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October Reading

Discussion in 'Sci-Fi, Fantasy, & Horror Books' started by rune, Oct 1, 2003.

  1. rune

    rune New Member

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    It's hard to believe but yep, it's October, only 11 weeks to christmas :)

    I've slowed down a little on the reading side, been a bit busy. I'm half way through The Dark Remains, by Mark Anthony.

    So what are the rest of you reading?

    rune
     
  2. SpiderMouse

    SpiderMouse New Member

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    The Viz :( I just moved and all my books are packed still, it's driving me mental! I just finished 'By The Light of the Moon' by Dean Koontz though, my own fault for reading it too fast when I knew it had to last me :(
     
  3. Idun

    Idun Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Tristram Shandy
    I'm not very original here...Right now I'm reading "The Lord of the Rings"- but this time (second) in English.
     
  4. rune

    rune New Member

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    I find some of LOTR's is brilliant and other parts very long winded. You'll have to tell us what your thoughts are.

    rune
     
  5. Idun

    Idun Member

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    Currently Reading:
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    I enjoyed this novel very much, that's why I decided to read it again in original. Actually, I regard it as one of the best books I've ever read. Many praises have been said and written so far about Tolkien works, and I don't want to simply repeat them here once again. I'd like rather to write something about common opinions about LOTR with which I don't totally agree.

    Firstly, complexity of the world created by Tolkien is admired, and often referred to as a "full" one. However, there are almost no children in the Middle Earth. In LOTR itself (many LOTR readers didn't read The Silmarillion as well) no God is even mentioned. Furthermore, we meet the characters dealing with dangerous missions, but how do they manage to earn their living normally? What do the elves make lembas from? Are they farmers?

    Secondly, some parts of the book are a bit too overtalked. How much time does Frodo need to head for Bree! It was also difficult for me to get through Barrow Downs (I did it in two stages...:eek: ) and Elrond's council - too many new, unknown characters got together in one time. Besides, some parts are unimportant for the main plot, like Tom Bombadil - he appears out of the blue and seems like he got himself into the wrong story...I know that Tolkien meant that, but for me it was annoying. Fortunately, later on no such weird or tedious parts appear.

    I was also a bit dissapointed with a poor usage of "speech describing" words. I got an impression that most of the characters only "say" or "cry" something. What about whispering, sighing, hissing, shouting, shrieking, screaming, claiming, muttering, sobbing, gasping, moaning, exclaiming...

    On the question of the elves - they are SO self-centred and big-headed! I know they've got many reasons to be proud of themselves, but modesty is a virtue, isn't it?

    Don't get me wrong, I really admire this book, but nothing is perfect, right?

    I feel I'm getting a bit too overtalked myself, so I'll write about what I particularly like in LOTR later on.:cool:
     
  6. rune

    rune New Member

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    I was kinda pleased Tolkien didn't go into anymore detail than he did. Otherwise I would have probably put the book down as being overdetailed and slow. For me I don't need to know the religion, how they make things (food etc) or how they make money. It wouldnt make the story move for me. What was important to me were the main ideas, and nothing else.

    That is the same for all books I read, if the author sidetracks too much into back story, I can get really bored and even put a book down.

    rune
     
  7. phil_t

    phil_t New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Ringworld - Larry Niven
    Im currently slogging my way through Homer's Iliad, in preparation for reading some history books about Troy :) Aaaarggh, that Book II nearly did my head in :D

    Phil
     
  8. Beatrycze

    Beatrycze New Member

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    Idun, if you write such things of the book you enjoy, what would you say about these you didn't like?
    ITA about elves- they are just as you described. I think that they use their magic to earn a living and also to make lembas bread. I always have the impression that they could help MORE the mission of Frodo with their powers.
    And I must confess that I admire you for reading it in the original. I read English "Ivanhoe", "Brave, new world", two Jane Austen's book, "Bridget Jones" and some stories of Agatha Cristie, but would never dare to manage such a "brick"as we say in Poland (actually, there are three bricks). You are my heroe!
     
