What Book Did You Read Last Night??? (1 Viewer)

Putin by Philip Short.
I picked this up in the airport recently, it was either this or Sinead O'Connor's autobiography. It's very good, very interesting and easy to read with lots of background and context about the USSR, it's collapse, the post-collapse period and Putin's path to presidency.
 
Not sure if this is specifically about written sci Fi (would appear to be by the description), but starts at 11pm on bbc4 tonight.

turns out it's not, it's reasonably old. mildly diverting without a huge amount of insight, based on the little i've watched so far, but did have this nugget; gene roddenberry apparently told william shatner that star trek was 'horatio hornblower in space', and lo and behold:

To view this content we will need your consent to set third party cookies.
For more detailed information, see our cookies page.
 
I finished out 2 books that I started during the summer but parked.

Billy Summers by Stephen King. Its ok. A good story that could have been told in 200 pages but he told it in 500. Its grand like but I got lost more times while reading it cos of all the tangents he went off on.

Pete Paphides memoir. This was great to start with. Photographic memory of the music he was discovering at different times in his life, along with what he was doing at the time. But again, its long, and lots of the same thing. A lot of his was about his relationship with his dad, who died a couple of months ago, while I was reading the book, which was odd, but anyway. Its easy going, so ideal holiday or bus reading.
 
The Green Man by Kingsley Amis. Folky horror ghost story about a innkeeper in Cambridge dealing with pagan spirits in his pub. Very good. There’s a very late 60s subplot about the randy innkeeper trying to arrange a threesome with his wife and mistress, only for them to get it on and leave him out in the cold. Funny
 
My reading's gone to shite since last time, mainly because of stupid work. Anyway, got bac on the saddle and managed to get through a few and here are my reviews.

After Dark by Haruki Murakami
This isn’t one of Murakami’s classic/big books, but I loved it. It had a lot of weird magical realism stuff in it involving a sleeping girl who was sometimes in a room with a TV, sometimes on the TV. I didn’t mind this confusion as these were cordoned off into their own chapters, and I found the weirdness didn’t detract from the main story as the sleeping girl was also involved in this. It all takes place in a single night, and the characters, as always with Murakami, were fun and interesting.

Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov
This started off a bit slow as a follow-up to Foundation but quickly became engrossing. Same flaws as the first book but who cares. Great fun and a ripping yarn.

Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
Although this was good enough and maybe bordering on great, at least in terms of its ideas which were really out there, I found this a bit too long, and struggled with it a bit. It’s considered one of his classics so I wonder if I just was off form in reading it. Anyway.

The Drowned World by JG Ballard
This was all right but again, really dragged for me. Generally filed under ‘climate fiction’, it’s about a time when London is completely flooded apart from some high-rises and the remaining inhabitants have to duke it out with some crazy looter pirates and colonel Kurtz types. I enjoyed some of the nutso biology ideas like the idea that we can devolve along with the vegetation and fauna (though for this to happen in the space of a few decades was a bit of a stretch) but the overall plot was a bit dull plus there was a semi-romantic subplot that didn’t work at all. Also, all the white people were posh Oxford/Cambridge types and the nonwhites all savages so to heck with that.

Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov
This is not the last book in the Foundation series but it’s the last one I’m going to read, at least for now. Possibly not as good as the first two but still, pretty good. Asimov likes to put in aha moments in his stories, which is all a bit Tales-of-the-Unexpected-ish but I’m a sucker for those twists and reveals so it was all good. By the way I’ve heard terrible things about the TV series so if anyone’s see that let me know a yea or nay.

A book by a friend I’m beta reading
Can’t really talk about this but very good and enjoyable.

Deliverance by James Dickey
Just brilliant, my favourite read of this batch. I’ve seen the film more than once and one thing that surprised me was how close the adaptation was. I’m also surprised that James Dickey didn’t have more great books in him, because this one is just fantastic and up there with your Hemingways and Steinbecks. A masculine novel, to be sure, and very Southern-US. Maybe THE masculine novel of the south, although the tropes, I suppose, are universal – as well as the question of ‘where is America headed?’ there’s also man versus nature, modernity versus tradition, civilisation versus savagery, and anal sex. What more could you want?
 
