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Postby SlappyMcGee » 2009.03.03 (06:31)

What are you reading/ What have you just finished reading?

I just finished Neil Gaiman's American Gods, which was pretty awesome. It got a bit slow and confusing somewhere around the middle, but cam back to stride at the end.

No-spoiler preview:

Shadow is a criminal recently released from prison early after hearing about his wife's death. On his way back home, he encounters a conman named Mr. Wednesday. After some new shit comes to light, he decides to tour across America with Wednesday, who claims to be the American incarnation of Odin. What follows is some sort of mixture of Americana and religion. It's very, very recommended from Slappy for a modern book.

To get the ball rolling, I'd also like to hear people's thoughts on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson (Rest in Peace!) and on Fyodor Dostoevsky. (Also dead.)

Next read for me is Farenheit 451, which I've not read despite owning it.

oh, and because people like scores, I'd rate AG a 4.5/5.
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Postby capt_weasle » 2009.03.03 (06:48)

William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury.

Just re-skimmed through Crime & Punishment, which I think is a great read. Also you should all check out Frankenstein, it's amazing.
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Postby LittleViking » 2009.03.03 (07:10)

Starting the third Hitchhiker's Guide book in about five minutes. The first two were easy reads; very fast-going for anyone who hasn't read them yet. I'd recommend them of course.

Also reading a few textbooks and technical books if anyone wants to hear about those.
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Postby SlappyMcGee » 2009.03.03 (07:41)

LittleViking wrote:Starting the third Hitchhiker's Guide book in about five minutes. The first two were easy reads; very fast-going for anyone who hasn't read them yet. I'd recommend them of course.

Also reading a few textbooks and technical books if anyone wants to hear about those.



If you haven't previously read the series, LV, prepare for mondo disappointment. The third is pretty good, the fourth is all right, and the fifth is as unbearable as Attack of the Clones.
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Postby Amadeus » 2009.03.03 (07:44)

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand 5/5
-very nice satire of society
-how we judge art on we think how others feel not how we feel
-how we think things are profound because we can't understand them

Also read Atlas Shrugged by Rand, great read though I preferred the former. 4/5

Call of the Wild
was pretty good too, by Jack London 4/5
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Postby SlappyMcGee » 2009.03.03 (09:17)

ganteka wrote:
Also read Atlas Shrugged by Rand, great read though I preferred the former. 4/5



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Postby Condog » 2009.03.03 (09:46)

SlappyMcGee wrote:
LittleViking wrote:Starting the third Hitchhiker's Guide book in about five minutes. The first two were easy reads; very fast-going for anyone who hasn't read them yet. I'd recommend them of course.

Also reading a few textbooks and technical books if anyone wants to hear about those.



If you haven't previously read the series, LV, prepare for mondo disappointment. The third is pretty good, the fourth is all right, and the fifth is as unbearable as Attack of the Clones.

Agreed. Although granted, all of the books have their moments. You should still read it anyway. :D
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Postby wolfgang » 2009.03.03 (10:38)

SlappyMcGee wrote:What are you reading/ What have you just finished reading?

I just finished Neil Gaiman's American Gods, which was pretty awesome. It got a bit slow and confusing somewhere around the middle, but cam back to stride at the end.

No-spoiler preview:

Shadow is a criminal recently released from prison early after hearing about his wife's death. On his way back home, he encounters a conman named Mr. Wednesday. After some new shit comes to light, he decides to tour across America with Wednesday, who claims to be the American incarnation of Odin. What follows is some sort of mixture of Americana and religion. It's very, very recommended from Slappy for a modern book.

To get the ball rolling, I'd also like to hear people's thoughts on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson (Rest in Peace!) and on Fyodor Dostoevsky. (Also dead.)

Next read for me is Farenheit 451, which I've not read despite owning it.

oh, and because people like scores, I'd rate AG a 4.5/5.



American Gods is a great novel, his usual charming prose and a great concept. As you said, it is a little light on a good plot throughout the mid section, but I didn't mind, his time spent in the town really hones in on the heart of the novel. It's my favourite from Gaiman, though I haven't read everything he has to offer.
If you haven't already you should get Anansi Boys, which is more of a spin off than a sequal, but still good. Much more light hearted than American Gods.

