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So What Have you Read Lately? And other favorite books!

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I have been trying to make myself finish "The Son" by Phillipp Meyer. A book chock full of unpleasant and unlikeable main characters. I wanted to read it as a friend of mine helped with authenticity for the HBO series. I am halfway through and really don't think I want to bother with the rest.

Edited by Corsair
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1 hour ago, Corsair said:

I have been trying to make myself finish "The Son" by Phillipp Meyer. A book chock full of unpleasant and unlikeable main characters. I wanted to read it as a friend of mine helped with authenticity for the HBO series. I am halfway through and really don't think I want to bother with the rest.

My experience of reading books full of unpleasant characters is that you should stop. Find something you like better. Because seriously, if you can't stand the characters, you can't be invested in their story.

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1 hour ago, redambrosia said:

My experience of reading books full of unpleasant characters is that you should stop. Find something you like better. Because seriously, if you can't stand the characters, you can't be invested in their story.

I decided a long time ago that life is too short for bad books.

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6 hours ago, Corsair said:

Red, your first suggestion and San's both hit the mark! Back to Clive Cussler's Isaac Bell series!

How are those?

I've read most of the Dirk Pitt books and enjoyed their pulpiness. Is Isaac Bell more of the same?

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2 hours ago, Sanael said:

How are those?

I've read most of the Dirk Pitt books and enjoyed their pulpiness. Is Isaac Bell more of the same?

Isaac Bell is set early 20th Century and I am enjoying them immensely. They are every bit as good as his earlier Dirk Pitt stuff.

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22 hours ago, Corsair said:

I have been trying to make myself finish "The Son" by Phillipp Meyer. A book chock full of unpleasant and unlikeable main characters. I wanted to read it as a friend of mine helped with authenticity for the HBO series. I am halfway through and really don't think I want to bother with the rest.

 

Hadn't heard about the show (or that book actually) but I read his fairly acclaimed debut, American Rust. Incredibly frustrating book. Started off great and just completely fell apart, in part because the characters were so incredibly stupid. Their inexplicably dumb choices were practically the only thing driving the plot, which was pretty unbearable for me, at least.

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So I've just finished the third and fourth collected volumes of "Paper Girls," and it's only gotten better.

 

If you like "Stranger Things," this is like that, but more sci-fi than horror-fantasy, written for its particular medium and visually even more in tune with what it's doing.

 

 

Definitely making the transition from "library pick-up" to "purchase immediately."

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9 hours ago, Jaarlask said:

I just re-read Catch 22 a day or so ago, and then I saw a promo trailer for a series or movie of Catch 22 on Hulu today, how odd is that!

 

 

I re-read "Catch-22" a few months ago when I heard that a new film version was being proposed by Netflix. It's still an excellent, clever read. (A pity Joseph Hellers other books never met the same level of inspiration.)

 

Then I read in the news today that the producers of the new version are changing the script to give women a "more positive image". Gods save us from narrow-minded fools with an absurd sense of their own importance. Have they never heard of the Reverend Bowlder?

 

Fortunately there is already a very good film version of the book, starring Alan Alda, if I remember rightly.

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On 4/10/2019 at 5:47 AM, Sanael said:

Just finished Star Wars: Aftermath.

 

It's the first of the trilogy that explains what happened between Jedi and Force Awakens. (Yes, I'm a bit behind the times, I know)

 

It is very, monstrously, tediously, terribly, bad.

 

Like so much of SW, there's an interesting story buried somewhere in it, and one likeable character, but you have to look for it, and the end of that search is not the victory of discovery but rather the mild satisfaction of having completed an onerous task.

 

And, because I am a glutton for punishment, I'll report back when I finish the second one.

 

Heard this from so many different people.

Just finished a re-read/listen of First King of Shannara.  I read this back in 1996 when it first came out, and I liked it.  Normally with Terry Brooks I remember stuff very well, but, man, this was like reading it for the first time.  I didn't, apparently, remember a dang thing.  Liked it more this time around though.

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On 4/10/2019 at 7:47 AM, Sanael said:

Just finished Star Wars: Aftermath.

 

...

 

It is very, monstrously, tediously, terribly, bad.

 

...

 

And, because I am a glutton for punishment, I'll report back when I finish the second one.

 

On 4/24/2019 at 9:07 PM, Sanael said:

I decided a long time ago that life is too short for bad books.

 

It's possible I'm sending mixed messages.

 

Nonetheless, I did finish the trilogy. It continues to be bad, although the last book is (marginally) better than the first. It still suffers for the presence of Han Solo*, but it makes clear that the best character in the book is at least partially based on the best character from the Knight's of the Old Republic RPG video games, so the fanservicy character pandering is, for me at least, balanced out.

The plot still really suffers from an utter lack of stakes (we know from watching the movies that none of this book matters) and ultimately from a lack of information (it claims to bridge the gap between episodes 6 and 7, but actually stops before Luke tries to teach new Jedi, before the Knights of Ren, before the formation of the First Order, so there's still a very large gap).

 

So, yeah. Bad. But I read it anyway.

 

I've also continued to read further volumes of Paper Girls, and it continues to be AMAZING. Dump Star Wars; read Paper Girls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Look, I LIKE Han Solo. I just think we got all the Han story we needed in the classic three movies. I enjoy that his legend is larger than he is, and I am quite content to leave it as a legend. There are other people in Star Wars, but every time a story wants a smuggler, a spy, a heartthrob or a rough-and-tumble diplomat, Star Wars authors just drop Han in, because why not?

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