Books The BOOK thread

Jippy

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I have not but it looks impressive. I'm currently reading Underworld by Delillo and have one more on my shelf but I just purchased this and it's going to be after those two! Thanks for the tip, I haven't heard of this one.
Let us know what you think. I'm ploughing through a few classics that have been on the shelf for years at the mo'.
No idea why I kind of worry some classics might be dry to read but generally end up really enjoying them.
 

Vidyoyo

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I have not but it looks impressive. I'm currently reading Underworld by Delillo and have one more on my shelf but I just purchased this and it's going to be after those two! Thanks for the tip, I haven't heard of this one.
How are you finding it? Underworld is one of my least liked DeLillo novels despite everybody raving about it.
 

Vidyoyo

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Which did you like? I've read two now -Cosmopolis and The Silence- and they were both meh.
In terms of my favourites:

End Zone is hilarious
Libra is excellent (the one I would truly recommend)
White Noise is witty
The Names is interesting

Then secondarily Mao II, Point Omega, Great Jones Street, The Angel Esmerelda (short story collection) are all decent.

I haven't read Cosmopolis - keep meaning to - but totally agree The Silence is hard to like.

P.s. You dodged the question - How are you finding Underworld? :)
 

Jippy

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In terms of my favourites:

End Zone is hilarious
Libra is excellent (the one I would truly recommend)
White Noise is witty
The Names is interesting

Then secondarily Mao II, Point Omega, Great Jones Street, The Angel Esmerelda (short story collection) are all decent.

I haven't read Cosmopolis - keep meaning to - but totally agree The Silence is hard to like.

P.s. You dodged the question - How are you finding Underworld? :)
Brilliant, thanks. I need to bulk up an order to get free delivery- they literally come on a flatbed truck from Malaysia with this website but it's really cheap.

Only second tier Point Omega and Angel Esmerelda are in there- is it like City v Rotherham in the difference between tiers or not too bad?

Cosmopolis has one funny, memorable scene, but is full of unlikeable characters who behave irrationally and the plot twists were daft.

This is all they have on bookxcess at the mo'.

 

Vidyoyo

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Brilliant, thanks. I need to bulk up an order to get free delivery- they literally come on a flatbed truck from Malaysia with this website but it's really cheap.

Only second tier Point Omega and Angel Esmerelda are in there- is it like City v Rotherham in the difference between tiers or not too bad?

Cosmopolis has one funny, memorable scene, but is full of unlikeable characters who behave irrationally and the plot twists were daft.

This is all they have on bookxcess at the mo'.
Ah it's not a massive, maybe more like Premier League - Championship :)

My recommendations there would be Angel Esmeralda and Point Omega, though that one is short, maybe only 120 pages.

Players is alright too - I'd put the start of that book in the second tier, though I felt it dwindled towards the end. My dad also felt the same way.

What I think differentiates those books mostly is that they're newer works and Delillo's writing took a turn after Underworld where he started to write more conceptual novels. His early ones threatened to do this but they were accessible insofar as being character and/or plot driven. There's a section in End Zone for example which is basically 50 pages of an American Football game written out like it's a war zone - partly inspired by the cold war and Vietnam - but the book is mostly about some kid going to college. Underworld is probably a good summation of the way he was writing until that point because it has some wonderful story arcs (the nun's) but it also feels collage-like the way it moves between different time periods.

If you didn't like The Silence don't buy Zero K. That one is really hard to get into.

Dunno what else to write but hopefully this makes sense :lol:
 

oneniltothearsenal

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How are you finding it? Underworld is one of my least liked DeLillo novels despite everybody raving about it.
The first section describing the baseball game is nothing short of brilliant. His wordplay and use of sentences are up there with any of the greats of the English language and better than even bigger names. I do find the entire narrative a bit jarring with the time shifts and different characters and suspect it would be make more sense on a second read or if I was reading it a bit slower, like for a class. I love many of the sections though and it operates, obviously, as both a story and a commentary and many aspects of Cold War USA. The Texas Highway Killer stuff is really interesting, I like the journey of Matt into the secret weapons culture of Cold War US, and I'm impressed by his divergence into graffiti culture with the Moonman157 bits. I'm not quite following how all of Nick's journey flows together but I do find the waste commentary quite intriguing and very telling.

