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I just finished reading...

Discussion in 'General Book Discussion' started by Squire Jons, Jun 1, 2004.

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  1. MonkeyCatcher

    MonkeyCatcher New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Superfreakonomics -- Levitt & Dubner
    Yeah I felt like a bit of a dunce doing it (well even more than usual..) but I didn't want to ruin the story for anyone who didn't know :eek:
     
  2. nightlight

    nightlight New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    rereading Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
    HP and the HBP: Finished that too, on friday. But didn't cry. I thought there was a plan behind it all but turns out there wasn't. ah.

    Order of the Phoenix still tops my list!
     
  3. ions

    ions New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
    First bad thing I've heard about this book. As soon as I can find it used I'm picking it up to give it a shot.
     
  4. JMS

    JMS New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke


    Yes read it :)
    Id never read any of Folletts books before this one, so had no bench mark with which to judge 'The Pillars Of The Earth', but from the opening lines I was gripped and will be reading it again all 1075 pages :eek:
     
  5. Puddleglum

    Puddleglum New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    The Golden Barge by Micheal Moorcock
    Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom. It was a very touching story. His lack of contact with his brother reminded me very much of my own situation with both of my brothers. We all lead totally seperate lives and haven't seen each other for about 7 years properly.

    As for Morrie. Wise old fellow wasn't he.
     
  6. Rogue

    Rogue New Member

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    Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer
    This extraordinary piece of crap is a scandalous waste of paper.
     
  7. Jennifer

    Jennifer New Member

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    Great Expectations, Charles Dickens.

    It's a classic and it deserves it. So any criticisms are made from the standpoint of loving it anyway.

    I prefer the first two volumes to the third, for the reason that Pip gets steadily more annoying towards the end. His ingratitude is astounding and he forms a high opinion of himself all too quickly. However, I think he in some part redeems himself by his devotion to his benefactor at the end, despite his later assumption that the companions of his childhood will welcome him back with open arms. Also, the character's from the earlier parts are deeply amusing and touched with poignancy, particularly Pumblechook and Pip's sister, in their belief that they have done the best by Pip, and their sudden change of feelings towards him after his "expectations" are revealed.

    Miss Havisham is one of the best characters in Dickens. Her situation, and the way she shapes her betrayal into the defining characteristic of her life, are truly tragic, compounded by her resulting use of Estella. Dickens at once repels and fascinates with his descriptions of the spiders on the table, and the decaying items in the dressing room, and Miss Havisham's personal slide into mental and physical decay. Pip's vision of her hanging from a beam is terrifying, yet his description of how he tries to run away from, and finds himself running towards, this apparition is how the reader feels about the whole sad history.

    Estella is far less compelling - and yet, one can't help but sympathise somewhat; as she herself puts it, it is how she was made. I could have cried from sheer frustration at one point, where Miss Havisham realises what she has done with horror, yet Estella remains cold and inscrutable to the last, ever a result of her upbringing.

    My favourite passage is the part where Joe comes as close to reproaching Pip as he ever will, describing how uncomfortable he feels in the city, but in the country he is all he ever needs to be, and is proud, rather than ashamed like Pip, of his origins. I also got a vindictive pleasure out of Pip's discovery of who his benefactor is, although his assumption was fairly reasonable.

    The ending is brilliantly ambiguous yet more hopeful than Dickens originally intended it to be. One character's change in particular is satisfying, as one cannot believe that character to have been entirely cold-hearted. I was also finally reconciled to Pip, and realised I may have been harsh at first - I cannot say I would have behaved any better towards Joe etc. under the circumstances.

    Anyway, it's good and not at all boring, read it.
     
  8. Fistandantilus

    Fistandantilus New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Many Books
    Ive just finished reading Shadow Of A Dark Queen by Raymond E. Feist. I have to say it was one of the best fantasy books I have ever read, another masterpeice from my favourite authour. I am now reading Rise Of A Merchant Prince I dont really care about Roo "getting rich" but i think that I would miss some important information if i skipped on to Rage Of A Demon King
     
  9. raffaellabella

    raffaellabella New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins
    I just finished Serpent and the Moon by Princess Michael of Kent. Despite the reviewer raves I thought it was disappointing. I don't believe Princess Kent is a strong enough writer to pack 4 generations of family history and European history into 300 pages. She was using it to lead up to the affair of Henri II and Dian DePoiters. The author also kept writing of the hate of Catherin DeMedici and how she could "hate and wait" and boy, was I waiting for what was to come but there was nothing dramatic. The most she did was take away a chateaux from Diane.

    I have a bio on Chatherine DeMedici that I'm going to dive into once I finish what I'm currently reading. Hopefully this will be better.
     
  10. Rogue

    Rogue New Member

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    The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
    Entertaining book although the end took its time.
     
  11. Rogue

    Rogue New Member

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    Mort by Terry Pratchett
    Extremely funny book. Made me grin madly a couple of times.
     
  12. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    Currently Reading:
    The Road to Character; David Brooks
    An Independent Man: James M. Jeffords

    Just finished this great book by the Vermont lawmaker. Tracing his humble, early roots in Vermont, to law school and a stint in the Naval reserves, to being elected in the state legislature, this book has a lot of good "homespun" stories that are humorous but give you a good sense of this genuine man. He has a life long record of being a "maverick" in his own party and came to find that his views on education, the environment, and health care seemed direclty opposite that of his party. This man did a brave deed in switching from being a republican to an independent, throwing new GOP chairmen of committees who had been waiting for years at their new found opportunity, out of their seats.

