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Reading thread - Page 20

post #286 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

Pushing through 'Hard Boiled Wonderland at the end of the World' - easily the worst Murakami I've read (the only I've disliked). 50 pages to go and can't wait to get onto something new.

Dat structure, though.
post #287 of 639

Apart from all the academic stuff, with which I won't bore you, recently I've read: Simon Morden's Petrovitch Trilogy (unstoppably fast post-apocalyptic, post-cyberpunk stuff but very silly) Andrea Hairston's Redwood and Wildfire (interesting combination of deep south melodrama and subtle alternative history of early C20th black America), Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross's The Rapture of the Nerds (meh...), Dave Eggers' The Circle (not quite as good as it could have been, but still a very interesting and often very funny on Google / Facebook / Apple et al.'s plans for world domiantion and a very easy read - and it also made me revisit Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story, because if The Circle is the Nineteen Eighty-Four of social media, then SSTLS is its Brave New World) and finally I reread Christopher Priest's classic Inverted World, which is as excellent as it ever was.

 

I'm now reading Aleksandr Bogdanov's Red Star, which is a Marxist utopia, set mostly on Mars and written in 1906 by one of Lenin's biggest critics and pioneer of systems theory, and just about to start Joe Haldeman's Work Done for Hire.

post #288 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

Pushing through 'Hard Boiled Wonderland at the end of the World' - easily the worst Murakami I've read (the only I've disliked). 50 pages to go and can't wait to get onto something new.

I'd be super interested to know why in more detail! I thought it was really good, and liked the shoddy/cheesy faux-noir style contrasted with the contemplative, haiku-like writing of the end of the world. Maybe we can get some full on literary discussion up in here biggrin.gif
post #289 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by noob View Post

Wogbog, you don't read in French, do you? I was wondering if you were planning to burrow down into the new translations of Proust, which are, IMHO, effing sweet. Particularly the second book, which I saw was on your list. I'm torn between finishing this year and going back and reading them rapid-fashion, all at once -- total immersion -- as some recommend.

I'm reading them in French, very slowly. Right now it's one by one but then I might try to tackle them all at once afterwards.
post #290 of 639
French! That's hardcore...so jealous. icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
post #291 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflygrave View Post


I'd be super interested to know why in more detail! I thought it was really good, and liked the shoddy/cheesy faux-noir style contrasted with the contemplative, haiku-like writing of the end of the world. Maybe we can get some full on literary discussion up in here biggrin.gif

 

Ok.

 

Qualms with the book:

- Most of the 'Town' sequences were boring and didn't seem to add anything at all to the story - the whole time the characters in the town were so fantastical that I'm still unsure what their purpose is in the story (apart from some overhanded comments about security vs living). Perhaps I just missed what the deal is, here, but I didn't gain anything from these chapters, nor felt that added anything to the novel

 

- The narrative certainly didn't depend on this, but there were large pivotal chunks of the world that were incoherent: calcutecs, semitecs, the System, the Dr's research - all of this was presented in a garbled mess - to a certain extent that's due to the main character being confused and swept up in a complex world, but as a reader I found it unsatisfying and confusing - especially around the Dr's research.

 

Everything else was fine - but those qualms are a significant portion of the book.

post #292 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

Ok.

Qualms with the book:
- Most of the 'Town' sequences were boring and didn't seem to add anything at all to the story - the whole time the characters in the town were so fantastical that I'm still unsure what their purpose is in the story (apart from some overhanded comments about security vs living). Perhaps I just missed what the deal is, here, but I didn't gain anything from these chapters, nor felt that added anything to the novel

- The narrative certainly didn't depend on this, but there were large pivotal chunks of the world that were incoherent: calcutecs, semitecs, the System, the Dr's research - all of this was presented in a garbled mess - to a certain extent that's due to the main character being confused and swept up in a complex world, but as a reader I found it unsatisfying and confusing - especially around the Dr's research.

Everything else was fine - but those qualms are a significant portion of the book.

