jenks

thread death
The dialogue is so good. It sounds even better when she reads it. She talks about how she loves talking to taxi drivers who tell her all kinds of stuff.

with regard to Barrett, if Young Skins is a kind of modern Dubliners then Homesickness is definitely him trying to not be defined by home. I did wish The Alps had done more with the set up and the dog sitting one annoyed me but lots of the rest were far better than the LRB review gives credit.
 

jenks

thread death
Just reading Bad Eminence by James Greer which has lots going on by is spoilt by being too knowing, too in love with its own cleverness.
Also read a bunch of the stories in Polluted Sex by Lauren Foley - raw and direct, verging on the pornographic, short stories of a very different Irish writer from either Barrett or Erskine.
Really like Sonia Overall’s Eden but I think it’s not half as good if you don’t know Hemingway’s Garden of Eden.
Rereading Charles Baxter’s Burning Down the House - essays on fiction and writing. So good.
 

you

Well-known member
The dialogue is so good. It sounds even better when she reads it. She talks about how she loves talking to taxi drivers who tell her all kinds of stuff.

with regard to Barrett, if Young Skins is a kind of modern Dubliners then Homesickness is definitely him trying to not be defined by home. I did wish The Alps had done more with the set up and the dog sitting one annoyed me but lots of the rest were far better than the LRB review gives credit.

Does she do the voices like Dickens?
 

you

Well-known member
I'm enjoying The Perfect Golden Circle by Benjamin Myers (great heatwave book! File under heatwaves with The Go-Between etc... ) and That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry.

@jenks Have you read any of Barry's work? I liked his previous collection, Dark Lies the Island, a great deal.
 

jenks

thread death
I'm enjoying The Perfect Golden Circle by Benjamin Myers (great heatwave book! File under heatwaves with The Go-Between etc... ) and That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry.

@jenks Have you read any of Barry's work? I liked his previous collection, Dark Lies the Island, a great deal.
Just the one Beatlebone which I really liked. I keep on meaning to read more as he never seems to get a bad review.
 

jenks

thread death
I'm enjoying The Perfect Golden Circle by Benjamin Myers (great heatwave book! File under heatwaves with The Go-Between etc... ) and That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry.

@jenks Have you read any of Barry's work? I liked his previous collection, Dark Lies the Island, a great deal.
Meyers’ stock has been on the rise recently - another writer I’ve been meaning to catch up with.
My suitcase for holiday reading is a bit all over the place, a Simon Raven re-read, Collette, the new one from Galley Beggar After Sappho, Dermot Harley’s A Goat Song and an Australian, Anwen Crawford No Document which I think will appeal to a few on here - a mixture of non fiction, reportage, memoir and essay.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I recently sorted through a load of stuff that had been rather shamefully lying around in boxes since our last house move, and to my delight I found a volume of Ligotti, comprising Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe. To my further delight, it turned out that I'd only read about a third of the stories in it, so I've spent the last few weeks picking at the others. They're great, little snack-sized portions of horror. I like the distinctiveness of his voice, so you can tell straightaway who it is you're reading, but with the complete absence of anything like a 'mythos' of continually reused places and entities, as Lovecraft made such great use of. (Having said that, he certainly has a handful of particular themes or images he likes to come back to again and again, and about half of these stories could be titled 'The Super Creepy Clown-Puppet-Mask Thing'.)

There's an intro to the volume by another writer, who compares Ligotti to Lovecraft (of course), Poe, and Kafka, but I think there's something to be said for a Borges influence in some of his stories, with the characters who find themselves in these self-contained micro-universes that are surreal while also following their own weird logic. There was even a particular story that reminded me of 'Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius', although I can't remember which one it was.

Googling 'borges influence ligotti' brought up this page of discussion from an old Ligotti forum, which some might find interesting: https://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=282

Edit: perhaps inevitably, the Codex Seraphinianus comes up in the conversation.
 
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you

Well-known member
Joel Lane traces via a number of Ligotti's stories a distinct thematic resonance with Bruno Schulz in his essay 'The Ruins of Reality', particularly in terms of the discombobulation and isolation of the protagonists as well as the vivid decay of ghetto (a word Ligotti uses a lot).

In terms of Borges, Ligotti is obviously a fan. See https://weirdfictionreview.com/2011/11/exclusive-interview-thomas-ligotti-on-weird-fiction/ - and a number of blogs have pointed to his non-fiction writings. This is thought provoking: https://socialecologies.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/jorge-luis-borges-elminativist-of-the-self/

Ligotti hasn't produced anything as far as I am aware since The Spectral Link. I hope he's okay, I'm probably kidding myself.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
From your first link:

With horror stories, it’s the exact opposite: there must be a “legend” for the horrific goings-on and this legend must be revealed in the story or movie, even if the explanation is rather vague. Example: “Something must have gone wrong with the laboratory experiments they was doin’ on them monkeys that made ‘em so ferocious and 28 days later infected almost everyone and turned ‘em into those zombie things that run around like nobody’s business.”

