What Are You Reading Now.

Discussion in 'Discussion of Published Works' started by Writing Forums Staff, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Night Herald

    Night Herald Malfunctioning clockwork person Supporter Contributor

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    Currently Reading::
    "The Trouble With Peace" by Joe Abercrombie (reread)
    Maybe you're already aware, but this is a sequel trilogy to First Law, set in the same world some... I want to say 15 years later, that is to say 15 years after Red Country. I think.

    Not to give too much away, but the Union is undergoing a bit of an industrial revolution, which does absolute wonders for keeping things fresh. A lot of the characters whose point of view we follow are the actual children of the First Law protagonists and sundry other characters, many of whom make appearances. In my opinion, these books are at least as good as the original trilogy and the three standalone volumes. I do have a soft spot for the Old Guard, but this new generation of characters is fantastic. Joe's writing is sharper than ever, and the plot is just... wow. I can't wait to see how this concludes.

    In short, it's everything you could hope for in a First Law series and then some. Well, there is one single thing missing, but I've got my fingers crossed for this next instalment.
     
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  2. Krispee

    Krispee Contributor Contributor

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    That does sound intriguing, I'll keep my eye out for that then, maybe when I've cleared a few things. I did enjoy the First Law.
     
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  3. Night Herald

    Night Herald Malfunctioning clockwork person Supporter Contributor

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    Currently Reading::
    "The Trouble With Peace" by Joe Abercrombie (reread)
    I strongly suggest you read the standalones (Best Served Cold, The Heroes, Red Country) first, if you haven't. They're brilliant, and contain quite a few events that tie directly into Age of Madness.
     
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  4. Krispee

    Krispee Contributor Contributor

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    Alright, I'll do that, thanks for your thoughts.
     
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  5. Midlife Maniac

    Midlife Maniac Member

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    Kicking the habit is quite hard! When I first left for Asia, I tried to store my collection at a friend’s house. Eventually I ended up donating everything, almost 700 volumes. There are still days when I recall having a particular book that seems irreplaceable.

    The first few years here were very difficult for finding anything in English, and constantly moving apartments kept my collection small. The last few years have been more stable, and I just built my third bookcase hahaha!
     
  6. AntPoems

    AntPoems Active Member

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    My short fiction class starts tomorrow, so I'm doing homework—reading James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" and Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find." Looking forward to discussing them with the group.
     
  7. Midlife Maniac

    Midlife Maniac Member

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    I really enjoyed my time with Flannery O’Conner. I think we focused on “Everything that Rises Must Converge.” Jesus Son was also a good collection I had in the same class.
     
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  8. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Contributor Contributor

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    O'Connor is one short story author I have never read. I really need to rectify that.
     
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  9. AntPoems

    AntPoems Active Member

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    I've read this one (and maybe two others) before, though it was long ago, so I definitely need to refresh my memory before class. All I remember that it was well-written, but very bleak. She was a severe sort of person, to say the least.
     
  10. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

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    I can't give a legitimate review yet, because I'm only a third of the way into Dalto Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun, but there are already several passages and images I will never get out of my head as long as I live. Good God, this book is sick and brilliant and ugly and important. I will no doubt have nightmares tonight, if I even get to sleep, but this book is worth it.

    I knew what it was about going in, and I'm pretty sure I know how it will end, but I can't stop. I've never seen either of the movies based on the book, but The Metallica "One" video laid out the story pretty clearly with clips from the films. Still, I've wanted to read it for years, and it's so frighteningly told, that I highly suggest picking up a copy. If I'm wrong, and it has a bum ending or something else terribly wrong with it, I'll post again and retract, but so far, it's the most disturbing and engrossing thing I've read in a very long time.
     
  11. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    That's one hell of a book. I read it in high school and re-read it the night before I went to enlist in the Marines. Everything worked out well for me (well, I've got one big toenail that likes to try and ingrow because I dropped a drawer on it while cleaning my barracks room :) ) but I didn't join up overwhelmed with the impressions that "of his honor and his glory, the people would sing."
     
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  12. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Was that from All Quiet on the Western Front? That's what the One song is based on anyway, I barely remember the video. I read that in high school, and yeah, it's pretty horrific stuff. I think it scarred me for life in some ways. After that a friend and I used to draw some pretty messed-up cartoons and come up with little poems and songs and stuff involving mutilation. I think it took us years to process it (and he didn't read the book, I just told him about it). :eek:

    What relation does the Trumbo book bear to it? Is it a reworking of the same material?
     
