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Old 2006-05-25, 12:03   Link #81
Aisu
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Did anyone read Inferno? I just started with it. neat stuff.
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Old 2006-05-26, 00:06   Link #82
Muir Woods
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The long bus rides I now take to summer courses allows me to read a surprisingly amount of pages per day. I realized within three weeks, I had finished re-reading Nabokov's Lolita, again. I have memorized a few more lines of this novel. To say that love Lolita would be a massive understatement, and would do injustice to the indescribable sentiments I have for this book. Of all the literature I have read in my brief life so far, it is vastly my favorite, for one dominating reason: Humbert Humbert. A character of such elegant qualities and sophistication, complimented by his faults, his essence struck profoundly my metaphorical heart and mind. Shinku is the only other fictional entity comes even close to challenging his apotheosis. But I shall articulate the light of my life, fire of my loins, my sin, my soul, in another languid night such as this. I have partially dissected Humbert Humbert here. Should you wish to seek more understanding of me, of this, at the least, online persona, there lies revelations. The only flaw I can give this book is that it sparked in me an envy of Humbert Humbert, of how he immortalized himself through "mere" words. And I, for succumbing to this envy, and crudely mimicking him, and his art of discourse.

My eyes are currently tackling Jame Joyce's Ulysses. I obtained this book long ago since I was drawn by the critical acclaims of a majority, and its high positions in numerous lists of "greatest novels of the 20th century". I've read bits and pieces of it earlier in my life, but task of reading through this intimidating book seemed far too daunting in times before, until now. I'm currently working, no, forcing myself through a rather pretentious (heh heh, I admit I am guilty of sometimes being this as well) foreword introduction by Declan Kiberd. Why is it called an "introduction" when his over-praising analysis spoils/requires knowledge of the characters and details of the novel?
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I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Shinku.

Last edited by Muir Woods; 2006-05-26 at 01:22.
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Old 2006-05-26, 00:44   Link #83
jedinat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muir Woods
The long bus rides I now take to summer courses allows me to read a surprisingly amount of pages per day. I realized within three weeks, I had finished re-reading Nabokov's Lolita, again.....when his over-praising analysis spoils/requires knowledge of the characters and details of the novel?
Ahh.. ! Big... words.. complicated.. intelligent vocabulary... boring meaningful books.. can't breathe.. the blood. suffocating.. someone pl ease he l p m ee....
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Old 2006-05-31, 08:18   Link #84
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Just finished reading Terry Pratchett's The Last Continent. All of his books are so funny! Yay for Discworld!
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Old 2006-05-31, 09:23   Link #85
physics223
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@Muir

Have you tried reading The Sound and the Fury?

James Joyce = WIN. Faulkner = SUPERWIN.
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Old 2006-05-31, 09:59   Link #86
Illuyankas
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Finally caught up with a copy of Eternity, the sequel to Eon by Greg Bear. Trippy, so say the least. Or, and everyone should read Ian M. Banks. Now!
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Old 2006-05-31, 10:16   Link #87
Diaboso
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Hum iv just finished the most recent "Red Wall".

read em all, own half (^^)
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Old 2006-05-31, 10:23   Link #88
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Reading Henry Fielding's Joseph Andrews now, was recc. and lent to me by a friend; not a bad read, HF is really such an eloquent fellow.

One of my favourite authors ever is Wilkie Collins, just finished his Moonstone, and read previously The Woman in White; I love the way he narrates as different characters, giving each their own distinct flair and sound, as well as perpectives, attitudes and eccentricities.

