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Jippy

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I've read four Krasnahorkai now, the two you mentioned and also War & War and Seiobo There Below and I'd say that Satantango might be my least favorite (though still a powerful novel). I can't really decide on a favorite now as each is very different but just drips with that Krasznahorkai flavor. Seiobo There Below might be the easiest to read in chunks as its essentially a collection of short stories that are united by its unique theme of embodying the Fibonacci sequence thematically from one story to the next: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21...War & War would be the easiest to power through start to finish as it's his shortest novel and probably the most linear narrative focusing mostly on just a single protagonist. I think Melancholy is still my favorite but that might be because it broke my Krasznahorkai virginity ;)

If I was to suggest as reading order now, it would probably be
1. War
2. Melancholy
3. Seiobo
4. Satantango
5. Baron Wenkheim's Homecoming (which I just began but paused because I have so many books on my to-read list)
That's really interesting, thanks. I still can't figure out in my head what I'd score Satantango out of 10, it's so far removed from the stacks of Victorian and Edwardian era classics I've read this year. I've got Melancholy and War & War sat in my Amazon basket and should just order them if they're even better.
I'll have a look at the others too- not sure why I often subconsciously dismiss books of short stories.
 

oneniltothearsenal

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That's really interesting, thanks. I still can't figure out in my head what I'd score Satantango out of 10, it's so far removed from the stacks of Victorian and Edwardian era classics I've read this year. I've got Melancholy and War & War sat in my Amazon basket and should just order them if they're even better.
I'll have a look at the others too- not sure why I often subconsciously dismiss books of short stories.
I do the same regarding short stories but Seiobo is just different than most short story collections. Unlike some collections that just loosely fit together, it really is a book-length project constructed using short stories. While I do wish I could have gotten more of some of the characters, it actually works as a unit in a way more short story collections do not.
 

Twigg

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Bought what I didn't realise was a 50 page book the other day: The Burnout Society by Byung-chul Han.

TL;DR Our obsession with (often unattainable) forms of productivity causes unhappiness. I think it's an extremely powerful point right now in these """""unprecedented times"""". It's probably the type of thing you'd read in a self-help book but it's more interesting coming from a philosopher IMO.
He has a great way of making his points, very convincing writer. Have you read any other of his books, and if so what would you recommend?
 

Vidyoyo

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He has a great way of making his points, very convincing writer. Have you read any other of his books, and if so what would you recommend?
Can't say I have Twigg. I did just find this interview on a quick google though.

Tbh I haven't read much philosophy since I finished that book but I'm definitely in the mood for more.
 

Jippy

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I do the same regarding short stories but Seiobo is just different than most short story collections. Unlike some collections that just loosely fit together, it really is a book-length project constructed using short stories. While I do wish I could have gotten more of some of the characters, it actually works as a unit in a way more short story collections do not.
Cool, will definitely add it to the list. I'm looking forward to reading more of his stuff.
I've got more than 20 books I haven't read already and very little shelf space left unless I offload a few to charity, so I'm trying not to splurge on more for a while.
 

Twigg

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Cool, will definitely add it to the list. I'm looking forward to reading more of his stuff.
I've got more than 20 books I haven't read already and very little shelf space left unless I offload a few to charity, so I'm trying not to splurge on more for a while.
Buy a bigger shelf. But really, hard habit to break isn't it. I spend way too much money on books.
 

Jippy

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Just finished As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner and it's excellent.
Had wanted to read one of his books for a while and my initial concerns that it's a humdrum family drama were mercifully shortlived.
It's a short, yet epic, darkly comic family drama, structured as a sequence of first person narratives -and at times streams of conciousness- from different family members and friends driving the story forward.
I defo need to read more Faulkner.
 

BD

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What do you guys make of Herman Hesse? I really enjoyed Siddhartha, but I didn't enjoy Steppenwolf as much and found it hard to get into. I started Narcissus and Goldmund a few days ago, and it's great so far.
 

oneniltothearsenal

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What do you guys make of Herman Hesse? I really enjoyed Siddhartha, but I didn't enjoy Steppenwolf as much and found it hard to get into. I started Narcissus and Goldmund a few days ago, and it's great so far.
I thought the Glass Bead Game and Demian were both outstanding novels. Glass Bead Game should be on lists of timeless novels imo
 

BD

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I thought the Glass Bead Game and Demian were both outstanding novels. Glass Bead Game should be on lists of timeless novels imo
Oh nice, I haven't read either of them but they're naturally on my list.
 

entropy

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Why Karen Carpenter Matters - Easily the best book I've read since lockdown started. Incredibly moving tribute but also a necessary interpretation of her life and work. I wish more writers did what Karen Tongson does in this book. She puts forth a perspective that rarely exists when it comes to musicians whose work is as widely known as The Carpenters. Instead of the usual biographical works that pour over every minute detail and whitewashes their legacy, I prefer works like these which are more personal and helps you rediscover the artist's life and work in a different way. I wonder how fans who were around during the band's peak would interpret this book. It’s very nostalgic of that era but also a departure from the mainstream version of who Karen Carpenter was and what she really wanted out of her life.
 