I'm not a huge fan of Farenheit 451, the concept is cool - but the execution isn't there. The characterisation is flat, and the society he created was too exaggerated in its vacuity. I think it would have worked better as a short story, where the ideas could support themselves on their own.


Is anyone here a fan of Michael Chabon? I really enjoyed The Yiddish Policeman's Union and The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay.

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Postby a happy song » 2009.03.03 (10:55)

SlappyMcGee wrote:What are you reading/ What have you just finished reading?

I just finished Neil Gaiman's American Gods, which was pretty awesome. It got a bit slow and confusing somewhere around the middle, but cam back to stride at the end.

Oh man, I'm about twenty pages from the end. Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite writers. Definitely recommended. If you haven't yet, try 'smoke And Mirrors', probably my favourite collection of short stories this side of 'The Elephant vanishes'.

Also recently finished 'Do Androids Dream of electric Sheep', and I've no idea why I took so long to get around to it. It's a fantastic story, and one that touches on lots of (now familiar, maybe even clichéd in the sci-fi setting) issues - what does it mean to be alive, what is a soul, do androids dream of ele... ok, you get the idea. 'Blade Runner' is good, but the book is something else. As with most Philip K Dick novels, the translation always seems too aggressive/macho. Highly recommended.

I've also got 'The Man in the High Castle', but I'm having trouble getting into it. I'll keep at it.

I've my eye on 'Anansi Boys' next, but I think it's good to break up stints with specific authors. I've a couple of books lined up I've been meaning to read for a while, including: The Waves - Woolf, The Rebel - Camus, The Great Gatsby - Fitzgerald. So many books, too many computer games/girls/parties/shows... ugh ;_;
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Postby Pheidippides » 2009.03.03 (13:55)

I just finished 1984, by George Orwell. I loved it and hated it, which I think is the point. I'd recommend it.
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Postby a happy song » 2009.03.03 (14:00)

Pheidippides wrote:I just finished 1984, by George Orwell. I loved it and hated it, which I think is the point. I'd recommend it.


Pretty much anything by Orwell is worth a recommendation. Especially Keep the Aspidistra Flying and Animal Farm. 1984 too, obviously.
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Postby Tanner » 2009.03.03 (14:36)

I've been reading The Illuminatus! Trilogy which is life changing, you know, if you're into the kind of thing. If you've never read Robert Anton Wilson's stream of consciousness, you're missing out on account he's totally brilliant and Robert Shea is hilariously funny.

Robert Anton Wilson wrote:The Constitution admittedly has a few defects and blemishes, but it still seems a hell of a lot better than the system we have now.

I'm also reading L'Incal which is the french equivalent to The Watchmen. I couldn't find it in the original French, unfortunately, but the artwork is still undeniably French in the way that only people who grew up having to watch French cartoons on TV because the English station only showed news and Family Matters can appreciate. I've been reading them in the order of the story, not the publishing dates, so I have yet to peruse the Moebius artwork. Still, I anticipate much. Oh, and if you're like myself and read a fair amount of comics on the computer, I strongly recommend that you install CDisplay. It displays sequel images (basically does what a PDF does for an eBook).

Two books that have caught my eye recently are Giraffes? Giraffes! and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. PP&Z is a rewrite of the now public domain work of the same name which I think is a terrific idea. Giraffes? Giraffes! is a book filled with ludicrous misinformation and outright lies about giraffes. I want to give it to my young cousin so that she'll never visit the zoo, ever, again.
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Postby Studebacher Hoch » 2009.03.03 (14:58)

Reading now...

Spook Country by William Gibson. The first post-post-911 book. About half way through it; the first seventy-or-so pages are a drag but it gets pretty good towards the middle.

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. I'm two hundred pages in and still have no idea what the hell is going on, but I'm still reading it so it must be good... right?

