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2016 50 Book Challenge - Page 103

post #1531 of 3281
Clockwise counting 13/50: Georges Simenon - The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien (1930) 

3rd book of 75 in the Inspector Maigret series and, I think, the best so far. A bizarre case of a man who commits suicide in a cheap hotel room in Bremen. His suicide appears to be the direct result of Maigret's spur-of-the-moment decision to switch suitcases with the man. The book breathes a strong sense of mystery and psychological tension and the case points to long-ago events in the Belgian city Liege. Very nice indeed!
post #1532 of 3281
Clockwise counting 14/50: Peter Swanson - The Girl With A Clock for a Heart (2014) 

A brand new thriller set in Boston, Massachusetts. I read a favorable review somewhere (probably Financial Times) and decided to pick it up. This is a very cinematic Hitchcockian thriller. 

Our protagonist, a mediocre young accountant with a boring life, suddenly bumps into his old college sweetheart, a beautiful, sexy, enigmatic lady with multiple identities and a possible criminal past. She is in a jam and is asking him to do her a favour. He should have realised that it is not a good idea to get reacquainted with this girl but the allure is overwhelming. As is the case with so many thrillers, the narrative is rather simplistic and with a driven journalistic language but it is definitely exciting and will probably soon turn into a good movie.
post #1533 of 3281
Clockwise counting 15/50: Maurizio De Giovanni - The Crocodile (2012) 

A really good Italian police procedural focused on some terrible events in Napoli. Young people are getting killed and the police concentrate the investigation on the assumption that the murders are drug related and with a Neapolitan Camorra connection. 

Inspector Lojacono has been transferred to Napoli from Sicily and he is ostracised due to suspected Mafia involvement. Thanks to a female assistant District Attorney, Lojacono gets a chance to investigate the case and he comes up with a completely different theory of the motives behind the killings. But the killer is one step ahead of the police.

There are some great characters in this story and I liked the dark Neapolitan setting. This is a not a very uplifting book but nevertheless good.
post #1534 of 3281
Klewless book 9/50: The Beast by Anders Roslund & Borge Hellstrom

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I love this series. Cranky disgruntled senior policeman who acknowledges that his life will end when he is forced to retire from the force. In this episode, he and his partner confront the issue of vigilante justice, and how society treats those that take laws into their own hand.

The collaborative work of Swedish authors Roslund & Hellstrom in this series is top notch, and this title is a previous glass key award winner. I recommend reading the series in order but this title does great as a stand alone. Highly recommended.
post #1535 of 3281
List (Click to show)

1. All Tomorrow's Parties
2. Undivided: Part 3
3. High Fidelity
4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World
5. Polysyllabic Spree
6. Armageddon in Retrospect
7. South of the Border, West of the Sun
8. What we talk about when we talk about love
9. Norweigan Wood

10. The Master and Margherita

11. The Fault in Our Stars

12. Of Mice and Men

13.Fade to Black

14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

 

14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

 

Michael Chabon's novel takes place in the late 1930s: Europe is descending into war, comic books are starting up, Jews are migrating. It follows two cousins Sam Clay (New York born, writer) and Joe Kavalier (Czech born, illustrator and magician) and their initial success in the comic book game, followed by a long, heart breaking decline into depression, separation, entrapment, and pain. Chabon's writing is fluid, lucid and beautiful, and although there were a few passages that I didn't feel added anything to the book (the chapter about the Golem, for example) I found myself not really caring. The characters are balanced and real, their story interesting without being too fantastical (except for the Nazi killing journey), the emotional side of the book is respectable enough.

 

I enjoy CHabon's prose, but often his narratives are lacking, this is not the case here.

post #1536 of 3281
Matt, have you seen Chabon's "sort-of" successor to Kavalier and Clay? It's a graphic novel that is ostensibly by the two artists in his novel.

http://www.amazon.com/Astonishing-Secret-Awesome-Man/dp/0061914622/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392941136&sr=1-10&keywords=chabon
post #1537 of 3281
42 Empires of the Dead;How One Man's Vision Led To The Creation of WW1's War Graves David Crane

Have read around this subject in a couple of other books that focuses on the how the Unknown solider was selected to represent the British war dead in 1920, other nations then followed suit Australia finally did so in 1993.