The next books I want to read are Don Quixote and *ahem* Lolita.
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Old 2006-05-31, 10:29   Link #89
Diaboso
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hay I just picked up moon stone how was it?
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Old 2006-05-31, 10:33   Link #90
Lost
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diaboso
hay I just picked up moon stone how was it?
OH.... very very goood.. theres a tragic side-theme in there that made me hate the main "hero", that young guy; but my favourite character by far is that chief butler; the one that starts the story and remember, you cant get far without Robinson Crusoe

Anyhow, I felt that the Moonstone was very very wordy and droning on-and-on at parts, but if you endure, then it'll turn out to be a great ride!
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Old 2006-05-31, 10:42   Link #91
Diaboso
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lol yah I've read so many books I can withstand any drone.
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Old 2006-05-31, 15:20   Link #92
Dorfl
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I read volume 1 of Bone yesterday. I was liking it until the humans showed up. I hate having humans in my anthropomorphic series, they ruin everything. Still, I think I might read another volume just to see where it goes (if it goes anywhere).
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Old 2006-05-31, 18:37   Link #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowi
Just finished reading Terry Pratchett's The Last Continent. All of his books are so funny! Yay for Discworld!
I finished up Pratchett's Reaper Man toward the end of last week.

I fully endorse this sentiment. The guy's hilarious.

And you've gotta love Death, and HOW HE TALKS IN ALL CAPS IN A GOTHIC FONT
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Old 2006-05-31, 21:27   Link #94
Muir Woods
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Quote:
Originally Posted by physics223
@Muir

Have you tried reading The Sound and the Fury?

James Joyce = WIN. Faulkner = SUPERWIN.
Rest assured, I haven't forgot your initial suggestion in the Mushishi thread, which is why I bought the book just last Sunday during a huge 20% off all books sale at Chapters, Indigo, and Coles stores here. I will read it after I finish Ulysses, and after that, Nabokov's Pale Fire. Anyways, I'm immersed into the depths of Ulysses. Here I thought Nabokov's highly refined prose was already challenging enough to read, but Joyce's is even more so. When I'm utterly defeated by some words of Joyce's and surrendering to the shame of referring to a dictionary, those words are not even there! Contransmagnificandjewbangtantiality? Even the ones with the most robust meaning inference skills will be stumped. I find myself re-reading the sentences with those perplexing words, and with all the gears in my brain churning futilely trying to form a guess, I just end up making a puzzled face, and then simply moving on. I heard his latter work, Finnegans Wake, is so tough to read that it crosses the line from mentally stimulating to frustrating. I hope you ranking Faulkner at an even higher grade does not necessarily mean that he's even more difficult to comprehend. Glancing at random pages of The Sound and the Fury, thankfully, it doesn't seem so.
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Shinku, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul...
I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Shinku.
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Old 2006-06-01, 08:07   Link #95
Dorfl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by complich8
I finished up Pratchett's Reaper Man toward the end of last week.

I fully endorse this sentiment. The guy's hilarious.

And you've gotta love Death, and HOW HE TALKS IN ALL CAPS IN A GOTHIC FONT
I re-read Last Continent recently and Reaper Man on a flight two years ago. LC is great, Reaper Man is so-so. I like Death when he has a minor role, but I don't really like him as a main character. I also read an AWFUL Pratchett book the other day: Monstrous Regiment. The plot can be summarized as follows:
Spoiler:

I still think his understudy must have written it or something. It's the worst Discworld book I have ever read (Last Hero was pretty bad too), which is why I had to re-read LC to get the taste out of my mind, so to speak.
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Old 2006-06-01, 10:32   Link #96
raikage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorfl
I read volume 1 of Bone yesterday. I was liking it until the humans showed up. I hate having humans in my anthropomorphic series, they ruin everything. Still, I think I might read another volume just to see where it goes (if it goes anywhere).
YES!!!


I just got Terry Pratchett's Going Postal from the library yesterday.

