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Jippy

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That was precisely his problem. He was good at plot and terrible at everything else. Which is why his book was rejected multiple times. It was only until Perkins took him under his wing and walked him through lots of changes(often with Maxwell forming the prose himself, explaining why grammatically it made sense) was his book accepted to be published. I think with Fitzgerald lot of the criticism stems from the fact that his editor did lot of leg work on his behalf and that he never wrote any book worth considering after the Great Gatsby.
Loads of top books were initially rejected and many authors wrote one outstanding book their other work doesn't live up to.

Having variously edited magazines and websites, I know full well that what someone files and what ends up on page can be very different things. But let's face it, 99% of people enjoy a book for what it is, without caring about the editing process.

You should give it another go. I still hate the Tempest after being forced to read it at 13 or 14.
 

MoskvaRed

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I’d never heard of the editing issue around Gatsby but, wherever the ultimate credit lies, it’s an outstanding novel and one of the best in English of the 20th century.

Anyway, onto “Nostromo” by Joseph Conrad. For a book written in the first decade of the 20th century, it is still relevant in its depiction of the corrupting effect of wealth and the fatuousness of politics. 8/10.
 

Vidyoyo

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I’d never heard of the editing issue around Gatsby but, wherever the ultimate credit lies, it’s an outstanding novel and one of the best in English of the 20th century.

Anyway, onto “Nostromo” by Joseph Conrad. For a book written in the first decade of the 20th century, it is still relevant in its depiction of the corrupting effect of wealth and the fatuousness of politics. 8/10.
Ooo yes I loved Nostromo. Fantastic book!

Couldn't tell you anything about it now - except for a somewhat broad memory of the fictional south american state where it's set - but I remember finding it engrossing :)
 

entropy

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Loads of top books were initially rejected and many authors wrote one outstanding book their other work doesn't live up to.

Having variously edited magazines and websites, I know full well that what someone files and what ends up on page can be very different things. But let's face it, 99% of people enjoy a book for what it is, without caring about the editing process.

You should give it another go. I still hate the Tempest after being forced to read it at 13 or 14.
I’d never heard of the editing issue around Gatsby but, wherever the ultimate credit lies, it’s an outstanding novel and one of the best in English of the 20th century.
I highly recommend reading the correspondence between Fitzgerald and Maxwell Perkins while he wrote The Great Gatsby(titled The Romantic Egoist at the time)
 

Shakesey

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Dune has escaped me all my life. I used to be an avid Star Wars fan, but this makes SW look like a pimpled teenager. Reading all the books now, and man! The intrigue and the depth is something else. A life changer!
 

Vidyoyo

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Has anybody else read 1Q84? I'm not the biggest fan of Murakami - I like some, don't like others - but this book has failed to capture me 250 pages in. Wondering if it's worth persisting?
 

Shakesey

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Has anybody else read 1Q84? I'm not the biggest fan of Murakami - I like some, don't like others - but this book has failed to capture me 250 pages in. Wondering if it's worth persisting?
"It's hard to believe that some of the critics praising 1Q84 didn't really feel, at times, like throwing the book in the air and walking away. Trying to say anything definite about it is like trying to nail Jell-O to a wall." - The Atlantic

I haven't read it, but it sounds like a waste of time. Now, 1984. That's another story.
 

celia

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I don't think you have to persist if you didn't like the beginning. It is a slow book with some shocking, weird moments. Even if I read the last book faster (in some countries, they also sold it as 3 books as in Japan) and I usually like the writing like when the author shows us Tengo cooking even if it is irrelevant to the plot.
 

Vidyoyo

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"It's hard to believe that some of the critics praising 1Q84 didn't really feel, at times, like throwing the book in the air and walking away. Trying to say anything definite about it is like trying to nail Jell-O to a wall." - The Atlantic

I haven't read it, but it sounds like a waste of time. Now, 1984. That's another story.
That's what I've heard, lots of mixed opinions. I've read all the main Murakami books but left this one 'til last because I wasn't sure if it was worth the bother.

I don't think you have to persist if you didn't like the beginning. It is a slow book with some shocking, weird moments. Even if I read the last book faster (in some countries, they also sold it as 3 books as in Japan) and I usually like the writing like when the author shows us Tengo cooking even if it is irrelevant to the plot.
Cheers. I'll stick with it then, at least until those shocking moments because I'm intrigued now :)

Your last point sums up my feelings in a way because Murakami's writing is very slow here, much more than his other novels and I can't say there's much by way of set-up or intrigue that's compelling me to pick it up each evening. Admittedly it's a much longer book than his others so perhaps he's just chosen to take his time more.

