Whatcha reading?

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Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 13 Dec 2008, 5:57pm

Bankrobber wrote:
Silent Majority wrote: Needful things
My older brother is pushing that and It on me next.
It's pretty good, but not exactly vintage King. It's not how bloated it is (which is par for the course) I just found it paced pretty poorly, which when you compare to how tight the Stand is, is pretty sad. I love the Stand, one of my favourite books. I can get through it in about a week, or two if I really savour it.

For a long time I thought Stephen King had done very little that was great since about 1985, but then I read Insomnia. Which really slashed through me with how good it was.

I've heard a lot of good things about Matheson, I'll have to check him out when the chance comes.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Bankrobber » 13 Dec 2008, 6:22pm

Silent Majority wrote:It's pretty good, but not exactly vintage King. It's not how bloated it is (which is par for the course) I just found it paced pretty poorly, which when you compare to how tight the Stand is, is pretty sad. I love the Stand, one of my favourite books. I can get through it in about a week, or two if I really savour it.

For a long time I thought Stephen King had done very little that was great since about 1985, but then I read Insomnia. Which really slashed through me with how good it was.

I've heard a lot of good things about Matheson, I'll have to check him out when the chance comes.
I tried reading the Stand before I had read anything by King. I was biting off a bit too much (it was also the expanded version). I gave up about 300 pages in and the week before last I started again. I'm more of a short story guy, so i had to read Night Shift before and get a feel for him. (even though I read Cycle of the Werewolf and The Running Man years and years ago.)

I haven't read a novel by Matheson, just read the Nightmare at 20,00 Ft. short story collection. When he streches out in a novel, he may be completely different, and King's novels certainly have a different feel than his short stories. But the two have very similar short story styles. A couple you could slap Stephen King's name on them and I couldn't tell the difference.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 31 Dec 2008, 2:48pm

Updating and a small rant …
Read:
Lawrence Block's Killing Castro. Block is a modern master of the hardboiled genre but this was written in less than a week. Thin in story, thin in size. It's main interesting feature is that it came out post-Bay of Pigs but pre-Missile Crisis. Five guys are hired to go to kill Castro. Gradually develop reasons to abandon the mission. Castro does die at the end, tho.
Jason Starr's The Follower. I love Starr's earlier books. He does the "decent person makes a series of bad choices" genre proud. However, his more recent stuff has moved away from that. This book is about a stalker. It's not bad by any means, but it doesn't really stand out. Not the book that would likely hook you on his work.
Jason Starr's Hard Feelings. An earlier novel about a chance encounter with an old neighbourhood friend triggers a repressed memory that sends a guy's life out of control. Good stuff. Starr writes simply but, fuck, he knows characterization. His early books are littered with totally three-dimensional and believable characters.
Bernard Crick's Orwell: A Life. Gave it a hundred pages then set it aside. A painfully academic style, whereby a snippet of a letter is quoted, then followed by some variation of "What are we to make of this?" It may be insightful, but boring as fuck.
Joe Queenan's America (published under a different title in the US). I say this with all seriousness: this is one of the worst books I've ever read. Five or ten worst, definitely. The premise is that Queenan decides to immerse himself into mass culture for a year. It's supposedly humourous, but it comes off as a humourless rant, relying on the word "sucks" far too much. Worst of all, I agree with most of his targets—I hate Adam Sandler, Billy Joel, New Age music, Red Lobster, and self-help books, too. But he's such a dick about it that he loses my sympathy. Example: On this Billy Joel album, these songs are perfect examples of why he sucks. When you want suck, you go to Billy Joel because he's a master of suck. And what is his point when he declares that a movie must suck because it stars John Candy and Rick Moranis? He doesn't explain why these things are garbage, just that they obviously are. I also have little knowledge of what he regards as quality other than The Atlantic Monthly. Even tho he's an American, I couldn't help but hear his voice as some fossilize aristocratic prig, bemoaning how he has to exist in the same world as, ugh, Stephen King. Horrendous in that it fails in pretty much every regard.

Listened to:
Ron McLarty's Art in America. Meh. McLarty's easily my favourite audio book narrator, but he's a so-so novelist. This is a book about an overly ambitious, under-talented playwright who goes to Colorado to write a play about the history of a town. The town is presently divided by a number of issues that require more characters than I could keep track of. Nothing memorable about it.

Reading:
Mo Hayder's Birdman. Just started last night. I've read her Pig Island and listened to The Devil of Nanking. A pretty good gory crime writer.

Listening to:
Christopher Buckley's Boomsday. Good premise—a generational revolt against retiring Boomers over Social Security leads to a proposal to encourage voluntary suicide—but I just don't find Buckley all that funny. A bit too insiderish and reliant on wacky caricatures. I don't dislike the book, but I doubt it'll stay in my memory long.
Last edited by Dr. Medulla on 31 Dec 2008, 2:56pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Heston
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Heston » 31 Dec 2008, 2:53pm

Watch out, eumaas may construe this as a list thread, no one will be safe.
So what does Marconi playing the mamba mean? "Marconi" is referring to the radio itself. It plays a deadly snake. The snake - the mamba - is slithering from the speakers. Ready to kill greedy corporations. Ready to free the world of all that is evil, and to leave behind only the youthful idealism encompassed by the tenets of rock and roll.

