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esmufc07

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Just finished Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Absolutely enthralling read, haven’t seen the film so will watch that later.
 

Jippy

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Just finished Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Absolutely enthralling read, haven’t seen the film so will watch that later.
I remember watching the film knowing nothing about it years ago and wasn't expecting much cos it was the missus who wanted to watch it. Really wasn't expecting how strange and graphic it was:lol:
Was good though.
 

esmufc07

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About half way through Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland. A really fascinating read, focusing on the roles of Dolours Price, Brendan Hughes and Gerry Adam’s during the Troubles. One you may enjoy @2cents
 

2cents

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About half way through Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland. A really fascinating read, focusing on the roles of Dolours Price, Brendan Hughes and Gerry Adam’s during the Troubles. One you may enjoy @2cents
Thanks for the heads up!
 

BD

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Reading The Glass Bead Game by Hesse. I was struggling to get into it at the start, but I'm now halfway through and glad I stuck with it. Nothing is really happening and I can't see where it's going to go, but it's still very enjoyable.
 

Luffy

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The Glass Bead game seems to appear satirical but in the end, no-one ends up knowing for sure.
 

BD

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Is Steppenwolf worth a look?
Of the 4 or 5 Hesse books I've read so far, it's the one I enjoyed the least. But I think I'll give it a second go sometime.
 

NinjaFletch

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Trying to get back in to reading for pleasure again after finishing my PhD and read a book a week this year (soft target, Infinite Jest is staring at me and if I tackle that I won't make it)

So far, I've polished off Life After Life by Kate Atkinson which I thought was fine and Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro which may be my favourite book of all time. Currently reading Kafka on the Shore.

I'm very open to suggestions though, I feel like I've got a real gapping hole of modern classics that I should read. Might have another pop at John Le Carre at some point but the jargon in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy lost me.
 

BD

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Thanks, it sounds a bit heavy. Which is your favourite?
Yeah I found it a bit heavy alright.

Siddhartha was definitely the one I enjoyed the most at the time, but that was nearly 5 years ago now, so it might change. Narziss und Goldmund was also very good I thought. They just make me feel quite calm and serene, which I love in a book. I'm sure there are people here who have read a few Hesse and can give you better, or more specific, advice!
 

Jippy

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Yeah I found it a bit heavy alright.

Siddhartha was definitely the one I enjoyed the most at the time, but that was nearly 5 years ago now, so it might change. Narziss und Goldmund was also very good I thought. They just make me feel quite calm and serene, which I love in a book. I'm sure there are people here who have read a few Hesse and can give you better, or more specific, advice!
Thanks. I like the idea of serenity and calmness, particularly after a hard week at work and boredom with lockdown. I'll have a look into those.
 

Rolandofgilead

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Last week I finished The Vampire Lestat. I read Interview with the vampire but found it a bit tiresome in places and found the same problem with Lestat. It must be Anne Rice and her writing style or something, but I have Queen of the Damned on my shelf but can't bring myself to pick it up.

I've just finished Darthly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. It's the first book in the series and it was what the TV show Dexter was based on. I thought it was brilliant. I wish I hadn't already seen the series, but there's enough differences that I just went on amazon and bought book 2.
 

Jippy

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I finished The Vegetarian by Han Kang last night. It's a strange book, with odd comic moments early on soon descending into a portrait of mental health problems stemming from early family abuse. Interesting and different and I like the way it's structured.
Koreans sure have a strange attitude to vegetarianism.
 

ThierryHenry

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I only got about 300 words into it so I can't really say. It's got a great reputation amongst literary types but it's certainly hardgoing.

Anybody here finish it?
I really tried with Gravity's Rainbow... and just couldn't do it. Too many sections that I couldn't follow, where I didn't have a clue what was going on or how I should think it tied into the rest of the novel. This was maybe 5 or 6 years ago so I could be convinced to try again one day, but after the first 150 pages or so I just wasn't enjoying it.
 

ThierryHenry

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Anyway, came here to try to start posting regularly through my reading challenge. I love reading, but realised at the end of last year that I don't read nearly enough, so trying to fix that in 2021. Set a target of 20 books on Goodreads but already 5 in, so hopefully I can beat that;
- Such a Fun Age
- Earthlings
- The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
- Leave the World Behind
- I'm Thinking of Ending Things

The two most interesting (Such a Fun Age not far behind) were I'm Thinking of Ending Things (Iain Reid) and Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (David Mitchell). Both completely different, but I'd highly recommend both.