Macroscope by Piers Anthnony. Not the sort of thing I'd usually read, but a friend sent it to me in the mail so I figure why not. Honestly, it's pretty bad so far but hey, it might pick up.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunyer S. Thompson. So far it's enjoyable as hell.

rennaT wrote:I've been reading The Illuminatus! Trilogy which is life changing, you know, if you're into the kind of thing. If you've never read Robert Anton Wilson's stream of consciousness, you're missing out on account he's totally brilliant and Robert Shea is hilariously funny.


Weirdly, the only thing I've read from Robert Anton Wilson is his serious contribution to critical thought philsophy.

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Postby SlappyMcGee » 2009.03.03 (17:29)

wolfgang wrote:
SlappyMcGee wrote:What are you reading/ What have you just finished reading?

I just finished Neil Gaiman's American Gods, which was pretty awesome. It got a bit slow and confusing somewhere around the middle, but cam back to stride at the end.

No-spoiler preview:

Shadow is a criminal recently released from prison early after hearing about his wife's death. On his way back home, he encounters a conman named Mr. Wednesday. After some new shit comes to light, he decides to tour across America with Wednesday, who claims to be the American incarnation of Odin. What follows is some sort of mixture of Americana and religion. It's very, very recommended from Slappy for a modern book.

To get the ball rolling, I'd also like to hear people's thoughts on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson (Rest in Peace!) and on Fyodor Dostoevsky. (Also dead.)

Next read for me is Farenheit 451, which I've not read despite owning it.

oh, and because people like scores, I'd rate AG a 4.5/5.



American Gods is a great novel, his usual charming prose and a great concept. As you said, it is a little light on a good plot throughout the mid section, but I didn't mind, his time spent in the town really hones in on the heart of the novel. It's my favourite from Gaiman, though I haven't read everything he has to offer.
If you haven't already you should get Anansi Boys, which is more of a spin off than a sequal, but still good. Much more light hearted than American Gods.

I'm not a huge fan of Farenheit 451, the concept is cool - but the execution isn't there. The characterisation is flat, and the society he created was too exaggerated in its vacuity. I think it would have worked better as a short story, where the ideas could support themselves on their own.


Is anyone here a fan of Michael Chabon? I really enjoyed The Yiddish Policeman's Union and The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay.


Very excited about the Coen adaptation for Yiddish Policeman's Union. I won't read it until the film, cause I like going into those things fresh. (and how hard was it to not read No Country after The Road being so good.)

I'm about halfway done Farenheit 451, since I've had lots of time to read at the hospitals. It's much shorter than I expected, but that's coming off the tail-end of a book cycle that included American Gods and Gravity's Rainbow, which was dense as an Alaskan night is long.

Although I'll reserve judgement for the end, I like the plot quite a bit, or at least the concept of it. The execution is what gets me. I find myself often lost in the difference between metaphor and reality, like, one moment he's describing how society moves quickly like a train, and then I realize he was actually on the train. Maybe it's just me. And yeah, the characters are flimsy.

As far as Phillip K. Dick goes, 'Android' is my favorite of the stuff he's written. I haven't read 'Castle', mainly because I've never seen a physical copy, but I've always heard good things from fanboys.

What's the nicest/most prized book you own? I think the nicest book I own by sheer value is my copy of Dante's Inferno. All of it, completely illustrated in a giant hardcover tome, and I bought it new at Barnes and Noble in Vermont for 12$. This was a year ago, but if you can find it and it's a bit more pricey, it's definitely worth it. The illustrations are to die for. (Pun intended, yuk yuk!)

And because graphic novels are all the rage these days, I recommend reading Watchmen before the movie comes out. Alan Moore is a genius. It's fucking dense, though, so beware, and it also helps to understand the comic book genre a little bit. Anyways, me and Stude^ have our ticket for the Montreal premiere in IMAX. Very ace.
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Postby PALEMOON » 2009.03.03 (17:35)

i'm getting my fix of cheesy warhammer 40k fluff with some Dan Abnett ( Ravenor, Ravenor Returned, Ravenor Rogue )

totally ridiculous and awesome. i love it.