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by eumaas » 31 Dec 2008, 2:55pm

Heston wrote:Watch out, eumaas may construe this as a list thread, no one will be safe.
No, list threads are just lists of shit without discussion about the items. Like "songs beginning with the letter p."
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 31 Dec 2008, 2:56pm

Heston wrote:Watch out, eumaas may construe this as a list thread, no one will be safe.
No, that would be the "What earplugs are you using while reading?" thread. :D
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Heston » 31 Dec 2008, 2:57pm

eumaas wrote:
Heston wrote:Watch out, eumaas may construe this as a list thread, no one will be safe.
No, list threads are just lists of shit without discussion about the items. Like "songs beginning with the letter p."
That's funny, I remember songs in the instrumentals thread being discussed, or did I dream that?
So what does Marconi playing the mamba mean? "Marconi" is referring to the radio itself. It plays a deadly snake. The snake - the mamba - is slithering from the speakers. Ready to kill greedy corporations. Ready to free the world of all that is evil, and to leave behind only the youthful idealism encompassed by the tenets of rock and roll.

eumaas
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by eumaas » 31 Dec 2008, 3:00pm

Heston wrote:
eumaas wrote:
Heston wrote:Watch out, eumaas may construe this as a list thread, no one will be safe.
No, list threads are just lists of shit without discussion about the items. Like "songs beginning with the letter p."
That's funny, I remember songs in the instrumentals thread being discussed, or did I dream that?
Why are you making such a big thing out of a routine tease?
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

Heston
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Heston » 31 Dec 2008, 3:01pm

eumaas wrote:
Heston wrote:
eumaas wrote:
Heston wrote:Watch out, eumaas may construe this as a list thread, no one will be safe.
No, list threads are just lists of shit without discussion about the items. Like "songs beginning with the letter p."
That's funny, I remember songs in the instrumentals thread being discussed, or did I dream that?
Why are you making such a big thing out of a routine tease?
I'm teasing.....
So what does Marconi playing the mamba mean? "Marconi" is referring to the radio itself. It plays a deadly snake. The snake - the mamba - is slithering from the speakers. Ready to kill greedy corporations. Ready to free the world of all that is evil, and to leave behind only the youthful idealism encompassed by the tenets of rock and roll.

eumaas
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by eumaas » 31 Dec 2008, 3:02pm

Heston wrote:
eumaas wrote:
Heston wrote:
eumaas wrote:
Heston wrote:Watch out, eumaas may construe this as a list thread, no one will be safe.
No, list threads are just lists of shit without discussion about the items. Like "songs beginning with the letter p."
That's funny, I remember songs in the instrumentals thread being discussed, or did I dream that?
Why are you making such a big thing out of a routine tease?
I'm teasing.....
Stupid Geordie.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

Heston
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Heston » 31 Dec 2008, 3:07pm

eumaas wrote:
Heston wrote:
eumaas wrote:
Heston wrote:
eumaas wrote: No, list threads are just lists of shit without discussion about the items. Like "songs beginning with the letter p."
That's funny, I remember songs in the instrumentals thread being discussed, or did I dream that?
Why are you making such a big thing out of a routine tease?
I'm teasing.....
Stupid Geordie.
Redneck
So what does Marconi playing the mamba mean? "Marconi" is referring to the radio itself. It plays a deadly snake. The snake - the mamba - is slithering from the speakers. Ready to kill greedy corporations. Ready to free the world of all that is evil, and to leave behind only the youthful idealism encompassed by the tenets of rock and roll.

eumaas
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by eumaas » 31 Dec 2008, 3:08pm

Heston wrote:
eumaas wrote:
Heston wrote:
eumaas wrote:
Heston wrote: That's funny, I remember songs in the instrumentals thread being discussed, or did I dream that?
Why are you making such a big thing out of a routine tease?
I'm teasing.....
Stupid Geordie.
Redneck
I've got a picture somewhere of me in rednecky clothing holding a Bauhaus CD.

It's a conceptual joke.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

Heston
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Heston » 31 Dec 2008, 3:09pm

eumaas wrote:
Heston wrote:
eumaas wrote:
Heston wrote:
eumaas wrote: Why are you making such a big thing out of a routine tease?
I'm teasing.....
Stupid Geordie.
Redneck
I've got a picture somewhere of me in rednecky clothing holding a Bauhaus CD.

It's a conceptual joke.
What, the Bauhaus cd or that situation?
So what does Marconi playing the mamba mean? "Marconi" is referring to the radio itself. It plays a deadly snake. The snake - the mamba - is slithering from the speakers. Ready to kill greedy corporations. Ready to free the world of all that is evil, and to leave behind only the youthful idealism encompassed by the tenets of rock and roll.

eumaas
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by eumaas » 31 Dec 2008, 3:11pm

Heston wrote:
eumaas wrote:
Heston wrote:
eumaas wrote:
Heston wrote: I'm teasing.....
Stupid Geordie.
Redneck
I've got a picture somewhere of me in rednecky clothing holding a Bauhaus CD.

It's a conceptual joke.
What, the Bauhaus cd or that situation?
Situation of redneck + Bauhaus. I don't dress redneck.
"The only thing that really occurs to me that I can say on this is to point out how fascinating it is that the Hassan-i-Sabbah archetype keeps turning up over and over again ... He disappears up into the mountains and is never seen again. Believe me, he'll never be seen again. He'll live forever because of that."

Heston
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Heston » 31 Dec 2008, 3:13pm

eumaas wrote:Situation of redneck + Bauhaus. I don't dress redneck.
I know, I was joking.

We're having a bad day aren't we.... X( :mrgreen:
So what does Marconi playing the mamba mean? "Marconi" is referring to the radio itself. It plays a deadly snake. The snake - the mamba - is slithering from the speakers. Ready to kill greedy corporations. Ready to free the world of all that is evil, and to leave behind only the youthful idealism encompassed by the tenets of rock and roll.

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