  13. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    Nope, the One video is from Johnny Got His Gun. All Quiet on the Western Front has the MC taking a shot from a sniper that kills him right before the cease fire. JGHG is the guy who wakes up missing all of his limbs and half his face.

    ETA: All Quiet is the one that has the good pair of boots that guys keep willing to each other. Towards the end the MC realizes he's the last survivor of his initial group when the boots devolve to him. Kacynski (played by Ernest Borgnine in the film) was the unit's "scrounge," the guy who could always rustle up necessary supplies, booze, whatever.
     
  14. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Wow, really? Did I mix them up and misremember it all this time? Geeze I hate when that happens! What war was Johnnie set in?
     
  15. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    Same, WWI. J0hnny was an American who went to Europe, All Quiet had a German MC (hence the "Western" front with France, UK, Americans et al) in WW1. Another one that's WWI is The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham, although only part of the story takes place during the war. That was made into a movie in the 1946 that I didn't much like, and again in 1984 by Bill Murray. Murray was a huge Maugham fan and agreed to do... Ghostbusters only on condition that he also be allowed to make The Razor's Edge.

    I went to see that movie when I was...13 or so? It had Bill Murray in it, it was a war movie, I thought it would be like Stripes.

    Whoops.

    But it's one of those things that changed my life. Larry Darrow (the main character) travels around the world after the war, living in England, Paris, India... I never knew such a thing was possible. I was a kid, and I knew that I wanted some of that when I grew up.

    I'm completely serious.

    Later on I read the book, probably after I got out of the Marines. The book and film have some substantial differences but in my opinion they compliment each other. There are parts of the book that don't work so well, or take place "offstage" that Murray's version puts front and center. There is a moment when Larry attains enlightenment that is absolutely amazing, and it takes place without a single special effect. The movie is hard to find these days, but seems to be available on some of the legit streaming services depending on where you live. It also got me started on Maugham, who doesn't really have any bad books.

     
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  16. Midlife Maniac

    Midlife Maniac Member

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    So much interesting stuff going on here, I don’t know where to start my comment!

    All Quiet on the Western Front may be my all-time favorite war novel, and I don’t say that lightly. My favorite part is early on when they all build their own shitboxes.

    I’m also a big fan of W. Somerset. Of Human Bondage was a real eye-opener for me, as I had recently broken up with a girl who cared very little whether I existed.

    I have not read Johnny Got His Gun, but it reminds me of an old Irish song, Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye. It is also about a guy who get blown to bits during WWI. Strangely enough, it has morphed over time to the nursery rhyme The Ants Go Marching
     
  17. AntPoems

    AntPoems Active Member

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    Ooh, thanks for reminding me of The Razor's Edge. I heard about the movie years ago, during my "flirting with Buddhism" phase, but never got around to tracking it down. The reviews are definitely mixed--I think, like you, most people were expecting another Stripes--but I'm a big fan of serious Bill Murray. Time to finally watch it, methinks.
     
  18. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    Cakes and Ale reminds me a lot of the life of Robert Heinlein though it predates him.
     
  19. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    That must be the one with the lyrics "When Johnny comes marching home again hoorah, hoorah"?
     
  20. Midlife Maniac

    Midlife Maniac Member

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    Dropkick Murphys do a fantastic rendition if you enjoy some punk music.
     
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  21. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    Picked up the books I started a bit ago but then got distracted by writing. About halfway through both of them. The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan, and World War I by SLA Marshall. I read the fiction on my lunch break, and the nonfiction before bed. It's easier to pause the nonfiction for sleep, but not because it's boring. It's actually fairly easy to read.
     
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  22. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    Heard good things about SLA Marshall, but from sources I now consider dubious. Conflicted, let me know how it goes.
     
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  23. Midlife Maniac

    Midlife Maniac Member

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    I’ve had the desire to go through the WoT series one more time before the show starts!
     
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  24. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Contributor Contributor

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    anyone ever read Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Falada? It's on my desk, eyeing me.
     
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  25. Moon

    Moon Contributor Contributor

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    I finished reading The Odyssey after being gifted a hardcover version of it. Great book.

    Next up is,

    [​IMG]
     

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