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2016 50 Book Challenge - Page 214

post #3196 of 3288

Bleeding Edge was cool, but didn't grab me like The Crying of Lot 49 did. My biggest gripe with the book is that I felt it left many things unexplained.

post #3197 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhound View Post
 

Bleeding Edge was cool, but didn't grab me like The Crying of Lot 49 did. My biggest gripe with the book is that I felt it left many things unexplained.

 

I haven't read Bleeding Edge, but I read Lot 49 and Vineland back at university and really enjoyed them. 

 

Inherent Vice was a bit more of a chore in parts, but still enjoyable. 

 

Gravity's Rainbow, on the other hand, was one of the only books that I have never finished reading. I've picked it up a few times over the past decade but never really get any further into it before putting it back down again. 

post #3198 of 3288
48 The Girl In The Ice by Lotte & Soren Hammer Second book in the series. Interesting Scandi Noir. Solid police procedural with sufficient twists and turns to keep you engaged. Very well developed characters noticed this in the first book and this maintains the standard.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
However reflection upon the ending gives me pause for thought and strikes me as somewhat unrealistic to say the least.State sponsored torture and murder? Who could ever believe that?

Edited by Geoffrey Firmin - 10/7/16 at 3:42pm
post #3199 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
 

 

I haven't read Bleeding Edge, but I read Lot 49 and Vineland back at university and really enjoyed them. 

 

Inherent Vice was a bit more of a chore in parts, but still enjoyable. 

 

Gravity's Rainbow, on the other hand, was one of the only books that I have never finished reading. I've picked it up a few times over the past decade but never really get any further into it before putting it back down again. 


I plan to do his entire library, however going to give him a break for now, but the next one will be Inherent Vice. The trailer for the film looks intriguing.

 

Twenty percent into Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and quite enjoying it. Much easier to read than Bleeding Edge, and similar to The Man in the High Castle. Rick's wife seems like a bitch.

 

I have just come across, this, Electric Dreams: The World of Phillip K. Dick, a 10 part anthology series about the works of PKD starring Bryan Cranston. Says it was due to broadcast in 2016, but I highly doubt it will be out until next year, based on the lack of information available.

 

Quite pleased with my reading this year, and am on track to hit 15 books.

post #3200 of 3288
Inherent Vice made me feel like Pynchon was trying too hard to make his characters colorful and "what a character"-y.
Edited by VaderDave - 10/4/16 at 7:14pm
post #3201 of 3288

Just over half way through. Great book so far, interestingly, a Blade Runner sequel with Harrison Ford as Deckard has been announced.

 

 

I hate Sequels.

post #3202 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhound View Post
 

Just over half way through. Great book so far, interestingly, a Blade Runner sequel with Harrison Ford as Deckard has been announced.

 

 

IMHO, the book of Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep) is better than the movie. 

 

Of course, the movie has great visual appeal, Harrison Ford does a good job, and Rutger Hauer's largely ad-libbed speech is fantastic ("I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears...in...rain. Time to die.").

 

However, as with most movie adaptations, it simply can't express all of the richness of the book - the mood organs, the Mercer empathy boxes, the divide between those who have real animals and those who have fake animals that look real, and so on. 

post #3203 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhound View Post

Just over half way through. Great book so far, interestingly, a Blade Runner sequel with Harrison Ford as Deckard has been announced.


I hate Sequels.

So much then for Deckard being a replicant.

I found the movie to be very emblematic of its time, it encapsulated the anxiety of those days scuicintly.
post #3204 of 3288
Fucking spoilers.
post #3205 of 3288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhound View Post

Fucking spoilers.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The debate about Deckard was only in relation to the film and it was quite topic of conversation for a long while among SF geeks. The verdict was open however Scott was evasive about it but hinted that the Unicorn dream and origami scene confirmed that do elude to that fact.And if he was a replicant and he shows up in the next film then was he the same model as Rachel with an unlimited life span.
This new film at this stage sounds stupid as it over thirty years after the fact. And sorry about that Fox.
post #3206 of 3288
I thought the director's cut cleared up any ambiguity...

