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What are you reading?

Discussion of other authors and their works, including Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, Shawn Speakman and many other great writers.

Re: What are you reading?

Postby Onrack » Thu May 18, 2017 6:49 pm

Trying to slog my way through Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. Honestly, so far I'm not seeing the magic that's meant to turn this into more than a turgid nihilistic trudge through a cartoonishly fucked up Old West. He mostly just strings a bunch of basic actions together without punctuation. The characters have no inner lives, clearly on purpose, but then why should I follow these cardboard cut-outs through a wasteland as they try to papercut each other to death? So far seems the book could have just been 10 pages of scenery and scalping and the reader would get everything he needs out of it.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby silentmajority » Fri May 19, 2017 1:37 pm

Onrack wrote:Trying to slog my way through Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. Honestly, so far I'm not seeing the magic that's meant to turn this into more than a turgid nihilistic trudge through a cartoonishly fucked up Old West. He mostly just strings a bunch of basic actions together without punctuation. The characters have no inner lives, clearly on purpose, but then why should I follow these cardboard cut-outs through a wasteland as they try to papercut each other to death? So far seems the book could have just been 10 pages of scenery and scalping and the reader would get everything he needs out of it.


I tried reading that book a while ago because it was on the lists of must read books but gave up after a short period of time. The lack of punctuation made the read more difficult than it needed to be in my opinion. I read that he wrote that way because he felt it was a cleaner way of writing, but I often couldn’t tell who was talking if anyone was talking at all. Maybe some people enjoy that style of writing, but like you said it wasn’t that good of a story to begin with. Someday I may listen to the audiobook to get a different perspective, but in the mean time there are too many other good books to read to bother with silly writing ideas.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby saucerhead » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:54 am

Enjoying reading all the Poul Anderson I can find. Just finished A Midsummer Tempest, and loved it. Shakespearean and yet very fine Poul Anderson.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Exscabular » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:19 pm

I read the Harry Potter books lately. Don't think I've read the years. They were really good. I really like the first one when Voldemort appears growing on the back of a professor's head. Horrific!
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Mickey2093 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:39 pm

Exscabular wrote:I read the Harry Potter books lately. Don't think I've read the years. They were really good. I really like the first one when Voldemort appears growing on the back of a professor's head. Horrific!

Have you read the cursed child yet?
it's in play form, obviously, but it's pretty good as such -
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby FalseKnight » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:13 pm

Exscabular wrote:I read the Harry Potter books lately. Don't think I've read the years. They were really good. I really like the first one when Voldemort appears growing on the back of a professor's head. Horrific!

The actor who played Quirell in the movie now plays Father Beocca on The Last Kingdom.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Ser Kenneth » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:18 pm

Recently finished The Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb. I liked it, but not nearly as much as I hoped I would. It's just so full on depressing all the time without really providing any sort of resolution for the main character.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Onrack » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:47 am

Luna: New Moon. by Ian McDonald. This may be the first book to be described as "Game of Thrones in Space" that genuinely fit the accolade. Healthy dose of Dune in there too, seeing this feudal/tribal society with advanced technology in an extremely inhospitable environment. Real page turner so far, well written to boot.

Tried my hand at A Cavern of Black Ice by JV Jones but bounced off it. I guess I'm just burnt out on the classic heroes journey at the moment, and both protaganists of the book are Campbelling it up.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby saucerhead » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:57 pm

Doing Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series; then going to charge back into a few volumes of Dumarest.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Ser Kenneth » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:29 pm

Onrack wrote:Luna: New Moon. by Ian McDonald. This may be the first book to be described as "Game of Thrones in Space" that genuinely fit the accolade. Healthy dose of Dune in there too, seeing this feudal/tribal society with advanced technology in an extremely inhospitable environment. Real page turner so far, well written to boot.

Tried my hand at A Cavern of Black Ice by JV Jones but bounced off it. I guess I'm just burnt out on the classic heroes journey at the moment, and both protaganists of the book are Campbelling it up.


I tried A Cavern of Black Ice some years back. Jones builds an interesting world and writes good characters, but it all kind of disappears in descriptions of landscapes and weather.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby saucerhead » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:59 am

I love JV Jones, but she's as slow as GURM.

On the other hand, she's not making promises she cant keep, except the implicit promise in telling a story that you will get to the end.

There's always the chance of a happy ending with Jones too, I think: I expect that GURM's "subversion of the dominant fantasy paradigm" will disappointment me, even if I ever get around to reading it. If he ever writes it. The probability of which is low.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby UnmightyWhitey » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:17 pm

saucerhead wrote:Doing Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series; then going to charge back into a few volumes of Dumarest.