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Postby  yahoozy » 2009.03.04 (03:00)

ganteka wrote:Also read Atlas Shrugged by Rand, great read though I preferred the former. 4/5


You execrable seige of idiocy and pestilence! Don't you dare bad-mouth one of the most philosophically dense and prodigious novels of American literature in the past century like that /ever/ again.

I'm "reading" House of Leaves right now, then I'm going on to Underworld by Don DeLillo.

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Postby wolfgang » 2009.03.04 (03:32)

SlappyMcGee wrote:
Very excited about the Coen adaptation for Yiddish Policeman's Union. I won't read it until the film, cause I like going into those things fresh. (and how hard was it to not read No Country after The Road being so good.)

I'm about halfway done Farenheit 451, since I've had lots of time to read at the hospitals. It's much shorter than I expected, but that's coming off the tail-end of a book cycle that included American Gods and Gravity's Rainbow, which was dense as an Alaskan night is long.

Although I'll reserve judgement for the end, I like the plot quite a bit, or at least the concept of it. The execution is what gets me. I find myself often lost in the difference between metaphor and reality, like, one moment he's describing how society moves quickly like a train, and then I realize he was actually on the train. Maybe it's just me. And yeah, the characters are flimsy.

As far as Phillip K. Dick goes, 'Android' is my favorite of the stuff he's written. I haven't read 'Castle', mainly because I've never seen a physical copy, but I've always heard good things from fanboys.

What's the nicest/most prized book you own? I think the nicest book I own by sheer value is my copy of Dante's Inferno. All of it, completely illustrated in a giant hardcover tome, and I bought it new at Barnes and Noble in Vermont for 12$. This was a year ago, but if you can find it and it's a bit more pricey, it's definitely worth it. The illustrations are to die for. (Pun intended, yuk yuk!)

And because graphic novels are all the rage these days, I recommend reading Watchmen before the movie comes out. Alan Moore is a genius. It's fucking dense, though, so beware, and it also helps to understand the comic book genre a little bit. Anyways, me and Stude^ have our ticket for the Montreal premiere in IMAX. Very ace.



I had no idea the Coens were doing a film version, damn is that exciting. I haven't read No Country, but the film was great. I can see Yiddish translating very well, hopefully they play up the noir aspect.

The Road was brilliant, but exhaustingly bleak. The blunt repetition and futility of the journey was heartbreaking, as was the dialogue. The prose is so precise and bare.

The nicest book I own is probably a huge hard cover version of 'Haroun and the Sea of Stories' by Salman Rushdie, with brilliant illustrations by Paul Birkbeck. I've also got a nice copy of The Brothers Karamazov, which I haven't worked up the courage to read yet.

I am planning to read Watchmen, there are actually quite a lot of graphic novels that I'm interested in once I get a bit more money. Including the Sandman series by Gaiman.
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Postby a happy song » 2009.03.04 (03:45)

Yahoozy wrote:
You execrable seige of idiocy and pestilence! Don't you dare bad-mouth one of the most philosophically dense and prodigious novels of American literature in the past century like that /ever/ again.


Even though this book has ruined a few of my favourite people (turning them into heroic self-obsessing ambition factories), I'm still willing to acknowledge it as a great.

A great big pile of....

No, really, it's good: it inspired Bioshock.
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Postby SlappyMcGee » 2009.03.04 (04:39)

Maybe this is just me; I read the first issue of Sandman and found myself too bored to go on. The art style is old and standardized, and the story, while it did leave open the possibility of what I assume most people are talking about when they refer to the series, I didn't find myself compelled to keep reading. That said, I might have been in a cock mood, because I had just finished reading the second collection of Buffy Season Eight, and the story upset me a bit.