Could be wrong.
post #3207 of 3288

59. The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins

A very short read, but nevertheless an interesting one. It's nearly all dialogue driven, but the characters (almost all small time criminals) talk with a sort of self-assurance that they reveal their intentions (without exactly saying what they are) so the story is still quite clear. I imagine Hemingway would have liked this novel very much.

post #3208 of 3288
Quote:

Originally Posted by Foxhound View Post

 

 

Previous books (Click to show)

1. Paper Towns - John Greene

Something quite easy to read, I enjoy coming of age novels. I got through it rather quickly, but enjoyed it nonetheless.

 

2. Shogun - James Clavell

Took me quite some time to read, but amazing book. I read a solid chunk(60-70%) whilst I was hoping around Japan, and went to some of the locations in the book which was really quite amazing.It also seemed to be quite historically accurate, however I feel that it just ends abruptly, but at peace. If travelling Japan I can't recommend it enough, but be warned, it is very, very long.

 

3. The Man in the High Castle - Phillip K. Dick

Advertisements for the television show is what got me interested in this, so I picked it up. Dick paints a really interesting world, and conveys how bleak life would have been. It was quite short, and not much really seemed to happen in the book, a few promising ideas, but it was more about individuals lives. I would have liked to see some of the different story arcs that are briefly introduced develop.  I believe the television show expands on it.

 

4. Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

My first real look into philosophy. I enjoyed it, however I feel that I got about 40% of his message clearly, but a lot of it went over my head. I will be going back to it shortly. The stoic philosophy is really great, and there are many principles I will apply to my life.

5. Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari

Close to calling this 10/10. Ansari discusses the differences between dating today, and dating in the past(predominantly within a 50 year range). He interviews many people from all different age groups, and runs focus groups across various cities and countries. As someone who goes on plenty of dates, I found it a very interesting, insightful, and also entertaining book. I decided to pick it up after binge watching his TV show, Master of None, which I can also recommend.

 

In the book he also cites a plethora of studies and works alongside many academics from both social and cognitive sciences. He notes one study that is particularly interesting. I personally find that lots of younger people cannot converse in real life. The study argues that due to the use of texting and social media, where one can retype and think before they send, constructing many variations of what they wish to communicate, that the muscles in the brain used for spontaneous communication are not being developed properly.

 

6. The Year of Living Dangerously - Christopher Koch

I've developed a new habit since reading Shogun in Japan to read a book that resolves around the country I am traveling in, preferably about a foreigner in a strange land. I consulted r/books and was recommended The Year of Living Dangerously. It resolves around an Australian journalist working in Jakarta during the year 1965 (the year in which a failed coup occoured, followed by mass political purge). I really enjoyed it, however felt that the first two thirds of the book was stronger to the last. I also found the end a little rushed. I felt that the characters in the book were quite interesting, especially Billy Kwan, the sidekick of the story.

 

I'm looking forward to watching the film when I get home from 1982, starring Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, and Linda Hunt(whom won the Oscar for best supporting actor for her portrayal of Kwan).

 

7. The Old Man and the Sea

First foray into Hemmingway. Was surprisingly quite easy to read. It was enjoyable, however, I'm glad it was no longer than it was. The narrative suited a ~100 page book.

 

I'm quickly approaching my goal of 15 books by the end of the year. It helps being on holiday's as well as reading shorter books this week. In my search for a couple of shorter books I can do in a day, I chose the Old Man and the Sea, as well as Animal Farm, which I have been meaning to read.

 

I've picked up Dan Brown's Inferno for the journey home. I enjoyed The Lost Symbol when I read it several years ago, and pulp fiction is nice for flying.

 

8. Animal Farm - George Orwell

Great metaphor to Orwells view of the Soviet Union, thoroughly enjoyed it. Didn't find it predictable at the time, but the ending is obvious looking back.

 

9. Inferno - Dan Brown

Absolute rubbish. Maybe I only enjoyed The Lost Symbol because I was younger, but this was atrocious. It has good content and honestly and interesting plot line but the delivery was terrible. The twist was just plain dumb, and introduced several plot holes. The 180 by virtually every character at the end just didn't make sense. There were several introduced story arcs that were contradicted by "twists", that were never explained as to what they meant.

