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Thread: what are you reading now?

  1. #1606
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    Quote Originally Posted by benw View Post
    Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. Him and Ballard are probably my favourite SF writers, both on completely different ends of the spectrum obviously...
    "Violence is the last refuge of the jaded hedonist."

  2. #1607
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacktulip View Post
    Defoe - crucial spelling in this case. =)
    Good catch, thanks!

  3. #1608
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    I'm reading Red Plenty by Francis Spufford. It's a historical novel (which he describes as a fairy tale) about the economy of the Soviet Union. It is fucking boss. I've just got to the bit set in Gosplan and it feels like the big baddy has finally been revealed.

    There's a bunch of references at the back about what is true and what was invented for the story. Apparently Spufford can't speak Russian which makes the whole undertaking pretty amazing, really. The next book I want to read is one referenced in the back called Planning Problems in the Soviet Union.

    I think it might be the kind of book certain leftist types would go nuts about. There's already been a symposium.

  4. #1609
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    "This thread is about recording what we read and is one of the few I still bother to contribute to. It would be interesting if people did do more than record what they read and maybe say why they liked it and if this exchange does that then it's all good."
    Very true.

  5. #1610
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    Francis Spufford teaches at Goldsmiths, which I will be attending next year. Will probably check out Red Plenty.

  6. #1611
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    With perfect timing Robert Macfarlane is on the front page of the Guardian website today. Haven't read the article yet...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/20...ess-macfarlane

  7. #1612
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    i think jenks, and this is something ive talked about before, that good writing is usualy bad writing if the prose has a sheen, and a facile professionalism, its probably bad prose. theres no blood and guts in macfarlane. its a complacent guy taking complacent walks and writing complacent books about them. theres no struggle.
    You're going to love this. He's written the libretto for a jazz opera about Orford Ness

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/20...ess-macfarlane

    "One December night, Arnie and I fisted off the nose of the Ness until 3am. The sky was cloudless, the moonlight strong enough to read by, and Jupiter stood bright in the sky. We drank too much hot wine from Thermoses, and caught whiting to cook up for a hungover breakfast in the barracks. The next day Arnie heaved his double bass over to the New Armoury, and we tried out a seven-verse lyric that I'd written the night before, with a call-and-answer relation between spoken text and musical response."
    Last edited by HMGovt; 09-07-2012 at 02:04 PM.

  8. #1613
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    "One December night, Arnie and I fisted off the nose of the Ness until 3am"
    I've got to say that this wasn't the kind of content I was expecting from the description.

  9. #1614
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    I'm going on holiday soon and want to take something challenging I won't get the time to read at home.

    I've got Solzhenitsyn's' The Gulag Archipelago and Middlemarch on my shelf. Does anyone have any experience of these?

    Gulag is scary long as the first book is actually only parts 1-2 of 7, so there are another two books with the other parts. Each is about 600 pages so it's 1800 pages on quite a hardcore topic. Amazon reviews say it's amazing tho.
    Last edited by viktorvaughn; 11-07-2012 at 03:03 PM.

  10. #1615
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    Never read the Gulag one (always been a bit scared) but Middlemarch is a pretty solid classic. Maybe it's not quite the secret to the meaning of life it's held up as and it does have some flaws (the ending being weak according to common consensus I think) but you will not regret reading it.

  11. #1616
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    Quote Originally Posted by viktorvaughn View Post
    I'm going on holiday soon and want to take something challenging I won't get the time to read at home.

    I've got Solzhenitsyn's' The Gulag Archipelago and Middlemarch on my shelf. Does anyone have any experience of these?

    Gulag is scary long as the first book is actually only parts 1-2 of 7, so there are another two books with the other parts. Each is about 600 pages so it's 1800 pages on quite a hardcore topic. Amazon reviews say it's amazing tho.
    Can't really help with the whole book, but the first chapter is incredible. As I recall I left in the second chapter and never returned, as the style changed somewhat. May be misremembering, but I'd say certainly start it and see where you get from there.

    I'm not very good at long books in general, so I probably got scared.

    Read that MacFarlane piece, and must admit I'm not keen on his style (the book might be totally different, no idea). My eyes glazed over quite quickly. It feels very forced, trying too hard to be (a certain kind of) 'good writing'. Reminds me of me as a teenager, trying to use as many 10 cent words that I'd just learned as possible. Maybe that's precisely why I don't like it!
    Last edited by baboon2004; 12-07-2012 at 10:32 AM.

  12. #1617
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    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    Can't really help with the whole book, but the first chapter is incredible. As I recall I left in the second chapter and never returned, as the style changed somewhat. May be misremembering, but I'd say certainly start it and see where you get from there.

    I'm not very good at long books in general, so I probably got scared.
    I read the first chapter last night and realised I wasn't ever going to get to the end of the book (tho it was wicked I agree). I started reading some sci-fi instead, think I'll take Middlemarch on holiday next week, plus the Third Policeman.

  13. #1618
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    Quote Originally Posted by viktorvaughn View Post
    plus the Third Policeman.
    Only read this a couple of months back but I think it's probably one of my favourite books already.
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  14. #1619
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    Just read Edward Limonov's 'My Butler's Tale', a fiction/memoir kind of thing, the main character is a self-obsessed misanthrope with delusions of grandeur. Pretty funny book really. If you enjoy Celine et al you will enjoy this.

    Also read a bunch of Kafka short stories, guy really was amazingly talented. 'In the Penal Colony' is just perfect, as are the ones narrated by a chimp and a dog. I read 'The Castle' years ago but didn't really get it, now I see why he's so feted.

  15. #1620
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    Quote Originally Posted by viktorvaughn View Post
    I'm going on holiday soon and want to take something challenging I won't get the time to read at home.

    I've got Solzhenitsyn's' The Gulag Archipelago and Middlemarch on my shelf. Does anyone have any experience of these?

    Gulag is scary long as the first book is actually only parts 1-2 of 7, so there are another two books with the other parts. Each is about 600 pages so it's 1800 pages on quite a hardcore topic. Amazon reviews say it's amazing tho.
    i've had the gulag archipelago sitting on my shelf for a long time. i bought it at the same time i bought a day in the life of ivan denisovic, but i wasn't that enthralled by the shorter book and have never found the energy to slog through gulag.

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