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Reading thread - Page 44

post #646 of 799

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post #647 of 799
Just picked this up late last night, cracking it open in a half hour or so. Very excited smile.gif

post #648 of 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflygrave View Post

Just picked this up late last night, cracking it open in a half hour or so. Very excited smile.gif

On ~pg 100. – very classic Murakami. Interested to hear someone else's thoughts on it.
post #649 of 799
Also keen to hear what people think.
post #650 of 799
Finished it the other night. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Especially the more modern references that came with it taking place a bit closer to now. It did seem to read a bit like Norwegian Wood for me though. Which I also don't think is a particularly bad thing, as I eventually grew to love Norwegian Wood. I just don't feel like it's the same experience as reading something like The Wind Up Bird Chronicles. I've got a stack of books and comics at my bedside so I probably won't get around to rereading it for a while, but I'm curious to see how I feel about in a few months.
Edited by nineohtoo - 8/27/14 at 12:15am
post #651 of 799

NW > WUBC

 

Murakami fans, I think you'd like Pamuk. Expect me to expand on this thought in the next few days when I finish my second Pamuk book.

 

Also keen to hear a lot about the new Murakami.

post #652 of 799
Man, comics are great. Grant Morrison's Animal Man was one of the first things I ever read that made me realize comics could be just as smart as books could be. Y: The Last Man, Blankets, Paul Pope (especially Batman: Year 100), Watchmen, Daniel Clowes (especially Lloyd Llewellyn), Airtight Garage—there's just so much good stuff, and I've only scratched the surface of it. Still haven't read Sandman, The Walking Dead, Preacher, or Frank Miller.


Speaking of Murakami, I got my mom to start reading Norwegian Wood and, to my surprise, she really likes it. Apparently she mentioned it to a friend the other night, and that person recommended I check out Yasunari Kawabata. Does anyone have any experience reading his novels?
post #653 of 799
Not a novel, but his Palm of the Hand Stories (100-ish page-long delectables) are very engrossing, and due to their length, really easy to get into. It includes a miniaturization of his novel Snow Country, which he might have considered the purest version. It was also the inspiration for William Vollmann's The Atlas, a book I try to make everyone read.......

Is there a comics thread? Seems like there should be.

(***GN, I was literally baking in the sun yesterday, so pls forgive my bungled thoughts on TDK).
post #654 of 799

I've read The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa and Snow Country. He has the same sparse lyricism as Murakami, but I'd say still has some of that turn-of-the-century dryness. 

post #655 of 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

NW > WUBC

Murakami fans, I think you'd like Pamuk. Expect me to expand on this thought in the next few days when I finish my second Pamuk book.

Also keen to hear a lot about the new Murakami.
orhan pamuk, yes -- worth noting that his family name means "cotton" in turkish -- and he lived in frankfurt for many years, best city there is -- generally recommended, the man.
post #656 of 799
I had a dream Thomas Pynchon wrote a fantasy novel. It was like The Last Airbender in that there were groups of monks who could 'bend' various elements, but instead of using the four-element earth/air/fire/water as a base, Tommy used the periodic table. So there were hydrogen benders, helium benders, oxygen benders, einsteinium benders, etc. Some of the powers were more useful than others. Main character was named Ruggles.
post #657 of 799

I want to read that.

 

Also: Korra finale = amazing.

post #658 of 799
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

15. Watchmen

16. Captains Courageous

17. A Brief History of Time

18. The Trial

19. Wind up Bird Chronicle

20. A Visit from the Goon Squad

21. Neuromancer

22. Count Zero

23. Shadowboxing

24. Hell's Angels

25. Anansi Boys

26. Steelheart

27. A Hero of Our Time

28. Mona Lisa Overdrive

29. The Complete Collection of Flannery O'Connor

30. The Last Blues Dance

31. Gularabulu

32. The Glass Canoe

33. The Lies of Locke Lamora

34. Handmaid's Tale

35. Girt

36. Museum of Innocence

37. Neverwhere

38. The Ghost's Child

39. Picnic at Hanging Rock

40. Submarine

41. Name of the Wind

42. Wise Man's Fear

43. A Million Little Pieces

44. The Promise

45. Father's Day

46. Swan Book

47. Red Seas under Red Skies

48. Republic of Thieves

49. Labyrinths

50. Carpentaria

51. Snow

 

