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Reading thread - Page 57

post #841 of 860

Currently 

post #842 of 860
Picked up the Buried Giant and am savoring this one little by little. Its sweet and somber like Ishiguro's other novels, I'm already dreading the inevitable bittersweet heartbreak.
post #843 of 860
Are there any new epic fantasies that are worth reading? Been reading a lot of heavy stuff lately and kind of just want to read something gratuitous again. Hard to keep track of new fantasies that come out.
post #844 of 860

Abercrombie Half a king series.

post #845 of 860
i tried to dip my toes into "novels from the last 10 years" (Anne Michaels' The Winter Vault, Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries, Marlon James' A Brief History of Seven Killings) but now i'm back to reading Beckett's Malone Dies and it feels like coming home and/or a breath of fresh air

sorry nowadays writers

Brief History was good tho
post #846 of 860

Really couldn't get into The Luminaries.

post #847 of 860
Someone just released a big doorstopper of a book called Clarice Lispector The Complete Stories and naturally I've bought the shit out of it...
Edited by noob in 89 - 1/25/16 at 8:26am
post #848 of 860

I've not tried The Luminaries, but her first book 'The Rehearsal' is what I'm reading now and I quite like it.

 

My picks of 'fiction from the last 10 years':

Eye of the Sheep (Sofie Laguna)

Shadow Boxing (Tony Birch)

Museum of Innocence (Orhan Pamuk)

This is How You Lose Her/Oscar Wao (Junor Diaz)

 

Lots of others I'm forgetting.

 

I'm kind of the opposite - if it's not 20/21st century I just can't be bothered.

post #849 of 860
When I started The Luminaries I really enjoyed it ; thought it was a very pleasant first 4-500 pages or so, but by the end the 19th century novel gimmick got very tedious. Good characters but it really didn't need to be that long, and the literary references overstayed their welcome. Had the unfortunate effect of reminding me of what Tarantino does with his movies.
 
After I was done I read some Hans Fallada and all was right with the world.
post #850 of 860
Quote:
Originally Posted by accordion View Post

Really couldn't get into The Luminaries.
yeah i only made it through about 100 pages of that one
post #851 of 860
Quote:

Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

 

This is How You Lose Her (Junor Diaz)

 

I've strong opinions about that book and Diaz. It was one of my worst reads of 2014. He has a strong voice, and he can capture a Dominican/American accent well. With that said, I felt utterly unsympathetic towards the narrator. He fucked a lot of girls and they got pissed at him...okay? Then there's the weird lower class to hyperintellectual backstory that he never elaborates on. He was a high school dropout turned MIT professor, same as Diaz. Without having read Oscar Wao, my perception of Diaz is that of the token ethnic kid who the waspy literary circle can accept as their own cuz race is all he talks about but he's also had the same educational background as them. I honestly didn't see anything remarkable in that novel. There were times when I thought it was really bad. But I'm cynical, and open to different opinions. He (the narrator) also bragged about benching 185lbs and I was like lol unless you're 130lbs that's only gonna impress MFA students. 

post #852 of 860
Quote:
Originally Posted by accordion View Post

I've strong opinions about that book and Diaz. It was one of my worst reads of 2014. He has a strong voice, and he can capture a Dominican/American accent well. With that said, I felt utterly unsympathetic towards the narrator. He fucked a lot of girls and they got pissed at him...okay? Then there's the weird lower class to hyperintellectual backstory that he never elaborates on. He was a high school dropout turned MIT professor, same as Diaz. Without having read Oscar Wao, my perception of Diaz is that of the token ethnic kid who the waspy literary circle can accept as their own cuz race is all he talks about but he's also had the same educational background as them. I honestly didn't see anything remarkable in that novel. There were times when I thought it was really bad. But I'm cynical, and open to different opinions. He (the narrator) also bragged about benching 185lbs and I was like lol unless you're 130lbs that's only gonna impress MFA students. 

Yeah, he basically took the least interesting character from Oscar Wao - the semi-autobiographical Yunior - and made him the center of every story in the book. Also, I generally dislike things written in the second person - I believe the titular story was written that way, although there may have been others - and this was no exception. Not a fan.

I just started Black Swan Green, having loved Cloud Atlas and having been utterly underwhelmed by The Bone Clocks.
post #853 of 860
Quote:
Originally Posted by accordion View Post
 

 

I've strong opinions about that book and Diaz. It was one of my worst reads of 2014. He has a strong voice, and he can capture a Dominican/American accent well. With that said, I felt utterly unsympathetic towards the narrator. He fucked a lot of girls and they got pissed at him...okay? Then there's the weird lower class to hyperintellectual backstory that he never elaborates on. He was a high school dropout turned MIT professor, same as Diaz. Without having read Oscar Wao, my perception of Diaz is that of the token ethnic kid who the waspy literary circle can accept as their own cuz race is all he talks about but he's also had the same educational background as them. I honestly didn't see anything remarkable in that novel. There were times when I thought it was really bad. But I'm cynical, and open to different opinions. He (the narrator) also bragged about benching 185lbs and I was like lol unless you're 130lbs that's only gonna impress MFA students. 

 

Honestly I just really enjoyed the way it was written and some of the phrases about love and relationships hit home for me. The strong voice really does it for me, I like the confidence and the panache. I also enjoyed how he re-used the same schtick but managed to make it slightly different each time - different enough for me to enjoy. It could easily be repetitious though.

 

He may well be the token ethnic kid - I don't know much about him, or the places and people he's writing about (white East Coast America is as foreign to me as the Dominican Republic). 

 

If that's a worst read of 2014 you must have read some top-quality books.

 

Maybe the narrator's bragging is all about who he is: shallow and a bit pathetic.

post #854 of 860

Time to bump this thread - I know lots of people enjoyed some SF a year or two ago - I think many people would love this novel - just copying a review from the 50 books thread.

 

28. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

 

This book was excellent. Rosemary is a character who has paid all of her savings to forge an identity and escape some troubles. she finds work on the Wayfarer - a ship that is involved in the construction of inter-galactic transport gates as a clerk. As she arrives she begins to integrate with each different member of the crew - all of whom have a voice as the narrator and all of whom have their own back stories.

 

The world building is done almost exclusively through character backstory, and the world building in excellent. There is so much that's unique to this novel, but really clearly thought out, so many competing and complex elements that don't clash, don't contradict, that just work as interesting and synchronised aspects of the novel. And there's nothing superfluous, at least as far as I could tell.

 

This novel represents something that is really needed more in SF or Fantasy: it's a simple story where the characters are what makes it great. The story is essentially that the ship has been hired to do a long job - a year or so, and that's it. So the characters and their experiences carry the story.

As much as Space Operas - with their massive plots and their our of control technology and their 'we must do this or we all die!' events and their cowboy action are great (and they are), I've found that those sorts of stories are harder to find satisfying - almost fatiguing in how they are written: the pace, the action, the coincidence. That's what's so satisfying about this novel: nothing really matters, except to the characters, who I bought in to.

 

There's joy, pain, affection, family, meaning, despair, acceptance, distance and a range of other thoroughly meaningful and well-written themes. It's an incredibly successful debut novel and one, I hope, will be the genesis of lots more books from Becky Chambers.

post #855 of 860
i'm reading my brilliant friend

elena ferrante is dope
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