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Twigg

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I think @Invictus said that was his favourite Steinbeck? Read Satantango if you're looking for something to read now. I finished it at the weekend. It's a strange book in many ways, but compelling and well worth a read. I actually enjoyed Krasznorkhai's writing- this one just has no paragraphs, it doesn't have one sentence chapters or anything. He creates a vivid world of odd characters and it's pretty surreal, and leaves more questions than answers in many ways, but it's an enjoyable ride. I don't want to give anything away and I'm sure @oneniltothearsenal can give you a far better review of it. Would be interested if he preferred this or Melancholy of Resistance too.
Thanks, I'm definitely interested. Will let you know if I get around to it.
 

oneniltothearsenal

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I think @Invictus said that was his favourite Steinbeck? Read Satantango if you're looking for something to read now. I finished it at the weekend. It's a strange book in many ways, but compelling and well worth a read. I actually enjoyed Krasznorkhai's writing- this one just has no paragraphs, it doesn't have one sentence chapters or anything. He creates a vivid world of odd characters and it's pretty surreal, and leaves more questions than answers in many ways, but it's an enjoyable ride. I don't want to give anything away and I'm sure @oneniltothearsenal can give you a far better review of it. Would be interested if he preferred this or Melancholy of Resistance too.
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)
 

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.
 

Suv666

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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.