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What are you reading? - Page 418

post #6256 of 6297
Has anyone ever read The Egyptian by Mika Waltari?
post #6257 of 6297

Lately:

 


^I didn't like this as much as I had hoped.

post #6258 of 6297

Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant 

post #6259 of 6297

I'm reading Philip Kerr's first Bernie Gunther novel March Violets. I know every detective novel writer has at one point in his career been called Chandler's heir, but Kerr is the first guy I've read who actually writes in Chandler's style. Not MacDonald. Not Crumley. Kerr's detective Gunther is Marlowe planted in Nazi Germany.

 

I'm a tad conflicted because I like Chandler's writing style very much and Kerr does a great homage to him, but it isn't Chandler himself. Kerr is not writing a pastiche nor does he write poorly. The similes are quite good, although they may appear more frequently in Kerr's writing than in Chandler's. I mean, I cannot knock the prose because it's quite good (if you like Chandler's I suppose).

 

I guess I've always wished Chandler had written more novels, and now that I'm reading something that could pass for Chandler, I'm not as excited because it isn't an authentic Chandler. Perhaps there is more to a Chandler novel than the prose. Perhaps the novel was just the entrance to his mind, and that was the fascinating part. Alas, it doesn't mean I dislike this novel. I'm about 1/3 the way though and I can't wait to finish it and continue the Gunther series.

post #6260 of 6297
Quote:
Originally Posted by ballmouse View Post

I'm reading Philip Kerr's first Bernie Gunther novel March Violets. I know every detective novel writer has at one point in his career been called Chandler's heir, but Kerr is the first guy I've read who actually writes in Chandler's style. Not MacDonald. Not Crumley. Kerr's detective Gunther is Marlowe planted in Nazi Germany.

I'm a tad conflicted because I like Chandler's writing style very much and Kerr does a great homage to him, but it isn't Chandler himself. Kerr is not writing a pastiche nor does he write poorly. The similes are quite good, although they may appear more frequently in Kerr's writing than in Chandler's. I mean, I cannot knock the prose because it's quite good (if you like Chandler's I suppose).

I guess I've always wished Chandler had written more novels, and now that I'm reading something that could pass for Chandler, I'm not as excited because it isn't an authentic Chandler. Perhaps there is more to a Chandler novel than the prose. Perhaps the novel was just the entrance to his mind, and that was the fascinating part. Alas, it doesn't mean I dislike this novel. I'm about 1/3 the way though and I can't wait to finish it and continue the Gunther series.

You'll probably feel that way about the whole series. They're all enjoyable reads. As with any such series, it does start to feel a bit repetitive after a while, especially as Kerr does the summarized backfill on Gunther's history that's essential for folks who aren't reading in publication order. But it seems pretty clear Kerr really likes this character and isn't yet bored to tears with the series, so it makes for fun reading.
post #6261 of 6297

The blurb on character histories was a particularly annoying feature of the Scudder novels.

 

I liked how most of the older detective series (Archer, Marlowe, Continental Op) did not bother with that.

post #6262 of 6297
Had a lot of airport time this last week so I finished:

Sapiens by Harari. Sort of Guns, Germs, and Steel but less overtly political and apologetic. Interesting book, but rehashes the Neo-Luddite Jared Diamond idiocy that hunter-gatherers are superior and we should abandon modern society and get back to hunting and gathering.

The Difference Engine by Gibson and Stirling. Something about Stirling's writing nags at me. It's like he's repeating himself or something. Great story though.

Protocol Zero from the Joe Rush series. Breezy thriller about a disease wreaking havoc in Barrow, Alaska.

The Bestseller Code could be pared down considerably, but loved the content. It's about the traits that bestsellers have in common and the algorithms that publishers can use to predict the, Also hits on publishing and novelists. Great read.

But What If We're Wrong by Chuck Klosterman. I love his work and this is more of the same. Tries to predict what people in the future will think about our modern time. Very interesting, in sort of a series-of-essays format.
post #6263 of 6297
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLMountainMan View Post

Had a lot of airport time this last week so I finished:

Sapiens by Harari. Sort of Guns, Germs, and Steel but less overtly political and apologetic. Interesting book, but rehashes the Neo-Luddite Jared Diamond idiocy that hunter-gatherers are superior and we should abandon modern society and get back to hunting and gathering.

The Difference Engine by Gibson and Stirling. Something about Stirling's writing nags at me. It's like he's repeating himself or something. Great story though.

Protocol Zero from the Joe Rush series. Breezy thriller about a disease wreaking havoc in Barrow, Alaska.

The Bestseller Code could be pared down considerably, but loved the content. It's about the traits that bestsellers have in common and the algorithms that publishers can use to predict the, Also hits on publishing and novelists. Great read.

But What If We're Wrong by Chuck Klosterman. I love his work and this is more of the same. Tries to predict what people in the future will think about our modern time. Very interesting, in sort of a series-of-essays format.

That's a lot of airport time!
post #6264 of 6297
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post

You'll probably feel that way about the whole series. They're all enjoyable reads. As with any such series, it does start to feel a bit repetitive after a while, especially as Kerr does the summarized backfill on Gunther's history that's essential for folks who aren't reading in publication order. But it seems pretty clear Kerr really likes this character and isn't yet bored to tears with the series, so it makes for fun reading.
I've read all the Gunther novels and have really enjoyed them. I agree with your comment about repetition. I also find it amusing that Gunther basically becomes this Forrest Gumpian character over the course of the series in that he interacts with virtually every major individual in the Nazi leadership. On the other hand I like the historical fiction/noir aspect of the books and they never veer into cartoonishness.
post #6265 of 6297
The Things They Carried by Tim O' Brien. Like most people, I prefer reading about WW2 to the Vietnam War, but I really like this.
post #6266 of 6297
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLMountainMan View Post

Had a lot of airport time this last week so I finished:.

Jesus. As someone who flys a ton, how quickly do you read? ("Quicker than your mom drops her panties for a dude").

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Pun View Post

The Things They Carried by Tim O' Brien. Like most people, I prefer reading about WW2 to the Vietnam War, but I really like this.

Need to re-read this. frown.gif
post #6267 of 6297
Quote:
Originally Posted by SirReveller View Post

Bukowski's hero. Fun read.

Is good? I loved the "old LA" aspects of Ask the Dust.

Finished a couple quick reads lately … many others since I've been checked out a while.



post #6268 of 6297
Yeah it's him older and successful (screenwriting) but still unhappy ie it's funny.
post #6269 of 6297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Pun View Post

The Things They Carried by Tim O' Brien. Like most people, I prefer reading about WW2 to the Vietnam War, but I really like this.
O'Brien is great. Going After Cacciato (sp?) is really good, too.
post #6270 of 6297
Quote:
Originally Posted by edinatlanta View Post

Jesus. As someone who flys a ton, how quickly do you read? ("Quicker than your mom drops her panties for a dude").
Need to re-read this. frown.gif

Depends on the subject matter. If it's John Grisham, I can do about 90-100 pages per hour. If it's something with more meat, around 70-80. Grief Observed took me forever, but I found it extremely thought provoking. I've always been a really fast reader - was the second person done on the Bar Exam, (but certainly not the highest scoring). It's kind of funny at work because subordinates hand me things to read and I read them and hand them back and they don't believe I actually read the document.
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