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What are you reading?

dragon8

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Just read Billion Dollar Whale by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope. Great real-life story!
 

FlyingMonkey

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Anyone looking for an excellent near-future science-fiction / climate-change novel - Paul McAuley's Austral has just been released in the USA, and the Kindle edition is only 99c today.
 
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HORNS

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Any over read The Egyptian by Mika Waltari? I’m about a third of the way through. It’s a very enjoyable and entertaining historical fiction set around 1,300 BCE. Praised by Egyptologists for its accuracy, anyone who’s read and enjoyed Umberto Eco’s Baudolino would like this book.
 

ter1413

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Just started this. Can't review yet.
 

FlyingMonkey

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I just read Christopher Priest's latest, An American Story, which is one of a mere handful of literary novels that deal directly with 9/11. Priest is a brilliant writer and an unobtrusive stylist whose writing has always been concerned with alternative worlds and the nature of reality so it's no surprise that he dives into 9/11 conspiracies. I'm not sure I enjoyed it at times, but I couldn't stop reading it. It's already sparked some strong reactions (as would anything that deals with 9/11) but don't be put off, this may be the only good 9/11 novel so far written, even if it's far from Priest's best book.
 

noob in 89

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Hmm, I’ve got no great hankerings for 9/11 fiction, but “unobtrusive stylist” makes me want to check this out.

Have you read Falling Man? That’s a good one, esp. if you like obtrusive stylists. Updike’s newspaper piece (from the immediate aftermath) also sticks out, if only because people slammed it for being too pretty.
 

FlyingMonkey

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Have you read Falling Man? That’s a good one, esp. if you like obtrusive stylists. Updike’s newspaper piece (from the immediate aftermath) also sticks out, if only because people slammed it for being too pretty.
I disliked Falling Man. The original stream of consciousness piece DeLillo wrote about the event itself is brilliant - and it remains the best bit of the book - but the novel he constructed around it does not live up to that at all. And frankly he's only got worse as a writer since then - Point Omega was terrible. There are other interesting post-9/11 works - the best ones of which - Jarett Kobek's Atta, Lavie Tidhar's Osama, Matt Ruff's Mirage and Steve Ericson's Shadowbahn - deal with things in experimental ways... and there are plenty of novels influenced by the subsequent War on Terror more broadly, but it's notable how writers have stayed away from 9/11 as a straight subject or narrative device. The only really truly successful example is probaby in film - Paul Greengrass's United 93.
 

noob in 89

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Hmm...I actually don’t remember anything about Falling Man other than the first set piece, so you’re probably right. I thought the intro to Point Omega was pretty stunning as well, DeLillo’s bit on the whole Psycho museum installation, but what was really fascinating to me was hearing the audio books of both Cosmopolis and Point Omega, voiced by Will Patton and Campbell Scott. They really squeezed every last bit of beauty from those lines. I don’t know that DeLillo’s gotten worse — it just seems like he’s done it all, and his later work is so soggy and bleak.

Haven’t even heard of those first three you mentioned, but I’ll definitely have to check them out!

In other news, I’m almost done with Robert Kirkman’s Invincible comic, which was very well done. It starts out like your standard high school kid with super powers story (and thus appears routine and boring), but then he raises the stakes and emotion and really kicks it into high gear, energizing the genre with super-extended plot arcs, great characterization, violence and actual consequences, with none of the stilted dialogue that plagued his Walking Dead series. I’d recommend it to any fatigued Marvel fan.
 
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HORNS

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I might get on a historical novel kick after reading The Egyptian, so do you recommend this? Does anyone else have recommendations for historical novels?
 

Joffrey

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I might get on a historical novel kick after reading The Egyptian, so do you recommend this? Does anyone else have recommendations for historical novels?
Yes, I definitely recommend it.
 

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