  9. Idun

    Idun Member

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    I agree that the main ideas are essential, but fantasy is a specific genre. Reality of the world created by the author is also important. A reader must feel like it all could happen in such a world, that in such a world people could live in such a way. It makes the characters more probable to exist, to feel closer to them and to care for them. Some common details from boring, everyday life could do that (like descriptions of Hobbiton - sometimes the Hobbits seem more real than the elves, though they were made up by Tolkien, while the elves were known for centuries).
     
  10. Idun

    Idun Member

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    Take a look at Alchemist threads (both of them) and you'll know.:D
    Come on, my comments are not so bad. In comparison with overall greatness of Tolkien's masterpiece, some more tedious parts or repeating of vocabulary are minor problems, not worth mentioning. It's just that details always catch my attention.
    Besides, for many readers it is Tom Bombadil who is one of the best characters, and they like that he is "from the other tale". Some philosophical meaning is even drawn from that.

    *bowing very low*
    If you added the number of pages in English books which you read, it would be surely more than LOTR.;) In addition, Ivanhoe must be more difficult to get through, due to the usage of old English.
     
  11. Ruzi

    Ruzi New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    The Dragon and The Unicorn
    As of right now, I am currently reading "The Shadow of The Lion" and slowly working my way through the "Planet Ladder" and "Demon Diary" manga series.
     
  12. Beatrycze

    Beatrycze New Member

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    To be honest, I omitted a few particularly long descriptions at the beginning of Ivanhoe...You made me confess it...What is more, there aren't many old English words. When you get through the beginning, it's quite easy.
    As to elves, I think that Tolkien intended to show them in in the air of mystery, at the distance. I regard Hobbits as very close to us, but showing everyday life of elves would destroy that distance. I also can't imagine elv children, because they are opposition of child qualities. They seem to be so completed.
    And Tom Bombadill is an interruption part, which slows the pace in the first volume. It can be omitted or left for the future. It's good that he was introduced before the plot was developed.
     
  13. Roxie

    Roxie New Member

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    For the moment I am re-reading the Elenium trilogy.
     
  14. Bryan

    Bryan New Member

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    I'm reading "Tripleplanetary", by EE "Doc" Smith...I'm finding it intresting. Nothing like some good 1948 classic sci-fi to get my mind going.
     
  15. Ell

    Ell Well-Known Member

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    Half-way through "Cryptonomicon". I keep getting side-tracked by shorter, quicker-reading books, but I DO plan finishing by the end of October (crossing fingers).

    It's very good and quite funny, but because it jumps back and forth in time with multiple story-lines, it requires some dedicated reading. Now, I just have to stop going to the library . . . :rolleyes:
     
  16. Beatrycze

    Beatrycze New Member

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    I strongly recomend "Cosmicomics" by Italo Calvino. It's great, funny, but with deeper thought underlying. All stories are just divine, each is based on some scientific theory- imagine adventures of the last dinosaure, world without colours, uncle not accepted by his family because of being the fish or two men betting that universe will come into existence.
     
  17. phil_t

    phil_t New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Ringworld - Larry Niven
    Bryan, ive read all of E.E. Doc Smith's Lensman series, and i found them on the whole enjoyable if you detached your brain from them making any sense - and just as long as you ignore the political undercurrents (They were originally written beginning in the 1930s when there was a lot of radical political movements in Europe) - but by the seventh book they all seem a little samey! :)

    Phil
     
  18. Roxie

    Roxie New Member

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    I have finished my Elenium trilogy and a friend of mine leant me a copy of the wayfarer redemption by sara douglas and to be honest I am having quite a difficulty adapting to her writting style.
     
  19. Oberon

    Oberon New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    The Baroque Cycle (Neal Stephenson)
    Old and new ...

    Hang in there with Cryptonomicon --Stephenson is a wild writer and really captures the computer geek psyche as something with very deep roots. And it appears to be the tip of an iceberg, with prequels on the way (Quicksilver --I believe is available; part one of a series).

    I am on A Dark and Hungry God Arises the "hump" of Stephen R. Donaldson's Gap Cycle science fiction space opera. This is my third or fourth read and it's still a thrill--very courageous writing.

    For something new, I'm gaining momentum in Singularity Sky by Charles Stross. Some vivid images in the Rudy Rucker school: melted cell phones dropped from the sky; when you pick up it basically will grant your wish if you will just "entertain" what's on the other end of the line. Me likee!

    O
     

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