I haven't read these. I should try some Bernard Cornwell. If I understand correctly the grail quest books are about a search for the Grail rather than actually about King Arthur. I don't know if there are any good King Arthur books for grown-ups (I read the Puffin Roger Llancellyn Green book when I was a child). I didn't like the Rosemary Sutcliffe book I read years ago and "Camelot" (okay that was a TV series) - well, I couldn't warm to the choices of the people they made to play Morgan Le Fay and Arthur. "Merlin" on TV was okay as long as you cut them some slack that it was family-friendly viewing.

For my own reading I've gone back to the whodunnits. I've read a couple of M R C Kasasian's Sidney Grice mysteries set in Victorian times and enjoyed them - they are a good light read but if you want something to seriously challenge you cerebrally they might not be for you. Having said that the twist at the end of the "Saturn Villa" book came as a surprise to me.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Alex Greyjoy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:18 pm

UnmightyWhitey wrote:
saucerhead wrote:Doing Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series; then going to charge back into a few volumes of Dumarest.



I haven't read these. I should try some Bernard Cornwell. If I understand correctly the grail quest books are about a search for the Grail rather than actually about King Arthur. I don't know if there are any good King Arthur books for grown-ups (I read the Puffin Roger Llancellyn Green book when I was a child). I didn't like the Rosemary Sutcliffe book I read years ago and "Camelot" (okay that was a TV series) - well, I couldn't warm to the choices of the people they made to play Morgan Le Fay and Arthur. "Merlin" on TV was okay as long as you cut them some slack that it was family-friendly viewing.

For my own reading I've gone back to the whodunnits. I've read a couple of M R C Kasasian's Sidney Grice mysteries set in Victorian times and enjoyed them - they are a good light read but if you want something to seriously challenge you cerebrally they might not be for you. Having said that the twist at the end of the "Saturn Villa" book came as a surprise to me.

The Grail Quest series is technically about searching for the Holy Grail, but it's only a background to a story about the beginning of Hundred Years' War. There are 4 books in the series, and also sort of a spiritual successor book named Azincourt (guess what it's about). It's my second favorite Cornwell's book series after his King Arthur books.

Which brings me to the King Arthur books. It's a trilogy (The Winter King, Enemy Of God, Excalibur) set in late 5th-early 6th century Britain during the Saxon invasion. Almost all the usual Arthurian characters are there, but with a twist. There are some parts that can be interpreted as magic, but it's left ambiguous. I love these books and highly recommend them to everyone even remotely interested in historical fiction.

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Re: What are you reading?

Postby saucerhead » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:34 pm

Alex Greyjoy wrote:
UnmightyWhitey wrote:
saucerhead wrote:Doing Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series; then going to charge back into a few volumes of Dumarest.



I haven't read these. I should try some Bernard Cornwell. If I understand correctly the grail quest books are about a search for the Grail rather than actually about King Arthur. I don't know if there are any good King Arthur books for grown-ups (I read the Puffin Roger Llancellyn Green book when I was a child). I didn't like the Rosemary Sutcliffe book I read years ago and "Camelot" (okay that was a TV series) - well, I couldn't warm to the choices of the people they made to play Morgan Le Fay and Arthur. "Merlin" on TV was okay as long as you cut them some slack that it was family-friendly viewing.

For my own reading I've gone back to the whodunnits. I've read a couple of M R C Kasasian's Sidney Grice mysteries set in Victorian times and enjoyed them - they are a good light read but if you want something to seriously challenge you cerebrally they might not be for you. Having said that the twist at the end of the "Saturn Villa" book came as a surprise to me.

The Grail Quest series is technically about searching for the Holy Grail, but it's only a background to a story about the beginning of Hundred Years' War. There are 4 books in the series, and also sort of a spiritual successor book named Azincourt (guess what it's about). It's my second favorite Cornwell's book series after his King Arthur books.

Which brings me to the King Arthur books. It's a trilogy (The Winter King, Enemy Of God, Excalibur) set in late 5th-early 6th century Britain during the Saxon invasion. Almost all the usual Arthurian characters are there, but with a twist. There are some parts that can be interpreted as magic, but it's left ambiguous. I love these books and highly recommend them to everyone even remotely interested in historical fiction.



I couldn't get into The Winter King at all; tried for about a hundred pages and then gave up. That really surprised me, since I love Sharpe (and really, the Grail Quest and Azincourt are basically "Sharpe's Longbow"). So I'm going to try the "Birth of England" series next, and maybe after all else is exhausted try the King Arthur stuff again. And maybe go watch Excalibur on DVD again.
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