Reading thread

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by rjbman, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. ManofKent

    ManofKent Senior member

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    Just finished Dave Egger's 'You shall know our velocity'.

    It had it's moments, there's a half decent book struggling to get out.
    I couldn't relate to the characters in any meaningful way so I didn't really care about them. There's the odd passage where the author managed to engage me in events, but generally it read like a teenage fan of Kerouac trying to do their own pastiche, and failing badly.
     
  2. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    I enjoyed Hocus Pocus, although it wasn't my favourite. It's a bit difficult to choose a 'best' Vonnegut book, as they are all good. I think that the ones that I enjoyed most, and which I like to dip back into from time to time, are "Mother Night", "Cat's Cradle" and "Bluebeard".


    I agree that "The Crying of Lot 49" is a good introduction to Pynchon. It's funny, interesting, and as PDG said, it's not too long. Vineland, whilst longer, is also enjoyable. I must admit that I really found it a bit hard to get into Gravity's Rainbow at first and so I put it down for quite some time before picking it up again and finishing it.



    Agreed. There are a few, younger authors like Eggers out there at present, and I think that their books could have done with some good editing.

    I've found Jonathan Safran Foer's writing to be similar to that of Eggers - technically very good, but at times a bit of a confused pastiche that could have done with some good editing. Particularly Foer's "Everything is Illuminated", which was like two books in one and it couldn't make up its mind as to whether it was being a serious and yet sometimes witty novel, or an attempt at "magical realism". To my mind, the two clashed very jarringly at times.

    In terms of Eggers, I preferred "What is the what" and "Zeitoun".
     
  3. Nikos

    Nikos Senior member

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    Funny you should mention this, as I was recently told it is too pretentious to read Pynchon on the beach, oh well.
    Thanks for the tip though, I will try the Crying Lot of 49. It sounds like the one I should read (I first need to find out what is happening with those vomit zombies in Leviathan Wakes though).
     
  4. feinschmecker

    feinschmecker Member

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    [​IMG]


    This is an amazing book about two sons who are trying to figure out just who their dad really was. On the surface, he was an accomplished painter who created an artwork coveted by European museums. But after he dies, there's a key piece missing from his masterwork and from his life. An enigmatic thriller that's impossible to put down.
     
  5. robinsongreen68

    robinsongreen68 Senior member

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    +1 on the crying of lot 49 being the best intro to pynchon. GR is still the really great novel though, for all its faults. just the first paragraph makes the hair on my arms stand up (wasn't this nabokov's sure-fire test of great prose?) , and the companion is definitely worth buying, there are so many arcane references you would never get otherwise- not that you need them to enjoy the book but it adds extra layers.

    has anybody read 'against the day'? I'm lazily mid-way through and enjoying it a lot more than i expected...
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  6. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    Now I wonder if I'm the only one who feels Lot 49 is a bit..... dated, and as such, while short, may actually turn people off to the longer ones, which feel more -- wait for it -- timeless. :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  7. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    I'm reading Spin at the moment.

    Highly recommended for anyone looking for clever SF - totally great.
     
  8. robinsongreen68

    robinsongreen68 Senior member

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    what in particular do you find dated about L49 noob? of course the hipsterish knockabout general milieu, but isn't that true of all his work? (many chapters of GR descend into annoying slapstick..). I'd say it's a good introduction because a lot of characteristic pynchon themes arise in this short book: the 'evil demi-urge' counter-movement played out through historical /dynastic narratives and micro-narratives; the incredible prescient moment when she looks down at the night-lit city and sees it as a live piece of glowing circuitry; the system gone increasingly awry towards the end as she notices more and more fucked-up clues to the existence of the 'anti network' (incidentally that INS dude always insisted this section contained some of the best prose pynchon ever wrote); that wonderful trope of 'ritual reluctance' he introduces whereby everyone knows but nobody wants to speak the name of the dreaded
    TRYSTERO
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  9. Portland Dry Goods

    Portland Dry Goods Affiliate Vendor

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    I think the slapstick is part of what I find charming from Pynchon. Also, Inherent Vice is a textbook definition of a beach read (this might become more apparent in a year or so when the movie comes out) though its not by any means Pynchon's best work.

    I started Against the Day some time ago but got sidetracked (same thing has happened twice with Mason and Dickson). enjoyed the first section.


    Currently looking for something to bring to NYC for 3 days for market week downtime. I might finish the 4th dark tower earlier than expected, but I dont want to start anything huge or a new series. any good standalone reads under 300 pages? something I can bang out when i arrive too early at the airport
     
  10. dotcomzzz

    dotcomzzz Senior member

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    Same thing happened to me with Vineland and Against the Day just didn't get around the finishing them. Love the camp element in his work also.
     
  11. jwalterweather

    jwalterweather Senior member

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    Yeah In the Heart of the Heart of the Country is a beautiful collection of short stories. Gass's prose are amazing. I would definitely recommend Omensetter's Luck, his first novel. On the other hand I just finished Middle C and never really got into it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
  12. wogbog

    wogbog Senior member

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    You guys are making me want to dive into my copy of Against the Day. My introduction to Pynchon came from Mason & Dixon, read the first page at a bookstore, had to come back the next day because it was all I thought about in between.

    Finished The Illiad, loved it at first but started to get impatient with it in the second half. Too much so-and-so impaling so-and-so with his bronze spear and looting his corpse etc etc. I started William Gaddis' JR, and at work I'm about to finish Vonnegut's Hocus Pocus and replace it with Martin Amis' The Rachel Papers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
  13. thewho13

    thewho13 Senior member

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    Just finished reading Bechdel's Fun Home, now on to Joe Sacco's Footnotes in Gaza.

    I've also got Scary, No Scary, Cane, IQ84, and some other books on my shelf to read. Really want to pick up a book by Anne Carson or Fanny Howe, but those two will have to wait in the wings with Gaddis' Recognitions, a re-reading of some Pynchon books, and a re-reading of Daniel Maximin's L'isolée soleil.
     
  14. robinsongreen68

    robinsongreen68 Senior member

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    i started the recognitions last summer but found the prose quite mannered and dated-seeming, as a result i gave up far too quickly. i loved carpenters gothic though.
    interested to know how you get on, i really should try again.
    currently reading thomas bernhard's the loser and david markson's wittgenstein's mistress, there is a wonderful essay on this latter by DFW that i'd recommend to anyone interested.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013
  15. GraphicNovelty

    GraphicNovelty Senior member

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    Just finished The Windup Girl. holy shit that book was good.

    Starting Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as I'm a bad nerd and haven't read it yet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013

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