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Reading thread - Page 39

post #571 of 862
Originally Posted by DividedWay View Post

I just finished East of Eden (my first Steinbeck since Of Mice and Men in High School...) and it was great. Preachy... but very human, and very good. Curious to know what other people think of it. 

One of my all-time favorite books. The day I finished it, I went out and got pigasus tattooed.

A (too) personal anecdote about the book: Cathy is obviously (and very effectively) one of the most loathsome characters I've ever read – it's difficult to even muster ambivalence about her, like you might with Henry Miller (as himself) in Tropic of... However, when she's discussing some nefarious bullshit, she says something to the effect of, "You have to wait for the opportunity to get what you want." And that has stuck with me as a truly, deeply, affirming directive in life. I absolutely, unequivocally do not believe in anything like "The Secret" or other woo-woo bullshit, but in my experience, having the patience to wait out the obstacles coming before you and whatever it is you desire has worked well.

Mind you, another literary moral everyone should learn in tandem is Something Wicked This Way Comes – the things we think we want are seldom what we think they are.
post #572 of 862

Fun tidbit about Something Wicked: It was something like 2x-3x longer in its original draft. It's perhaps Bradbury's biggest cutting work. This is in contrast to works like Fahrenheit and Martian Chronicles which originated or were composed of smaller pieces.


Wish I could get my hands on some of those older writings. Apparently his old house has a file cabinet stuffed full of novels and stories he never published. 

post #573 of 862
Originally Posted by noob View Post

The parts where he almost gets at romance are some of his best, I think: Mildred Bonk, The USS Millicent. Some of Lenore's escapades from Broom. icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif

Hehe for me, the Wallace almost-romance that comes to mind first is Gately/Joelle (maybecause I just read their first conversation together in IJ :3) and the pregnant couple in TPK. Part of me wants to say that TPK shows a pared down emotional Wallace but I dunno... I found even Broom pretty darn emotional. So maybe it's just pared down Wallace. Definitely agree that IJ doesn't cover everything although it comes closer than most books. (This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately, how even my favourite writers have gaps in what they do, as far as emotion/style/narrative/other such things I look for in a novel.)

East of Eden is lovely. The language and emotions were so lush and satisfying, like a difficult but not uncomfortable hike in book form. I didn't find it preachy at all when I read it but that seems to be a common complaint... I remember picking up Grapes of Wrath next and finding that one super preachy.
post #574 of 862

SWTWC was a bit long for my liking.

post #575 of 862
post #576 of 862
Delany fans: what is the ultimate Delany: Dhalgren or Hogg?

(Or is it even, mercifully, something shorter?)


Edited by noob in 89 - 6/13/14 at 9:20pm
post #577 of 862
Originally Posted by noob View Post

Delaney fans: what is the ultimate Delaney: Dhalgren or Hogg?

(Or is it even, mercifully, something shorter?)



Aye, And Gomorrah. 


Just reading that story for the first time was like a punch in the face. 

post #578 of 862
100% srs. I've had Dhalgren on my list for so long, I can't remember if it was that or Hogg that non- die hard science fiction fans consider his best. I've been burned by sci-fi before!

Oh...I see Aye + Gomorra is a collection? Thanks, that sounds good.

I skipped through his auto-bio recently ... was surprised to find a very happenin' biracial, bisexual, Jacob-from-Twilight looking dude on the cover, not the big hobbit-y George RRRRRMartin type one associates with SF. laugh.gifpeepwall[1].gif
post #579 of 862

Aye, and Gomorrah is a short story. 

It looks like that collection you found has almost every short story he has written. I might have to pick it up myself.

post #580 of 862

36. Museum of Innocence


What a book - this was a really, really enjoyable and fascinating book. It follows the story of Kemal, who is a wealthy business operator-owner in Istanbul. Set against the changing social norms in Turkey, complete with bombings and fighting, Kemal tells a love story through objects and memories (the 'Museum'). The novel opens with his engagement to Sibel - an upper class woman who he has already slept with. A chance encounter with a distant relative - Fusun - sees him completely head over heels, and he begins an affair with her, eventually completely obsessing with her. After his engagement with Sibel ends, Kemal meets with Fusun, but instead of picking up where they left off, Kemal finds her married, and becomes a fixture in her family's daily routine, just to be close to her. For 8 years he becomes a domestic ornament.


The characters in this novel are interesting and well0thought out. Kemal's love borders on obsession and the immaturity of his actions is often complimented by his thoughtful reflection and self-doubt. Fusun is initially one dimensional, but begins to show slowly how she is crushed by her dreams, social expectations and her initial relationship with Kemal. The novel often dissects the problematic relationship between sex, marriage, love, commitment, desire and society in Turkey at that time. It also spends significant amounts of time with characters on the border of empowering love and absolutely crushing, almost stalker, obsession.


A longer read, and a serious one, but a very, very good novel.

post #581 of 862
Read CivilWarLand in Bad Decline. Really good stuff.
post #582 of 862

East of Eden is one of my favorite books. Only other Steinbeck I read so far is Grapes of Wrath, and I liked Eden more. So much wisdom in there. Lee is my favorite (it helps he's asian). 


Recently read:

Down and Out in Paris & London -- saw this in RFT a while ago. Short read, I liked the Paris part but not really the London stuff. Pretty shocking that this stuff actually happened. I hope it's better nowadays but you never know what's hidden from you eh? 


Gentlemen Bastards: Lies of Locke Lamora (#1) and Red skies under red seas (#2). Pretty fun read, wasn't super big fan of writing style (kind of flashbacks every other chapter) but great characters and who doesn't like heists? Contemplating reading the third.


Mistborn Trilogy: just a really solid epic fantasy series. The magic and world-building were really well thought out, and I'm not really a LOTR / GoT book person (just wait for movie/tv). Each book has its only focus but they all come together in the end as well. The books discuss love, leadership, politics, and faith in very thorough, well-thought ways.



Currently reading Blood Song (Raven's Shadow #1). It is pretty sweet so far. 


Feeling a little guilty just reading loads of epic fantasies. Might rotate in Atlas Shrugged for some variety.

post #583 of 862

lol @ Atlas Shrugged.


Epic fantasies are more mature than Rand.


It's worth reading to brag and criticise, sort of, but it's essentially a 1000 page defense of selfishness.


Smash out Name of the Wind (Rothfuss, epic fantasy) instead, 1000000x more soul and 100000000000000000x more intellectually stimulating than Atlas Shrugged.

post #584 of 862
Originally Posted by noob View Post

Delany fans: what is the ultimate Delany: Dhalgren or Hogg?

(Or is it even, mercifully, something shorter?)


Or Nova, Babel-17, Stars in my Pocket Like Grains of Sand...? I'd rate Dhalgren as his most satisfying work, but then I like twisty experimental stuff.


I'm currently reading the new translation of the full and uncensored version of the Strugatsky brothers' Definitely Maybe. I've been remembering how much I love their work recently.

post #585 of 862

Haha Name of the Wind is what got me started on this epic fantasy binge -- eagerly awaiting the third book! Some review on goodreads described Blood Song as a better version of Name of the Wind. Not sure if I'd say better (only 50% through) but it's very good - same story of the past from frame of the present, "coming of age", but less magic and "science" and more fighting. 


Re: Atlas Shrugged, I am a very self person, so I may need the justification :) That and, there's only finitely many good epic fantasies out there. 

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