While engaged on a research project i read some very touching rural Australian newspaper accounts of the unveiling of Great War Memorials and how the memorials give the bereaved a site to acknowledge the missing. Have Ken Inglis Sacred Places on the shelf which I should read this year.
post #1538 of 3281

Thanks for the head's up CD. Will investigate.

post #1539 of 3281
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

1. All Tomorrow's Parties
2. Undivided: Part 3
3. High Fidelity
4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World
5. Polysyllabic Spree
6. Armageddon in Retrospect
7. South of the Border, West of the Sun
8. What we talk about when we talk about love
9. Norweigan Wood

10. The Master and Margherita

11. The Fault in Our Stars

12. Of Mice and Men

13.Fade to Black

14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

15. Watchmen

 

15. Watchmen

 

Alan Moore's classic and praised graphic novel follows an end of the world scenario where aging masked heroes find themselves inexplicably useful and necessary. Throughout the narrative, moore hints at the purposeless of life, the violence and carlessnesss of the world and the isolation that comes to define many people. Both an uplifting and severely nihlistic read. Excellent, my third time, if you've not read it you're missing out.

post #1540 of 3281
Number two done, fuck yeah menswear. Good for a laugh. I'm not going to for the 50, I was already doubled the number of books I read last year. I'm onto Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence now.
post #1541 of 3281
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)










1. All Tomorrow's Parties

2. Undivided: Part 3

3. High Fidelity

4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World

5. Polysyllabic Spree

6. Armageddon in Retrospect

7. South of the Border, West of the Sun

8. What we talk about when we talk about love

9. Norweigan Wood
10. The Master and Margherita
11. The Fault in Our Stars
12. Of Mice and Men
13.Fade to Black
14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
15. Watchmen










15. Watchmen

Alan Moore's classic and praised graphic novel follows an end of the world scenario where aging masked heroes find themselves inexplicably useful and necessary. Throughout the narrative, moore hints at the purposeless of life, the violence and carlessnesss of the world and the isolation that comes to define many people. Both an uplifting and severely nihlistic read. Excellent, my third time, if you've not read it you're missing out.

I first read Watchmen when it appeared on Time's list of the 100 greatest novels ever. I think it was the only graphic novel on the list, so I felt it was the perfect introduction to reading serious graphic novels.
post #1542 of 3281

It's a pretty great introduction. I feel the logical extension to that would be:

- V for Vendetta

- Maus 1 + 2

- Transmetropolitan (a graphic novel about Hunter S Thompson if he lived in the year 3000)

- Habibi for internationalism

- Hellboy trade paperback

post #1543 of 3281
Read Maus and Habibi.

I also liked Asterios Polyp, the "monsters" graphic novelisation of The Great Gatsby, Joe Sacci's graphic war correspondence, Persepolis and a French book I can't call to mind about the author's epileptic brother.
post #1544 of 3281
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

....and a French book I can't call to mind about the author's epileptic brother.

Epileptic. laugh.gif ... fistbump.gif

That one was really good. This last year or so, I've gotten way into Brian Bendis, who really does write some of the best dialogue anywhere. He's also very fun, because instead of pretending (like most writers) to be some sort of sui generis bad-ass, he speaks openly about his learning curve, about how he actually learned to write, imitating not just those from his own medium, but mostly great playwriters and screenwriters: David Rabe, Aaron Sorkin, Richard Price (who wrote the novels Clockers and The Wanderers), and of course David Mamet, whose tough guy staccato is surprisingly edifying in the context of superhero romance.

What's really funny is that in some of his stuff where he's creating this great rhythm, you can see this dramatic technique called the Meisner Method start to creep in.

Warning: FOUL LANGUAGE (Click to show)


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Like here's Dolph Lungren goofing on the Meisner technique, and a bit from Bendis's ALIAS, probably the most compelling graphic work I've ever read. (NSFW -- BAD LANGUAGE)

Anyway: Bendis. Good times.

I re-read ALIAS this year, should probably count that somewhere....
post #1545 of 3281
Quote:
Originally Posted by noob View Post

Epileptic. laugh.gif ... fistbump.gif

That one was really good.

Thakns. I'm an epileptic myself, and reading the treatments that the parents subjected that poor kid to made my skin crawl.
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