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Thread: Books with life-changing qualities

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sick Boy View Post
    The impact of what poisons you when you are young is not to be understated in my opinion.
    I believe in dis very much.

  2. #17
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    "The Alchemist had an effect on me, but I'm not sure if it really changed my life. Just a great affirming read."
    By Paulo Coelho? Surely not. I thought that was the worst book I'd ever had the misfortune to be tricked into reading. I actually felt insulted that someone had the temerity to splurge that kind of bilge on to paper and then ask people for money in exhange. And I felt physically sick that it seemed to be working.

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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleRich View Post
    By Paulo Coelho? Surely not. I thought that was the worst book I'd ever had the misfortune to be tricked into reading. I actually felt insulted that someone had the temerity to splurge that kind of bilge on to paper and then ask people for money in exhange. And I felt physically sick that it seemed to be working.
    Not read it. Is it as bad as Martin Amis (the fictional stuff - very good journalist back in the day) or Salman Rushdie? Tricksters of the highest order.

    Edit: add Houllebecq's 'Atomised' to that list - what the FUCK was that meant to be about? Pretentious bilge.

    Edit two: that list could stretch out all day, actually - feted authors who are all style and zero substance.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    Not read it. Is it as bad as Martin Amis (the fictional stuff - very good journalist back in the day) or Salman Rushdie? Tricksters of the highest order.
    You can't dis Money - really, you can't. It's not his fault it was the starting point for a thousand lesser talents

  6. #21
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    I've not read Money, but Other People and London Fields were utterly embarrassing.

    My life-changer: John Cowper Powys's novel, Wolf Solent.

  7. #22
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    It's much worse than any of those authors (all of whom I actually like to a greater or lesser degree).

  8. #23
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    I thought Atomized was okay, but it seemed to be successful because of that turn-of-the-century error of conflating obnoxiousness with honesty.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tentative Andy View Post
    Simon Reynolds - Energy Flash
    Joseph Heller - Catch-22 (which may prove Sick Boy's point. But hey, don't be ashamed of your choices, they're great)
    Tick and tick. Thanks for all the other suggestions too - have been meaning to check out Barthes (not Fabian (-z) - I bet his books would be rubbish) for ages.

    As for Catch-22, why would anyone be ashamed? A book the first chapter of which is still side-splittingly funny 56 years after it was written is a rare commodity indeed. Samuel Shem's 'House of God'(?) seems good, but such a rip-off of Heller.

    OK, I'll add:

    Dan Rhodes - Anthropology' (solidified my love for literary brevity beyond the point of return)

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by STN View Post
    I've not read Money, but Other People and London Fields were utterly embarrassing.
    Likewise. Couldn't be arsed after reading 'LF' - life's too short.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by STN View Post
    I thought Atomized was okay, but it seemed to be successful because of that turn-of-the-century error of conflating obnoxiousness with honesty.
    I'd go with that.

    He pandered to all the stupid broadsheet critics by creating a novel with 'Big Ideas' - it was embarrassing to see people praise it so much, once one had actually read it.

    I liked his first one though. A simple yet pertinent point, well made.

  12. #27
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    I still have a Houllebecq lying unread, at least six years since I bought it. The curse of 3 for 2 strikes again. It's very thin, though, so shitness wouldn't be a massive problem.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhao View Post
    i've only read 1/3 of it. so don't know the answer to that... big issue with me so i need to finish it and find out what she says about it.
    A book you only read a third of changed your life? You couldn't have liked it that much then!

  14. #29
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    plus the cover's a bit saucy.

    edit: i mean of Atomised.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by crackerjack View Post
    I still have a Houllebecq lying unread, at least six years since I bought it. The curse of 3 for 2 strikes again. It's very thin, though, so shitness wouldn't be a massive problem.
    Probably the first one then. Worth a read, I think.

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