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2016 50 Book Challenge - Page 145

post #2161 of 3273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

89. Dark Canyon 1963 Louis L'Amour

A young man leaves a small band of outlaws with their blessing. He wins a range war with their help, and they settle down and forsake the outlaw way to punch cows with him. Along the way he gets the girl, and we have a cameo by William Tell Sackett.

Ah...if things were only so simple today.

Today the image of a bunch of blokes punching cows is not so simple either.
post #2162 of 3273
According to Wikipedia, Louis L'Amour wrote 89 novels. Are you reading them all this year, Steve?
post #2163 of 3273
I read somewhere it was 126, and I plan to get to them all this year and next.

I have about 20 right now I haven't read; then I will fill in the rest one by one until I have a complete set.

I'm thinking of reading the rest of Elmore Leonard's Westerns, and some non-fiction as well.

Anyone have any other recommendations for next year?
post #2164 of 3273
90. The Man Called Noon Louis L'Amour 1970

A gunfighter is left with amnesia after he gets grazed by a bullet and bonked in the head in a "dry gulch" (assassination attempt). He spends the rest of the book remembering himself in bits and pieces. It culminates when he remembers where gold is hidden, cleverly disguised in musket balls. He delivers the gold to its rightful owner, and, as she should, she swoons at his feet.

One of the better L'Amours I've read

56 down, 34+ to go.
post #2165 of 3273
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

Timely article: Whatever happend to cyberpunk?

Cyberpunk was a genre of SiFiwhich I totaly immeresed myself in for a number of years as dystopian fiction was a solid antidote to the silicone snake oil being peddled by cyber utopians at the dawn of the WWW. While Gibson maybe have been at the forefront there were some exceptional writers who picked up on the themes and gave their own individual stamp and predictions of the world to come and isnt that what good SiFi is all about.
post #2166 of 3273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

Anyone have any other recommendations for next year?

Are you looking for a new genre? Someone should read all of Don DeLillo with me. I'd like to do that, but it would get lonely, so lonely...
post #2167 of 3273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Firmin View Post


Cyberpunk was a genre of SiFiwhich I totaly immeresed myself in for a number of years as dystopian fiction was a solid antidote to the silicone snake oil being peddled by cyber utopians at the dawn of the WWW. While Gibson maybe have been at the forefront there were some exceptional writers who picked up on the themes and gave their own individual stamp and predictions of the world to come and isnt that what good SiFi is all about.

 

...and because it is reactionary is really hasn't been continued post 1995 very well. Describing technology (even metaphorically) as destructive, dangerous or degrading is the job of misinformed soccer moms, and Humanities-student luddites, despite how realistic descriptions may be. It's difficult to take anything that seriously attempts to construct technology as evidently dangerous and problematic (or even potentially either).

 

It was a blip in the general SF obsession with dystopia - just a very cool and stylish blip. That's part of the appeal: the ways in which the writing buys into the time in which is was written.

 

Now, in SF, the demon of the future is definitely climate change and global warming.

post #2168 of 3273
Are you saying that technology, and our subsequent surveillance state, is not becoming increasingly destructive, dangerous, and degrading?


Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Also reminds me of Jonathan Lethem's "The Dystopianist, Thinking of His Rival, Is Interrupted by a Knock on the Door", from Men and Cartoons. biggrin.gif

Edited by noob in 89 - 11/9/14 at 1:00am
post #2169 of 3273
Quote:
Originally Posted by noob View Post

Are you looking for a new genre? Someone should read all of Don DeLillo with me. I'd like to do that, but it would get lonely, so lonely...

I read White Noise and really wasn't all that impressed. I've read most of Coetzee, McCarthy(sp?), Coelho, Greene, Steinbeck, and Hemingway...
post #2170 of 3273
Quote:
Originally Posted by noob View Post

Are you saying that technology, and our subsequent surveillance state, is not becoming increasingly destructive, dangerous, and degrading?

  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Also reminds me of Jonathan Lethem's "The Dystopianist, Thinking of His Rival, Is Interrupted by a Knock on the Door", from Men and Cartoons. biggrin.gif

 

No - I'm saying that people that describe it as such are much less relevant than they used to be - and people that openly paint technology as negative, or potentially hazardous are so common now as to be boring and pedestrian.

 

Like, what do I care that my smartphone comes from slave-mined Congo and is potentially mapping all my moves for a megacorp? That's hardly interesting fiction, bro.

 

Oddly enough, I feel the edgy nerdy drug raving adolescent frustrated shit like Glow (reading atm) are the best successors of cyperpunk

post #2171 of 3273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

I read White Noise and really wasn't all that impressed. I've read most of Coetzee, McCarthy(sp?), Coelho, Greene, Steinbeck, and Hemingway...

That's interesting. What put you off about White Noise?

I remember, back when I first tackled it at 21, I was almost deaf to its charms; it just struck me as too half-assed for a wholesale assault on American culture. If I fell hard for its nutty, serio-comic premise, then I was also too spellbound by writers like Joseph Heller and David Foster Wallace to enjoy any book not cycling through that particular kind of mania. DeLillo, by contrast, felt too restrained. Too boring, even. But then later -- years later -- I reread it, and I fell in love with his prose, that artful cadence, that weave of poetry and comedy perfectly tailored for the subject matter. I still don't know if there are any bad books; maybe just bad readers, or bad timing.

It's interesting you mention McCarthy, because he is another writer I just can or can't get into depending on the year.

Anyway, what kind of stuff are looking to dive into now that L'Amour's off the bill?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

I'm saying that people that describe it as such are much less relevant than they used to be - and people that openly paint technology as negative, or potentially hazardous are so common now as to be boring and pedestrian... That's hardly interesting fiction, bro.