For Ending Things, it's a genuinely scary, unsettling 200-pager that I finished in an afternoon. There's a fantastically well done sense of dread and unnerve that stays with you throughout, in a way that most reminded me of the novel of The Shining, or the films of Ari Aster (Hereditary and Midsommar). I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't 'get' the ending, but on reading explanations of exactly what happened, I'm satisfied, and think the novel works overall, as opposed to my initial thought of a cheap ending that didn't do the build-up justice. I can imagine some people hating it, but you have to respect something that will draw out visceral responses in any direction.

For ...Jacob de Zoet, I absolutely loved this book, and it instantly shot to 'all-time favourite' levels. It's set in Japan at the turn of the 19th Century, on a Dutch trading post. Given that there are lots of characters, they all have Japanese or Dutch names, and conversations are often limited by the skills/ views of the interpreters, it's tricky to get into, but once you do, I think it's a complete marvel. Part political drama, part period romance, escape thriller, Navy warfare, Handmaids-Tale style dystopia. I'm pretty certain I've read nothing like it. If I had to compare it to anything, it would be a combination of Game of Thones and Wolf Hall. If the setting doesn't put you off, I couldn't recommend more.
 

Jippy

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Anyway, came here to try to start posting regularly through my reading challenge. I love reading, but realised at the end of last year that I don't read nearly enough, so trying to fix that in 2021. Set a target of 20 books on Goodreads but already 5 in, so hopefully I can beat that;
- Such a Fun Age
- Earthlings
- The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
- Leave the World Behind
- I'm Thinking of Ending Things

The two most interesting (Such a Fun Age not far behind) were I'm Thinking of Ending Things (Iain Reid) and Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (David Mitchell). Both completely different, but I'd highly recommend both.

For Ending Things, it's a genuinely scary, unsettling 200-pager that I finished in an afternoon. There's a fantastically well done sense of dread and unnerve that stays with you throughout, in a way that most reminded me of the novel of The Shining, or the films of Ari Aster (Hereditary and Midsommar). I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't 'get' the ending, but on reading explanations of exactly what happened, I'm satisfied, and think the novel works overall, as opposed to my initial thought of a cheap ending that didn't do the build-up justice. I can imagine some people hating it, but you have to respect something that will draw out visceral responses in any direction.

For ...Jacob de Zoet, I absolutely loved this book, and it instantly shot to 'all-time favourite' levels. It's set in Japan at the turn of the 19th Century, on a Dutch trading post. Given that there are lots of characters, they all have Japanese or Dutch names, and conversations are often limited by the skills/ views of the interpreters, it's tricky to get into, but once you do, I think it's a complete marvel. Part political drama, part period romance, escape thriller, Navy warfare, Handmaids-Tale style dystopia. I'm pretty certain I've read nothing like it. If I had to compare it to anything, it would be a combination of Game of Thones and Wolf Hall. If the setting doesn't put you off, I couldn't recommend more.
Both of those sound interesting, cheers. How did you find Earthlings?
 

ThierryHenry

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Both of those sound interesting, cheers. How did you find Earthlings?
Earthlings is a strange, unique book, where a series of awful things happen that are rationalised by the protagonist believing they're an alien, looking at the terrible behaviour of humans from an outsider/ anthropological perspective. I found it interesting, but it's not a particularly enjoyable read, and I'm not convinced that the central concept was that well done. It's very short, so worth reading if you're intrigued by it, but it's not one I'd really recommend.
 

Jippy

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Earthlings is a strange, unique book, where a series of awful things happen that are rationalised by the protagonist believing they're an alien, looking at the terrible behaviour of humans from an outsider/ anthropological perspective. I found it interesting, but it's not a particularly enjoyable read, and I'm not convinced that the central concept was that well done. It's very short, so worth reading if you're intrigued by it, but it's not one I'd really recommend.
Oh right, it got rave reviews. I enjoyed Convenience Store Woman's quirky perspective on life and had high hopes for Earthlings, but you sound distinctly underwhelmed by it. I'm sure I'll read it at some point tbh if I see it on offer.
 

ThierryHenry

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Oh right, it got rave reviews. I enjoyed Convenience Store Woman's quirky perspective on life and had high hopes for Earthlings, but you sound distinctly underwhelmed by it. I'm sure I'll read it at some point tbh if I see it on offer.
My girlfriend read both and said she much preferred Convenience Store Woman, which was a bit more conventional. I haven't read that one so can't really comment.
 

Nickosaur

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So far this year I've read
Jailbird - Kurt Vonnegut
Remainder - Tom McCartney
The Third Reich - Roberto Bolano
The Rings of Saturn - WG Sebald

Enjoyed all of them - especially Rings of Saturn and Third Reich, which despite being a bit rough round the edges was a wonderfully weird and unsettling read, as you might expect from Bolano.
Remainder was garbage.
 

