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Old 26-05-2014, 08:45   #581
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Completed Lark Rise to Candleford - quite a surprise as I was expecting some cosy period drama type story, whereas it is really a vivid piece of social history, stark and unsentimental, although beautifully evoking the unspoilt nature of its time; the elements dealing with progress, especially in the final book, are remarkable. By coincidence I watched A Canterbury Tale last week and they have a large thematic overlap.

Now onto some Peter Carey - His Illegal Self.
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Old 29-05-2014, 10:21   #582
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Finished Erotic Lives of the Superheroes. I'm not really a superhero fan (seen the movies, never read the comics) but the press quotes intrigued me.

The story follows four aged superheroes - Mr Fantastic, Batman, Mystique & Superman - who appear to be the target of an unknown terrorist group. All are past their prime, living minor celebrity lives in a New York which has pretty much forgotten their past glories and is more interested in gossip or scandal. Written from each character's point of view, it's a satirical stab at celebrity and contemporary America, and is incredibly melancholy - there's no saving the world here, but rather existential musings on becoming old and forgotten.

As for the lurid title, it both sends itself up (a character in the novel releases a scandalous book about superheroes' sex lives) and delivers on the more prurient details. But while these moments undoubtedly give the book its controversial edge, it avoids straying into trash with some heartfelt and poignant writing. Potential readers should be warned that it really isn't a superhero novel per se and is extremely downbeat.
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Old 29-05-2014, 11:24   #583
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That sounds interesting. Think I'll wait for a kindle price drop then give it a go.
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Old 29-05-2014, 12:43   #584
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Re: what are you reading (thread 4)

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That sounds interesting. Think I'll wait for a kindle price drop then give it a go.
It's worth a read, but expect your image of the characters to be defiled, not least Batman.

Some of their sexual proclivities are.. revealing.
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Old 30-05-2014, 10:31   #585
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Just finished the second Jack Reacher novel Die Trying. I found it a bit 'meh', to be honest.

Also finally got around to reading John W. Campbell's Who Goes There?. John Carpenter's The Thing made an indelible impression on me as a teenager some 30 years ago but I'd never read the source novella until now. Some of the dialogue and writing is hokey but I'm surprised just how much of the content and story beats made the transition to Carpenter's version (and how absolutely none made it to the 1951 movie!).
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Old 31-05-2014, 21:32   #586
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Just finished the new Harry Dresden novel "Skin Game".

Harry has been ordered by Mab to help execute a transdimensional bank heist with one of his worst enemies and a collection of crooks and psycho's...what could possibly go wrong?

Excellent book and as always it rattles along at an excellent pace and with some style. There are enough twists and turns for the most avid Dresden fan.

Now I just have an agonising 18(?) month wait for the next one.
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:11   #587
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Peter Carey - His Illegal Self. Did not disappoint but was a bit of a challenging read - he tells the same tale alternately from the two main character's viewpoint, which is a neat trick, but then messes with your mind by also mixing up the chronology. Some of the expressions were hard to understand - were they '60s Aussie?

He also evokes an off-the-radar, half disillusioned late hippy era commune beautifully; my favourite exchange went something like this:

"You people don't have any rules."
"You've obviously never lived in a hippy commune!"

Edit: Short interview on TimeOut

Now reading something totally different, Nairn In Darkness And Light.
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:44   #588
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Halfway through "I am Pilgrim" and loving it
Real page turner and not been this hooked on a book since the early Lee Child books
Its sort of Clancy meets Bourne with a bit of Dan Brown (only a tiny bit and only the good bit so dont let that put you off)

Very detailed, fast paced but at same time very detailed and interesting
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Old 09-06-2014, 15:10   #589
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Halfway through "I am Pilgrim" and loving it
Real page turner and not been this hooked on a book since the early Lee Child books
Its sort of Clancy meets Bourne with a bit of Dan Brown (only a tiny bit and only the good bit so dont let that put you off)

Very detailed, fast paced but at same time very detailed and interesting
I bought it in hardback based on good reviews but couldnt get into it, will have to have another crack at some point.