Finished Neil Strauss' The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (not like, you know, I would need such a book) which was a surprisingly fun read.
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Old 2006-06-01, 10:59   Link #97
Dorfl
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Going Postal is good. A little implausible, but good. I read 2 more volumes of Bone last night...YUCK. I didn't even think people made
Spoiler:
stories any more, and so poorly done too! I saw it coming a mile away but I managed to convince myself "Oh come on, he wouldn't possibly....WTF!?!?" Gehh, what a waste of time. -_-
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Old 2006-06-01, 11:10   Link #98
hooliganj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorfl
I re-read Last Continent recently and Reaper Man on a flight two years ago. LC is great, Reaper Man is so-so. I like Death when he has a minor role, but I don't really like him as a main character. I also read an AWFUL Pratchett book the other day: Monstrous Regiment. The plot can be summarized as follows:
Spoiler:

I still think his understudy must have written it or something. It's the worst Discworld book I have ever read (Last Hero was pretty bad too), which is why I had to re-read LC to get the taste out of my mind, so to speak.
I agree that Reaper Man was so-so, but for the opposite reason. I loved the parts about Death, but the sections about the crisis in Ankh-Morpork drug the book down. I wasn't as big a fan of The Last Continent, which seemed like little more than constant pastiche. The only Rincewind book that has as much going for it as the other Discworld sub-series is Interesting Times.

On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed Monstrous Regiment. The ending was a bit forced, but played out in a meaningful way, and was consistent with Pratchett's previous messages about civil rights (Equal Rites, Feet of Clay), organized religion (Pyramids, Small Gods), and the powers of state (Jingo, Interesting Times). More importantly, up to the ending it was an incredibly engaging story, with a variety of interesting characters and amusing moments.

Anyway, to conclude with what I've read lately - still Pratchett. I've reread A Hat Full of Sky in anticipation of the upcoming Wintersmith. I know it's supposed to be a children's book, but I loved the ending, and I'll take stories about Tiffany Aching over Harry Potter any day.

Also reread A Wizard of Earthsea - still a good read even as an adult. I'm looking at a copy of The Gunslinger I checked out from the library on a recommendation, but I'm coming to the conclusion that I really can't stand Stephen King's writing style, even when it isn't horror/suspense.
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Old 2006-06-01, 11:19   Link #99
physics223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muir Woods
Rest assured, I haven't forgot your initial suggestion in the Mushishi thread, which is why I bought the book just last Sunday during a huge 20% off all books sale at Chapters, Indigo, and Coles stores here. I will read it after I finish Ulysses, and after that, Nabokov's Pale Fire. Anyways, I'm immersed into the depths of Ulysses. Here I thought Nabokov's highly refined prose was already challenging enough to read, but Joyce's is even more so. When I'm utterly defeated by some words of Joyce's and surrendering to the shame of referring to a dictionary, those words are not even there! Contransmagnificandjewbangtantiality? Even the ones with the most robust meaning inference skills will be stumped. I find myself re-reading the sentences with those perplexing words, and with all the gears in my brain churning futilely trying to form a guess, I just end up making a puzzled face, and then simply moving on. I heard his latter work, Finnegans Wake, is so tough to read that it crosses the line from mentally stimulating to frustrating. I hope you ranking Faulkner at an even higher grade does not necessarily mean that he's even more difficult to comprehend. Glancing at random pages of The Sound and the Fury, thankfully, it doesn't seem so.
To be entirely honest with you, I haven't read Finnegans Wake or Ulysses. I have read The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, and part of Dubliners, but I don't plan to read Ulysses, because Finnegans Wake is on an artistic notch higher - Joyce creates words that aren't even there. It puzzled and yet ensnared me - the ten pages that I've had read from that mammoth book. I plan to read it when I shall possess the money; books here in the Philippines, those published by Penguin or any other high-class publisher, are worth more than four days' work for minimum wagers.

The Sound and the Fury
is not all that complex once you do figure out the streams-of-thought: erratic, botched up, myriad, and yet uniquely beautiful. For its short length of 250 pages, it took me giving up once and another two months to read it in its entirety. It's a plod towards understanding Faulkner's majestic complexities, but once I'd gone there - once I had finished the book, I felt rewarded with a sense of intelligence and knowledge I didn't find in any other book, even Joyce's.

