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Novels

Postby Starky » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:05 am

What've you read? What would you like to read? Need a recommendation? etc.

Tom McCarthy, 2015, Satin Island

It's a kind of big set of cliches mixed with a sort of meta-story about procrastination/nothing. I can't seriously believe that an accomplished writer would write a book like this not as a parody without his head surgically attached to his rectum but I suppose there is the outside possibility (he doesn't reference Poe's Law).

Middle-aged talented but feckless anthropologist works at big corporation doing nothing. It's a list of his thoughts - Wikipedia in book form is maybe the most instructive comparison. It is very absorbing though actually, it managed to occupy me well while waiting in a hospital.

It's a unique approach at times but unique doesn't necessarily mean worth reading. Pick it up maybe if you can get a cheap paperback copy.
Iakobus1 wrote:
smr wrote:This is a thread I wasn't sure was exactly suitable for the "Sports" forum :P


True, but we sadly don't have a "Furious Masturbation" forum.

Brainwave: we should have a "Furious Masturbation" forum.


Jose Mourinho wrote:The style of how we play is very important. But it is omelettes and eggs. No eggs - no omelettes! It depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket you have class one, two or class three eggs and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem.


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Re: Novels

Postby Starky » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:57 am

Thomas Hardy Far from the Madding Crowd

I read the 2003 Penguin Classics version, which is unabridged and transcribed from the original manuscript pre-censorship. There's a bewildering variety of versions out there but I'd recommend this one.

Ostensibly a Victorian romance, it's a kind of challenge to the typical paradigm of pastoral classic novel. The main plot itself is involving but slow, however I think what I like best about Far from the Madding Crowd is the vivid imagery and characterisation working together to bring the setting to life. Hardy's skill at describing natural scenes and changing seasons as well as the interactions of minor characters is what really recommends this book. Dialogue's unintentionally hilarious in places (first publication was in the 1870s).

Unlike some other Hardy novels you could mention, this one's not too depressing. It gets a bit dark about halfway through but manages to recover somewhat.

To the point and action-packed it is not. If you can't stand verbosity or digressions, you will probably loathe Far from the Madding Crowd. If you can get through the first 30 or so pages though you're likely to enjoy it overall.

The edition I read has an introduction and notes by Rosemarie Morgan. The former should be avoided because it's horseshit but the latter's very useful for tracking down some of the more recondite allusions.
Iakobus1 wrote:
smr wrote:This is a thread I wasn't sure was exactly suitable for the "Sports" forum :P


True, but we sadly don't have a "Furious Masturbation" forum.

Brainwave: we should have a "Furious Masturbation" forum.


Jose Mourinho wrote:The style of how we play is very important. But it is omelettes and eggs. No eggs - no omelettes! It depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket you have class one, two or class three eggs and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem.


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Re: Novels

Postby Starky » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:11 am

Robinson Crusoe - yes. An adventure like no other.
Iakobus1 wrote:
smr wrote:This is a thread I wasn't sure was exactly suitable for the "Sports" forum :P


True, but we sadly don't have a "Furious Masturbation" forum.

Brainwave: we should have a "Furious Masturbation" forum.


Jose Mourinho wrote:The style of how we play is very important. But it is omelettes and eggs. No eggs - no omelettes! It depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket you have class one, two or class three eggs and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem.


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Re: Novels

Postby Starky » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:46 pm

I'm really glad that we didn't study Heart of Darkness at school. It's been liberating to read it without having to analyse supposed dehumanisation or cultural superiority/imperialism.

The colonial background of writers like Conrad and (the short stories of) Orwell makes it difficult for contemporary criticism to look at the story itself as what it is, viz. an entertaining and stylistically effective story; I get a bit tired of the constant analyses of race and postcolonial discourse and all that. That doesn't mean to say that it's wrong to talk about this stuff, just that there are other aspects to this genre/period. I do think that people like Achebe and CUNTING Edward Said talk a load of self-aggrandising crap on these issues, though.

I think it's a great book - a real page-turner. Just please don't read the editor's introduction.
Iakobus1 wrote:
smr wrote:This is a thread I wasn't sure was exactly suitable for the "Sports" forum :P


True, but we sadly don't have a "Furious Masturbation" forum.

Brainwave: we should have a "Furious Masturbation" forum.


Jose Mourinho wrote:The style of how we play is very important. But it is omelettes and eggs. No eggs - no omelettes! It depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket you have class one, two or class three eggs and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem.


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Re: Novels

Postby EMM » Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:53 pm

I don't believe I've ever read an editor's intro. I mean, come on, spoilers.
I'm a chronically slow reader I have to admit. The last book I finished was by an author you just mentioned, Orwell. I'm a big fan of his non-fiction and Down and Out in Paris and London was splendid.
The title really sums up the content, but there's something about a guy who could have been earning a lot more in steady work taking significant time to understand the life of low level workers and the homeless. For me he is giving them a voice and a voice worth listening to at that. He's never at any point patronising and comes across as a humble observer, documenting others' hardship and having an adventure along the way.
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Re: Novels

Postby Iakobus1 » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:29 pm

Speaker for the Dead - You probably need to read Ender's Game first, and I have a feeling it might not quite grab an adult the way it did a teenage James McShane. But this. This is different. This is fantastic.

To discuss it in depth would be highly spoilerific, so I'll just say this: it's a sci-fi novel with something to say, and, in a rare twist, it actually says it well. Thoroughly recommended.
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Re: Novels

Postby Starky » Mon May 23, 2016 12:15 pm

Great Expectations really has me stuck lately. It's not the sort of book you lose track of time reading, put it that way.
Iakobus1 wrote:
smr wrote:This is a thread I wasn't sure was exactly suitable for the "Sports" forum :P


True, but we sadly don't have a "Furious Masturbation" forum.

Brainwave: we should have a "Furious Masturbation" forum.


Jose Mourinho wrote:The style of how we play is very important. But it is omelettes and eggs. No eggs - no omelettes! It depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket you have class one, two or class three eggs and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem.


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