51. Snow

 

Orhan Pamuk's novel is essentially three parallel narratives that converge in this story. The first is the main story: Ka, an expatriot Poet returns to Turkey, and to the bleak and cold city of Kars, ostensibly to find out about the 'suicide girls' - a group of girls who have been committing suicide rather than take off their headscarves as encouraged by the rabidly secular Turkish army/establishment, but he is really in the town to find Ipek - a girl he believes himself in love with, but whom he does not really know. The second main story is that of a factionalised and disparate Turkey: where cultural influences, hard-fought beliefs, violence and instability force a modern 'European' secular liberal viewpoint at ends with an Islamic and old fashioned viewpoint, with most people sitting in the middle wishing it'd all be over and done with. Ka, as a confused and somewhat spiritual character fits in neither world, yet understands both, to some extent. The third narrative in this novel is that of Orhan discovering information about Ka - it's a self-aware, almost magic realist form of writing in parts.

 

This book was exceptionally good: Ka is a character that borders pathetic, but manages to have enough humanism and appeal to not become totally despicable and dull. Ipek is canny and aloof, beautiful and torn. The context is almost cloyingly oppressive: cold, dank, brutal, washed out and unwelcoming. The minor characters are absolutely fascinating: young fanatics who are honest and curious, old fathers trying to avoid the world, suicide girls who, the book suggests, committed suicide to demonstrate that they had power and agency and were not tools of anyone's agenda but their own.

 

The writing does become a tad dull towards the final part of the novel, but the changes keep it relatively lively and interesting.

 

In many ways, this text reminds me of Murakami - not in the writing - but in the way Pamuk is nearly whimsical in his treatment of the everyday routine, the progress of life, the middle-aged male becoming something of an interesting narrator as an insightful, if observant and somewhat detached, protagonist. The writing's not as magical, optimistic, or bright as Murakami's, and there's no fantasy here, the minor characters aren't quite as strange, but nevertheless, I felt there were definitely some similarities (and this is also how I felt reading 'Museum of Innocence') - Murakami's a lot more fun, but they share a common ground - Pamuk just much more MIddle Eastern.

 

It's like a depressed, more down-trodden, political, cynical and Arabic Murakami - which I know makes them sound quite different, and maybe Im just grasping at a vague notion that I felt while reading, but the cloyingly humane aspects of the text, the everyday routine not being monotonous, but comforting, the irrestibly quirky minor characters, and the random way the context tumbles the main characters around all remind me, very much, or the Murakami novels I've read.

post #659 of 799
Finished Colorless Tsukuru – sadly my least favorite Murakami book I've finished (I returned 1Q84 because I thought either the writing or the translation was atrocious).

Japanese culture must have a different set of equipment for dealing with the issues in the book because I felt no pull toward anything that was happening or any of the characters. Everything insipidly limped along (which I can appreciate thematically, but don't truly enjoy reading). There were a lot of Chekhov's Guns that never went off. It just felt very plain and prosaic. And then all of the painfully explicit processing-through at the end was just totally lacking subtlety. All in all, a disappointment.

That being said, I'm interested in others' take on it. I know there are redemptive elements of it: Tsukuru's mis-self-conception as the colorless character, the archetypes represented by the other four, Haida potentially as a vestigial sixth member of the group... I'm sure there are interesting elements in it that I'm missing. I'd love to hear someone who was more positive on it.
post #660 of 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by eluther View Post

Finished Colorless Tsukuru – sadly my least favorite Murakami book I've finished (I returned 1Q84 because I thought either the writing or the translation was atrocious).
...

That being said, I'm interested in others' take on it. I know there are redemptive elements of it: Tsukuru's mis-self-conception as the colorless character, the archetypes represented by the other four, Haida potentially as a vestigial sixth member of the group... I'm sure there are interesting elements in it that I'm missing. I'd love to hear someone who was more positive on it.

 

I just got it for Father's Day (which was yesterday in Australia) and just need to finish another book first and then I'll get into Tsukuru Tazaki and be able to let you know what I think.

 

Curiously - but much to the delight of my six-year-old daughter - the hardback edition that I was given had a set of stickers inside the front cover which presumably have some sort of significance with regard to the characters in the book.

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