The Corinthian

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Child of God - Cormac McCarthy

Third novel I've read by him (after No Country, and Blood Meridian), and this is up there with them. It depicts the life of Lester Ballard, a degenerate outcast in Tennessee whose life slowly begins to unravel, as he begins to descent, both literally and metaphorically, into something less than human.

I don't want to give too much away, but if you're a fan of Cormac, it's a must read. Some of his prose and general writing is mesmeric - a supreme author and storyteller.
 
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Nickosaur

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Child of God - Cormac McCarthy

Third novel I've read by him (after No Country, and Blood Meridian), and this is up there with them. It depicts the life of Lester Ballard, a degenerate outcast in Kentucky whose life slowly begins to unravel, as he begins to descent, both literally and metaphorically, into something less than human.

I don't want to give too much away, but if you're a fan of Cormac, it's a must read. Some of his prose and general writing is mesmeric - a supreme author and storyteller.
For a notoriously bleak author, Child of God is really dark.
 

Jippy

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My girlfriend read both and said she much preferred Convenience Store Woman, which was a bit more conventional. I haven't read that one so can't really comment.
That's interesting, cheers. I'm still stacked with books I haven't read yet tbh, although after reading the above posts, I do want to read The Third Reich after reading 2666 last month.

Child of God is darkly entertaining. It's not McCarthy's most original plot, but he created a memorable character and his writing elevates anything to another level.
 
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MancFanFromManc

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I picked up an Attica Locke book recently, purely because its my surname tbh, but it turns out she's really good! She's a black author and her main character is a black Texas Ranger. It took me awhile to warm to her style of writing, but I'm glad I stuck with it. I'd defo recommend her first two: Blue Bird Blue Bird and Heaven My Home
 

Vidyoyo

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Speaking about Bolano, I'm listening to The Savage Detectives on my morning walks at the mo. Only a few hours in but it's interesting. I loved 2666.

Also reading Coin Locker Babies which is great. Very dark and weird.

The translation is fine but there's a section that describes a '87 Ford Bronco which is odd as the book was published in 1980 :houllier:
 

NinjaFletch

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Also I'm sure that a lot of you will be aware of similar things, but a local book shop near where I used to live does a thing where you can give them selections of books and authors you like/don't like and they'll pick out some books to send you.

https://www.thebookhive.co.uk/product/self-isolation-book-pack/

It's a cool shop; Margaret Atwood and Stephen Fry both love it and they pissed off Gove a few years ago, so if you are looking for new things to read I'd check them out.
 

BD

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Just finished Slaughterhouse Five. I enjoyed reading it, but I reckon I must've missed something as I didn't really understand what the whole thing was about in general. The story itself was obviously easy to follow, but the overarching point to the book...I dunno.

Enjoyed it all the same.
 

Grinner

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I'm into Graham Greene's The Quiet American and enjoying it immensely. Give me a few of his best so I can seek them out for the coming weeks.
 

2cents

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I'm into Graham Greene's The Quiet American and enjoying it immensely. Give me a few of his best so I can seek them out for the coming weeks.
The Power and the Glory is really good.
 
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Jippy

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I'm into Graham Greene's The Quiet American and enjoying it immensely. Give me a few of his best so I can seek them out for the coming weeks.
I've only read a couple of his. Travels With My Aunt is a daft, entertaining caper, with this dull bank manager getting into adventures with his aunt, who has hidden depths and weird contacts all over the world- if it was a film on Sky it would definitely come with one of those 'may contain outdated attitudes some find offensive' warnings though. I found Our Man in Havana more silly than satire.
I've got Brighton Rock but not got round to reading it or any of his heavy ones based on his divorce or religious conversion yet.
 
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sullydnl

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Trying to get back in to reading for pleasure again after finishing my PhD and read a book a week this year (soft target, Infinite Jest is staring at me and if I tackle that I won't make it)

So far, I've polished off Life After Life by Kate Atkinson which I thought was fine and Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro which may be my favourite book of all time. Currently reading Kafka on the Shore.

I'm very open to suggestions though, I feel like I've got a real gapping hole of modern classics that I should read. Might have another pop at John Le Carre at some point but the jargon in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy lost me.
+1. Love me some Ishiguro.
 

MoskvaRed

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I'm into Graham Greene's The Quiet American and enjoying it immensely. Give me a few of his best so I can seek them out for the coming weeks.
You are reading his best one IMO. “The End of the Affair” and “The Heart of the Matter” are worth reading although the dramatic tension revolves around religious dilemmas that not many people would care about in 2021
 
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Nickosaur

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Pale Fire by Nabokov. Absolutely adored it, it's such a wonderful and creative premise. The narrator is insane and it makes for such an entertaining narrative where you're never really sure who or what to believe.