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Are the Dune sequels worth a read?
The first book was a masterpiece, but everyone seems to despise the sequels.
 

TheRedDevil'sAdvocate

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Are the Dune sequels worth a read?
The first book was a masterpiece, but everyone seems to despise the sequels.
It comes down to two things: Firstly, why do you consider the first one a masterpiece and, secondly, how do you feel about the ending of the first book. If you were fascinated by the questions Herbert puts on the table (is the creation of a human godlike entity possible through eugenics, can humanity progress only through bloodshed and agony, are artificially created human replicas the same as the people they were created from, how can religious fanaticism and political intrigue shape the course of humanity, does knowing the future actually limit the possibilities to make a difference etc.), you'll get a lot of that in the sequels. But if you're expecting lots of action, keep away. Furthermore, if you believe that the ending of the first book was close to perfect (with no particular need to explain things further or to "show" what happens next), there's a good chance that the sequels will tire you at some point since there are very few interesting new characters. What you will get is different viewpoints of the basic and fundamental questions Herbert tries to answer in the first book.

If you're really a fan, proceed by all means. There are lots of people who enjoyed the sequels. I know a couple of people who literally worship the series and they tell me that the fourth instalment (God Emperor of Dune, which is in the form of a diary and it's close to unreadable as a "normal" book) is a favourite among the Dune fanatics. Its theme (what drives human evolution and the ethics of a "benevolent tyranny" that will save mankind from destruction) is fantastic but Herbert's prose is unbearable. Personally, i don't regret reading the sequels but i always felt that none of them captured the magic of the first book.

And whatever you do, stay the hell away from what Herbert's sons have written. These are, without any doubt, abominations.
 

oneniltothearsenal

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August has been a fun mix so far

The Getaway
- Jim Thompson
Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon
All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy
The Crossing - Cormac McCarthy
 

dumbo

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August has been a fun mix so far

The Getaway - Jim Thompson
Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon
All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy
The Crossing - Cormac McCarthy
How did you like the McCarthys. The Crossing has the most beautiful, elegiac beginning of any of his books and I find the scene with the dog at the end quite devastating. I'm not sure how I feel about just how jarringly brutal some of the middle is. I feel that All the Pretty Horses is a perfect book.

I don't know if you've read Cities of the Plain, or plan to but I didn't like it. Despite some excellent moments, I found that it detracts from the other two stories.
 

oneniltothearsenal

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How did you like the McCarthys. The Crossing has the most beautiful, elegiac beginning of any of his books and I find the scene with the dog at the end quite devastating. I'm not sure how I feel about just how jarringly brutal some of the middle is. I feel that All the Pretty Horses is a perfect book.

I don't know if you've read Cities of the Plain, or plan to but I didn't like it. Despite some excellent moments, I found that it detracts from the other two stories.
I loved them both. But I don't really read McCarthy for the plot or content per se, so much as his writing style which I always find inspiring. His way of writing just fully immerses me so I can get into him even when there isn't even a story really (Suttree). I haven't read Cities of the Plain yet but that would be the only McCarthy I haven't read so I'm going to save that until at least next year. I just started Bel Canto and after that, I have two massive 1000+ pagers lined up :)
 

MUM

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Just getting through Barbara Tuchman's, The March of Folly.
She proves one thing, we, they, will never learn.
 

Nickosaur

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Been a bit stressed with work recently, and it has such an effect on my ability to read. Especially when I end up working longer hours, by the time I get home I just want to crash/watch TV.

So I've picked up a Vonnegut book that I hadn't read yet, Bluebeard. His books usually cheer me up and I can get through them quite quickly.
 

Jippy

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Been a bit stressed with work recently, and it has such an effect on my ability to read. Especially when I end up working longer hours, by the time I get home I just want to crash/watch TV.

So I've picked up a Vonnegut book that I hadn't read yet, Bluebeard. His books usually cheer me up and I can get through them quite quickly.
Vonnegut books are a great pick me up.

Just finished Wuthering Heights. It's pretty bleak for the most part.
That's Emma, Hard Times, Cold Comfort Farm and Wuthering Heights for August now. I need to get my head around modern literature at some point.
 

Stick

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Vonnegut books are a great pick me up.