All in all, I wouldn't say it's my favorite Delillo (White Noise is) but it has to be on my list of one of the greatest 25 novels I've read (with other difficult stuff like Gravity's and 2666) just for its sheer ambition and epicness and commentary and Delillo's writing on a sentence level which is just soo satisfying to read.

I haven't read Libra and Mao II btw, I'm saving those just like I'm saving the last of the border trilogy from McCarthy and V. and Mason & Dixon from Pynchon so I still have works from those three to discover at a later date.

Which did you like? I've read two now -Cosmopolis and The Silence- and they were both meh.
To be honest, those are generally considered two of his worst novels. I'd definitely recommend White Noise to read next.

Also, you can check his short story Midnight in Dostoevsky for a short palette cleanse after those two novels of his.


Ah it's not a massive, maybe more like Premier League - Championship :)

My recommendations there would be Angel Esmeralda and Point Omega, though that one is short, maybe only 120 pages.

Players is alright too - I'd put the start of that book in the second tier, though I felt it dwindled towards the end. My dad also felt the same way.

What I think differentiates those books mostly is that they're newer works and Delillo's writing took a turn after Underworld where he started to write more conceptual novels. His early ones threatened to do this but they were accessible insofar as being character and/or plot driven. There's a section in End Zone for example which is basically 50 pages of an American Football game written out like it's a war zone - partly inspired by the cold war and Vietnam - but the book is mostly about some kid going to college. Underworld is probably a good summation of the way he was writing until that point because it has some wonderful story arcs (the nun's) but it also feels collage-like the way it moves between different time periods.

If you didn't like The Silence don't buy Zero K. That one is really hard to get into.

Dunno what else to write but hopefully this makes sense :lol:
The opening scene of Players is fantastic in my opinion. Really impressive but yea it tapers off as it goes on and doesn't live up to that opening scene.
 

Jippy

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Ah it's not a massive, maybe more like Premier League - Championship :)

My recommendations there would be Angel Esmeralda and Point Omega, though that one is short, maybe only 120 pages.

Players is alright too - I'd put the start of that book in the second tier, though I felt it dwindled towards the end. My dad also felt the same way.

What I think differentiates those books mostly is that they're newer works and Delillo's writing took a turn after Underworld where he started to write more conceptual novels. His early ones threatened to do this but they were accessible insofar as being character and/or plot driven. There's a section in End Zone for example which is basically 50 pages of an American Football game written out like it's a war zone - partly inspired by the cold war and Vietnam - but the book is mostly about some kid going to college. Underworld is probably a good summation of the way he was writing until that point because it has some wonderful story arcs (the nun's) but it also feels collage-like the way it moves between different time periods.

If you didn't like The Silence don't buy Zero K. That one is really hard to get into.

Dunno what else to write but hopefully this makes sense :lol:
That is helpful, thanks. Underworld does sound interesting, but it's also huge, particularly given what I thought of the ones I read. Maybe White Noise is a halfway house - you and @oneniltothearsenal both rate it and if I end up not liking it so much, at least it's only 300-odd pages.

I've just started reading a book of short stories by Katherine Mansfield - very readable and distinct, interesting style so far - I knew nothing about her, but she was a contemporary of Virginia Woolf and DH Lawrence, and had quite a short, but seemingly fairly eventful life.
 

Nickosaur

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White Noise is fecking great. Not sure any other DeLillo novel has hugely impressed me - although I found Libra to be very good too.
 

The Corinthian

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Thought I'd ask here...but I'm struggling to make time to read at the moment. One of my close friends swears by Audible, and has literally gone through so many different books on drives, commutes, and what not.

I do love the feel of a book, and just getting lost in the text and what not. But obviously, it's a whole different experience listening to one.

Is it worth the compromise? Does anyone here use Audible and is it worth it if you're time poor?
 

oneniltothearsenal

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Thought I'd ask here...but I'm struggling to make time to read at the moment. One of my close friends swears by Audible, and has literally gone through so many different books on drives, commutes, and what not.

I do love the feel of a book, and just getting lost in the text and what not. But obviously, it's a whole different experience listening to one.

Is it worth the compromise? Does anyone here use Audible and is it worth it if you're time poor?
100% worth it. I'm pretty much always reading one book and have another one I'm listening to on audio during drives and commutes and during work sometimes. You may have to find what types of books you can listen to, some people say they can't listen to some types of books but its definitely been worth it for me when I can't physically read.
 

