or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Entertainment and Culture › 2014 50 Book Challenge
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 84

post #1246 of 2047
20. Againts Nature - Joris-Karl Huysmans.

Famous novel from fin de siecle French decadence. Des Essenties, a product of centuries of aristrocratic inbreeding, retreats from what he considers a vulgar world to an isolated asceticism he considers more in line with his intellect. Obsessed with the artificial, the distillation, and the slightly grotesque, the chapters detail his collection of flowers, his thoughts on perfumes, the suitable colours of a room. Perhaps most telling are his literary tastes: late Roman ecclesiastical works in which he tastes the gamey flavours of aged meat. Needless to say a rather peculiar book.
post #1247 of 2047
Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Congratulations CD! We are 4 who already reached the target, I think that is a Styleforum record. I am still targeting 100 for the year and it may work if I stick to lighter fare or really thin ones.

Still hoping to hit 65, but I keep picking up 500 page monsters, which is not helping.
post #1248 of 2047
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

49. The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov (1966).

A triumph of magic realism, The Master and Margarita describes the havoc unleashed in Stalinist Moscow...

Just started reading this. Been looking forward to it for a while too. Sounds good from your review.
post #1249 of 2047
Yay for the antipodeans!

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/15/booker-prize-eleanor-catton-luminaries

Mind you, an 832 page winner is bad news for my habit of trying to include all the Booker short list in my annual reading target.

Great comment on this win from the Guardian blogs: "Most 25 year olds haven't READ 832 pages of literature, let alone written them."
post #1250 of 2047
104. Children of the Mind Orson Scott Card 1996

The final book of the Ender Wiggin quad.

Ender's Game was great (and will be out as a movie 11/1). But the other 3 just weren't worth reading.

I'm eagerly looking forward to the movie.

105. The Eternal Savage 1914 Edgar Rice Burroughs

A lousy imitation of a Tarzan book. Not worth reading.

15 to go
post #1251 of 2047
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

Yay for the antipodeans!

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/15/booker-prize-eleanor-catton-luminaries

Mind you, an 832 page winner is bad news for my habit of trying to include all the Booker short list in my annual reading target.

Great comment on this win from the Guardian blogs: "Most 25 year olds haven't READ 832 pages of literature, let alone written them."


Depends on the writing though - some 1000 pages just fly off the page, other 300 pagers drag on forever.

 

Reading a 500 page book with no end in sight. Just getting through it. Goddam draw out non-fiction is fucking tedious.

post #1252 of 2047
List (Click to show)

1. The Undivided pt 1

2. The Undivided pt 2

3. No Country for Old Men

4. The Difference Engine

5. Wake in Fright

6. The River of Doubt

7. The Pearl

8. Crytonomicon

9. Shot in the Dark

10. Malcolm X - Biography

11. Final Empire

12. The Quiet American.

13. Habibi

14. The Invisible Man

15. Tender is the Night

16. Guardians of the West

17. King of the Murgos

18. Demon lord of Khandar

19. Sorcress of Darshiva

20. Seeress of Kell

21. Once We Were Warriors

22. Winter of our Discontent

23. Othello

24. A Scanner Darkly

25. The Well of Ascension

26. Hero of Ages

27. Alloy of Law

28. Marrow

29. The Prince

30. Leviathan Wakes

31. The Meaning of Sarkozy

32. The Death of Ivan Illych

33. The Devil

34. Lucifer's Hammer

35. The Yiddish Policeman's Union

36. Rainbows End

37. Palimpsest

38. Red Shirts

39. Caliban's War

40. The Ocean at the End of the Lane

41. The Communist Hypothesis

42. While Mortals Sleep

43. Spin

44. Werewolves in their Youth

45. Heart of Darkness

46. A Model World

47. Throne of the Crescent Moon

48. Darkness at Noon

49. Abaddon's Gate

50.  Into the WIld

51. Ready Player One

52. 1Q84

53. Red Pony

54. Bright lights, big city

55. All the pretty horses

56. A Short walk in the Hindu Kush

57. The Brief, Wonderous life of Oscar Wao

58. Ubik

59. Return of a King

 

59. Return of a King

 

A non-fiction aacount of the first Anglo-Afghani war. Plodding along at snail's pace, the book has many memorable moments, but fails to craft an engaging narrative due to excessive, unnecessary and disengaging detail.

post #1253 of 2047
106.The Collectors- David Baldacci 2006

A con girl bilks a casino magnate out of $40 million. Transfer of international espionage occurs at the Library of Congress, And lots of people are killed. What's not to like?

One of Baldacci's better books.

Nice to read a thriller after a while.
post #1254 of 2047
Clockwise counting 86/50: Roberto Constantini - The Deliverance of Evil (2013)

I am reading too many 600-page novels lately. This is an Italian police procedural about a string of strange murder cases commencing on the evening of Italy winning the football World Cup 1982 and continuing at the time of Italy repeating its World Cup success in the 2006 final. The unusual protagonist is Commissario Michele Ballistreri, a hard partying womaniser with a past in the now outlawed fascist party. Ballistreri is a very interesting character and between 1982 and 2006 he undergoes a profound change. 