Just finished Wuthering Heights. It's pretty bleak for the most part.
That's Emma, Hard Times, Cold Comfort Farm and Wuthering Heights for August now. I need to get my head around modern literature at some point.
Have you ready any of Thomas Hardy yet? Far From the Maddening Crowd was one of my favourites as a young lad. Not revisited it but I loved the way it was written. Reminded me of Trainspotting and after a chapter I was sounding like a Cornish native. At least I think it was set in cornwall...........
 

Handsome Devil

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Been a bit stressed with work recently, and it has such an effect on my ability to read. Especially when I end up working longer hours, by the time I get home I just want to crash/watch TV.

So I've picked up a Vonnegut book that I hadn't read yet, Bluebeard. His books usually cheer me up and I can get through them quite quickly.
I read Bluebeard when it first came out. It's a brilliant book to recommend to anyone who doesn't get modern art and it often gets overlooked in his canon.
Thanks for this post @Nickosaur, good reminder for me to revisit it!
 

Jippy

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Have you ready any of Thomas Hardy yet? Far From the Maddening Crowd was one of my favourites as a young lad. Not revisited it but I loved the way it was written. Reminded me of Trainspotting and after a chapter I was sounding like a Cornish native. At least I think it was set in cornwall...........
I actually picked up Under the Greenwood Tree by Hardy from a charity shop last week. That one sounds more Sunday night period drama than Trainspotting though.

Not sure about Cornwall dialect. The heavy Yorkshire brogue of Joseph, the awful old servant in Wuthering, was a grind to read.
 

Vidyoyo

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Read a few more Mishima books recently - Confessions of a Mask and Frolic of the Beasts.

Both good (former better). Full of longing for death, confused feelings and angst as you'd naturally expect from Master Mishima.
 

MUM

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Just started Nick Barratts,
The Restless King.
Henry II, His Sons and The Wars For The Plantagenet Crown.

A great read, showing how crazy these times were for a King with a family against him.

Magna Carta it is not!
 

Stick

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I actually picked up Under the Greenwood Tree by Hardy from a charity shop last week. That one sounds more Sunday night period drama than Trainspotting though.

Not sure about Cornwall dialect. The heavy Yorkshire brogue of Joseph, the awful old servant in Wuthering, was a grind to read.
I'll try some more Hardy. I find it a grind too at the start but after a chapter or two I'm reading away in the accent. I'll even start talking in the accent.....bit of a weirdo
 

Stookie

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Anybody like reading Bill Bryson? I’ve just finished reading his latest The Body- a guide for occupants. It’s fantastic, written in that humorous style of his. Full of amazing research and facts that I think ‘that’s cool I’ll remember that’ and then inevitably forget it because there are so many. Anyway really interesting and cracking read if anyone fancies it.
 

BD

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Anybody like reading Bill Bryson? I’ve just finished reading his latest The Body- a guide for occupants. It’s fantastic, written in that humorous style of his. Full of amazing research and facts that I think ‘that’s cool I’ll remember that’ and then inevitably forget it because there are so many. Anyway really interesting and cracking read if anyone fancies it.
Yeah I've a read a good few of his books, including The Body. I had a very similar experience to you, as I was reading it I was thinking how good it was and was hoping I'd remember some of it, but I'm pretty sure I remember nothing. Oh well, was a good read at the time.

Have also read his Short History of Nearly Everything, and a heap of his travel books. His travel books are a go to for me if I'm just looking for something easy, enjoyable, and quick.
 

Vidyoyo

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Learned today that Delillo has a new book coming out, end of October.

Pre-orders up on JeffBezos.com for £12 (hardback)
 

Carolina Red

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Just finished As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner and it's excellent.
Had wanted to read one of his books for a while and my initial concerns that it's a humdrum family drama were mercifully shortlived.
It's a short, yet epic, darkly comic family drama, structured as a sequence of first person narratives -and at times streams of conciousness- from different family members and friends driving the story forward.
I defo need to read more Faulkner.
Try Absalom, Absalom.
 

Luffy

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There are some books I want to read that might take me one year. Still not made up my mind.
 

Jippy

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Try Absalom, Absalom.
I definitely going to read more of his books. Is that one structured in the same way, with the multiple first person narratives do you know? Don't want to google too much and blunder into a spoiler. Some people seem to say The Sound and the Fury isn't his best, despite his best efforts, so keen to try a different one..
 

Carolina Red

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I definitely going to read more of his books. Is that one structured in the same way, with the multiple first person narratives do you know? Don't want to google too much and blunder into a spoiler. Some people seem to say The Sound and the Fury isn't his best, despite his best efforts, so keen to try a different one..
Yes it is - there are 6 narrators total. It’s a complicated read, but the story is so good.