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Critics are like eunuchs in a harem. They're there every night, they see it done every night, they see how it should be done every night, but they can't do it themselves.


---- Theater critic, Gyles Brandreth






I say again, read what you like, don't base it on whether someone says it is good or bad.

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I say again, read what you like, don't base it on whether someone says it is good or bad.

Then why even participate in this thread? Didja see the subject?


I say again: life is too short and money too limited to pick books (or movies or wines or records) by trial-and-error.


(And the best critics *can* do what they criticize; the concept that critics can't is both a fallacy and disingenuous.)

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Didja see the subject?

Yes. I recommend people read what they want.


I offered recommendations based upon books I found enjoyable. Nowhere did I call an author or series a "hack" or unenjoyable.


As far as it being a fallacy to say that critics cannot be writers, you are correct to an extent. E. A. Poe is one of many who began as a critic and is now considered to be a great writer. As for being disingenuous, I was not... as there is ample evidence (actual and anecdotal) to support that many critics are frustrated novelists, etc.


Be that as it may... to get back on topic...


I, once again, recommend that if you read a book and like it... continue buying more of the same. :D

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Opinions are like monkeys, they're hairy, they hang around in trees and they like bananas... err... ok, opinions are not like monkeys I guess...  I like monkeys though...


And the critics opinions and the masses enjoyment of things also frequently have nothing in common either.


Critics are generally people who have had many years of study, either formal or informal of a particular medium of art.  They have cultivated a deeper understanding of both the technical and artistic aspects of that medium and can analyze the creator's thought processes and emotional expressions.


The masses, however, lacking that education often go on to thoroughly enjoy complete rubbish.


The monkeys, having a higher understanding of artistic endeavor than humans could ever hope to, pick fleas off of each other and fling poo.


I like monkeys though...

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Hee hee hee!


"I like monkeys..."




To keep this even remotely on topic, I think an awful lot of critics should be kicked fairly hard.  On the other hand, that's my opinion of a lot of people anyway, mostly those who disagree with me.


Hmm.  Yeah.  Books.  Glen Cook is also good.

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Yes indeed, to return to the topic. †Books I'd recommend.


Many people who are a part of the RPG and fantasy miniature hobby have read J. R. R. Tolkien. †The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings have been with me since grade school. †I have read them over and over. †I have not tried any of the other tales, books and stories since I read the Simarillion. †That was a tough one.


Anyhow, I take for granted the wonder in Tolkien's vision and am amazed at some of the reactions that I have heard from people I know who are reading it for the first time. †When the movie came out there was a marketing blitz. †My brother in law decided to try out this Tolkien stuff because he liked the movie. †He marvelled at the descriptions and he is becoming quite the fanatic. †He had dismissed the fantasy genere for years. †I had tried to interest him but...


Perhaps there is someone else who needs to read those books. †They are at the top of my recommended reading list.

† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † :;):

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I want to recommend a non-fiction work. Norman Cohn's "The Pursuit of the Millenium".

  It is a highly documented, and fascinating history of religious anarchy in medieval Europe. Many concepts and prejudices held today grew out of this movement. Some of the stories of false messiahs could make excellent templates for a gaming session or two ???

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A non fiction that I enjoyed, but definitely not light reading, was FORBIDDEN KNOWLEDGE by Roger Shattuck. †I'd recommend it to thinking adults. †


And then in fiction there is†THE FENCING MASTER by Arturo Perez-Reverte. †A wonderful historical novel. †These were my summer vacation books and I enjoyed them both.

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Okay, absolutely REQUIRED READING for anyone on this list is


"Bimbos of the Death Sun"


I don't remember the author. Seek it out. Consume it.


Then, do one of two things:


1) laugh uproariously


2) Stare in painful shock at your deepest, truest self flayed and laid bare for all to gawk at in unsympathetic ridicule...


harsh, yes, but all too true. I said it before: Find it! Read it!


As for other books, i like tom clancy's novels for their immersive-entertainment value. Terry Brooks should be strung up by the thumbs for several thousand years. Jessica Amanda Salmonson wrote some really fantastic fiction...and some really really bad fiction. Stay away from "swordswoman". Read the ENTIRE "Tomoe Gozen" trilogy. Tomoe Gozen is amazingly fabulous... the tale of a woman samurai (yes, there were many, just not a lot percentage wise) who falls from grace through her own actions and the fault of others, and, it seems, the whims of the gods. All of which she must overcome to bring peace and safety to herself and those she loves... an amazing book with one of the most painfully beautiful almost-sex scenes in a fantasy novel


Red Branch is incredibly terrific. Can't remember the author right now, but that's the exact title, so you should be able to find it... it's the celtic tale of Cuchullain (or some variant spelling thereof).


I found David eddings trite & tiresome... lots of feist was great, despite how much it was an obvious write up of his gaming group's campaign... Ivanhoe is a fabulous book (and, incidently, the first modern western novel)


You could always try the complete works of shakespeare. If you have an acting background & know how to read a script and envision the rest of the story, the plays really are a great read. If you haven't read many bare scripts before, it's too hard to get the knack quickly enough for it to be entertaining, tho' i suppose it would still be educational... the poetry is fun in any event. He was such a lecher & fan of violence & gore. "Titus Andronicus" was the first slasher movie - total sex & violence - long before moving pictures even existed...


there are lots of surveys of various cultures' mythologies which are cool... too many to name them all here.


guess i'm done going off now




i'll go away & let y'all get started on "bimbos of the death sun"

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