Just a quick question: did you get to the doctor's explanation at the sanctuary? Just wondering if you still have issues with the clarity if you have read that.
post #293 of 639
I've finished it. Each element made sense individually ( sort of). Together nothing really worked.
post #294 of 639
Stockpiling a few quicker reads to give myself a leg up in the 50 book challenge SF is running. Digging into H G Wells for the first time, and finally getting around to Green Hills of Africa but none before I start The Rings of Saturn
post #295 of 639


I always thought Bangs was one of those people I had overlooked but a few essays into it I realize that all the issues of Cream I read as a kid were largely him and the voice is a familiar one.
post #296 of 639

A review of Murakami's South of the Border, West of the Sun:

 

I have a few things to say about this book:

- This has to be, easily, one of the best titles in published history - the cadence is absolutely perfect.

- The book was fucking great: it's a narrative that tracks the different relationships that one man has, but more than that is really abot how people relate, and how we work together, despite our inherently selfish nature. It's beautiful, completely realistic, and very profound, without being ostentacious.

- As always, Murakami's ability to write about characters who are simultaneously unique, but incredibly ordinary is such a strenght of his writing and an absolute joy to read.

 

- With lines like: "As I drove away, I thought this: If I never see her again I will go insane.Once she got out of the car and was gone, my life was hollow and meaningless." Or: "I always feel as if I'm struggling to become someone else. As if I'm trying to find a new place, grab hold of a new life, a newpersonality. I suppose it's part of growing up, uet it's also an attempt to re-invent myself. By becoming a different e, I could be free of everything. I seriously believed I could escape myself - as long as I made the effort."

 

Prose that is simultaenously to the point, yet meanders [pleasantly along at no great pace is incredibly balanced and engaging.

 

Highly recommended. Easily my favourite Murakami so far (sorry Dance, Dance, Dance)

post #297 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post
 

A review of Murakami's South of the Border, West of the Sun:

 

I have a few things to say about this book:

- This has to be, easily, one of the best titles in published history - the cadence is absolutely perfect.

- The book was fucking great: it's a narrative that tracks the different relationships that one man has, but more than that is really abot how people relate, and how we work together, despite our inherently selfish nature. It's beautiful, completely realistic, and very profound, without being ostentacious.

- As always, Murakami's ability to write about characters who are simultaneously unique, but incredibly ordinary is such a strenght of his writing and an absolute joy to read.

 

- With lines like: "As I drove away, I thought this: If I never see her again I will go insane.Once she got out of the car and was gone, my life was hollow and meaningless." Or: "I always feel as if I'm struggling to become someone else. As if I'm trying to find a new place, grab hold of a new life, a newpersonality. I suppose it's part of growing up, uet it's also an attempt to re-invent myself. By becoming a different e, I could be free of everything. I seriously believed I could escape myself - as long as I made the effort."

 

Prose that is simultaenously to the point, yet meanders [pleasantly along at no great pace is incredibly balanced and engaging.

 

Highly recommended. Easily my favourite Murakami so far (sorry Dance, Dance, Dance)

 

Thanks. This seems like a good one, to follow the Bird Chronicle and Norwegian Wood.

post #298 of 639

@LonerMatt, that was the second Murakami books I read. I started with "Norwegian Wood" and after reading "South of the Border, West of the Sun", I kept thinking about what a great transiton it was. I felt them similar, just one more "adult" than the other, but dealing with similar issues, being caught up between two women (in a sense). You´ve made it want to read it again. But then, I want to read all of murakami´s novels more than once.

post #299 of 639
this thread is a goldmine.
post #300 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lionheart Biker View Post
 

@LonerMatt, that was the second Murakami books I read. I started with "Norwegian Wood" and after reading "South of the Border, West of the Sun", I kept thinking about what a great transiton it was. I felt them similar, just one more "adult" than the other, but dealing with similar issues, being caught up between two women (in a sense). You´ve made it want to read it again. But then, I want to read all of murakami´s novels more than once.

 

Thanks man - have you read 19Q4?

 

If you've not read it, it might be an interesting way to continue that transition (in the sense that it's also about a woman, sort of, among a lot of other things).

 

One thing I really liked about SotB,WotS was that it was succinct - 19Q4, and more recently Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World, seemed really, really directionless at points - South of the Border never did.

 

Also - apologies for the typos above - I'm typing on crazy Chinese keyboards.

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