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Jippy

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I'm a quarter of a way in to Never Let Me Go...It's ok, but pretty slow with it's world-building through a constant stream of childhood reminiscences of varying level of interest.

EDIT: Forgot to update that it didn't really pick up from there. You gather what's happening reasonably early- it's not massively hidden and there no big reveals. It's a 6/10, kind of interesting idea, but plodding in its execution for me- I find it difficult to care about the characters enough to really question the morality of the system they're born into.
plus the set up is pretty ludicrous- harvesting organs from adult clones taking 20+ years to generate would require literally millions of them being effectively hidden away.
Genuinely don't understand the fuss about this book.

Just started Ian McEwan's Amsterdam and the first chapter is so vibrant and engaging in comparison.
 
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Vidyoyo

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Has anybody read American Pastoral? I got through 100 pages on holiday recently but it didn't really grab me. The plot feels hard to follow and the dialogue kind of neurotic

I'm curious to know if it gets better...
 
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Carolina Red

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Read “Verity” recently by Colleen Hoover. My wife listened to a few chapters of it on audiobook while we drove back home on a trip. I stopped and bought the book before we got home and finished it that day. Good page turner if you like the thriller / who done it genre.
 

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Has anybody read American Pastoral? I got through 100 pages on holiday but it didn't really grab me. The plot feels threadbare so far and the neurotic dialogue is hard to like.

I'm curious to know if it gets better...
I’ve read it and really liked it. It’s over 10 years ago now and so I can’t remember the first 100 pages vs the rest, but I found it a vivid portrayal of the US immigrant experience and the consequences of trying to transcend origins and basically become a WASP.
 

Vidyoyo

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I’ve read it and really liked it. It’s over 10 years ago now and so I can’t remember the first 100 pages vs the rest, but I found it a vivid portrayal of the US immigrant experience and the consequences of trying to transcend origins and basically become a WASP.
Thanks. I've read a few reviews on Goodreads since I posted and it does sound like it's worth persevering. I'm interested to see how the daughter/bomb side story develops as it's only been mentioned vaguely so far. I also wasn't aware it was an actual attack - I thought the 'horror' was the narrator exageratting how Swede Levov having a family had robbed him of his youth :lol:
 

Jippy

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Has anybody read American Pastoral? I got through 100 pages on holiday recently but it didn't really grab me. The plot feels hard to follow and the dialogue kind of neurotic

I'm curious to know if it gets better...
I've only read a few Philip Roth books and they all seem fairly neurotic, eg Portnoy's Complaint, Indignation, The Humbling...
 

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Has anyone read anything by Chinua Achebe?

If so, what would you recommend as a first text?
I've read Things Fall Apart, No Longer at Ease and Arrow of God.

I remember enjoying Things Fall Apart when I read it 20 years or so ago. The others made less of an impression on me, and I've recently taught No Longer At Ease for a few years, which led me to the conclusion that it's actually pretty dull, albeit tightly written.
 

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I'm a quarter of a way in to Never Let Me Go...It's ok, but pretty slow with it's world-building through a constant stream of childhood reminiscences of varying level of interest.

EDIT: Forgot to update that it didn't really pick up from there. You gather what's happening reasonably early- it's not massively hidden and there no big reveals. It's a 6/10, kind of interesting idea, but plodding in its execution for me- I find it difficult to care about the characters enough to really question the morality of the system they're born into.
plus the set up is pretty ludicrous- harvesting organs from adult clones taking 20+ years to generate would require literally millions of them being effectively hidden away.
Genuinely don't understand the fuss about this book.

Just started Ian McEwan's Amsterdam and the first chapter is so vibrant and engaging in comparison.
Have you read much Ian McEwan? Been a while for me but hoovered through most of his novels when I first discovered them. He writes so well.
 

Frosty

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I've read Things Fall Apart, No Longer at Ease and Arrow of God.

I remember enjoying Things Fall Apart when I read it 20 years or so ago. The others made less of an impression on me, and I've recently taught No Longer At Ease for a few years, which led me to the conclusion that it's actually pretty dull, albeit tightly written.
Thanks very much!
 

Jippy

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Have you read much Ian McEwan? Been a while for me but hoovered through most of his novels when I first discovered them. He writes so well.
Yeah I've read a few of his. Agree he's a fantastic writer, able to paint scenes and the characters' reactions so vividly, eg the wedding night in On Chesil Beach. Not sure about the endings in a couple of his books, but the writing is exquisite. I've read quite a few, but only really his older ones, eg Black Dogs, Cement Garden, Child in Time, Atonement. I didn't like Saturday though.
 

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Damn. We are getting two new Cormac novels in a few months time, it's starting to sink in.

Recently went on a binge on some of his shorter novels again (Outer Dark, Child of God, No Country For Old Men, The Road), some of which I'd only read once before. I've always preferred his longer works but thoroughly enjoyed diving back in.
 

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I'm wrapping up "The Death's End" which is the 3rd and final book in "The Remembrance of Earth's Past" sci-fi trilogy by Liu Cixin.

