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  1. Aconite
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    Aconite Senior Member

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    Recommend me some escapist fiction, please!

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Aconite, Jul 22, 2010.

    I just got my new library card at the city to which I moved, but I don't want to do anything too scholarly with it. Recommend me something which a library might have that fits my definition of fun (and not my definition of anti-fun.) Thanks!

    Fun: Early 20th century swashbucklers (d'Orczy, Sabatini), mid-century thrillers (William Goldman, Ira Levin), certain scifi/fantasy (Lieber, Vance, Bester, LeGuin, Mieville when not writing in sheer purple, Scott Lynch, Tim Powers), mysteries with a sense of fun (Carl Hiaasen), mindscrew books that owe a debt to Joyce (Italo Calvino, Flann O'Brien, Vonnegut)

    Anti-fun: Most romance novels, most 'beach reading' (Pat Conroy, Ya-Ya Sisterhood), scifi/fantasy that takes itself way too seriously and comes in fifty volumes (Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan), scifi/fantasy that is really not scifi/fantasy as far as I can tell (most kick-butt girl urban fantasy a la Anita Blake and Sookie Stackhouse), very serious mysteries that air commercials on true-crime channels (Patterson, Ellroy), jerky authors or bad writing or both (Ayn Rand, Christopher Paolini)

    I will be at the library for another hour-ish. I am getting a book of knitted jacket patterns, but that makes for none too exciting reading. Thanks, denizens of the internet. ;)

    Addendum: I considered Steven Brust and Glen Cook when writing this, too, but have not read them. Would I like either or both?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Steven Brust is great. If you like the swashbuckling sorts, pick up THE PHOENIX GUARDS.

    I like Cook a lot (Black Company series). I find that people either love it or hate it. If you love it, you'll likely also like Steven Erikson (Gardens of the Moon).
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Highly recommend Gervase Phinn if he has managed to travel the Atlantic, he is a School Inspector in Yorkshire and his books are just hysterically funny.

    Terry Practchett I enjoy, my favourite is Wyrd Sisters.

    Cadfael by Ellis Peters (medieval detective monk)

    Agatha Christie - if you can get her science fiction its fantastic

    CS Lewis - Great Divorce/Mars Trilogy/Dark Tower

    Anne McCaffrey - Pern

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    Brothers Bishop Bart Yates (gay literature its very fast paced)
    Resurrectionist James Bradley
    Cloud Atlas David Mitchell
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    oh and how could I forget:

    David Gemmell. Rigante books. Excellent!
     
  5. Aconite
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    Aconite Senior Member

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    I wound up going for Brust, but they didn't have The Phoenix Guards in, so I picked up Taltos (the first three books) -- we'll see how it is. I'll try Cook next, and Erikson and Gemmell too if it all works out.

    I've read Cadfael novels, Christie, Lewis, too, and liked all three. Anne McCaffrey does nothing for me, alas. Terry Pratchett is not dark enough a sense of humor for my taste, although I appreciate his writing reasonably well. Some of your other recommendations I haven't heard of, Elgaisma, so I'll give them a look-see too.

    Thanks to both of you!
     
  6. Eric Aiello
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    Eric Aiello Member

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    Hey! Have you ever read Neil Gaiman's American Gods? Little late now, I see, but it's a darker novel than Pratchett's work and it has some rather funny parts in it!
     
  7. Aconite
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    Aconite Senior Member

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    No no, more recommendations are welcomed. I know Gaiman, but haven't read American Gods--only Neverwhere and a collection of short stories by him, the name of which escapes me. I like him but, when I read him about a decade ago, hung around the scifi/fantasy geek crowd who wouldn't shut up about him, so kind of was annoyed by the hype. Maybe now that he's a bit more of an elder statesman, it'll be more palatable from a PR angle. :)
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Those are good Brust books, Aconite. Phoenix Guards and some of the others are set in the same world, but hundreds of years before Taltos. The cool thing about Phoenix Guards is that it is written in a sort of homage to the swashbuckling adventures of Alexandre Dumas, so that's what brought it to mind.
     

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