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Author Topic: Whats everyone reading?  (Read 851394 times)

pictsy

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7035 on: 22 April, 2022, 12:23:10 PM »
Earthsea is certainly something I've been feeling I should read.

IAMTHESYSTEM

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7036 on: 22 April, 2022, 04:12:47 PM »
Moonraker-Ian Fleming. It's the first James Bond I've ever read and has some intriguing post-WW2 tones with German rocket Engineers employed by a British Firm led by Hugo Drax to create an unstoppable Intercontinental Ballistic Missle. Drax was cheating at cards at a London Club, the Bounder, and this unacceptable behaviour propels Bond into Drax's world of then cutting edge manufacturing. Very readable, which surprised me, as I thought Bond books would be a relatively dry affair.   
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Colin YNWA

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7037 on: 24 April, 2022, 07:44:06 AM »
Has it really been 13 years - damn that's depressing!

So finally got around to re-reading Miracleman and in doing so stumbled across the shocking reminder that Marvel first bought the rights to the character 13 years ago in 2009! Jez I said I'd be patient getting around to reading these having not read any of them since very early 2000s, but 13 years waiting for Marvel to sort all the rights to the reprint stuff, then for them to finally churn them out, then to them putting them out at a none ridiculous cost (ended up getting them in a digital sale!) and then waiting for them to get to the top of the read pile and here we finally are.

Now there is a reason for all the background rambling. I'd not rushed into rereading these as I read them way back in the day when in 6th form (or just after?) and they blow my mind. I was astonished, they were even more 'grown-up', didn't need to be embarrassed about reading them in front of girls good, than 'The Original Writers' Captain Britain run. I loved them. Re-read the bits I had left (the complete run was borrowed from a friend) about 10 yeas later in 2000ish and they were good... but ... well not great. So I've been in no real rush to re-read them and possibly shake off that purity from those early memories.

But you need to let go of childish things and so finally re-read them I have and they are really good. I completely get why they shattered an 18 year old noggin. Its all just a bit over-written and overwrought as I suspected. Its been done better since, largely in works influenced by these and other similar works, but still people have taken these comics and refined the great things in them to make them even better, as with all things art.

I understand why those final 6 issues are JUST. SO. WRITTEN. I do. It really adds to the poetic sense of other, a world transcended. Its just a little too much and reads uncomfortably to me now. There are - dare I say it - smarter ways to do this in a visual medium. The art is a problem to. I mean in the main its a great comic to look at and there are some real artistic triumphs in it. Its just so wildly in consistent. Hardly surprising given its protracted and twisted original publishing history. It just means the visuals twist and turn a lot, as does the story, but not always in time. Those last 6 issues do settle that down somewhat and make it work visually more consistently.

So yeah during the 20 years its taken me return to this I've managed my expectations, dialed them down and thrown cold water over my teenage love. And I'm glad I did, both dial down my expectations and re-read them. As its meant this time I've gone in and been pleasently surprised how well these really good comics hold up, but also able to see all the problems in them.

Well, well worth reading if you haven't already. Just not sure how long it will be before I feel compelled to read them again.

Green Lynx

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7038 on: 07 May, 2022, 08:51:35 AM »
I'm reading three books at the moment. They're all classics as I've been on a bit of old literature boom lately.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra - Friedrich Nietzche (Utterly bonkers. Not surprised he finished writing this shortly before going insane)
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift (A lot more fun than I thought it would be)
The Divine Comedy - Dante (Only just started this, but can already tell its gonna be a challenging read)


The Mind of Wolfie Smith

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7039 on: 07 May, 2022, 11:12:43 AM »
envious of anyone reading dante for the first time. its biggest genius (amongst many) is always its commentary on now:

o human race, born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou so fall?

pictsy

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7040 on: 13 May, 2022, 10:32:34 AM »
Last night I finished Lord of the Rings and completed my Tolkien binge.  It was interesting and reading the Silmarillion put some things in a slightly new context.