What astounds me, even more, is the dynamism Faulkner exudes when writing his characters. For example, in the part of Benjy, the perennial idiot, a subtle transition from 'Caddy smelled like trees' to 'Caddy smelled like trees in the rain' represented the loss of Caddy's virginity from the words of Benjy, limited with his knowledge of words that he could only speak in his mind.

Another example is the 'face-off' Quentin and his father had near the end of his chapter - the disorder and entropy of their conversation only forebodes what runs through Quentin's mind that one feels his inevitable demise because he could not accept this loss of virginity of his sister that he mentally dotes for - that in his head is the apotheosis of purity, shattered by that apotheosis itself.

It's a difficult book, and it sometimes made me want to kill myself, but when one passes through the phase of frustration - when one develops that open mind to seek for meaning in Faulkner's tireless yet meaningful jumble of words, one can see the beauty that has landed it the sixth spot for the editors of Random House in the top 100 books of the 20th century.

EDIT: Though I must admit I'm pretty sad he's only no. 97 in the 100 best character list ... *sigh* I do, however, understand why not many like The Sound and the Fury; it definitely is not for everyone, and its prose is hard-nosed, not beautifully eloquent like Nabokov. I wish I had the money to read Lolita, however.
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Old 2006-06-01, 16:41   Link #100
Dorfl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hooliganj
I agree that Reaper Man was so-so, but for the opposite reason. I loved the parts about Death, but the sections about the crisis in Ankh-Morpork drug the book down. I wasn't as big a fan of The Last Continent, which seemed like little more than constant pastiche. The only Rincewind book that has as much going for it as the other Discworld sub-series is Interesting Times.

On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed Monstrous Regiment. The ending was a bit forced, but played out in a meaningful way, and was consistent with Pratchett's previous messages about civil rights (Equal Rites, Feet of Clay), organized religion (Pyramids, Small Gods), and the powers of state (Jingo, Interesting Times). More importantly, up to the ending it was an incredibly engaging story, with a variety of interesting characters and amusing moments.

Anyway, to conclude with what I've read lately - still Pratchett. I've reread A Hat Full of Sky in anticipation of the upcoming Wintersmith. I know it's supposed to be a children's book, but I loved the ending, and I'll take stories about Tiffany Aching over Harry Potter any day.

Also reread A Wizard of Earthsea - still a good read even as an adult. I'm looking at a copy of The Gunslinger I checked out from the library on a recommendation, but I'm coming to the conclusion that I really can't stand Stephen King's writing style, even when it isn't horror/suspense.
Oh boy, we seem to like the same books but for completely different reasons. I shared your opinion of Last Continent the first time I read it, but re-reading it I really enjoyed it. It's got lots of Rincewind being Rincewind and the wizards being the wizards and I finally figured the story out this time round (it was deceptively simple). I didn't enjoy A Hat Full of Sky very much, so I wasn't planning to read any of the other Tiffany books. Seems like a waste of Granny Weatherwax to me, and Tiffany's character does nothing for me. She's too typical, too common. Monstrous Regiment: are you SURE we're talking about the same book here? Just checking.

Wizard of Earthsea, I LOVED that book. I found it by accident in a secondhand bookstore when I was in high school and my sibs and I read it so many times both covers have fallen off. I didn't really like any of the sequels, though. I can barely remember the plot of Tombs of Atuan. Something about a ...dungeon? A ring? Thingies? The Gunslinger is passable, I re-read it recently because I got a free copy of Wizard in Glass but couldn't remember anything that went on before. It's a very typical Stephen King book: interesting ideas, some good characters, pretentious as hell, flashback upon flashback... I hear the later books in the series are horrible, but I'll have to get there and see for myself.

Yesternight I read a giant stack of tabloids that someone considerately left in my room (if I see Brangelina one more time, I'll SCREAM!) and tonight I'm going to re-read The Hobbit just for the heck of it. Good times.
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