This novel received very good reviews and although most of the writing is excellent for a crime novel and the complex plot very intriguing, I found it ultimately disappointing. It is overly long and some parts of the novel are weaker. It feels like Constantini wrote it over a long time period and had his own ups and downs as a writer, much like his unlikeable but fascinating hero Ballistreri. Nevertheless, I am likely to also read his next novel.
post #1255 of 2047
107. Almost Transparent Blue Ryu Murakami 1976

List

Story of dissipation amongst young Japanese. The Sun Also Rises with heroin instead of alcohol. But I liked this one (barely). Maybe it was the orgy scene. smile.gif
post #1256 of 2047
51. Lost Memory of Skin, by Russell Banks (2011)

The central character in Lost Memory of Skin, referred to only as the Kid, is a convicted sex offender. Due to exclusion laws, the Kid is forced to live in a tent city under a freeway, as the only place in the County far enough from where children gather. When the police raid the tents and expel the offenders residing there, he is left with nowhere to go.

The Kid meets the Professor, a vast man of genius intellect who has his own secrets to hide. He asks the Kid for help in some research he is doing on homeless sex offenders. The Kid reluctantly goes along, and gradually starts to warily form a bond with his mysterious benefactor.

Banks' book holds up to the light the vindictive way that society treats some of its marginalised, somehow turning ostensible predators into victims in the process of implementing insane social policies based on little more than fear and retribution. Still he does not quite pull this off; in the end the backstory of the Professor is too fanciful and weak, and lets down what could have been an interesting conclusion.
post #1257 of 2047
108. Lando Louis L'Amour 1962

Orlando Sackett is orphaned by gold and learns to fight, both conventionally and otherwise. Not many guns or women however.

I liked it.
post #1258 of 2047
List (Click to show)

1. The Undivided pt 1

2. The Undivided pt 2

3. No Country for Old Men

4. The Difference Engine

5. Wake in Fright

6. The River of Doubt

7. The Pearl

8. Crytonomicon

9. Shot in the Dark

10. Malcolm X - Biography

11. Final Empire

12. The Quiet American.

13. Habibi

14. The Invisible Man

15. Tender is the Night

16. Guardians of the West

17. King of the Murgos

18. Demon lord of Khandar

19. Sorcress of Darshiva

20. Seeress of Kell

21. Once We Were Warriors

22. Winter of our Discontent

23. Othello

24. A Scanner Darkly

25. The Well of Ascension

26. Hero of Ages

27. Alloy of Law

28. Marrow

29. The Prince

30. Leviathan Wakes

31. The Meaning of Sarkozy

32. The Death of Ivan Illych

33. The Devil

34. Lucifer's Hammer

35. The Yiddish Policeman's Union

36. Rainbows End

37. Palimpsest

38. Red Shirts

39. Caliban's War

40. The Ocean at the End of the Lane

41. The Communist Hypothesis

42. While Mortals Sleep

43. Spin

44. Werewolves in their Youth

45. Heart of Darkness

46. A Model World

47. Throne of the Crescent Moon

48. Darkness at Noon

49. Abaddon's Gate

50.  Into the WIld

51. Ready Player One

52. 1Q84

53. Red Pony

54. Bright lights, big city

55. All the pretty horses

56. A Short walk in the Hindu Kush

57. The Brief, Wonderous life of Oscar Wao

58. Ubik

59. Return of a King

60. In trouble again

 

60. In trouble Again

 

A fairly plodding tale about an Englishman who travels intot he Amazonian interior to try and find the world's most savage tribe. Some high potential (drug experiences, catastrophe, comradeship), but ultimately felt like a list of stuff, rather than an interesting story woven out of profound and intense experiences. The almost disengaged and tired tone of the narrator destroyed wha could/should have been reflective, intense, vibrant and challenging.

post #1259 of 2047
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post


60. In trouble Again

A fairly plodding tale about an Englishman who travels intot he Amazonian interior to try and find the world's most savage tribe. Some high potential (drug experiences, catastrophe, comradeship), but ultimately felt like a list of stuff, rather than an interesting story woven out of profound and intense experiences. The almost disengaged and tired tone of the narrator destroyed wha could/should have been reflective, intense, vibrant and challenging.

Interesting - I really enjoyed "In Trouble Again", but then again, I didn't like it as much as O'Hanlon's first book, "Into the Heart of Borneo", which was great. Have you read that one?

Then again, "Borneo" reminded me of some of my own experiences in Malaysia and Indonesia, which was probably one reason why I enjoyed it so much.

If you want to read some really interesting travel memoirs, have a look for Eric Hansen's books, "Stranger in the Forest" and "Motoring with Mohammed".

"Stranger" is about Hansen's experiences hiking through the tropical jungle from one side of the island of Borneo to the other. "Motoring" is about his adventures in Yemen. Both are fantastically written and very interesting.
post #1260 of 2047
52. The Cardboard House, by Martin Adan (1990)

The Cardboard HouseThe Cardboard House by Martín Adán

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


As somebody who doesn't like poetry, it was probably a mistake for me to read the only novel by a renowned poet.

The Cardboard House is a tenuously-linked series of vignettes where the author recalls his life in Peru as a child. There is virtually no narrative structure to this novel, and the characters are very lightly drawn. Adan is far more interested in draping his characters in gorgeous and flowery descriptions than he is in giving them any real depth or having them do anything of note.

The overall effect is of a shower of florid prose which is at times simply ridiculous, affected, prolix and in love with its own cleverness. It was tedious and I couldn't wait to finish it.





View all my reviews
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Entertainment and Culture
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Entertainment and Culture › 2014 50 Book Challenge