Overall, my big take away is that Tolkien was an inconsistent writer.  I spent a good portion of the latter part of the read wondering whether he had an editor, because it reads like he needed one.  There are many times where it is really engaging and interesting and I felt very much invested.  Then there are times where it drags with an interminable pace and I was just praying for it to hurry up and finish.  Lord of the Rings isn't as tedious as the Silmarillion, but there are times when it gives that book a run for its money.  This is, I think, the second time I have made it through to the end, but not the second time I have tried to.  I usually give up in the second half of Fellowship.  That part of the book is incredibly boring.

Usually when I finish a book I have a moment of reflection and think about the experience I just had and how it's come to an end.  When I finished this book it was a relief to be done with it.  It was nice to revisit it and get to the end again but it was, nevertheless, a chore.

Next up I'm reading Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett.

Funt Solo

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7041 on: 13 May, 2022, 06:37:14 PM »
Last night I finished Lord of the Rings and completed my Tolkien binge.  It was interesting and reading the Silmarillion put some things in a slightly new context.

Overall, my big take away is that Tolkien was an inconsistent writer.  I spent a good portion of the latter part of the read wondering whether he had an editor, because it reads like he needed one.  There are many times where it is really engaging and interesting and I felt very much invested.  Then there are times where it drags with an interminable pace and I was just praying for it to hurry up and finish.  Lord of the Rings isn't as tedious as the Silmarillion, but there are times when it gives that book a run for its money.  This is, I think, the second time I have made it through to the end, but not the second time I have tried to.  I usually give up in the second half of Fellowship.  That part of the book is incredibly boring.

Usually when I finish a book I have a moment of reflection and think about the experience I just had and how it's come to an end.  When I finished this book it was a relief to be done with it.  It was nice to revisit it and get to the end again but it was, nevertheless, a chore.

Next up I'm reading Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett.

Triggering my pet theory on the meta-genius of LOTR. The way the reader feels at the end is how the characters feel. Would Frodo like to go through all of that again? Was the road indeed a long one? There is a huge question of whether or not it's authorial intent, but I have often wondered about it - the idea that if you strip away the arduous parts (whether that's rabbit stew, Bombadil or crawling through the land of shadow) you simply can't relate to the tragedy of the characters' suffering in the same way.
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pictsy

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7042 on: 13 May, 2022, 08:11:36 PM »
Hehe.  Well, I actually enjoyed the rabbit stew and Bombadil parts.  Now those sodding poems on the other hand...

Tjm86

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7043 on: 13 May, 2022, 08:37:49 PM »
Next up I'm reading Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett.

Hmmm.  Methinks now would be an opportunity for a re-read and comparison.  Having read it numerous times but finding it less memorable than some of Sir TP's work (not often I'd go with the honorific but in this case it is entirely justified to my thinking ...) it will be interesting to see how our views compare.

"... but room good Fairy!  Here comes my master!"

pictsy

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7044 on: 13 May, 2022, 09:14:21 PM »
Hmmm.  Methinks now would be an opportunity for a re-read and comparison.  Having read it numerous times but finding it less memorable than some of Sir TP's work (not often I'd go with the honorific but in this case it is entirely justified to my thinking ...) it will be interesting to see how our views compare.

"... but room good Fairy!  Here comes my master!"

That certainly could be interesting.  I have only read the book once before and all I really remember of it is that I really liked Pratchett's take on Elves.

I do have a reason for picking Lords and Ladies out specifically.  Some time ago I was working through the books I have in chronological order (sans Moving Pictures - I struggle with that book) and I needed a change after Small Gods (one of my favourites).  I'm probably going to carry on up until Soul Music at least, as that was the first Discworld novel I ever read.

It may take some time for before I'm able to give my thoughts on Lords and Ladies.  I'm not a fast reader.

Oh, I also started reading the manga Berserk because I've recently watched two YouTube videos praising it to the high heavens.  Got through the first two volumes, but I don't have much to say about it.  Apparently the first arc is less significant until you read later arcs.

PsychoGoatee

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7045 on: 14 May, 2022, 02:35:27 AM »
You might enjoy the 90s anime series as well! But for sure, the Golden Age / Band of the Hawk arc that starts in vol 3 is the heart and soul of Berserk.

Cool to see Terry Pratchett fans here too. I'm on Guards! Guards! at the moment.

For comics, I always love Savage Dragon.

