of his titles. One was recommended to me very highly but .. sadly, that's one I can't seem to find at the moment. I'll have to see if I can find the title as I've forgotten what it was now .. not the one you were reading, however.

Does "THe essential Conan" include all the completed Conan tales, or is it a selection of "highlights"?

For some reason Bradbury has never totally clicked with me. I like some of his stories well enough but I've never really had the urge to re-visit them and many of his "classics" I've simply never read. I did read Farrenheit though; the ending did underwhelm me too, but I read "1984" at around the same time initially, and that could be part of the reason .. I was unconciously prone to compare the two novels. Bradbury's book is really much more of a personal story and there's not a lot of detail about the societyy these people aliv in.

What do you think of "The Man Who Was Thursday"? SO far, it's the only Chesterton novel I've read (I've read one or two of his plays as well). I loved the book, though the ending didn't really satisfy me .. that's probably because I don't really share Chesterton's worldview .. still, the subtitle "A Nightmare" was very appropriate and I raced along on the atmosphere and sense of mystery and magic crackling beneath the surface.


Riddley Walker is extremely unique, but I haven't gotten far enough to say much more than that. It's written in Hoban's primitive version of English with slang and misspellings to reflect the crude post-apocalyptic atmosphere, so it's kind of dense at times. I'm a huge fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, and it comes highly recommended, so I'll get my way through it eventually.

Speaking of post-apocalyptic stuff, A Canticle for Leibowitz is absolutely amazing. The scope is huge, spans thousands of years, and it's a beautiful novel, full of Latin, and it touches on just about everything, from religion and ethics to politics, science, war, human knowledge, etc. And it has a sense of humor to boot! It's too big to cover in a paragraph:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Canticle_For_Leibowitz

The Essential Conan includes: The Hour of the Dragon, The People of the Black Circle, Red Nails, The Devil in Iron, A Witch Shall Be Born, Jewels of Gwahlur, Beyond the Black River, Shadows in Zamboula, and The Hyborian Age.

Those first three are the main stories and are novella-ish. I've only read the first one.

The only other Chesterton book I've read is Orthodoxy. The Man Who Was Thursday is fiction, isn't it? With blatant religious undertones, of course.

As for Bradbury, Fahrenheit is the first I've read from him. I've heard that his Mars chronicles are pretty good. Sadly, I still haven't read 1984. I want to badly, but I just haven't gotten around to it.
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