I think an underappreciated aspect of Ligotti is that he can be a funny motherfucker when he wants to be.
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Not sure what to read next. I got a copy of House of Leaves for Christmas that's lying around somewhere, and I'm guiltily half-hoping it doesn't show up again...
 
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you

Well-known member
Not sure what to read next. I got a copy of House of Leaves for Christmas that's lying around somewhere, and I'm guilty half-hoping it doesn't show up again...

I really enjoyed this years ago. It was massively successful. Give it a go!
 

woops

is not like other people
I really enjoyed this years ago. It was massively successful. Give it a go!
personally i was underwhelmed in that while it was obviously clever i didn't find it scary or chilling in the slightest
but don't let me put you off @Mr. Tea give it a go,
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I feel I should be hiring you guys as the literary equivalent of personal trainers...

OK, I'll dig it out and give it a shot. But there had better be plenty of exciting stuff like sex and fighting, relatable characters, a happy ending...
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I really liked House of Leaves. I remember when it came out a few of my friends were reading it and they all said they loved the start but that it went downhill and I think the two I'm thinking of specifically actually eventually gave up on it. So I embarked on it, loving it from the off, and, as I remember, finding it pretty bits of it pretty fucking creepy, and I kept waiting for it to go down hill.. waiting, waiting... and then I finished it and I had enjoyed every bit, so fuck 'em eh?

Ligotti, you all talk about him a lot and I really know nothing about the guy at all. I was gonna say something facile such as "Shall I read him?" or "Is he recommended?" and then I thought, that I already know the answers and I might as well just get some plan to start reading him. Cos I'm realising sadly that I do need to have a plan. In the past I could be reading dissensus or something similar and someone would mention a book or record or film that sounded cool and within ten seconds I would be on a website for the relevant medium, searching for that tip, and within a couple of minutes I would have ordered it and gone back to my reading, happy in the knowledge that the wheels were turning and the item in question would soon(er or later) be dropping through my door. This was also good cos such a short process barely interrupted my reading or left an impression on my memory, with the result that when such an order arrived it was almost always a total surprise to me.

Now I've become so disheartened about ordering stuff; about fifty percent of my orders go missing, or even if they don't go missing you often don't get the card, or you get it when the deadline is passed and there is almost nothing you can do to extricate it from customs hell where it will spend months gathering dust before, if you're very lucky, being returned to the sender who can, if they are so inclined, have another crack. What totally blows my mind though is the number of things that don't get returned and they just keep it forever.

So, yeah, I need to figure out a way to get my hands on one of his books... hmm.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Also chaps, my friend is effectively insisting that I read The Populist Delusion by Neema Parvini, he's gonna pass it to me tomorrow and then I expect that there will be a test in a few days... have any of you read it? Got anything I can say that will make me sound smart?
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Also chaps, my friend is effectively insisting that I read The Populist Delusion by Neema Parvini, he's gonna pass it to me tomorrow and then I expect that there will be a test in a few days... have any of you read it? Got anything I can say that will make me sound smart?
Try saying something like "The thing about populism, right, is that it's a bit delusional", while nodding sagely.
 

WashYourHands

Cat Malogen
Finished Pogue Mahone after Covid put a dampener down, few spoilers

There haven’t been many books where, after reading the final line, you place the book down and think wtf was that? Its lingering presence of Una Fogerty, a donkey with hooves stuck in buckets, Lady Ocean, jfc what a character. V v v v v

The exact role of the gruagach - is it autonomous and a physical presence or a subconscious manipulation? Lord Offaly of Down’s end, intercut with humour eg the ghost hunter and caretaker Alex Gordon’s repeating line “look at the bristols on that”. Or Mike Yarwood

My favourite lines are Brendan Behan’s’ “cough softening blue jaysus of a walloping“ and Alex Gordon as a kid in the sports shop. He’s picked up a cricket bat or something and then he sees a bright pink shape bobbing in the air back and forth (phallic undertones) where it stays forever in the back of his mind, “just waving”. Killer

Dan Fogerty, I stopped caring that no-one ever saw or spoke to him but his shapeshifter qualities are rendered even more troubling by his wee birdies, or presencing as a blackbird, or the more sinister presencing like the old lady, grasshoppers behind vents and ploc, ploc, ploc

If it had a linearly driven temporal plot, it wouldn’t work. Instead its cyclical rounds have each aspect building on or expanding upon a character or plot which further cranks up the tension. So, you get the first few deaths but they’re elaborated and extrapolated until a greater totality of events exist. It never lets up, eg Troy Mclory’s fate. Best book I’ve read in years
 
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