Let me give a GIANT shout-out to Warren Ellis' graphic novel Transmetropolitan. You'll recognize him as the guy from tanner's signature, I'll recognize him as Spider Jerusalem, renegade Gonzo Journalist, searching the slums for a hint of truth, a pinch of justice, and a salt shaker full of drugs, it makes for an excellent read, and is one of the longer graphic novels available.
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Postby a happy song » 2009.03.04 (04:49)

SlappyMcGee wrote:Maybe this is just me; I read the first issue of Sandman and found myself too bored to go on. The art style is old and standardized, and the story, while it did leave open the possibility of what I assume most people are talking about when they refer to the series, I didn't find myself compelled to keep reading. That said, I might have been in a cock mood, because I had just finished reading the second collection of Buffy Season Eight, and the story upset me a bit.

Let me give a GIANT shout-out to Warren Ellis' graphic novel Transmetropolitan. You'll recognize him as the guy from tanner's signature, I'll recognize him as Spider Jerusalem, renegade Gonzo Journalist, searching the slums for a hint of truth, a pinch of justice, and a salt shaker full of drugs, it makes for an excellent read, and is one of the longer graphic novels available.


See, I flip that for the two books you mention. Sandman got me from the first couple of pages, Transmetropolitan left me feeling a little detached. I was reading it in a library, and possibly skimming a little (if I can't relax properly I can't get comfy enough to be absorbed), I should probably give it more time as I've mostly heard good things.

You should definitely give the Sandman series another go if you get the chance, I found the art a little uncomfortable at first but the writing is as good as Gaiman gets (especially as the series progresses) and soon takes focus.

On another note, anyone read any Love & Rockets?
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Postby T3chno » 2009.03.04 (05:00)

Duuude, Fahreinheit 451 is like, the best book we had to read in school. Loved it. In fact, every book we read in 7th grade was great (The Giver was another).
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Postby Studebacher Hoch » 2009.03.04 (05:26)

Does Y: The Last Man count as a graphic novel? Well, I'm counting it as one; read it. It's awesome, at least from my experience. Granted, that's only the first volume, but still. The charcters are fun, the style is cool, dialogue is witty, and it's a fresh take on the whole end-of-the-world holocaust scenario. I liked it a lot. Plus, Ampersand is the coolest name for a prosimian ever. Also, one of the characters looks like that black chick with, like, short dreadlocks or whatever... you know, the one from RENT. You guys know what I'm talking about.

Oh, and also, Doktor Sleepless. Having never read Transmetropolitan (A certain someone never gets around to lending it to me.), it's my dystopian cyberpunk graphic novel of choice. It's cool, but more importantly, it's confusing as balls and soaked in just enough Neal Stephenson to keep me interested.

Techno wrote:Duuude, Fahreinheit 451 is like, the best book we had to read in school. Loved it. In fact, every book we read in 7th grade was great (The Giver was another).


In 9th grade, I was treated to the film version of Fahreinheit 451, and instead read The Chrysalids, thus exposing me to one of the worst novels ever written and one of the worst films ever made. Ah, my school days...

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Postby SlappyMcGee » 2009.03.04 (05:44)

Oh, completely forgot to mention: Favorite book ever? Of Mice and Men for me.
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Postby Pheidippides » 2009.03.04 (05:57)

Favorite book? Off the top of my head, it's a toss-up between A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess, and Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. I may think of others later, but these two stand out for me.
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Postby Lenny » 2009.03.04 (08:46)

LittleViking wrote:Starting the third Hitchhiker's Guide book in about five minutes. The first two were easy reads; very fast-going for anyone who hasn't read them yet. I'd recommend them of course.

Also reading a few textbooks and technical books if anyone wants to hear about those.

I never got through the fifth of those properly. I'd keep forgetting what was happening, then go back and look, and then lose my mental place again.

I just finished the first book of "The Serpent Bride", which was really good.
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<&Yanni> I've had an ambient song like this playing for a couple hours,
<&Yanni> Oh no wait that is MY AIR CONDITIONER

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<@Animator> :::: Techno was killed by a better music genre.
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<SouthyMcGee> Music is auditory art. What art is a different argument.
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<&sforzando> Alright, no 247MHz for you.

Previous Custom Member Titles: Cross-Country Sticker King 2k10, Doing Out the Girls, Outdoing the Girls, Lenny Laser-Tits, King Sanchez De La Cruz Magnifico IV: Return of Lenny Laser-Tits (current).


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