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2017 50 Book Challenge

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by edinatlanta, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. dwyhajlo

    dwyhajlo Senior member

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    4. The Stranger by Albert Camus
    After all the ink that's been spilled over this one, I'm not sure that I have anything substantive to add, other than that I really enjoyed it. Short, surprisingly easy to read, and it manages to get its ideas across effectively without bludgeoning you with them. The last chapter in particular was really great; the language, the descriptions, everything about it was perfect - it almost felt like I was watching a piece of live theatre (corny description? whatever).
    I'd highly recommend slipping it into your pile for the year, if you need something quick to up your total to the requisite 50.
     
  2. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 5/50: Felicia Feldt - Felicia Disappeared (2011)

    Sweden's most recent publishing sensation, Felicia Feldt, is one of the daughters of Sweden's child care and child rearing guru - Anna Wahlgren. Mrs Wahlgren, who has eight children, has been called "the best mother in the world" and she is also one of Sweden's best selling authors in modern time. 

    Felicia tells a horrible story about how her mother neglected to care for her children's needs while pursuing her own career. It is a story about alcoholism, a long string of new men and new homes, violence and lies and how Felicia herself in many ways became a copy of her famous mother in failed relationships with family and loved ones. This is a story about one person's refusal to forgive. Well written autobiographical novel.
     
  3. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 6/50: Gore Vidal - Myra Breckingridge (1968)

    This is about a man-hating transsexual in Hollywood. A novel which was once considered scandalously pornographic is actually rather mild despite a pretty disturbing description of anal rape. This short novel is overall an entertaining criticism of American hypocrisy and self-obsession and I would definitely recommend it. It's also one of the 1001 books you must read before you die - this is my 145th from the list. 
     
  4. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Agree on The Stranger, a brilliant novel indeed. As good or better in my opinion is Camus' other great novel, The Plague.
     
  5. dwyhajlo

    dwyhajlo Senior member

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    Yeah, I also really like The Plague, but thought that The Stranger was better. Those are the only two that I've read by him. Have you read any of his other fiction or any of his non-fiction work?
     
  6. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    I have also read The Fall about a French lawyer in Amsterdam - a long monologue describing the same lawyer's fall from grace. The Fall is, in comparison with the other two, quite demanding and philosophical. I have actually thought about re-reading it to see if I would now understand it better but there are too many other and easier targets out there....
     
  7. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    7. 2001 Arthur C. Clarke 1968
    OK- I take back all the nasty comments about Childhood's End. This was a fantastic book about space exploration and how an astronaut morphed into pure, incredibly powerful and enlightened energy. Thought it was awesome, ran through it in about a day. Another no longer on the 1001 list.

    I just counted how many I've read- a paltry 66. Better step it up or I'll be trying to read w/Alzheimer's.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  8. FLMountainMan

    FLMountainMan Senior member

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    Will do, thanks. Just finished Echo Burning, the last Reacher book I have. That was fucking awful, which is surprising because I loved the rest of the series. But that book had a ridiculously cliched look at Texans for a book set and written in 2010. Well, white Texans, specifically, who say the word "beaner" in every other sentence, hate Mexicans, and and have never seen vegetarians before. I thought we were past the "white Northern liberator" conceit in fiction, but I guess not. Other disappointments were ridiculous plotholes, a sideplot about the Border Patrol that just drags everything down, and a four page span where "Reacher said nothing" is written almost thirty times.
     
  9. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    BTW what is a BAMF?
     
  10. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

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    ^bad ass mother fucker
     
  11. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    <<<< learned a new word (s) today
     
  12. FLMountainMan

    FLMountainMan Senior member

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    YSFM
     
  13. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    ???
     
  14. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 7/50: J.M. Coetzee - Waiting for the Barbarians (1980)

    Very impressive and gripping allegorical masterpiece by Nobel prize winning South African Coetzee. 

    The main character, called The Magistrate, is the elderly civil servant who has administered law and order in a remote province of the Empire. One day he discovers that the Empire has declared Emergency law and torture and paranoia replaces the old peaceful co-existence between poor oppressed native population and Empire settlers. The Magistrate himself embodies a mixture of human compassion, human weakness and moral strength and cannot avoid becoming a traitor to his own. 

    This could be a thinly veiled description of apartheid-era South Africa or any other place and time where a system of oppression is prevalent. My 146th of the 1001. 
     
  15. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 8/50: Jo Nesbo - Nemesis (2002)

    Norwegian crime novelist Nesbo writes Scandinavian Noir. The main character is a sober alcoholic police inspector in the Oslo police "serious crime division" - part Dirty Harry, part anti-hero with a big dose existential angst. This is reasonably clever entertainment. My second Nesbo and I am likely to read more.
     
  16. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    Clockwise counting 9/50: W. Somerset Maugham - Theatre (1937)

    Maugham was a phenomenal story teller and Theatre is an entertaining and thought provoking tale of the narcissistic leading English actress of her times, the fictional Julia Lambert. Bored with her handsome but unexciting husband, middle aged Mrs Lambert has a fling with a young accountant and suddenly finds herself in the midst of a passionate but unsettling and maybe dangerous love affair. This is a great character study of a selfish and conceited but extremely intelligent and talented woman. It is also an interesting description of the English class system and snobbism of the 1930s. 
     
  17. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    8. White Noise (1985) Don DeLillo.
    It's hard to describe this book. Quirky. Wry. Occasionally deadpan. The tale of the ultimately blended family, neuroses of the first order. All elements of something that mean nothing. White Noise really does capture the book's meaning. Too many fits and starts for me. Not sure I'd recommend it.
     
  18. clockwise

    clockwise Senior member

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    I think I'll read it as part of my 50 '12. Was it your first DeLillo? He's a strange one but a hell of a good writer.
     
  19. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    Yes. I heard it was his best. But there was just no point. Even to having no point,.;)

    You might like it however. We occasionally differ with regard to taste.
     
  20. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    9. The Spy Who Came In From the Cold 1963 John le Carre
    I haven't read many spy books, but I sure enjoyed this one. Lots of twists and turns and a surprise ending. I am now entering my mystery phase with a couple of interesting other books sandwiched between.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012

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