Vidyoyo

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100% worth it. I'm pretty much always reading one book and have another one I'm listening to on audio during drives and commutes and during work sometimes. You may have to find what types of books you can listen to, some people say they can't listen to some types of books but its definitely been worth it for me when I can't physically read.
I find plot-driven books work best - the ones where you only need to keep up with an overview of events/characters. Sci-fi is a really good genre for audiobooks.
 

oneniltothearsenal

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I find plot-driven books work best - the ones where you only need to keep up with an overview of events/characters. Sci-fi is a really good genre for audiobooks.
Good point. Listening to dense literary fiction can be tough but plot-driven stuff is great for long drives.
 

oneniltothearsenal

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I've never tried an audiobook. I'm guessing Laszlo Krasznahorkai wouldn't work.
:lol: Probably not by itself. But I actually think it would be good to listen to the audiobook and read along for some of his stuff, if it was available.
 

The Corinthian

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@Nickosaur @oneniltothearsenal @Carolina Red

Got my copy of The Passenger today (Cormac's latest).

100% worth it. I'm pretty much always reading one book and have another one I'm listening to on audio during drives and commutes and during work sometimes. You may have to find what types of books you can listen to, some people say they can't listen to some types of books but its definitely been worth it for me when I can't physically read.
Also - thank you for this info. :)
 

oneniltothearsenal

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The Passenger - Cormac McCarthy

So I really enjoyed this novel. It was definitely a departure from McCarthy's usual style of plot and a few elements actually felt a little Pynchon/Delillo/Kafka influenced to me along with chapters that felt more like Suttree than any other McCarthy. Definitely a fascinating blend of his various styles. This was light years above Delillo's latest work but I have no idea what the critics and general public are saying about it yet. I'm curious what the reception will be to Alicia's hallucinatory chapters. Can't wait for Stella Maris in a little over a month
 
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oneniltothearsenal

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@oneniltothearsenal I don't want to read the spoiler (and appreciate you spoilering it btw) but am curious if you enjoyed it. Can you give it a mark out of 10?
I really enjoyed it. It's hard for me to give a mark out of 10 because my scale is probably quite different to other people's but it's objectively light years better than Delillo's last novel. It does remind me more of Suttree than his plot-heavy books like Blood Meridian or No Country though and people expecting a violence-heavy novel would probably be disappointed and I would definitely recommend it but go in knowing it's quite a departure from his violent novels (but no less satisfying to me).
 

Jippy

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I really enjoyed it. It's hard for me to give a mark out of 10 because my scale is probably quite different to other people's but it's objectively light years better than Delillo's last novel. It does remind me more of Suttree than his plot-heavy books like Blood Meridian or No Country though and people expecting a violence-heavy novel would probably be disappointed and I would definitely recommend it but go in knowing it's quite a departure from his violent novels (but no less satisfying to me).
Glad to hear you really enjoyed it and that's not an issue plot-wise- this one didn't sound like it was going to be rivalling Blood Meridian or Child of God on the violence and gore stakes.

I've not read Suttree yet- still have that (which I have on the shelf), Outer Dark and the two new ones to go. I've been rationing them a bit like yourself.
 

oneniltothearsenal

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Glad to hear you really enjoyed it and that's not an issue plot-wise- this one didn't sound like it was going to be rivalling Blood Meridian or Child of God on the violence and gore stakes.

I've not read Suttree yet- still have that (which I have on the shelf), Outer Dark and the two new ones to go. I've been rationing them a bit like yourself.
I probably didn't even need to spoiler that earlier post, I didn't give anything away but one thing I mentioned was how a few chapters really have a Pynchonian feel. I'd probably recommend this before Suttree actually just because it's recent and a really top-tier novel in its own right the more I contemplate it.
 

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Currently reading Blood Brotherhoods by John Dickie, a history of the three major Italian crime organizations, the Cammora, Cosa Nostra, and ‘Ndrangheta. It’s the best book on organized crime I’ve read, busting myths while shedding light on a wild array of characters straddling both sides of the law divide. In telling the story the emergence of these organizations, Dickie tells the story of the making of modern Italy.

Here’s a critical review -https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/15/books/review/john-dickies-blood-brotherhoods.html
 

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Recently bought Matt Dickinson's 1999: Manchester United, the Treble and All That.

So just started flicking through that
 
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