Yeah, I gotcha. I was wondering, with Eggers' new book, if that kind of thing was making a comeback. It never really seems to go out of style. And I do find the whole subject thoroughly, scarily, increasingly relevant -- though my interest is more practical than philosophical, and I get my fix from non-fiction.


I'll have to check out this 'Glow' and put it on my list.
.

Edited by noob in 89 - 11/10/14 at 1:29am
post #2172 of 3273
Clockwise counting 96/50: Rachel Cusk - Outline (2014)

This is a brilliant and very unusual novel. A faceless and nameless female writer is traveling from London to Athens to lead a creative writing class for a few weeks. What we find out about the protagonist is basically through the intriguing stories of the people she meets in Athens, inside and outside the class. This is mainly about loss of love and relationship problems. The language is absolutely wonderful and Cusk's insight into a fragile human psyche is deep and communicated in a way which makes this experimental novel very memorable.
post #2173 of 3273
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

Oddly enough, I feel the edgy nerdy drug raving adolescent frustrated shit like Glow (reading atm) are the best successors of cyperpunk

Interesting. Guess who listed “Glow” as one of his best books of 2014.
post #2174 of 3273
Clockwise counting 97/50: Iris Murdoch - The Black Prince (1973)

Murdoch was a great author - philosophical, deeply intellectual and always very entertaining. This is known as one of her best books and also included in THE LIST of 1,000 books. Unsuccessful author Bradley Pearson tells the story of his tragedy and some of the main personas get to add their postscripts to show just how unreliable Pearson may or may not be as a narrator. It's a story about obsessive love, envy, jealousy and intellectual pride. A fantastic novel which, in my view should be read after the "lighter" masterpieces A Severed Head or The Sea, The Sea.

This book will require you to read 2/3rds before you realize just how brilliant and tense it is. Murdoch sneaks the big tragedy on the reader in an ingenious way. As usual with Murdoch, this is partly black humour, partly unconventional thriller. So good.
post #2175 of 3273
Klewless Title 68/50 – 2nd Deadly Sin by Asa Larsson
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I have been a fan of this series, but for some reason, this title took me a couple of tries to get interested. In a nutshell, a county prosecutor becomes an adjunct to the regional police force in helping to solve crimes in rural Sweden. The cast of characters on the police force is where these books provide some real entertainment. There is in depth character development throughout the series, and the books are best read in order to fully appreciate the inter-workings of the police department. I will continue to read the series, and hope the next installments are stronger than this offering.


Klewless Title 69/50 – Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus
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This was a suspense tale that has been on my pile for quite a while. When an ex-con is released from prison for murder, how will the small town he returns to accept the fact that he is to live among them? As the story unfolds, the author deftly explains the behind the scene politics on how cliques form, and who is really pulling the strings. The reader is gradually shown how and why a crime occurred, and this one kept me hooked until the end. It appears to be the first in a series, and I will give the author another try when I can find more of her work.


Klewless Title 70/50 – The Counterfeit Heiress by Tasha Alexander
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While not a closet romance reader, for some reason this series has been entertaining, and that I have continued to read. After this last tale, I am not so sure that is going to continue. I have no idea why Tasha Alexander strayed from her formula (and there very much is one) that works in her eight previous books. This one was intolerable to the point of almost not being able to be finished. Not recommended.


Klewless Title 71/50 – The Beat Goes On by Ian Rankin
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I am a huge fan of Ian Rankin’s Rebus series. After retirement, then back, then out again to work in the Malcolm Fox books, I was surprised to see a new Rebus title appear. It was not to be, as this is a compendium of Rebus short stories. To be fair there are about half a dozen previously unpublished/obscure titles, which is why I picked this up. Worth reading for any Rankin fan looking for a little more time with Edinburgh’s surliest cop.


Klewless Title 72/50 – Deadline by Chris Ewan
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Ewan is getting better and better with every book. This story centers on a kidnap negotiator, and his interactions with his clients. Placed in inherently high pressure situations, the back story of how this individual got into the field, and why we care, is presented in flashbacks that occur while the kidnapping at the center of the book plays out. Ewan provides excellent characters, and this was a very enjoyable read that falls outside of his “Good Thief’s Guide to…” series.


Klewless Title 73/50 – The Payback by Simon Kernick
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Not sure where I found this one, but appears to be an older release. This is a fast paced tale of bad cops, corruption, gangland crime, and globetrotting that makes for an action tale that reads like a movie. I was unfamiliar with the author before picking this up, and can recommend this tale for anyone looking to waste a few hours on popcorn entertainment.


Klewless Title 74/50 – The Burning Room by Michael Connelly
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Connelly is one of the greatest writers of police procedurals. His worn to the bone Detective Harry Bosch has seen in all in his career as a jaded LAPD detective. Connelly delivers again in a return to his roots hard hitting tale of corruption tangled up in police administration. I appreciate the fact that while Bosch is coming to the end of his career, Connelly is not willing to let him go just yet in favor of his other series (Mickey Haller) or the independent titles. Always worth reading, and while there are character references to earlier works, not necessary to read series in order to enjoy the book.


Klewless Title 75/50 – Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol
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In what might very well be my first non-fiction title of the year, I picked up this autobiography. Not the most tightly written book, but as I am familiar with his work, I was interested to see exactly how much debauchery Idol has experienced. The book is mildly entertaining and provides an interesting glimpse of the early days of punk rock in both the UK and USA. I would have liked a bit more of the historical narrative, but it appears that chemicals have eroded a number of memories. Not bad, but not worth going out of your way to read.
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