Reading Cockroaches by Jo Nesbo at the moment and then onto Mr Mercedes by Stephen King.
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Old 10-06-2014, 14:17   #590
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I bought it in hardback based on good reviews but couldnt get into it, will have to have another crack at some point.

Reading Cockroaches by Jo Nesbo at the moment and then onto Mr Mercedes by Stephen King.
Its the sort of thing i always like, its fun, good length chapters
Im liking how the story is all over the place but at the same time well kept together, with various time frames being referred back to

According to the kindle im 47% complete and so far its the best thing I have read in years
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:09   #591
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I've been reading Jason Vale's 'Kick the Drink...Easily' I'm far from a heavy drinker nowadays, but it's given me the push to give up completely so it was worth the few quid it was on Amazon.

It's very cleverly written and structured with key themes repeated specifically designed to almost hypnotise the reader. I'm not normally one to put much stock in self help books, but it's quite different in its approach. It's light on scientific principles relying rather on convincing you that alcohol offers nothing positive to your life, breaking it down into taste, effect etc.

It's easily said of course, but I found it worked for me in eliminating the 'fear' of never drinking again.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:16   #592
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Just read a couple of decent books:

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer – first part of a new sci-fi trilogy that is heavily inspired by Conrad/Lovecraft – about a team of scientists sent in to investigate some mysterious quarantined zone where some extra-terrestrial contact took place – very mysterious, and a very short read, but a great little mystery/sci-fi/horror.

‘I Am Pilgrim’ – very decent Bourne-style thriller mentioned already in the thread. Got through it very quickly, and was thoroughly enjoyable, but did feel like a book straight from the eighties, particularly with his barely concealed hatred of all things Chinese or middle eastern. Will no doubt make a very good movie.

Onto Red Dragon now – I read Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal some years back but missed out on this one (I figured I’d seen Manhunter a hundred times so that was sufficient!).

Out of interest, I’ve also got Hannibal Rising – is that worth reading? – I seem to recall a lot of disappointment when that came out.
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:20   #593
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Hannibal Rising, when I tried to read it, was the worst book I had ever cast eyes on

You sum up I Am Pilgrim better than me, I loved it and seemed as was written very much for a film to be made
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Old 07-07-2014, 17:40   #594
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I'm just over half-way through Pines by Blake Crouch.

It's readable, but only in a Lee Child sense. It thinks it's far cleverer than it is. It has been turned into a FOX TV show and I guarantee the show will lead us a merry dance and then get canceled without a conclusion.
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Old 07-07-2014, 17:48   #595
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The 1st Game of Thrones book. Tried and failed 3 years ago. Loving it now 400+ pages in.
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Old 07-07-2014, 17:50   #596
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Colin Wilson's Space Vampires - good start, then waffles a load of metaphysical ******** for the remainder. Lifeforce is so much more fun.

Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora - great fun. At times dark and brutal but with a wonderfully humorous vein of salty dialogue. I've jumped straight into the sequel now.
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Old 07-07-2014, 19:19   #597
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Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora - great fun. At times dark and brutal but with a wonderfully humorous vein of salty dialogue. I've jumped straight into the sequel now.
Glad you enjoyed it
Best book of the last decade - anybody who's not read this is missing out.
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Old 08-07-2014, 18:43   #598
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Just finished Gone Girl. Read it in 3 days. Can't wait to see how Fincher portrays it on screen.
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Old 08-07-2014, 21:23   #599
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Re: what are you reading (thread 4)

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Glad you enjoyed it
Best book of the last decade - anybody who's not read this is missing out.
High praise indeed. £1.99 on Amazon for the Kindle edition. Gone for it. Cheers.
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Old 09-07-2014, 06:04   #600
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High praise indeed. £1.99 on Amazon for the Kindle edition. Gone for it. Cheers.
Bargain - let me know how you get on whether you enjoy it or not (but I'm sure you will). I think I've said this on here before, but there's a guy at work who's anti-fantasy and we persuaded him to read it and he absolutely loved it.
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