I am certainly interested to learn more about the story behind Air Chrysalis.
 

b82REZ

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Dune has escaped me all my life. I used to be an avid Star Wars fan, but this makes SW look like a pimpled teenager. Reading all the books now, and man! The intrigue and the depth is something else. A life changer!
I finished Dune yesterday. You can certainly tell how much it's influenced many that came after it.

I'll probably pick up the sequels eventually but started Hard-boiled Wonderland and The End of the World yesterday. It feels like you're reading someone's fever dream.
 

b82REZ

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Has anybody else read 1Q84? I'm not the biggest fan of Murakami - I like some, don't like others - but this book has failed to capture me 250 pages in. Wondering if it's worth persisting?
Just started Hard-boiled Wonderland yesterday. My first Murakami novel but I'm loving it. I'll probably pick a few of his other works when I finish it.

I'll probably leave 1Q84 if you don't think it's worth it
 

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Any John Grisham fans on here?

His new book The Judge's List came out last week, it's fantastic.

I love a good legal thriller and he's the master of the craft for me, also like Sheldon Siegel and John Lescroart.

It's a follow on from The Whistler, with the character Lacy Stoltz.

I'd welcome any recommendations of similar writers who I may have missed.
I've read so many of his books but none in the last 10 years. Wonder if it'll be the same now. Love legal thrillers, so keen to give it a try.
 

ChrisNelson

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I've read so many of his books but none in the last 10 years. Wonder if it'll be the same now. Love legal thrillers, so keen to give it a try.
All of his recent releases are as good as the old ones, in my opinion.

Sooley was a bit of a departure from his normal route but still a great story and very engaging.

Make sure you've read The Whistler before you read The Judge's List!
 

Jippy

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Just started Hard-boiled Wonderland yesterday. My first Murakami novel but I'm loving it. I'll probably pick a few of his other works when I finish it.

I'll probably leave 1Q84 if you don't think it's worth it
How's it going? I just finished my first Murakami the other day- Hear the Wind Sing, his first novel. It's only c100 pages.
It's more slice of life with nothing much happening than anything deeper, but readable enough.

Reading Ian McEwan's Saturday now and finding it a bit po-faced and hand-wringing.
 

b82REZ

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How's it going? I just finished my first Murakami the other day- Hear the Wind Sing, his first novel. It's only c100 pages.
It's more slice of life with nothing much happening than anything deeper, but readable enough.

Reading Ian McEwan's Saturday now and finding it a bit po-faced and hand-wringing.
It's such a unique book. It's alternating stories, one a dystopian story written like a hardboiled detective novel, the other a dreamlike fantasy story. The two are starting to converge now though.

I'm absolutely loving it so far. I'd imagine I'll finish it in the next day or two. I've ordered Norwegian Wood because of how much I'm enjoying Wonderland. I have heard his stories can be a bit samey though so may hold off getting his full catalogue of work for now.
 

The Corinthian

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Which version of King's Stand do you reckon is better original or uncut?
I've only read the uncut version and I thought it was excellent...which brings me neatly onto...


The Shining by Stephen King

This book is excellent. There's a few big differences from the original novel to what we saw in Kubrick's movie (itself an excellent firm, and an interesting interpretation of the book). I never realised that the book doesn't actually have some of the iconic moments from the movie. But what it does have is that slow descent into horror, discomfort and terror. King is a master at making the innocuous seem genuinely frightening such as the hedge animals, and the firehose. We get a lot more insight into why Jack Torrance is the way he is, why Wendy is the way she is (also vastly different from the movie) and more insight into Danny and Dick's relationship.

All in all, a great book if someone wants to read a winter chiller.
 

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I've only read the uncut version and I thought it was excellent...which brings me neatly onto...


The Shining by Stephen King

This book is excellent. There's a few big differences from the original novel to what we saw in Kubrick's movie (itself an excellent firm, and an interesting interpretation of the book). I never realised that the book doesn't actually have some of the iconic moments from the movie. But what it does have is that slow descent into horror, discomfort and terror. King is a master at making the innocuous seem genuinely frightening such as the hedge animals, and the firehose. We get a lot more insight into why Jack Torrance is the way he is, why Wendy is the way she is (also vastly different from the movie) and more insight into Danny and Dick's relationship.

All in all, a great book if someone wants to read a winter chiller.
Have you read Firestarter? It was the first King book I had and I loved the whole story of it. One of the last ones I remember that had an acceptable ending too.
 

The Corinthian

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Have you read Firestarter? It was the first King book I had and I loved the whole story of it. One of the last ones I remember that had an acceptable ending too.
No I haven't - I will definitely check it out though. I was thinking of going onto Doctor Sleep next to finish of Danny's story, (and then Carrie).