I’ve just finished the first volume in The History of Middle Earth. I read the first seven volume years ago and decided to go through it all again. Heavy going, but some lovely writing dotted through.

On the back of that, I’m re-reading The Lord of the Rings which is, of course, amazing.

I’m also dipping into a collection of short stories by Mark Samuels called Written in Darkness. Modern weird fiction in the same realm as Thomas Ligotti but way more consistent in quality.

Finally, I’ve been trudging through William Gibson’s Neuromancer and while I can absolutely see how he came up with so many ideas and concepts that have become foundational for modern sci fi and cyberpunk, it really isn’t grabbing me. I’m about two thirds of the way through and don’t want to give up but it’s taken me three months.
 
My reading's gone to shite since last time, mainly because of stupid work. Anyway, got bac on the saddle and managed to get through a few and here are my reviews.

After Dark by Haruki Murakami
This isn’t one of Murakami’s classic/big books, but I loved it. It had a lot of weird magical realism stuff in it involving a sleeping girl who was sometimes in a room with a TV, sometimes on the TV. I didn’t mind this confusion as these were cordoned off into their own chapters, and I found the weirdness didn’t detract from the main story as the sleeping girl was also involved in this. It all takes place in a single night, and the characters, as always with Murakami, were fun and interesting.

Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov
This started off a bit slow as a follow-up to Foundation but quickly became engrossing. Same flaws as the first book but who cares. Great fun and a ripping yarn.

Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
Although this was good enough and maybe bordering on great, at least in terms of its ideas which were really out there, I found this a bit too long, and struggled with it a bit. It’s considered one of his classics so I wonder if I just was off form in reading it. Anyway.

The Drowned World by JG Ballard
This was all right but again, really dragged for me. Generally filed under ‘climate fiction’, it’s about a time when London is completely flooded apart from some high-rises and the remaining inhabitants have to duke it out with some crazy looter pirates and colonel Kurtz types. I enjoyed some of the nutso biology ideas like the idea that we can devolve along with the vegetation and fauna (though for this to happen in the space of a few decades was a bit of a stretch) but the overall plot was a bit dull plus there was a semi-romantic subplot that didn’t work at all. Also, all the white people were posh Oxford/Cambridge types and the nonwhites all savages so to heck with that.

Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov
This is not the last book in the Foundation series but it’s the last one I’m going to read, at least for now. Possibly not as good as the first two but still, pretty good. Asimov likes to put in aha moments in his stories, which is all a bit Tales-of-the-Unexpected-ish but I’m a sucker for those twists and reveals so it was all good. By the way I’ve heard terrible things about the TV series so if anyone’s see that let me know a yea or nay.

A book by a friend I’m beta reading
Can’t really talk about this but very good and enjoyable.

Deliverance by James Dickey
Just brilliant, my favourite read of this batch. I’ve seen the film more than once and one thing that surprised me was how close the adaptation was. I’m also surprised that James Dickey didn’t have more great books in him, because this one is just fantastic and up there with your Hemingways and Steinbecks. A masculine novel, to be sure, and very Southern-US. Maybe THE masculine novel of the south, although the tropes, I suppose, are universal – as well as the question of ‘where is America headed?’ there’s also man versus nature, modernity versus tradition, civilisation versus savagery, and anal sex. What more could you want?
Deliverance is great. Have you read To The White Sea by Dickey? A stone cold classic. Probably the best action novel I've ever read. Was supposed to be made into a Coen Brothers film but it got dropped. You can get their screenplay for it. So good.
 
Deliverance is great. Have you read To The White Sea by Dickey? A stone cold classic. Probably the best action novel I've ever read. Was supposed to be made into a Coen Brothers film but it got dropped. You can get their screenplay for it. So good.
I have not, must check it out. He also played the laconic sheriff at the end of Deliverance, fun factoid.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Activity
So far there's no one here

21 Day Calendar

Landless: 'Lúireach' Album Launch (Glitterbeat Records)
The Unitarian Church, Stephen's Green
Dublin Unitarian Church, 112 St Stephen's Green, Dublin, D02 YP23, Ireland

Support thumped.com

Support thumped.com and upgrade your account

Upgrade your account now to disable all ads...

Upgrade now

Latest threads

Latest Activity

Loading…
Back
Top