Pretty good book for sci-fi and space enthusiasts.
 

oneniltothearsenal

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It’s my birthday this week and I’ve asked for exactly the same!
Maybe we can start a thread for it to discuss if enough are reading it. We don't have many single book threads like we do for movies
 

The Corinthian

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Maybe we can start a thread for it to discuss if enough are reading it. We don't have many single book threads like we do for movies
I’m down! His first is released in Oct and the second will be Nov so plenty of time for people to get the preorder booked in.
 

Vidyoyo

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Good timing because I finished All the Pretty Horses this week.

I think McCarthy is a fine writer but I struggle a bit to warm to his work. There's often parts in his novels where my attention wanes for a good 50-100 pages before he does something to get it up again.

Does anybody else find this? I think it's less an issue with his ability/talent - which I wouldn't doubt for a second - but the style he works in. It's so unique it can feel a bit detached.

Books I've read if it helps: ATPH, Blood Meridian, The Road (less than I thought actually...).
 

Jippy

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Good timing because I finished All the Pretty Horses this week.

I think McCarthy is a fine writer but I struggle a bit to warm to his work. There's often parts in his novels where my attention wanes for a good 50-100 pages before he does something to get it up again.

Does anybody else find this? I think it's less an issue with his ability/talent - which I wouldn't doubt for a second - but the style he works in. It's so unique it can feel a bit detached.

Books I've read if it helps: ATPH, Blood Meridian, The Road (less than I thought actually...).
The only time I remember one of his books really dragging was the wolf hunting sequence at the start of one of the border trilogy- think it was The Crossing. Was about 100 pages and slow, but then it picked up.

Would recommend Child of God as a short, punchy novel.
 

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I can never get past the first few pages of Blood Meridian. The writing style keeps turning me off.
 

oneniltothearsenal

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Good timing because I finished All the Pretty Horses this week.

I think McCarthy is a fine writer but I struggle a bit to warm to his work. There's often parts in his novels where my attention wanes for a good 50-100 pages before he does something to get it up again.

Does anybody else find this? I think it's less an issue with his ability/talent - which I wouldn't doubt for a second - but the style he works in. It's so unique it can feel a bit detached.

Books I've read if it helps: ATPH, Blood Meridian, The Road (less than I thought actually...).
I think that's a fair regarding the detachment. That's definitely part of his style but I wouldn't say the books drag, it's mostly just his writing style can be subtle at times. I'd definitely recommend Outer Dark and Child of God, those are shorter and don't really slow down. Definitely don't read Suttree (as good as I thought it was) because it's the least action of his novels. You might also enjoy No Country for Old Men too.

I can never get past the first few pages of Blood Meridian. The writing style keeps turning me off.
I felt that way the first time I tried Blood Meridian about 10 years ago but then I got into it more recently and couldn't put it down. I read it in one day.
 

Jippy

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Speaking of at times challenging authors, I've finally taken the plunge and bought this. Got a few books I want to read first, but am curious about how I'll get on with it.

 

Nickosaur

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Speaking of at times challenging authors, I've finally taken the plunge and bought this. Got a few books I want to read first, but am curious about how I'll get on with it.

Enjoy. Absolutely loved it. Don't be too concerned if you don't feel you're following everything at all times.
 

Jippy

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Enjoy. Absolutely loved it. Don't be too concerned if you don't feel you're following everything at all times.
I read Kafka on the Shore earlier this month and decided to just roll with the parts that could be interpreted different ways or were just plain strange, and sounds like I'll need to do that tenfold with GR.
 

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Can anyone recommend me a History of Rome which isn't a dry textbook but still comprehensive
 

dumbo

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I like Mary Beard's SPQR. It's probably considered quite an elementary introduction but it covers the important stuff and I always find her an entertaining guide, even if she can be a bit of an arse on social media.
 

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Went out on a splurge and bought two books I've put off for far too long.

Neverwhere and American Gods, both by Neil Gaiman. He is a co-writer of one of my favourite books (Good Omens) and I always thought he played second fiddle to the legend, Terry Pratchett.

Judging by the ones I bought today, he is almost as brilliant as TP himself! Bring it on!

Edit: I also bought Catch-22 today. I've read this masterpiece, but I want it on my shelf.
 

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Its awsome. First book in forever that made me cry. I am jealous of you having the rest of the book in front of you unread.
Finished the book last week and absolutely loved it. Thanks again for the recommendation.

Have you read her newer book "Three" by any chance? I'm thinking of getting this one next.
 

oneniltothearsenal

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I read Kotaru Isaka's follow-up novel to Bullet Train. Three Assassins is another fun noir tale involving assassins and very much carries the same vibe as Bullet Train (the novel not the movie which is a little different). For anyone that likes gangster-type movies, I'd say this is a must-read as Isaka is doing some brilliant work in the genre. It's definitely more in line with that genre of assassin rather than espionage assassin type novels.

Edit: so I discovered this isn't a follow-up but was actually written before Bullet Train and the story takes place before Bullet Train with some of the main characters in this one making cameos in Bullet Train. It was originally published in Japanese in 2004 and Bullet Train was in 2010.
 
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dumbo

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Jippy

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oneniltothearsenal

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