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canuck

Active Member
Been wanting to read this stuff for a while. Where should I start?

Hello Tai Mai Shu: C. J. Box has a series featuring Joe Pickett and there's a stand alone one entitled Blue Heaven, which I liked. I've liked what I've read so far, Nowhere to Run, Cold Wind, and there's another which was due out in August, Back of Beyond. I didn't read Below Zero as the premise didn't appeal to me. But I think you'll find them interesting. Joe Pickett is sort of a non-hero type but gets things accomplished.
 
Hey Ricko I picked up "Perdido Street Station" for $1.50 at a booksale on the weekend. Not sure when I'll get around to reading it but I've taken the next step!

Perdido Street Station - picking it up, I thought it might be a good read (the map near the start suggested a fictional world worth exploring - a good sign).

I was disappointed. It is not a brilliant book, not even a good book. Don't get me wrong: it wasn't crap, but it just wasn't a dazzler. It left me feeling dis-satisfied. I felt that (oh, there's the 'that' word again) I could take the book away and re-write it myself, producing something better . . . and that isn't a good sign. When I read a book, I want to be wowwed, I want something I can't do. I can't juggle: if I see a juggler juggling three, or four, or more, objects at the same time, then I will be impressed. If I see someone juggling with only two objects, then I won't be impressed - after all, I can do that as well, so why be impressed (if this makes sense?).

No, China Miaville is one of those writers around whom there is undeserved hype. An English Literature degree he may well have, appearances presenting BBC Radio 3's Nightwaves he may well have, but real talent . . . ? Perhaps in the future.
 

Ghede

New Member
Showdown by Jorge Amado. Chronicles the rise of a village in Brazil. The area was settled by the rich cacao barons, who through a series of wars, have brought peace and prosperity to the land. The book follows a retired gunfighter who has a plantation of his own, a blacksmith, a Turkish shopkeeper and a whole troop of prostitutes makes up the caste of this sometimes funny, sometimes depressing novel.

The only problems are that the translation is sometimes iffy, it jumps around to much and they never mention the year it takes place. :star3:
 

Peder

Well-Known Member
Perdido Street Station . . .If I see someone juggling with only two objects, then I won't be impressed - after all, I can do that as well, so why be impressed (if this makes sense?).

As a lesser juggler, I enjoyed Perdido Street Station. It was innovative, at least to me.

And there are now more recent: The City and the City, and Embassytowm, both of which are worth a try. I enjoyed them, too. Kraken, however, was one I put down after a glance at only two pages.

Good luck.
 

eldog

New Member
Ian McEwan - Solar :star3:

The fourth McEwan novel that I've read and definitely not up to his usual standard.

There is a scene (about 6 pages long) set during a train trip which got 2.5 out of the 3 stars I gave this book.

As a short story, that scene was :star5: but the rest of the book was fairly pointless and disappointing despite having a timely message.
 

Will

Active Member
Perfect timing Eldog. I was debating picking this one up, but have decided to grab one of this years Booker prize nominees instead. Thanks.
 

eldog

New Member
Perfect timing Eldog. I was debating picking this one up, but have decided to grab one of this years Booker prize nominees instead. Thanks.

No worries Will. If you are in a bookshop with some time to kill, that excellent "short story" starts on the bottom of page 121 (from paragraph: "He put away the palmtop...") until page 127. (In my copy!)

Would love to hear if others have read it (involves a packet of potato crisps) and if they agree...

BTW, what is the name of the other book you are getting instead?
 

Will

Active Member
It will be one of these though I am not exactly sure which. I am leaning toward Sense of an Ending, Sisters Brothers or Snowdrops. Maybe I shall work my way through the entire list, time permitting.
 

eldog

New Member
It will be one of these though I am not exactly sure which. I am leaning toward Sense of an Ending, Sisters Brothers or Snowdrops. Maybe I shall work my way through the entire list, time permitting.

Interesting list, no previous winners amongst them!

I like your goal and wish you luck in achieving it!

Keep us updated with your progress.
 

Will

Active Member
Perdido Street Station - picking it up, I thought it might be a good read (the map near the start suggested a fictional world worth exploring - a good sign).

I was disappointed. It is not a brilliant book, not even a good book. Don't get me wrong: it wasn't crap, but it just wasn't a dazzler. It left me feeling dis-satisfied. I felt that (oh, there's the 'that' word again) I could take the book away and re-write it myself, producing something better . . . and that isn't a good sign. When I read a book, I want to be wowwed, I want something I can't do. I can't juggle: if I see a juggler juggling three, or four, or more, objects at the same time, then I will be impressed. If I see someone juggling with only two objects, then I won't be impressed - after all, I can do that as well, so why be impressed (if this makes sense?).

No, China Miéville is one of those writers around whom there is undeserved hype. An English Literature degree he may well have, appearances presenting BBC Radio 3's Nightwaves he may well have, but real talent . . . ? Perhaps in the future.

Undeserved hype? Most of Miéville's 'hype' came from generating an actual following of fans wildly enthusiastic about his work, as opposed to a clique of literary reviewers intent on pimping the latest Bloomsbury-spawned cliché.

I found Perdido Street Station to be a rich work; its world is so alien, yet also so Dickensian for anyone familiar with that author's London, and with the fabulous Gothicism of Peake's Gormenghast. Everything he tries to tackle in this book he does so with aplomb: be it a vibrant alien culture via socio-political/topological creation of one of the richest of literary fictional worlds in recent memory in Bas-Lag, or a genuinely involving thriller storyline weaved through this complex tapestry. Everything gels here, from the hideous slake moths to the infusion steam-punk inspired technology.

Perdido Street Station is widely recognised by genre and non-genre critics as a work of some note. That it was nominated for, and won, a plethora of literary awards must obviously count for nothing - or more of that undeserved hype?

By the way, Miéville has a degree in social anthropology from Cambridge, along with an MA and PhD in International Relations from the LSE. He doesn't have a degree in English Literature.

You say he doesn't have real talent? You say too that you could take Perdido Street Station away and re-write it producing something better? Those are bold claims - I don't know your writing ability so won't prejudge but would have to say it certainly takes some ego to make such a claim. I'd say he's one of the few, very few in fact, writers out there who does have talent, and is actually worthy of more than a good fraction of the coverage he receives across press and public spheres.
 

pontalba

Well-Known Member
The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst :star3:
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt :star4:
The Pedersen Kid by William Gass :star5:
 

readsalot

Member
Sadly, I haven't finished anything for a long while. When did life get so crazy? I'm still in the process of reading Dagger Quick, Hero of Ages, and Price of Freedom (by AC Crispin.)
 

ricko

Member
To will: You make a good argument for China Mieville, but some of his work is hard to understand. He also reminds me of Dickens, but in the way he makes some invented words seem real. I agree that he is brilliant, although he seems to be writing for William F. Buckley.
Book Reviews And Comments By Rick O
 
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