Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by edinatlanta, Dec 23, 2010.
It appears you're quite emphatic about those choices of yours.
For some reason Forum double or triple posts me every once in a while.
79. Absolute Power- David Baldacci- 1996
A burglar sees a woman murdered by the president's Secret Service people in a tryst. He tries to get the evidence of the murder to the authorities and hatches an elaborate multi-layered plan to do so. He's murdered but those plans come to fruition.
Made into a movie starring the chair whisperer. Good read.
Clockwise counting 55/50: Kenneth Fearing - The Big Clock (1946)
Wow, I loved this very unusual crime story written by alcoholic poet Kenneth Fearing. Magazine editor George Stroud gets involved with a beautiful mystery woman who gets murdered and Stroud finds himself leading the massive investigation for the prime suspect, who is George Stroud himself.
The building up of the tension is excellent and actually much better than the rather sudden climax. I now need to hunt down a DVD of the old Ray Milland / Maureen O'Sullivan film adaptation. The otherwise excellent movie No Way Out with Kevin Costner / Gene Hackman was loosely based on the same novel but thoroughly rewritten to the point where it is no longer the same story.
11. The Republic - Plato
This is an examination of what it means to be a just man, and whether being just while being considered unjust is advantageous to being unjust while generally being perceived as just. To examine these questions, Plato first describes his ideal city state, compares it with the flawed states in existence, and then works back to the individual. He shows that the unified harmony just action brings to the individual is preferable to any money or honours gained through unjust actions.
I bow before you.
I still reckon Akula deserves degree-of-difficulty bonus points.
Clockwise counting 56/50: Edward Anderson - Thieves Like Us (1937)
A gang of fugitives go on a bank robbing spree in Oklahoma and Texas. The protagonist Bowie Bowers is wild and ruthless but good-hearted. He falls in love with a young native American girl, contemplates leaving his life as an outlaw but you know throughout the story that he is doomed.
This is a very nice depression-era crime noir, a minor classic in its genre.
26. The Misremembered Man, by Christine McKenna (2008)
The Misremembered Man is James McCloone, a 41 year old bachelor who lives a chaotic and slovenly life on a small Irish farm. Lydia Devine is a spinster of a similar age, brow-beaten by her aging mother. Both James and Lydia are convinced by their friends to place an ad in the lonely hearts column, and commence an awkward correspondence.
As McKenna relates their story, she also explores James' past life in an orphanage, explaining why he struggles so much with life, and has difficulties with simple things such as cleaning.
The book has two quite distinct moods. The story of James' and Lydia's awkward relationship is played a little bit for laughs, and is a stark contrast to McKenna's account of the horrific abuse Jamie suffered in the orphanage. The ending is perhaps a ittle too pat, but overall this is a book well worth reading.
80. Thousand Cranes 1958 Yasunari Kawabata
A 20 something Japanese man has lost both his parents in the last 5 years. One of his fathers' two mistresses is extremely pushy about trying to marry him off to a young woman.The young man is seduced by the second mistress, who also has a daughter of marital age.
And there's a lot of tea going on. I never realized the Japanese are so into tea.
I thought it was a great book.
27. The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist, by Michael Chabon et al (2004)
This graphic novel is a spin-off from Chabon's book The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. That novel was about two young men writing super-hero comics, and this graphic novel purports to be a study of one of Kavalier and Clay's greatest creations - The Escapist.
The book presents a series of The Escapist adventures, interspersed with "commentary" about the history and evolution of the character, the graphic syles used, and the cultural settings for the stories.
Chabon recruits notables such as Glen David Gold and Kevin McCarthy as contributors, and they are clearly having a lot of fun with the idea. The talent involved ensures that the result is a cut above the average comic book, with good artwork and pacy plots that rely on the reader to fill in some gaps. It does, however, feel piecemeal, and doesn't really take off. A good idea that might have been better if read straight after Kavalier and Clay.
81. Fear and Trembling 1999 Amelie Nothomb
A Japanese speaking Belgian woman gains employment with an import-export firm in Tokyo. Her exploits make for a truly humorous book.
I enjoyed it thoroughly and highly recommend it.
I finally did the stats with the LIST download Clock referred me to. I will finish by age 62 if I keep at it...
Which remains to be seen.
That's on the list? I reviewed it a while ago; I didn't think it was anything special.
It's funny how we all often don't agree on books.
And I'll bet your summary was probably better than mine.
I feel that if my summary reveals too much it will spoil the book for someone else.
Plus I hate slowing down...
I should maybe get in to this. So no scientific and technical manuals or anything for 'work' (in my case obscure occult and humanistic literature, myth and art). That's difficult but since I have the ability to acquire any book's content by sheer osmosis alone it oughtn't be a problem. Haven't read too many belle-lettristic works this year though. Let's see:
1) recently Donna Tartt: The Secret History
2) another one: Hodgson: The House on the Borderland
3) Machen: The Secret Glory
That's all I can remember for now....
Am planning to peruse another of the Wodehouse novels though, my second one: Carry On, Jeeves- so that'd be no. 4!
One requirement for the 50 book challenge is to write a miniature review for each book read. No rule against including obscure occult or mythological books, as long as they are "books" and not articles / essays. Welcome to the thread. That Donna Tartt was exciting stuff!
Steve B, did you read The Secret History? It is on the 1001 list and I guess you will like it.
Separate names with a comma.