Funt Solo

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7046 on: 14 May, 2022, 04:51:38 AM »
Just bought a new copy of Equal Rites (which I haven't read since it was first published) - going to try it as a read-aloud with Mini-Solo, and see if it's a hit.
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sintec

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7047 on: 14 May, 2022, 05:40:30 PM »
Oh, I also started reading the manga Berserk because I've recently watched two YouTube videos praising it to the high heavens.  Got through the first two volumes, but I don't have much to say about it.  Apparently the first arc is less significant until you read later arcs.

Yeah as PsychoGoagee said the Golden Age arc is where the story really gets going. Have just been clearing boxes of books out the way so I can redocrate. Found a box of the Berserk paperbacks which have been superceded by the Deluxe HCs. Drop me a PM if you'd be interested in taking any of them off my hands.

sintec

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7048 on: 15 May, 2022, 09:09:49 AM »
I've been reading the first vol of Humanoids new Jodorowsky Library. These are a set of matching HCs collecting 2-3 stores from Jodorowsky in each book. It looks like these are replicating the Jodorowsky 90 Ans set that was published in French to celebrate the authors 90th birthday (although in a different order for some reason). Book 1 collects Anibal 5 and Megalex along with a 3 shorts from the Screaming Planet collection.

Anibal 5 is a really odd choice to open the series with. It's a comedy about a sex obsessed cyborg super-spy (kinda a sci-fi Austin Powers) the problem is a lot of the jokes just aren't that funny, the characters are 2 dimensional and the plot is mostly non-sensical. The most interesting thing is the (untranslated) scans of the 1966 version of this strip which constitutes Jodorowsky's first comics work.

The second story, Megalex, is a more standard sci-fi action adventure featuring an uprising against a corrupt technocracy. Story wise it's a fast paced romp with plenty of Jodorowsky's crazy inventiveness to spice up the relatively predictable plot. The first 2 chapters use computer generated art which works well with the settings futurist tyranny. I think I prefer Beltran's hand drawn final chapter though as his line work brings the characters more to life. It's enjoyable but it's far from Jodorowsky's best.

The 3 shorts are fine but nothing spectacular. Overall it's a bit of a weak start to the series. Hope it doesn't put too many off getting the later books. Got book 2 sat in the to-read pile so will get to that soon.

pictsy

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7049 on: 21 May, 2022, 11:38:20 AM »
I finished Lords and Ladies and I'm currently on Volume 17 of Berserk, so nearly half way through.

To begin with I want to deal with one thing to do with Berserk.  I knew going into it that it had a lot of depictions of sexual assault and I had the understanding that they were predominantly not good depictions.  There is even a rape based fridging.  Too much of it came across as not only being used for cheap shock value and perverse titillation to the point where it was breaking my immersion.  It gets really hard to read something when ones eyes are rolling so much.  It's not good.  But I'm not bringing any new insight into this - it's very self-evident.  Regardless, I wouldn't have felt right if I didn't address it.

It's still very engaging.  There are things I like and there are things I don't like (in addition to the above).  I really want to see where this goes and what shape the narrative ends up taking.  I say to myself "I'll just read a little bit and then go and [insert chore here]" and before I know it I've got through another Volume.  It really is hard to put down (figuratively speaking).  I think it's clear I'm getting something out of it and I am seeing why it's been praised so much.

So.  Lord and Ladies.  It's a Pratchett book.  Not one of the best, certainly, but it's still very solid.  I think it's a good conclusion to Magrat's role as a main character.  The thing that originally left a big impression on me is still the highlight.  These Elves are really sadistic.  I don't recall Discworld ever getting into real horror, but this is the closest it comes to it.  I know there are references to A Midsummer Nights Dream, but I'm not sure how many as I'm not especially familiar with that play.  I also get there are some real folk lore references in here.  But a little part of me thinks there may be a push back against Tolkien's depiction of Elves.  I remember having that impression the first time I read Lords and Ladies.  It's probably just my inference, but I do enjoy the juxtaposition after finishing a Middle-Earth binge.  It was also fun having parallels between Lords and Ladies and the Lost Children chapters of Berserk.  I had a lot of fun reading it.

Next up, Men At Arms.