    The first part of the book was rather dry, but this man's sincerity and integrity comes out of the pages towards the end. I had a wonderful time reading this book and I will definitely keep it in my collection. Another great read with this one would be Elliot Richardson's Confessions of a Radical Moderate. :cool:
     
  13. MonkeyCatcher

    MonkeyCatcher New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Superfreakonomics -- Levitt & Dubner
    The Gunslinger by Stephen King (Number 1 in the Dark Tower series).

    I found the beginning to be a bit of a struggle to get through, but the story picked up very quickly after that. Very engrossing, I will definately be reading the other books in the series.
     
  14. Libra6Poe

    Libra6Poe New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Clive Barker's Tapping the Vein
    The Gunslinger

    Which one are you reading? The original (from the 70s) or the updated and revised one (2003)?
     
  15. MonkeyCatcher

    MonkeyCatcher New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Superfreakonomics -- Levitt & Dubner
    I bought the revised one - that's the only one they had available in my bookstore. Do you know if it is very different from the original?

    ~MonkeyCatcher~
     
  16. Libra6Poe

    Libra6Poe New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Clive Barker's Tapping the Vein
    Gunslinger differences

    It's not very different. King said that you should go read the other if you're a "completist"... otherwise, it doesn't matter. ;)
    -darktower.net
    Example: In the original one, Roland tells Jake about his friends: Cuthbert & Allen, in the new one, King changes "Allen" to "Alain"
     
  17. Harry Gamblor

    Harry Gamblor New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Hayduke Lives
    Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau:
    You have to read it yourself!
     
  18. Rogue

    Rogue New Member

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    Guards Guards by Terry Pratchett
    Great book. Extremely funny.



    Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
    Hilarious.
     
  19. cabrasopa

    cabrasopa New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Faithless - Karin Slaughter
    Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
    Enjoyed parts of the book, struggled through the rest.
    Story is basically 6 short stories all inter-linked.
    The beginning was a slow start set in 1850 about an American notary writing a journal whilst on a voyage in the south pacific. Next the story about a set of letters from a composer in 1930's Belguim. Third a 1970's reporter uncovering a nuclear scandal, onto a farce with a publisher and an old peoples home. Fifth was a futuristic pre-execution interview with a clone. The last story which was the longest and made up the middle part of the book is where i struggled, it was set further into the future (post-apocalyptic), civilisation had collapsed and everyone spoke in a futuristic slang which was very hard to understand eg: Sussy sort o' snigged. You don't mean schnockoed it on roses' nest there, bro Zachry? an all 'em cacled like a danglin of screechbats This chapter for me stopped me really enjoying the book, it was to hard to read and understand!. Still the other stories were interesting enough to get me through. Final verdict 7/10.
     
  20. jay

    jay New Member

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    Would that be a ‘complete’ asshead?

    What a *master* re-visionary King is!!
    Does he mention that in his (laughing) ‘how to write’ book? “When one becomes a suck-sessful author, after some years make some deviously minor changes and re-publish it and BINGO, you further establish that your kids’ kids’ kids’ kids’ kids will simply never have to worry about money every again (insert sinister laugh here)!!”


    Well, instead of just being an instigator and/or trying out subliminal messaging
    (kids: Stephen King books BURN really well!) [ok, not so subliminal] I guess I should state I’m reading/have read a, you know, real writer. A writer who could use some support and a writer who wont insult you.
    One to one-and-a-half people may remember I actually praised something recently (which now has its own thread:
    http://forums.thebookforum.com/showthread.php?t=7094 )

    So I searched out Ms Shriver’s previous works.
    The first novel, _The Female of the Species_ (1987) was very enjoyable. Quite well written and had nicely flushed out characters that the reader, or at least I, found myself liking and loathing, sometimes simultaneously. Although the like side is stronger. Engaging. Without a doubt.

    Usually I do not read the same author back-to-back but since I didn’t feel excited to read anything else I jumped into her second, _Checker and the Derailleurs_ (1988) and moved very slowly through it. This kind of novel just doesn’t work for me. I have yet to give it a name but it’s exactly what Douglas Coupland does in a few of his works (_Generation X_ , _Microserfs_); it’s just a cast of characters doing pretty much *nothing*. No real plot except some not terribly likable characters doing nothing.
    Checker is a drummer. A different drummer enters the scene; a perfect place for conflict. But the new guy just hangs out with the band.
    So the ‘stranger enters’ (one of the of the very few basic plot outlines that many/most books adhere to)…and nothing happens. No tension.
    No ‘journey’ (another plot layout).
    To me these kinds of stories are like a 300-page chapter. A potential launching pad. I’d liken it to just seeing one episode of [insert any situation comedy show that has some Mass Appeal i.e. “Friends”). After the viewer sees just one episode, not much is realized about the characters. Maybe xx seems interesting and yy seems a jerk, but this isn’t yet established because not enough has gone on, unless just sitting on the couch is really a life’s event.
    I struggled to not put it down after a third of the way through but gave it until mid-way (150 pages) and then slipped the dust-jacket back on and shelved it.

    I then moved onto her third and, thank gawd, that misfire seems to be a one-off. _The Bleeding Heart_ (1990) [later re-titled _Ordinary Decent Criminals_] is proving to be a very strong book.
    j
     
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