 

10. Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, and Billion-Dollar Deals

Great read. The stories are great, they're crude and won't be to a lot of people's taste but not everything is going to be The Notebook.

 

11. Bleeding Edge - Thomas Pynchon

My second foray into Pynchon. Really enjoyed it although found a few parts difficult to follow. Was disappointed a few plot lines were not fully explained, but that is his charm.

 

12. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Phillip K. Dick

Quite an enjoyable read. Deckard is an intriguing character, and Dick paints a very interesting world. I felt that the concept of Mercerism could have been explained with more clarity.

The social class through animal ownership is an interesting idea, and is presented well, as is the desire to differentiate ones self from that of an android through forced suffering and empathy.

I noticed several parallels between this, and the 2015 video game Fallout 4, which deals with androids, known as Synths, infiltrating society. I would be surprised if Fallout was not influenced by this.

I'm looking forward to watching Blade Runner for the first time now.

post #3209 of 3288
something from left field graphic novels

49 Doctor Strange The Way of the Weird by Chris Aaron writer and Chris Bachelor Artist/ Colourist

50The Last Days of Magic by Chris Aaron writer and Chris Bachelor Artist/ Colourist

Hard backs which collects ten issues of Dr Strange. Interesting way to pass a bleak Sunday. To say the least much has changed since Stan Lee & Steve Ditko were at the helm fifty years ago.

We now resume normal transmission

51The Age of Genius The Seventeenth Century & The Birth Of The Modern Mind A.C. Grayling Saw Gralying speak at the Canberra Writers Festival. His basic proposition is that without the Descartes and the transitional nature of such things like alchemy into science, or astrology into astronomy and then the Enlightenment would never have happened.
post #3210 of 3288
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
0. Asterix and the Missing Scroll
1. The Whisperer
2. The Vanished Ones
3. Quarterly Essay: Political Amnesia
4. From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant
5. The Lost Girls of Rome
6. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
7. Never Mind
8. The Vegetarian
9. Man on Fire
10. Comfort Zone
11. The Invisible man From Salem
12. Red Light
13. Balancing Act
14. Crimea: The Last Crusade
15. Misterioso
16. The Lost Sailors
17. Black Run
18. The Natural Way of Things
19. Piano Lessons
20. Pedigree
21. Sing Fox To Me
22. Mister Roberts
23. Talking To My Country
24. The Bricks That Built the Houses
25. Oblivion
26. The Sixth Extinction
27. The Cruel Stars of the Night
28. Normal
29. The Shepherd's Crown
30. Vixen
31. The Heart Goes Last
32. Firing Line: Australia's Path to War
33. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
34. Fever of Animals
35. Our Souls at Night
36. Thermopylae: The Battle for the West
37. She Will Build Him a City
38. Quota
39. The Secret Chord
40. Beast
41. Zero K, by Don DeLillo. **
42. The Princess of Burundi, by Kjell Eriksson ****
43. Enemy Within: American Politics in the Time of Trump ***
44. Gold Fame Citrus

45. The Rules of Backyard Cricket
The Rules of Backyard CricketThe Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Rules of Backyard Cricket is the story of two cricketing prodigies from the wrong side of the tracks. Darren, the narrator, is a gifted tearaway with scant regard for the rules, whereas his older brother Wally is a gimlet-eyed disciplinarian dedicated to his career.

The novel starts with Darren bound and gagged in the boot of a car, heading up the Geelong Road to Melbourne. In each chapter, he reveals a little more of his and Wally's backstory, and how things led up to his current predicament.

This book is best thought of as a "ripping yarn" style of novel rather than a whodunit, as there are few surprises. On that level it's very good, with a pacy plot told in a very engaging style.

Fans of cricket are going to have fun spotting character traits and incidents that Serong borrows; people acquainted with Melbourne's true crime stories are also going to recognise a few allusions. I think this is overdone though, to the point where I really wouldn't recommend this book to people not au fait with, or interested in, cricket.


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