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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 65

post #961 of 2054
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

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

 

Conclusion to Sanderson's trilogy. Much more suspenseful and well written (hard to top the others). Characterisation got upped and the lore of the world he created worked fantastically.

 

Really have enjoyed this series - it's one of those 'I'd prefer to miss sleep rather than miss reading' series.

post #962 of 2054
19. Raffles and the Golden Opportunity, by Victoria Glendinning (2012)

Victoria Glendinning's biography of Raffles presents a fuller and rounder picture of a man sometimes consigned to the marginalia of history. The book presents a very interesting account of the opeations of the East India Company during the Regency, and of Raffles as a maverick inclned to take advantage of his remoteness from headquarters to push his authority past the limits in pursuit of his vision.

The book probably pays too much attention to Raffles' home life and that of his relatives at the expense of more detail on the early days of Singapore. Aside from that it's still an interesting and informative read about a highly influential man whose deeds helped shape the modern world.
post #963 of 2054
69. The Third Bullet 2013 Stephen Hunter

Swagger's latest adventure- figuring out the truth behind JFK's assassination and eliminating the CIA agent responsible.

Reasonably good, but I've read several of Hunter's that were better.
post #964 of 2054
Clockwise counting 44/50: Chester Himes - The Real Cool Killers (1959)

Hardboiled noir crime by the black Dashiell Hammett. Chester Himes writes about a couple of black NYPD detectives in grim and violent Harlem of the 1950s. A rich white man has been killed in Harlem and our heros Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson gets the assignment to track down the killer. Well written and entertaining crime novel with lots of race controversy. I liked it.
post #965 of 2054
Clockwise counting 45/50: Philip Roth - American Pastoral (1997)

Jewish Newark businessman and former high school sports star Swede Levov has been leading a charmed life, married to former Miss New Jersey, financially well-off and with an adorable daughter. As America is thrown into political turmoil through the Vietnam war and Watergate, the good life comes crashing down when the teenage daughter turns into an angry and cold revolutionary.

Roth is in this novel back to a more traditional story telling format. Although the novel deserves to be rated as a "modern great", my personal taste favors the frantic pace and narcissistic focus of the Zuckerman trilogy of the 1980s. Nevertheless an interesting and thought proving read. And it is on the list of the 1001.
post #966 of 2054
Steve and Clockwise, you guys are absolutely barrelling. You make me feel like a plodding old greybeard who falls asleep whenever he picks up a book.
post #967 of 2054
20. Ghost of Chance, by William S. Burroughs (1991)

Ghost of Chance commences with the story of Captain Mission, a pirate who established a utopian settlement in Madagascar. Mission is obsessed with lemurs and proscribes their killing. An event occurs that devastates Mission, who calls down a curse on all involved.

Burroughs develops this story into a tirade against mankind's devastation of the environment, the stifling effect that religion has had on our sensibilities and the disease-like nature of our civilisation. This novella is one very angry book, written in prose that is both beautiful and vehement.
post #968 of 2054
Clockwise counting 46/50: Jim Thompson - The Killer Inside Me (1952)

We follow the psychotic narrator, Texas small town sheriff Lou Ford, through a number of horrendous murders. A classic crime noir which is on the 1001 list. I thought it had strong resemblances to The Postman Always Rings Twice and some of Patricia Highsmith's writing. Very good and very disturbing.
post #969 of 2054
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

Steve and Clockwise, you guys are absolutely barrelling. You make me feel like a plodding old greybeard who falls asleep whenever he picks up a book.

Yes.

biggrin.gif
post #970 of 2054
Clockwise counting 47/50: Horace McCoy - They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1935)

Another classic from the list of 1001. About a marathon dance competition in depression era California and an assisted suicide. As long as the dancers keep moving they are fed and have hope to get a cash prize, the willing participants in this degrading spectacle get their life spirits broken in the process. Not bad!
post #971 of 2054
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

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

 

Branden Sanderson returns to the Universe of his original trilogy, but times have moved on. I loved how this was a fantasy universe that was not frozen in time, but that changed and altered, warped and moved. Brilliant steam-punk-esque story, fantastic mechanics. Well written, fast paced, good conclusion, interesting characters, fantastic world.

post #972 of 2054
20b. The Metamorphosis and Other Stories, by Franz Kafka

Kafka's Metamorphosis is clearly a modern classic, and any Kafka collection that includes it is going to be worth a read. Yet Metamorphosis can be read in other forms and editions almost anywhere, so why should one read this particular book?

This edition is the full panoply of everything Kafka published when alive, so it represents his own judgment of which of his works were of worth. The title story is all you'd expect, and In the Penal Colony fascinates with a grisly concept of capital punishment. But apart from those two stories, there is really little worth reading here. Most of the pieces are little more than undeveloped vignettes or short stories. Other than the two longer stories mentioned above, this overall collection is barely worth your itme.
post #973 of 2054
70. The Life and Times of Michael K. 1983 J.M. Coetzee

LIST

During a war in South Africa...

Michael K. was born with a cleft lip. He is a gardener by vocation and avocation. He is very close to his mother, and because she is very ill he has agreed to take her back to the country where she was born to die. They don't quite make it; he sprinkles her ashes over the farm instead.

He builds the farm up and someone takes it away. Then he escapes from a labor camp and does it again. It's taken away again.

Ultimately I felt the book was about the struggle of the individual against society, and why society insists on forcing itself on the individual.

It was dark, but it was very good.
post #974 of 2054
9. Empire - Gore Vidal

This is one of a series of historical fictions chronicling American history by Gore Vidal. Part of the story deals with a young woman who decides to buy a newspaper in Washington DC after her brother introduces her to William Randolph Hearst. Deals with American history around 1900, yellow journalism, McKinley, and the rise of Theodore Roosevelt. Vidal was obviously very well versed in American history to be able to draw such detailed portraits.
post #975 of 2054
21. Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles (2011)


Rules of Civility is the story of Kathy Kontent, the daughter of a working-class Russian immigrant, as she circles the fringes of Manhattan's upper class in the late 1930s. Kathy meets Tinker Grey, who becomes very close to her and her girlfriend Eve. Tinker is her conduit into a life she could only dream of, but very little of it is what it seems.

This is not the sort of book I'd expect to like, but Kathy and Tinker are both well-realised characters whose stories maintain interest right to the end. The Jazz Age setting and the inscrutable nature of Tinker Grey are more than a little suggestive of The Great Gatsby, but Rules of Civility is a very fine novel in its own right.
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